By Allan Alach
I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Online Public Schools Are a Disaster, Admits Billionaire, Charter School-Promoter Walton Family Foundation
Oh what a surprise…..
“The majority of online charter students had far weaker academic growth in both math and reading compared to their traditional public school peers,” their experts’ press release said, after noting that kindergarten-through-high school students need to be in classrooms with live teachers, not occasional faces on computer screens. “To conceptualize this shortfall, it would equate to a student losing 72 days of learning in reading and 180 days of learning in math, based on a 180-day school year.”
How Measurement Fails Doctors and Teachers
“Education is experiencing its own version of measurement fatigue. Educators complain that the focus on student test performance comes at the expense of learning. Art, music and physical education have withered, because, really, why bother if they’re not on the test?”
Why So Many Schools Fail To Get Impact From iPad
“70% of UK schools are now using mobile devices in the classroom, according to Tablets for Schools. The vast majority of those devices are likely to be iPads, yet how many schools can you name who are standout users of the device? That is to say, how many schools are using the device to deliver true 21st century transformational lessons?
The answer, disappointingly, is very, very few.”
In Education “Reform” Nothing Means What You Think It Does
“I too want every student to succeed. I too want personalized learning, but I want those things for real, and not some cheap version of these promises that people stand to make a lot of money on. I think our kids are worth more than cute slogans and money making schemes they don’t actually benefit from. Perhaps it is the English teacher in me. I just want people to say what they mean.”
Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:
The Bridge Between Today’s Lesson and Tomorrow’s
“Carol Ann Tomlinson sees formative assessment as an ongoing exchange between a teacher and his or her students designed to help students grow as vigorously as possible and to help teachers contribute to that growth as fully as possible. ‘When I hear formative assessment reduced to a mechanism for raising end-of-year-test scores, it makes me fear that we might reduce teaching and learning to that same level’.”
In DPS imaginarium, room to experiment for students and teachers
Creating conditions for teachers to be creative and then sharing successful ideas with other schools. Seems like a plan.
“Once an idea — which might be as small as a classroom strategy or as big as a new school design — is developed, the ‘imaginarium’ team runs through a series of piloting and reflection exercises. The team then presents a case to district leadership about whether that project should be scaled up.”
From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldie’ file:
Schools should embrace fun and activity.
“In the early years of education children seem eager to learn; they are lively and happy. Generally, the classroom provides an atmosphere of spontaneity in which children are encouraged to explore, discover and create.However, large numbers of students leave school feeling bitter and defeated, not having mastered basic skills society demands from them.For teachers of unhappy children, the school experience is generally also an unhappy one.”
Words of wisdom from Jerome Bruner
‘The areas of hunches and intuition’, Bruner writes, ‘has been all too often overwhelmed by an imposed fetish of objectivity’…’The lock step of learning theory in this country has been broken, though it is still the standard village dance’. Today we still have those ( usually politicians) who wish to test for learning ignoring, according to Bruner, that ‘it is difficult to catch and record, no less understand, the swift flight of man’s mind operating at its best.’
What are the fundamentals in education
“Ask most people what they would consider fundamental in education and they would probably say ‘the three Rs’ or, in,today’s, speak literacy and numeracy. Certainly this is the view of our current conservatist government. But , like most simplistic answers , if people give the question more thought, more enlightened answers come to mind. Learning to interpret and express ideas about ones experiences is the basis of all learning from the moment one is born. As in the illustration we all see and interpret our world.”
Creative teachers are the key
Essential characteristics of creative teachers, according to one US researcher,are a commitment to: deepen the understandings of the world of each learner; believe in the creative ability of all students; encourage empathy in students; value creative expression in learners; teach in ways that facilitate it; adapt the curriculum to meet students individual needs.These are all in line with recent ideas of ‘personalising’ learning – developing with learners, and their parents, ‘individual learning plans.
The purpose of education – developing creativity and talents of all students.
“The dizzying speed of the modern world puts education at the heart of both personal and community development; its mission is to enable everyone, without exception, to develop all their talents to the full and to realize their creative potential, including responsibility for their own lives and achievement of their personal aims’.”
Transforming Secondary Education – the most difficult challenge of all.Thoughts from a past age – ‘Young Lives at Stake’ by Charity James
“Charity James believed it was important to get secondary education right if all students were to leave able to take advantage of the exciting opportunities the future might offer. The challenge remains. Secondary schools need a radical reappraisal to ameliorate the effects of obvious social and cultural disadvantages and also to develop the needs, talents and gifts of all students.”