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Nigel Coutts

Realising the benefits of reflective practice - The Learner's Way - 9 views

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    It is generally accepted that learning is enhanced by the inclusion of deliberate, reflective practice. Indeed the act of reflecting on the impact that our actions have towards the achievement of any goal (learning oriented or other) is shown to have a positive impact. Reflective practice is defined as the praxis (interdependent and integrated theory, practice, research, thought and action) of individuals or groups to move from 'better thinking to better action' as a result of reflection for, in and on learning (Harvey et al. 2010 p140). With this in mind, it is worth considering what reflective practice might look like and to consider it in a range of contemporary contexts. 
Ian Woods

AJET 26(3) Drexler (2010) - The networked student model for construction of personal learning environments: Balancing teacher control and student autonomy - 77 views

  • Web application(networked studentcomponent) Tool usedin test case Student activitylevel of structure Social bookmarking (RSS) Delicioushttp://delicious.com/ Set up the account Subscribe to each others accounts Bookmark and read 10 reliable websites that reflect the content of chosen topic Add and read at least 3 additional sites each week. News and blog alert (RSS) Google Alerthttp://www.google.com/alerts Create a Google Alert of keywords associated with selected topic Read news and blogs on that topic that are delivered via email daily Subscribe to appropriate blogs in reader News and blog reader (RSS) Google Readerhttp://reader.google.com Search for blogs devoted to chosen topic Subscribe to blogs to keep track of updates Personal blog (RSS) Bloggerhttp://www.blogger.com Create a personal blog Post a personal reflection each day of the content found and experiences related to the use of personal learning environment Students subscribe to each others blogs in reader Internet search (information management, contacts, and synchronous communication) Google Scholarhttp://scholar.google.com/ Conduct searches in Google Scholar and library databases for scholarly works. Bookmark appropriate sites Consider making contact with expert for video conference Podcasts (RSS) iTunesUhttp://www.apple.com/itunes/whatson/itunesu.html Search iTunesU for podcasts related to topic Subscribe to at least 2 podcasts if possible Video conferencing (contacts and synchronous communication) Skypehttp://www.skype.com Identify at least one subject matter expert to invite to Skype with the class. Content gathering/ digital notebook Evernotehttp://evernote.com/ Set up account Use Evernote to take notes on all content collected via other tools Content synthesis Wikispaceshttp://www.wikispaces.com Post final project on personal page of class wiki The process and tools are overwhelming to students if presented all at once. As with any instructional design, the teacher determines the pace at which the students best assimilate each new learning tool. For this particular project, a new tool was introduced each day over two weeks. Once the construction process was complete, there were a number of personal web page aggregators that could have been selected to bring everything together in one place. Options at the time included iGoogle, PageFlakes, NetVibes, and Symbaloo. These sites offer a means to compile or pull together content from a variety of web applications. A web widget or gadget is a bit of code that is executed within the personal web page to pull up external content from other sites. The students in this case designed the personal web page using the gadgets needed in the format that best met their learning goals. Figure 3 is an instructor example of a personal webpage that includes the reader, email, personal blog, note taking program, and social bookmarks on one page. The personal learning environment can take the place of a traditional textbook, though does not preclude the student from using a textbook or accessing one or more numerous open source texts that may be available for the research topic. The goal is to access content from many sources to effectively meet the learning objectives. The next challenge is to determine whether those objectives have been met. Figure 3: Personal web page compiles learning tools
  • Table 2: Personal learning environment toolset Web application (networked student component) Tool used in test case Student activity level of structure Social bookmarking (RSS) Delicious http://delicious.com/ Set up the account Subscribe to each others accounts Bookmark and read 10 reliable websites that reflect the content of chosen topic Add and read at least 3 additional sites each week. News and blog alert (RSS) Google Alert http://www.google.com/alerts Create a Google Alert of keywords associated with selected topic Read news and blogs on that topic that are delivered via email daily Subscribe to appropriate blogs in reader News and blog reader (RSS) Google Reader http://reader.google.com Search for blogs devoted to chosen topic Subscribe to blogs to keep track of updates Personal blog (RSS) Blogger http://www.blogger.com Create a personal blog Post a personal reflection each day of the content found and experiences related to the use of personal learning environment Students subscribe to each others blogs in reader Internet search (information management, contacts, and synchronous communication) Google Scholar http://scholar.google.com/ Conduct searches in Google Scholar and library databases for scholarly works. Bookmark appropriate sites Consider making contact with expert for video conference Podcasts (RSS) iTunesU http://www.apple.com/itunes/ whatson/itunesu.html Search iTunesU for podcasts related to topic Subscribe to at least 2 podcasts if possible Video conferencing (contacts and synchronous communication) Skype http://www.skype.com Identify at least one subject matter expert to invite to Skype with the class. Content gathering/ digital notebook Evernote http://evernote.com/ Set up account Use Evernote to take notes on all content collected via other tools Content synthesis Wikispaces http://www.wikispaces.com Post final project on personal page of class wiki The process and tools are overwhelming to students if presented all at once. As with any instructional design, the teacher determines the pace at which the students best assimilate each new learning tool. For this particular project, a new tool was introduced each day over two weeks. Once the construction process was complete, there were a number of personal web page aggregators that could have been selected to bring everything together in one place. Options at the time included iGoogle, PageFlakes, NetVibes, and Symbaloo. These sites offer a means to compile or pull together content from a variety of web applications. A web widget or gadget is a bit of code that is executed within the personal web page to pull up external content from other sites. The students in this case designed the personal web page using the gadgets needed in the format that best met their learning goals. Figure 3 is an instructor example of a personal webpage that includes the reader, email, personal blog, note taking program, and social bookmarks on one page.
  • The personal learning environment can take the place of a traditional textbook, though does not preclude the student from using a textbook or accessing one or more numerous open source texts that may be available for the research topic. The goal is to access content from many sources to effectively meet the learning objectives. The next challenge is to determine whether those objectives have been met.
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  • AssessmentThere were four components of the assessment process for this test case of the Networked Student Model: (1) Ongoing performance assessment in the form of weekly assignments to facilitate the construction and maintenance of the personal learning environment, (2) rubric-based assessment of the personal learning environment at the end of the project, (3) written essay, and (4) multimedia synthesis of topic content. Points were earned for meeting the following requirements: Identify ten reliable resources and post to social bookmarking account. At least three new resources should be added each week. Subscribe and respond to at least 3 new blogs each week. Follow these blogs and news alerts using the reader. Subscribe to and listen to at least two podcasts (if available). Respectfully contact and request a video conference from a subject matter expert recognised in the field. Maintain daily notes and highlight resources as needed in digital notebook. Post at least a one-paragraph reflection in personal blog each day. At the end of the project, the personal learning environment was assessed with a rubric that encompassed each of the items listed above. The student's ability to synthesise the research was further evaluated with a reflective essay. Writing shapes thinking (Langer & Applebee, 1987), and the essay requirement was one more avenue through which the students demonstrated higher order learning. The personal blog provided an opportunity for regular reflection during the course of the project. The essay was the culmination of the reflections along with a thoughtful synthesis of the learning experience. Students were instructed to articulate what was learned about the selected topic and why others should care or be concerned. The essay provided an overview of everything learned about the contemporary issue. It was well organised, detailed, and long enough to serve as a resource for others who wished to learn from the work. As part of a final exam, the students were required to access the final projects of their classmates and reflect on what they learned from this exposure. The purpose of this activity was to give the students an additional opportunity to share and learn from each other. Creativity is considered a key 21st century skill (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2009). A number of emerging web applications support the academic creative process. Students in this project used web tools to combine text, video, audio, and photographs to teach the research topics to others. The final multimedia project was posted or embedded on the student's personal wiki page. Analysis and assessment of student work was facilitated by the very technologies in use by the students. In order to follow their progress, the teacher simply subscribed to student social bookmarking accounts, readers, and blogs. Clicking through daily contributions was relatively quick and efficient.
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    Scholarly and important but also practical. Scroll down for an incredible chart of ideas that challenges older students to take charge of their own learning.
Randolph Hollingsworth

ASU - Service Learning USL210 - 5 views

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    COURSE OBJECTIVES: This is a graded internship that allows you to integrate your own coursework with a hands-on service learning experience. The central objective of this course is to provide students with community experiences and reflection opportunities that examine community needs, the importance of civic engagement, and social justice issues affecting ethnic minorities and marginalized populations in contemporary American society. Students dedicate 70 hours at a pre-approved site (including Title I K-12 schools, youth programs, health services, social services, environmental programs, government agencies, etc.) directly serving a population in need or supporting activities that contribute to the greater good of our community. A weekly seminar, course readings, discussions, and reflection assignments facilitate critical thinking and a deeper understanding of cultural diversity, citizenship, and how to contribute to positive social change in our community. The course is also designed to provide "real-world" experiences that exercise academic skills and knowledge applicable to each student‟s program of study and career exploration. STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Student will be introduced to essential skills associated with their baccalaureate studies to actively serve the local community. While completing this in-depth study of cultural diversity, citizenship and social justice issues facing our community, students will gain an understanding of the value of Social Embeddedness and the importance of incorporating civic engagement into their collegiate careers, as they strive to become civically engaged students. Students will be introduced to inequalities, discrimination, and other community issues facing ethnic minorities and marginalized populations, as well as the correlation with greater societal issues. INTERNSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES:  Service hours - 70 hours of community outreach (spread throughout the semester in which you are enrolled in the course)
Shannon Smith

Need resources to assist in creating a 21st century learner training/ professional deve... - 131 views

Thank you! This is great information! James McKee wrote: > Shannon, > > I was recently referred to this video of Michael Wesch who teaches cultural anthropology at Kansas State University. He ...

professional development 21st century learners technology

Martin Burrett

Reflective Teaching: Looking Back To Move Forward - 6 views

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    "Reflecting on what has been learnt (or not learnt) is vital for our pupils to know where to focus their efforts next. In the same way, reflecting upon one's teaching craft is vital to improvement. Yet too many of us feel we do not have time to reflect because we have to move onto the next lesson or admin task. How can we create the time to pick apart our lessons and what are the best methods to do so?"
Martin Burrett

Reflectional symmetry whiteboard resource - 45 views

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    Simple reflectional symmetry tool which lets children/teachers put colours into four quadrants creating reflecting patterns. http://ictmagic.wikispaces.com/Maths
Annette P

Web 2.0 Tools « - 8 views

  • Blogging the Learning Process Just as blogs can help foster conversation among students and faculty, instructors are discovering that they can also serve a more personal role, as a tool of reflection and self-appraisal. “The blog’s biggest strength is in the development and authentication of the student voice in learning,” notes Ruth Reynard, associate professor of education and the director of the Center for Instructional Technology at Trevecca Nazarene University (TN). Reynard uses blogs as a way to get students to reflect on their coursework–essentially by keeping an online journal in which they track their learning. As opposed to a traditional journal that is read only by the instructor, student
  • When used as a tool for reflection, blogs allow students to write at length about their own experiences as learners, and to read and comment on the insights posted on their classmates’ blogs. This type of public, shared self-reflection is difficult to achieve in other forms of collaborative online writing, such as discussion boards. “If the
  • Reynard has also found that blogs are a great tool for helping her graduate students learn to write academically. She requires her graduate students to embed hyperlinks to online sources that are influencing their thinking in their reflective blog posts.
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    useful info for blogging and reflective thinking
Sharin Tebo

Educational Leadership:How Teachers Learn:Fostering Reflection - 27 views

  • Expert teachers adjust their thinking to accommodate the level of reflection a situation calls for.
  • Another way to help teachers become better at reflection is to create study groups that introduce teachers to these four modes of thinking and explore which aspects of teaching call for each mode. Discussions and role-plays can help teachers see which routine decisions can be made through technological or situational thinking and which may require the deliberate or dialectical modes. I
  • Finally, to foster higher levels of reflection, encourage teachers to ask themselves questions about their classroom practice. Prompts like the following promote frequent reflection: What worked in this lesson? How do I know? What would I do the same or differently if I could reteach this lesson? Why? What root cause might be prompting or perpetuating this student behavior? What do I believe about how students learn? How does this belief influence my instruction? What data do I need to make an informed decision about this problem? Is this the most efficient way to accomplish this task?
Randolph Hollingsworth

Ariz State Univ - Service Learning syllabus (USL410 Indep Placement) - 7 views

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    COURSE OBJECTIVES: This is a graded internship that allows you to integrate your own coursework with a hands-on service learning experience. The central objective of this course is to provide students with community experiences and reflection opportunities that examine community needs, the importance of civic engagement, and social justice issues affecting ethnic minorities and marginalized populations in contemporary American society. Students dedicate 70 hours at a pre-approved site (including Title I K-12 schools, youth programs, health services, social services, environmental programs, government agencies, etc.) directly serving a population in need or supporting activities that contribute to the greater good of our community. A weekly seminar, course readings, discussions, and reflection assignments facilitate critical thinking and a deeper understanding of cultural diversity, citizenship, and how to contribute to positive social change in our community. The course is also designed to provide "real-world" experiences that exercise academic skills and knowledge applicable to each student‟s program of study and career exploration. STUDENT LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Student will be introduced to essential skills associated with their baccalaureate studies to actively serve the local community. While completing this in-depth study of cultural diversity, citizenship and social justice issues facing our community, students will gain an understanding of the value of Social Embeddedness and the importance of incorporating civic engagement into their collegiate careers, as they strive to become civically engaged students. Students will be introduced to inequalities, discrimination, and other community issues facing ethnic minorities and marginalized populations, as well as the correlation with greater societal issues. INTERNSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES:  Service hours - 70 hours of community outreach (spread throughout the semester in which you are enrolled in the course)
Nigel Coutts

Enhancing the power of our reflective practice - The Learner's Way - 18 views

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    "We do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience." ― John Dewey These words by John Dewey point to a truth about learning that is often forgotten. Experience alone is not sufficient for true learning to occur; reflection is an essential part of the process and our failure to include time for this is why our learning often does not stick.
Nigel Coutts

Becoming a reflective practitioner - The Learner's Way - 17 views

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    There are particular behaviours and a mindset that accompanies effective reflective practice. Understanding and applying these allows us to become reflective practitioners.
Sharon Mumm

Three Word Reflections on MBS Technology Conference and Chris Lehmann - STANBRIDGE's posterous - 1 views

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    Our district got a chance to have Chris Lehmann speak at our Technology conference. Check out the videos of teacher reflections after his keynote.
Robert Parker

Andragogy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 35 views

  • Andragogy consists of learning strategies focused on adults. It is often interpreted as the process of engaging adult learners with the structure of learning experience. The term ‘andragogy’ has been used in different times and countries with various connotations
  • Knowles asserted that andragogy (Greek: "man-leading") should be distinguished from the more commonly used pedagogy (Greek: "child-leading"). Knowles' theory can be stated with six assumptions related to motivation of adult learning:[1][2] Adults need to know the reason for learning something (Need to Know) Experience (including error) provides the basis for learning activities (Foundation). Adults need to be responsible for their decisions on education; involvement in the planning and evaluation of their instruction (Self-concept). Adults are most interested in learning subjects having immediate relevance to their work and/or personal lives (Readiness). Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented (Orientation). Adults respond better to internal versus external motivators (Motivation). The term has been used by some to allow discussion of contrast between self-directed and 'taught' education
    • Tammy Sanders
       
      Andragogy - man-leading as in leading man Pedagogy - child-leading as in leading children
    • Robert Parker
       
      I like this term, it reflects much of waht happens in higher education as the springboard for life-long learning
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    Andragogy From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Andragogy consists of learning strategies focused on adults. It is often interpreted as the process of engaging adult learners with the structure of learning experience. The term 'andragogy' has been used in different times and countries with various connotations. Nowadays there exist mainly three understandings: 1. In many countries there is a growing conception of 'andragogy' as the scholarly approach to the learning of adults. In this connotation andragogy is the science of understanding (= theory) and supporting (= practice) lifelong and lifewide education of adults. 2. Especially in the USA, 'andragogy' in the tradition of Malcolm Knowles, labels a specific theoretical and practical approach, based on a humanistic conception of self-directed and autonomous learners and teachers as facilitators of learning. 3. Widely, an unclear use of andragogy can be found, with its meaning changing (even in the same publication) from 'adult education practice' or 'desirable values' or 'specific teaching methods,' to 'reflections' or 'academic discipline' and/or 'opposite to childish pedagogy', claiming to be 'something better' than just 'Adult Education'. The oldest document using the term "Andragogik": Kapp, Alexander (1833): Platon's Erziehungslehre, als Pädagogik für die Einzelnen und als Staatspädagogik. Leipzig. Originally used by Alexander Kapp (a German educator) in 1833, andragogy was developed into a theory of adult education by the American educator Malcolm Knowles. Knowles asserted that andragogy (Greek: "man-leading") should be distinguished from the more commonly used pedagogy (Greek: "child-leading"). Knowles' theory can be stated with six assumptions related to motivation of adult learning:[1][2] Adults need to know the reason for learning something (Need to Know) Experience (including error) provides the basis for learning activities (Foundation). Adults need to be
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    Really not seeing the difference in how children and adults learn here. I have heard the term first about 20 or more years ago. From this definition the principals behind it are no different from those behind what a good learning environment is for all ages. What changes is the content not that the student, regardless of age, leads in their own learning facilitated by a trained practitioner.
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    "Andragogy" is another sexist term, using "andro" = male to stand for all humanity. Why wouldn't it by called "Gynogogy"? Can't we use a different term? Bring the concept up-do-date from 1833?
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    Andragogy From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Andragogy consists of learning strategies focused on adults. It is often interpreted as the process of engaging adult learners with the structure of learning experience. The term 'andragogy' has been used in different times and countries with various connotations. Nowadays there exist mainly three understandings: 1. In many countries there is a growing conception of 'andragogy' as the scholarly approach to the learning of adults. In this connotation andragogy is the science of understanding (= theory) and supporting (= practice) lifelong and lifewide education of adults. 2. Especially in the USA, 'andragogy' in the tradition of Malcolm Knowles, labels a specific theoretical and practical approach, based on a humanistic conception of self-directed and autonomous learners and teachers as facilitators of learning. 3. Widely, an unclear use of andragogy can be found, with its meaning changing (even in the same publication) from 'adult education practice' or 'desirable values' or 'specific teaching methods,' to 'reflections' or 'academic discipline' and/or 'opposite to childish pedagogy', claiming to be 'something better' than just 'Adult Education'. The oldest document using the term "Andragogik": Kapp, Alexander (1833): Platon's Erziehungslehre, als Pädagogik für die Einzelnen und als Staatspädagogik. Leipzig. Originally used by Alexander Kapp (a German educator) in 1833, andragogy was developed into a theory of adult education by the American educator Malcolm Knowles. Knowles asserted that andragogy (Greek: "man-leading") should be distinguished from the more commonly used pedagogy (Greek: "child-leading"). Knowles' theory can be stated with six assumptions related to motivation of adult learning:[1][2] Adults need to know the reason for learning something (Need to Know) Experience (including error) provides the basis for learning activities (Foundation). Adults need to be
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    Andragogy From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Andragogy consists of learning strategies focused on adults. It is often interpreted as the process of engaging adult learners with the structure of learning experience. The term 'andragogy' has been used in different times and countries with various connotations. Nowadays there exist mainly three understandings: 1. In many countries there is a growing conception of 'andragogy' as the scholarly approach to the learning of adults. In this connotation andragogy is the science of understanding (= theory) and supporting (= practice) lifelong and lifewide education of adults. 2. Especially in the USA, 'andragogy' in the tradition of Malcolm Knowles, labels a specific theoretical and practical approach, based on a humanistic conception of self-directed and autonomous learners and teachers as facilitators of learning. 3. Widely, an unclear use of andragogy can be found, with its meaning changing (even in the same publication) from 'adult education practice' or 'desirable values' or 'specific teaching methods,' to 'reflections' or 'academic discipline' and/or 'opposite to childish pedagogy', claiming to be 'something better' than just 'Adult Education'. The oldest document using the term "Andragogik": Kapp, Alexander (1833): Platon's Erziehungslehre, als Pädagogik für die Einzelnen und als Staatspädagogik. Leipzig. Originally used by Alexander Kapp (a German educator) in 1833, andragogy was developed into a theory of adult education by the American educator Malcolm Knowles. Knowles asserted that andragogy (Greek: "man-leading") should be distinguished from the more commonly used pedagogy (Greek: "child-leading"). Knowles' theory can be stated with six assumptions related to motivation of adult learning:[1][2] Adults need to know the reason for learning something (Need to Know) Experience (including error) provides the basis for learning activities (Foundation). Adults need to be
Sigrid Murphy

Five U.S. innovations that helped Finland's schools improve but that American reformers now ignore - 64 views

    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Interesting Top Five
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Answer explanation is almost as important as mathematic problem solving.  If we really want to know if a student understands ANY concept, we need to ask him/her to write their explanation.  Sometimes the understanding comes from the thinking required to do the writing - writing to make it make sense!
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Why don't we consider relating almost every lesson to everyday life?  Seems like an obvious thing to do to me!
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    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Wow!  I think the concept of doing less of something in order to make time for experimentation is a fabulous idea!  Do you mean there are different aspects of student assessment and testing beyond a bubble sheet?  :)
  • Most of them have studied psychology, teaching methods, curriculum theories, assessment models, and classroom management researched and designed in the United States
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Finland's successful practices are something they learned here in the U.S.  So, why aren't our teachers here in the U.S. employing those same practices successfully?
  • Professional development and school improvement courses and programs often include visitors from the U.S. universities to teach and work with Finnish teachers and leaders.
  • in an ideal classroom, pupils speak more than the teacher
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Hooray!
  • the entire Finnish school system looks like John Dewey’s laboratory school in the U.S.
  • cooperative learning has become a pedagogical approach that is widely practiced throughout Finnish education system
  • Finnish teachers believe that over 90 percent of students can learn successfully in their own classrooms if given the opportunity to evolve in a holistic manner.
  • After abolishing all streaming and tracking of students in the mid-1980s, both education policies and school practices adopted the principle that all children have different kinds of intelligences and that schools must find ways how to cultivate these different individual aspects in balanced ways.
  • it is ironic that many of these methods were developed at U.S. universities and are yet far more popular in Finland than in the United States. These include portfolio assessment, performance assessment, self-assessment and self-reflection, and assessment for learning methods.
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Alternative assessments!  Performance, portfolio, self-assessment, self-reflection, and assessment of learning methods...
  • Peer coaching—that is, a confidential process through which teachers work together to reflect on current practices, expand, improve, and learn new skills, exchange ideas, conduct classroom research and solve problems together in school
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Working together and reflecting on current practices - Reflection helps to expand, improve, and provides an opportunity to learn and exchange ideas to solve problems
  • the work of the school in the United States is so much steered by bureaucracies, test-based accountability and competition that schools are simply doing what they must do
    • Beverly Ozburn
       
      Sadness Abounds!  We are teaching folks what works best.  Then, they enter the classroom and get wrapped up in bureaucracies and test-based accountability to the point that teachers are just going through the motions instead of facilitating quality learning
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    Pasi Sahlberg Blog Finnish education reform Originally published in Washington Post, 24 July 2014 An intriguing question whether innovation in education can be measured has an answer now. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development in its recent report "Measuring Innovation in Education: A New Perspective, Educational Research and Innovation" measures Innovation in Education in 22 countries and 6 jurisdictions, among them the U.S.
Marsha Ratzel

letsgetengaged - Empowering Students Through Reflection and Feedback - 118 views

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    Lots of tools in active listening, reflection, self evaluations, feedback...with ideas to use with students.
Nigel Coutts

Initial Reflections on ICOT 2018 - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    The past five days have provided me with an amazing learning experience as I have attended ICOT 2018. With the conference just wrapped up and with Florida providing another remarkably wet afternoon, here are some initial reflections.  
Sydney Lacey

Educational Leadership:Good Teaching in Action:The Best Teachers I Have Known - 47 views

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    One of the joys of retirement is having the time to reflect on our profession. Looking back over the 37 years I spent as an educator-20 of them as a teacher and 17 as an administrator-and reflecting on my own schooling as well, I think of the many highly effective teachers I've known. Spanning all grade levels, they engaged students in learning to the point of excitement and kindled the desire to keep on learning. So what did these teachers have in common?
pjt111 taylor

Probe-Create Change-Reflect: A spin-off blog - 9 views

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    A blog related to my work helping mid-career or career-changing students to "develop reflective practice as we change our schools, workplaces, and lives." (Shameless plug)
Peter Beens

Education Week Teacher: Teaching Secrets: Communicating With Parents - 1 views

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    Teaching Secrets: Communicating With Parents By Gail Tillery Premium article access courtesy of TeacherMagazine.org. You will face many challenging tasks as a new teacher. Dealing with parents is probably among the most intimidating, especially if you are young and in your first career. While communicating with parents can be tricky, a little preparation will help you to treat parents as partners and to be calmer when problems arise. Here's the first rule to live by: Your students' parents are not your enemies. Ultimately, they want the same thing you want, which is the best for their children. By maintaining respectful and productive communication, you can work together to help students succeed. Second, whenever problems arise, remember that parents are probably just as nervous about contacting you as you are about returning the contact-and maybe more so. I'll confess: Even after 26 years of teaching, I still get a little frisson of fear in my belly when I see an e-mail or hear a voicemail from a parent. But I have seen time and again that parents are often more nervous than the teacher is-especially if their child doesn't want them to contact the teacher. Indeed, some parents may even fear that if they raise concerns, their child will face some kind of retaliation. Remember that parents' tones or words may reflect such fears. In your response, try to establish that everyone involved wants to help the child. Here are some practical tips for communicating effectively with parents: Contact every parent at the beginning of the year. Do some "recon." Telephone calls are best for this initial contact, since they are more personal than e-mail. Ask the parent to tell you about his or her child's strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, etc. Make sure to ask, "What is the best thing I can do to help your child succeed?" Remember to take notes! Once you've gathered the information you need, set a boundary with parents by saying, "Well, Ms. Smith, I have 25 more parent
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