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Tony Richards

The Atlantic Online | January/February 2010 | What Makes a Great Teacher? | Amanda Ripley - 13 views

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    "What Makes a Great Teacher? Image credit: Veronika Lukasova Also in our Special Report: National: "How America Can Rise Again" Is the nation in terminal decline? Not necessarily. But securing the future will require fixing a system that has become a joke. Video: "One Nation, On Edge" James Fallows talks to Atlantic editor James Bennet about a uniquely American tradition-cycles of despair followed by triumphant rebirths. Interactive Graphic: "The State of the Union Is ..." ... thrifty, overextended, admired, twitchy, filthy, and clean: the nation in numbers. By Rachael Brown Chart: "The Happiness Index" Times were tough in 2009. But according to a cool Facebook app, people were happier. By Justin Miller On August 25, 2008, two little boys walked into public elementary schools in Southeast Washington, D.C. Both boys were African American fifth-graders. The previous spring, both had tested below grade level in math. One walked into Kimball Elementary School and climbed the stairs to Mr. William Taylor's math classroom, a tidy, powder-blue space in which neither the clocks nor most of the electrical outlets worked. The other walked into a very similar classroom a mile away at Plummer Elementary School. In both schools, more than 80 percent of the children received free or reduced-price lunches. At night, all the children went home to the same urban ecosystem, a zip code in which almost a quarter of the families lived below the poverty line and a police district in which somebody was murdered every week or so. Video: Four teachers in Four different classrooms demonstrate methods that work (Courtesy of Teach for America's video archive, available in February at teachingasleadership.org) At the end of the school year, both little boys took the same standardized test given at all D.C. public schools-not a perfect test of their learning, to be sure, but a relatively objective one (and, it's worth noting, not a very hard one). After a year in Mr. Taylo
Vicki Davis

Constructing Modern Knowledge 2009 - 0 views

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    Great post by Ben Grey on his participation in Constructing Modern knowledge - he hits several things including the fact that many at the conference said that computer programming should be mandatory for all students and a presenter who said that the problem with today is that too many people have a voice. My comments from Ben's blog are below. Great conversations happening here! Programming - OK, on the programming thing, here are my thoughts. In our curriculum our objective is not as much a specific LANGUAGE. One year I may use HTML with Javascript, this past year I used LSL - what I want kids to know that when they encounter programming and coding that there are certain conventions. Some are case sensitive, some are not. How do you find out how to add to what you know about programming? Do you know where to go to find prewritten code? Can you hack it to make it work to do what you want it to do? We spend about a week - two weeks but I require they know how to handcode hyperlinks and images - they are just too important. But to take 12 weeks or 6 weeks to learn a whole language - yes maybe some value - but to me the value is HOW is the language constructed or built. What are the conventions and how do I educate myself if I am interested in pursuing. What comes out of this time is kids who say either "I never want to do that" or "this is really cool, I love coding." They are doing very simplistic work (although the LSL object languages were pretty advanced) but since we don't have a full course nor time in our curriculum, I do see this as an essential part of what I teach. I'm not teaching it for the language sake but for the sake of understanding the whole body of how languages work - we talk about the different languages and what they are used for as part of Intro to Computer science and have an immersive experience. To me, this is somewhat a comprimise between leaving it out entirely or forcing everyone to take 12 weeks of it. I
Vicki Davis

Future of Education - Charting the Course of Education and Learning in a Networked World - 0 views

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    From Steve Hargadon: "I've started a new community at http://www.FutureofEducation.com to providing an opportunity for those who care about Education to share their voices and ideas on charting the course of Education in a networked world. It's a place for thoughtful discussion on an incredibly important topic. The site will launch officially at the end of the month with the start of a weekly interview series, but I'm inviting some participation now because of an email Carol Broos (http://www.classroom20.com/profile/beatechie) sent out. Carol is one of twelve teachers who have been invited to participate in a round table discussion concerning the direction of Education the new Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Jan 21. She was sent the following questions, and is asking for feedback and ideas. You can respond either at the new http://www.FutureofEducation.com site or her wiki at http://Education20.pbwiki.com/FrontPage. Here are the questions: 1. What is the one most important Education issue you wish Secretary Duncan to focus on during his tenure and why? 2. How shall the tenets of the No Child Left Behind act be altered or invigorated? What are its positives? How can its negatives be improved? 3. How should the new administration respond to the nation's need for better prepared and more qualified teachers? 4.What should the new administration do to increase student engagement in mathematics, the sciences and the arts? 5. How should funding equity issues be addressed? There is also a discussion topic on what questions were not asked that might have been." This seems to be a great thing!
Adrienne Michetti

ICT in Education Assessments are Biased and Inaccurate « Educational Technology Debate - 7 views

  • One of the conclusions was that indeed, large reforms (e.g., “Het nieuwe leren”, or the new learning) were imposed without scientific support. Another that political prejudices, not any kind of data, were the main motivating factor in the reforms.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      Sadly, I think this is true of most educational reforms - ICT or not.
  • The alternative, assessing educational reforms well before introduction, is a form of social engineering. Social engineering seems to always be more difficult than you think. And I think history has shown that education is no exception in this respect.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      an interesting argument, though I am not sure I agree.
  • Scientific “facts” are never appreciated unless they completely align with the preconceptions of the “stake-holders” (minus the children).
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      what kind of "scientific facts" would guide ICT reform, though? what about research? studies? user testing?
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  • : Does this ICT4E solution improve scores on existing tests
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      whose tests? and what is being tested? and why do tests have to be the only metric of success?
  • The curriculum is obsessed with jargon and nomenclature, seemingly for no other purpose than to provide teachers with something to test the students on.
    • Adrienne Michetti
       
      I would probably argue that having tests which match the curriculum is a GOOD thing. However, in this case it seems that the problem is the curriculum. So reform does not always begin with the assessment, or with the ICT.
  • If we want to test whether changes in education really improve learning, we do have other tools. They are called aptitude tests.
Suzie Nestico

Five Myths About the Common Core - 8 views

  • Myth #1 The Common Core State Standards are a national curriculum.
  • Myth #2 The Common Core State Standards are an Obama administration initiative.
  • Myth #3 The Common Core standards represent a modest change from current practice.
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  • Myth #4 States cannot implement the Common Core standards in the current budget climate.
  • Myth #5 The Common Core State Standards will transform schools.
  • Standards are not curriculum: standards spell out what students should know and be able to do at the end of a year; curriculum defines the specific course of study—the scope and sequence—that will enable students to meet standards.
  • States are building the assessments, and once the assessments are in place, they will be administered and operated by states. They are not federal tests.
  • In preparation for adoption of the Common Core standards, several states conducted analyses that found considerable alignment between them and their current standards
    • Suzie Nestico
       
      Pennsylvania has same findinggs in its analysis of alignment of PA academic standards - closely aligned, ELA more than Math.
  • And officials in 76 percent of districts in Common Core states said in a survey released in September 2011 by the Center on Education Policy that inadequate funds for implementation was a major challenge.
  • But to have an effect on the day-to-day interaction between students and teachers, and thus improve learning, states and districts will have to implement the standards. That will require changes in curricula and assessments to align with the standards, professional development to ensure that teachers know what they are expected to teach, and ultimately, changes in teacher education so that all teachers have the capability to teach all students to the standards. The standards are only the first step on the road to higher levels of learning.
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    What I've encountered most in dealing with colleagues is the fear and the notion that this is just another five to ten year fad in education. It is important first to help others understand CCSS are not a quick-fix or an answer. In some ways, CCSS take us back to what good teaching looks. Ultimately, aside from the budgetary concerns with implementation, perhaps the other greatest struggle here will be the state-level assessment of the CCSS. In order for states to get it right, there needs to adequate time devoted to determining adequate assessment, not drill-and-kill. Broad, interconnected, higher-order thinking cannot be bubbled-in. Period.
Michael Johnson

Writing Can Improve Reading Skill, Study Finds - Curriculum Matters - Curriculum Week - 14 views

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    Specific writing strategies can play an important role in boosting reading comprehension. That's the bottom-line finding of a new analysis of research. The report, out today from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, says that teachers can improve students' reading skills by having them write about what they are reading, teaching them writing skills, and increasing how much they write.
Ted Sakshaug

Digital Library for Earth System Education - 12 views

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    The Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) is a distributed community effort involving educators, students, and scientists working together to improve the quality, quantity, and efficiency of teaching and learning about the Earth system at all levels.
Maggie Verster

4Teachers : Tools for assessment - 0 views

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    Expand your curriculum with our timesaving curriculumal resources that use technology to improve instruction across all content areas and grade levels. Find current resources that align with standards, promote higher-order thinking, and support the development of writing skills. Monitor student research and writing, evaluate student performance, and create bilingual online lessons, classroom calendars, and quizzes in less time than traditional methods
Fabian Aguilar

What Do School Tests Measure? - Room for Debate Blog - NYTimes.com - 1 views

  • According to a New York Times analysis, New York City students have steadily improved their performance on statewide tests since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took control of the public schools seven years ago.
  • Critics say the results are proof only that it is possible to “teach to the test.” What do the results mean? Are tests a good way to prepare students for future success?
  • Tests covering what students were expected to learn (guided by an agreed-upon curriculum) serve a useful purpose — to provide evidence of student effort, of student learning, of what teachers taught, and of what teachers may have failed to teach.
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  • More serious questions arise about “teaching to the test.” If the test requires students to do something academically valuable — to demonstrate comprehension of high quality reading passages at an appropriate level of complexity and difficulty for the students’ grade, for example — then, of course, “teaching to the test” is appropriate.
  • Reading is the crucial subject in the curriculum, affecting all the others, as we know.
  • An almost exclusive focus on raising test scores usually leads to teaching to the test, denies rich academic content and fails to promote the pleasure in learning, and to motivate students to take responsibility for their own learning, behavior, discipline and perseverance to succeed in school and in life.
  • Test driven, or force-fed, learning can not enrich and promote the traits necessary for life success. Indeed, it is dangerous to focus on raising test scores without reducing school drop out, crime and dependency rates, or improving the quality of the workforce and community life.
  • Students, families and groups that have been marginalized in the past are hurt most when the true purposes of education are not addressed.
  • lein. Mayor Bloomberg claims that more than two-thirds of the city’s students are now proficient readers. But, according to federal education officials, only 25 percent cleared the proficient-achievement hurdle after taking the National Assessment of education Progress, a more reliable and secure test in 2007.
  • The major lesson is that officials in all states — from New York to Mississippi — have succumbed to heavy political pressure to somehow show progress. They lower the proficiency bar, dumb down tests and distribute curricular guides to teachers filled with study questions that mirror state exams.
  • This is why the Obama administration has nudged 47 states to come around the table to define what a proficient student truly knows.
  • Test score gains among New York City students are important because research finds that how well one performs on cognitive tests matters more to one’s life chances than ever before. Mastery of reading and math, in particular, are significant because they provide the gateway to higher learning and critical thinking.
  • First, just because students are trained to do well on a particular test doesn’t mean they’ve mastered certain skills.
  • Second, whatever the test score results, children in high poverty schools like the Promise Academy are still cut off from networks of students, and students’ parents, who can ease access to employment.
  • Reliable and valid standardized tests can be one way to measure what some students have learned. Although they may be indicators of future academic success, they don’t “prepare” students for future success.
  • Since standardized testing can accurately assess the “whole” student, low test scores can be a real indicator of student knowledge and deficiencies.
  • Many teachers at high-performing, high-poverty schools have said they use student test scores as diagnostic tools to address student weaknesses and raise achievement.
  • The bigger problem with standardized tests is their emphasis on the achievement of only minimal proficiency.
  • While it is imperative that even the least accomplished students have sufficient reading and calculating skills to become self-supporting, these are nonetheless the students with, overall, the fewest opportunities in the working world.
  • Regardless of how high or low we choose to set the proficiency bar, standardized test scores are the most objective and best way of measuring it.
  • The gap between proficiency and true comprehension would be especially wide in the case of the brightest students. These would be the ones least well-served by high-stakes testing.
liam odonnell

Study: Games, Video Improve Preschooler Literacy -- THE Journal - 11 views

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    A new study has shown that educational videos and interactive games can have a positive impact on preschooler literacy when incorporated into the education in a classroom setting.
David Hilton

Common Core - Working to Bring Exciting, Comprehensive, Content-Rich Instruction to Every Classroom in America - 2 views

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    We believe that a child who graduates from high school without an understanding of culture, the arts, history, literature, civics, and language has in fact been left behind. So to improve education in America, we're promoting programs, policies, and initiatives at the local, state, and federal levels that provide students with challenging, rigorous instruction in the full range of liberal arts and sciences.
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    Very heartening to see a growing movement advocating a knowledge-rich, intellectually rigorous curriculum for schools. They've got the funds to hire good photographers and models with nice skin, too.
edutopia .org

Improving Executive Function: Teaching Challenges and Opportunities | Edutopia - 8 views

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    Neurologist and educator Judy Willis on the importance of igniting and developing students' executive function -- a part of the brain that controls critical thinking, creativity, and complex decision-making.
Brendan Murphy

Teacher Magazine: Taking Back School Reform: A Conversation Between Diane Ravitch and Mike Rose - 5 views

  • deep-seated wish to create escape routes from public education.
    • Brendan Murphy
       
      Does supporting vouchers mean we are giving up on schools?
  • Since there is no way to know who will be an effective teacher
    • Brendan Murphy
       
      It is possible to determine if someone will be or is a good teachers through oberservation and coaching, which costs money and time and has rarely been used effectively in the past.
  • What if we could channel the financial and human resources spent on the machinery of high-stakes testing into a robust, widely distributed program of professional development?
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  • He told them that the more they know about the particulars of instruction, the less effective they’ll be, for that nitty-gritty knowledge will blur their perception of the problem
    • Brendan Murphy
       
      I suppose if all you care about is the budget then that is the correct attitude.
  • children from every background will respond to a curriculum that respects their minds and feeds them with rich experiences.
    • Brendan Murphy
       
      Of course they will. Is your curriculum rich?
  • It is not just policy makers needing to spend time in schools. It is teachers needing to spend time in the policy making environment - yes, Dept of Ed has teacher ambassador program, but I would also suggest state legislators, Congressmen and Senators look more aggressively to having fellows on their staffs who are professional educators - it would save a LOT of problems downstream on both sides
  • Modeling modeling.asu.edu. This program shows improvement in both teacher and student understanding of physics.
  • CIMM which is a spin off of Modeling and is attacking the math problems in lower grades
Patti Porto

UDL4All - 0 views

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    A ning network where you can collaborate with other educators using Universal Design for Learning tools in their classrooms to improve teaching and learning.
Dean Loberg

Education Week's Digital Directions: Building Gaming Into Science Education - 0 views

  • "I've had teachers tell me,” says Eklund, “that after they introduced the game to their students, the classroom went completely silent because all of the kids were just reading." "You just don't get that kind of engagement and involvement with the story" with a textbook, he says.
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      Is this because of the visual appeal or the storyline? I can see this happening, but does silence mean high levels of engagement?
    • Dean Loberg
       
      Assuming that they are not sleeping I think it does mean engagement, but engagement does not equal education. It depends on the content as well.
  • A report written by researchers about The River City Project for a 2006 conference concluded "that students learned biology content, that students and teachers were highly engaged, that student attendance improved, that disruptive behavior dropped, that students were building 21st-century skills in virtual communication and expression, and importantly, that using this type of technology in the classroom can facilitate good inquiry learning."
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      Is this limited to only the River City Project alone though? How does it promote more inquiry, problem and project-based learning in other content?
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  • "I'm in a unique situation where there's a computer at every lab table," he says, pointing out that many teachers do not have that ratio of students to computers.
  • when the games don't work properly, but most teachers don’t have that level of technical skill, she points out.
  • "There are little things you need to know," she says, to keep the games running smoothly. "[Otherwise], it's not going to work in the classroom, and teachers aren't going to use it."
  • "If [the game] doesn't have a focus or clear reason for what they're doing, it really doesn't work," says Pokrzywinski. Adapting games to the curriculum is possible, she says, but it takes time—something many teachers don't have.
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    Science and gaming
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    Science and gaming
David Hilton

High School History Student Network - 8 views

Most of us are aware of the power of social networking for teachers to improve their knowledge, gain ideas and make connections with other like-minded educators from around the world. I believe thi...

history curriculum edu_trends techintegrator highschool network

started by David Hilton on 20 Oct 09 no follow-up yet
Walter Antoniotti

Thoughts On Improving Improving - 15 views

http://www.textbooksfree.org/Education%20Libraries.htm Thoughts welcome!

all_teachers administrator bestpractices curriculum edu_trends history

started by Walter Antoniotti on 17 Aug 13 no follow-up yet
Brendan Murphy

How to fix our schools - 4 views

  • Listen, I love basketball. But the smartest kid in the school…should be getting as much attention as the basketball star. That’s a change that we’ve got to initiate in our community.”
  • school systems will have to develop better ways of identifying good and bad teachers.
  • In addition to teacher quality, they should pay attention to school leadership, curriculum improvement, and school organization.
Dean Mantz

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills - Home - 0 views

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    This site is for the development and improvement in technology implementation. It provides a wide range of resources including framework, state initiatives, events, etc.
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