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Anthony_Manzo, 3 years ago | FlagHere is a different take on differentiating Education...
Well-Intentioned ‘Race to the Top’ Leaves Only Undifferentiated Teachers Behind:
Last week’s news read: A national commission says teachers from alternative programs appear no worse—or better—than those from traditional college programs. The reasons for this may easily be summarized as neither program is effective in teacher preparation. Is there a net gain for keeping our teachers bare foot and pregnant?
There are some great teachers, and even some great Teacher Preparation programs, but these are random occurrences where consistency is essential. The reason is simple: Professional Education is missing fundamental standards found in all other professions. There is no standard curriculum, no sincere effort to identify Best Instructional Practices, and truckloads of weak consultants and players with diluted degrees serving up their own brands of Faculty Development. To be called a profession it is imperative that a profession, one way or another, needs to convene a rolling forum to collect and prioritize the core content of principles and practices that every member ought to know. Ironically, Teachers worldwide are being held to standards for annual yearly progress of their students. Meanwhile, Professors, Learned Societies & commercial schools, and some painfully self-serving non-profit foundations and Universities never even address the need for solid pedagogic content. Worse, those that do publish material under titles referencing Best Practices are quite simply hype, if not fraudulent. The current crop of in-charge “Leaders” dangerously resembles the Investment Bankers who remain in charge of the economic systems that they nearly bankrupted. Perhaps the only way to expose and reform this systemic disaster would be a class action by teachers &/or parents & students against all of us who have been complicit in these myriad layers of self-interest actions bordering on malpractice.
Since the likelihood of legal action is a remote it would be wonderfully unprecedented for a leveraged agency, such as the US Department of Education to hold a convention of the nation’s leading educators to consider and ideally endorse a covenant of principles and more importantly prescriptive practices ideally on a website that transparently allows these to be challenged, tweaked and further specified for different age-grade-situational conditions. Additionally, such a rolling convention also could address differentiated staffing based on what schools are expected to do, and with a differentiated set of Best Practices for each function, like doctors and nurses, attorneys and paralegals, etc. Schools are expected to carry-on three essential although overlapping functions: 1. Teach new concepts, content and a positive disposition toward self-directed learning; 2. Provide assessment and supervised practice in these objectives; and, 3. Operate a massive custodial role that keeps students in school for at least seven-nine hours a day for about 200 days a year for about 13 years, and now through at least 2 more years of college. Our labor market and economic system depend on schools to meet these criteria at the very least. The problem is not the expectations, but that staffing, and organization do not reflect these three societal essentials. And, sadly there is no free market in which to buy the best ideas and practices. But, this is another complex issue requiring several additional paragraphs that would not begin and end with vouchers and charter schools.
Meanwhile, please consider joining the websites below offering a potentially startup means of getting the current system moving in the right direction for all who would teach. As an aside, taxpayers would be grateful since increasing classroom effectiveness and adding differentiated staffing could bring about efficiencies that could save billions of dollars with even the smallest degree of adoption. Join the narrative.
Please see too our most recent site for THE PROFESSIONAL TEACHER: : http://anthony-manzo.blogspot.com/2010/05/brief-writing-for-thoughtful-righting.html and right here at: http://www.pbs.org/peerconnection/community/network/peer-connection-30-day-trial/group/rating-teaching-methods-galen-project/discuss/
Sue_Beach, 3 years ago | FlagNaomi--Wou
ld a homework journal be helpful here? Perhaps the students can keep a journal that lists each homework item, journal their questions, comments, or random thoughts about it, and receive feedback from you if requested. If the students are in charge of their own homework journal, perhaps they can keep it up. If they know they can use their "journal" as a reference or for study, perhaps that would be an incentive for keeping a meaningful journal. I did a form of this with high school students. They essentiall y had a year-long learning contract with monthly assignment s in a variety of categories . It worked well. Most students learned a great deal during the year. Those who struggled a little were those who habitually procrastin ate, but even those students did well because of the collaborat ion around the work. When a student struggled, they always had the option to ask for help from peers, an outside source, or me.
Jennifer_Beasley, 3 years ago | FlagHi Hannah, I tried this out and found that Questia provided access to many articles on subjects I was interested
in. Now that I am at a university , my library here provides access to all of these journals without cost--so I no longer use this source. Personally , sometimes I just use Google Scholar and find many things through that source for free---but if you are consistant ly accessing articles for research and you are not associated with a university , this is a great way to go.
Naomi_Epstein, 3 years ago | FlagHi! I'm new to this group and hope you can help me brainstorm!
My is naomi and I teach in a rather unusual situation. I teach deaf and hard of hearing hebrew speakers in Israel - I teach them english a foreign language. high-school. some kids use sign language, some do not. The range of their abilities in dealing with a foreign language is HUGE: some barely manage with simple sentences in English while others are working on writing compositions of 120 words in english. there are about 7-10 pupils a lesson, from all levels. I work with them in the form of learning center, with each pupil following his/her workplan. It works well except for one thing - homework. I have extreme difficutly in keeping track of homework as every child works at their own pace accoring to their needs (some pupils have additional issues such as L.d or ADD or troubed homes) most don't have the same h.w. Altogether i teach 65 pupils. even though they are divided into only about 8 workplans their pace of working on a workplan is very different. two kids in the same plan would get different h.w. the same week.
can you help me brainstorm? i need to improve my tracking homework skills. I DON"T grade homework, it just has to be done.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Nancy_Cook, 3 years ago | FlagI find that technology
is essential to differenti ating staff developmen t. Since teachers are all at different levels of understand ing for any major staff developmen t concept or initiative , there needs to be choices and opportunit ies for some teachers to move more quickly through the content than others. I am currently using the format of a "writer's workshop" style of presentati on with about 1/3 of the time spent on demonstrat ion, modeling, and examples of the concept and 2/3 of the time spent on guided practice and independen t learning. This is what takes a lot of planning and technology . With electronic resources (videos, articles, websites, etc.) and self-made "how to" screencast s, the instructor can clone themselves and provide a variety of choices. While teachers are working independen tly, the instructor can circulate and help individual s with questions. When needed, the whole group can be pulled back together for "mini" lessons, debriefing , and sharing.
Jennifer_Barrett, 3 years ago | FlagHi Martin, these resources are ones that I would recommend to support your PLCs:
p.ascd.org /productdi splay.cfm? productid= 109037
p.ascd.org /productdi splay.cfm? productid= 109039
p.ascd.org /productdi splay.cfm? productid= 109038
p.ascd.org /productdi splay.cfm? productid= 100005Hope this helps!Jenn ifer
Martin_Gomes, 3 years ago | FlagMy studie focus on: A profession
al learning community as a model of sustainabl e and sufficient support to teachers in a multigrade environmen t.
• identify and convey the characteri
stics of an effective profession al learning community
• generate a learning model which illuminate
the characteri stics of an effective profession al learning community as a means of sustainabl e and sufficient support to teachers
• assess the generalisa
bility and transferab ility of such a model to teachers in a multigrade environmen t.
Which resources on PLC do you recommend?
Deborah_Burns, 3 years ago | FlagSeveral of our high school and middle school administra
tors and math teachers are interested in talking with teachers in other districts who are effectivel y differenti ating their advanced level math classes to include special education students and students who struggle with math. Can anyone share the name of a middle school or high school school that is using preassessm ent, minilesson s, flexible small group instructio n, individual practice work and feedback to support high math achievemen t for all of their learners?