Cartoons keep speaking to me
These are not the voices you want reminding you of where education is headed.
Centralized pacing guides, centrally created lesson plans and myriad of other choices are moving teachers into the role of trained chickens with little choice and less say about what happens in their classrooms. Standardization is great for planning and scaling but haven’t we proven over and over again that learning should be individualized?
If we can’t trust teachers to pace their own classes, to make their own lesson plans then there’s a serious problem with the people we’re hiring as teachers. Providing all the processes and structures in the world won’t fix that.
In most English classes the teacher chooses all of the content in addition to all of the assignments. In some classes you’ll get to choose between a few books, assignments, or essay topics that the teacher has provided. The projects tend to tier upward in terms of sophistication and/or length.These two things are often conflated. There is essentially one broad common experience for everyone and virtually every structural element originates with the teacher. The student ability to alter the class is limited to asking questions. That leads to a fairly predictable experience built to produce similar products which are easier to compare to one another. English, in particular, seems to beg for a different paradigm for course participation/creation. I talked some about the mechanism for infusing student selected media into a course in the previous post, so I’m doing this backwards to some degree. The lower portion of the image above is a rough conceptualization of what the course itself might come to look like as compared to a traditional course (the upper portion of the image). A chunk of this is colored by how I’ve seen elements of #ds106 play out. I have always loved the idea that participants can submit project ideas. Linking those ideas to the student work created based on them makes it far more powerful […]
If that’s not a sexy title, I don’t know what is. If you aren’t a teacher in VA it’s likely you should stop reading now. Others may have done this already, but I decided to breakdown the new VA Teacher Standards because I’m helping to look at integrating our multiple rubrics into this framework and hopefully consolidating the various lenses through which we define good instruction. You can see my current work below. I wanted to clarify the statements and really see what they said. I think it led to some semi-interesting discoveries. Standardization 5 of the 7 standards are stated so that the action has a result. You perform action X to get result Y. Professional Knowledge used the phrase “by providing” instead of “to provide.” Additionally, Student Academic Progress uses “results in” in lieu of “to achieve” or something similar. I’m not sure if that matters. They could be restated in the breakdowns but, at least for now, I feel the need to stick as close to the original wording as possible. Only 1 standard appears to vary from the format where all of the initial statements match the end goal(s). Professionalism is the one that feels like it breaks the pattern. The action “maintains a commitment to professional ethics” doesn’t seem to match well with “to enhance […]
I’m reading Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal as part of a VSTE book study. I do not like it. I find myself vacillating between anger and nausea (despite liking isolated elements). I started to break down this book point by point but found it tedious and repetitive to do so. Essentially, the author’s point is that reality is broken because it isn’t like games- which by the way are super awesome (always). There are huge, vast, amazingly arrogant assumptions made about games and their applicability to all people in all contexts but that’s par for the course for this type of book. The statement that I couldn’t pass on was – reality is too easy – location 400 Really? Maybe McGonigal is observing other people. Most people I know seem to have their hands full with reality. There’s an entire blog dedicated to people who publicly document that they can’t tell the difference between an Onion satire and reality.Then when told it’s satire, either don’t know what that means (and make no effort to find out) or worse simply think “well, it should be true” and add it to the mental armor against reality. Even if we assume that reality is too easy for our populaceWe have, after all, already solved all those problems around pollution, energy, famine, war, […]