Recently, Stephen Kosslyn, the founding Dean of Minerva Schools, offered a great explanation of why active learning is superior to lectures. While I admire and appreciate radical innovations in educational models like Minerva, I’d like to share a point of view that presents the lecture and act
“Who Taught These Kids to Think?” By Dr. Teresa Littrell McDaniel As a secondary school assistant principal I frequently ponder the origination of and motivation behind many student behaviors. Recently a retired educator described how many in this generation of students, including his 5 year old
Doug Lemov’s first book sold 800,000 copies, a teaching phenomenon. His new book has even more.
A teacher could also be “cold calling,” which means asking questions of students who don’t raise their hands and are less likely to have paid attention. “Be aware, though,” Lemov says, “that it’s important not to limit your cold call only to when you check for understanding. You want to cold call before — and frequently — so that you normalize it, and students aren’t surprised when you use cold call as part of your targeted questions.”
The idea seems simple enough: Identify the best teachers and reward them. Pinpoint the worst and fire them. That’s been a linchpin of the Obama administration’s education agenda from the start. But now the administration’s initiative is in disarray, with states scaling back, slowing down and, in some cases, putting off tough decisions...
Shift 1: Balancing Informational Text and Literature
Shift 2: Building Knowledge in the Disciplines
Shift 3: Staircase of Complexity
Shift 4: Text Based Answers
Shift 5: Writing from Sources
Shift 6: Academic Vocabulary
These shifts have direct implications for the social studies classroom. The increased focus on both informational text and close reading provides social studies teachers with unique opportunities to support student learning.
An Exercise in Reading Comprehension. July 31, 2013 By vorjack Leave a Comment. Daniel Fincke started the conversation about the Ohio Holocaust Memorial with a very clear, sensible post. Naturally, someone got it completely wrong.
Results for some of the states that participated in Common Core-aligned testing for the first time this spring are out, with overall scores higher than expected though still below what many parents may be accustomed to seeing.
On the measure of academic engagement, the U.S. scored only at the international average, and far lower than our chief economic rivals: China, Korea, Japan, and Germany. In these countries, students show up for school and attend their classes more reliably than almost anywhere else in the world. But on the measure of social engagement, the United States topped China, Korea, and Japan.
In America, high school is for socializing. It’s a convenient gathering place, where the really important activities are interrupted by all those annoying classes. For all but the very best American students—the ones in AP classes bound for the nation’s most selective colleges and universities—high school is tedious and unchallenging. Studies that have tracked American adolescents’ moods over the course of the dayfind that levels of boredom are highest during their time in school.
I have just read a post from Politico.com outlining the failures of the Teacher Evaluation Reform movement attributed to the Obama administration. At the core of the high stakes high accountability evaluation of teachers lies the accurate assumption that the evidence of instruction is learning, and learning is best assessed with a test. The article outlined the failures of the initiative citing lawsuits from teacher unions and flawed practices in attributing test scores to teachers. The article pointed out that several states who were eager to embrace evaluating teachers based on test scores have announced plans to abandon the practice.
So let's reflect. President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act identified 'failing schools' and insisted districts allocate funds and resources to improve the failing schools. Many districts chose to close the identified schools, many of which needed more than a coat of paint and a new faculty. In an extreme attempt to reform failing Memphis City Schools District failing schools, Memphis gave up its state charter for operating public schools, forcing the county to absorb failing outdated facilities without the benefit of city taxation. But many school districts identified problems, imposed 'fresh start' strategies, and actually improved student levels of proficiency. Kudos to these communities! But the 'failing schools' initiative failed.
Q: The Common Core emphasizes college- and career-readiness for all students, which is a shift for some schools that have typically focused on college-readiness for high achievers. How (if at all) will that shift affect a school counselor’s work?
A: "This shift should not have a major impact on a school counselor’s work. The school counselor’s role has long been to address the academic, career and social/emotional needs of all students so that they are prepared for higher education and for a successful transition to the world of work. School counselors will continue to advocate for student support, equity and access to a rigorous education for all students."
First, if saddens me when a loving, compassionate, veteran teacher such as Mrs. D leaves our profession, and as an educational leader I would likely consider that loss a personal failure. Thank you for your years of service to our children. Let me play Devil's Advocate here and speak as an educational leader. I would submit that inherent in this letter is the reason she was placed as a 'conference of concern' teacher. Everything she mentioned in her letter is an important part of being a teacher. But she mentioned learning only once. She never mentioned academic growth. She never mentioned academic skills she has taught her students. I mean absolutely no disrespect to Mrs. D and the thousands of teachers like her who in many ways are teaching the way they were taught to teach, but our job is to fill our students' brains with the knowledge and skills they will need to compete in a fast-paced global economy. She might have said 'my students have shown evidence of learning everything a third grade student should know, but I don't' feel respected.' Or perhaps, 'reducing my students to a data number does not address the academic gaps I was able to fill left vapid by their lack of basic skills prior to my time with them.' This would have suggested that learning was her greatest accomplishment. She did not mention academic futures, students who became doctors, engineers, teachers, high ranking soldiers, police officers, electricians. I am certain she has students who became all of those things, but my point is that in her final farewell she did not mention anything that suggests that academics and learning was what she did best, and frankly, that is possibly why she has lost her joy in the profession. Society has grown impatient with our inability to produce the level of educated humans the workforce now demands and has called us to task when we can't show evidence that our students are learning the skills they need to compete in a global economy. Is that accountability a bad thing?
North Carolina has halted the research of reading specialist Mary Willingham until she receives approval from a review board and is investigating statements she made questioning the literacy level of Tar Heels athletes.
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