Professional Development can be loaded words in Education.
At Ed Camps, sessions are posted and the participants are encouraged to attend sessions that look interesting, but to also use the “law of two feet” and leave a session that might not be what was expected and find something that will help, putting teachers in charge of their own learning.
Many school districts are experimenting with PD days like this, and using talent from within the School and District to help teach colleagues. We have found sometimes that teacher-presenters like to share, but sometimes also find that their own educational needs are not met during these days.
These are wonderful ideas on how to conduct PD. I want to return to the link on EdCamp in one of the comments. I'm going to compare these ideas with what DE is doing for PD and I certainly wish the folks who do the PD I have to attend would encorporate some of these approaches!
As younger and younger children recognize and use electronic devices as sources of information and entertainment, what is the impact on their literacy skills? Largely a positive one, according to a study in the January edition of SAGE Open.
So as this generation of students comes up through school, we will really have to adjust the way they receive information. We cannot stay stagnant. We'll lose every student out there. And I wouldn't blame them.
The culmination of my quest for more powerful learning grounded in theory and research came when recently I conducted an experiment in pushing constructionism into the digital age.
Constructionism is based on two types of construction. First, it asserts that learning is an active process, in which people actively construct knowledge from their experience in the world. People don’t get ideas; they make them. This aspect of construction comes from the constructivist theory of knowledge development by Jean Piaget. To Piaget’s concept, Papert added another type of construction, arguing that people construct new knowledge with particular effectiveness when they are engaged in constructing personally meaningful products.
Imagine my surprise and joy when I realized that I had arrived at constructionism prior to knowing that such a theory even existed. I believe that thousands of other educators are unknowingly working within the constructionist paradigm as well. Although many within the Maker movement are aware that it has it’s roots in constructionism, the movement is gaining impressive momentum without the majority of Makers realizing that there is a strong theoretical foundation behind their work.
After I came to understand this connection between my practices and the supporting theoretical framework I was better able to focus and refine my practice. Even more importantly, I felt more confident and powerful in forging ahead with further experiments in the learning situations I design for my learners.
We need to have higher expectations for ourselves as educators, parents, and policymakers; and we need to have higher expectations for our students -- they will meet the bar wherever it is set.
To address this challenge we must revolutionize what we teach, how we teach and how we measure the results. Fundamental and rapid change is necessary -- now, not sometime in the future. Solving our nation's education crisis will take commitment and investment in proven approaches to project-based learning.
We have to convert our thinking from maximizing content coverage and "teaching to the test" to using methods that help students understand the applications of what they learn.
===> We must help students develop problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills -- skills that will prepare them to compete in the global economy. <===
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