In the wake of the recent globalization, education has emerged as one of the most necessary tools for the field. For globalization to be realized on a large scale, the public has to be well conversant in matters concerning education. However, this has come to pass just a mirage, owing to the poor standards of education amongst some sectors of the public. Immigrants have suffered the most, and it is worth to note that most of them are subject to poor conditions of education. In fact, some of them do not receive any education at all. In his book, Rose asserts that the immigrants were struggling in learning the English language as a second language which was necessary in order for them to improve their lifestyles. In his book he wrote on how a boy saw another being hacked to death and now he is not able to learn the standard education due to the trauma (99). One of the leading reasons for this is that the immigrants live in fear of deportation and thus avoid attending schools at any rate. The poor standards for education by the immigrants depict a serious concern not only to the public in general, but also to the government, which loses a lot when supporting such a population.
Education is a process through which knowledge, skills and information are learnt. It is necessary because it helps the society to understand the principles of nature. It clears the errors that have been committed in the past by teaching new approaches. Education is the key to success because chances of employment and success in businesses have to be through education. There are different purposes of learning and they all depend on the individual. The immigrants have to learn English as their second language before they can join other learning institutions. This has not been made any easy for them and they find themselves labeled as illiterate which morally degrades them because they have their other skills.
Mike Rose in his book "Lives on the boundary, the struggles and Achievements of America's Unprepare" embraces vital aspects concerning immigrants. As an immigrant, He was lucky to…… [Read More]
Education and National Security
Education is essential for the advancement of our nation as well as our children. A good education gives children the ability to succeed physically, intellectually, and emotionally. The American nation has been labeled as having a threat to national security because of the education system failing to provide the needed learning and skills to know how to protect the nation. The condition of America's education system has become a major issue concerned with the security of the nation and citizens.
There are several core factors causing the education system to fail (Kache, 2012). There is a lack of emphasis on civics for students to learn theoretical and practical aspects of society. The emphasis of civil law, civil code, and the role of the government, as well as the citizen's responsibilities are not enough for national security. Failure to teach foreign language hinders the communication between members of global society. Lack of proficiency in reading, math, and science hinders needed skills. There are major differences between the standards and opportunities between states. There is poor academic performance compared to international counterparts that causes an unbalanced score card compared to other nations. School systems are laden with bureaucracy and inefficiencies. Too many politics in the education system has deprived the teaching standards of students. The education system has failed in attracting, training, and compensating good valued teachers. A mismatch between student preparation and jobs has left students unprepared for available positions. The American Dream has been placed out of reach for many due to the gap between educated and uneducated students and is causing a division in the nation.
The international education rankings from the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development has given American the following scores; reading 500, math 487, and science 502 (Duncan, 2011). Considering these scores go up to 1,000, America is far below the needed standards in education…… [Read More]
I support most of what Robinson is saying that video. The core of his argument is that the education system geared more towards creating workers than thinkers, and that does seem to be the natural outcome of a lot of decisions in the education system. Schools that remove arts, physical education and other such classes to focus on standardized test subjects are being economically motivated to churn out workers. This occurs because it is easier for the education system to measure success with standardized tests, and measuring success represents a way for politicians and those running the education to demonstrate to parents and taxpayers -- stakeholders -- that they are doing their jobs running the education system.
This does call into question the idea of universal public education. On principle, universal public education is a tremendously powerful tool for domestic policy. An educated populace is a successful populace, especially in the Information Age, but this has always been the case. If a nation wants to be competitive in the world, it needs to education its people, and it needs to spend a lot of money to do that. A purely private system where education is not accessible to all is correlated with the inability to progress economically -- you can see this today all across the developing world.
However, Theodoulou's points about the way that public policy is created and implemented raise some concerns about the use of government to provide education. This is particularly the case in light of what Robinson describes. Public policy is developed when issues are identified, stakeholders analyzed, compromises made and the education system today reflects these wide-ranging influences. Certainly corporate interests have a seat at the table. They know that they can import high-end workers from anywhere in the world, or even outsource, but they also need a pliable populace. Over time, this begins to manifest in standardized testing and a focus away from critical thinking skills. The latter occurs not by strict design, but through the focus on specialization that drives the school system to only focus on specific subjects and specific ways of thinking.
Robinson is correct in that this approach shortchanges students and leads to further problems. The idea that a distracted child should be attributed a fictional ailment and pumped full of drugs is absurd, yet it has become commonplace in…… [Read More]
Education Disparity in America:
Education has traditionally been regarded as a great equalizer in the United States because of its capability to lift less disadvantaged children and enhancing their probability to succeed as adults. As a great equalizer of conditions in the society, education has been regarded as the balance wheel of America's social machinery. Since the establishment of the first public school in the United States, there has been widespread belief that education would enable children of any class to have a chance of succeeding in life. However, trends in the recent past have indicated the emergence of education disparity between rich and poor children. These trends have been particularly been prevalent in funding between school districts. For instance, Massachusetts, America's best-educated state, has experienced the second-biggest inequality in the past two decades because the poor are losing academic strengths to the rich.
Reason the Problem:
Even though the ability of education to act as a great equalizer in America's society is lessening, education still remains an important part of the modern economy. Actually, it is ironical that the dwindling state could be because of the growing importance of schooling to the modern economy (Rohde, Cookie & Ojha, 2012). Similar to other advanced economies, the main force behind the rising inequalities in America's education is a well-known fact. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find high-paying jobs for low-skilled employees because of the decline of manufacturing and the use of software to substitute clerks and secretaries. As a result, the good jobs that exist tend to require higher education, which is relatively expensive for poor children.
In order for poor children to stay even with the rich, they need to obtain better educational credentials. This need contributes to a scholastic achievement gap because of the huge disparity between the rich and poor in education. While children from low-class families are receiving better education than before, the richer kids are increasingly outpacing the achievements of the poor children. This in turn contributes to widening of the income gap and education disparity across the country. As compared to a quarter-century ago, the scholastic achievement gap between poor and rich students on standardized tests is approximately 40% wider (Rohde, Cooke & Ojha, 2012). Since excellent students are increasingly likely to become rich, income inequality is more likely to…… [Read More]
Richard Rodriguez and Mike Rose both write about their education. In "I Just Wanna Be Average," Mike Rose recounts his experience in Catholic school as an Italian-American from a working class family background. Because of a school error, he was placed in the vocational tract at school. The experience taught Rose a lot about the low expectations place on students, the lack of effective role models in the classroom, and the inability of teachers to inspire their students. These problems are especially evident in the vocational tracking programs, because once Rose moves to the college prep courses, he realizes that he was being encouraged and challenged more. In "The Achievement of Desire," Rodriguez also writes about his experience in Catholic school, from a Latino-American working class family background. Unlike Rose, Rodriguez was somewhat of an over-achiever. He worked hard, and earned good grades until he was able to secure a scholarship to Stanford. Even though people see him as being remarkably successful, Rodriguez questions the impact that his education had on his relationship with his family and community. Both Rodriguez and Rose show how the education system fails to give students a sense of purpose.
Mike Rose's essay "I Just Wanna Be Normal" is about the prejudices inherent in an education system that believes that some students are innately smarter than others. Instead of trying to find ways of reaching out to all students, educators believe that students in the college prep classes are "smart," whereas the students placed in the vocational tract are not. In fact, many students in the vocational tract are very smart but are simply not using their potential because they have no good role models. As Rose puts it, "The vocational track, however, is most often a place for those who are just not making it, a dumping ground for the disaffected," (2). Being disaffected implied being unmotivated. Rose also uses the term "dumping ground" purposely, to show that the prevailing attitude towards many students is that they are worthless. The only worth of students in vocational classes is to develop a skill that can be applied to…… [Read More]
Description of education
Education is the learning and experience that impacts every individual in one way or the other. In fact, better education paves the way for better economic opportunities and this is one of the key areas that results in economic disparities in the society.
Education as a field of sociology is about understanding how different aspects such as public institutions, parental role, society and environment affect the learning abilities of individuals. It concentrates heavily on the role of schools and universities in the modern society (Ballantine & Hammack, 2011).
Education in the field of sociology
In sociology, education is viewed as a means towards better social equality and to overcome many social evils such as poverty. In that context, education is the path for acquiring social status and money. It is also seen as an area where the individual differences in terms of learning abilities is evident. The sociological aspect of education looks into the role played by parents, peers and the society at large on an individual and it analyzes the number of opportunities they get to reach their true learning potential. To better understand these sociological aspects of education, there are two main theories and they are the functionalist theory and the conflict theory.
Functionalist theory, also known as structural functionalism, believes that the society is in a natural equilibrium and every member of the society accepts the social norms that are established in it. It is based on Darwin's theory of evolution that is based on individual differences as well as the need to adapt to existing rules to survive.
The crux of this theory is to educate children to the existing and established rules of the society so that they grow up to be part of it and it places this responsibility on…… [Read More]
Education and Sociology
Over the last several years, the education system has been continually facing a variety of challenges. This is because many schools are lagging behind in academic achievement in comparison with most developed nations. To make matters worse, teachers are not creating an environment that will help students to learn the social skills they need to survive inside the society and the workplace. This makes it harder for them to adapt with various challenges they are facing and how to adjust with them. (Gerwitz)
As a result, sociology plays an important part in determining the quality of education everyone is receiving and the skills they will need to be successful over the long-term. To fully understand the significance of these concepts requires focusing on how this field of study will have a direct impact upon the way students learn and understand the world around them. This will be accomplished by studying the book Sociology in Our Times and how its concepts are relevant in the field of education. Together, these elements will highlight the way social influences and education is working to shape who the person will be in the future. (Gerwitz)
Sociology in Our Times and the Impact it is having on Education
Sociology is an important factor that goes in direct correlation with the field of education. This is because the experiences we have with others will directly shape who someone becomes and their role in society. During childhood, this is crucial factor which is teaching everyone the most effective ways to interact and understand the world around them. As they learn these skills, different insights are used to transform how they see themselves and what practices are embraced during the process. (Kendall)
According to Kendall (2012), this is a critical element in deciding how someone looks at their situation and the impact it is having on them. Evidence…… [Read More]
Education and Empowerment
Since it became a country, the United States has made it a priority to educate its citizens in order to allow them to progress. The reason for this is that there is an established connection between education level and the potential for social mobility of Americans, a statistic which has been verified in other countries as well. In the United States, there is a concept of the American Dream which says that anyone who is willing to work hard can become socially mobile. This is an unspoken promise given to the citizens by the founding fathers of the nation. According to this dream, even people born in the poorest communities can, through a strong worth ethic, skill, and dedication to their own bettering, will be able to become millionaires. The thing that allows for people to move along the ranks of the social ladder is education and the opportunities that education presents.
Even from the earliest days of the country's founding, people have tried to support the quest for a greater education in others. Scientists interested in sociology and child psychology have found that the more educated a person is, the better their chances at life. According to Horace Mann, "Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, - the balance wheel of the social machinery" (Colombo 110). More than perhaps any other country, the United States supports the education of its citizens, going so far as to make laws which require children to attend school and receive at least a beginning education. Young people who receive an adequate education will be more likely to get a good job and to pay taxes back into the government, thereby continuing the cycle for future generations.
In the United States, the system of education is failing a great number of…… [Read More]
Education and Learning
There have been a plethora of developments in regards to modern educational systems. Yet at the same time there have many of the same problems that plagued classrooms at the beginning of the last century are still present today. This suggests that there are trends inherent in the world of education that are timeless in nature. However, at the same time the quality of education is increasing rapidly in some instances. There are many examples of new developments that have the potential of bringing a quality of education to people in a demographic that formally didn't have many options in regards to educational choices.
Another trend that was identified is that fact that educational systems have made significant progress, so has the vast material of content that students need to be taught in a modern environment. For example, education in the early twentieth century may have consisted of studies in subjects such as reading, language, math, and possibly some sciences. However, today the scope of education can cover far more sources and disciplines; many of which emerged in the late twentieth century. For example, students today may be required to learn additional subjects that were not even a possibility in previous years such as information technology, programming, genetics, as well as countless other examples. This paper will examine some of the challenges that previous generations faced and compared with the contemporary educational environment. It will also consider the developments in the sciences as well as technological progress which add to the total requirements.
New York Schools in the Early Twentieth Century
Of all the cities in the United States, it is interesting to note that the last city to develop a system of public high schools was New York City (Superintendent of Schools, 1948). The late start that New York City got in the realm of education may be one of the factors that accounted for some of the problems that they encountered. Additionally, the late start on high school education also had many ramifications for the facilities capabilities. Schools were ill-equipped to handle the influx of students that grew from year to year. Not having sufficient are adequate space to…… [Read More]
EDUCATION OF PISA MEMBERS vs. ECONOMY
The relationship between economic growth and quality of education of PISA member countries 2003 and 2009
Economic Growth vs. The Quality of Education of Pisa Member Countries
One of the most valuable assets for both the present and future generations is "quality education." Its achievement requires a robust commitment from everyone including teachers, governments, parents, as well as the students themselves. Therefore, this urge motivated a number of countries to form and/or participate in PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) through the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). According to Stephen, Eric and Ludger (2011), the OECD contributes to educational goals via PISA, which monitors the educational results within an approved framework, allowing for legal international comparisons. PISA is an international study assessment of knowledge and skills for 15-year-old students. Additionally, PISA provides information on an assortment of factors, which contribute to the success of students, education systems and schools (Norton & Marvin, 2004). Through showing that various nations succeed in the provision of both equitable and high quality learning outcomes, PISA sets both educational and economic oriented goals for its members, as well as the non-member countries. According toOECD (2010), PISA measures general skills, commonly recognized as basic outcomes from the educational process. Besides testing on facts, its assessments focus the young generation close to the end of compulsory education (Stephen, Eric & Ludger, 2011), and their abilities in utilizing their knowledge and skills in order to encounter the real-life challenges within the world's developing economy.
PISA steadily grew from 32 economies/countries in 2000 to 41 economies in 2003, 58 in 2006, and finally 65 economies/countries by 2009. One of the ultimate aims for educational policy makers is to empower their countries to grab the advantage over the globalized world economy. Consequently, this strategy leads them to emphasize the possible improvements on education policies, thereby ensuring a high quality service provision, equitable distribution of educational opportunities alongside sturdy…… [Read More]
Over the last several years, the field of education has been continually changing. This is because the public is demanding greater amounts of accountability. For the Library and Media program, this means that there must be a focus on providing additional resources in an era of declining budgets. The key for dealing with these challenges requires that everyone have a sense of leadership and vision. To fully understand how these objectives can be achieved means looking at: areas for team building, the six column frame work, specific strategies that can be utilized, how this impacts choices for learning and two strategies for dealing with underperforming students. Together, these different elements will highlight how the Library and Media program can address the most critical issues inside the school. ("Impact of No Child Left Behind is Debatable," 2010)
Task 1: Identify three ways that you feel that you can encourage team building throughout the year. Assume that you are an administrator or a teacher leader at a school. What additional managerial tasks could you use in order to maintain the effectiveness of this team building? How would these tasks encourage growth and collaboration between teachers throughout the year?
The best way to encourage team building is to serve as a liaison between the administration and staff of the school. During this process, is when there will be a focus on listening to the concerns of both sides. This will build a relationship with different educators and administers. Once this is achieved, is the point that true leadership will have an impact in transforming the educational environment. (Wohlsetter, 1993)
The most effective approach for maintaining team building is to serve on different committees that will address key issues concerning the school. At the same time, there must be an emphasis on encouraging everyone to work together. This is accomplished by having good communication with the various stakeholders and discussing these challenges in an open format. Over the course of time, these kinds of conversations will open the door for everyone to agree towards meeting common goals. This is the point that…… [Read More]
Education Pedagogy Lesson Plan
Title of the lesson plan: Integrating English as a second language with food recipe lessons
Class Level: Intermediate or advanced Age Level: Teen-agers to adults
Location / country/city/region:
Estimated Time of the Lesson: 75 minutes
Number of Students: effective for small group activity -- 10-15 or less
The students should understand the format used in making simple recipe.
The students should be capable to reading and following the directions used in making a simple recipe.
The students will be capable of explaining the directions of making a simple recipe to another student.
The students will participate in a hands-on experience of conducting a simple cooking lesson.
The students will experience a new type of food from other cultures
Pictures illustrating simple recipes from newspapers and magazines
Example of a recipe for overhead for illustration
Packaged food items with simple recipes labeled on the back puffy recipe on wall chart for students to use during the cooking lesson
Have closure activity arranged for observation purposes. Students will want to know what will happen - what is this all about, and so forth. This will generate conversation pertaining to food, recipes and so forth.
The teacher provides magazine pictures of simple recipes to develop knowledge and discussion about food, the way of preparing it, its appearance from the pictures and so forth.
Demonstrate a sample recipe on the overhead. Show and describe recipe format. Allow students help develop key words that they might find in a recipe such as:
Engage students in defining what they understand pertaining to recipe
Add another recipe and provide every student with a similar copy of recipe. They should read and understand the directions and explain to their partners. This is done through group discussion. The teacher directs the discussion to examine for the level of understanding and ascertain correct interpretations (Farrell, 2002).
Students are to work in pairs / small groups. Each student is to get a recipe to read and follow the directions. These will…… [Read More]
Education in the Community
A major issue currently effecting culture, population, and demographics is that of wealth inequality. As the global economic downturn continues throughout the world, wealth disparity is increasing rapidly. This affects culture, population, and overall demographics in a litany of ways. First, due primarily to lower wages, families are postponing child birth. The uncertainty surrounding the future creates an atmosphere of fear. Families are now waiting until the economic climate becomes more certain before they have their children. Furthermore, the median income for middle class families has plummeted within the last 3 years. The median income for the average American household was roughly $51,000 in 2008. Now the median income is roughly $48,000. This creates problems as families are less apt to spend money are discretionary activities that form the basis of their culture. Holiday spending, for example has yet to reach its 2007 heights. Families are now more frugal and as a result, certain activities that define a particular culture are being eliminated or postponed. All of this is creating a wealth disparity throughout the world that has never been seen since the great depression. Record levels of debt and unemployment combined with lower wages only contributes to this phenomenon. It is my contention that education is the fundamental cause of this culture and population issue. Proper education can help alleviate and avoid many of the pitfalls that society has subsequently suffered with. Through proper education, the issue of wealth disparity can be solved. Particularly in emerging markets, a growing middle class can help abate the influences of this cultural and demographic problem. I believe the education system within many developed nations is fundamentally flawed, which contributes to our growing problem of wealth inequality. Riots in the Middle East, Occupy Wall Street in America, China's economic slowdown, and Japan's 20-year stagnant growth, have affected both the population and the subsequent culture of those nations. Through proper education, many of these issues can be alleviated.
To begin, the problem of educational inequality has been a conundrum plaguing American society for decades. How is it…… [Read More]
Think about a change you would like to see in your educational or work environment. How would you implement this change? Consider and discuss the possible resistance that you may encounter from your professional community. How would you support them throughout the change process? How would you overcome any resistance to the change?
A change that can be implemented inside an educational environment is to unify the approach educators are using in reaching out to students. What normally happens is most teachers have different theories and practices they are following. This can be problematic as some of the most experience educators may be reluctant to alter their techniques. Instead, they will often focus on formats (such as: the traditional lecture setting) to present news ideas to students. This is problematic, as the class will quickly become bored with the dry approach that is being utilized. To deal with these issues educators have to see the urgency of utilizing different tools and tactics in conjunction with each other.
The way that this kind of change can be implemented is to invite a discussion about these challenges. In an era of declining budgets and more demands for accountability, this is something that is on everyone's mind. During this process there needs to be some kind of transparency and openness. This will ensure that everybody's ideas are heard and respected. (Hopkins, 1985, pp. 195 -- 212)
Once this takes place, is when educators can also begin showing how alternative strategies (i.e. differentiated instruction) could be used in conjunction with traditional philosophies. This will address the concerns of experienced educators by introducing them to slight changes that will improve learning comprehension. (Hopkins, 1985, pp. 195 -- 212)
The biggest resistance issues that will be encountered are a reluctance to use or embrace these tactics consistently. This is troubling, as all educators must be…… [Read More]
This internship in education administration provided me with a number of takeaways that will benefit me throughout my career. I learned how to create a safe, collegial environment for change in teacher practice. My strategies enabled a full court press on the issues facing the math department, and strengthened the will of the team to get the job done by insisting each member believes it is important to "Do your job!" My experience plowed through a maelstrom of perceptions -- some pre-conceived and some formed during the internship experience. I am confident I will be a better education administrator for having spent this time at Dunn Middle School.
Teachers face many challenges in classrooms today; one of the most difficult of these challenges is the ensuring that teachers engage in activities that serve as a foundation for continuous improvement. Staff development programs and services are integral to educational systems today, and they serve to support engaged teachers in their quest to become the best teachers they can possibly be -- every day, for every student. However, many teachers find it difficult to stay on top of the crest of new practice demands and an increasingly diverse student body. It is common knowledge that many teachers feel that the wave has crashed over them, and they are underwater, struggling to hold on to their professional careers -- and their enthusiasm for teaching. In the sections that follow, I relate what I observed with respect to this substantive challenge. I also discuss my role in addressing this issue in the school, and how I dealt with the personal biases that I brought into my internship.
I have read the seminal literature on change of practice, and I embrace the changes taking place in curriculum and instruction that are designed to increase academic achievement across the board. Initiatives like the Common Core State Standards have kept academic achievement, teacher and principal quality top of mind in the education ecosystem. The paths to effective teaching are many, but our nation has largely committed to this avenue for improving student and educator performance. During my internship, I witnessed educators…… [Read More]
Education and Equality of Opportunity
The issue of equality in access to education has been a long running argument and each time legislations are passed and initiatives invented towards trying to make education actually equal and accessible, there are gaping gaps that still make these efforts run short of their target goal. There are several terms that are used in the education department that need to be well understood since most have been misused and hence leading to either a stereotype view of education, or a skewed perspective that only helps to make the situation worse than it already is.
The achievement gap; this is often referred to as the disparity or difference in the performance of students in various groups. From the surface of it, it looks justifiable definition, however, these groupings that are use to measure the academic performance are quite stereotyped and the academic achievements have nothing to do with the genetics of the students (Reardon S.F., 2011). The groupings used are like race, gender, disabilities and the language primarily spoken. These are used and a comparison based on their graduation rates, the tests passed, opportunities accessed are the parameters used in gauging the achievement and determining the achievement gap.
White privilege; this has a historical perspective and historical connotation where the whites received better platforms to access education and the fact that one was white was enough to guarantee them a bright future and a license to getting ahead. This meant that the other races were left behind and when finally the society opened up and education was given to all, the other races had to work several times harder to achieve the same standards as the whites since they had already enjoyed the 'white privileged' and had the better of the society (Teachers College Columbia University, 2005).
Asian…… [Read More]
How will these strategies increase the effectiveness of job-embedded learning at your school or workplace? Discuss your rationale for choosing these two strategies.
The way that job embedded learning is utilized, is to give teachers actionable steps they can use on a daily basis to improve quality. Inside the library and media center, these principles are used for working with educators in achieving these goals. This is the point that communication increases and the overall quality of learning comprehension improves. ("Job Embedded Learning," 2012)
Two possible strategies that should be offered to administrators include: the use of study groups and having students keep reflective logs. The use of study groups is when educators will form different consortiums to examine and study the scope of the problem. This helps to improve professional development by having everyone focus on addressing the root causes through: taking into account different viewpoints. Having students keep reflective logs is when, they will write down the challenges they are facing on a daily basis in a log. This information is used by educators, to determine the individual learning style and how to adjust to specific issues impacting students. ("Job Embedded Learning," 2012)
These strategies will help to improve job-embedded learning by giving teachers a way of evaluating when there are problems. This is accomplished through groups identifying and discussing how these issues can be addressed. At the same time, the student is illustrating specific areas that need to be covered. During the course of the school day, these ideas can be implemented into the practices that the educator is using. The reason why these two areas were chosen is because they are providing a way of identifying the problem and how to adjust. This is when educators can begin using specific tools to address these challenges inside the classroom. ("Job Embedded Learning," 2012)
What is the…… [Read More]
In particular, they specify the need for students to be good listeners, team players, and to make compromises to work toward mutual goals (Scheuerell, 2010).
Group work must be a time for students to engage in productive and accountable collaboration around a task or problem that causes them to rely on one another's part or participation to ensure successful completion. Successful group work can be designed and presented to the students, following three principles. The first, and most obvious, characteristic of successful group work is to design tasks that cause students to talk with one another, to hear how their peers approach the content and then to be able to compare this with their own approach. Second, the task must provide a stimulus question or problem that causes students to cooperate as they formulate, share, and compare ideas with one another. Finally, all tasks should be broad enough to involve both individual and group accountability (Vaca, Lapp, & Fisher, 2011).
Successful group work can be designed and presented to the students, following three principles. The first, and most obvious, characteristic of successful group work is to design tasks that cause students to talk with one another, to hear how their peers approach the content and then to be able to compare this with their own approach. Second, the task must provide a stimulus question or problem that causes students to cooperate as they formulate, share, and compare ideas with one another. Finally, all tasks should be broad enough to involve both individual and group accountability (Vaca, Lapp, & Fisher, 2011).
This article provides ideas and sample projects for project-based learning (PBL) and describes assessment methods such as rubrics, reflective self-evaluation, peer evaluations, and portfolio assessment. The author gives advice on designing PBL projects across the curriculum and offers strategies for facilitating collaboration among students. There is also material on scaffolding the learning process to differentiate instruction, and on initiating school wide PBL instructional…… [Read More]
Education for a New Humanity
In recent years, educators and policymakers have expressed concern regarding, not only the low ratings of our educational institutions on a global scale, but also the dearth of purpose and a holistic view of life in curricula. According to the website, Pedagogia 3000, "If we take the new ways of learning and of being of [today's] children as reference, as well as the new paradigms of the third millennium, we [discover] the subtle, holistic processes of learning and growth…pulling all of humanity to a level of superior consciousness." (www.pedagooogia3000.info. Paymal, Naomi).
The new education will be centered upon the flourishing of being and of becoming. The pyramidal approach of parent to child and teacher to child will be transformed into a more horizontal graphic wherein parent and teacher become "companions" to the process of the enrichment of humanity. This is not a new concept; it is one that has been urged by such intellectual mentors as Piaget, the Swiss psychologist, and Ivan Illich at Cuernavaca. But it is the immediacy of the current overall low performance of students in the United States, at all levels, which has added vehemence to a clarion call for change. An Episcopal Church in California (St. Jude the Apostle in Cupertino) has issued the mandate: "It is the transformation of the heart that will create a new humanity, a New World. This new humanity will no longer experience the dividing walls of hostility but rather will live in peace because the transformed heart operates from the principles of righteousness, justice, mercy, forgiveness, generosity, inclusivity, and compassion" (www.saintjudes.org).
The New Humanity, a Catholic international humanitarian organization in Milano, Italy,
proclaims its main mission as "…promoting education in order to contribute to the fight…… [Read More]
Academic Goal Establishment and Implementation
Establishing a clear and common academic goal across a broad population of students can be quite difficult, especially when there are students with special learning needs included at all levels of academic achievement and progress within the student population. Educators and administrators need to ensure that courses and materials aren't simply "taught to the middle," which does a significant disservice to those students both above and below grade level and skill when it comes to specific areas of learning. That is, teaching only to the established criteria of a grade level, which (assuming the criteria have been properly established) should serve the needs of the largest segment of the student population, means students that are more advanced in their progress and those that are struggling with the material receive a lower quality of education and reduced opportunities for personal growth and development. Academic goals implemented by educators across student populations need to bolster the progress and learning of all students, with all needs and at all levels.
Developing such a concrete yet all-encompassing goal for a seventh-grade English class is far easier said than done. The different reading levels that are present in students at this age, as well as the different interest levels in reading and reading improvement, vary considerably. Among the twenty percent of students that perform above grade level in this case, it can be assumed that some are far above grade level (potentially at a higher reading level than some adults), while others would be reading at a high-school level; the range in low performers would be similarly large. A single goal for all students seems, at first glance, entirely elusive.
Such a goal can be designed, however, and for this scenario an effective goal would be to increase reading confidence and stylistic appreciation/differentiation. Not only should students have measurably improved confidence reading both silently and aloud by the end of the course, but they should also be able to tell what authors studied might have composed certain texts -- they will learn to better identify and…… [Read More]