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Pontifications of the Unplaced
I’ve been trying for a while now to draw out my thoughts on education reform in a relatively clear way. However, when I think about any subject, I like to think not just in terms of how things are, but rather how they are changing. So, what follows is a hypothesis (or really a series of hypotheses), founded upon theory and anecdotal evidence alone, that I will seek to validate, disprove, and build on in my upcoming academic career.
Unfortunately, when trying to map out how a complex system like education is changing, things can get ugly. Combine that with my lack of all graphing/drawing skills, and you have the chart below.
On the Y axis I am measuring the order of thinking, primarily the percent of the classroom time when students are engaging in thinking that is higher on the blooms scale (creating, evaluating, etc.). Schools or classrooms with “low order…
In the fall, I will begin a doctoral program in educational policy. I’m hoping to spend the next few months clarifying my thoughts on schools and education reform, and I think the best way to do that is to read a diverse and influential series of articles and books that challenge and expand my assumptions…read more »
In response to the ever-vexing Joel Klein, a couple Atlantic authors released a solid critique of the new “teacher bar exam” movement. No doubt, teaching has definitely solidified for me the idea that “standard resume characteristics — level of education, certifications or licenses, and experience beyond the first few years of teaching — have essentially…read more »
At a recent TFA professional Saturday, someone mentioned that they don’t like the term Achievement gap, using instead the term achievement deficit. I’ve never really thought of what’s implied by the term achievement gap, but hearing him say achievement deficit sparked a few thoughts, tied mainly to my understanding of our economic deficits. Deficits come…read more »
I have a lot of mixed feelings about debates surrounding educational reform. On the one hand, I believe that Sweden–where educational achievement has plummeted since it implemented a universal and even egalitarian voucher system in the early 1990s–is the evidence all critics of school choice should point to that even in the best circumstances, school choice will…read more »
I’ve never spent much time on this blog saying anything flattering about my teaching skill. That’s because, like most first/second year teachers, I don’t have much. I’m sure my principal (and coworkers after a few beers) would agree that especially in my first 2/3 of a year, management and organizational issues often prevented me from…read more »
* My philosopher friend tells me psychology is the wrong word because there is absolutely no science in these posts, just discussion and extrapolation of first-person thought processes. The real word is phenomenology, apparently. Sorry. Quick thought: what is the most powerful incentive to teachers? Keeping their job? Getting a promotion? Getting a bonus? Not losing…read more »
I think one of the most difficult jobs of a teacher is taking responsibility for everything they do. Since this may sound condescending, I’ll speak in the first person. As a teacher, it can be hard in the moment for me to realize every time my class seems “bad”, it is more likely a reflection…read more »
Not yet finished with the article, which is equally dismissive of past democratic and republican efforts to improve schools over the past decades. So far though, I think this critique of RTTT gets at the heart of the problem with Duncan’s innovative–but in the end still ineffective–attempt to implement federal reforms in a way that…read more »
I happened to be CC’d on a thread where my team (10+ year veteran at the school) lead sent some things to the social studies coach at my school. In her response, the social studies coach advised the team lead “please be advised before administering a formative assessment I need a paper copy 3 weeks…read more »