My undergraduate secondary issues class was focused on this topic yesterday. We watched Wes Fryer’s video, Elephants in the School Reform Debate, and a couple of others. They had some readings to do for background and we lurked in Vicki Davis’ backchannelling classroom. We spent a little time processing all of the information.
Then I had them move into their teams (the same teams in which they are creating their digital stories). Their assignment was to use 44 words to come up with their ideas about education reform. Here are some of their results.
Education reform should be about widening curriculum, not narrowing – and may possibly be national. Teachers must be adaptive to accommodate students and work with shifting funding, material, and student diversity. Standardized tests only go so far. We must find ways to judge intelligence and measure learning.
We need a student-centered and more individualized education, so the smarter and intelligent students are not held back by curriculum geared toward bringing up the more average and less gifted students. We need teachers who are more qualified and can be more effective.
Focus incorporating more cooperative decision-making between parents, teachers, and administrators, and not putting htem against each other, or trying to blame a particular group. Teachers should try to motivate learning rather than simply attempting to pour knowledge into the minds of their students.
To truly achieve education reform, there must first be a shift in the attitude of what education should be. There must be an open mindedness toward new ideas and concepts. Students, teachers, administrators, the whole education community must be willing to work in new ways.
Click on these to see a larger version.
As you can see, we had quite a day. Thanks C&I 212.7 – you are our future!!!