Archive for April, 2013

EDCI 506: Week 15 Blog: Reflection of Group Project

Friday, April 26th, 2013

prezicap

 

 

Throughout all the presentations the main theme was having a green school as well as incorporating a plethora of technology into the classrooms. Every group had some sort of energy efficient school, a progressive style teaching method (very hands-on) and having the newest technology in their schools.  It was really neat to see all the different ways that the groups incorporated having a “green” school, whether it was through the structure of the school, having rooftop gardens, using solar panels or using preexisting buildings in the area.

It was also interesting to see how the schools would receive funding and how they would be able to pay for the technology that they would be using.  It was a little hard to understand the full concept of funding, and maybe some of the ideas were a little far-fetched for the amount of money that the school would actually have.  Of course, every school would love to have sponsors and donations of computers and ipads, but in reality is that really possible?  Would Apple be willing to donate 250 computer? Probably not.  However, the amount of grants for technology and e-rates that you can receive could definitely help off-set the costs.

I believe that my teaching philosophy pretty much went along with my groups and the other groups presentations.  I still strongly believe in having a technologically saavy classroom, and using all the technology tools my school has to offer in order to be a more progressive teacher.  Using a more hands-on approach and letting my students be able to use these tools and have a choice in the projects that they wish to complete.

In regards to the school that my group had created, it was pretty much along the same guidelines as the other schools.  Our school, however did not focus as strongly on being “green”, not did we try to focus or specialize in any curriculum, such as math and science, or agriculture.  Our school was pretty much like schools today but just adding more of a collaborative approach.  Allowing for “social interaction and discussion” in the mornings, current event boards in the hallways, brag boards and back-alley hallways were teacher can meet away from the students.  We wanted to focus on a community approach, by having parents involved from the first day.  It was important for our group that the teachers and parents had a relationship outside of parent-teacher conferences.

Throughout this whole process of creating a 21st century school, I learned that creating a school is difficult. I never realized exactly how much thought has to go into the school, such as design, curriculum, funds, development, etc.  This project made me go outside my comfort zone, and start to think critically and creatively about what a school entails.  I never gave much thought to how teachers would have professional development or how students needed to learn, but this opened my eyes to the fact that students learn differently and that teachers and the school’s curriculum must showcase that.

 

Week 13: Blog Reflection: Curriculum and Instruction EDCI 506

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

development

retreived from: http://www.moe.gov.tt/curriculum_process.html

 

In today’s schools students, I believe, are being taught the essential curriculum.  These “essential influenced curriculum” includes English, mathematics, science, history, foreign languages and geography.  These subjects are deemed as necessary for students to complete upon graduation.  This way students have the essential knowledge needed to deal with situations and ideas that may arise in their future.  Currently there are several approaches to curriculum development.  Curricula may be subject-center or student centered.

Subject centered curricula has many different styles of creating a curriculum.  Schools may use a subject-area approach, perennialist approach, essentialist approach, back-to-basics approach, or core approach.  Each one of these approaches focuses on the subject matter as the main focus.  Therefore these curriculums are tailored around the subjects that the student’s needs to learn in order to graduate and become the best students possible.  A subject-area approach uses the textbook as a master plan for how students should learn. The textbooks are organized in a way to organize thoughts and ideas of the subject.  Subject-area approach treats “each subject as a specialized and largely autonomous body of knowledge.  Perennialist focus on the logic in the elementary level then classics at secondary level, whereas Essentialist focus on the high-school curriculum (English, science, math, geography, foreign language, history) in order to keep up with today’s knowledge and what the children will need to know in the future.  The back-to-basics approach “connotes a heavy influence on reading, writing, and mathematics”.  A core approach also focuses on the basic subjects in order to create a knowledgeable body of students. Student centered curriculum, as its name sounds, places the student as the most important factor in creating a curriculum.  Approach may be activity based, relevant curriculum, humanistic approach, free schools or alternative schools or value centered curriculum.  Each one of these styles of developing curriculum makes sure that the student is learning in the best way possible perhaps through experiences, or through the values instilled upon the students by the teacher. (Ornstein, 2011)

Teacher may choose to use the direct instruction model.  This model “emphasizes well-developed and carefully planned lessons designed around small learning increments and clearly defined and prescribed teacher tasks (Ornstein, et al.) .”  These direct instruction lessons are often scripted.  The teacher leads the lesson which is then followed with the students practicing the lesson and then immediate teacher feedback.  This type of instructional method is often found in schools suffering under NCLB.  Outside sources may help schools to develop a curriculum focusing on direct instruction in order to make sure the students are learning what they need to be learning in order to pass the SOL or any other standardized test.  Non-direct instruction is often the type of instruction that you will see if inquiry-based learning is prominent. Through inquiry-based learning students are able to construct a response from what they were able to gather without the scripted lesson of the teacher.

As a future history teacher I will be using student-centered approach to curriculum in order to make sure that all my students are engaged throughout the learning process.  History can often be thought of as boring and drawn-out.  It’s important for me to change the idea of a history class in my student’s mind.  Instead of sitting and listening to a scripted lesson from the textbook, I want to be able to have my students interact with myself and each other through jigsaw activities, learning centers and technology.  In order for my students to do their very best I need to make sure that I am following the subject curriculum developed by the school and department head , especially if my class has a SOL at the end of the year.  I would use to my advantage, the department head and administrators for any questions that I might have.

 

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of education. (11 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

EDCI 506 Blog: Week 12

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

school21 school image

 

 

Schools in the twenty-first century are encountering several issues.  More and more policies are being added to state’s educational plans, such as NCLB, IDEA Goals 200: Educate American Act.  These policies are making it hard for schools and instructors to be their best.  The impact that these acts and policies have on state standards will heavily influence the way that an instructor plans his or her lesson.  The instructor needs to be aware of performance based outcomes and how those will affect the students and the teacher.

Although these policies have been trying to make education better, there are still accounts where new ideas are being stifled due to reemerging old ideas.  During the Cold War the idea of education was based upon intellectual training due to a “concern over economic competition with foreign countries”, you can see this idea now as the US tries to become one of the top countries.  The US falls behind in areas such as math and science to other countries who score higher and are able to obtain higher-paying jobs even in the US.  As well as intellectual training the idea from the 1960s and 1970s that education should focus on educating the disadvantaged is also making a comeback.  The issue here though is, are these goals and objectives of education relevant of the times?

I think that these reemerging ideas are relevant to the issues of the US today.  Education should focus on intellectual training as well as educating the disadvantaged.  Programs are in place to allow for the more intelligent students to further their knowledge in magnet schools and gifted programs.  Head Start Programs and after school programs are helping to educate the disadvantaged students in order to get them into the school system and keep them there until graduation.  These are programs and ideas that need to be in place if the US has any hope of having an educated generation in the upcoming years.

I think that it is important the schools focus on the creativity and allow for students to have some control over the content that they will be learning.  By giving the students a little control it will make the students seem that they have had a voice, that they aren’t being told every class what they will learn without a reasonable explanation to why.  This way if they want to focus more on the Civil Rights movement, let them decide what they want to focus more on, collectively as a class or by themselves as a project for the lesson.  It is important that instructors try not to stifle the creativity of their students but instead to embrace it.  Let the students have some control on what they want o learn, how they want to learn it and how they want to showcase what they have learned.  This will let them have to think for themselves and to take some responsibility.

 

Sources:

Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of education. (11 ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lP3S0abkJPM/T5Vdz-3DcXI/AAAAAAAABBc/fHhunzcRzDo/s1600/21st century.jpg

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.edbasic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/schoolhouse.jpg