EDCI 506: Legal Issue in Education

March 2nd, 2013

cuomo

 

 

In the past few years we have heard a lot about the No Child Left Behind act. This year, states are trying to put even more pressure on teachers by having their evaluations contribute to the overall accountability of the students, the student’s test scores and the school system as a whole. However, New York has submitted into a court a motion stating that the “State cannot withhold aid to city schools over teach evaluation impasse”.

New York state officials had demanded that city schools in New York come up with a plan for evaluation public school teachers. Gov. Cuomo had told New York public education that he would withhold $260 million if they could not develop a plan for evaluating the public school teachers. The New York teacher’s union was unable to develop a plan by the January 17th deadline and therefore the Governor was reluctant to give the hefty federal grant to the school systems.

It was stated by the judge that “’innocent children, particularly the neediest among them, could be hurt by financial cuts’” (Baker, 2013). This can be tied back to the 1975 cause of Goss vs. Lopez in which the Supreme Court rules that students had a legal right to education, and that “students had a property interest in their education that could not be taken away”(Ornstein 2011). This is most likely why the Judge in New York ruled against the withholding of the grant. Students would inherently be impacted, whether they were unable to pay for student’s lunches, or supplies for the classroom. It would end up doing more bad than good.

A lawyer who filed the class action suit stated that the judge’s decision” is a substantial victory for all of New York City’s students”. Now the students will not need to worry about being able to eat lunch or not having a textbook for their class. A chairwoman of the State Assembly’s education committee also commented saying that “no one should ever use formula-drive aid to punish kids”, you can tell that the main concern was for the well-being of the children who attend New York public schools. (Baker, 2013)

 

Resources:

Baker, A. (2013, February 21). Judge says state cannot withhold aid to city school’s over teacher evaluation impasse. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/nyregion/ny-state-cannot-withhold-aid-to-city-schools-judge-says.html?ref=education&_r=1&

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1a/Andrew_Cuomo_by_Pat_Arnow.jpeg/1160px-Andrew_Cuomo_by_Pat_Arnow.jpeg

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

INDT 501-02 Blog 6: To Flip or not to Flip?

February 24th, 2013

flippedclassroom

To be completely honest, I don’t really know how I feel about a flipped classroom.  To me, it definitely has its pros and cons.  I think it’s a good way to make a classroom more student-centered and to focus on what the student doesn’t understand.  However, I think we would like to believe that everyone in this day and age has access to internet and a computer, but that’s not the case.  I can’t see a flipped classroom being implemented in lower income areas, where it could be most beneficial.  It just seems to me students won’t be a receptive to an online lecture the night before a class.  Especially since most students dread having homework, and then on top of it they would have to watch a lecture or do an online lesson?

I like parts of the flipped classroom but I don’t think I would ever fully “flip” my classroom. I would want to take aspects of the flipped classroom, such as having a mini video or small online reading or research to do for homework to prepare them for the next day, but I would want to review the video or reading the next day in class to make sure that the students understand what they had watched.  I also like the idea of how the flipped classroom got started.  I would love to be able to video my class discussions and lectures so students who are absent, or even students who did not take notes, or who did not understand the lesson fully could look back on the video to see what I had discussed in class that day.

I don’t think this is the best pedagogy.  It cuts down on the actual face time with students and becomes impersonal.  It would be hard to really see how students learn if you are only spending time with them to help with homework.  What if the students aren’t learning this way? And instead of a flipped classroom improving passing rates, it hurts them? Then the school system is back to where it started and would have to go through another “flip”.  I think it would be best to only use this method in certain classes, with older children.  Perhaps a high school science class could watch a video about a dissection they will be doing the next day in class.  Or a history class watches a lecture on the civil rights era and does their homework in response to the video.

EDCI 506 Blog 6: Financing Public Education

February 24th, 2013

Budgeting for a school is one of the most important things a school system will have to do.  The school board must make sure that funds are being allocated to all areas and that students are adequately paid for.  However, budgeting isn’t just throwing some numbers around, some to special needs areas, some to the students, some to transportation.  It’s a detailed process which must be handled with carefully in order to satisfy the school system.

Public schools can get money in various ways through property taxes, income tax, sales tax, state/local/federal taxes, block and categorical grants, excise taxes, state lotteries, estate and severance services, product rights and user fees.  All of the above provide funds for the school system in order to the school to run smoothly.  However, there are still issues with the way that public schools receive funds.  In terms of property taxes, this tax is not equitable; it is only the assessed value.  This means that property taxes are the market value of the home and often the tax rate will increase, leaving the homeowners unable to pay the taxes.  Also, the evaluation of homes has no set date across the country; some localities may assess values every two years, others every four.  This tax “fails to distribute the tax burden according to the ability to pay” (Ornstein 238). Other issues with taxes range from the wealthy vs. poor tax base.  Obviously schools that are in wealthier areas are going to get more money from property taxes rather than an inner-city school.

There is also an issue with municipal tax burdens.  This is caused when “a severe financial crunch cause by high population density, a high proportion of low-income citizens, and again infrastructure”.  The tax money is then sent to social services and upkeep on the infrastructure, because of this, schools do not receive a bulk of the money from the taxes.  Along with again infrastructure causing tax burdens, the again population is also causing a tax burden.  Many people who do not have children in school do not think that they need to be paying taxes for other people children.  I think this is a little strange because those people at some point went to school and needed other people’s taxes to help their school.

State and local taxes aren’t the only issues of concern for the budgeting of a school.  The Federal government keeps creeping its way back into the state mandated system.  After years of struggle trying to get schools into the hands of the state, the federal government is trying to have some influence.  For example, the creation of No Child Left Behind has caused for the federal government to look at the accountability for school through the test scores of students and teachers.  IF schools aren’t showing passing rates high enough the Government could take back money from grants that the school had been issues. This makes no sense, because how on earth would a school ever get better if they don’t get the funds they need to help them!

Today there are certain trends in the financing of a public school.  A lot of schools look for categorical and block grants to help receive funds.  These grants, termed under “new federalism”, allow of schools ot receive money for a specific purpose, or for no specific purpose.  This was a way to “shift federal social and education program from the nation to the state governments, because states, which were close to the programs, would know best how to spend the funds”.  (Orenstein 248).  I think that the reason to spend these grants should most definitely be in the state hands that way the state can really look into where the money is needs, send out representatives to take a look at the program and advise the school board on how to allocate the funds. Other trends that are helping schools are school credits/vouchers and school choice.  With school vouchers and credits a student is able to receive state money in order to attend a more prestigious school, such as an inner-city students receiving money to go to a well known private school for a better education.  This is causing a problem with public schools because it seems to show that the public school is not as worthy or good as the private school and so people are trying to get out of it.  Not only are students switching schools, but taxpayers are showing some resistance for financing schools.  Taxpayer resistance has been a current trend where taxpayers want to see exactly how much of their money is going to support public schools and exactly how that money was used.

School boards needs to streamline a budget in order to see how to properly finance the areas needed.  Areas to be looked at are: school size, modernization of older buildings, the need for teachers, administrative reductions, and energy economics.  The study of these areas can help a school figure out exactly where they need money and where they could get around having to spend a lot. They need to be sure to look at the environmental and infrastructure problem and see how they can maintain a safe and healthy environment without depleting their budget.

If I had to develop a budget for a school I would definitely look at using state and local property taxes, sales tax, and lotteries.  I would try to figure out at least a minimum of funds that need to be allocated to each particular area. I would also want to look into product rights, such as having Coke products in the schools, and try to get sponsors for school sports and such so that not that much money needed to go to the sports program from.  I would also want to make the community as involved as possible, whether through fundraising for more money to special needs programs or more money to the science program. I would want to make sure that the community can see where there money is going and what we still need money for.

Resources:

Budgeting for a school is one of the most important things a school system will have to do.  The school board must make sure that funds are being allocated to all areas and that students are adequately paid for.  However, budgeting isn’t just throwing some numbers around, some to special needs areas, some to the students, some to transportation.  It’s a detailed process which must be handled with carefully in order to satisfy the school system.

Public schools can get money in various ways through property taxes, income tax, sales tax, state/local/federal taxes, block and categorical grants, excise taxes, state lotteries, estate and severance services, product rights and user fees.  All of the above provide funds for the school system in order to the school to run smoothly.  However, there are still issues with the way that public schools receive funds.  In terms of property taxes, this tax is not equitable; it is only the assessed value.  This means that property taxes are the market value of the home and often the tax rate will increase, leaving the homeowners unable to pay the taxes.  Also, the evaluation of homes has no set date across the country; some localities may assess values every two years, others every four.  This tax “fails to distribute the tax burden according to the ability to pay” (Ornstein 238). Other issues with taxes range from the wealthy vs. poor tax base.  Obviously schools that are in wealthier areas are going to get more money from property taxes rather than an inner-city school.

There is also an issue with municipal tax burdens.  This is caused when “a severe financial crunch cause by high population density, a high proportion of low-income citizens, and again infrastructure”.  The tax money is then sent to social services and upkeep on the infrastructure, because of this, schools do not receive a bulk of the money from the taxes.  Along with again infrastructure causing tax burdens, the again population is also causing a tax burden.  Many people who do not have children in school do not think that they need to be paying taxes for other people children.  I think this is a little strange because those people at some point went to school and needed other people’s taxes to help their school.

State and local taxes aren’t the only issues of concern for the budgeting of a school.  The Federal government keeps creeping its way back into the state mandated system.  After years of struggle trying to get schools into the hands of the state, the federal government is trying to have some influence.  For example, the creation of No Child Left Behind has caused for the federal government to look at the accountability for school through the test scores of students and teachers.  IF schools aren’t showing passing rates high enough the Government could take back money from grants that the school had been issues. This makes no sense, because how on earth would a school ever get better if they don’t get the funds they need to help them!

Today there are certain trends in the financing of a public school.  A lot of schools look for categorical and block grants to help receive funds.  These grants, termed under “new federalism”, allow of schools ot receive money for a specific purpose, or for no specific purpose.  This was a way to “shift federal social and education program from the nation to the state governments, because states, which were close to the programs, would know best how to spend the funds”.  (Orenstein 248).  I think that the reason to spend these grants should most definitely be in the state hands that way the state can really look into where the money is needs, send out representatives to take a look at the program and advise the school board on how to allocate the funds. Other trends that are helping schools are school credits/vouchers and school choice.  With school vouchers and credits a student is able to receive state money in order to attend a more prestigious school, such as an inner-city students receiving money to go to a well known private school for a better education.  This is causing a problem with public schools because it seems to show that the public school is not as worthy or good as the private school and so people are trying to get out of it.  Not only are students switching schools, but taxpayers are showing some resistance for financing schools.  Taxpayer resistance has been a current trend where taxpayers want to see exactly how much of their money is going to support public schools and exactly how that money was used.

School boards needs to streamline a budget in order to see how to properly finance the areas needed.  Areas to be looked at are: school size, modernization of older buildings, the need for teachers, administrative reductions, and energy economics.  The study of these areas can help a school figure out exactly where they need money and where they could get around having to spend a lot. They need to be sure to look at the environmental and infrastructure problem and see how they can maintain a safe and healthy environment without depleting their budget.

If I had to develop a budget for a school I would definitely look at using state and local property taxes, sales tax, and lotteries.  I would try to figure out at least a minimum of funds that need to be allocated to each particular area. I would also want to look into product rights, such as having Coke products in the schools, and try to get sponsors for school sports and such so that not that much money needed to go to the sports program from.  I would also want to make the community as involved as possible, whether through fundraising for more money to special needs programs or more money to the science program. I would want to make sure that the community can see where there money is going and what we still need money for.

Re

Budgeting for a school is one of the most important things a school system will have to do.  The school board must make sure that funds are being allocated to all areas and that students are adequately paid for.  However, budgeting isn’t just throwing some numbers around, some to special needs areas, some to the students, some to transportation.  It’s a detailed process which must be handled with carefully in order to satisfy the school system.

Public schools can get money in various ways through property taxes, income tax, sales tax, state/local/federal taxes, block and categorical grants, excise taxes, state lotteries, estate and severance services, product rights and user fees.  All of the above provide funds for the school system in order to the school to run smoothly.  However, there are still issues with the way that public schools receive funds.  In terms of property taxes, this tax is not equitable; it is only the assessed value.  This means that property taxes are the market value of the home and often the tax rate will increase, leaving the homeowners unable to pay the taxes.  Also, the evaluation of homes has no set date across the country; some localities may assess values every two years, others every four.  This tax “fails to distribute the tax burden according to the ability to pay” (Ornstein 238). Other issues with taxes range from the wealthy vs. poor tax base.  Obviously schools that are in wealthier areas are going to get more money from property taxes rather than an inner-city school.

There is also an issue with municipal tax burdens.  This is caused when “a severe financial crunch cause by high population density, a high proportion of low-income citizens, and again infrastructure”.  The tax money is then sent to social services and upkeep on the infrastructure, because of this, schools do not receive a bulk of the money from the taxes.  Along with again infrastructure causing tax burdens, the again population is also causing a tax burden.  Many people who do not have children in school do not think that they need to be paying taxes for other people children.  I think this is a little strange because those people at some point went to school and needed other people’s taxes to help their school.

State and local taxes aren’t the only issues of concern for the budgeting of a school.  The Federal government keeps creeping its way back into the state mandated system.  After years of struggle trying to get schools into the hands of the state, the federal government is trying to have some influence.  For example, the creation of No Child Left Behind has caused for the federal government to look at the accountability for school through the test scores of students and teachers.  IF schools aren’t showing passing rates high enough the Government could take back money from grants that the school had been issues. This makes no sense, because how on earth would a school ever get better if they don’t get the funds they need to help them!

Today there are certain trends in the financing of a public school.  A lot of schools look for categorical and block grants to help receive funds.  These grants, termed under “new federalism”, allow of schools ot receive money for a specific purpose, or for no specific purpose.  This was a way to “shift federal social and education program from the nation to the state governments, because states, which were close to the programs, would know best how to spend the funds”.  (Orenstein 248).  I think that the reason to spend these grants should most definitely be in the state hands that way the state can really look into where the money is needs, send out representatives to take a look at the program and advise the school board on how to allocate the funds. Other trends that are helping schools are school credits/vouchers and school choice.  With school vouchers and credits a student is able to receive state money in order to attend a more prestigious school, such as an inner-city students receiving money to go to a well known private school for a better education.  This is causing a problem with public schools because it seems to show that the public school is not as worthy or good as the private school and so people are trying to get out of it.  Not only are students switching schools, but taxpayers are showing some resistance for financing schools.  Taxpayer resistance has been a current trend where taxpayers want to see exactly how much of their money is going to support public schools and exactly how that money was used.

School boards needs to streamline a budget in order to see how to properly finance the areas needed.  Areas to be looked at are: school size, modernization of older buildings, the need for teachers, administrative reductions, and energy economics.  The study of these areas can help a school figure out exactly where they need money and where they could get around having to spend a lot. They need to be sure to look at the environmental and infrastructure problem and see how they can maintain a safe and healthy environment without depleting their budget.

If I had to develop a budget for a school I would definitely look at using state and local property taxes, sales tax, and lotteries.  I would try to figure out at least a minimum of funds that need to be allocated to each particular area. I would also want to look into product rights, such as having Coke products in the schools, and try to get sponsors for school sports and such so that not that much money needed to go to the sports program from.  I would also want to make the community as involved as possible, whether through fundraising for more money to special needs programs or more money to the science program. I would want to make sure that the community can see where there money is going and what we still need money for.

Resources: capturefinance2capturefinance

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

School finance. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/index.shtml

INDT 501-02: Creating a music video

February 17th, 2013

 

When I first saw that we were creating a music video, I had this idea that it would be a video of me singing about a lesson, and quite frankly I was scared.  However, learning that it would be done via pictures on animoto.com really soothed me!  I thought the website was easy to use.  I watched the tutorial, which was quick and easy.  I decided to do a lesson on the Emancipation Proclamation.  I thought this would be a good topic to introduce via pictures that way students could really see what was going on at the time of the Civil War instead of reading about it in a textbook.  The only issue I had with the making of this video was finding pictures that were “free to use or share” on Google images.  Most of the pictures ended up coming from flickr.com, because I kept getting strange pictures of people on Google.

I would definitely use this as a tool often in my classroom.  It could be a little tedious to make a longer movie, and I’m not sure that students would be as engaged sitting watching a longer movie.  I would definitely use this as an option for projects in my classroom, or group work to make mini movies about a topic that we had read about.  I think students would enjoy being able to pick their own photos and music to describe a topic, this would give them a little control, and also let me see how they are interpreting the topic.

http://animoto.com/play/QnaIOy1bpMSTnEB2n7mBdA

 

EDCI 506 Blog 5: Governing and Administering

February 17th, 2013

NCLB

The No Child Left Behind Act has been a huge legislative move on the government part in order to make school districts and teachers accountable for the way their students perform on a standardized test.  In my beliefs this is not an accurate or positive way to showcase how well students understand material, or how well a teacher taught a subject.  The NCLB ends up putting more stress onto the students and teachers.  As mentioned in the video case, teachers and principals alike have several issues with the NCLB.  First off, the act puts a great amount of stress on the students, giving them little, if any, wiggle room to focus on other material that could potentially help the students understand a subject better.  The score of the standardized test does not take into account the issues that a students may be going through (homeless, divorced parents, assault, etc) which could affect the student and how they performed on the test that given day.  The score neglects any other pivotal information, such as how well the student had progressed from the beginning of the year until the end.  Perhaps the student was able to improve their overall grade by 10 points from the first nine weeks to the fourth nine weeks, the students explains that he or she understands the material.  However, the student is not good at taking tests, he or she gets nervous and is unable to score a 400 or better on the SOL.  Even though this student made such progress throughout the year, it does not matter in the eyes of the state because he or she was not able to “understand” the material according to the state requirements. All in all I do not believe that the NCLB will last for much longer. I do think that school systems should be held accountable but the test only score is not the way to make a school accountable, in the end this will make future generations not want to become a teacher because of all the red-tape and issues they would have to deal with.

The main concept I got from watching the video was teamwork.  The principals and experienced teachers could not emphasize working as a team enough to the intern.  They repeatedly told the intern to look for a mentor teacher, communicate with the teachers and administrative staff in order to get help.  I think that having a strong support system and help when need is absolutely pivotal to being able to manage a child with a learning disability in your classroom.  A mentor teacher and reading/math specialist would be able to help you more than ever.  They would be able to share with you their experiences and how they believe you should approach certain subjects and topics.  Having this system would allow for myself to be more at ease and comfortable with having a child in my class with a learning disability.  I would want a mentor or experienced teacher there to help me understand the IEP, or show me ways that I can include the student without make it more of an issue of their learning.

Sources:

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

(n.d.). Ncbl.  [Print Photo]. Retrieved from classroom.brenhamisd.net

 

EDCI 506 Blog 4: Idealism vs. Realism

February 10th, 2013

Idealism-wallpaper

 

Idealism is generally defined as a philosophical view in which the spiritual, nonmaterial world is ultimately real.  Idealists believe that he world is a creation of a universal mind, or God.  The soul of a person is the ultimate source for giving the power to think and feel.  This idea is present in both Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” and Emerson’s “The Over-Soul”.  In each one of these readings the author’s show that reality is the creation of the world by an absolute power, either the sun (in “Allegory of the Cave”) or God.

Plato’s expresses the idealistic thoughts by stating that the power and capacity of knowledge are already present in the soul, verifying the idea of idealists that “knowing is a recall of latent ideas”.  Plato goes into detail stating that the prisoners only know what was already in their minds.  They believed that the shadows were reality, until the one prisoner escaped and saw what reality really was.  Plato continues to state that by believing in philosophy then you will have better knowledge. He states that language fails to give the truth and that the experience of reality is what gives overall truth.  He says that by saying what something is, is not enough for it to be taken in a realistic since.  Plato argues that in order to understand reality and to gain knowledge, ideas must be realistic and experiences.  This is shown by the prisoner finally seeing a reflection and the Sun (the absolute power), he then has seen and experiences reality, whereas the other prisoners have not and would argue with him about reality is because they only know the shadows.

Emerson also presents this idea that the values are absolute and eternal.  In his “Over-soul” writing Emerson goes into great detail explaining how language fails, and moral actions that are demonstrated will in turn have each person responsible for the respect for their own salvation.  This makes me think back to Maslow’s pyramid of self-actualization. Only after children have the values and necessities taken care of, will they reach self-actualization and be responsible for their salvation.

Realists believe that objects and existence are independents of us but we can learn from them.  When a realists argues “If a tree falls in a forest, and now one is there to hear it, does it make a sound” they argue that it does happen.  Realists state that even though it is not observed there is a theory for what happens.  Realists often apply the scientific method to situation in order to understand them.  They believe that after sensation and abstraction, a student might learn the smell, sound, color, size and weight; the students mind will then compartmentalize these ideas.  Therefore if the realist knows that when a person is present in the forest and the tree makes a sound while it falls, then every time the tree falls it makes a sound.

As noted in Foundations of Education, an idealistic classroom would have a teacher incorporate classics, arts and music into as many as their lessons as possible.  Idealistic teachers also would not want to use technology in their classroom as much.  In terms of getting material to the students it does not matter the device that delivers it but more so the value of the content.  A realist classroom is almost the complete opposite of the idealistic classroom.  A realist classroom would limit student’s studies to the core subjects, math, science, history and math.  They would disregard other class such as the music’s or arts in order to make sure the student can master the subject-content. However, unlike an Idealistic classroom and Realist classroom would allow for the “use of technology to aid in developing and testing skills and subject-matter competencies”.  This would work well in the 21st century.

For my future classroom I would implement a mix of the idealistic values and realistic values.  My ideal classroom, or school, would allow for core subject classes but also for arts, music and exploratory classes.  The school would use technology to aid in the teacher of the students.  Like a realistic school test assessments would be used, but the tests would not be the only way to measure the student’s success.  I would like to implement classics into the classroom but I would not want this to be a main focus, students in the 21st century need more realistic approaches to what they are learning.  In a civics lesson I would use the historical documents of the articles of confederation, US constitution and Declaration of Independence, but I would want to use the computers and other technology devices for students to create their own society and their own laws in order to see how important documents like these really are in today’s society.

Sources:

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

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://withfriendship.com/images/d/15002/Idealism-wallpaper.jpg

 

 

 

INDT 501-02 Week 4: Information Literacy and Creativity

February 6th, 2013

scratchcapture

The scratch program is very interesting.  I had a hard time using it, even with watching the tutorial. I think I had this idea in my mind that it would come out a lot cleaner and not be as awkward to use, this was not the case.  I’m not sure if it was my computer, but it split the sprite into 2 images even though it was only 1.  I tried to get the sprite to move steps but what I thought would be a lot (40) turned out to not be that many and then the sprite got cut off the screen.  Even with retracting the steps it still stayed split off the screen.  I think this is a good concept but I’m not sure if students could comprehend It as quickly as a class period.  I like this idea in terms of introducing a concept to the classroom.  In terms of using it to engage in the classroom I would stick with having the students introduce their lesson they would be teaching to the class, or their project by creating a Scratch program but I would not want them to use it fully.

I did sit and think about exactly what I wanted to do in terms of the Scratch.  I knew that I wanted it to only introduce a topic for further discussion.  Therefore I thought about if I was teaching a Civics or government class and I wanted to introduce how a bill becomes a law.  I had the two sprites quickly converse about if they know how a bill becomes a law.  I would like to add more detail the sprite eventually when I add it to my Web Portfolio to actually have links ready for students or others to click on to get basic information on how a bill becomes a law.   I would also like to link up to a webquest or a lesson online through icivics.org or such that the students would do.  I think this would get them interested in seeing the Scratch (perhaps making one of their own), and then continuing to use technology to teach the rest of the lesson.

I think ideas such as Scratch programs, game programs and other technological tools would aid very much in the classroom.  This is definitely more engaging to students than the teacher standing in front of the classroom at a podium reciting the book.  I also think this idea of a Scratch program would be a good assessment tool.  Students could be asked to create a Scratch on what they learned throughout the lesson. There would not be clear directions because I would want to see what the students could come up with on their own.  With the Scratch program I can see how they would apply the lesson to the real world instead of them just creating a concept map of vocabulary terms that they used.  I think a perfect idea for a Scratch program would be for each students, or groups of students, to research one amendment on the constitution. Using a google themed search for the amendments that I have created, the students then act out the amendment, or the reasons for the amendment being introduced, through a Scratch program they wrote themselves.

EDCI 506 Blog 3: Recent Issues in Education

February 3rd, 2013

In terms of the purpose of education I believe Aristotle hit it spot on, “Education’s purpose is to cultivate liberally educated, rational people who can use their reason to make decisions and to govern society” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011).  However, I do not believe that this means only through a strict curriculum of reading, math and writing, is education useful and purposeful.   In today’s schools systems it is imperative to the students that a teacher is respectful to them and their learning development, aware of emotional issues of the students, aware of the learning style of the student, and that teacher strives to make students knowledgably in areas deemed as worthy, history, sciences, math and language.

Throughout the readings on chapter three and four you can really get a sense of where education was and how it came to be today.  In each section little bits of history was transferred down from generation to generation and eventually allowed for what our education system looks like today.  The American education system has styles of Chinese, Hebraic, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian. However those countries alone cannot be credited with making education what it is today. Aspects from different time periods have also influenced how education is operating today such as, Medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment eras.

The American education system has been influenced by all of the above countries and time periods.  For example, the idea of testing our students to make sure they are the best and brightest came from Ancient China where it was imperative that students to see where students would spend their profession.  Egyptian educations system influenced the idea of using the education system to teach the upcoming bureaucracies.  Just as the idea of a well-rounded individual, emphasis on practical administration, the structure of the education system, focusing on science, math, language and history, and to provide education to everyone came from the Judaic, Greek, Roman, Arabic, Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation periods respectively. However, although many of the ideas of these countries and time periods have influenced America’s education system there are several ideas of those above that are no longer practiced  in the education system in American.  For example most of the countries only allowed boys and men to go to school because their job was to be a professional, and women were to stay at home.  That has completely changed in today’s education system, no longer are only certain people educated but everyone has a chance to learn and grow.

Not only have other areas all over the world helped the American Education system become what it is today but pioneers in the education field as well.  By looking at Comenius, Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Herbart, Froebel, Spencer, Dewey, Addams, Montessori, Piaget and Freire you can see all how those individuals had their own teaching method and how each was adapted and used in the classroom of today’s schools.  These pioneers introduced teacher to really look at the students, their emotions and the learning stages and development stages of the students in order to really understand what they should be learning and how they should be learning.  These pioneers changed the American system by providing not only a education outlook on how to teacher but also using influences of psychology and religion to offer different way to teach a student (memorization, self-activity, spontaneous learning, etc.).  Without these pioneers I can only imagine how the school system would work. Teacher would be lost at understanding their students, they would not have the idea of plan out lessons, and organize instruction in the most beneficial way.

From the beginning of the idea of an education system, experience has always played a part in how students should learn.  Most of the pioneers and ideas from other countries you can relate Dewey’s idea of progressivism.  For example, Rousseau “highlighted that children’s natural interests and instincts will lead to a more thorough exploration of the environment” ((Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011). Pestalozzi introduced the “reliance on sensation” and that “knowing as understanding nature, its patterns and its laws…empirical, pr sensory learning through which children learn about their environment…”.  A lot of these pioneers called for students to use sensory, and putting what they’re learning into perspective, by seeing how it applies to society at that time, Addams stated that “The curriculum should be reconstituted to provide broadened experiences that explored children’s immediate environment…”.

In schools today you are more likely to see students learning the objective and then trying to relate it to a situation that occurs today.  For example the video in which the Civic’s teacher allowed for the students to learn about the law through a mock trial.  This is experience learning at its finest.  Here students are not just reciting facts and then “spitting” out the memorized facts on a test.  They are actually researching the legal terms, ad stating their case for what they believe in.  This way the teacher can see just how well the students are interpreting the information and how they are learning it.

Changing Education Paradigms –this is a pretty neat video on how education has changed and what is viewed as wrong with the education system.

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

 

INDT 501 Sec 02 Week 3 Blog: Copyright

February 3rd, 2013

washdc

 

In order to find the above picture I used google advanced image search.  After I got to google’s webpage I searched for a “Washington D.C. building” . After images popped up on the screen I chose the advanced search options and selected the “free to use” option.  This image was one of the first ones, originally from flickr.com.  I visited the webpage it was originally posted on to make sure that I could use it (even though I searched for it under “free to use” photos on Google).  This is what appeared when I saw on Flickr.com that the picture had “some rights reserved”

capturedc

^ Screen capture of screen

Therefore I knew that I was able to use this picture in my post!

It’s very important as an educator to make sure that students are aware of the consequences of using other people’s work. Many lessons include students going onto the internet in order to find pictures for their projects, as a teacher I want to reinforce copyright and fair use into as many lessons as I can to make the students aware of what it means to have a copyright and what images they can and cannot use. Today’s schools are filled with tech savvy students but many of them do not respect the images/quotes/resources that they use and think that if it’s on the internet then it’s free to use. As well as teaching my students about fair use of images I also want to make sure that I am keeping up to date with the new standards for copyright. It is important for me, as a teacher, to practice what I preach. I need to make sure that all the images, quotes, resources that I use have a license allowing for me to use them, that way I am reinforcing my own lesson to myself and my students.

 

Resources:

Fischer, M. (Photographer). (2009). Supreme court building.  [Web Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/fischerfotos/7432022562/

EDCI506 Blog week 2: Thinking About Your Teaching Philosophy

January 23rd, 2013

 

 

21pedagogy

Learning is a different concept for every individual.  It is up to the teacher to distinguish the different learning abilities of his/her students and caters to the classroom in order to ensure that the students are learning the core standards for the subject and grade.  In this modern society I do not want my students to get wrapped up in reading from a textbook, taking notes on a projector and taking a test then moving onto the next chapter.  Although in certain circumstances reading from the textbook and taking notes may be beneficial, but that does not mean that I do not have to incorporate a progressive teaching approach and ideas from the 21stt century skills curriculum. I believe that learning is very much about the way a student can relate the lesson to today’s world, or an outside source.  I believe that each lesson should be accompanied by an engaging activity in order to get the students thinking critically about the topic, and that the 21st century pedagogy (above picture) should be enacted in every class!

It is important to myself, as a teacher, that my students get the best learning environment.  I want to be able to identify different styles of learning and try to incorporate those into everyday class.  Whether this is reading from a textbook, creating concept maps, powerpoints, movies, podcasts, smartboard interaction or educational games.  I think it’s important to engage the student as much as possible. History and social science classrooms do not need to be as boring as they are often made out to be.  Take for example learning about the Constitution of the United States.  It would be easy for me to turn to a chapter in the course textbook, have the students read it, copy the vacbulary words and answer the questions at the end of a chapter, but are my students really learning this topic, or just memorizing the vocabulary words and only the answers to the questions in the textbook? Instead I could have the students read the textbook, and then go to the computer lab to create a concept map.  After they created their concept map we could use the smartboard to create a mini-lesson (Teacher uses Prezi in History lesson!!) reinforcing the idea of the Constitution while comparing each other’s concept maps and even introducing vocabulary through a fill in the blank smartboard program..  At the end of the lesson I could give them a post-test with SOL based questions to see if they have mastered this concept.  This seems a lot more engaging and fulfilling then reading, writing and taking a test.  This way the students are learning through a strict traditional approach of reading and lecture but also with a progressive approach of engaging in technology and researching on their own the importance of this document.

Of course with every style of learning the teacher needs to be able to make sure that learning is actually occurring and needs to measure the progress of his/her students.  In this case, I would want to give pre and post tests on the subject matter, mixed in with those questions I have formulated will also be SOL questions.  I would also want to incorporate entrance and exit tickets.  I had one teacher in college who used entrance and exit tickets and it really helped to narrow in on what we were supposed to know and take away from the class discussion.  This pre and post, entrance and exit tickets would be graded and I would be sure that the students who did not score as high to meet with them and see exactly what their issue was.  Did they not understand the subject? Did they not do the homework? I would want to make sure that the pre and post tests, especially with the SOL questions are tracked.  This way at the end of a certain period I would test them on the cumulative SOL questions they had been tested on (not the same questions but same material), and then record that progress as well.  If certain questions were missed repeatedly then I would want to review that lesson again.

Inclusion learning is steadily showing up in school systems across the country.  In Fredericksburg City alone, upwards of 15% of students in each of the core classes takes the VGLA instead of the SOL due to disabilities. It is important as a teacher that if the school system I am working at has inclusion that I pay just as much attention to those with disabilities as those without.  This may mean that I have to adapt my teaching style, maybe creating a concept map as individuals will not be wise, instead students should be put in groups, or do this activity with myself as the leader and the students giving me facts.  Worksheets may need to be scaled down for certain learning levels.  Hopefully my classroom will have an inclusion specialist in the class with me while these students are present to help me engage the students as much as possible without neglecting their needs.  Of course if an inclusion specialist is not available I would want to keep a strong contact with the special ed. Department and the child’s parents and IEP in order to learn more about the student and how they learn.  (see Special Ed Teacher discusses Inclusion)

I think that United States schools have some impact on the world.  However I’m not sure if this is in a negative or positive way.  Students are supposed to go to school.  Students learn lessons, take an exam or SOL, graduate and then continue on their way to a college or university.  In the US it is required that students go to school until graduation or they obtain the GED.  It is a social phenomenon that students attend school in order to become a better, smarter person.  This is not the case in other countries. Other countries have students stop schooling at certain ages, they take careers test in order to see if they should go to a university or a trade schools.  I think the US education system gives students more opportunity to discover what they want and who they want to be.  However, I do think the US education system is flawed in that we use a traditional approach to teaching and the stress put onto a student and teacher about the SOL or some standardized test is way too harsh.  If the US wants to make a positive impact on the world especially in this century they need to look the way society is forming and what other countries are doing that is making them rank higher in educational aspects, career outlooks and economic performance.  Perhaps a better understanding of how the future will look will provide the US Department of Education a map on how they should change the way the teachers teach and the students learn in order to prepare them for the 21st century. ( see History of Technology in Education for a look at how technology has changed education!)

Resources:

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and eduation. New York: Macmillian Publishing.

Framework for 21st century learning. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/index.php

US Department of Education, NCES. (2005). Comparative indicators of education in the US and other G8 countires. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2005/2005021.pdf

VA Department of Education. (2008). 2008 – 2009 vgla participation by subject area. Retrieved from http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/participation/2008_09_VGLA_ParticipationbySubjectbyDiv.pdf