4/29/2005

Teacher Transfers, Education Funders, Standardistas, and Video Games (Best of the Week)

Should Teachers Only Work Where They Want To?

One of the top issues these days seems to be what to do about schools that have high teacher turnover rates and disproportionately fewer fully-qualified teachers. One of the most controversial approaches -- way more than combat pay -- is limiting transfers out of high-need school or into top performing schools. Everyone hates it, which sort of makes you think.... Baltimore County union: New rule holds teachers "hostage"
The Sun (Baltimore).

There's also a big conference on collective bargaining in mid-May that might include a balanced look at what aspects of bargaining agreements help and hinder students' learning: May 16-17 Research Conference on Teacher Collective Bargaining

Does Traditional Education Philanthropy Help?
Two or three good articles about education philanthropy this week, which is rarely covered but usually pretty fascinating:
Researchers Ask Tough Questions Of K-12 Charities EW, Philanthropists bring in new strategies to change schools USAT
, Casting a Broad Net of Influence Substance Magazine.

Standardistas vs. Everyone Else
We already know that standards and accountability people (policymakers, think tankers) usually don't get along with teachers and many principals. All the more interesting to read about whether the standardistas are in touch with what real people (parents, taxpayers) want out of their schools: Fulfilling the promise of the standards movement MCREL via PEN.

Video Games Teach Adults
Could Civilization III, and other complex multi player video games like it, teach us better how to engage children in learning? Let the Games Begin Edutopia

2 Comments:

Anonymous Alan said...

I am going to make the presumption that your question is being put out there as bait! As much as I like to fish in quiet ponds, when forced to sit on the bank of a swiftly flowing river I still have to focus on getting the fish hooked and not waste too much time whilst struggling with the flow of water! The fact that video games are prevalent and children have mastered maneuvering the complicated rules and developed the skills needed to keep the programmers scrambling doesn’t mean that educators should be looking to apply the same paradigms to educational programs and processes. My main complaint would be that learning should be multi layered, should address the head heart and hands. Multi player games, although very complicated looking for those of us who did not grow up using them, are in fact used quite instinctively. I would love to know why and how that happens. My teenage children appear to “herd” when online, just as they do in real time in or out of school! My second complaint is that the use of technology has been applied to the learning process with very little thought for age appropriateness. The “experts” have convinced a generation of parents, who can no longer trust their own instincts that sooner taught equals to be ahead of the game. Look what’s going on with the push down into the pre school population with testing! To see little kinder garden children pecking away at key boards whilst restricted to classrooms schedules that have no time left for recess breaks my heart. I would rather that we look back at the successes of the one room school of several generations ago and figure out what went wrong in the meantime. Lastly, it appears to me that learning to day, pushed very much by the NCLB act, is all about remembering, not learning. It’s all about concepts that are too clearly defined very early on in the educational process. Shouldn’t examination be at the for-front of the learning process? Once a concept is delivered it’s fixed. Shouldn’t content be constantly reconsidered as the maturation process takes place? “Could Civilization III, and other complex multi player video games like it, teach us better how to engage children in learning” The very first question is most probably, what does it mean to “engage.” Once we come to a common understanding of that, the rest should be easy. Once the fish is on the hook, out it comes, or, did you hear the story of how I lost my best sheath knife and the first really large pike I ever hooked in Wisconsin? Alan.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Alan said...

I am going to make the presumption that your question is being put out there as bait! As much as I like to fish in quiet ponds, when forced to sit on the bank of a swiftly flowing river I still have to focus on getting the fish hooked and not waste too much time whilst struggling with the flow of water! The fact that video games are prevalent and children have mastered maneuvering the complicated rules and developed the skills needed to keep the programmers scrambling doesn’t mean that educators should be looking to apply the same paradigms to educational programs and processes. My main complaint would be that learning should be multi layered, should address the head heart and hands. Multi player games, although very complicated looking for those of us who did not grow up using them, are in fact used quite instinctively. I would love to know why and how that happens. My teenage children appear to “herd” when online, just as they do in real time in or out of school! My second complaint is that the use of technology has been applied to the learning process with very little thought for age appropriateness. The “experts” have convinced a generation of parents, who can no longer trust their own instincts that sooner taught equals to be ahead of the game. Look what’s going on with the push down into the pre school population with testing! To see little kinder garden children pecking away at key boards whilst restricted to classrooms schedules that have no time left for recess breaks my heart. I would rather that we look back at the successes of the one room school of several generations ago and figure out what went wrong in the meantime. Lastly, it appears to me that learning to day, pushed very much by the NCLB act, is all about remembering, not learning. It’s all about concepts that are too clearly defined very early on in the educational process. Shouldn’t examination be at the for-front of the learning process? Once a concept is delivered it’s fixed. Shouldn’t content be constantly reconsidered as the maturation process takes place? “Could Civilization III, and other complex multi player video games like it, teach us better how to engage children in learning” The very first question is most probably, what does it mean to “engage.” Once we come to a common understanding of that, the rest should be easy. Once the fish is on the hook, out it comes, or, did you hear the story of how I lost my best sheath knife and the first really large pike I ever hooked in Wisconsin? Alan.

4:12 PM  

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