Monday, July 13, 2015

Blog Post #14

problem in grey, solution highlighted in green


  • Giving more school choices to families
  • Using technology to improve teaching and learning
  • Adopting knowledge based curriculum
  • Starting education before child is five years old
  • Professionalize teaching/better academic training for teachers; recruit from top third of graduates; job security not based solely on seniority

     The first change mentioned by Joel Klein is the giving of more school choices to families.  Shanker says that teachers should "abandon their support for mandatory assignment of kids to neighborhood schools in favor of 'the greatest possible choice among public schools.'" I agree that school choice could be beneficial for some students but that it may lead to competition to get students into the "best" schools, which would become a problem for families with less resources. In Public School Choice: Issues and Concerns for Urban Educators, Amy Wells Stuart lists recommendations for making school choice a process with equality including: a clear goal statement; outreach to, and information and counseling for, parent; a fair, unrestrictive, noncompetitive, and equitable admissions procedure, with particular attention paid to criteria for enrollment in the most desirable schools;   provision of adequate transportation for students.
     Next Klein says technology needs to be used to improve teaching and learning. Based on all that I have learned in EDM310, I agree that technology is a great way to maximize teaching and learning. Archived: Effects of Technology on Classrooms and Students concludes that the role of a teacher is changing to that of a facilitator rather than the main source of information because of
the use of technology in the classroom. The benefits of this include increased motivation and self esteem, increased technical skills, ability to accomplish more difficult tasks, more collaboration with peers, increased use of outside resources, and improved design skills and attention to audience.
      Klein states that adopting a knowledge based system is a needed change. I agree that knowledge based teaching is important because knowledge is needed to perform required skills. Knowledge and skills go hand in hand.
     Another change that Klein mentions is starting education before a child is five years old. I believe that learning is a life long process and that formal education should be started around four years old. As the demands in the early years of education seem to have increased, gaining a solid foundation by beginning school at age four is beneficial. It is imperative though that before age four for children to be engaged in informal learning of their world around them.
     Klein says that the biggest change "would be to professionalize teaching, making it like other well-respected professions, such as law and medicine." His ideas to implement this are to provide better academic training for teachers, recruit from the top thirds of graduates, and base job security on performance rather that solely on seniority. I agree that teaching needs to be a profession that is held to high standards and respected for what is expected to do, which is to produce educated people who will be the leaders, inventors, and workforce of the next generation. 
     There are many changes that could make the education system better for students and teachers. However, as teachers it is our obligation to make sure the children in our care receive the best education possible, whether or not these changes ever occur. Effective teaching must be thought of as more than just a "job." It must become our passion.

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