Don’t evaluate teachers based on scores until scores indicate children’s joy in learning, autonomy development, growth mindset, intrinsic motivation, generosity, collaborative, creativity, critical thinking…
The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.
— Khalil Gibran
When people enjoy whatever they are doing, they report some characteristic experiential states that distinguish the enjoyable moment from the rest of life. The same dimensions are reported in the context of enjoying chess, climbing mountains, playing with babies, reading a book, or writing a poem…
A teacher who understands the conditions that make people want to learn — want to read, to write, and do sums — is in a position to turn these activities into flow experiences. When the experience becomes intrinsically rewarding, students’ motivation is engaged, and they are on their way to a lifetime of self-propelled acquisition of knowledge…
~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,
Thoughts About Education
It is my responsibility and yours as educators to create a learning environment that is a flow experience…
Corporate involvement in the RTTT mandates and CCS
This is a repost from Diane Ravitch’s blog (http://dianeravitch.net/2013/02/08/why-public-schools-matter-for-our-democracy/)
Why do we have public schools? Would we be better off, as certain reformers now think, if everyone had school choice and went to a charter or used a voucher to go to a private or religious school?
Do we need public schools?
I asked Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School in Rockville Center, New York, how she would answer these questions.
How would you answer?
This is what Carol wrote:
“When I think of the purpose of public schooling I always think of Dewey’s famous phrase that is stenciled into the entrance wall of Teacher’s College ““Schools are the fundamental method of social progress and reform” (Dewey,1897). I believe that these words are as true today as when they were first included in John Dewey’s “Pedagogic Creed” .
“There is a compact that exists between a community and its public school. It is a promise that the school will teach every child that passes through its doors—poor children, affluent children, children with disabilities and children who show great academic promise. The common public school is required to teach the easy to teach and the difficult to teach. The common public school is there for the student with strong parent advocates and for the child who is, for all practical purposes, alone.
“Most important of all, it is where such children meet and sit side by side in classrooms, on bleachers and in cafeterias. They learn from each other as surely as they learn from their teacher. That social learning is also what gives rise to the promise of social progress and social reform.
“I attended a private high school where I met children who looked like me, thought like me and prayed liked me. It was a good school, but I did not have as rich an experience as the public school students who attend my school. There were no students with substantial learning disabilities in my high school. It was a test-in school so no one struggled with academics. Only two of the students who attended were Black, and none of the students were poor. There was learning that I missed during my teenage years. I am glad we sent our daughters to public school.
“Charters and privates are not designed to serve all students—they are designed to serve students who are more like each other than not. Although there may be some diversity, those who are truly different either never apply, are never accepted or are counseled out. . One has to only look at New York City Schools, which are becoming more segregated and stratified by income than ever before, to understand the outcome of charters, selection policies and choice.
“We can take the easy road that leads to improvement for some kids at the expense of others, or the more difficult road that will improve education for all kids. Without vibrant, supported public schools, the second option does not have a chance.”
The Common Core standards will ultimately serve not to improve student achievement but to increase the profits of standardized testing companies. The effects of poverty, family and socio-economic factors on education will continue to be largely ignored in our infatuation with the misguided belief that student achievement will improve through intensified measurement. The “teach to the test,” “test prep,” and “testing pep rallies” environments will grow stronger through the implementation of annual growth measurements (annual growth = 100%–the 2011 proficiency rate of first-time test-takers divided by 6) for schools, and flawed teacher evaluation models that tie teacher ratings and salary to student scores will serve as almost insurmountable incentives for teachers to teach to the test, by the test, and for the test. — James Arnold Journal of Language and Literacy Education November 01, 2012 ~Stephen Krashen
Well-educated or not, all of us fall back on “common sense” and “street smarts.” It’s not a bad idea. But our street smarts differ (and which ones are relevant is tricky). Evidence that seems out of synch with our own experiences should make us pause. We need open minds, but not naïve or vacuous ones. The idea of a good education for democracy requires the recognition that one may be wrong. But one can also be right. Such an education requires respect for the evidence of our daily experience, too. Thus, self-interest, our individual slant on life, plays a role under the best of circumstances. ~Deborah Meier