For your consideration: An Outlier

Solomon, Samantha

Ullman, R. (2018). No, Teachers Shouldn’t Put Students in the Driver’s Seat. Teacher Teacher. Retrieved 26 September 2018, from https://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2018/09/05/no-teachers-shouldnt-put-students-in-the.html

Summary: This opinion piece is written by Richard Ullman, a 29 year veteran of teaching in public high schools. In the piece Ullman defends the practice of teachings using direct instruction to communicate complex skills and concepts to students. He feels that the pendulum has swung too far towards a pedagogy based on “equat[ing] cosmetic engagement with actual learning.” He argues that educational trends are dictated and propelled by people who are removed from actual classrooms, and that as a result, the current trends around game-based learning and student driven learning actually don’t improve student outcomes. He points out that “even though the classroom looks dynamic, students appear to be busy, and the right boxes get checked during classroom observations, achievement gaps don’t close.” Ullman argues that traditional, teacher-centered instruction does work, but that confirmation bias causes experts to ignore the merits of this style in favor of chasing educational fads.

Evaluation: It’s not that I agree with Ullman’s strong preference for teacher-centered instruction, but I do think it is important to acknowledge what people who might be out of this moment’s mainstream might be thinking. I absolutely feel that there is a place for more traditional, direct instruction in classrooms and school libraries, but I also think that it has to be blended with more engaging, student-centered techniques to fully resonate and connect with students and truly enhance their learning.

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Understanding by Design

Hertz-Newman, Jenny

ET

Bowen, Ryan S., (2017). Understanding by Design. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Retrieved May 2018 from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/understanding-by-design/.

This is almost like a mini-class in the backwards design model for constructing courses and units of study.  It reminds me of standards based planning/instruction in which instruction is based on the goal of students mastering the standard and lesson follows from that end goal.  This site has both text and video and the main aspects of backwards design are broken down clearly and in an interesting way.  There are also lesson planning templates and ideas for assessment.  I appreciate the focus on design for understanding and critical thinking in this model.

 

Histories of Personalized Learning

Michele Peabody
ET

Watters, A. (2017). The histories of personalized learning, Hackereducation OEB Mid Summit conference in Reykjavik, Iceland. Retrieved 6/2017 from
The author, “I am an education writer, an independent scholar, a serial dropout, a rabble-rouser, and ed-tech’s Cassandra” argues that personalized learning has been around for at least a decade, and depending on your agenda, we define it the way we want to. Industries and tech companies agenda is the “personalized computer” and are succeeding in having education follow their lead.
Inna Levine


CO-Collaboration Strategies


Subramaniam, M., Ahn, J., Waugh, A., Taylor, N. G., Druin, A., Fleischmann, K. R., & Walsh, G. (2013). Crosswalk between the “framework for K-12 science education” and “standards for the 21st-century learner”: School librarians as the crucial link.School Library Research, 16 Retrieved from http://dialog.proquest.com/professional/docview/1509082301?accountid=143640

Within the school library community, there have been persuasive calls for school librarians to contribute to science learning. The article presents a conceptual framework that links national standards of science education (“Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas,”) to core elements embedded in “AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner”, the standards that guide the teaching and learning of multiple literacies for which librarians are responsible in schools. Based on this conceptual framework, the authors of the article highlight how four middle school librarians in a large school district in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States enact and expand their five roles–information specialist, instructional partner, teacher, program administrator, and leader–while they participate in Sci-Dentity, a science-infused after-school program. They observed clear links between skills, dispositions, and responsibilities from the “Standards.” taught and facilitated by these school librarians, to principles in the Framework. The authors contend that the learning of the Standards is crucial to creating and sustaining science-learning environments as envisioned in the “Framework” and argue that school librarians’ role in science learning is more vital than it has ever been.