Naluai, N. (2014). Approaching the inquiry process from a cultural perspective. Knowledge Quest, 43(2).
In this article, Naluai discusses how Kamehameha Schools revamped their education with inquiry-based practice; beyond this, they also wanted to implement Hawaiian educational traditions alongside inquiry-based practice. To do so, they focused on Eisenberg and Berkowitz’s “Big Six” (task definition, information-seeking strategies, location and access, use of information, synthesis, and evaluation) and paired them with Hawaiian words and proverbs. For example, the guidelines for student “practice” is now “Ho’oma’ama’a.” (For a complete list of the Hawaiian terms and how they tie into the Big Six, I definitely recommend checking out this article!)
I really thought this was a good article, especially because the author explains how the school wanted to call upon Hawaiian educational traditions and history in order to help their students work with inquiry-based learning. Implementing new technologies or educational theories doesn’t need to cancel out a cultural background or focus in school, and I really enjoyed how this school focused on their history as well as the future.
Evaluation: This news story is one that I am close to since my school district is one of the ten cohort districts that will be taking on the challenge to “replace at least one textbook with openly licensed educational resources within the next year.” Information regarding this has not been distributed widely within my district, but I was aware that our Superintendent and Director of Instructional Technology traveled last week to Washington D.C. Also, there was recently a form sent to teachers to solicit interest in participating as part of the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement. I submitted interest, but have not yet heard an update. After reading more about this project, though, I have now written to my district Teacher Librarian colleagues to encourage them to also become familiar with the initiative. I think that this is a critical opportunity for TLs to collaborate as partners in curriculum development, and I have added this as an agenda item to our next district Library Council meeting so that we may inquire with the Director of Instructional Technology regarding ways we may be able to contribute and participate.
This article address both these Restructuring issues clearly and briefly. It is an excellent starting place.
Blakeway, Kristi. (2014, Sept. 2) Blakeway: Riding a roller coaster – How self directed learning changed my views. P21 Blog, Volume 1, Issue 7, No. 20. Retrieved from: http://www.p21.org/news-events/p21blog/1490
This is a blog post written for the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, which, if you haven’t check out, you should! In a nutshell, Kristi Blakeway writes about her experience as a vice principal at Thomas Haney Secondary, a self-directed learning high school in Maple Ridge, B.C. Canada. She clearly outlines in her blog post the way this self-directed system is organized.
The school is part of the Canadian Coalition of Self-Directed Learning (CCSDL) which is an organization of secondary schools throughout Canada that are dedicated to the personalization of learning. She touches on the elements of inquiry, collaboration, how work spaces are designed and what test taking looks like. Admitting that she was bewildered at the seeming lack of structure she was used to in traditional education settings, Blakeway chronicles her emerging understandings of the self directed model. Elements of the article that I found appealing were the descriptions of close teacher and student relationships, the amount of free or flexible time the students have and the strong collaboration that informed the practice on site. As someone who is always considering home-school (or unschooling) as an option for my own children, it was quite enjoyable to get a look at how a high school that values the individual learning styles of each unique student looks like.
This is an article I think every teacher should read, no matter where they are in the career.
It appeared first on a blog by Grant Wiggins, author of Understanding by Design. It turns out that it was written by his daughter, Alexis, who had transition out the role of teacher after 15 years and was now an instructional coach at an American High School overseas. As part of an introduction into her new role, her administrator asked she shadow a 10th grader and a 12th grader. She uses her experiences to form three reflective Key Take-Aways.
1. Students sit all day long and it is exhausting (no surprise there)
2. High school students are asked to passively absorb for (a shocking) 90% of the time.
3. Students wind up feeling like a nuisance all day long.
She then goes on to frame what she would have done differently given the chance to do it all again.
New teachers and old could benefit from this article. I wish there was an elementary version. Wake up teachers and get your kids moving and active.
Understanding the Common Core Standards. (2014). Education Digest, 79(8), 16-21.
ET – Educational Theory and Practice ET – Restructuring ET – Standards-based Education ET – Government and Professions
CA- Curriculum Assessment CA – Common Core Assessments
This article is handy fact sheet for the Common Core State Standards. Along with describing the Common Core and how they are intended to work in conjunction with State mandated curriculum this article explains misconceptions surrounding the Common Core. Being new to the Common Core, I had wondered why they only included language arts and math standards. There is a separate but similar initiative that was developed for science and engineering and released in 2013 called the Next Generation Science Standards. As far as the role of the government in all of this, they have provided funds for the development of “next-generation” assessments aligned with Common Core standards, which are expected for release in 2014-15. Behind the opposition to Common Core are the Tea Party and Libertarians who “disapprove of the idea of national standards in the belief that educational decisions are rightfully made by parents and local communities.” In addition some progressive educators believe that “Common Core will impose more test-driven accountability and open the door to corporate influence over education.”
This is a worthwhile read for those new to Common Core, or looking for clarification on who is behind the initiative and what the process has been for its application. I would have actually liked it to be longer and more detailed, but I feel like a lot is explained in a short few segments. The article is also biased towards the Common Core, but there is a fair assessment included of the challenges faced by schools for implementation in terms of cost, administrative duties and obligations, technology needs, training of staff, etc.