I searched through NYTimes’ archive of medical / law / finance / congressional / military reform articles looking for pieces that fail to quote a doctor / lawyer / banker / policy-maker / enlisted soldier, and I found zero. Yet, here is an article — printed above the fold on the front page of the Sunday Times — about teachers, teacher evaluation, and education reform that quotes not a single teacher.
While this has been par for the course in policy circles and lesser publications, the perpetuation of this trend in a publication of the Times’ gravitas has become routinely disappointing.
One of the first rules of managing change is to enlist, engage, and involve vested parties, especially those for whom the change impacts the most. A shared vision and buy-in are key to implementation that lasts. However, before either of those can be realized, we must ensure that teachers are actually a part of the visioning and, at a minimum, a part of the conversation.
The Times can be a part of this solution by simply doing what they typically do well: quality journalism. When you write about K-12 education, quote a K-12 educator, just as you do when it comes to other professions.
Individual Tweeter: @EdReformPR — Sarcastic, humorous, clever, and occasionally ridiculous.
Administrator Blog: A Space for Learning by @PamMoran — Intelligent, progressive, steeped in the space between pedagogical theory and practical application.
Best Open PD: Global Education Conference — The global reach connects educators and thinkers from around the world, empowering them through collaboration and networking.
Lifetime Achievement: @DianeRavitch — Having dedicated enough time to education to see the fruits of her efforts and then to have the courage to stand against the very reforms she championed has made her a model for reflective learning. Her work continues to influence on a broad scale.
Free Web Tool: Learner Sketch Tool — Empowering learners of all ages to better understand and leverage their own learner profiles to meet their goals. Increases metacognition and gives teachers and students a starting point for dialoguing about authentic personalized learning.
Let’s just be clear for a second: Millions of children living below the poverty line have NO access to quality early childcare to nurture their minds. They enter school already well behind their more affluent peers.
That deficit is minimized (not solved, just lessened) by the quality of PBS programming, Sesame Street as the flagship. You can’t talk equal access to education (and by proxy equity and equality — read as social justice) without addressing this key Experience Gap.
Cutting PBS is paramount to cutting the lifeline to some meager amount of early childhood education for millions of impoverished children across this nation of ours. At a scant 0.012% of the federal budget, it is well worth the cost. We should be outraged at the hypocrisy of anyone talking about education without acknowledging the vital importance of the earliest years.
PBS is working to fill that gap. What are we doing?
You may have noticed the fine mane of manliness growing upon my upper lip and down my cheeks - my Mo, as the mustache is affectionately called in Australia. (If not, I’ve included two images from Day 25 for your amusement.)
Why, might you ask, have I, along with two buddies, taken my ordinary face and turned it into something extraordinarily *manly* and ruggedly ridiculous? I’m glad you asked.
To change the face of men’s health — specifically to raise awareness about men’s health issues and to raise money to fight cancers that affect men. Just as the pink ribbon has raised awareness about breast cancer, the Movember mustache promotes healthy living among us men — to help us fight back against something that has affected us all.
We all know people we care deeply about who have fought or are fighting cancer. As a result, we’ve all felt the same helplessness watching people we love struggle against a shapeless and relentless foe. Now, with mustache on face, I can do my part, however small (and comical), to fight back. My MOtivation this year is my Uncle Al, who used to rock a sweet horseshoe Mo back in the day.
This Movember over 1 million mo-bro’s and mo-sista’s are participating around the globe! (The sisters are participating in support — most are not actually taking part in the hair growth, I hope.)
You can help us kick cancer where it kicks men by donating to our team Mo Space page (TallyMo). Proceeds benefit Livestrong Foundation (Lance Armstrong’s cancer fighting foundation) & Prostate Cancer Foundation. (This link will take you directly to my donations page and this link will take you to the team’s donation page.)
Join us in raising money for a cause that affects us all. Not just because we are reminding everyone of why most of us don’t grow mustaches year round (see below picture for reminder), but because the fight against cancer isn’t fought on one front alone. Help us ensure that dads, husbands, brothers, sons, uncles, nephews and friends stay healthy and live long lives.
Please consider donating something — $1, $2, $489 — for those you love(d) who have fought, will fight, or are fighting cancer.
Thank you. Not only for making this ridiculous facial hair worth it, but for making a contribution that will help make a difference.
We have got to stop calling the 21st century the “new century”.
It’s 2010, people. We are over 1/10th of the way through it. If people live to be about 80, we don’t call them “new people” when they are 8! They are young, sure, but not new.
(The most recent example I found was in an Education Week commentary by Barbara Chow, who is the director of the education program at the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. She writes, “… participate fully as citizens in the new century.”)
Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer designed a study that neatly highlights how being curious can transform anxiety. She asked a group of volunteers to give unprepared speeches to an audience, and at the same time randomly assigned them to one of three groups. The first group was told not to make mistakes because ‘mistakes are bad’. The second group was told that any mistakes they made would be forgiven. And the third group (in the so-called ‘openness to novelty’ condition) was told they should deliberately make mistakes, then incorporate those mistakes into the speech itself.
The speakers in the last group not only declared themselves more comfortable, their audience also rated them the most composed, effective and intelligent of the three. Langer’s experiment demonstrated that if we can shift our focus from what scares us to what interests us, our inhibitions fall away.
”—This came from an article in Psychologies, “Curiosity: the secret to your success”. The implications of this simple study on education, teaching, and education policy seem obvious and apparent: cultivating curiosity & creating environments safe for uncertainty & mistake making will help both students and teachers be more confident and open to learning.
“Standards define common content and performance expectations for all students in particular grades or age groups. They are derived from analysis of the structure of the core school disciplines and from efforts to reach consensus about societal goals. The content expectations tend to be aspirational, and the expected performance levels tend to be a negotiated balance between the desire to be rigorous and challenging and the need to be realistic in terms of likely failure rates on the assessments used to measure performance. In contrast, learning progressions represent hypotheses about how students’ understanding actually develops given particular instructional experiences, and they can be tested and validated against further empirical observations of the order and rate in which students’ understanding and skill do in fact develop given similar instruction. They also can be modified by evidence on what happens when instruction varies. Instead of making assumptions about what should happen, they focus on what does happen, given variation among students and their instructional opportunities.”—Learning Progressions vs. Standards. From the report, “Learning Progressions in Science, An Evidence-based Approach to Reform" by theConsortium for Policy Research in Education.
You contend that “teachers are treated very well” and cite a healthy paycheck and a robust pension as evidence. I am intrigued by this position.
So here is my challenge to you:
1. In order to characterize teachers as being “treated very well” there must be other examples besides the ample paycheck & pension to substantiate this position. Can you provide some? Extra credit if you can find teachers (retired ones are fine) who support the claim that we are “treated very well” overall.
2. Find an example (or multiple ones if possible) of teachers and/or the teaching profession being positively characterized by major media outlets in the last 6-12 months, examples that make teachers proud to be teachers.
Because I see you as an intelligent and well educated person who is very well informed, I have no doubt you’ll find quality examples. I look forward to what you are able to come up with. Cheers.
what we want to happen and what actually happens are not always the same thing. Spill happens. Things don’t go to plan. Students are not necessarily going to become critical thinkers because we’ve standardized the curriculum, scripted the teachers, and tested the bananas out of them.