praxis effect

expanding ideas & images

Posts tagged education

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Impoverished Early Childhood & PBS

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?

Filed under PBS sesame street leaning early childhood education learning ece

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The problem with multiple choice tests. 
Read question 12 (real question from a real test, issued to students).  
None of the optional answers correspond with areas where trees are actually growing.
Therefore, a student may reason, “Maybe there’s a pollution problem with the island (or too rocky) and trees are not able to grow there. Perhaps the flood plain is regularly flooded and trees are not able to grow there because of the moisture variability. The base of the mountain may be an especially poor place for trees to grow due to frequent rock slides. And with climate change, the mountain top may be suitable habit for trees to grow as the area warms, especially since there are already a number of trees growing on the mountain.” 

The problem with multiple choice tests. 

Read question 12 (real question from a real test, issued to students).  

None of the optional answers correspond with areas where trees are actually growing.

Therefore, a student may reason, “Maybe there’s a pollution problem with the island (or too rocky) and trees are not able to grow there. Perhaps the flood plain is regularly flooded and trees are not able to grow there because of the moisture variability. The base of the mountain may be an especially poor place for trees to grow due to frequent rock slides. And with climate change, the mountain top may be suitable habit for trees to grow as the area warms, especially since there are already a number of trees growing on the mountain.” 

Filed under accountability education standardized test cartography

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The “New” Century

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.”)

Filed under Linguistics, 21st Century Rhetoric education

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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

Filed under Education Learning Progressions Standards

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A Challenge for RiShawn

RiShawn,

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. 

Filed under Education teaching teachers Education Reform