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employee-voice

I have been writing in social media about education and changes in education for about a decade at this point in time. One of my observations, as I enter discussions with educators in various parts of the country, is that many educators bring up problems within their own districts that were discussed in detail and often resolved in many other districts a number of years ago. There are topics and ideas brought up that social media has introduced, discussed, and developed as influential game-changers that seem to be new topics to many educators. As professionals, educators need to be better informed of changes and trends within their own profession. This is not a passive effort. It requires educators to continually seek out and self-educate themselves on what is relevant in education. Providing this information does not seem to be a function of the school districts’ administrations, or unfortunately, many teacher preparation programs provided by colleges.

There was a time in education when educators were given what they needed to teach, as well as what methods to use in order to do it. The influence of technology on society has changed that dynamic. Change comes faster than any other time in history making it more difficult to stay relevant. Social media however, has given voice to any individual willing to express it. Responses to change are most often discussed in Blog posts. Blogs are great indicators of how people respond to change, as well as possibly affecting a positive spin on those same changes. For the most part this has been a good thing, but there have been a number of setbacks along the way. The idea of having voice works best if those individuals expressing that voice have an in-depth knowledge about what they are voicing. Easy access to publish that voice complicates this. Unfortunately, in addition to knowledgeable bloggers, others have equal access in publishing their ideas. Any idiot can write a blog post, and almost every idiot does. How do educators find blogs to read in the first place and secondly which blogs are of value?

There are many bloggers out there who are currently educators. There are also many bloggers who have left the profession with a great deal of experience. Education bloggers come from all areas of education. A good way to check the background of a blogger is to go to their “About Page” on their blog. Looking over past posts is also a good indication of who the blogger is and what he or she thinks.

Once a good blogger is found, it is a great idea to follow the blog. Often the blogger will also be on Twitter, so following the blogger on Twitter as well is a good idea, because tweeting after all is micro-blogging.

Finding blogs is fairly easy to do. Twitter offers an almost endless stream of links to blog posts making each post a click away. There is also FLIPBOARD, a free mobile application that can personalize preferences to provide blog posts in magazine form that addresses those interests. Again, provided summaries of each post is a click away from the complete work. ASCDEdge is a site that provides hundreds of Blog Posts from educators. There are also Blog depositories on The Educators PLN, Classroom2.0, and The English Companion to name just a few. TEACH100 is a site that describes the top education blog sites with a brief description of each. Again the current blog post is a simple click away.

As easy as all of this is to find, read, and follow blog posts, it would seem that the vast majority of educators fail to do so. Many posts have view counters on them indicating the number of times each post is viewed. The most popular posts may often have several thousands of views. This sounds like a great number until we consider the several million educators in America alone. How can a profession of several million educators expect to keep up with the most current thought leadership within their profession if only the tiniest fraction of its members are trying to maintain any relevance? It is great that educators now have the ability to digitally share their voice, but it doesn’t mean much if no one is there to listen. Maybe we need relevant educators to print out posts to share with their colleagues. 20th Century solutions might be what are needed to bring some folks into the 21st Century.

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Inigo and word meaning

As with many words, the word “connected “ can be used for many things. At one point in time “being connected” implied a criminal connection to some sort of organized crime. Being connected has also meant having ties to the higher ups in an organization for the purpose of favors and perks. The word connection, simply stated, means to be united, or linked.

At one point in history for people to connect with each other they had to be face to face. That changed when writing letters was introduced and used on a greater scale to connect many more people. Communications took another leap with the telephone being used to connect people in even greater numbers. Cell phones have taken all of this to another dimension. Yes, we have had connections and connected people from the beginning of humanity.

As to the quality of connections, that varies, depending on how connected people really want to be. When people work on their connections, they do evolve into relationships. For the record here, we are limiting this to intellectual relationships. There are many professions in which success is based on successful connections, or relationships between the professional and another individual, be it a patient, client, student, or colleague. Of all the existing, or potential connections that people have, or may have, they all vary in degrees of success in terms of relationships from poor to great.

Now let’s jump to a 21st Century model of education in a Tech-driven culture. A model within a society that is dependent on computers in almost every industry and service in order to function. A population where a work force at all levels increasingly needs to be digitally literate for employment. A population in this computer-driven society is enduring change, which is occurring at a pace never before experienced in history. Information and content change, or are created in an instant every day in the year. An education system, designed for a world two centuries prior to this, is trying to, at the very least, cope and at best, effectively deal with the new dynamics. Educators either reject, struggle, work at moving forward, or are comfortable with the new literacy required to deal with this new dynamic.

The term “connected educator” in this context refers to educators who are exploring or embracing the development of collegial sources and access to all sources through connections made using technology. They are not abandoning their face-to-face connections. They are still maintaining relationships with colleagues in their buildings and district, and they still maintain connections with students and parents. They are expanding their reach however to global connections made possible through technology. They are taking advantage of the ability to connect with a vast array of education experts in order to improve their own expertise in education. They are connecting with authors, thought leaders and lead learners around the world in order to achieve this. We call these collaborative innovators, “connected educators”. Their number is growing and we call this a “connected community”.

Individuals in this “connected community” of educators are directing their own learning to meet their needs. They are exploring experiences of other educators to build on their own innovation. They are being exposed to new ideas and innovation from other connected educators daily. They are each developing Personalized Learning Networks to improve their personal skills and abilities to advance their profession. They are creating a relevant and meaningful environment in which their students may learn. These educators are modeling the mindset and tools of a 21st Century learner to the very people who will grow up and need to thrive in that Century.

In discussions of the “connected educator” in various blog posts, we should not need to redefine it time and again. It is an established term and it should be recognized after years of being used. We need not be reminded that there are other forms of connectedness. We need not hear how there is more to life than technology. We are probably all in agreement on all of those points. Do not diminish what educators are trying to do to advance their profession and our kids’ educations by using technology to learn, communicate, and create. Connected educators are a growing community in a continually, rapidly changing world. It is a world where once Tech was a choice for educators, but now Tech has become a large part of learning through collaboration and creation. Digital Literacy is still a choice for many educators, but it has never been a choice for their students. This is not a debate. Digital literacy is essential for educators. Being a connected educator is being a relevant educator. If we are to better educate our kids, we must first better educate their educators. Welcome to the 21st Century educators!

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As educators one would expect that teachers and teacher/administrators should be experts on the best most effective and efficient methods of getting large groups of children to understand, learn, and use information responsibly to create more information. Theoretically, these educators have an understanding of pedagogy and methodology in order to accomplish these goals. I firmly believe most educators have these very skills to accomplish this with kids.

A question that haunts me however, at almost any education conference that I attend is: Why are so many (not all) of these educators, who are so skilled in a classroom of kids, so bad at teaching in a room full of adults for professional development?

The obvious answer may be that children have a motivation to learn that is different from adults. I have addressed this in a previous post, Pedagogy vs. Andragogy.

According to an article, “Adult Learning Theory and Principles” from The Clinical Educator’s Resource Kit, Malcolm Knowles, an American practitioner and theorist of adult education, defined andragogy as “the art and science of helping adults learn”.

Knowles identified the six principles of adult learning as:

  • Adults are internally motivated and self-directed
  • Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences
  • Adults are goal oriented
  • Adults are relevancy oriented
  • Adults are practical
  • Adult learners like to be respected

If we consider these adult motivations in terms of presenting for the purpose of professional development for educators, it is obvious that presentations should not be the conventional “sit and get” Power Point extravaganzas that we have come to recognize as commonplace at education conference sessions. It would also rule out those very inspirational TED Talks as real tools for adult learning.

An adult will get a great deal more if he/she is part of the presentation as a conversationalist. In that way they will be respected and able to not only impart their expertise, and experiences, but also address their specific needs on the topic. This makes the session personally relevant and more self-directed. Another important part of adult learning is to be able to learn something today that can be used tomorrow.

This is not a format unfamiliar to educators. It is probably the key to the success of the Edcamp movement. All of the Edcamp sessions are guided conversations. It is also a key factor in the Education Twitter chats that happen globally around the clock. Even panel discussions would benefit by limiting the panel discussion time in favor of more audience participation for interactive involvement. This would extend, or, in some cases, create a designated question and answer portion with every panel session.

Lecture has a place in any presentation, but how much time it is given even with a glitzy Power Point Presentation should be a major concern of any presenter. The goal in professional development should never be to show how much the speaker has learned, but how much we can get the participants to learn.

Maybe when local, state, and national conferences call for RFP’s for sessions in their conferences, they should have an audience participation requirement. That would not be for just responding to questions from the speaker, but rather participatory learning. That participation would require more than passive responses.

This is not easy to do, which makes it uncomfortable, so it will probably not receive a great deal of attention from those who run conferences. It may not receive much attention from those who do district-wide professional development. I do however hope someone pays attention. If in fact our existing professional development strategies were effectively working over the decades that we have been practicing them, we might not be having all of these discussions of education reform that dominate our profession. Our PD efforts are not currently meeting the needs of teachers or administrators. If we are to better educate our children, we must first better educate their educators.

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I was somewhat disturbed about a recent post by a friend and connected colleague concerning the state of Twitter and its use by some individuals in what is now fast becoming the education social media culture. My friend seemed to be longing for the “good ole days” of Twitter when it was smaller numbers and people knew their place in their interacting with others. I remember those days as well, since I was on Twitter years before my friend. I think my perspective and take-aways on this are a little different.

I see the benefits of having a collaborative tool like Twitter to improve the profession of teaching. Twitter enables educators to easily and quickly exchange content in the form of links to other educators. The very things that need to be exchanged for collaboration include: articles, posts, movies, podcasts, websites, whitepapers, videos, interviews, and now even books. Twitter is not the format that one uses for exchanging ideas requiring deep thought and reflective exchanges. Twitter does however enable educators to drive traffic to places where those exchanges may take place. I personally do not consider Twitter as a form of Professional Development, but rather a bulletin board that directs folks to the places that they can get personalized professional development. It is that ability for educators to self-direct their intellectual growth and skill improvement that has led me to push to grow this social media culture for many years now.

Back in the day before Twitter there was little transparency in education. Teachers were trained in education courses from colleges, many of which were slow to change from 19th and 20th century models of teaching. They were then placed in a job that was governed by the culture of the school to which they were assigned. Collaboration, to whatever level it existed, was limited to a building or district. Those educators who were invited to attend them attended education conferences. It was also a matter of whom the budget allowed for conference attendance. The speakers at these conferences were often administrators who brought along their lead learners to share their best and most progressive lessons in sessions with others. Keynotes or highlighted session speakers were often celebrities, authors, administrators, consultants, vendors, or even politicians. Social Media has changed that for educators. Educators, many of whom gained prominence by sharing with others through social media, are dominating today’s conferences.

Sharing Is Not Bragging. The whole condemnation of self-promotion is a little ridiculous since to a degree everyone on social media self-promotes in order to get their message out to a larger audience. Using your voice to a limited audience seems counter productive. There are some who do it too often, but it is a public platform. We can’t regulate what others tweet. Of course the irony of many bloggers writing about, or condemning self-promotion is that they often self-promote within their own blogs or tweets to drive traffic to their posts. It is the best way to share ideas with a larger audience. Yes, there are “Rock Star” educators on Twitter, but that more often comes from sharing great ideas. If I might indulge in some self-promotion here; I direct you to A Rock Star, not by choice.

I hate that we have, what I refer to as, Drive-by presenters at conferences. They fly in for a session or keynote and fly out immediately after their delivery. The fact of the matter is that they did share needed info with a larger audience and as much as I hate their not sharing further with more personal interactions with conference participants, they do offer what people often need to hear. That is the goal we want to achieve.

My friend also seemed to be down on those who only RT tweets. Re-Tweeting serves several purposes. First it allows novice tweeters to somewhat engage in Twitter as they learn the culture. I RT frequently when I find great tweets so that my followers, who may not have gotten that tweet, may benefit from it. Yes, there are some who never get beyond the RT phase of tweeting, but that is their choice and loss. We need not judge them for that. I also discovered the power of an RT lies in how good the original Tweet is. If one RT’s really smart Tweets from really smart people, She/he is credited for that tweet and those smarts, as well as the original tweeter. It does build a following, but if it is not followed by original thoughtful tweets, that following may be short-lived.

One other thing that we must all keep in mind is that Twitter is Social Media. That word “social” opens the door for folks to talk about whatever the hell they want to talk about. Most of my followers know my Friday’s are Pizza and wine nights. That has nothing to do with education, but everything to do with me. Twitter is based on relationships. Often those relationships come with more than just exchanging links.

An important fact that my friend overlooked in the post is that we each have a responsibility to pick and choose that we trust to follow in our personalized learning networks. That is what makes them personalized. I would suggest to anyone who uses Twitter, that if for any reason someone does not strike a chord with you, UNFOLLOW him or her. I would also caution you to maintain people who disagree, as opposed to those who are just being obnoxious. That disagreement will promote deeper reflection on the very things you need to reflect on. That is why I read posts that I do not always agree with.

The very strength of Twitter comes from it being open. It affords access and transparency to education that has never been afforded before. It is also new to many educators who need time to adjust and fit in. We best serve our followers by modeling Twitter the best way that we can, but we can’t tell others what they must do to fit in. Eventually, everyone will get it. We must be tolerant of those who get it but choose to game the system. This sounds like real life outside the classroom. Control and compliance don’t seem to fit into social media. What is different is that we can pick and choose who to follow and how much to engage them. It’s all about the personal learning. By the way this is just my opinion and has no direct bearing on whatever you choose to do in your social media interactions.

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I watched a Ted-Talk recently where the speaker addressed innovation in education. The focus of the talk was on a proposed solution to the problems in education. It boiled down to a lack of innovation in education. The speaker correctly pointed out that classrooms in the US have not substantially changed in a century. In talks that I have done, I often make the same point. I show a slide of an operating room from the early 1950’s and then a slide of one in this Century. The changes are breathtaking. In comparison I then show a slide of a 19th century classroom followed by a typical classroom today. In the latter slide the desks lack inkwells, but the rows, as well as most of the surroundings remain the same. The impact of those pictures causes laughter from educators, which seemed to come from recognition, embarrassment, nervousness, frustration and resignation that this indefensible condition is not changing any time soon.
The Ted-Talk speaker went on to suggest that a solution would be to bring into the education system more individuals with less of an education background to present and introduce more innovation. She also pointed to what she referred to as the successes of Teach for America in doing just that. Of course the successes and failures of Teach for America would be the stuff of another post, so I will not enter that quagmire here. My objection to the speaker’s position is that we need not bring in outside innovators to the education system in order to insure innovation. Educators are among the smartest and most educated people in America. Many educators are natural innovators. The success of many educators is a direct result of their innovation in the classroom. It is not for lack of innovators that the system has not sufficiently evolved over the Centuries to adjust and remain relevant; it is the system itself that limits change.
As I speak to many new teachers around the country about their teacher preparation, I am struck by how underprepared many of these kids were when they were sent out to seek employment. It almost seems that the plan is to teach the same basic pedagogy and methodology to be used within a walled classroom that has been employed over the centuries. The hope seems to be that when the student gets a job, his/her employer will mold them into master teachers. To an extent that is true, because the culture of any school or district has a great influence over the development of a young teacher. Schools with effective mentorship programs have a very positive effect.
Often however, those school cultures are steeped in traditions. The long-standing position is usually: this is the way we have always done it, so we will continue to do so. I have seen many pre-service teachers held back from implementing new proven innovative lessons just because it had never been done in that school before and people feared possible consequences. That is not a culture open to any innovator. Compliance is also a big part of many school cultures. Students must be compliant to the teacher, and teachers must be compliant to the administrators, and the head administrator must be compliant to the board. So it is written, and so it shall be done! This is hardly an atmosphere for any innovation to be successful wherever the innovator comes from.
In the history of charter schools they were supposed to be incubators for innovation. The reason charters were exempt from so many mandates, rules, and requirements was to allow innovation to flourish. Of course innovation takes time and time is money, so given the choice between profits or innovation the bottom line must produce a profit. It is just business. So much for Charter school innovation.
Teachers themselves are not blameless in this system of stagnation. Too many are comfortable with what they are doing and how they are doing it. Innovation requires people to leave their areas of comfort. Many hold to these comfort zones even at the expense of the education of their students. If the ways of old were good enough for the teacher, they should be good enough for the student. The focus of teaching kids to live in their world moving forward to their future is lost to accommodate teachers comfortable with their own past. No, this is not true of all teachers, but it should not be the position of any teacher or administrator.
Now we come to standardization. That in itself suggests that innovation has little place in a system that is trying to get everyone on the same page. Of course innovation can address that and it would probably help educators reach their goals more effectively and efficiently if it were supported. The standardized tests however that are a mandated result of standardization are used to force teachers to comply with the tried and true methods of test preparation at the expense of time for any innovation. To insure that teachers adhere to the testing priorities, someone decided to tie teacher evaluations to student performance on standardized tests. That “advance in education” was not innovation’s finest hour. Again, this is yet another counter-productive move in support of innovation in education.
When it comes to innovation in education, there are many educators who have great ideas that could effectively change the “what” and “how” of learning. Many teachers are well aware of the myths of education that are so blindly believed and supported by non-educators, as well as those in control of the system. To effectively innovate in an antiquated system, we do not need outside innovators, but rather our own educated innovative educators to enter the discussion of education. We need a system that not only asks for innovation, but one that welcomes and supports it. We must change the culture before we change the system or it will not matter whom we go to in order to find innovation for relevant education.

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This is probably the wrong time to sit down and address what has just happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. All of the details are not yet out, but the news media has made many statements and assumptions that seem to hold up myths about schools that we continue to hear each time another of this growing number of horrendous incidents explodes on the TV screen. Reporters continue to ask the question, “Were all of the security and safety measures in place and adhered to?”

Here is a fact: Video cameras, Buzzers on doors, People sitting at desks in the hallways of schools, even metal detectors are not security against an armed attacker. The people maintaining these items could very well be the first victims of the assault. These measures and methods taken by schools are to give an illusion of safety to caring parents and teachers. It is an assurance that schools are seemingly doing something to protect children. None of these measures however, protect children from an armed intruder bent on killing as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. In terms of schools, we must understand the people we refer to are children.

In my lifetime these tragic attacks have occurred at the college, high school, middle school and now at the elementary school level. Most recently, they also occurred at a movie theater  shopping mall and a political open air, town hall gathering complete with a congresswoman. After each of those incidents the idea of discussion about the problem for some reason had to be put off for a few months before we could talk about it. I did not understand it then, and I do not understand it now. We need to see this as a problem. We can’t wait until we add a pre-school, or a maternity ward to the long and growing list of places where kids are being killed. This incident is now listed as number 5 in the Top school shootings. What civilized, educated country has a list like that? How long is that list?

The Terrorists of 911 have changed how we all travel today. Measures are taken to prevent weapons being taken aboard planes. Yes we are inconvenienced and many of us complain every time we go through those long lines. We comply, because it is reasonable, and it insures our right and freedom to travel. One imbecilic terrorist made an unsuccessful attempt to use a shoe bomb and today, and every day, any American boarding a plane takes off his/her shoes. We all complain about that, but it is a reasonable sacrifice for safety. The cost of us learning this lesson of reasonableness about safety and security in the air came at a huge price to our country. It took well over 3,000 lives in NYC, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.

What is the total number of dead children that we need to get to before we can begin discussions to change what we are doing now? Obviously, what we are doing is not working. We need to have a discussion based on facts and not rhetoric. Too many of the facts about guns and their control have been distorted by too many people and a few organizations, well healed with the ability to put out misinformation and propaganda. We need critical thinking skills to sort through all of the BS. We need honesty, clarity and focus. We cannot start from a position stating that “nothing can be done”.  If we ask, how do we prevent another incident where 20 children, ages 5-10, and 8 adults being killed in an elementary school in a matter of minutes. How can an educated civilized culture accept that “nothing can be done” as an answer? If the solution doesn’t begin NOW with US, when will it begin? Is there an actual number of dead children that is a tipping point? More importantly, are my kids going to be in that number? Are yours?

I believe in the constitution, and I believe in the Second amendment. I believe that citizens have the right too own guns. I also believe that right comes with a very big responsibility. Not everyone is responsible. Not everyone is mentally stable enough to be held responsible. I believe that we can regulate guns with commonsense laws in consideration of the facts, and not the rhetoric. I believe that reasonable people can look at real facts and come to reasonable conclusions that can lead to reasonable controls. The process however must begin with discussion. That almost never happens after these horrific events. There will be blog posts like this, editorials, documentaries, and maybe a “60 Minutes” segment, but probably no real substantive, focused meaningful discussion to protect kids will ever take place in the political arena. Politicians need to put the right to life for our kids first. The discussions will move to protect the rights of people who may not capable of responsibility to hold in their hands the lives of our children. If not now, when? If not us, who?

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A personal observation: Back when I began my early education, the year was 1952. I don’t believe Pre-K even existed back then, so I started my education in Kindergarten. There is no doubt in my mind that in my early education I was exposed to educators who were students of a 19th Century education. Those teachers were teaching content to kids using methods they had learned in the 1800’s. Content back then was more solid and more trustworthy. Things did not change. Encyclopedias, the source of information back then, were very dependable. Encyclopedias were infrequently updated by today’s standards. I think the update cycle was about every six years. Yearbook editions filled in the gaps each year and they usually came out the year after the date of the title. It took at least a year to print, so content was dated on the first day any encyclopedia was opened, so relevance was never an issue. Even the news cycle was slow-paced. Newspapers and magazines had to wait at least 24 hours before they could address any change or present anything new.

The pace for 19th Century educators preparing kids for the 20th Century was much slower. It was easy to address change because teachers had time to absorb change and mull it over before they had to present it. Change had the luxury of being able to be pondered before acceptance. There was no rush. . As long as things in the system worked, we continued to do the same things over and over.

The concept of changing things came when the Russians put up Sputnik. For those who were not around then,that was the first satellite in space. That was when Americans began to ask, “How did this happen?” That was when Americans needed to play catch-up to be relevant. Before Sputnik, we were content with teaching from behind. We were fine with our education system. The system served us well until there was a competition. That is when that American competitive spirit kicked into gear and we were in the “Space Race” with the Russians.

It was time to move out the 19th Century ways, and race to the 20th Century, even though we were over 50 years into it. We ramped things up, and even relevance was not enough; we needed to go beyond relevance to innovation. A mere satellite was not enough, we needed a solid win with a moon landing. The benefits were enormous with Velcro, Tang, and Dried Ice Cream, as well as the NASA space program. Education was now in the 20th Century and we were never going back.

Once the Space Race was over, and we declared ourselves the winners, things began to slow down again. Educators settled in. Innovation was replaced by relevance, but that soon was overtaken by complacency. As long as things in the system worked, we continued to do the same things over and over. Technology, however, had again reared its ugly head. It comes not in the form of a basketball-shaped object hurtling through space, but in the form of digital information and content that dwarfs the total collection of ALL previously printed tomes of knowledge combined. As they were in the late 50’s, educators, the complacent content providers, are again  caught with their pants down.

Again, we needed to call upon the competitive spirit of Americans in order to shake off the shackles of complacency. We needed another Space Race. We need some real competition to get educators beyond relevance and into innovation once again. If there is no real competition, we can make one up. We can use education itself as the motivator. We can put educators competing with other educators from around the world to see who will be at the top. That will drive the call to shake off the ways of the 20th Century and teach for the 21st Century even though we are more than a decade into it.

This “Race to the Top” and teaching for the 21st Century are only slogans. They are designed to be reminiscent of “The Race for Space” and “Teaching for the 20th Century”.  That harkens to a time when educators were able to change things up, but it was a different era. We don’t compare modes of transportation from the 20th century to those capabilities of transportation today. A DC 6 airplane cannot be compared to a 747 Jetliner. Why would we expect motivations of the 50’s and 60’s to work today? Slogans and contrived competitions are poor substitutes for relevant professional development.

We can’t expect to teach kids for the 21st century today, because we are over a decade too late. We can’t expect to teach kids for the 21st century with educators in an education system steeped in methods of the 20th Century. We can’t expect to teach kids for the 21st Century with a majority of an educational infrastructure built between 1850 and 1950.

We can expect positive change, if we address these very real issues. We don’t need to teach for the future, we need to concentrate on today, and that requires relevance. Relevance requires continuous development for everyone. Before we can expect innovation, we all have to be on board with relevance. That will require a commitment to professional development. We can’t expect students to be relevant when their teachers are not. We can’t expect skills to be relevant, if the tools for those skills are not. Our culture strives for relevance at every turn except in education. Businesses pay top dollar to be and stay relevant. Relevance is the key to what we have called a modern society.

There is no way for educators who are among the most educated people in our society to stay relevant without continuously learning. It cannot be expected to happen on its own. Learning is not a passive endeavor. Teachers must be professionally developed continually over the course of their careers. It must be part of their work week. It requires a commitment on the part of the schools to provide it, and the teachers to do it. People need to be not only professionally developed, but supported in their efforts to be relevant, in order to move on to innovation. Let’s not teach for a century, but rather teach for now, and the ability to continually learn and adapt. We need our people, adults and children to be able to deal with any century moving forward.

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