Archive of ‘pedagogy’ category

education issues around election and charter schools

Peter Greene: What This Election Means for Schools

Trump’s education proposal is short but simple:

More school choice (a.k.a. “open the corporate charter floodgates”).

Merit pay for teachers (a.k.a. “we’ll pay them just what we think they’re worth and they’ll like it”).

End tenure (a.k.a. “You’re fired whenever the mood hits me”).

If Hillary is elected, we can expect more of the Obama style of reform. He deduces this from the advisors who are close to her, mostly from the Center for American Progress.

Bottom line: Trump will run over the schools like a steamroller, flattening them along with their teachers. He endorses vouchers, charters, online charters, anything goes.

Clinton is likely to be akin to Obama/Duncan in advancing charter schools and testing.

REIGN OF ERROR By Diane Ravitch
Ravitch writes that the “the transfer of public funds to private management and the creation of thousands of deregulated, unsupervised, and unaccountable schools have opened the public coffers to profiteering, fraud, and exploitation by large and small entrepreneurs.”
The public school system, Ravitch argues, is under attack from corporate interests and Wall Street crusaders seeking to make a buck off the American taxpayer. The reformers, Ravitch writes, are an insurgency in America’s schools, “a deliberate effort to replace public education with a privately managed, free-market system of schooling.”

Accountant Reconsiders Plea in Online Charter School Founder’s Tax Fraud

By Richard Chang 09/19/16

Zygmunt Bauman Social media are a trap

Zygmunt Bauman: “Social media are a trap.”The Polish-born sociologist is skeptical about the possibilities for political change

Since developing his theory of liquid modernity in the late 1990s – which describes our age as one in which “all agreements are temporary, fleeting, and valid only until further notice” – he has become a leading figure in the field of sociology.
Q. You are skeptical of the way people protest through social media, of so-called “armchair activism,” and say that the internet is dumbing us down with cheap entertainment. So would you say that the social networks are the new opium of the people?
A. The question of identity has changed from being something you are born with to a task: you have to create your own community. But communities aren’t created, and you either have one or you don’t. What the social networks can create is a substitute. The difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, but a network belongs to you. You feel in control. You can add friends if you wish, you can delete them if you wish. You are in control of the important people to whom you relate. People feel a little better as a result, because loneliness, abandonment, is the great fear in our individualist age. But it’s so easy to add or remove friends on the internet that people fail to learn the real social skills, which you need when you go to the street, when you go to your workplace, where you find lots of people who you need to enter into sensible interaction with. Pope Francis, who is a great man, gave his first interview after being elected to Eugenio Scalfari, an Italian journalist who is also a self-proclaimed atheist. It was a sign: real dialogue isn’t about talking to people who believe the same things as you. Social media don’t teach us to dialogue because it is so easy to avoid controversy… But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face. Social media are very useful, they provide pleasure, but they are a trap.

digital humanities resources

more on digital humanities in this IMS blog:

augmented reality by ISTE

4 AR tools to build executive function and engagement

Luis Perez and Kendra Grant 7/23/2015
Topics: Assistive and adaptive technologies, Augmented reality, Learning spaces, Mobile learning, Tools

the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework, which aims to develop expert learners. In addition to removing barriers and making learning accessible to the widest varied of learners possible, UDL addresses many of the metacognitive and self-efficacy skills associated with becoming an expert learner, including:

Executive functions. These cognitive processes include initiation, goal setting, attention, planning and organization.

Comprehension skills. This skillset encompasses knowledge construction, making connections, developing strategies and monitoring understanding.

Engagement principles. These soft skills include coping, focus, resilience, effort, persistence, self-assessment and reflection.

QR codes

AR apps : two types of AR apps: those for experience and for creation. Experience AR apps, such as Star Walk, are designed to provide the user with an AR experience within a specific content or context. Creation AR apps, such as BlippAR and Aurasma, allow users to create their own AR experiences.

Posters : To support comprehension and metacognitive skills, images related to classroom topics, or posters related to a process could serve as the trigger image.

iBeacons : Beacon technology, such as iBeacon, shares some similarities with QR codes and AR, as it is a way to call up digital content from a specific spot in the physical world. However, unlike QR codes and AR, you do not have to point your device at a code or use a trigger image to call up content with iBeacon. Your device will automatically sync when it is near a beacon, a small device that emits a low-power Bluetooth signal, if you have an iBeacon-enabled app. The beacon then automatically launches digital content, such as a video, audio file or webpage. Beacon technology is well suited for center-based activities, as you can set up the app to trigger instructions for each center, exemplars of what the finished work will look like and/or prompts for the reflection when the center’s activity has been completed.

More on QR codes in this IMS blog:

Teaching Culturally Diverse Learners

Strategies for Teaching Culturally Diverse Learners

February 28, 2016 in Volume 6, Dr. Hope J. Hartman

the author explores the importance of understanding the multidimensional of cultural diversity and inclusion and how this understanding can be used by professors and instructors to more effectively develop varied instructional strategies which will allow them to teach with better cultural responsiveness. The author describes a variety of approaches she has used in highly diverse classrooms with undergraduate and graduate teacher education students.

Teaching with cultural responsiveness means applying strategies for culturally responsive teaching in my own courses. Teaching for cultural responsiveness means that students, pre and in-service teachers, should implement culturally responsive teaching strategies with their own preK-12 or higher education students.


Both pre and in-service teachers are aware of culturally specific behavioral norms that result in discrepancies between the culture of many black students and the culture of the classroom. To address this gap, my students learn strategies for “culturally responsive social skills instruction” specifically designed for black adolescent males


Learning about this research helps students realize that even when they think that they are being responsive to cultural differences, they might be blinded by a cultural lens of invalid assumptions, causing them to lose sight of important cultural differences that can affect thinking and learning.

Cultural Identity

Everyone should realize that cultural stereotypes affecting identity go beyond race and ethnicity. For many people, their identity as adults is defined by their careers.

Gender identity/sexual orientation

Making LGBTQ resources and discussions a formal part of the curriculum helps to create a safe and accepting environment for the LGBTQ community, including not only people who identify as such, but also their parents, relatives, friends and teachers.

Special needs learners


RTTT versus NCLB

John King is trying to repair the Obama administration’s frayed relationship with teachers

February 20

In one of his first major speeches as acting U.S. secretary of education, John King apologized to teachers for the role that the federal government has played in creating a climate in which teachers feel “attacked and unfairly blamed.”

Race to the Top, abbreviated R2T, RTTT or RTT

More on NCLB in this blog:

pedagogy across disciplines

This article pleads for a consideration what now is a full-blown reform in Finland (replacing subjects with topics) and seriously considered in the UK, as reported in this IMS blog:

Broadening Pedagogical Knowledge by Learning from Other Disciplines

By: January 20th, 2016

there’s a long-standing and still fairly widely held belief that the teaching needed for a particular kind of content is unique. Unless you know the content, you can’t know how to teach it.

What and how we teach are linked, but there are other connections besides those between method and material, and those connections aren’t all unique to the discipline. All (well, almost all) teachers want students engaged, and student engagement in physics and philosophy doesn’t look all that different. All teachers are concerned with classroom management issues. If students are dealing more with their phones than the material, the content is irrelevant. All teachers have a responsibility to prevent cheating. All teachers aspire to use fair and equitable grading practices. Course design principles transcend disciplines. The features of a good multiple-choice question are not discipline specific. And then there are those student characteristics that challenge teachers in every field: passivity, lack of motivation, low self-esteem, less than adequate study skills, and excessive grade-orientation start the list.

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