Sunday, June 28, 2009

Can public schools fundamentally reinvent themselves?

I arrived a little late at this GREAT conversation led by Jon Becker and Scott McLeod about whether or not schools can reinvent themselves...

Below are my notes: reflections in italics- things that stood out to me in bold.

As I arrived at the session and sat down David Jakes made the statement If we were having this conversation in 1977 would my English class look the same in 2009 as it would in 1977....Do you think 20 years from now it will look the same...20 years from now you may STILL see rows of kids writing essays?
I am concerned that this just may be.  I haven't seen many fundamental changes..perhaps this is why I am getting my admin cert, but I wonder if I (like many others) will get frustrated that I can't instill changes.

Collette Cassinelli brought up this point...what if the kids aren't there---drop out rates have been extraordinary.  It was the feeling of the group that we are now at the beginning of the S-Curve there is innovation happening, but it is just not rapid change...

Sylvia Martinez made a great point...if you go back to 1878 there was a huge social movement that had nothing to do with education that forced the changes...that caused a movement that resulted in the public schools we have today...Sylvia seemed to feel that it will be a social crisis a social problem that will force the change.
Are we there yet?  Are we in that kind of crisis? I don't think we should have to wait for another Sputnik
Tim Stahmer pointed out that in the 1800's the push was as a result of industrial revolution NOW we don't have a focus, it is spreading out it many directions.  It was pointed out however that there is no market in our country for unskilled labor. There is a labor shift but as Tim pointed out it is not as focused as it was during industrial revolution. 

Partnership for 21st c skills is doing that but how many of schools are having these converstations.  Better question still how many are going beyond just talking about it and how do you get them to go there.

Scott Floyd asked whether dcharter schools is going to be the answer

Jon believed that there is an argument that there is a crisis and Scott pointed out that if you look at technology and the globalization that is happening as a result--maybe you could say that...after all, the internet is only a decade old and it is already destroying entire industries: newspaper tv just it may just take a little longer

One of the biggest hot topics that has been nagging at me was brought up by Doug Johnson and that is assessment, you can't have innovation in instruction without innovation of assessment (to which David Jakes pointed out that the curriculum then needed to change too)-  Until we see a model that described an educated person in a variety of ways we are going to continue to have problems

Scott argued that the reason the conversations aren't happening are because the leaders don't get it one of my goals for becoming an instructinal leader...but as Doug pointed out we have never been about changing the status think that schools are an agent for change it fine in our little group, but that in the real world of schools that isn't the case.  Parents are happy with the status quo and Karen Janowski repsonded that parents see school in a certain way we are all the early adopters but we need to influence our parents

Josh Paluch until we start to question the assessment we can't change: pedagogy, curriculum, instruction because administrators are still focused on AYP

David Warlick GREAT analogy of face puzzle there always seems to be something in the way of creating the whole puzzle  Can't come from CHANGING things but doing something brand new.  How can we move into new places not new WAYS new THINGS?

This is what I will spend this conference thinking about.

Adina Sullivan who I got to know last year at NECC reminded us that folks need to see success because they aren't willing to take the leap and take the risk until they see some sense of success.

One example of this was in Oregon where in their college of engineering they started partnering with STEM program to train teachers with tech, robotics partnerships with university can be very powerful because it is seen as OUR problem

Doug standardized tests are not about measuring student achievement they are about discrediting public education so there is more political capital for vouchers and private school: rich in rich schools and poor in poor schools.
BOOK TO CHECK OUT...How Lincoln Learned to Read
Talks about all the things that learned that didn't happen to school
Teaching as a Subversive activity
What other profession stands by and lets what they know isn't working continue to happen...WE have a responsibility. 

I have to say the comment that struck me the most was made by a special Education teacher, Deven Black from New York who said
"The difference between school learning and outside learning- in school you get a grade for it.  In school, we tell them what to learn, and how to learn it...and then fail them when they don't learn it the first time...
Outside they get a second chance..."

Wow..pretty powerful and exactly what I see with my own son's learning.  He will fail over and over on a video game until he is successful

In what other profession do we neglect our clients?  It all comes down to what the goal of education is...perhaps we need to come up with a better goal...

A little later on I attended a session where I didn't take many notes but there was a representative from the National School Boards Association who asked us tgh think about what we need in schools
what kind of policies do we have we don't have
what do we as a group do to push it forward
Penalty has to be more than
Jgates I want board that is knowledgeable, well read and URGENT
cippa coppsa understood

Making business with the public more transparent
Immerse them slowly into hot water and give them PD
Educational networking & social learning
I am sure I have much more to learn and think about but I know that I want to be a part of the solution

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1 comment:

  1. Some of these quotes really struck home, thank you for bringing them to my attention. I wholehearted agreed with the assessment issue. Learning Technologies cannot change education until education changes how it views assessment. The question is - does education want to change?