MODULE 8 – FINAL PORTFOLIO BLOG

This has been an incredibly hectic course! I started out the course feeling in control, and quickly became in over my head as I continued throughout. I battled with keeping up with assignment due dates and deadlines, because most of my other classes were pretty self-paced and gave me a time period to complete the assignments, and as Dr.Gusa got sick throughout the course and sometimes graded things late, I started to get comfortable with working at my own pace which ended up biting my ass in the end. I had to submit things last minute, and ended up forgetting to cite properly and I eventually got written up for plagiarism. That’s my first ever educational offense, but I’m taking it as a major wake up call. I got so wound up in work, and trying to please my employers, and trying to keep up with 5 other classes, 2 of them being writing intensive, one of them reading intensive; my life spun out of control before me. In the beginning of the semester, I put together some really good pieces of work for this class, I tried to show effort and exemplify my hard work. I learned after taking this class that It is important to find balance before taking on so much, because I took this class as an elective, and it’s going to be the first class that I ever got below a C in. Next time around I am definitely going to take a less intense elective, because education just isn’t for me. I did learn some valuable things throughout the course that included different philosophies on education and its principals, different methods of effective teaching, and I got to understand the real power of a teacher. I wanted to say that I came out of this course a winner, but in terms of transformation, I don’t think this class helped me transform myself for the better. I struggled with this class the most, and when I did the work I enjoyed doing it, its not that the work was too hard, but I needed a lot more spare time in my days which are usually busy at work, working to help support my Mom. In my introduction post to the course I mentioned that I work full time and have a maxed out full time course load at college. If I found the balance for this class ahead of time, I definitely would be able to say that I came out of this class a winner, and that I transformed. The assignment that I completed in this course that I am most prideful for was the letter to the president of SUNY Central about standardized testing. I believe that that post helped me express my frustration to the president about how I and multiple other students do not agree with his new policy. I found assignments like that to be incredibly engaging, because we get to posit our opinion with what we’ve learned to create an assignment that could possibly make a change. I enjoyed this course, I just wish that I took it with less of a course load, so that I could complete the work more intimately.

Module 7

Approach is a nationally used, researched backed way of teaching that Improves students’ social and academic skills and raises teachers’ instructional quality. Coming to the end of the course, we embraced and created an “ideal school”. According to Rachael Kessler (the author of “The Soul of Education), “the body of the child will not grow if it is not fed; the mind will not flourish unless it is stimulated and guided. And the spirit will suffer if it is not nurtured. Inquiry groups give educators regularly scheduled time away from their classrooms to talk about their collective understandings. (TCW 291) When speaking of the soul, we are thinking about the inner life of students learning spaces are significant for the learner to learn. (Barbara Bray) I would like to relate my quote to a quote that Samantha used in her Discussion Post, After all, learning spaces are all about design. Design encourages creativity and innovation (Bray, n.d.) We were given a discussion assignment to build the kind of school where I would have flourished, and I was to share my ideas for my school and back up my ideas with research. Misty’s Discussion Post was really fun to read, I love how she quoted and agreed with one of the readings in the reading folder she said ” I agree with the Albany Free School that they “operate from the basic belief that learning happens all the time and everyone learns in different ways some kids tend to be more visual and others more auditory, some learn best from books and others need to be more hands-on” (Albany Free School). I didn’t get a chance to do Either the Adventure Study Drop Box, nor the Dream School post because I hadn’t payed attention to the due-dates, and it was my error for not putting my EDUC homework in my planner (which I thought I already had done). I’m taking plenty of other writing intensive courses at the moment so I was bound to loose track at some point. I would have had no problem completing the assignment on time, most of my assignments make it in before the due date, but unfortunately given my circumstances I was already graded with an F for the missing works.  I will gladly accept any extra credit I can complete to help raise my average. I too can appreciate Karen’s discussion post of her dream school structure from a sarcastic and ironic perspective pertaining to the part where she mentioned “students will have due dates when things are to be completed by, but it will be up to the student to decide when to do it. So there will be different students working on different assignments through the day”. I can appreciate the thought of doing work at my own time and pace but all the assignments collectively having one due date. That way I have a greater time-span!

Works Cited

Teaching to Change the World, Oakes J, Anderson L, Lipton M, Stillman J, 2012

“Albany Free School”. (Module 7*)

Rethinking Learning, Barbara Bray, Visualizing Leanrning Spaces, August 9, 2013 Retrieved from https://canton.sln.suny.edu/section/content/default.asp?WCI=pgDisplay&WCU=CRSCNT&ENTRY_ID=4EA637E07D914407ABD7E8E61BF2D2D5

The Responsive Classroom, Jonathan Cohan, Adjunct Professor in Psychology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University; Adjunct Professor in Education, School of Professional Studies, City University of New York Retrieved from https://canton.sln.suny.edu/section/content/default.asp?WCI=pgDisplay&WCU=CRSCNT&ENTRY_ID=C3C104C93B5C40F89572A3E59F9B9A30

Rachel Kessler, The Soul of Education, 2000

 

Self Assessment: A

 

Module 6 Blog Post

Bill Ayers once said “Standardized tests can’t measure initiative, creativity, imagination, conceptual thinking, curiosity, effort, irony, judgment, commitment, nuance, good will, ethical reflection, or a host of other valuable dispositions and attributes. What they can measure and count are isolated skills, specific facts and function, content knowledge, the least interesting and least significant aspects of learning.” Differences between students is often neutral, but schools almost always place a positive or negative value on those differences. (TCW 167). This module considered assessment, both traditional and alternative, with a special focus on standardized testing. Rachel made a great reference to singer –Furthermore, even when many students understand the course material, test anxiety can negatively affect scores.  Recently, some parents have chosen to opt their children out of state testing (Singer 2015).– I think everyone related to test anxiety and “off-days” in their posts. Academic success in the U.S. is determined by the outcomes of standardized tests given to students. I considered if these tests assess students’ academic abilities, and how they unfairly hurt vulnerable populations. According to an article on ProCon.org, each state spent over $1 billion on standardized testing in schools in 2008 (http://bit.ly/1E9FBvM). An article in the Washington Post suggest taking the money invested in testing, and reinvest it into better learning environments for children. Standardized testing rely on a particular “technology”—a defined set of practices, rules, and standards for test construction and administration. (TCW 207). Mary Katherine made a great reference on her page —“High-stakes testing turns many classrooms and schools into test prep centers rather than offering rich, engaging, well-rounded instruction. Rote and narrow instruction bores and alienates students, making them tune out and feel they are little more than their scores (FairTest, 2004).”  (Fair Test, 2010)– Sometimes acting on high expectations requires teachers to challenge “normal” procedures that reflect institutionalized low expectations. (TCW 171)

Works Cited:

Oakes, J., Lipton, M., Anderson, L., & Stillman, J. (2013). History and Culture. In Teaching to Change the World 4th ed.. Boulder, Colo.: Paradigm Publishers.

Sylvan Learning glossary, retrieved online, source no longer available

Popham, W.J. (1999). Why standardized tests don’t measure educational quality.Educational Leadership, 56(6), 8–15.

 

Blog Module 5

Reflect on your learning thus far:

So far we learned about school culture, different policies and practices that embody educators attempts to satisfy the high expectations placed on public schools. We learned about the importance of education and in this module the importance of teaching!

Publish a post on your edublog, sharing your thoughts and insights gleaned in this module. What is the central thought that you are trying to understand. What are the ideas and theories that are influencing your thinking?

So this module the central focus was about becoming an effective teacher.  I learned that feeling safe in an environment where everyone feels equal greatly effects the way a student learns especially when it comes to reading instruction. After reading the text, I agree with Ability grouping. Ability grouping is generally within the classroom or by separating students into classrooms based on ability. It is also important to remain aware of social and racial biases when classifying characteristics in different labeled groups. Children need to have positive experiences in elementary school.

 

 What are the connections you are making?

I could relate to ability grouping in the readings, and quoting from my forum post, When I was in elementary school, we would separate ourselves in table groups based off of our GPA’s. Each group was given a title, ranking them where they belonged in the GPA hierarchy. (The Millionaires, Middle-Class, Low-Class, Poor) Almost every kid in that class competed to get into the “Millionaires” Table group, but it was a great scheme to motivate us to achieve higher grades. “A teacher that can get a student at a young age to realize the value in learning and a solid education is doing a great service not only to that child, but also to society in general” (School-Dee.com).

What discussions and activities engaged your learning?

My philosophy on education exists with my ideas combined with others. I agree with Rousseau in that children are neither good nor evil. They can be either. It’s how they are brought up that determines that. Children should be in an environment that encourages a desire to learn and make moral choices. Rousseau also brought up the idea of one to one teaching with hands on experience, and I believe that is the best way for the students to learn. Classrooms were first sorted by grade levels and schools “sought to teach students all the same things at the same time and in the same way. Very soon, normal differences among children became a bothersome obstacle to this efficient plan. Grouping students into different classrooms by their abilities was seen as a way to overcome this obstacle (Oakes, p.301).”

These labels shape how educators sort students into instructional groups, classes, and programs (Oakes, p. 294). policies such as the No Child Left Behind Law now demand that schools educate every student to high academic standards, regardless of presumed intellectual ability, disability, social status, gender, or race, as the current push is for all high school graduates to be prepared for both college and careers (Oakes, p. 303).

Self Assessment:

SELF ASSESSMENT: A- (I didn’t refer to anyone elses posting, I just posted first then commented on others)

  1. (x)You cite and comment on three different classmates’ discussion post.
  2. (x)You will cite and comment on three different module resources- at least one from text. (all three were from the text)
  3. (x)Reflective= you will relate the readings and other resources to your own experiences and understandings.
  4. (x)You refer to one outside source beyond the module (counts as two attributes).
  5. (x)you present your synthesis with clarity, enriching it with links to researching articles. .
  6. (x)posted by due date. (Complete)

References:

Oakes, J., Lipton, M., Anderson, L., & Stillman, J. (2013). Classrooms as Communities: Developing Caring and Democratic Relationships. In Teaching to change the world (4th ed., pp. ). Boulder, Colo.: Paradigm Publishers

http://www.schooldee.com/importance-of-teachers-in-our-society.php

Module 4 Reflection of all Modules.

This week personally sucked! I had to read one novel for my english class, and do quizzes for each chapter and 5 Discussion Forums, alongside reading another novel for another english class that I’m taking, which also has quizzes per chapter and a couple of Discussion forums. I also had to balance all 4 of my other classes with working each day, and getting my doctors appointments taken care of. I couldn’t take days off for my appointments so I had to go to work late, and come home late, which just took up alot of my studying time. I studied as much as I could per class but this week I don’t feel like I really learned much just because of exhaustion. My scoops http://www.scoop.it/t/scoop-via-matt

In Module 1, we were getting acquainted with one another and we read about restorative practices and assertive discipline. I learned how they are concerned with student behavior in schools they have very different methods. By module 2 we were on to The term school culture, which is the way teachers and other staff members have a shared sense of purpose and values based on common beliefs, perceptions, relationships, attitudes and unwritten rules that shape and influence every aspect of how a school functions. We learned about different policies and practices that embody policy makers’ and educators’ attempts to satisfy the high expectations placed on public schools. Historians and social theorists argue that the particular policies and practices selected as the best way to satisfy those expectations do not result from a rational, neutral weighing of all the options or by chance. Rather, these decisions reflect prevailing national ideologies that, over time, shape what people consider sensible schooling policies and practices. (TCW p 46).

In the previous module I read about the importance of education and how education is a continuous and lifelong dynamic process to facilitate the process of growth and development. However, it is also a proves in which the pressure of conventional canon, cultural ideologies, and institutional authority is applied to an individual in order that he or she will conform to the character dictated by the powerful in society. I also spoke about how “ideologies … exert influence in the education policy-making process.”(TCW) I provided an article you can find here:

http://www.politicususa.com/2013/09/13/republicans-substitute-conservative-ideology-science-history-public-schools.html

 

This week we learned about Learning being the expansion of what one may already know or perceive. It is the accumulation of knowledge but more importantly the application of this knowledge. If one cannot use newly acquired information for his/her own practical use or benefit than it is doubtful that he/she is engaged in the learning. (TCW) Finding a valid meaning of knowledge is not a simple task as many people have more than once given differing insight as to what knowledge entails. We watched a music video to Pink Floyd – Learning to Fly which is a song I have personally. I enjoyed all the modules, I centrally think we are figuring out the principals of education, and why knowledge is so important. I feel the central Idea I’m supposed to understand is that understanding the different approaches, and that school is more then curriculum and homework. The education system has evolved, along with the way humans have, and it will forever be evolving. One theory that influences my thinking is the social learning theory, and the humanistic cognitive development theory. Both are the way that I feel my mind operates, and from this weeks reading, upon figuring out how the song Learning to fly correlated to the readings. Which ultimately was my favorite discussion post. I spoke about how the song Learning to fly by Pink Floyd relates to our readings of cognitive development in this week’s module, The humanistic perspective centers on the view that each person is unique and individual and has the free will to change at any time in his or her lives. (McLeod, 2007). Within the video, the male character learned how to fly after he was out in a field weeding a jet setter plane flew over his head, and he became inspired to learn how to fly. The male character eventually jumps off of a cliff transforming into a soaring eagle flying throughout the sky, this implying he learned how to fly. Humanistic psychologists believe that an individual’s behavior is connected to his inner feelings and self-image. (TCW)

Bibliography

McLeod, S. (2007). Simply Psychology. Retrieved from Psychology Perspectives: http://www.simplypsychology.org/perspective.html

Meyers, N., & Spoolman, S. E. (n.d.). Enviornmental Issues & Solutions A modular approach. Cengage Learning.

Republicans Substitute Conservative Ideology For Science and History In Public Schools was written by Rmuse for PoliticusUSA.,© PoliticusUSA, Fri, Sep 13th, 2013 — All Rights Reserved, Retrieved from http://www.politicususa.com/2013/09/13/republicans-substitute-conservative-ideology-science-history-public-schools.html

Self Assessment:

SELF ASSESSMENT: A

  1. (x)You cite and comment on three different classmates’ discussion post.
  2. (x)You will cite and comment on three different module resources- at least one from text. (all three were from the text)
  3. (x)Reflective= you will relate the readings and other resources to your own experiences and understandings.
  4. (x)You refer to one outside source beyond the module (counts as two attributes).
  5. (x)you present your synthesis with clarity, enriching it with links to researching articles. .
  6. (x)posted by due date. (Complete)

Module 3 Blog Synthesis

This week’s module was actually incredibly informative. It consisted of me getting to read about the different philosophies that have evolved from former policies, and that are helping shape the way schooling is conducted today. I even learned about schools finding influence in the economic enterprises, factories, corporations, and the chapter even provided some elaboration on NCLB. (No Child Left Behind). Schooling should be practical, preparing students to become valuable members of society. (OSU) Essentialism is A traditional philosophy of education rooted from idealism. Its purpose is to transmit the culture from one generation to the next, training the basic intellectual skills. The curriculum is based on knowledge and basic skills necessary to preserve the culture and to enable constructive participation in it. The authority in the classroom administers tests, and ensures that knowledge has been acquired. The students receive transmitted knowledge. (tcw). The philosophy of perennialisim’s purpose is to cultivate the mind, instill timeless virtues, and advance the search for truth. The curriculum preferred focuses on enduring ideas, universal truths, and classic intellectual achievements. The teachers role is to instill virtues; know and teach subject matter to all students; convey received wisdom and knowledge, often through Socratic questioning. The students role is to receive knowledge. To me this is kind of a more cultivated form of learning, and very culture based, focusing on timeless virtues and constant truths. (tcw) Behaviorism entitles the building of proper habits of thought, by individualized programs, with a paced linear instruction, where the teacher provides stimuli and reinforcement and the student responds to such stimuli and develops habits of thought or behavior. (tcw) Its a form of educational philosophy that focuses on shaping behavior by practicing habits, and teaching students to develop with classical conditioning. Schools as an economic enterprise for most of our history, policy makers have struggled to ensure that schools both embody our democratic ideals and operate like efficient factories, well-managed businesses, and competitive markets. (tcw) Schools as factories derived from assembly line fashion, where schools still separate students into classes by age, grade, and ability. Most teachers teach all of the students in the room simultaneously– the same material at the same pace in the same way. (tcw) Schools were influenced by corporations by the systems thinking caught on in the 1970s because it seemed to explain why many came to believe that systemic reform would revolutionize schools in ways that piecemeal reforms could not. (tcw) School-business relationships based on sound principles can contribute to high quality education. Using factory models was one of the ways that schools could gain control over the passing rates among the students. School Policy makers and Social Reformers sought out successful mechanisms to remodel the declining education rates. Please Check out this link for more information on philosophies in education! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dum6CdSUb90)

References:

Teaching to change the world, Oakes J., Lipton M., Anderson L., Stillman J., 4th Ed.
Section III – Philosophical Perspectives in education, Education Philosophies, part 3, Oregon State University, 1999 Lora Cohen Retrieved from http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/ed416/PP3.html
SELF ASSESSMENT: A

  1. (x)You cite and comment on three different classmates’ discussion post.
  2. (x)You will cite and comment on three different module resources- at least one from text. (all three were from the text)
  3. (x)Reflective= you will relate the readings and other resources to your own experiences and understandings.
  4. (x)You refer to one outside source beyond the module (counts as two attributes).
  5. (x)you present your synthesis with clarity, enriching it with links to researching articles. .
  6. (x)posted by due date. (Complete)

Module 2 Blog Synthesis

This week’s module was quite interesting, it focused more on the development of the way public schools met their expectations from governments about how and Public Schools didn’t become racially equal until 1954. You can check out my Scoop it for my curating of school culturehttp://www.scoop.it/t/scoop-via-matt . While reading the text I learned that public schools represent the national pride of America’s education system, and serves to influence a demographic that focuses on immigrants who seek to become law abiding, decent and civil members of society. Vocational Schools helped out the economy during needs during the industrialization era for workers, and the education provided at such schools helped students develop a trade. In the 1830s Horace Mann augmented Jefferson’s vision of Public School as the corner stone of democratic life. Mann argued compellingly that all youth should be educated in “common” schools. In 1896 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that racially separate facilities did not violate the constitution, so long as they were “equal”. The struggle to secure democracy lasted until 1954 when Brown v. Board of Education struck down Plessy, ruling that segregation and separate public facilities were inherently unequal. (TCW p 36-37) As the world changes, Americas Schools are the primary mechanism for preparing students for the workforce. Schools are mandated action of these demands provided by policy makers and they are to increase preparation for students future careers and as well focus on comprehension and development. We were lacking in major inventions, and coming in second place in space races and so educators try to surpass expectations that society has for schools. In the 1960s and 1970s expectations for schools to solve social problems increased. The 1960s federal war on poverty legislation specified funding for “Categorical” programs—programs targeted to particular types of students. The intention was to ensure that federal money was spent on equalizing opportunities among all groups of students by increasing resources for students in poverty specifically. These programs and other subsequent legislation also created financial incentives for identifying students in particular ways, this setting up new categories and creating labels and identities for students. (TCW p 44). Social and family problems, as in many communities, affect learning (educationworld.com). The United States has considered itself a “meritocracy”—in other words, merit has given moral legitimacy to what might otherwise appear unfair or undemocratic. Merit presents an easy explanation for why some citizens and their children are so well off while others have so little. Merit not only explains how people obtain wealth and power but also explains that the wealthy and powerful deserve their wealth and power because of their determination, cleverness, and hard work. (TCW p 46-47) Merit is the explanation of pride presented among the “well-deserved” earners of society.

References:

Teaching to Change the World, Oakes J., Lipton M., Anderson L., Stillman J., 4th Edition, 2002, Chapter 2 – Module 2,

Reservation Schools Preserve Cultures, Boost Academics Retrieved fromwww.educationworld.com/a_issues/schools/schools010.shtml#sthash.klOCf6ZF.dpuf

 

Self Assestment:

  1. (x)You cite and comment on three different classmates’ discussion post.
  2. (x)You will cite and comment on three different module resources- at least one from text. (all three were from the text)
  3. (x)Reflective= you will relate the readings and other resources to your own experiences and understandings.
  4. (x)You refer to one outside source beyond the module (counts as two attributes).
  5. (x)you present your synthesis with clarity, enriching it with links to researching articles. .
  6. (x)posted by due date. (Complete)

Self Assessment: A

MODULE 1

This is week 1, we have 14 more weeks ahead of us. But I am finally sitting down to write this blog, before I have to go back to work. I wont have any time to complete it tonight because its my cousin’s birthday, and he practically is a big brother figure in my life, and Its important that I’m there to celebrate at his dinner. So I’ll be rushing straight home after work, to change and go straight to dinner, then come home at who knows what time!!

This weeks readings were a lot! Actually, compared to my English class, this class has the most reading and interactive material then all my other classes, so I will have to stay on top of everything, before I start slipping up. I had to read the entire “Great Gatsby” book this week alone, and prove that I read it with submitting discussion posts per chapter, its horrible trying to get all this work done, but I’ll figure it out.

Reading the books this week I noticed, restorative justice is just like what Kounin defines as “withitness” because it gives teachers a realistic approach toward children, and helps level the plain field for equality in a teacher-managed classroom. “The objectives of gender-fair education are defined as seeking to enable students to develop a critical perspective toward all knowledge, and to empower all students to become equal and active participants in this critical educational process”. (http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED348115) Stressing equality is also important in gender fair classrooms because you don’t want to put too much attention on girls getting equal treatment as boys, or vice-versa, its important to focus on equality throughout the class as a whole.

“Convention on the rights of the child, the dignity in schools campaign argues that education must ensure “that essential life skills are learnt by every child … such as the ability to make well-balanced decisions; to resolve conflicts in a non-violent manner, and to develop a healthy lifestyle, good social relationships and responsibility”. (TCW p 244) The way teachers help to develop the mind of their students, is important and detrimental to their cognitive development as well.

Strict discipline rules within schooling vary including “Zero Tolerance” Policy’s. Zero Tolerance Policies are usually ultimatum punishments, in the form of absolutely no tolerance what so ever. “The most extreme forms of non-physical behavioral controls on student behavior are zero tolerance policies”. (TCW p 232)

I’ve had my own experience with Assertive discipline. I used to not complete my homework on time, and my teacher let me know he’d put my name up on the board under “failing” if I didn’t make up my home works. Assertive Discipline “lets students know the set of escalating consequences for undesirable behavior and warn that misbehaving students will be identified publicly. ” (TCW p 230)

 

References:

Gender Fairness in the Classroom: Theory and Praxis, Davis, Fran; Nemiroff, Greta Hofmann, may 1992, Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED348115

Oakes, J., Lipton, M., Anderson, L., & Stillman, J. (2013). Classrooms as Communities: Developing Caring and Democratic Relationships. In Teaching to change the world (4th ed., pp. 224-256). Boulder, Colo.: Paradigm Publishers.

Brackett, M. A., & Rivers, S. E. (2014). Transforming students’ lives with social and emotional learning. International Handbook of Emotions in Education, 368.

 

 

 

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