Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sharing with our principals

This past Wednesday I was giving my monthly report to principals at their district meeting. Every once in a while, I try to show a video that helps support the work I am doing with their teachers and students. Encouraging the staff in the district to work with students in new ways is an uphill climb, but I'll keep plugging along.

A Vision of K-12 Students Today is the video I showed this week.

With regard to this video, I also chose to give them a a link to this site which contains the above image of a staircase metaphor for the new Bloom's Taxonomy.

Finally, I included the following statement from a teenage student which I found while reading one of Mark Wagner's blog entries, Project-Based Learning: A Student Comment. I believe it closely matches the ideas in the staircase graphic and the video.
"I am a high-school student, and I believe we need more project-based learning in our schools. Of all the classes I have taken, I have learned best in those that are interactive. Anybody can read from a textbook, memorize the information, take a test, and forget what they read in a week. American schools are focusing on just that. Students take tests on words, words they found in a book for the sole purpose of testing. They don’t need to learn what the words mean, because they only need that information until the test. Also, I think we need to rethink our testing strategies. Vocab tests are insane. We get fifteen words on Monday and test on Friday. We forget the words over the weekend and get fifteen new words on the next Monday. History is a little harder. Students are required to remember dates and names. I personally only remember what happens, not who made it happen or where. I consider myself a good learner, but I have a good short-term memory, so I have been successful so far. However, if I was asked what happened in World War I, I would be able to tell you it was called the Great War, involved most of Europe, and started in 1914 (I think…). This coming from an A student. In addition, many of my peers are happy with C’s and don’t try to accel in school, so I think the United States of America needs to find a motivational tool to help American students reach their potential and continue to better our economy. -I apologize for the lack of structure in this comment. (My thoughts aren’t always organized.)"

There are lots of good ideas to mull over here. Enjoy your week!

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