Paul Tough in www.nytimes.com
25th September 2009
“Come on, Abigail.”
“No, wait!” Abigail said. “I’m not finished!” She was bent low over her clipboard, a stubby pencil in her hand, slowly scratching out the letters in the book’s title, one by one: T H E. . . .
“Abigail, we’re waiting!” Jocelyn said, staring forcefully at her classmate. Henry, sitting next to her, sighed dramatically.
“I’m going as fast as I can!” Abigail said, looking harried. She brushed a strand of hair out of her eyes and plowed ahead: V E R Y. . . .
The three children were seated at their classroom’s listening center, where their assignment was to leaf through a book together while listening on headphones to a CD with the voice of a teacher reading it aloud. The book in question was lying on the table in front of Jocelyn, and every few seconds, Abigail would jump up and lean over Jocelyn to peer at the cover, checking what came next in the title. Then she would dive back to the paper on her clipboard, and her pencil would carefully shape yet another letter: H U N. . .
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By Bill Lucas
In all the recent government documents about vocational education my
favourite quotation is: “Learners must demand high quality pedagogy which
will necessitate that stronger links are built between employers, teachers and
teaching”.1 I imagine thousands of apprentices rising up from their labours
to march on the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills in London
shouting “Pedagogy! We want better pedagogy!”
In your dreams! For in the UK, despite my and my colleagues’ best
endeavours,2 ‘pedagogy’3 is a word that is rarely used by those working in
further education (FE) and skills. Instead conversation all too easily turns to
funding formulae, new kinds of institutions, reformed qualification systems,
different apprenticeship specifications and the like. All of these have value but
none is as essential as the high quality teaching and learning methods which
sit at the heart of all excellent vocational education. For it is pedagogy which
is the beating heart of the vocational body politic.
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From time to time the journal publishers make a selection of their most popular articles available free for a limited time, and one such collection available now is on assessment, which teachers might find interesting, and the articles are available until the end of 2015.
This is the direct link to the assessment items:
Expansive education: teaching learners for the real world. By Bill Lucas, Guy Claxton
and Ellen Spencer. Pp 240. Milton Keynes: Open University Press. 2013. £22.99 (pbk).
Values matter in education. From its first pages, Expansive Education reminds us ‘…
education is irreducibly a moral business’ (p. 8). Martin Luther King’s advice that teachers concentrate upon ‘worthy objectives’ for education sets the tone of this book full of challenges to established educational policy dogmas. Outlining what might be involved in ‘expansive’ education, the authors are unapologetic to use the word ‘ought’ to describe the need to teach confidence enhancing and creative mindsets applicable to both personal and global contexts. Dispositions like ‘resilience and resourcefulness’ (p. 12), for example, are argued to be as vital to the mental and intellectual health of those in the ‘best’ universities as they are to the youngest children in our nurseries. Expansive education must also involve values that apply to the ‘real’ world, of rapid communication, burgeoning technologies, widening access to heritage, knowledge, skills and research. The goals, attitudes, environments and leaderships of learning need expansion suggest the writers, and few would disagree.
This post is by Ron Berger, chief academic officer of Expeditionary Learning.
When a student is finished with school and moves into adult life, she will be judged not by her ability to perform on a test of basic skills, but by the quality of her work and character. This holds true regardless of what career or life role she chooses. Quality work and character are the keys to a successful life. So why are they not the primary focus of schools?
You may argue that schools do focus on these things. But consider this: to get passing grades, students must behave (at least much of the time) and turn in acceptable work (at least much of the time). This is a far cry from instilling in students an ethic of excellence for who they are and what they do. It is almost hard to imagine a lower bar.
Quality work and character have almost nothing to do with how students, teachers, and schools are judged in America. When is the last time you read a headline about a school being “high-achieving” that described the actual quality of work students produced or the quality of their actions? A “high-achieving” student or school means one thing today: good scores on basic skills tests in math and reading.
It’s not that basic skills in reading and math don’t matter. Of course they do. But success in this small realm is just a starting place. If students miss the opportunity to develop high standards for the complex skills they will need in life while they are still in school, how will they develop them?
Read the full article here…
A really stimulating insight into expansive leadership in the learning and skills sector undertaken by a partner of CRL, the 157 Group
Created to support the home–school partnership, Learn at Home gives parents a helping hand in getting to grips with their child’s development at school, as well as tips and support for schools on engaging and involving parents. Pearson created this guide to highlight the importance of parental involvement in a child’s education, and to help school’s engage parents in their children’s learning. In it, teachers and headteachers share their experiences, practical support, and tips.
Learn at Home guide.pdf