Comments (21)

Comment RSS
Neurologist/Teacher/Grad School Ed faculty/Author

Thanks for what you did while

Was this helpful?
0

Thanks for what you did while you had the chance. Here is another article that supports your philosophy http://www.schoolleadership20.com/forum/topics/even-when-test-scores-go-...
Here's hoping that you will have more opportunities to promote the blossoming in more brains!

Retired teacher currently doing research into problem solving

With regard to the general

Was this helpful?
+1

With regard to the general theme of student reactions to these kind of instructional contexts,how right you are, but it is not just students.I was creating programs on a small scale exactly on the principles now being established in the CCSS in 1990 after the astounding findings of cognitive science in the late 1980's. 'Realistic Problems, Real Thinking,Real Tools" Was my propaganda title Part of this effort was the deliberate insertion in the problems of what I called Affective Correlates of Cognition.Where the intent was to deliberately at specific points introduce stress of all different types, with the intention of developing things like persistence, willingness to over come failure and numerous others. Because such 'skills' are essential to learning when perceived as 'struggling to understand' or undertaking complex problem solving. Well these, combined the already unconventional method of instruction, caused an almost hysterical reaction on the part of students parents board members because I was not 'teaching' from their perspective, ie helping the students by doing all the strategic thinking, and presenting information in the simplest organized 'chunks'. The most interesting thing to me was that "A" students almost consistently apart those extremely bright students became very low performers, and I know for sure that parents ended up doing many of the projects for these students. But other students blossomed.
When I passed off the programs to teachers with whom I had co-taught the programs, within a couple of years they had vaporized, those teachers, conceptually constrained by the paradigm that valued knowledge rather than the interdependence of thinking and knowledge. So they reduced effort with regard to those aspect of the programs that they neither meaningfully understood the purpose of. The concept that the instructional process was as educationally active, as the more direct introduction of content and controlled by the specific cognitive character of the problems was incomprehensible to them, Given that all such notions.were inconsistent with the consensus values, overt peer pressure was applied. When the Superintendent who had backed my 'experimentation' left to follow his dream, the principal who had watched my back was effectively demoted, when the 'old guard' swept back into power. To what extent that was due to the reaction to my efforts I am unsure.For the rest of the decade I found myself a perch from which I could snipe and could influence change, but every effort was blocked in one way or another. Until the 'old guard' became powerful enough to put me out to pasture until retirement. Until there is perceptual and conceptual change the actual impact of more progressive perceptions of education, which can never be effectively teacher proofed will fail to achieve their conception and potential

co-founder I am Bullyproof Music

Dr. Willis, I hope you are

Was this helpful?
0

Dr. Willis, I hope you are wrong because it would be very sad if you were right.

Dr. Willis seems to be

Was this helpful?
+1

Dr. Willis seems to be saying, "Yes, children will be experiencing stress as they 'learn to think' in new, deeper ways because they have never done that before. But it's 'ok' because they will get over it." NO! NO! NO!

Numerous child development experts have said that the standards for the younger children are not developmentally appropriate and indicate we may be doing irreparable harm to some children. (See the work of Dr. Megan Koschnick.) The stress many young students are feeling is coming from being asked by insistent adults to think and *perform* in ways their brains are not ready for. In addition, these children don't have the metacognitive or communication skills to monitor and talk about what is upsetting them in a constructive way, so they act out or simply melt down.

co-founder I am Bullyproof Music

Fascinating... When I was in

Was this helpful?
+1

Fascinating...

When I was in middle school, there was a girl who had everything; looks, athletic ability, a brain the size of Texas. Her name was Aileen Alexander-- notice she even had "A"s in her name? And she was nice. And fun. You just couldn't not like her.

Me? I could fake my way to an "A" without studying if the exam was an essay exam. I'm verbal. I could also fudge through remembering information. Just takes a strong memory. But algebra? Terrified me! Still does. Gave me nightmares. Don't even like to think about it.

One day, our history teacher took our class into the auditorium and showed us a film about seeing things from different perspectives. "Never assume".. that kind of thing. After watching this film, we were assigned to write a paper with the title "The Meaning of the Universe." I thought that was cool.

I got my paper back with a "A +++" Our teacher just loved what I'd written. For the life of me, I don't remember what I said, I just thought it was a fun assignment, much more interesting than the usual blah blah. I may have even hugged Mr. Montz for making school so much fun all of a sudden!

Aileen Alexander, on the other hand, freaked out. I still remember her walking over to me and saying, in a very nervous voice "What in the world does he WANT from us? I can't do this! This is weird!"

I hate testing of any kind but must admit the ideas behind common core really appeal to me as a teacher and as a parent. In fact, some CC kind of reminds me of some of our family's conversations over dinner. But my particular brain chemistry leans so far right, I almost fall down sometimes.
I really feel for any student or teacher who are simply not built to automatically switch gears and take their brains in an entirely new direction. I still remember how trapped I felt trying just trying to get my algebra homework done.

If I'm understanding you correctly, what you're saying here is that we have to make sure our Aileen Alexanders do okay, that we respect their need for a little extra TLC and understanding when they inevitably freak.
.
Too bad there have to be tests. Must concur. Tests are never happy making.

Education Specialist

Samer, the open discussion is

Was this helpful?
+1

Samer, the open discussion is why many of us take the time to read this source, transcending the rhetoric & propaganda which is sadly all too common, thanks!

Community Manager at Edutopia

Hi chemtchr, As things stand

Was this helpful?
+4

Hi chemtchr,

As things stand now, thousands of teachers across the country are faced with implementing the Common Core State Standards in their classrooms. Yes, there's a movement that's working to fight them, but change takes time and teachers need help till (if/when) their situation changes. That's what Edutopia is doing.

And just to be clear, Edutopia isn't opposed to talking about alternatives to Common Core. We've published alternative viewpoints. Here's an example:

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/common-core-been-here-before-allen-mendler

We encourage conversation and debate, just like the two of us are doing right now. Discussing alternatives is one of the reasons this site was founded, but what we don't do is to take policy positions. We never have.

What we do is research and promotion of evidence-based education practices that work. And we help teachers, parents, and administrators find ways to implement those practices within the frameworks in which they operate.

I applaud your zeal. I really do. And I appreciate the opportunity to clarify Edutopia's position. If you'd like space to talk about alternatives to common core, you're welcome to create a discussion here:

http://www.edutopia.org/groups/community-bulletin-board

Neurologist/Teacher/Grad School Ed faculty/Author

I concur and here is a link

Was this helpful?
+2

I concur and here is a link to an article I wrote about The Neuroscience of Joyful Learning.
Willis, J.A. (2007). Neuroscience of Joyful Learning Educational Leadership, Journal of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (2007). Vol 64. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/summer07/vol64/n...

chemistry

Samer, please look again at

Was this helpful?
+2

Samer, please look again at the masthead on this site. Does it say "Ed-dystopia", as you read it? Much of the site is now dedicated to facilitating the roll-out of a supposedly inevitable imposition of the common core on unwilling children and teachers. Shouldn't the community be discussing this, and taking a position one way or the other?

You say, "Common Core is their new reality." You say the "point of the Common Core in Action series [is] not to endorse CCSS but to point to specific lesson ideas and to help teachers innovate within the standards."

Dr. Willis describes "their new reality" in skin-crawling clinical detail (without endorsing it, she says). Like you, she prescribes further subservience to the "new reality", (without any scientific basis, she finally admits, and again without endorsing it).

Instead, this site should be alive with discussions of an alternative future for education, like the one it originally set out toward.

The Common Core train hasn't left the station. We're stopping it, and rolling the rollout right back again. In the meantime, parents and teachers can defend the children in our care, right here and right now. Opt them out of the tests. Let your classroom be a zone of joy and innovation OUTSIDE the nightmare zone. Save this generation, and defend their childhood.

Here are some resources:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/264594250218348/
http://www.fairtest.org/get-involved/opting-out

Education Specialist

MRM, absolutely! I would only

Was this helpful?
+2

MRM, absolutely! I would only add 3rd-12th graders :)

see more see less