Blogs on Teacher Leadership

Teacher Leadership

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Get support and guidance from change makers who are organizing and implementing real improvements to our educational system.

Diane Demee-BenoitMay 16, 2007

Year after year, we debate numerous reforms to improve our educational system. Yet we are continually hampered by the conventions of our thinking about -- well, everything. We fall into the same old trap of tinkering around the margins and trying to reform an education system with an ever-increasing number of policies, programs, and regulations piled on top of each other. Even the words we use to talk about improving schools -- school reform -- seem worn and out-of-date.

Last week, a friend and adviser reminded me that the words I often use -- reinventing schools -- still ties us to a system that many say is broken. But here's the real clincher: What we have is not a broken system; it's an obsolete system. When something is obsolete, you develop something new, something better. You use what you've learned from the old, but you don't allow yourself to try to piece together something shattered beyond repair.

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Learning Around the Clock

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If we dared to change our frame of reference so that the "school" we all know and many of us work in disappeared tomorrow and we awoke to find a brand-new system of learning -- a web of integrated learning experiences -- what would that educational system look like? If we designed what the recent report "A New Day for Learning" implores that we design, would we hold to our deep-seated belief that learning takes place only when children are put in a room and learning is guided by a system that often operates in a silo?

Would we break the mold and build a robust twenty-first-century learning system, or would we continue our attempts to reform an educational system designed for a simpler age? Would we still have a school bell that signifies that learning ends at a designated hour?

What do you think?

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Jim MoultonMay 16, 2007

Last summer, during a conference session I was doing in Tennessee, we were discussing those kids who come into schools without book sense -- five-year-olds who, sadly, don't know how to operate a book. A participant spoke up and said, "Jim, I'm a kindergarten teacher, and I'm getting worried about the number of kids coming into my classroom who don't know how scissors work."

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Chris O'NealMay 15, 2007

As summer approaches, many of us plan to attend educational conferences of all kinds. Some of the best ones are in our own backyards. Others are international in nature, and, because of budget or travel constraints, are available to us only every once in a while.

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Chris O'NealMay 11, 2007

A while back, I posted a blog entry titled "Online Interactivity for Educators: A Teacher's Tour of YouTube." Many people replied with comments, questions, suggestions, and so on.

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Ken MessersmithApril 25, 2007

Many people believe that a high-quality teacher-education program must include field experience for teacher candidates in all education courses. Organizations such as the National Network for Educational Renewal and the Association of Teacher Educators strongly support this concept.

Many people believe that a high-quality teacher-education program must include field experience for teacher candidates in all education courses. Organizations such as the National Network for Educational Renewal and the Association of Teacher Educators strongly support this concept. Read More

Chris O'NealApril 24, 2007

Several of us have chatted here before about wikis. As an educational-technology person who spends lots of time online, I can tell you it really does take a lot to win me over as far as new technology and its worthiness in education are concerned. Wikis, however, have done just that.

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Dr. Katie KlingerApril 19, 2007

Once upon a time . . . sound familiar? Remind you of a fairy tale? And don't we learn valuable lessons from fairy tales? Of course! The story I am about to share with you is a real-life fairy tale about a Harvard-educated woman who wanted children to learn to speak to each other around the world.

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Bonnie Bracey SuttonApril 19, 2007

Imagine a high tech, state-of-the-art science lab on wheels, one that provides teachers with tools for coordinating school programs and projects and allows them to share with kids the fun and mystery of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

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Chris O'NealApril 19, 2007

Have you seen Open Educational Resources? It's an interesting Web site designed to take advantage of Web 2.0 functionality while providing a warehouse of sorts for open educational resources.

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Diane Demee-BenoitApril 19, 2007

The nation's governors, who met in Washington, DC, in February, voiced their support for educating our students for a globally competitive world. Here's what the recent National Governors Association newsletter reported.

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