Blogs on Education Reform

Blogs on Education ReformRSS

I really enjoyed Mary Beth Hertz's excellent blog published earlier this week, "The Flipped Classroom: Pro and Con" -- one of the most concise and balanced views I've read on the buzz-wordy concept of flipping the classroom. Advocates say that "flipped classrooms" help overburdened teachers differentiate their instruction to reach more learners, provide an avenue into more hands-on and student-driven learning during classtime, and shift the teacher's role from "sage on the stage" to learning coach and facilitator. Critics say it's just a fad, relies too heavily on rote instruction, and doesn't go far enough in making the needed changes for teaching and learning reform. I've rounded up this list of videos so you can learn more about the challenges and benefits of flipped classrooms.

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Suzie BossJuly 10, 2012

This blog is an excerpt from the book Bringing Innovation to School: Empowering Students to Thrive in a Changing World, published June 2012 by Solution Tree.

Whether innovators are drumming up new business ideas or hard at work solving community problems, they share certain characteristics. They tend to be action-oriented. They know how to network. They're willing to take calculated risks. They look ahead, anticipating benefits that others might not have imagined yet. They work to overcome obstacles. Especially in the social sector, they're generous about sharing what they know and eager to help good ideas grow. When educators exhibit these qualities, they show students how innovators think and act. They become innovation role models.

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Dr. Richard CurwinJuly 1, 2012

Have you ever noticed that the worst behaving children are never absent? I was tempted many times, when teaching seventh grade, to breath on certain students when I was sick. I wondered if the reason that these students never missed school was because their parents didn't want them at home. Of course, it was never that simple. Some parents worked and had no one to watch their children. Other students lived in dangerous home environments, and school was safer than staying home. Regardless of the reason, I wonder how many children feel unwanted wherever they are; home, school, the corner store, with their peers or on the streets.

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You may have heard some buzz about the "Why Open Education Matters" video contest, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Creative Commons, and Open Society Foundations. The contest raises awareness about the promise of open educational resources (OER) -- free online materials with open licenses which allow teachers and learners to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the digital resources to their heart's content. What better way to keep educational materials relevant, customizable, and inexpensive?

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Suzie BossJune 22, 2012

Editor's note: Today is the fifth in a series of posts from PBL World, a global gathering of educators interested in project-based learning. Join the conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag #pblworld.

Teachers and other "education change agents" who are advocates of project-based learning often find that they have to make the case for PBL to their communities. "They need backup," acknowledged Cindy Johanson, executive director of the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) and Edutopia. In her keynote address to PBL World on Thursday, she shared highlights of new research that shows the effectiveness of PBL for achieving rigorous learning outcomes.

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Suzie BossJune 21, 2012

Editor's note: Today is the fourth in a series of posts from PBL World, a global gathering of educators interested in project-based learning. Join the conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag #pblworld.

Yong Zhao, author of Catching Up or Leading the Way, kicked off the third day of PBL World with a fast-paced tour of global education challenges and a ringing endorsement of project-based learning as a key strategy to help students succeed.

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Terry HeickJune 14, 2012

Agreeing on how to best establish what a learner understands isn't simple -- if for no other reason than understanding isn't simple.

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Judy Willis MDJune 13, 2012

My Prediction: Within five to ten years in some countries, open Internet access for information acquisition will be available on standardized tests. This access will significantly reduce the quantity of data designated for rote memorization.

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Tony BaldasaroMay 30, 2012

As a junior in high school, I was finally able to enroll in the photography class. Offered only every other year, this was the only time the course was available to me (it was not open to freshman), and since there was only one section, the period three class was my only shot.

So, when my guidance counselor pulled me into his office on the second day of school to tell me I had to drop photography to take a more college-friendly Spanish class, I knew my opportunity was lost. This was in 1988, five years before Mosaic was introduced to the world, seven years before Netscape made the World Wide Web available to the masses, and a decade before virtual schooling was an option. Unless I could find a private mentorship, my only access to formally learning photography was period three during my junior year of high school and, since I had to take Spanish, that was no longer an option for me.

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Mark PhillipsMay 29, 2012

Some years ago I was hired by Norway's Ministry of Education to train vocational education teachers. Having myself attended a comprehensive high school where vocational students were those who couldn't make it academically, and having taught in a suburban high school where there was zero vocational education, it was eye-opening to be in a country where vocational education had high prestige, was well-funded, and included students who could have gone to medical school if that had been their preference.

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