Blogs on Teacher Development

Blogs on Teacher DevelopmentRSS
Kristen SwansonApril 23, 2013

During the past three years, over 250 Edcamp events have popped up worldwide. Teachers from every corner of the globe have been organizing open opportunities for educators to collaborate and solve problems.

In spite of this growth and energy, there are still many educators who are either uninformed or skeptical of the Edcamp model for teacher professional development. Given the plethora of "silver bullets" and magical cures in education, some skepticism is healthy. It ensures that we refine and revise our beliefs through meaningful investigation.

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Dr. Richard CurwinApril 17, 2013

In my last post, I promised readers a special post on a topic of great importance to me. Fighting cynicism is that topic. It is one of the most important issues for me and needs to be one of the most important goals for all schools. Cynicism can rot out a school the way termites rot out a wooden home. A cynic is someone who has given up hope that things can better. They are not realists or skeptics, who often ask hard questions or demonstrate care before accepting the first new thing that comes along. Cynicism is a plague that kills dreams. It sucks the life out of teachers and robs students of hope. No student deserves to have a teacher who has given up hope.

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Larry FerlazzoApril 16, 2013

This article is adapted from Larry's new book, Self-Driven Learning: Teaching Strategies for Student Motivation.

Let's start with a question I've been asked on more than one occasion.

"I know my content and like my students, but sometimes it's hard to get them under control so I can teach my lesson. What tips for classroom management can you give me?"

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Dr. Richard CurwinApril 15, 2013

If you have ever lived with another person and come home to find them in a bad mood, how long did it take you to figure it out? Hours? Minutes? Seconds? Most people say "seconds," and some can tell before they even enter the same room. That's how children feel when they enter your classroom. They can tell within a minute or so whether they will like it or not. Research says within the first five minutes, but I think it’s faster.

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Dr. Joe MazzaApril 12, 2013

Last week, the annual Silfen Forum was held at the University of Pennsylvania. The theme, Open Learning and the Future of Higher Education, brought together educators from around the country, including the panelists Amy Gutmann, Martha Kanter, Thomas Friedman, Daphne Koller and William Kirwan. A common thread during the one-hour conversation was on how the world has gone from connected to hyper-connected over the last seven years. The rise of MOOCs (Massive Online Open Classrooms) has forced us to re-evaluate what traditional college and university teaching and learning look like. A full sharing of tweets from and about the forum can be found on Storify.

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Elena AguilarApril 9, 2013

Like many of us committed to public education, I'm constantly searching for what's working and what can be replicated. This year I've discovered two essential ingredients for any successful school system to be effective. Think of these ingredients as the yeast and flour of any kind of bread -- obvious and essential -- and they must be used in combination with each other. I'll name these two staples as "The Destination" and "The Road Map."

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Karen LeaApril 3, 2013

How many of you would go see a movie or read a book that was all mixed up? Let's face it, we all like a good beginning, middle and end in movies and books. So why not in our lessons?

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Brandon WileyMarch 27, 2013

Much has been made in the media and press about the Finnish education system. Our goal this week is to uncover the beliefs and practices that contribute to a successful education system here. To help us delve into this topic, we spent time visiting the University of Helsinki, a leading teacher education institution in Finland. Dr. Jari Lavonen shared the history of the Finnish education system and several key characteristics of their approach. Lavonen called our attention to these four characteristics:

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Dr. Joe MazzaMarch 26, 2013

The PennFinn13 team has been in Helsinki, Finland this week learning about education in Finland. They have been asking critical questions about core values in place, curriculum, professional development, student voice and culture, governance, finances and leadership. Learning from the likes of Finnish leaders Pasi Sahlberg, Jari Lavonen, Arto Kallioniemi, Heidi Krzywacki and Atso Taipale, the team is providing an opportunity for the rest of the world to explore teaching, learning and leading in a top-ranked educational landscape.

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Dr. Joe MazzaMarch 25, 2013

Have you ever wanted to see what really goes on in classrooms of the world's number one educational system? Well, here's your free virtual plane ticket to Helsinki, Finland.

Doctoral learners from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education will spend a "week in the schools" -- the schools of Helsinki, that is -- looking at a variety of research areas through the lenses of students, teachers, parents and leaders. These lead learners will use that week to reflect upon where the United States and Finland agree and disagree on core beliefs surrounding teaching, learning and leadership.

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