Edutopia’s Six Strategies for Reform
Our contribution to the National Day of Blogging for Real Ed Reform (November 22, 2010)
Today, November 22, is the National Day of Blogging for Real Ed Reform. Started as a grassroots movement by Ira Socol on his SpeEdChange blog, educator bloggers from around the globe are posting today to "take back the agenda" of education reform. You can see a list of blogs at Cooperative Catalyst.
Edutopia has been covering education reform for the past 19 years. Over this time, we've evaluated hundreds of practices and talked with thousands of teachers, students, parents, and administrators. As a result of this research, we've selected the following core strategies as powerful innovations to help reform education from within the classroom.
Almost all of our videos, blogs and articles highlight educators practicing one or more of these core strategies. Our aim is offer replicable stories with support resources to facilitate change from within the classroom, school and/or district.
We all know that standardized, high-stakes testing is disastrous on many levels. But what does it take to implement more authentic assessments? Edutopia's Comprehensive Assessment section offers access to videos and articles which offers some more meaningful alternatives -- both formative and summative -- as well as videos and articles to help make the case. (All Comprehensive Assessment Resources)
Integrated Studies combines curriculum from two or more disciplines, allowing students to see how ideas are connected. This Introduction to Integrated Studies video gives a good overview, including some examples. (All Integrated Studies Resources)
Project-Based Learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges. Research indicates that students are more likely to retain the knowledge gained through this approach far more readily than through traditional textbook-centered learning. In addition, students develop confidence and self-direction as they move through both team-based and independent work. (All PBL Resources)
Social and Emotional Learning
Social and Emotional Learning is the process of helping students develop the skills to manage their emotions, resolve conflict nonviolently, and make responsible decisions. Research shows that promoting social and emotional skills leads to reduced violence and aggression among children, higher academic achievement, and an improved ability to function in schools and in the workplace. (All Social and Emotional Learning Resources)
Especially with all the changes in 21st century learning environments, it's more crucial than ever that teachers have access to the latest information and best practices. The Teacher Development section offers myriad videos and article resources for both beginning and experienced educators alike. (All Edutopia's Teacher Development Resources)
Technology Integration is the backbone of a 21st century classroom. Effective tech integration is achieved when its use supports curricular goals. It must support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts. (All Tech Integration Resources)
Whether you are a teacher, a parent, or an administrator; a business leader or community organizer; a policy maker, or a student or professor at a college of education, we encourage you to learn more about these strategies and how you can implement them in your schools, your districts, and even in your homes. If you have already begun this process, please share your stories in this post.
Many thanks to Ira Socol and the other bloggers who are raising awareness on this National Day of Blogging for Real Ed Reform.