1) Schools -Purpose and Organization (Intro. & Prologue)
Respond to the following two statements and include two additional “take-aways” (2 additional key points from this section). Read a minimum of six other postings and respond to one other post. (Post it later)
“One has to shadow kids for a day or two to be forceably reminded of what it is like to change subjects abruptly every hour, to be talked at incessantly, to be asked to sit still for long periods, to be endlessly tested and measured against others……” (p. xi).
“Horace has high standards. However he is realistic. A sixty hour work week. He will compromise by spending no more than ten minutes prep time on average per class – he concentrates on his Advanced Placement classes and teaches the others from old notes” (p. 18).
Respond to the following 2 statements. Include 2 other “take-aways” ie 2 key points that you got from the reading on this section. Read a minimum of six other postings and respond to one other post.
“My view is that American high schools today too readily stress the vulnerability and inexperience of adolescents and underrate the potency and authority that young people can exhibit. High schools must respect adolescents more and patronize them less. The best respect is high expectations for them and a level of accountability more adult in demand than childlike” (p.34).
“Lamentably, far too few modern American adolescents are hungry students. The American high school student as student is all too often docile, compliant and without initiative. Some who have initiative use it to undertake as little engagement as possible with school. They await their education and take in such of it that interests them. Such students like to be entertained. Their harshest epithet for a teacher is “boring” (p.55).
Respond to the following 2 statements. Include 2 other “take-aways” ie 2 additional key points that you got from this section. Read a minimum of six other postings and respond to one other post.
“It would be nice to report that Brody’s class is an exception. It is not. The agreement between teacher and students to exhibit a facade of orderly purposefulness is a Conspiracy for the Least, the least hassle for anyone. Such a conspiracy is necessary in many schools and for many classes, because it is impossible for teachers or students to sustain rigorous adventurous activity over a full six hours. Brody saw some 150 different students each day. …The requirements of the school were to be in attendance, to be quiet, orderly , and predictable, and to pass tests of multiple-choice questions of easily divined nature. So why not agree to minima genially applied?” (p. 156).
“Teaching is of course a form of theater. While the point is to have the students learn, the teacher has to explain, provoke, cajole, inspire, criticize, demand, love. Sister Michael and Messrs. Gross and Curtis were all hams in their way, comfortable in and enjoying their limelight. … The student has his or her questions too. What’s the point of this? Where does it lead me? What does the teacher want me to do? Students are no less self conscious than are the teachers. Do my friends like me? How should I behave in class?……The trick of the teacher and student is to get sustained attention on those questions which are of greatest common importance” (p. 153).
4) Principal’s Questions/Better Schools
Respond to the following two statements and include 2 additional “take-aways”. Read a minimum of six other postings and respond to one other post – due by July 17th.
“What do you mean “teach themselves”? …By directly giving students the task of teaching themselves and helping them with it. It means providing fewer answers and insisting that students find the right (or at least defensible) answers themselves. It means that teachers must focus more on how kids think than on what they think” (p. 131).
“The school should focus on helping adolescents learn to use their minds well. Schools should not attempt to be “comprehensive” if such a claim is made at the expense of the school’s central intellectual purpose. That is, Essential Schools should not attempt to provide an unrealistically wide range of academic, vocational, extracurricular, and social services for adolescents” (p. 225).
5) Education in a Global Context
Respond to the following questions. Read a minimum of six other postings and respond to one other post – due July 19th.
Darling Hammond identifies 6 features for a system of education to educate all children well (p. 26). On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being not met and 10 being fully met, give each of the six a numerical score. To make this easier to respond to and avoid everyone having to write out the six features, I suggest we use one word to represent each feature ie. Housing, Early Learning, Funding, Teachers, Curriculum, School Organization. (So if you thought that the last feature was fully met you would write School Organization 10 etc)
Which feature do you as being the most urgent to improve? Which feature do you see that you have some ability to improve and explain your answer?