Roles in Education

transitfan's picture

A Pennsylvania School Board Member's view on public education

http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/lehigh-county/index.ssf/2013/04/east_penn_school_director_juli.html

This seems much worse than, say, any of Cathie Black's comments. Is it easier for rural school administrators than urban to get away with tone-deaf comments, is it matter of school-board versus superindentent/chancellor, or Democratic region versus Republican, or something else?

"On March 8, former South Carolina GOP head Todd Kincannon tweeted, "There is nothing more brain rotting than public schools. God, I pity the proletariat for having to send their inferior crotchfruit to them."

Stolz responded by tweeting, "As a school board director, I wish I could disagree. As a sentient being, I cannot."

Of course, while I doubt anyone on the SRC in Philly refers to public school students as "inferior crotchfruit," they too are (with 1 exception) not parents, teachers, or students, so I do think it may be fair to question some of their commitment to public education, even as--like Stoltz--they are responsible for it. Which is all the more reason that even if some of the school closings were justified, it's very hard to trust this group of leaders, and bothersome when individuals (like one of the people on the panel in our class seemed to) suggest frustration that students/communities can't just accept that the leaders are doing what is right for everyone.

Serendipitaz's picture

Becoming Miss A

I knew this day would come some day
since it is the culture here to call one’s teacher by her last name.
But, I have a long way to go before I become a teacher
I honestly don’t think I can ever be a teacher

Nan's picture

Half the Sky

Hey everybody, I don't really know if this has any place in this Ecological Imaginings class, but maybe if we can imagine the preservation of women to be a form of ecology, not unlike the preservation of all plant life, animal life.

I just wanted to call everyone's attention to this excellent documentary currently being shown on PBS on Mon & Tues nights at 9:00 PM.  I imagine you guys have lots of time to watch films, yeah!  But this is an amazing series.

"Half the Sky" about gender based violence.

Here's the link to the first & second segment:

http://video.pbs.org/video/2283557115   

http://video.pbs.org/video/2283558278

Briana Bellamy's picture

The Teaching & Learning Initiative: Nepali Style

Hello beautiful Serendip world! 

My name is Briana Bellamy, I'm a BMC alum '11.  Recently, I returned from an incredible year of living in Nepal, working on a project funded by the Davis Projects for Peace grant. The project was called Sharing Knowledge for Peace, and its basic structure and philosophy grew from something that may be very familiar to some of you: the Teaching and Learning Initiative (TLI). As a sophomore at Bryn Mawr, I became involved with the staff-student branch of the TLI as a student mentor with a wonderful man from transportation services. It completely transformed my experience at Bryn Mawr, and became a huge part of both my sense of community and personal development. The relationships I built through the reciprocal model of the TLI and the deep learning I experienced both in these relationships and in the reflection meeting had a deep impact on me. I went on to become a coordinator for the program, and even wrote my thesis about it, exploring the inner workings of friendship, community, and shared spaces. I knew there was something powerful about the dynamics at play, and I was curious as to how the model of intentional reciprocal teaching and learning relationships could be valuable in other settings. 

pyiu's picture

Thoughts on Improving Education in Ghana

After skyping with the founder of an NGO which provides libraries and Ghanaian children novels in Ghana (I forgot the name of the NGO but I believe Kathy Knowles is the name of the founder) and learning more about the history of formal education in Ghana, I became to reflect a lot about what could be done to improve the education system in Ghana. According to Ms. Knowles, literacy is a problem in Ghana because reading is not seen as a leisurable activity, and is only associated with academic work. Moreover, education there is based upon repetition and memorizatioon, thus school can be very boring and dry to students. Also, students are constantly anxious about being graded since the whole curriculum and attitude of the teachers is based upon doing well on the exams. Additionally, I personally feel that such a system does not cultivate appreciation for the art of learning. We've virtually discussed (via twitter) the importance of making mistakes for one's learning and education. However, such a system in Ghana appears to leave no room for mistakes, or creativity for that matter. These aspects along with many others compose Ghana's education system and consequently do not appear to be conducive towards a positive, fun, and interesting learning atmosphere for students (or the teachers).

chelseam's picture

Gender and Sexuality in the High School Biology Classroom: Fostering Critical Thinking and Active Engagement

    Gender and Sexuality in the High School Biology Classroom:

Fostering Critical Thinking and Active Engagement

 

Summary: This project was undertaken with the hope of changing the ways we think about teaching and engaging with science. This paper will discuss ways to help students recognize that science is interdisciplinary and can both affect and be affected by the social and/or political context it exists in.  

By asking students to think about the way science is presented and conducted, and giving them the tools to think about science not as an isolated body of information, but as a dynamic and shifting discipline, we will not only be encouraging more engaged science scholarship, but will also help students begin to notice the ways science is used as evidence in different contexts and evaluate these uses.

Objective:

The goals of this project are two-fold. I hope to suggest ways for biology teachers:

alesnick's picture

Exploring the Idea of Unlearning: A quatrilogue, with invitation to participate

The threaded discussion below took place in October, 2010 (over email) at the initiative of one colleague seeking ideas from others. The focus began with the idea of challenging students' mental models and grew into a consideration of the question whether there is such a thing as unlearning (from the point of view of the brain, of human experience, and growth) and how the idea of unlearning signifies in various fields and endeavors.  In hopes of continuing and broadening participation in the conversation, we have moved it to Serendip and invite all interested to join.

From Alison, October 30:

Kwarlizzle's picture

A Defense of the Formal Education System (of sorts)

    This paper chronicles some epiphanies I have had concerning the formal education system. We have spoken in class several times of the need of formal education reform. We have detailed how insufficient the current system is in creating creative thinkers or even educated thinkers. We have spoken of how the system sets many people up for failure and disregards many other children whose minds work in ways different from the ones prized by our system. I wholeheartedly agree with all these sentiments, but as I think on them, my mind harkens back to two incidents: a conversation I had with my friend who attended school in Ghana and a book I read for pleasure.

alesnick's picture

A Collaborative Outline for the Bi-Co Teaching Assistant (TA) Handbook

 Empowering Learners: Spring 2010

Field Group Project Part 4:

Sarah Choyke, Candace LaCrosse,

Linnea Segan, and Alexandra Funk

 

As the title suggests, this handbook is about teaching assistantship at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges.

 

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