kitchen table math, the sequel: Illinois Teacher of the Year

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Illinois Teacher of the Year

"Teachers are needed more than ever, but in a very different capacity. We are no longer providing answers. We're providing the questions and the tools to find the answers."
-- Josh Stumpenhorst, 2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year

Quoted by David Ginsburg in R.I.P. Sage on the Stage
Here's my question.

Are parents going to get wind of this any time soon?

This winter my district issued a newsletter extolling the wonders of flipped classrooms and announcing, twice on one page, that the district is 'student-centered.'

So there it is, in black-and-white: flipped classrooms are 'student-centered,' and the retiring curriculum director, who is responsible for the existence of flipped classrooms in my district (& is returning to her position as principle of the 4-5 school) is 'child-centered.'

If I had to guess, I'd say no more than a third of parents here would choose progressive education over traditional, given the choice. The number who believe teachers should not be sages on stages would be even smaller. Unfortunately, the only people in town who know what "student-centered" means--apart from school personnel--are Ed and me. Pretty much.

Will there come a point where parents know what the words their administrators use actually mean?


Barry Garelick said...

A comment left at this article , talks about the "stealth implementation" of these educational ideas. It has a bit of conspiracy theory to it, but then again after 2+ decades of this nonsense, it's as plausible a theory as anything else:

"Education Takeover — Where To Start?

"I don’t use the word “takeover” lightly. Yes, it also has these other tones of meaning — invasion, conquest, penetration, capture . . .

I had my “awakening” one year ago when an Education Ministry Official told a small group of p"arents — one month before our provincial election that the “transformation” of BC education (being planned for several years already) was a go ahead, regardless of which political party would win the election (May 13, 2013). “It’s international!” we were told.

I was astonished because we had left, right, and center parties running. How could it be that the pu"blic and an elected government would have no say in this radical “transformation” called Personalized Learning?

I researched and found this was indeed part of a global effort, related to the Common Core in the US "and 21st Century Learning under various names in other places. So far, it’s a go-ahead in BC, Alberta and Ontario.

"Some features of this international shift are: quiet implementation; parents and public and everyday teachers not consulted; shift from content and knowledge to competencies that include collaboration, inquiry-based learning and critical thinking; cross curricular themes such as sustainability and social justice embedded into most subjects; social/emotional emphasis in classrooms.

While some people have become concerned because the methods of implementation themselves are s"uspect and foreign to our democratic expectations, it’s emerged that Math is becoming a flashpoint for gathering alarm. Math is not a “soft” “abstract” subject easily sabotaged and it is here where parents and some educators are starting to challenge this “transformation” by stealth.

"This is no small-time politics. Even the UN with its Agenda 21 is mixed in. It is seen as indispensable that “human (which may include spiritual) development should be integrated in all disciplines”. (Ch.36)

"I wish I could recommend one place to start. Of course, the Internet will provide both pros and cons for the topics I’ve touched upon.

"This cartoon will help us understand the Big Shift "

Anonymous said...

'A comment left at this article , talks about the "stealth implementation" of these educational ideas.'

These ideas have nothing to do with anything legitimately called "education".