Saturday, December 19, 2009

Power to the Learners - Part Three

This post is the last in a three-part series. The first post (link) was inspired by Scot McLeod's Leadership Day, which was a virtual discussion conducted on July 12, 2009. Educators from around the world blogged about technology leadership and how to prepare students for the 21st century. The second post (link) was inspired by a graduate class I took about educational reform. One of our major resources was The Meaning of Educational Change by Michael Fullan. For the third post, I asked my Professional Learning Community for once sentence on how to improve eduction. Below are a Wordle of the responses and a graph of the most popular responses. For all responses, click here.

Teachers don't want more money, and they are not significantly hampered by administrative demands. The three top areas that are ripe for improvement are training, pedagogy and responsibility. Teachers want students to become more independent and take ownership of their education. For students to become learners, teachers need to lead by example and demonstrate their own lifelong learning. If learning if your craft, then it should be practiced all of the time. I'm sure professional athletes and musicians work at improving on a daily basis - including the summer. Teachers want more training and they want formal refresher programs even after certification. Training is closely related to the number five reform - time and planning. Teachers need time to collaborate and plan. Without enough of it during the school year, summer becomes the time for change. Unfortunately, most teachers go their separate ways and informal collaboration is extremely difficult. In addition, most teachers behave like their students and do little learning and preparation over the summer. In a survey with responses from my PLN, 62% of teachers work half or less-than-half of the summer. Another major potential improvement is pedagogy. Teachers want to teach critical thinking and focus on big, thematic ideas. Teachers want to teach authentic, real-world applications.

I hope that this blog spurs some thought an conversation. Happy holidays!




References
Stamp image from link