Report Card for Education - WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THIS MESS?
Lee is a problem solver. Therefore, the focus is on WHAT WE CAN DO. Details on the Organizational Health Diagnostic Survey and on the current state of education appear after the A-Z listings.
The current mess in education has been a long time coming. The wasted money has been appalling and it has been heartbreaking to see school districts, administrators, and teachers accept that some students will quit before graduating from high school.
The solution is for parents and community leaders to get involved with local education. You can demand more of the members of the school boards. You can lobby representatives in the State Legislature and copy your local school district administrators with the lobbying emails or letters. This adds pressure locally to correct problems. Always vote in school board elections. Volunteer in the schools so that you can see what is happening. Don't give up on the kids!
Lee's ABCs for 21st Century Learning or "This ain't your mama's classroom!"
A special acknowledgement goes to David Williamson Shaffer and James Paul Gee, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison campus for their work in gaming
A classroom that includes as many of the ABCs as possible will provide an excellent environment for learning. By involving students in the learning process, they accept responsibility for their progress. The classroom is a partnership between students, parents, teachers, and administrators.
Accomplishment is always recognized and praised
Agendas - give students structure
Align to state and national standards
Behavior Evaluation Forms are used so that students are responsible for consequences of behaviors
Brain-based learning is emphasized
"BS" is not allowed - truth is always the goal
Bullying is immediately recognized and dealt with (Lee's Quick, Smart, EZ, & Aware program showing the two extremes of each of the characters allows students to immediately recognize bullying)
Certification of Teacher is posted
Classroom organization and management
Cognate lists are given to second-language learners
Collaborative and cooperative Faculty
College and Career choices are posted
Compatibility between students and teachers means success, rather than a student's shutting down
Concentration games are used in the primary grades as well as all other grade levels
Concept Maps are used
Consumer Math programs are used to educate students about the inter-relatedness of education, career, and money
Curriculum that is being studied is always posted
Deal with social issues - racism, classism, sexism, etc. Let the students discuss and suggest solutions
Develop self-directed, independent and cooperative learning strategies
Diploma of teacher is posted
Diversity and Inclusion - recognize the individual talents of all students and include all students in activities
Drilling is intact, but only for concepts that require it, for example multiplication tables
Dyslexia and Dyscalcula characteristics are monitored, identified, and appropriate interventions are assigned
Emphasize the Global classroom - connect to students in other parts of the world
Epistemic games give students professional practices that help them understand careers and solving world problems - example Madison 2200, in which high school students become urban planners
Essential questions are used
Evaluations are part of student's work - they figure out how they are doing
Expectations always are clear to the student
Expertise is developed by students
Expose students to a multitude of ideas and careers - this helps them identify their talents and gifts
Focus groups of students are allowed
Fun is part of the environment
Gaming using modern educational video games that allow modification of the game so students can create their own scenarios and maps (example "Age of Mythology")
Gender differences in learning (boys more active) are always considered
Hands-On Activities - as many as possible
Higher Order thinking - Bloom's, Erickson's
Innovative work preparation rather than commodity careers
Integrate content areas
Instructional Calendars are used so that students know when they study which concepts
Jobs or students have daily or weekly responsibilities
Knowledge transfer from teacher to student always is a goal with student learning to apply what is learned
Learning Styles are discovered and used
Logic activities are included
Long-term projects for development of responsibility in completing tasks
Memorization morphs into thinking
Motivate students by engaging them - find something in which they are interested
Multiple Intelligences are emphasized
Nuances are observed and noted by teacher (Are students hungry? Do you see bruises that may reflect abuse or fighting? etc.)
Objectives are always posted and used at the beginning of the lesson, then reviewed at the end.
Organized learning - students learn how to organize their time and their work
Prefix lists are given to students to help them develop vocabulary
Quality time with no waste of precious teaching moments
Reflection is used for students and teachers - reflection leads to evaluation
Rigor is the standard
Rubrics are used to offer choices to students
Self-Management of some of the time and of work
Staff Development is differentiated and is relevant
Students develop systems
Students teach each other
Syllabus lets students know what to expect
Teaching Styles are discovered and the teacher's personal style doesn't become so prevalent that some students don't learn
Thinking Tools, such as Thinking or Concept Maps
Use Technology and multimedia tools
Value complexity and the new technical global society
Vocabulary is monitored in order to keep standards high
Whole Brain Learning - right brain creativity and left brain logic are both taught
World Problems are introduced
Xtra Normal or other animated software helps students create stories and lessons to teach each other
Yearly Planning Guides and Calendars
Zone - always create the classroom as a safe zone for students, one in which they will NOT be bullied, belittled, stressed, or otherwise placed into a negative feeling
ORGANIZATIONAL HEALTH DIAGNOSTIC SURVEY
This an instrument for assessing the internal workings of organizations. The 10 dimensions were conceptualized by Mathew Miles and operationally defined by Fairman, Holmes, Hardage, and Lucas-Renne during a three-year, three-phase project. More information is available at the OHI website.
It would be wonderful if all of our students were doing well. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We have moved from 1st in math to 23rd among the top nations on our planet. We are improving in science, but still behind other developed nations.
For more information on where we are nationally and in comparison to other nations, please visit
National Center for Education Statistics and specific reports available at the site:
Please remember these are U.S. Government sites. More information, especially information that is independent of the U.S. Government, can be found by using keywords and searching on Google, Yahoo, or another search engine.
Great Schools has a wonderful article on education in Finland, where students score higher than U.S. Students. You can read it here.
Copyright 2002-2016 Lee Gabor All Rights Reserved