Friday, February 22, 2008

How do you develop and support high quality educators?

Currently I'm on a task force to help redesign the Austin ISD's middle schools. My particular team has been charged with developing an action plan for strategy one of the plan:

We will develop, recruit, support, retain, and recognize high quality principals, teachers, and staff at every middle school to ensure that every student has a quality education.

Big job, right? Well, we're trying to tackle it in manageable chunks, so my focus is going to be on support and development. Still big, but hopefully an area where we can make some concrete suggestions that can be implemented w/o breaking the budget. If you have any links you'd like me to look at, please post them here.

Ask and ye shall receive. . . Time's Cover Story this Week.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Interesting Discussion of Learning: Constructivist and Connectivism

Free Learning and the "so-called" failure of connectivism and constructivist learning.

I always find Downes' take on things interesting. Here he takes to task someone who believes our constructivist theory of learning has failed. What constructivism brought to light that it's almost impossible to "design" learning that fits every novice.

I want to get back to this later.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

What you know is different than what you remember?

I'm going to have to read this blog more often. I like the research that is presented, though it requires more than just a casual perusal.

Importance of Enthusiasm for a Subject

"Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Or as Henry Ford said:

"Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait. The grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas."

When I was younger, my enthusiasm was often commented upon by my elders. Now I wonder, is enthusiasm a characteristic of the young? Perhaps, but I've met young people with little enthusiasm for anything. In fact enthusiasm is often labeled "uncool." But I believe it is still important to convey to students one's on love of learning about a subject.

How can teachers who aren't engaged in their subject, expect to engage others in it?