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Education Next » CurriculumEducation Next » CurriculumTechnology’s Unmet Progressive Promise – by Michael DeArmondBeware the Iconography Trap of Personalized Learning: Rigor Matters – by Betheny GrossWhat We’re Watching: Match Charter School Shares Its Curriculum – by Education Next

http://ftr.fivefilters.org/makefulltextfeed.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fftr.fivefilters.org%2Fmakefulltextfeed.php%3Furl%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Feducationnext.org%252Fcategory%252Finside-schools%252Fcurriculum%252Ffeed%252F%26max%3D5&max=5 Education Next is a journal of opinion and research about education policy. http://ftr.fivefilters.org/makefulltextfeed.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fftr.fivefilters.org%2Fmakefulltextfeed.php%3Furl%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Feducationnext.org%252Fcategory%252Finside-schools%252Fcurriculum%252Ffeed%252F%26max%3D5&max=5 http://educationnext.org/images/itunes.jpg http://educationnext.org/technologys-unmet-progressive-promise/ http://educationnext.org/?p=49674321 <p>Twenty-five years ago, I was a young history teacher soaking up progressive teaching methods that aimed to foster deep, personalized learning for my students. My classroom was decidedly low-tech, but I can see how today’s technological advances might have made it easier for me to manage the significant demands of progressive teaching. Yet in the personalized learning (PL) schools we’ve visited so far for this project, few teachers appear to be taking advantage of technology’s potential to support progressive teaching.</p> <div id=”attachment_49674341″ class=”wp-caption alignleft”><a href=”http://educationnext.org/files/ednext-sept2016-blog-dearmond-progressive-teaching-and-tech.jpg”><img class=”size-full wp-image-49674341″ src=”http://educationnext.org/files/ednext-sept2016-blog-dearmond-progressive-teaching-and-tech.jpg” alt=”twenty20.com” width=”300″ height=”300″/></a> <p class=”wp-caption-text”>twenty20.com</p> </div> <p>In the late 1990s, I was part of Brown University’s Undergraduate Teacher Education Program (UTEP). UTEP allowed me to graduate with my BA in American History and a secondary teaching credential. <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Sizer” target=”_blank”>Ted Sizer</a>, the chair of Brown’s education department at the time, heavily influenced the program’s curriculum; his belief in the power of coherent, mastery-based, and personalized schools has guided my sense of what schools and teaching should be like ever since.</p> <p>As a student teacher in Providence, Rhode Island, I spent untold hours earnestly crafting history lessons around “big ideas,” developing case-based learning activities, and learning how to facilitate group work. I asked my students (my “historians”) to work with primary documents and make what today’s Common Core advocates would call evidence-based claims. With these and <a href=”https://www.amazon.com/There-Kids-Crafting-Lessons-Students/dp/1416600205?ie=UTF8&amp;*Version*=1&amp;*entries*=0″ target=”_blank”>other progressive approaches</a>, my fellow teacher candidates and I were pushing students toward deeper and individualized learning, though we didn’t use those terms. Teaching this way was incredibly exciting, but it was also extraordinarily time-consuming and challenging.</p> <p>I wonder if this approach to teaching would have been more doable if I had access to today’s technologies. What if my students and I had been able to use co-writing tools like Google Docs to give each other real-time feedback on their essays? Would my student historians have been more engaged if I could have offered them materials to explore that went beyond the photocopies of diaries, photographs, maps, and speeches that I tracked down from books? Would my students’ presentations have been more powerful if they could have accessed today’s media tools and engaged audiences beyond our classroom? Could today’s technology have helped me and my cohort of teacher trainees more easily share the materials that we spent so much time developing?</p> <p>There are good reasons to believe the answers to these questions are “yes.” A recent comprehensive review by Barry Fishman and Chris Dede on technology and teaching in the latest edition of AERA’s <a class=”external-processed” href=”http://www.aera.net/Publications/Books/Handbook-of-Research-on-Teaching-Fifth-Edition” target=”_blank”><em>Handbook of Research on Teaching</em></a>, for example, describes how the collaborative editing and comment functions in Web 2.0 tools (like Google Docs or wikis) help spread knowledge across students and teachers and help students work together and engage in new ways. This same review describes how more elaborate technologies can help students learn complex topics via simulations and other interactive environments. It doesn’t take much to imagine how the technology we often take for granted in our daily personal lives could support progressive teaching and <a class=”external-processed” href=”http://www.inacol.org/news/meaning-matters-defining-and-differentiating-personalized-learning-blended-learning-and-competency-education/” target=”_blank”>personalized learning</a>: by enabling communication and collaboration among students and teachers, increasing student choice and differentiation, offering a wider range of when and where students learn, and giving teachers insight into student learning in ways that weren’t possible even a few years ago.</p> <p>And yet, in the early months of this project, we’re finding that most of the PL schools we visit are taking a decidedly low-tech approach to personalization—sometimes the classrooms we visit don’t look that different from my classroom from a quarter century ago. Some teachers in PL schools told us their schools didn’t have enough money to buy hardware and software tools. Others faced systems barriers, like district-blocked websites (most commonly YouTube), unsupported platforms, or a mix of programs and platforms that didn’t talk to each other. Still others were simply skeptical about technology, didn’t know where to start, or had other priorities, like building a strong school culture.</p> <p>To be sure, I don’t believe that technology is the be-all and end-all for PL. But as Harvard University’s Chris Dede <a class=”external-processed” href=”http://www.jff.org/publications/role-digital-technologies-deeper-learning” target=”_blank”>writes</a>, “… it is hard to imagine how our schools will scale up such [progressive] instruction without support from digital tools and media.” PL schools interested in supporting personalization through progressive teaching should ask themselves how they could use technology to support deeper, meaningful learning in ways that go beyond using tech for drill-and-skill learning. Technology entrepreneurs and university-based experts should develop tech products that engage teachers and students in rich and integrated learning experiences (like Berkley’s <a href=”https://wise.berkeley.edu/” target=”_blank”>Web-Based Science Environment</a>). Schools of education should be asking how they can better prepare teachers to leverage technology for personalization and deeper learning. Progressive teaching ideals have been around for a long time. Maybe today’s technology can finally make this rewarding but demanding approach more doable for teachers and students in more classrooms.</p> <p>— Michael DeArmond</p> <p><em>Michael DeArmond is senior research analyst at the Center on Reinventing Public Education. This post originally appeared on <a href=”http://www.crpe.org/thelens/tech-unmet-promise” target=”_blank”>The Lens</a>. It is the second in the CRPE series of “<a class=”external-processed” href=”http://www.crpe.org/thelens/notes-from-field-personalized-learning”>Notes From the Field</a>” on personalized learning.</em></p> <p><strong><a href=”https://blockads.fivefilters.org”>Let’s block ads!</a></strong> <a href=”https://github.com/fivefilters/block-ads/wiki/There-are-no-acceptable-ads”>(Why?)</a></p> Tue, 27 Sep 2016 08:07:26 +0000 Michael DeArmond article Technology’s Unmet Progressive Promise – Education Next Maybe today’s technology can finally make a progressive teaching approach more doable for teachers and students in more classrooms. http://educationnext.org/technologys-unmet-progressive-promise/ http://educationnext.org/files/ednext-sept2016-blog-dearmond-progressive-teaching-and-tech.jpg en-US text/html http://educationnext.org/technologys-unmet-progressive-promise/ Blog Curriculum Editorial Technology Michael DeArmond personalization Personalized Learning personalized learning framework progressive education techniques progressive teaching methods Undergraduate Teacher Education Program UTEP http://educationnext.org/beware-the-iconography-trap-of-personalized-learning-rigor-matters/ http://educationnext.org/?p=49674211 <p>My colleague and I recently visited a middle school science classroom. Students, outfitted with safety glasses, were organized into groups of three to four. The room was lively but not disorderly as each group worked on its own experiment. As we walked the perimeter of the room, we saw many of the hallmarks of a personalized learning (PL) classroom: small groups worked independently, each worked on an activity that they had chosen, the teacher engaged with small groups of students.</p> <div id=”attachment_49674252″ class=”wp-caption alignright”><img class=”size-full wp-image-49674252″ src=”http://educationnext.org/files/ednext-sept2016-blog-personalized-learning-and-rigor.jpg” alt=”twenty20.com” width=”300″/><p class=”wp-caption-text”>twenty20.com</p> </div> <p>But when I asked a group of students about their project, I learned that their task was to mimic the rising and setting of the sun using a light bulb and tray of sand. They were asked to compare the temperature of a tray of sand with the light bulb turned on or off and consider the implications for the surface temperature of the earth.</p> <p>These students knew exactly how this experiment would pan out before they even started.</p> <p>The teacher worked hard to get the day’s lesson off the ground. She did what all good PL staff development tools advise. She mapped out and prepared several different lab assignments from which students could choose. She trusted her students to choose their partners and their activities and to be productive in their work. As she worked with students in the class she deftly switched between the different activities students were working on. But, at the end of the day, the learning goals and activities were far below the level of understanding and reasoning capacities of these students.</p> <p>Many teachers in the PL schools we’ve visited are making big changes to their classrooms, as the teacher in this example has. Gone are the rows of desks that we usually find in typical classrooms. In their place, teachers are creating spaces where students can engage in a variety of learning activities, often working at their own pace, sometimes working on a computer. Countless teachers have shown us how they are rewriting their lesson and unit plans to give students more chances to direct their own learning. And teachers have talked to us about how they are rethinking their assessments to better reflect deep learning goals.</p> <p>But we’re also seeing that it’s easy for schools caught up in these sweeping changes to lose sight of what will really push student learning forward: high-quality, challenging, rich content.</p> <p>Like many traditional schools, those attempting PL are still figuring out what it means to work with Common Core-caliber content and skills (for example, engaging with complex texts in ways that deepen understanding). Like many teachers in more traditional schools, we’re seeing teachers in PL schools who need help understanding and vetting the texts and software they give students—as well as help with strategies to productively engage students with the material. There is serious risk, however, that the demands of tackling the <em>iconography</em> of PL (student groupings, project-based learning, etc.) is crowding out time and energy for teachers to create rigorous content and learning experiences for students.</p> <p>Can districts and external partners support both rigor <em>and</em> personalization? This may be the most critical and least attended-to question for the successful implementation of personalized learning.</p> <p>Some schools have managed to achieve the two goals effectively by using these common sense strategies:</p> <p><strong>Start with standards, not structures.</strong> Teachers in schools or districts that started their PL initiatives by focusing on Common Core-aligned, competency-based <em>standards</em> seem to be homing in on rigor more readily than those whose schools or districts started by focusing on personalization <em>structures</em> (like launching a station-rotation model where students move from one learning station to the next). They focus first on planning challenging learning objectives and assessments and let everything else flow from that. For example, in one district we visited, the teachers want students to become adept at recognizing when and how to apply a simple concept, like the Pythagorean theorem, to a complex problem such as an architectural design. Textbook word problems weren’t getting the job done. A small number of pilot schools in this district are now exploring whether personalized approaches and strategies—particularly project-based learning and providing students with more flexibility in crafting their projects—could better expose students to complex problems and better motivate them to persist through complex tasks. How these schools organize their students throughout the day and the activities they engage students in are a means to an end rather than an end in and of themselves.</p> <p><strong>Assess and discuss rigor.</strong> Teachers in the PL schools we visited are clearly hungry for feedback. But too often, the principals, central office leaders, and external partners visiting their classrooms focused on “what was happening” instead of focusing on the quality and rigor of student work. We see a clear need for more systematic feedback that focuses on both instruction <em>and</em> content in their classrooms; school systems could train teachers and leaders to do just that. <a class=”external-processed” href=”http://achievethecore.org/” target=”_blank”>Student Achievement Partners’</a> Common Core-aligned Instructional Practice Guides are one example of a flexible tool that teachers and leaders could use to help keep rigor part of the conversation as they reimagine a more personalized and engaged classroom for students.</p> <p>Personalized learning will not help students if they are working with content that is below their capacity. Rigor and personalization need to go hand in hand.</p> <p>—Betheny Gross</p> <p><em>Betheny Gross is senior analyst and research director at the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington Bothell. </em><em>This is the first in the CRPE series of “<a class=”external-processed” href=”http://www.crpe.org/thelens/notes-from-field-personalized-learning” target=”_blank”>Notes From The Field</a>” on personalized learning.<br/></em></p> <p><strong><a href=”https://blockads.fivefilters.org”>Let’s block ads!</a></strong> <a href=”https://github.com/fivefilters/block-ads/wiki/There-are-no-acceptable-ads”>(Why?)</a></p> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 04:12:26 +0000 Betheny Gross article Beware the Iconography Trap of Personalized Learning: Rigor Matters – Education Next Personalized learning will not help students if they are working with content that is below their capacity. http://educationnext.org/beware-the-iconography-trap-of-personalized-learning-rigor-matters/ http://educationnext.org/files/ednext-sept2016-blog-personalized-learning-and-rigor.jpg en-US text/html http://educationnext.org/beware-the-iconography-trap-of-personalized-learning-rigor-matters/ Blog Curriculum Editorial academic standards Betheny Gross challenges high standards Notes from the Field Personalized Learning personalized learning framework personalized learning platform rigor rigor of state proficiency standards http://educationnext.org/what-were-watching-match-charter-school-shares-its-curriculum/ http://educationnext.org/?p=49673899 <p><a href=”http://www.matchschool.org/” target=”_blank”>Match Charter School</a>, a high-performing preK-12 school in Boston, is making its curriculum available to teachers everywhere through <a href=”https://www.matchfishtank.org/” target=”_blank”>Match Fishtank</a>. The courses available for download so far are <a href=”https://www.matchfishtank.org/curriculum/7th-grade-english/” target=”_blank”>7th grade English</a>, <a href=”https://www.matchfishtank.org/curriculum/7th-grade-math/” target=”_blank”>7th grade math,</a> and <a href=”https://www.matchfishtank.org/curriculum/9th-grade-english/” target=”_blank”>9th grade English</a>.</p> <p><a href=”https://www.matchfishtank.org/” target=”_blank”><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-49674132″ src=”http://educationnext.org/files/ednext-sept2016-www-match-fishtank.png” alt=”ednext-sept2016-www-match-fishtank” width=”300″ height=”167″/></a>The website explains</p> <blockquote readability=”14″> <p><em>These materials have been developed and curated by our <strong>teachers and curriculum experts</strong> over many years.</em></p> <p><em>At Match, we think teachers should spend more time planning <strong>how</strong> to teach — with the unique learning needs of their students in mind—and less time worrying about the basics of <strong>what</strong> to teach. <strong>Good baseline curriculum and assessments</strong> free teachers to do just that.</em></p> <p><em>Match Fishtank is our effort to <strong>share our curriculum with teachers everywhere</strong> to lessen their load and help them on the road to amazing classroom learning.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>The founder of Match Charter School, Michael Goldstein, wrote “<a href=”http://educationnext.org/studying-teacher-moves/” target=”_blank”>Studying Teacher Moves: A practitioner’s take on what is blocking the research teachers need</a>,” for Education Next.</p> <p>– Education Next</p> <p><strong><a href=”https://blockads.fivefilters.org”>Let’s block ads!</a></strong> <a href=”https://github.com/fivefilters/block-ads/wiki/There-are-no-acceptable-ads”>(Why?)</a></p> Fri, 16 Sep 2016 16:00:28 +0000 Education Next article What We’re Watching: Match Charter School Shares Its Curriculum – Education Next Match Charter School, a high-performing preK-12 school in Boston, is making its curriculum available to teachers everywhere through Match Fishtank. http://educationnext.org/what-were-watching-match-charter-school-shares-its-curriculum/ http://educationnext.org/files/ednext-sept2016-www-match-fishtank.png en-US text/html http://educationnext.org/what-were-watching-match-charter-school-shares-its-curriculum/ Charter Schools and Vouchers Curriculum Multimedia Video charter school charter schools curriculum Match Charter Match charter school match education Match Fishtank

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