Effective Education for Today

How relevant are the NETs for Teachers and Administrators to being a “Good Educator” today?

What does it mean to be a “good” educator? Over the past few years, for some reason I can’t explain, I have become interested in curriculum. I like being organized, and I need to prepare ahead of time what I am doing. I love “scope & sequence” so I know that what I am doing links somehow to what the students are bringing in, and will mean something to them next year. The ISB Definition of Learning states clearly what the school’s purpose is … learning. And it tells us what learning should look like.

Learning is the primary focus of our school and we recognize learning as a life-long adventure. We value meaningful learning where students construct enduring understanding by developing and applying knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Increased understanding is evidenced by students who:

– Explain its relevance

– Describe how it connects to or conflicts with prior learning

– Communicate it effectively to others

– Generalize and apply it effectively to new situations

– Reflect critically on their own and other’s learning

– Ask questions to extend learning

– Create meaningful solutions

I think this is a great guideline for our school, and it makes things pretty clear. It is simple, to the point, and practical. You can look at it and start to reflect on your teaching, the activities you plan, and what you have your students doing in the classroom. I also think there are so many connections to technology. We just need to recognize this, and make it happen.

However, at some point, it is possible to have too many standards, benchmarks, and curricular documents. It is possible to spend too much time planning – to over plan. As a new teacher at a very learning-focused school this year, I am having a tough time keeping up with curricular expectations. Another document? Not a chance. I need something simple, with standards in mind, but examples of tech integration. How are more experienced teachers doing it? What works? What doesn’t? This is another reason I love where ISB is going with their isb21 wiki … it looks practical and simple. I can maneuver around it and find what I want … and most important … it is collaborative. I don’t want to read some lengthy document which is written, published, and then sits out there is cyberspace. I want to see what’s new, add my ideas to it maybe, and keep checking in. I believe this is effective for today’s educators. Sure, we can use some of these other documents/organizations for their ideas and expertise, but let’s make it something which is a work in progress.

Through my previous position, which was in an IBO PYP school teaching Grade 5, I was exposed to the PYP Learner Profile. This outline, from the Canadian School in Singapore, is a good explanation of how the Primary Years Program views learners of today. I respect the way they believe in nurturing the whole child, and looking at things from a very global perspective. In order to prepare students for tomorrow’s challenges, we need to give them a chance to think globally, act responsibly, and learn in the right environment, with the right kind of support.

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~ by yamaguru on December 11, 2009.

One Response to “Effective Education for Today”

  1. Glad you like it! We really welcome the feedback and are trying to make it something meaningful and do-able for all.

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