Thursday, August 25, 2011

Educational Makeover Contest - bring us your "packets"!

Bloom, Socrates, Gardner, Vygotsky , Hunter &  = Danielson APPR
As I sat in an APPR seminar today, I couldn't help but observe that some of the basic precepts, or learning platforms of the past, are being resurrected as mandates. Blooms taxonomy wasn't mentioned once, yet teaching methods which foster the same objectives were cited, modeled, and encouraged.  Blooms has been re-packaged in the Common Core.  The difference?  The CCSS are content, but the appendix, accompanying documents, and paradigm shifts cited all foster the top tier synthesis that Bloom's held up in its' pinnacle point. 

With the parameters of RTTT to include teacher observation (APPR) come an onslaught of training for administrators on the Danielson model of teacher evaluation.  Most are familiar with the Four Domains of Danielson: Planning And Prep; Classroom Environment; Instruction; Professional Responsibilities.  I found it interesting that a tool originally planned to foster great instruction, was not really intended to be a tool for evaluation--no less reduced to a cumulative point system in NYS.  However, the result should actually work to encourage good teachers to become great. 

Bring us your "packets"
In the evaluation rubric were performance indicators which drew from the best of yesterday's educational experts.  This is the perfect storm, synthesizing the premises of educational experts. This could very well be the change our students need to improve our current "stand and deliver" model.   Librarians have been proponents of higher level research projects for years, but have often had a hard time getting people to jump aboard the Inquiry model.  Now teachers are being told; "students should research, draw evidence from the text, draw conclusions, digest rigorous text, discuss with experts, evaluate, and present increasingly complex information, ideas, collaborate with their peers, create knowledge products that reflect deep understanding and more." (see This is the mode of learning in which librarians excel.  We encourage people to bring us their bogus research  "packets" so we can "repackage" them for higher level thought.   We challenge you to bring us those "worksheets"!  Give me a curriculum goal, and I can repackage it in a question that students will have to research, examine, digest, synthesize, conclude, and create to answer.   (Global footprints= Paper or plastic?  Support your decision with evidence from reliable sources, citing experts, give me data, and create an infomercial to inform the public.)

Educational Makeover?
If you are looking for great collaboration in your cybrary, or library, give the teachers a challenge:  Bring me your packet and I will redesign a common core aligned assignment that will be student-centered, have assessment imbedded, and will increase student engagement and achievement.  See how many teachers offer you a worksheet for an educational makeover.  With all the pressure of APPR and the Common Core, they might just welcome your suggestions.  Share an makeover model @ a faculty meeting so people can see the possibilities!  
Find inquiry lesson links at this site, if you don't know where to begin:

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