Moving out towards reform

In an age of constant reform, a teacher is constantly put in the spotlight. The way that he or she teaches is constantly in question.

The teachers I know became teachers because of something from deep within – a passion, a desire to help others, to pay something back, to follow in the footsteps of their own teachers, to make positive change – whatever the impetus it comes from deep within themselves.

The very fact that they are teachers is closely enmeshed with their own sense of self. Teaching, then, is closely tied to our values, even to our sense of what is right and what is wrong.

And so, when teachers are told that they need to change how they teach they just may feel that their values are being put into question and they will hold on to them like there is no tomorrow. It will become messy, no doubt.

Think about that as we struggle through curricular reform, technology integration, differentiation, classroom flipping, backwards design, project-based learning…

(I think that the answer lies somewhere in starting from values and moving out towards reform.)

Beware the bedazzlement

Was reminded today…again…of the importance of good pedagogy.

We can have fancy tools to bedazzle our students/parents/community with but if they aren’t being used in support of good pedagogy, they will remain a sideshow.

So what is good pedagogy in an age where bedazzlement threatens to get in the way?

Same as always – asking questions that invoke big ideas. Designing situations for learning that tap into those big ideas via the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and concepts. Allowing for students to experiment and to follow those big ideas as they will.

Beware the bedazzlement.