(brainstorming. getting closer to what I want to examine… see v.1 and v.2 for context)
Bridging theory and practice.
Bridges. Sun rising. Strong metaphors for change in education. Photo taken by dogra, made available on flickr through a cc license. Click image to view source.
There is a lot of theory around education, around the best way(s) to teach children.
Often theory is presented to teachers as an end-product, in the form of curricular reforms or technological reforms that are expected, at times mandated, to be used in the classroom.
Researchers question – why aren’t our findings being transferred into practice?
Teachers question – why are we being asked to do something new, something else again?
Policy makers question – why are teachers being so difficult?
How can we change these questions?
How can we bridge the gaps?
I believe it comes down to
competing value systems between the different stakeholders that create
- difficult relationships
- fragmented culture
- unstable ground
The feedback I received from my doctoral seminar group and from Chris is helping me to bridge the gaps in my ideas. Interestingly, as I do that I’m also discovering that my ideas are about bridging gaps.
Time to read, think, write.
I’ll keep you posted.
Image: Photo of Barack Obama from my.barackobama.com
Teaching Our Kids in a 21st Century Economy. A speech by Senator Barack Obama, in October 2005 at the Center for American Progress (Go here for a text version)
He talks about Jonathan Kozol‘s new book – Shame of a Nation. It seems to me that Mr. Kozol has been writing of the same themes for many years now. His books, Death at an Early Age and Amazing Grace, were among the factors that brought me to a career in education.
I am glad that Senator Obama, who, since yesterday, is now a presidential nominee, has advocated for equality and progression in education. I hope he still is. Because I think that he is someone who is going to have great influence in that country to the South of us, where 1 in 4 8th graders never finish high school (statistic taken from speech).
He talks of transforming American educational culture. A beautiful dream.
He says, “the single most important factor in determining their achievement today is not the colour of their skin, or who their parents are but…who their teacher is.”
“If we are going to give our kids a chance, it is time to start giving our teachers a chance”
He offers ways of doing this. I am going to listen more later because I have to go! I will give my opinion on that later on today.