Wednesday, April 11, 2007

English Updates. April11, 2007. Archives.

Curriculum..... Community..... What is meant by a “community” in the classroom? “I understood community as interdependent, with each member doing whatever she could to help other members achieve success.” T Perry. EJ (Jan. 05), 89. [It seems that the believers in making a class a community are not recognizing the strong drive for competition that is a part of American capitalist culture.]

Critical Thinking..... Defined..... How define critical thinking? “As Catherine Fox argues, ‘adopting the pragmatic insistence that meaning resides in consequences’…we might begin by positing critical thinking as what examines the consequences of our choices….” 271. AE Winans. CE (Jan. 05), 253-273.

Curriculum..... Change..... What topics in a subject are most important to teach? “Mathematics considered important to one generation—logarithms of trigonometric functions…—may be nearly obsolete for another generation. This raises the question for both students and teachers: what mathematics is important to teach and to learn?” J Mahoney. MathTchr (Feb. 05), 390-393.

Curriculum..... Criticism..... What skills are needed by job applicants? WSJ “Asides” editorial points to article in a previous edition in which a company in Ohio had to reject more than 20,000 job applicants because they can’t do high-school algebra. WSJ (Sept. 11, 1995), A20.

Curriculum..... Criticism..... How respond to criticism that Americans are not doing well educationally compared to other countries? Americans are not doing well educationally compared to other countries. Critics of this evidence question the validity of using objective tests to measure performance. Inq. (Jan. 7, 1996), G1/G5.

Curriculum..... Criticism..... What are some criticisms of American education? Frank J. O’Rourke, a writer from New Jersey, says that sex education courses have not produced more responsible sexual behavior among teenagers. He says one reason is that educators adopt programs before testing whether they will work. He concludes that dropping sex-ed would ‘free teachers to spend their time teaching grammar and math and we might get students graduating from high school who can write a sentence and figure an interest rate. Now they seem to know more about condoms than they do conjunctions.” Inq. (Sept. 17, 95), E5. [Rhetoric over truth.]

Curriculum..... Drugs..... What’s wrong with programs designed to discourage teens from taking drugs? Teens say that drugs and alcohol are everywhere, and drug education efforts, for the most part, are a joke. A ninth-grader said, “People do their homework while the health teachers are telling you about the dangers of drugs and the assemblies are going on.” Inq. (Sept. 13, 1995), A1/A9.

Curriculum..... IQ..... What are some different kinds of intelligence? Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple types of intelligence: “ The basic claim is that intelligence is not a single measurable entity but that we all possess eight different kinds of intelligence and use them in different proportions.” A. Reichert. TETYC (Dec. 2004), 166.

Curriculum..... Mathematics..... In making up problems for students to solve in a subject, what do teachers need to consider? Math teachers have many resources for problems to use with their students, including making up their own problems. When doing the latter, teachers need to consider whether the problems will interest the students, whether it is different from typical textbook problems, and whether solution of the problem is amenable to different strategies. M Munakata. MathTchr (Feb. 05), 386-387.

Curriculum..... Mathematics..... What are some methods for solving math problems? Methods for solving math problems: drawing diagrams; working backward; simplifying the problem. G Polya, How to Solve It, Princeton, NJ: Princeton U. Press, 1973. In M Munakata. MathTchr (Feb. 05), 387.

Curriculum..... Mathematics..... How make use of short periods of available time in class? Books provide problems for when a minute or two are available. Why not use the same idea with SAT-type grammar, using style, punctuation, usage problems? Series of math problem books is called Daily Warm-Ups, by a variety of people. MathTchr (Feb 05), 447.

Curriculum..... Religion..... Why should religion not be dealt with in education? “I was raised to believe that the secular nature of education was more than just the separation of church and state. School was a place where rationality, science and tangible proof reigned. Faith, the belief in things unseen and unprovable, had no place in education.” BT Williams. JAAL (Mar. 05), 514.

Curriculum..... Research..... Why is limiting teachers to the results of published research harmful to the profession? Responds to the federal government’s requirement that all teaching be limited to scientifically-based researched evidence for practices they use. Says that this requirement shuts teachers off. Fails to enlist their voices, their own research into the practices they use. “Teacher research, in which teachers and others work together to investigate their own assumptions, their own teaching and curriculum development and the policies and practices of their own schools and communities has a vital role to play in improving practice. Teachers matter, not only in terms of student achievement in their individual classrooms, but also as potential contributors to the knowledge base on effective teaching. narrow conceptions of research that silence the voice of teachers diminish the entire teaching-learning enterprise.” Dudley-Marling, C. RTE (Aug. 05), 130.

RTE = Research in the Teaching of English. JAAL = Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. MathTchr = Math Teacher. TETYC = Teaching English in the Two-Year College. Inq. = The Philadelphia Inquirer. WSJ = Wall Street Journal. EJ = English Journal. CE = College English.

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