I believe it is not enough to judge humankind on scientific principles — which historically have often been temporary truths. Schooling must respect the art of human-ness and so we should design natural learning environments to maximize our children’s innate assets.
“I’ve been reading about Project Based Learning for some time now,” writes international teacher-blogger Jenny Luca, “and struggled trying to find a way to integrate this kind of pedagogy into my regular English classroom practice.” This year Jenny and her teacher teammates included a 3-week PBL experience in their unit on Romeo and Juliet. “This has been one of the most rewarding activities I’ve been involved in this year. I’m invested in it and I can feel that passion for what I do apparent when I’m interacting with the students.”
My daughter’s world and that of my students is dominated by digital media. Within this new world is an abundance of knowledge, networking and possibilities that none of us yet completely understand. I know there is wealth here. Yet sometimes it seems that the screens are blocking our kids’ awareness of natural phenomena, in the same way I become distracted from friends and family when I have an iPad in front of me.
Online educator Smadar Goldstein introduces us to Ilana, the “fabulous” kindergarten teacher who taught each of her four children — and describes four ways she’s incorporated Ilana’s teaching methods into her own distance learning practice.
Many teachers who opt for the flipped classroom strategy are not pursuing a student-centered approach to teaching and learning, says Shelley Wright. The traditional model is simply being reversed — not reinvented. The lecture (live or on video) is still front and center. “Learning isn’t simply a matter of passively absorbing new information while watching a lecture on video,” she says. “New knowledge should be actively constructed.”
Over the summer, Voices blogger Margaret Haviland taught her first online high school course — a survey of US History in six and a half weeks! Margaret journaled about her experience at her personal blog. We found her account rich in useful detail. Any teacher about to embark on a first-time online teaching experience will likely find Margaret’s narrative helpful, so we’ve posted excerpts here.