Posts Tagged ‘edci506’

Week 13

24 Nov

What do students learn in schools?

What students learn is schools varies from school to school and sometimes even student to student. Sure, everyone would like to think that students are being taught the necessary skills they’ll need in order to succeed in the real world, “In the classroom, our educators are ready and waiting to give all students the knowledge and skills needed for success in college, careers, and life”( sadly this statement isn’t always true. We have proof that students aren’t learning the skills they need to succeed when we have high school graduates who is at an 8th grade reading level. The sad fact is a lot of students are just being taught how to take tests rather than being taught how to critically think and take knowledge that that have gained and apply it to real life situations. Also, like we have discussed in class education tends to go through trends as to which subjects are more valuable right now the more “important” subjects are math and science. Rather than focusing on specific subjects students need to have an education that makes them a well rounded person who is able to function and critically think and problem solve in the real world. How do we do this? Is one subject more important than another one? How do we really assess and make sure that students will be able to function well in society?

What are some models of direct instruction?
“Direct instruction is used to describe a lesson where the teacher has control” (Moore). Basically the teacher lectures at their students and then models what they want the students to do, or walks them through step by step how to do a problem. Picture that big lecture hall in college, with the teacher who has a slide show and a monotone voice and you’ve got direct instruction. It’s really boring and in all honesty it doesn’t require the learner to really think about anything. All they have to do is listen, memorize and be able to regurgitate the step by step process they saw the teacher preform. So really there isn’t too much learning going on, mostly its memorization.

What are some models of indirect instruction?
Indirect instruction is the opposite of direct instruction. It is more hands on, students are allowed to experiment and ask questions that lead to them discovering the answers or solving the problems either by themselves or with their peers. The teacher is more of a guide, there to help when needed and answer questions. Instead of giving students the answer or teaching them a step by step process teachers guide students in the correct direction by doing things like asking questions. This type of teaching allows students to collaborate together teaching them social skills, group management skills, and critical thinking skills. An example of indirect instruction would be: group discussions or group activities. Indirect instruction is something that I wish I was exposed to earlier in life. I didn’t really get exposed to it until high school and then a lot more in college. I have issues with thinking critically and thinking “outside the box” and I think if I had been taught using indirect method earlier in life I would be more skilled at problem solving and critical thinking.

Brainstorm ideas of authentic assessments that you may use that are appropriate for a content area that you might teach as well as developmentally appropriate for your future students:

I always stress about coming up with ideas on how to assess my students that doesn’t involve giving a test. I find tests boring and so un-original, and like I’ve said before I’m a horrible test taker and I get test anxiety so as a future teacher I would like to spare my students that stress as much as possible. I know that tests will have to be given and taken and I know that my students will have to pass state tests because of this obviously I won’t never give any tests but in situations where I can be more creative with assessments I will take advantage of it.  Some possible ideas I have:

Project based assessments: Anything to get the students using their hands and imaginations. So for example in a 3rd grade classroom for science I would assign each student a specific bug or animal study more in depth about, and then come up with some creative idea to present their information to the class. Either a poster board, or a slide show, or an art project.

Story writing: I would have the students write a creative story that we would develop over a few weeks. It could start with just a short paragraph for them to get their creative juices flowing and then get longer from there.


-Moore , D. (n.d.). Direct instruction: Targeted strategies for student success . 21(414)

Week 12

17 Nov

I think schools are doing their best to stay relevant in the 21st century. Computers are being used more and more in the classroom in all grade levels and I think that is a great idea because students are use to so much stimulation all the time and computers are a great way to keep them engaged in learning and also giving them the freedom to explore and discover things on their own. I think that schools could be doing better at staying relevant for the 21st centery because “teacher licensing standards should include assessment of knowledge and skills involving incorporation of technology in classroom lessons” (Ornstein, Levine, & Gutek, 2011, p. 514), this statement is very true and I know that many teaching programs don’t help their future teachers build these specific skills. Teachers licensing programs should include training and assessments on how to use technology in the classroom so that teachers are able to use the technology they have available to them to the best of their abilities. Teachers also need to learn how to get students interested and excited about technology because it can be used in some very interesting, unique and fun ways. One of the biggest issues with technology though is that not every school has equal opportunities to technology “whether in their schools or homes, lower-income students generally have less access to certain computer-based learning opportunities that middle-income students do” (Ornstein, Levine, & Gutek, 2011, p. 515). This is sad but true and in order for schools to continue to engage their students and show their students that they have a purpose in the 21st century schools, their communities and the government need to work together to make sure that all students have access to decent technology.

I think that students should have some say in the content that they study. Rather they have a say in what they study or how they study students need to feel like what they are learning is relevant to their lives, that they can relate to it and they should enjoy learning! It’s not hard for a teacher to simply ask their students, “what are you interested in learning?” or when they are studying a subject asking them something like, “Would you all like to create a poster board or a powerpoint about this subject?” instead of just lecturing and testing students teachers need to figure out creative and new ways to engage their students. I have found it amazing to see what ideas students come up with about their education when they are simply asked. So personally I think it is a great idea to let students have some control over the content that they learn and how they learn it.

Ornstein, A.C., Levine, D.U., & Gutek, G.L. (2011). Foundations of education (11th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Diversity in the Classroom

09 Nov

-How might you teach a student who is gifted and talented in your inclusive classroom?
“Often, highly able students learn more quickly than others their age. As a result, they typically need a more rapid instructional pace than do many of their peers”(Tomlinson, 1997) I think because gifted students are able to learn more quickly than their peers many gifted students become bored in the classroom so they start to act up and then the teacher gets frustrated because they aren’t exactly sure what to do with their gifted students. I think that identifying your gifted students with in your classroom as quickly as possible is the first step to helping them get the education they need. If you can identify a gifted student than as the teacher you could meet with the parents of the students and come up with an individualized lesson plan so that the child stays interested in the learning material and so that the child doesn’t become a distraction to the other students. As a teachers I would seek advice from my peers on how to teach a gifted student ask for ideas and activities that would challenge the student to make sure that they are getting the most out of the material and that they aren’t bored in my classroom. I would never want a child to be bored in my classroom because boredom tends to lead to distraction and becoming uninterested in education.

-Managing a classroom environment:
I always found the “token system” and interesting a great idea to help to manage behavior in a classroom. “A token system is a system in which students earn some type of a token that can be exchanged later for a specific reinforcer” (Peters Laura C., 2010). I remember having a few teachers growing up that used this system in their classrooms and I loved it. Obviously as a student I didn’t realize the true purpose of the system I just knew that I loved having the opportunity to earn some tokens that could then be traded in latter for a prize, it was great! Obviously to use this in a classroom the teacher needs to know their students well and know rather or not this kind of system would work for them. But, out of the many ways that I have read to manage a classroom this one is in my top favorites list.

-What steps should you take to help prepare you to teach students with disabilities?
I think the most important step I can take is educating myself any way possible. I will do internet research because the internet leads you to many different types of sources that can have great advice and helpful types. I also hope that I can actually volunteer within a classroom that has multiple types of disabilities because I believe that hands on experience is one of the best ways that I learn. Actually being able to interact with students who have disabilities and seeing how more experienced teachers handle it and what strategies they use is going to be much more helpful for me than just reading about what I should do in a book. I would also like the chance to be able to talk one on one with special needs teachers. Even though I might not work with students who have as intense disabilities as they work with being prepared to deal with as many situations that could possibly come my way is on the top of my list of things to do before I am by myself in my own classroom. Asking questions, doing research and seeking out the answers to my questions is how I plan on preparing myself to teach students with disabilities.

I thought this website was really interesting. It’s a site for teachers to come and collaborate ideas with each other. It is put together by teacher is West Virginia but I still think it has a lot of useful tools and ideas that can be used by teachers everywhere.

Peters Laura C. (2010, January 08). Innovations and perspectives. Retrieved from

Tomlinson, C. A. (1997, May). National association for gifted children. Retrieved from

Week 10 Social Class and School Achievement

04 Nov

1. What steps can you take to create a more supportive school environment?
One of the biggest steps that I think we can take as educators to create a more supportive school environment is to put our own prejudices aside. “For educators, the challenge is to improve the performance of all low-status students, from whatever ethnic group”(Ornstein, Levine, & Gutek, 2011, p. 348). We want to educate ALL students and give each of them the chance to succeed and how can we do that if we go into a classroom with prejudices? It would be impossible. As a teacher if we think that a student isn’t capable of doing something, the students is most likely going to pick up on that negative attitude and then most likely they will just give up. If you as their teacher doesn’t believe in them why would they believe in themselves? As a future teacher I personally plan on leaving any prior knowledge that I THINK I know about my students outside of the classroom. Every year I’ll be getting a new group of kids with their own individual background stories and personalities and I plan on letting them express that, I plan on letting them tell me who they are rather than just making assumptions. I want to see what prior knowledge they have and then build on that knowledge. I plan on lifting my students up, believing in them and encouraging them on a daily basis. I think that if you go into a classroom and expect your students to work hard, try their best and encourage them students are able to accomplish pretty much anything. Students and teachers have to be willing to work hard and listen to one another. Look at the movie Freedom Writers Erin treated her students with respect, she believed in them and she didn’t treat them like they were stupid like many other teachers did and ever single one of her students went to college. That’s pretty amazing. Erin showed what teachers and students are able to accomplish if you work hard as a group and put your prejudices aside.

2. How is class time related to student achievement?
I think that class time is where teachers can make the biggest impact on a student on an educational level. It is during class time that teachers can assess students and the knowledge that they know. Also class time tends to go one of two ways either it is engaging and the students are having fun while they are learning or they are bored, tune out the teacher and they learn very little to no information. I have been involved in both types of classrooms. I think it is the teacher’s responsibility to make the information fun, engaging and relatable. As educators we need to make our students understand why education is important and how it matters in their life. The class time is also a very important time to help and encourage students. It is very, very important that we help students understand better when they are having trouble in school and that we continue to encourage them everyday. “Lack of academic success in the early grades not only detracts from learning more difficult material later; it also damages a student’s perception that he or she is a capable learner who has a chance to succeed in school and later in life” (Ornstein, Levine, & Gutek, 2011, p. 355) so encouraging students must start at an early age and continue throughout their academic career. Also, during class time is where students should be getting most, if not all, of the explanation they need to complete homework and other projects that get completed outside of the classroom. If a student doesn’t understand an assignment and they go home to either an empty house, because their parents are working, or a house with parents who also don’t understand the assignment how likely is it that the student is going to complete the assignment? Students should leave the classroom feeling confident in their own personal knowledge and their own abilities to do assignments by themselves.

3. Do you think tracking is a valid method for enhancing student performance?
Honestly, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about tracking in schools. There is so much debate over tracking and rather or not it is helpful or harmful to students, “…If teachers find it easier to teach a homogeneous group of students, tracking could enhance school effectiveness and raise test scores of both low- and high-ability students. But if students benefit from learning with higher-achieving peers, tracking could disadvantage lower-achieving students, thereby exacerbating inequality”(Duflo, 2009). I think that tracking can work well for certain students and then not work well for others so I think students and parents should be given the choice to be involved in tracking or to not be involved with tracking.

I found this article about tracking to be very interesting and informative: Can Tracking Improve Learning? by Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas and Michael Kremer.
This is the link:


1. Duflo, E. (2009). Education next. Retrieved from

2. Ornstein, A.C., Levine, D.U., & Gutek, G.L. (2011). Foundations of education (11th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Culture and Technology in the Classroom

27 Oct

-How will the difference in values between Anglo-European American and Asian American students affect your teaching and your relationships with students and parents?
It will affect my teaching because I want to make sure that all of my students can relate in some way to they lessons and material I will be teaching. Learning needs to be fun and relatable and in order to do that students need to be able to make real life connections to what they are learning in the classroom. They need to be able to answer the questions: why this is important to my life and how does it relate to me? If we can’t get students to relate to the information most likely they won’t find it interesting and that will lead to them being uninterested in school. I would like to make sure that I understand the different cultures that are coming into my classroom. I want to make sure that I understand them well enough so that I’m not offending any student or their parents and to make sure that I can relate the subject matter to their lives. As for my relationship with the parents I will make sure to have a understanding of their culture so that I don’t say or do anything that will offend them. I want to make sure that they know I have their child’s best interest in mind and that I want to be able to teach their child in a way that they can agree with even if we don’t agree on every small detail.

-What are some cultural patterns that will influence you instruction?
I think that this statement depends on where a teacher is teaching. Different parts of our country is going to have different cultural patterns. For example: where I grew up and went to school we had a very, very low Asian American population but where my friend grew up there was a very high Asian American population because of this there were different cultural patterns that affected our day to day live and our education. With that said no matter what cultural patterns that are around me I plan to teach my students tolerance and understanding for cultures that are different from them. Even if I teach in an area that isn’t very culturally divers I still plan to have lessons about other cultures because most likely as my students grow they will be exposed to many different cultures and have knowledge about those cultures will help them be a better well rounded person. Assigning my students projects like researching a culture that they don’t know much about and then presenting that information to the class will benefit the class as a whole because it “can help to eliminate the crux of stereotyping, prejudice, racism, and bigotry”(Wilson, 2012).

-How will gender roles have an impact in your teaching and your students learning?
“Recent studies in the United States indicate that sex differences in academic achievement are relatively small to nonexistent” (Ornstein, Levine, & Gutek, 2011, p. 327). I think this is a wonderful statement because I truly hope that gender roles have a very low impact on my teaching and my students. I don’t want my students to feel like they aren’t good in specific subject just because they are a boy or a girl. I want to motivate my students by building up their confidence levels and feeding their curiosity. No girl should ever be told, “you won’t do as well as Charlie in math because he’s a boy and you are a girl” and they same goes for boys. So I really do hope that gender roles have a very low to zero impact on my teaching and my students learning.

-How will educational technologies help your instruction?
Students today use so much technology on a daily basis that I think it would be nieve for teachers to not use it in their classrooms “by age 20 many youth will have been on the internet for 30,000 hours or more” (Ornstein, Levine, & Gutek, 2011, p. 325). I would like to have a balanced classroom. A classroom that uses technology along with traditional teaching methods. I really hope that I can have computers in my classroom so that students are able to do research based learning activities so that they are able to not only learn about the subject but also learn about the multiple resources that are available to them and how to use those sources correctly to collect the information they need for the assignment. I also think it would be a good idea to use a social media sight to help stay in contact with my students even when they leave class. Being able to set up a classroom blog or even something like a facebook page for my classroom would be very helpful. It would allow me to answer questions that students or parents might have about daily homework and it would be an easy way to keep in touch with parents, I would be able to easily get a message to them about the activities that are going on in the classroom that week or any other issues they may need to know about.

-The Chinese Proverb “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.” After reading this proverb, answer this question. How will you become knowledgeable about your students differences?
I think one of the easiest ways to become knowledgeable about my students differences is to ask them. So many people just assume things about people when they really have no idea what is really going on inside that person’s mind or personal world. Talking with my students, having them write their own bibliography as an assignment so that they can tell me things about themselves that maybe they don’t want the entire class to know. Also, doing my own research. Looking into cultures that I know very little about will continue to educate me about the different types of students and their families that will becoming in and out of my classroom.
This is a fun and quick youtube video about using technology in the classroom. He had some interesting ideas that I had never thougt about using before.


1. Wilson, K. (2012). Critical multicultural pavilion – research room. Retrieved from
2. Ornstein, A.C., Levine, D.U., & Gutek, G.L. (2011). Foundations of education (11th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Issues In Education

14 Oct

In the September 27, 2012 edition of the Chicago Tribune an article titled “District 86 allows R-rated movies in classrooms” was published. The article discusses that at Hinsdale South high school and Hinsdale Central high school parents and community members were outraged that “the Hinsdale Township High School District 86 school board voted not to suspend the showing of excerpts of such films as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘American Beauty’ in a film-as-literature class, and  that the board will not prevent any other R-rated films from being shown in other classes at the schools” (Mannion, 2012). At the school board meeting many parents expressed that they were upset because they felt that the movies were exposing their children to topics that they felt were too mature for they children to view. The Hinsdale Library Board of Trustees President Johanna Delaney disagreed because parents had to to sign a permission slip allowing their children to see the movies. If parents didn’t want their children to view the film the students where given an alternative assignment. Delaney ultimately put the responsibility back on the parents saying, “Have the courage to say ‘no’ to your child — no you may not watch those movies” (Mannion, 2012). Many other parents and some students, who wanted the movies to be shown, said that “removing them would amount to censorship and loss of academic freedom and would rob students of an educational experience” (Mannion, 2012). In the end the school board voeted 5-2 in favor for allowing the videos to continued to be shown in the schools.

This is a very interesting situation because it comes down to people’s individual morals and what they view is appropriate for their child to be exposed to.  No matter which way the board voted they were going to get backlash from someone and they were going to be imposing on someone’s values and wishes. In this specific situation I think that the board made the correct choice. All teachers have the right to academic freedom in their classrooms. “Academic freedom refers to the teacher’s freedom to choose subject matter and instructional materials relevant to the the course without interference from administrators or outsiders” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 268). The schools also informed the parents what movies where going to be shown in the classroom. They sent home permission slips for the parents to sign stating if the parents and/or students were uncomfortable with the movie material they were allowed to complete another assignment without punishment or question from the school. One thing that I think the teachers could have done to strengthen their argument and further justify their use of the movies would have been to send home a written explanation justifying their use of the movies in the classroom. “Teachers should have a written rationale for the materials they select, explaining how they fit into the curriculum…” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 269). I think this situation may have been less of an issue if the parents had a full and complete understanding as to why those specific movies had been chosen, instead of say a PG-13 movie that parents see as more appropriate and they think could relay the same educational message. All in all I think the school board made the correct choice and the schools followed the correct steps to show the movies in their school. The school sent home permission slips and gave alternate assignments for students to complete if they were uncomfortable with the movies. Teachers should be allowed the teach with materials that they view will be effect and that they think will interest the students the most. No teacher wants to teach with materials that are over used or that they think are boring and no student wants to sit in a classroom and be bored! Students these days are so use to over overstimulation because they have cell phones, the internet, video games and many other devises that it can be hard to get them to focus so I can completely understand a teacher trying to find new ways to teach and engage their students and sometimes the materials they use not everyone is going to agree with. That is why it is wonderful to have academic freedom so that the teacher can be protected and given the chance to justify their teaching materials and lessons.


1. Mannion, A. (2012, September 27). District 86 allows r-rated movies in classrooms. Retrieved from

2. Ornstein, A.C., Levine, D.U., & Gutek, G.L. (2011). Foundations of education (11th ed.).      Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

07 Oct

1. Where does the money come from?
Surprisingly I had never really considered where the funding for schools came from until I decided to become a teacher. I went to a private school up until my college years so my parents paid a tuition fee because of this I never really thought about how public schools got funded. On a local level public schools get most of their money from local property taxes. “The property tax is the main source of revenue for local school districts, accounting for 77 percent of local funding nationwide” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 237). They also receive  funding from personal income tax, special taxes and user fees and also product rights (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 238). Schools are also starting to use exclusive product rights to help raise money for their school district. An example of exclusive product rights is when a “school signs an exclusive product contract with a soft drink company to allow that particular brand to be sold on school property in exchange for a set fee” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 239). I thought this was an interesting idea for schools to take advantage of. At the state level public schools receive funding from sales tax, other taxes: excise taxes, severance taxes and lotteries (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 238). From the federal level public schools receive funding from the U.S. Treasury. The U.S. Treasury “distributes funding to states primarily for designated purposes, such as reading improvement and special education. Current No Child Left Behind regulations require states for show adequate yearly progress in student achievement and provision of highly qualified teachers in every district” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 238). Many schools also use fundraising as a way to get more money for their school. Even though I want to ultimately work in a private school, which will most likely get most of it’s funding from tuition, any school can use exclusive product rights to help raise money and any school can come up with fundraising idea. I greatly look forward to working with my peers, students, and the school board to come up with creative fundraising ideas.

2. Why is there so much concern over funding public schools in the United States today?
There is concern over public funding because as a nation we want be sure the money is going to good use. We want to  make sure our students are getting an adequate education. Which is a bit hard to believe when a 2009 study found that the United Stated ranked 25th in math and 17th in science out of 34 countries (Zhao, 2012). People are worried that the money that is going to education isn’t being used properly making people even more concerned about giving education more money. With our country being in a recession people are even more concerned about their money and what their tax money is being used for. People want to see results and that’s hard to see when we have schools with leaking roofs, out of date tools and textbooks and low test scores.  Also, parents want to make sure that their children are getting an education that is going to make them a successful person in society someday. Many parents also become nervous that the money that is being used to fund schools isn’t being used properly. Parents begin to wonder if there is a better use for the money. They wonder why schools don’t have the necessary supplies or they become frustrated when books and other supplies are out of date.

3. Is the financial voice of a teacher (or other decision makers) always, often, or rarely the voice for children?
I like to believe that the financial voice of a teacher is mostly the financial voice for children. Teachers are aware of what students need on a daily basis in the classroom.
They also know what is needed to help improve the learning environment of the child. So I believe when a teacher brings up financial issues that are affecting their school they are thinking about what is best for their students. I think almost all people who go into the teaching profession are aware of the financial situation so when the bring up financial issues, and equipment that they need in their classroom they are doing it because they are looking for ways to improve their students’ learning experience and not bringing up the issues for their own personal gain.

4. Why are there different funding configurations among states?
There are many factors that add to the wealth of a state for example: the number of people living in the state, the concentration of people in a specific area and the annual yearly salary of the population. If you take two states and compare them based on their population the 2 states are going to have different funding configurations. A state such as California, which is the highest populated state in the nation, with a population of 36,756,666 people is going to have a very different funding configuration than the state of Wyoming which has a population of only 532,668 people (“,” 2012). These 2 states, because of their populations, are going to collect different amounts of money from their sales taxes and their personal income taxes; and it’s through these 2 taxes that states get 47 percent of their funding for public education (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 240). That alone shows a reason why states are going to have different funding configurations.

I found this to be a really interesting and informative article as well. It shows where the United States stands in education as compared to the rest of the world.
1. Zhao, E. (2012, July 23). U.s. students still lag behind foreign peers, schools make little progress in improving achievement. . Retrieved from (2012). Retrieved from

3. Ornstein, A.C., Levine, D.U., & Gutek, G.L. (2011). Foundations of education (11th ed.).      Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Is No REALLY Child Left Behind?

30 Sep

1. What will you do if a student with a disability is in your classroom? How will you meet their specific needs? Who will you consult for assistance?

The first thing that I would do with a student with a disability is talk to them. Assuming that it is the start of a new school year as a teacher you want to make all of your students feel included, welcomed and comfortable in the classroom. I would talk to the student and ask them questions like “what do they enjoy about school? What do they not enjoy about school? What subject or area do they feel like they struggle the most?” I would ask these questions because I want to know what their attitude towards school is because I’m going to take a different approach depending on the student’s attitude. If the student has a positive outlook on learning and they are doing well with the curriculum I would most likely stick to the strategy that they are already using to help with their disability. I would speak with the student, their parents and their previous teacher to find out what that strategy is and what is working for the student and what hasn’t worked in the past. I would continue down that path as long as it was working well for the student. If I have a student with a disability that has no educational plan, has a plan that isn’t working or they have a very negative outlook on learning the first thing I would do would be talking to the student. I would listen to them and try to get some idea of what the issue is. Then I would talk with the student’s past teachers to see if we can find out what isn’t working for the student and try to figure out a new game plan. I would also sit down with the student and their parents together and we would all talk about the issues and try to collectively come up with a plan that helps put the student on the path to success and a plan that also gets them excited about school and learning. I would consult the parents, my principal, any in school specialists and other teachers for assistance first. If I found that I needed more information or assistance I would go into the community and see if there were any learning conferences that I could attend that would further my knowledge about the student’s needs. Also, I would possibly go online. I would do research and even look for support websites that maybe have discussion boards where I could talk to others who are in or have been in similar situations.  I would educate myself to the best of my ability and treat the student and the situation with the respect that they deserve.



2. As the chapter states, the NCLB Act has principals and teachers strategizing to increase test scores of all students. According to the educational professionals in this video case, why are higher test scores sometimes difficult for students (and teachers) to produce?

First off I think standardized tests are ridiculous. Do I think students and teachers need to be held accountable for the information they are suppose to know, of course. Do I think that one generalized test given once a year is the correct way to determine that, absolutely not.  I’ve been very open about this and I have a feeling my opinion is only going to grow as I become more educated and get more real life in classroom experience. The professionals in the video state a few reasons why it’s hard to produce higher test scores: 1. The tests are made up by people who are outside the day to day activities that go on in individual classrooms. They don’t know what the students are going through on a daily basis. They don’t know what is going on in those kids’ lives that could be affecting their school work and their test scores. 2. Because these people aren’t in the classroom on a daily basis they don’t see the improvement that the students make throughout the year. So depending on when in the year the student is tested could produce different results and yet students are only tested and judged based on one test once a year. 3. These test givers don’t know if a student who tested poorly was just having an off day on the test day. Maybe they didn’t sleep well, maybe they were hungry, maybe there is some type of situation going on in their world that is having a big impact on their lives, these test givers will never know and the student only gets one shot on this test. That’s not fair.

3. Do you think the NCLB Act is an effective and accurate way to measure school and student performance? Use research to explain your answer.

No I do not think the NCLB act is an accurate way to measure school and student performance. I believe that government officials had the best intentions in mind when they drafted NCLB but I don’t think that they came up with the most accurate or correct way to evaluate our students, teachers or schools. “This proposed Act is a good idea; however, it has many loopholes. One problem that many people have noticed that teachers are teaching to the test. The teachers feel like they are skipping over fundamentals in order to prepare students for the test”(Benton, 2006). This is one of the main reasons why I think NCLB isn’t an accurate way to evaluate performance. We shouldn’t be having out students memorize information that is going to be on a test so that the school districts continue to get the funding that they need and so that teachers can keep their jobs. We should be teaching students the information and skills that can help make them better world citizens, successful individuals in society, and teaching them skills and information that they can learn and grow from. Going to school and learning isn’t and shouldn’t be about being able to take and pass and general test! Anyone can memorize the information they need to pass a test but then what? Just because they are able to regurgitate the information for this one giant test that they take once and year and pass it does that mean they really learned anything? Not necessarily and our goal as educators should be to educate not to train our students. Also, as it was said in our video this week there could be many different reasons a student doesn’t do well on a test. Maybe they didn’t sleep well the night before, maybe they are sick, maybe their home life isn’t great or maybe they aren’t very strong test takers! Just because they don’t do well on the test doesn’t mean that they don’t know the information, there are too many factors to take into account that can affect a student’s performance on a test and that is why  students, teachers and schools shouldn’t be judge solely on the test scores they produce. This is just one of multiple issues that I personally have with the NCLB act.

1. Benton, L. (2006). Technologies of writing. Retrieved from

Idealism and Realism

23 Sep

Idealism: The Cave from Plato’s Republic & Oversoul by Ralph Waldo Emerson

First off let me start of by saying that I found these readings difficult. I have no idea if it’s just me or not but for some unknown reason I had a very hard time following what both of them were talking about. Plato was easier to understand once I read the summary of his writing from and his ideas became more clear and actually very interesting. I enjoyed how he used a cave, the shadows and the sun to describe the knowledge that people have and the knowledge that they COULD have if they worked to “unlock” said knowledge. I like how he used the shadows in the cave describe the false reality we are all living in and the world outside of the cave as the world of spiritual enlightenment (the real reality that is locked away in our minds) which, according to Plato, is something we should all strive to have. Something that I found interesting between the two writings is both authors believed that humans’ minds already had all of the knowledge it was every going to possess and that humans needed to unlock there knowledge for themselves. They both believed in a divine being and that the reality we see/live in isn’t the real reality. They wrote that the real reality could only be uncovered by divine enlightenment. It was interesting to see both authors focus so much on the divine and the power and knowledge true divine understanding could bring. Idealists believe that knowledge “is about the universal spiritual truths that underline reality and about the ideas that reflect that truth.” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 171).

Sound or No Sound?

Realists believe “that reality is outside our minds, or objective, not latent or internal to out minds as Plato claimed” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 1713).

Therefore the answer to the question: “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, would it make a noise?” from a realists point of view the answer would be yes. A realist would say ‘”yes” because the tree DOES exists and it grows rather or not you are there to see it grow inch by inch, so it makes a sound when it falls even if you aren’t there to hear it.


Idealism or Realism?

Surprisingly I am a Realism. I was surprised by this because I do believe in God and many of my core values and my beliefs come from my relationship with God. I also believe that the world was created by God, but to me Realism is more logical when it comes to education. I believe that students should be taught different skills and teachers should use many different methods to teach their students (hands on learning, discussions, visual aids and so on) to ensure that they can make the subject matter as clear as possible to every student in their classroom. While I don’t totally agree with the idea of standardize testing as a way to always test students I do believe that teachers and students should be held accountable for the knowledge they teach and the knowledge they learn.

Realism, Idealism and Learning

While I am more of a realist I think both Idealism and Realism offer interesting and unique ways to think about learning, education and the world around us. Both theories can be used as a base to form an educational institution and both bring up good points about how to view the world around us. Realism, I feel, is for people who think more logically and Idealism is better for people who think more abstractly.


This video contrasts Idealism and Realism was easy to follow which was nice for me since I had a hard time with the readings!



1. Ornstein, A., Levine, D., & Gutek, G. (2011). Foundations of education. (11th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

2. Steven Kreis. (2004, May 13). Lectures on modern european intellectual history. Retrieved from

A bit of Education History

13 Sep

How has the institution of education changed? How has it remained the same?

One of the biggest changes in the institution of education is now women are able to receive a education and not just a basic education but they are allowed to go to institutions of higher education. The fact that women have not always been able to receive an education has always been something that has bothered me. Even though some societies allowed education of women as long as it was for religious education like the Medieval societies, the fact that women had to fight so hard to get their rights to have an education shows how important education is in people lives. I think this change in education is wonderful! The more we educate everyone in our society and allow them to explore different ideas and bounce ideas around with their peers the more likely we are to continue to grow and be successful as a society.

What are your thoughts on the purpose of education?

In our class text book Foundations of Education I thought it was very interesting that the earliest societies had many of the same educational goals, “Greek: to cultivate civic responsibility and identification with city-state and to develop well rounded persons, to train soldiers and military leaders. Roman: to develop civic responsibility….to develop military skills” (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 60). I found those common goals to be interesting because each society wanted to be the best and while they each went about teaching education in their own ways, they still very similar goals in what they wanted to teach their citizens. I think the purpose of education is to make our students the best possible person they can be. As a society we want to give our students all the tools they need so that when they go out into the world they can be a well rounded individual who will help our society function as a whole. I also like to think that the purpose of education is to learn from our societies, and other societies, past mistakes. Another big purpose of education is so that people can learn about other cultures. By asking the questions what makes people unique, what makes yourself uniques? We can open up many different doors for our students to go through and we make many different results possible.

How have educators from the past contributed to teaching today?

How have educators from the past contributed to teaching today? I think the better questions is: how have they not?! Comenius had a huge impact on how we teach today. It’s interesting that he had to crete these principles for people to think about because now a days you read his principles and think to yourself “duh.” I think my favorite principle of his is number 1: use objects or pictures to illustrate concepts (Ornstein, Levine & Gutek, 2011, p. 98). This concept is so important because today we know that every person learns differently. Some students are visual learners, so are hands on learners and the point that Comenius made when he stated principle one was as teachers we need to incorporate as many different learn styles into each and every lesson as possible so that we make sure our lesson plays to the different strengths of our different students. It was a thought process way before his time and this is a method that is being used more and more in today’s classrooms. The other reason I really connected with this principle is I hope that I can be this type of teacher. I want to be a creative, caring and understanding teacher who strives to do the best that I can to reach all of my students and if that means incorporating as many types of learning styles into one lesson then so be it! I will be the teacher who makes learning fun, visual and hands on. I want my students to enjoy learning and coming to school every day. The educators of the past asked questions that many people were afraid to ask. The challenged people’s ways of thinking about education and most of them were thinkers way beyond their time. They affect students because they brought forth new idea about how people learn, they affect teachers because they offer teachers many different types of teaching styles and challenge teachers to better themselves and their teaching styles.

Thoughts of a Future Teacher

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