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« Communications Services: Ladies and gentlemen, the revolution starts now. | Main | But did he pass the test? »

February 22, 2005

Comments

Mary Herring

While all of these are big issues, I am concerned that the role of technology is minimal in this discussion. I see that Bush’s new budget has further cuts for educational technology (is the Teacher Ed Division going to post a protest to these?). I hear the officers of the EETT program are fighting for funding. How are programs surviving in light of what you have stated and what is happening to funding for technology and its integration into the teaching learning process.


Does this paper need to tie to AECT’s mission statement?? I think you are missing the strong role instructional design knowledge plays in much of what you are discussing. Around here, folks think I know how to use a computer well but they don’t know that I am a specialist in curriculum development, alignment, assessment and evaluation. Why?? What do we need to do to get our message out? Perhaps we need to repackage our message.

Mission Statement (https://www.aect.org/About/default.htm):
The mission of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology is to provide international leadership by promoting scholarship and best practices in the creation, use, and management of technologies for effective teaching and learning in a wide range of settings.

My thoughts on some of your points:

1. [Teacher quality indicators are implicitly and explicitly defined in these four categories: ability or aptitude; content knowledge, pedagogic knowledge, and teaching credentials (“Measuring Teacher Qualifications”, NCES, Feb. 1999; “Eight Questions on Teacher Preparation: What Does the Research Say”, Michael B. Allen, 2003). Are these reasonable and sufficient categories for the preparation of new teachers? Can we measure these indicators in valid ways among preservice audiences?]
In Iowa, the state has adopted the TQI as the state licensing standards. I find technology in two of the standards indicators (http://www.state.ia.us/boee/stndrds.html):
3. DEMONSTRATES COMPETENCE IN PLANNING AND PREPARING FOR INSTRUCTION.
The teacher:
a. Uses student achievement data, local standards and the district curriculum in planning for instruction.
b. Sets and communicates high expectations for social, behavioral, and academic success of all students.
c. Uses student developmental needs, background, and interests in planning for instruction.
d. Selects strategies to engage all students in learning.
e. Uses available resources, including technologies, in the development and sequencing of instruction.
4. USES STRATEGIES TO DELIVER INSTRUCTION THAT MEETS THE MULTIPLE LEARNING NEEDS OF STUDENTS.
The teacher:
a. Aligns classroom instruction with local standards and district curriculum.
b. Uses research-based instructional strategies that address the full range of cognitive levels.
c. Demonstrates flexibility and responsiveness in adjusting instruction to meet student needs.
d. Engages students in varied experiences that meet diverse needs and promote social, emotional, and academic growth.
e. Connects students' prior knowledge, life experiences, and interests in the instructional process.
f. Uses available resources, including technologies, in the delivery of instruction
But note that technologies are embedded in the development, sequencing, and delivery of instruction. I know this is common sense to those in the IT field but it seems to me that we need to strengthen our message to show that these are the cornerstones of our profession.
4. [Examinations for licensure and credentialing…should we support a national requirement and the commensurate centralized bureaucracy that would result?]
I think this goes hand in hand with 9. Is our system so bad that the feds need to take it over? They seem well on their way to doing so. Are the teacher’s unions marching in step with them? On the other hand, have we identified the qualities of an effective teacher or are we all adopting the NCLB teacher quality indicators –and are those indicators research based? At a NCATE meeting last spring, the discussion on this topic centered on the fact that this national group does not need any accreditation, no governing body to deal with quality. $40,000,000 being thrown at it—very scary-we will lose much of state control with this one. We appear to be moving closer and closer to a federally mandated education program—even though states pick up the bulk of the cost. So, do we want to get on this train or not?

5. [Policy and research (within current federal expectations) related to teacher education are having indiscriminant effects on our ability to know what is working and what is not working in this era of constant change.]
It feels like the Feds are creating their own reality. You apply for a grant; get it accepted and then they tell you what you are to do. Tail seems to be wagging the dog.

6. [Differentiated instruction, special needs learners, students with disabilities, and strategies for reaching diverse learner audiences…is there a clear path for teacher education?]
Technology is so blended into this one. Teachers can make a difference, if they are trained to harness the power offered to them.

9. [The pending shortage of K-12 teachers due to retirements pales in comparison to the pending loss of teacher educators in our teacher education institutions. What should we do about this?]
Tried to find an Elementary Ed PhD lately??? I think we need to be concerned about losing teacher ed programs across the US. The Feds are working hard to put us out of business. What worries me is that I don’t see a concerted effort to thwart the process. Are we all just too overworked to notice?

10. [Equal access to a quality education from a well-qualified teacher for EVERY child…as teacher educators, what should we be doing to be sure we meet the challenge?]
We had best be doing what teachers in the schools are doing. Apply action research to our own classes, collect data, implement data driven decision making about student learning, align curriculum to standards using a vertical model that cuts across disciplines. We can no longer live in our departmental or content area silos!

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