Comments for Thursday’s Class (6/29)

19 Responses to “Comments for Thursday’s Class (6/29)”

  1. Haley Keene says:

    This comment is for Wednesday’s class 7/5/06.

    I really enjoyed the discussion we had Wednesday about language and symbols representing different things to different people. Kevin brought up the idea that our dreams are hard to describe because often they are so abstract that we have no words (in english at least) to describe the images. We aslo discussed how words are symbols for ideas or emotions. It made me think of a story my mother always tells me. When my sister was really little she used to cry in the bath. She would cry when the water would go down the drain, she said it made her “sad”. My mother thought this was just the sweetest thing untill she realized that what my sister really meant was that she was “scared”. She was scared she too would go down the drain! My sister had developed the emotion but not yet learned the word (or symbol) for feeling scared.

  2. Haley Keene says:

    This comment is for Monday’s class 6/26.

    As I thought back to my first 4 hours of the first day of class one thing really stuck out and that was the “Circle of Courage”. I can remember Joe bringing it up and saying that it was beneficial for all students but worked best for group work. It’s one of the only theories that makes sense to me.

  3. Haley Keene says:

    Ps: that last comment I made was for 6/29 Thursday’s class, not 6/30.

  4. Haley Keene says:

    This comment is for Thursday’s class 6/30.

    I took some notes about a comment Charlie made. He was talking about “banking”. He said that as a teacher you’re a bank. The more interesting you make class the more the students “invest” in you. And the more tedious work you assign the less the students will invest. This banking also works conversley. The students are also a bank, if they do something well, the teacher will invest more in their bank. I really like this idea and have seen it prove true for myself and in several classrooms I’ve worked in.

  5. Kevin Cook says:

    In response to Thursday’s class, I really hope that the prospect of teaching kids to think for themselves continues to beour role. We are not there to indoctrinate, nor are we there to prepare students for the work world. If every class we took had to have a specific, tangible result, I would have wasted a lot of time in school. If the purpose of a liberal arts education is for me to open up a liberal arts shop, then I have wasted my time. If, on the other hand, the purpose of an education is to help me develop the tools to find what’s out there in the world (and for me as a teacher to make some of those tools less unwieldy for my students (as I see my role to be), then I am in the right place.

  6. Mary Moore says:

    Comments for Friday’s class:

    I really liked today’s class, especially the group project. We were hardly into discussing the project before there seemed a need to figure out each other’s learning styles. I loved this because it seemed a necessity before being able to work together successfully. What if this kind of dialogue happened in small groups of students before they began a project? What if “learning styles” was a general topic of conversation in the classroom? Perhaps if people understood their specific style of learning there would be less negative labeling. Of course students shouldn’t be locked into a learning style, but more openness about learning styles might help to cut back on dumb/smart stigmas and be a productive way to help students understand themselves.

  7. Sydney says:

    In response to the implementation of a CPE-like school conversation going on here… It is an uphill battle. Teachers who have been around for awhile are less likely to listen to younger or less experienced teachers telling them how to do their job better (at least, that’s how it probably sounds). While our focus should be on student learning, unfortunately there are many educators who have been doing things a certain way for so long (and it has been working to some degree) so why change? I think it does take energy, enthusiasm, persuasion, and persistence to get this style of teaching/learning on the table. The full faculty meeting may not be the best place to bring it up (and I agree that there must be a way to make that time more enjoyable or useful `for everyone, rather than something dreaded). Leading by example in a smaller setting- on a team (if you can get your immediate colleagues to collaborate), or even just in your own classroom if no one else wants to get on board right away. I think there is no better defense of this type of school than to start to implement the main values, at least, into what we are already doing.

  8. joe says:

    I thought that it is really important that we discussed how to implement some of the ideas that we are reading about in Meier. If you do not talk about implementation are you not falling into some of the pitfalls of Educational Psychology that Berliner talked about.

    Also, I am glad that we talked about the characteristics of a good teacher and how researchers collected data. I feel like it is the proof that I have been looking for to validate my intuition and teaching philosophy.

  9. Darcie Jensvold says:

    In response to Charlie- I’m not sure that Vermont has parallels to the CPE situation but I might take the relativist approach and offer that there are a different set of circumstances that rural schools are confronted with.. The poverty levels are still there, the size issue is not the same although sometimes it may feel like it, certainly the pressures of NCLB and other mandates from above are felt…. I plan to take some of the ideas from these conversations here back to my school and plan to share Mier’s book with our alternative ed. Coordinator as I think she has the ingenuity, energy and possibly support to make something like that happen. As for the traditional high school, I have pushed for conversations with the principal (who is open to most things as long as a logical plan precedes) and other open-minded faculty about different more progressive ideas. While there are a handful of people who are interested it seems there is at least as many sitting in the opposite camp. How to make them all come together and at least meet in the middle?

  10. Terrence Landberg says:

    I was thinking about a comment Katie made today regarding how a CPE-type system is supposed to make inroads in a state like VT. It’s said that crises precipitate change, and I wonder what level of dissatisfaction is necessary for enough people to call for sweeping changes to the current system. I also wonder – and here I wish Meier would delve more deeply – how the administrative side of CPE schools get started. How do you go from having one principal in a school to having four or more? How willing would a school like BHS, where I did my student teaching, be to make such a radical change? I dunno, but Meier certainly has me asking a lot of questions.

  11. charlie says:

    PS (from comment below). I forgot – I wanted to publically thank Alex for bringing us back to Act 60. I can’t believe I’d whiffed on that. ch.

  12. Charlie says:

    I love it that you all put your comments in here even though it said Monday. I finally changed it.

    Today made me wonder a lot about the Vermont context as we talked about the CPE context. Is there a parallel set of conditions in Vermont that can help you all begin to push conversations in your school about some the Meier issues that are attractive to you – or your own issues…they don’t have to hers. Are we in as big a crisis here? Are the parents of lower income kids who are not doing well in our rural environments so disenfranchised that they just plain don’t expect schools to do anything for them? What’s the pressure and where does it come from? I know the middle class parents push but most of that pushing can be devisive. The parents that finally pushed the NYC schools had some political weight. I’d just love it if this book could be a boost for some of you to get a conversation going with colleagues for your own health, if nothing else. Is that too pie in the sky?


  13. Kristen Courcelle says:

    I enjoyed learning about the research on teaching/teacher effectiveness that we started discussing today. It’s interesting to look at the progression of values and beliefs over time. I can see where some current practices have emerged from and question the simplicity of some historical measures. I found the Flanders observation system to particularily interesting. I would love to test it out in my own classroom just out of curiosity.

  14. Jan Marie says:

    I really hated class today. (Kidding…just wanted to see if anyone notices.) I just want to make a brief comment on the relationship between the different reading materials that we have been given thusfar. I think that the presentation by CR in class today really complemented the motivation article, as well as the ongoing reading from Meier. My limited experience within the classroom has offered me some insight, and coupled with the knowledge I am gaining from the readings and interactions in class I am beginning to put some of the puzzle peices together in terms of theory and practice. I also really appreciate the time we are offered in synthesis groups, as it affords us the opportunity to focus on different aspects of the texts as they are interpreted by our peers.

  15. Jim Monahan says:

    I really enjoyed looking at some of the initial researh and how at each time in history they dove deeper and deeper trying to find out specifics teaching behaviors for specific kids. It also seems interesting that most of the research has been around for a long time and seems to resonate with most educators, yet we still have not made the major/radical shifts for change. Meier talks about 3 things educators must do for change, change hwo they view learning, develop new habits of the mind, and develop new habits of work.

  16. Mary Moore says:

    June 29, 2006

    I really enjoyed looking at the “Summary of Categories For Interaction Analysis” in class today. It was helpful to see a sample of a teacher’s teaching style assessed. It also became apparent how complex teaching can become when working with multiple learning styles. I also enjoyed the discussion we had in our small group when we talked about schools in Williston and Shelburne that were already on a progressive track. And then there was the discussion about the typical staff meetings that everyone dreads. How can they become meaningful in the way Meier describes them as being at CPE?

  17. charlie says:

    One thing I have to remember is that this is a foundations class. So the conversation we had this am about the difficulty of achieving equity across so many levels is such a real “foundations” conversation. I just have to remember though, that the focus still has to be on the learning that’s going on.

  18. Jan Marie Aquafresca says:

    Just testing to make sure this is where we post our comments on each days class… In response to the readings… I am finding Meier’s book to be compelling and inspirational.

  19. cbone says:

    this is a test…but I also wanted to say I hope the structure of this course enables each of you to enter at a pace with good enough, but not total…comfort. Don’t forget: if the reading is keeping you from learning, let me know.

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