Comments for Friday’s class. (6/30/06)

I thought today was a really useful class. I hope my perception was correct. The activity came to me while I was reading Meier last night. “Teachers need frequent and easy give and take with professionals from allied fields – that is one mark of a true professional. They need opportunities to speak and write publicly about their work, attend conferences, read professional journals, and discuss something besides what they’re going to do about Johnny on Monday. Their must be some kind of combinatino of discomfiture and support – focused always on what does and does not have an impact on children’s learning.” I thought you were ready to go to a deeper level of exposure about what each of you do, how you do it, and how it might be done differently…and even to advise each other in the process. I know the activity was a little tentative at first but then each group just seemed to take off as you shifted from worrying about whether you were doing the right thing to doing what you were deciding to do. Great energy and very productive performances. And I even got a chance to say once again that the cognitive style stuff cuts across the MI categories. I think sometimes it can be a better form of differentiation. I love the idea of having those Structurtopia cards IMG_1942.JPG hanging on a wall and kids occasionally being able to choose their task for the day based on the cards. Enough. Ch.

12 Responses to “Comments for Friday’s class. (6/30/06)”

  1. Kevin Cook says:

    Friday’s class looked like fun. Sorry I missed it! I wondered when I came in Monday where all the charts and posters had come from. Looks fun.

  2. alex chirelstein says:

    this has nothing to do with the specific class, but last night i watched this great dvd called “the hobart shakespeareans” about this teacher at a middle school in innercity LA who does shakespeare with his kids — it’s the kind of thing that makes one feel inadequate as a teacher and they could have spent (at least for my purposes) a little more time on just how he does instruction, but it was pretty moving — he’s been doing for 20+ years and each year the kids go all over the country on tour — very impressive:

  3. Jessica Schechter says:

    I really enjoyed Friday’s class. I really like when we break up into smaller groups, then get back together in the larger group. I find that it’s much easier to share ideas within the class. I also really liked seeing what each of the groups came up with in class on friday. I thought it was very interesting to see the different directions that each group went in.

  4. Jan Marie Aquafresca says:

    Is it really Sunday already? Before last Friday completely escapes my memory… I thought the in-class group work was valuable on several different levels. I too enjoyed seeing how each group carried out the assignment so differently. Also, I really enjoyed the discussion we had on the reading in our synthesis group. I loved the analogy that emerged between the stigma in reading groups at school and ski groups at the mountain. It made me realize that we are teachers in more contexts than the classroom, and that we should be aware of our impact on children’s self-esteem and development.

  5. Katie Mack says:

    Reading the homework for Monday caused me to reflect back upon Friday’s class. It was wonderful to experience the variety of interpretations/instructional methods/insights that each group provided for integreating field independent and dependent learners. Moreover, and what is echoed in other comments, the most productive facet of the class has been observing the various attitudes, methods, and philosophies across each educational level. Hearing from elementary and middle level teachers has given me new perspective on the field of education as a whole – and certainly bolsters Vygotsky’s theory that learning is tied to sociocultural context. Outside of my secondary-level coccoon I have come to accept, alter, and change many of my beliefs about education.

  6. Kristen Courcelle says:

    I think we had some really great discussions on leveling in class and in our discussion group today. It’s an issue that all of us can connect with as a student and as educators. I’d like to think that my practices are not discriminatory as the teacher’s behaviors in the study, although I’m sure unconciously we all make some statements or take actions that are discriminate to our students in one way or another. Charlie brought up a good point by acknowledging that we all want what is best for our students and we think what we’re doing is right, so these inequities are something we do without realization. Wow…really makes you think about your behaviors under a more critical eye.

  7. Mary Moore says:

    I already wrote up a comment, but it somehow got lost so here it goes again…

    I really enjoyed today’s class, especially the group activity. What I thought was really interesting was right from the start group members felt they had to identify their learning styles in order for us to be able to work homogeneously. Figuring out each-other’s learning styles made a difference because it helped us to understand why group members thought the way they did. What if this was more openly discussed in the classroom? What if students had a better working understanding of their learning styles so that when they are grouped the emphasis is also put on learning style. This approach might take the emphasis off smart/dumb stigmas and give the students a working understanding of how they operate as learners. At the same time, this approach should in no way limit them to one specific learning style, but hopefully, help them see that when discussing learning styles, there is no good or bad right or wrong, styles are just different.

  8. Sydney says:

    … I meant to add…

    Thanks everyone for your ideas and positive energy!

  9. Sydney says:

    Perspectives. We all have our own, based on our past experiences (and so do the people we work with who are not taking this class). Each presentation was unique and full of possibility. On the subject of implementing theory in our individual schools… we seem to be applying Meier’s “philosophy” as a model of, or a tool for best practice in colleagueship rather than as a model for a kind of school we could create. How we choose to use what we are learning about how people learn is what will make waves in our own schools. Today definitely added to my “bag of tricks” for lesson development and colleagueship.

  10. Ellen says:

    I thought todays’class was great! I was really able to make the connections to the field dependent/independent work through our groups! It was inspiring to see such different treatments of the work. It was also very powerful to enjoy the give and take of the collaborative process. I loved the map activity and its’ implications. Hmmm…how to adapt it???

  11. Leah says:

    I just wanted to say that I thought todays activity was a great way to apply some of the material we’ve been discussing. It was also interesting to see how each group came up the such different results from one another, and I certainly took something away from each one…and I look forward to the second edition of structure-topia..

  12. Terrence Landberg says:

    Meier frequently reiterates that CPE should not be looked at as a model, or even a template, for other schools to follow. She emphasizes how schools need to find their own solutions. Today’s group presentations kind of reinforced this notion that what works for one school and group of people won’t necessarily work for another. How very different the results were even though we all had the same assignment really demonstrates how there are as many teaching styles as there are teachers. Given the incredible diversity of school populations – both teachers and students-attempting to create a mirror image of CPE would so totally miss the point of what Meier is advocating.

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