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Showing posts from September, 2015

If Owning The Learning Is The Goal, Student Voice Is The Means

If you read all of the academic writing related to the future of work in a global economy, the bottom line can be summed up by saying that today’s students (tomorrow’s professionals), have to be more independent, self-reliant, creative, innovative, flexible and entrepreneurial. They need to be ultimately ready for a variety of daily challenges in a quickly evolving job environment.
This is at the heart of why education should be and is trying to respond through learning that is more indicative of a 21st century environment. So, if we want our future professionals to be the aforementioned, then we have move towards having our students “own their learning” now. To own their learning, educators have to embrace the STUDENT VOICE.

As a former high school media teacher and student activities director, I made a career of out of engaging, inviting, celebrating and empowering the student voice. I believed in students and wanted them to believe in themselves. So, I gave them huge amounts of trust…

21st Century High School Student Bill of Rights

Since I began teaching in 1990, I have repeatedly heard the term “reform” with regards to our educational system. And as someone who has always believed in and practiced teaching that worked to be real world, relevant and student-oriented, I can still get excited about the “possibilities” of real change. However, even with all of the classrooms, schools and some systems that have embraced new standards, new technology, project-based approaches, democratization/student voice and more, it’s almost appalling how little has changed in many of our nation’s high school classrooms. They are still dominated by outdated pedagogies, resources, activities and learning environments. Many still live and die by the lecture, low level note taking, and low level quizzes and assessments, as well as teacher/administrator mindsets not in line with anything related to 21st century workplaces or careers. This lack of overall progress has lead me to be more anxious, adamant and even angry about the need an…