to you teachers with 20+ years

Discussion in 'General Education' started by GTB4GT, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Dec 13, 2013

    in the profession, could you elaborate on the 3 areas in which the science and art of teaching has improved the most? likewise, the 3 areas in which it has regressed the most (in your opinion)? I am fascinated by this profession and love to hear from those of you with experience on these "higher order" type questions.

    and as always, wishing you all the best during this season of great joy.
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Dec 13, 2013

    Three areas it has improved the most:
    1. Teaching children to be independent thinkers
    2. Less reliance on rote memorization
    3. More collaboration among peers

    Three areas it has regressed:
    1. Curriculum not developmentally appropriate
    2. Too much emphasis and reliance on standardized testing
    3. Schools dropping the arts and sports to spend more time on standardized testing

    In truth, I have seen many educational theories adopted over the years that were just repackaged from previous theories. It happens every 12-15 years on average. I took my first teaching job in 1974 so I have been around for lots of repackaged deals.
     
  4. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Dec 13, 2013

    :yeahthat:

    That's almost identical to my list.

    When I started teaching, my state was restructuring our entire educational system. Many of today's new ideas are indeed redesigns of the things we did back then.
     
  5. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Dec 13, 2013

    I also think this is an excellent answer. Closely related are too much bouncing from one theory or another without fully training teachers or knowing if it really is working before you go to the next version (may be closely aligned to the power of publishing companies). It seems in education we often go from one extreme to another and the more we know about early brain development, the less we use it.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 14, 2013

    Honestly, I'm not sure that the field has changed all that much. I would like to think that I've grown a lot as a teacher. But I think that education has remained pretty stable. For at least the past 50 years-- ever since LBJ and the early Head Start years-- education has been a mix of trying to educate the individual and using the school as a platform for social change. The individual attempts to do that have varied from one era to the next, but the intent behind them hasn't.

    As far as my own teaching, I believe I've become more empathetic. In my early years, I don't think I really understood all the pressures facing a family, and the reasons why a a kid might not come to school with his assignment done, all ready for my class. As I've grown as a person and a teacher, I think I'm much more capable of seeing the shades of gray that exist, and that my teaching has reflected that growth.

    I think that there's sometimes the temptation to wrap our teaching around the new technology, instead of the reverse. And that advances in technology are sometimes mistaken for advances in teaching.

    In its most basic form, good teaching means reaching each and every student at his/her level, and helping that child grow. It means imparting information and making it comprehensible to that child. It means recognizing that what works for one student one day may not work for that same child a day later, and most probably won't work for all the other children on any given day. It means understanding that some of our kids are under pressures we are unaware of and probably will never have to deal with, and that sometimes academics simply aren't a priority. It means steering each and every one of our kids for the best possible path we can find for him. It means understanding that every single kid is, or at least deserves to be, the light of some parent's whole life, and it means finding that special something that makes that child so loveable to someone-- and sometimes that's a Herculean task. It means knowing our material so thoroughly that we can find a way to make it understandable, that we can find a way to make it relate to each of our kids, and that we can find a way to link it to the other things those same kids are learning and have learned and will learn.

    I don't think that any one of those factors has changed in the years I've been in the classroom.
     
  7. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Dec 14, 2013

    interesting and thoughtful answer Alice - if I understand you correctly, teaching really hasn't changed all that much. Do you think it's the use of the "school as a platform for social change" that has driven all the (oftentimes mandated)changes in classroom tactics/strategies/philosophies that others in this thread have referenced?

    I feel very fortunate that I work with an administration that allows great leeway and freedom in the classroom. I teach math and I think that effective teaching, particularly in this subject area, looks and feels a lot like it did when I went to HS way back in day (NHS, class of '76). geometry and algebra haven't changed all that much in the last 50 years.;)
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Dec 14, 2013

    My list would be the following:

    Three areas it has improved the most:
    1. Project based learning (although not enough schools have been able to implement this.)
    2. More critical thinking in writing with the use of the Writing Process and 6 traits.
    3. A greater emphasis on hands-on science and math including more higher order thinking questions in testing.

    Three areas it has gone backwards:

    1. Too much emphasis on standardized testing (as others have said.)
    2. The decrease in time spent on science in schools.
    3. An increased emphasis on covering standards while decreasing the time to go deep on a subject or concept. (Supposedly Common-Core might help this. We will see.)
     

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