What Educators Do Right
A former colleague used to quote Isaac Asimov when joking, "People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do." For three years you have read as I have pontificated on a variety of issues in education. This month I have turned over this space to your colleagues who weighed in about Proficiency-Based Education and Proficiency-Based Diplomas:
I am concerned that the proficiency-based movement is being driven not by our knowledge of human development but by the for-profit education sector. Proficiency-based instruction does not address student motivation and engagement but it can be managed using technology and therein, I am afraid, lies the appeal. I am very much in favor of a more holistic approach to teaching and learning, one that allows the classroom teacher to structure the classroom learning and assessments to best meet the needs of her students. - R.B.
Using outcomes as goals is effective if the individual is capable of conscientiously working towards developing an understanding of all the parts that make up the whole and is willing to put forth an effort to achieve the end goal. An effective teacher can explain in a way that can make the subject seem important to the entire class but it is still up to each individual student to make that all important decision...am I going to put forth the effort to do my best. - D.P.
Maybe what the NEA, MEA and local associations should be doing is constantly and relentlessly questioning the "educrats" on both sides of the aisle, the governor and the Department of Education on what definitions define the vision of education for Maine’s students in order to give guidance to educational professionals. Like my students, who desire and deserve my guidance in a clear and concise manner, we as educational professionals deserve the same from administrators and "educrats" or they should be found ineffective and let go! - S.L.
Each individual develops concepts and formulates understandings based on the strengths and weaknesses present within his/her own sections of the brain. As adults, we recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each other. We don't blame them for being poor learners, nor do we blame their teachers for being poor teachers. Some of us mastered science, some music, some language, some reading. Not one of us mastered everything that was taught - S.T.
Understanding some parts of a concept while beginning to get a correct understanding of the actual concept as a whole are both the vital pieces. The steps to travel upwards do no good if we have nothing at the end. So the "parts" travel forward as the "concept" reaches back to clear the way. - M.D.
Within our Association your voice is needed and your opinion is important to us. I do read and listen to what you send because you are the heart and soul of our organization, and what you think matters to me and MEA. Please let me know your opinion at any time.