Volume:5, Issue: 3

Aug. 15, 2013

In This Category
Common Core Standards: How They Will Change American Education
Pierson, Melinda R. [about]
The United States began requiring assessments for all students regarding their achievement in the early 1990s. This education reform movement focused on common knowledge of core subjects across grade levels. However, states held different standards which could be problematic if a student needed to move from state to state. In addition, educators realized that employers and colleges were beginning to demand higher level skills of high school graduates. Thus, the need to develop one set of national standards became a prominent need. The Common Core Standards began to be written in 2009 with a release date of June 2, 2010. The majority of states reviewed the new standards in the areas of English language arts and mathematics and adopted them within a few months. A total of 45 states and three territories are currently implementing the new standards, but in many different ways. The federal government offered incentive programs with a focus on education reform grants called Race to the Top. This provided a major push for the Common Core Standards to be adopted by the states as they would not be eligible for additional reform money without the adoption.
Education and Sustainable Development: A Case Study of the Role Amish Play in Training and Supporting East African Food Production
Edgington, William D. [about], Hynes, James W. [about]
During 2011, faculty of Oklahoma State University (OSU) and a member of the faculty from Sam Houston State University (SHSU) collaborated to deliver a U.S. Department of State-funded Citizens’ Exchange Grant for Food Security Fellows project. Through this endeavor, faculty from SHSU made contacts with Ugandan faculty from several universities and a successful farm equipment manufacturer/manager (M) in Kampala, Uganda. During the initial visit, it was determined that food security was a primary concern in Uganda – especially in the northern regions (a post conflict area). During that initial visit, it was first observed and then confirmed from multiple sources that, while subsistence farming was the predominant mode of agricultural production, there existed a genuine interest in learning how to increase food supplies in a sustainable scale appropriate way without using combustion engine powered equipment. In M’s equipment manufacturing facility, for example, a significant portion of annual sales was made to small farmers throughout the country who would benefit from an increase in the use of animal powered equipment. While many of the tillage and grain processing tools were represented, there were obvious gaps in the utility and efficiency of the implements when compared to those offered for sale to farmers for use on small farms in the United States. This was especially the case when reviewing the equipment designed for use with animal power. He indicated an interest in learning how to construct scale appropriate equipment for use with the available draft animals in Uganda; that is oxen and donkeys. Thus begun the conversation of him traveling to the United States to observe and learn.
Creating a Climate of Giftedness to Promote Achievement
Biggs, Donald A [about]
Many problems in the education of inner city youth stem from issues of representation (Biggs & Colesante, 2000; Bruner, 1996). For us, representation is about how we treat students. It is a moral issue, the resolution of which can negatively or positively impact the lives of children, and those who are responsible for their care. As Buzzelli and Johnston (2002) explain, "representation is not merely a matter of presenting generalized information about huge numbers of peoples categorized in particular ways; it is also a question of reflecting the lived experience of the children in the classroom. To the extent that children's experiences are not represented, their lives – in the richest sense of the term – are not present in the classroom either. And this is a moral matter" (p. 102). We are interested in how the meaning ascribed to students and their behavior (how they are represented in an educational setting) structures how educators think about them and their needs, and how this shapes the activities that are developed for them. These are moral considerations which have real consequences on the lives of children in educational programs. Labels like "at-risk" or "low performing" can close off the possibility that their skills and abilities might not be the major obstacles to their academic achievement (Brannon, 1991).
Developing interest in constructive communication as part of moral education in high schools
Stepanov, Pavel V. [about]
As both research and pedagogical practice show, one of the results of moral education is a developed interest of high school students in the ways of constructive communication and their striving for acclaiming these ways. In this process, constructive communication among students may be considered an important value. By the term constructive communication we understand such communication that allows to reach out for somebody and also to receive this person’s agreement with different partners and, particularly, to find ways out of different conflicts, which will satisfy all the parties involved. Our research (Pyotr G. Averianov, Elena L. Petrenko, Sergey D. Polyakov, Inna J. Shustova) tends to answer the question, how a teacher can stimulate this interest and develop necessary skills (Averianov et.al., 2010). We base our experimental work on the stages of psychical development presented in the works of a famous Russian psychologist Daniel Elkonin, and the theory of the developing educational activity by Vasily Davydov.
The Walden Project: A Lesson in Autonomy
Freeborn, Dan [about]
As a high school literature teacher, I feel compelled to do more than tell my students what books mean. When my students read a great book, I want it to move them the way it moves me. I want it to change their lives. This paper is an attempt to share a project I have developed over the last ten years with 15-year-olds in an international setting at the American School of Madrid, a project that I think has worked well more than once for me, but also a project that could have numerous iterations, variations, and applications. It is intended to be a re-creation of a famous experiment in living conducted and recorded by one of the greatest and most independent American thinkers of the last 275 years, Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau was born in 1817 and died in 1862. When he was 38, he moved for two years to a small cabin that he built himself on the shores of Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. His purpose was to experiment with his own life by cutting out everything that he thought was an unnecessary distraction or burden. He wanted to stop complaining about life until he was really sure that life itself, not his decisions, was the cause of his complaining.
Thoughts about "Ballroom Dance Culture"
Khorosh, Valentina A. [about]
As a high school literature teacher, I feel compelled to do more than tell my students what books mean. When my students read a great book, I want it to move them the way it moves me. I want it to change their lives. This paper is an attempt to share a project I have developed over the last ten years with 15-year-olds in an international setting at the American School of Madrid, a project that I think has worked well more than once for me, but also a project that could have numerous iterations, variations, and applications. It is intended to be a re-creation of a famous experiment in living conducted and recorded by one of the greatest and most independent American thinkers of the last 275 years, Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau was born in 1817 and died in 1862. When he was 38, he moved for two years to a small cabin that he built himself on the shores of Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. His purpose was to experiment with his own life by cutting out everything that he thought was an unnecessary distraction or burden. He wanted to stop complaining about life until he was really sure that life itself, not his decisions, was the cause of his complaining.
Janush Korczak's Road to Moral Education
[about]
Teaching and educating are professions based on interpersonal and social relationships, and the latter by their very nature ‘teach’ behavioral norms and values. Teaching and education entails developing learners’ ethical orientation, either directly, consciously and intentionally or indirectly and unconsciously and/or both. In this essay I intend to share major features of an educational approach that achieved a relatively extensive success in assisting young people, children and adolescents (ages 8-14) in engaging themselves in and actually realizing significant progress in their ethical growth. The specific approach and set of educational practices I have in mind are those of the outstanding humanist educator of Polish and Jewish origins, Dr. Henryk Goldsmidt, known to the world by his pen name, Janusz Korczak (1878/9-1942).
Developing tolerance in adolescent school students
[about]
The development of tolerance is probably one of the most critical modern problems in Russia, the country with a multiethnic and multi-religious population, well known for a number of issues in the sphere of multicultural relationships. A traditional approach to multiethnic education, an education in the spirit of respect towards other cultures presupposes introducing students to different information sources about other ethnicities, as well as developing their respect towards human rights and cultural pluralism through the standard school curriculum. But there is little if any data which will show teachers how they should approach such issues as social stereotypes, cultural centrism, xenophobia, etc. – issues that certainly slow down the process of developing patience in teenagers. There is no answer to the question, what kind of conditions should be created for students to overcome personal barriers that prevent the development of tolerance and patience? As our practice and research shows, a mere fact of providing students with more information about different ethnicities and numerous world cultures, as well as about human rights do not necessarily mean that the problem will be solved.

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