$4704

10/15/2011
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Islamic Republic of Afghani...

Image via Wikipedia

$4704

…pays for about 1/10th of one second of advertising in the Super Bowl this year.

$4704

…pays for 1.5 seconds of the US’s involvement in Afghanistan.

$4704

That’s my budget for library media for this entire school year.

$4704

That includes all audio-visual materials, books, magazines/ periodicals/newspapers, maps/globes, tapes, microfilms, and computer software for use in the library.

$4704

That’s $6.25 per student enrolled in the school last October.

$4704

That $6.25 per student rate was set by the NY State legislature in 1999.

$4704

US total inflation from June 2000, to June 2011 is 30.93% according to inflationdata.com

$4704

Inflation in the rate budgeted per student 0%

$470

“Most school libraries managed to escape the economic trials of 2010 largely unscathed––with the exception of those in high-poverty areas, which saw significant declines in spending on information resources and in collection size.”
American Library Association report on the State of American Libraries.

$4704

My school is in the poorest Congressional district in the nation.

$4704

Perhaps I should be grateful that my budget has not gone down.

$4704

I’m not.

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Why I Don’t Like Differentiated Instruction

10/04/2011
A class in a newly rebuilt secondary school in...

Image via Wikipedia

I have read countless books, articles and blogs on the importance of differentiating instruction. I disagree with almost all of them because of the teacher-centered approach they take. Learning isn’t instruction; learning is acquisition.

Instruction focuses on what the teacher provides or what the teacher tells the student and differentiation merely postulates that teachers need to provide a variety of materials and tell in a variety of ways.

That is teaching.

Learning is something else.

Learning is inquisition, investigation and association.

Inquiry Cycle

Learning starts with questions. Who? What? Where? When? How? Why? What happened? What will happen if…?

Investigation is not the teacher providing the answers before the question is asked. It is the process of the student seeking potential answers and testing them.

Learning emerges as the result of information gleaned in the investigation phase associating with prior knowledge leading to the synthesis of new knowledge and, when it works best, new and better questions.

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The Education Story the Media is Missing

10/01/2011

Teachers are lazy,
Teachers don’t care.
Teachers lose interest.
Teachers are complacent.
Teachers teach because they aren’t smart enough to do anything else.

That story is all over the headlines; how the schools would be so much better if they didn’t have those terrible teachers gumming up the works.

Sure.

Edcamp Philly Organizers

Image by kjarrett via Flickr

In late January 2010, a small group of teachers in Philadelphia and its surroundings had an idea:

Let’s put on a free event at which teachers, on their own time, will teach what they’re expert in to other teachers. The presenting teachers will do it for free. 

We’ll call it EdCamp. 

On May 22nd, that first EdCamp drew a couple of hundred lazy, complacent teachers who gathered together and learned from each other.

A movement was born.

Energized by what they saw at or read about EdCamp on Twitter, Facebook and the rest of the social network other small groups of teachers in other communities organized EdCamps. Before 2010 ended there would be six more EdCamps, all following the same model, in Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire, Kansas, Florida and New York City.

Today we held the second EdCampNYC. It was the 34th EdCamp this year, there are 14 more scheduled before the end of December and there are already eleven scheduled for 2012.

All of them organized by lazy teachers who don’t care anymore. All of them free. All of them attended by more than 5,000 complacent teachers and administrators, some driving more than five hours to attend.

Let me make this absolutely clear. There is a rapidly growing national movement of teachers and administrators taking it upon themselves to organize and attend free conferences at which teachers and administrators freely share knowledge, resources and ideas with the sole purpose of becoming better teachers and administrators.

Impressive, isn’t it?

So why hasn’t the general media noticed? Why aren’t you reading about this in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or USA Today. Why isn’t it showing up on NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, CNN or any other network?

Perhaps because they are too busy listening to the billionaires and the politicians make the same complaints, mouth the same platitudes, and push the same, stale ideas to notice the people who do the job every day working hard to do a better job.

But now you know.  Help spread the word.

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