Friday, October 5, 2012

Back in Black

SO WE MEET AGAIN, COMRADES (yes, I mean in the communist sense of the word.)

After listening to the Reforming Education Reform, presented by Stager, Kohn, Downes, and Gardner, I had a few major reactions:

1. I loved the fact that they represented different opinions -- the people speaking for this panel were not unilateral in their beliefs on education reform. They disagreed with one another on different issues of education in a polite, respectful way...a refreshing change from what I witnessed on Thursday night during the presidential debate.

2. The fear of privatization of schooling was a reoccurring theme in the webinar, and they are starting to weigh on my mind. I am starting to worry a lot over the future of public schools and I never had given it too much thought before. I suppose I underestimated the possibility of the eventual total privatization of schools because the public school system has such an entrenched position in American society. I believe in public schools -- I am not naive to the understanding that the system needs fundamental reforms, but I have a liberal positivist perspective in my hopes of potential and progress.

3. There was something said at the end of the webinar that really sticks with me. One of the presenters said that what children need is to be spending time around interesting adults. It is our responsibility, then, as adults to make ourselves as interesting as possible so that we become the best possible sources of information and engagement for our students. I found this fascinating. He made one specific example about how perhaps an aspiring cellist might benefit from spending time with Yo-Yo Ma. I like to think of it as amateurs being embraced and mentored by professionals, & I think this is one of the most effective ways to inspire young people. The students then have role model they can look up to and emulate. I am definitely going to work on making myself more interesting. Not in the general sense, but in the historical sense. I want students to find my historical anecdotes interesting, and want to know more about the depth of knowledge available to them in studying this very human discipline.

I thought that overall the webinar was pretty interesting -- albeit it was a bit long, but I thought the panel brought up some really interesting points. To relate it back 504, there was also a lot of discussion of different technologies used in education. As I mentioned before, there was disagreement among the panel members about what technologies were useful and whether or not education should rely on them heavily. I found that the varying perspectives expressed  all had their merits, and I think as a future educator I have to synthesize what I have learned about teaching with tech and formulate my own philosophy on its usage in the classroom.

teaching rules. loving my placement. loving October. loving my cognates (when they aren't kicking my butt). loving my kitty.

ALSO, (noooo, i didn't forgettttt), here is the song of the post:

Enjoy the crisp fall weather, MACers! Don't let the man beat ya down (proletariats unite?!?!)