Over Christmas Vacation (Winter Break to my PC friends), I read a thriller that put forth the idea that Einstein actually had succeeded in developing the necessary equations to explain the physical universe in its entirety, his Unified Field Theory.
The novel was written by a well-informed science historian with a knack for suspense. If the equations fell into the “wrong hands,” the result could be a weapon more devastating and sinister than the A/H bomb.
Long story short, I began to think about how unbearably complex the field of education has become. I wondered if there are, perhaps, a few simple principles we could discuss, validate, and practice, that would forever serve every student well. How powerful would that be?
Think about it…a Unified Field Theory of Education.
What would be some of the characteristics of such a theory?
I’ll suggest one, then I’d like to see some ideas from the rest of you. The simpler, the better. (No need for “research validation.” Follow your intuition.)
Here goes: “Every student is a genius, and our job is to help them discover that fact.”
Join me on the adventure. 🙂
…is the title of a promising wiki (like I know so much about wikis, novice that I am) that is devoted to classroom instruction integrated with Web 2.0 (about which I’m still learning).
I’m excited for several reasons.
Marzano’s work — featured on the wiki — recognizes the convergence of education research and he emphasizes the practical application of the research.
This wiki may be a good model for the experimental Edubloggers wiki.
And most interesting of all, this wiki is an electronic version of six publications (plastic comb flip-books) that were put out by our district curriculum and instruction department back in 2000 to remind teachers of the main things to remember about the instructional strategies we were then beginning to promote: differentiated instruction; individualized instruction; cooperative learning; brain-based research applied to learning and instruction; multiple intelligence theory application; and assessment literacy (Stiggins, et al).
Those little books were fantastic — they are collector’s items now (for the geeks among us, anyway), but they were expensive and time consuming to produce. The wiki takes the place of all that and even spreads the joy of contributing around to whomever is willing and qualified.
All this discovery is total fun!
Here’s an update on our wiki…
First, participants discussed wiki goals, use, and format. Then Eric edited and finalized the Front Page that outlines where we are at this point.
We’ll begin our exploration of standards-based grading with a warm up wherein we analyze a couple of grading situations that made major metro papers. In SBG Warm Up Draft 1, we’ll look at the articles separately, comment on each of them, then compare the situations and draw some conclusions about what’s being described in the articles. (Articles are on this page.)
Standards-Based Grading, or SBG from here on, is also known as “grading linked to standards,” and “grading for learning.” (Thanks to Exhausted Intern for the new term and three-letter acronym!)
The end goal is to produce a document or series of wiki pages that can 1) serve as a primer for educators new to SBG, 2) facilitate a quick review for educators who have been exposed to the concepts, 3) be a training tool for professional development sessions.
This topic is red hot and ready to roll.
Eric Turner of Second Hand Thoughts has been hard at work constructing a wiki for edubloggers to share and polish thoughts about the education topics near and dear to their hearts.
While poking around in Eric’s new construction zone, I came upon the above image. It’s from Eric and it pretty well sums up the aim of the new wiki.
Any more conversation/ideas about how it’s going to work? Let’s hear from you!
Eric’s my choice for ad hoc wiki foreman at least till it’s up and running. How does that sound?
Because Guy Kawasaki’s blog How to Change the World is listed in the Technorati top ten is not much of a reason to plant his blog in my list of go-to sites for good reads. But, although I’m stuck in a PC platform, I’m really an Apple guy at heart, and Guy played a huge part in popularizing Apple computer products. He’s graduated from there to become a commentator on technology marketing, entrepreneurship, and the significance of digital technology in our culture, which in no small way relates directly to education. He’s an educator in his own right.
Reading a few of Frank Chalk’s posts gave me a shiver of culture shock. He writes from the perspective of an inner city UK teacher, a place I’ve never been and may never be. I couldn’t resist the chance to look over his shoulder and wonder…what’s that like?