True Implementation of these policies would mean a significant change in education for all students. Of course all systems are flawed and I could definitely see several drafts before a final product was made on how to approach all these ideas and it would be several years before we would even begin to see results but ideally this is what is wanted and needed by educators, parents and students.
By genuinely preparing all students to be 21st century learners through the content and giving them the skills they will need in the workforce we have potentially resolved unemployment issues and jobs being offered overseas or many tech jobs being occupied by people working in the U.S. on visas.
Guaranteeing students are being taught by competent teachers and states, districts and schools being held accountable for student learning could give opportunity carefully observe data to make real changes for improvement instead creating fear of job loss and/or finding short cuts (i.e. The Texas Miracle).
Out of the all the elements I believe the one that focuses on equality is the most important. By spreading out the funding to make basic need changes like holes in floors/ walls; enough updated text books for every child and getting the "good teachers" just to name a few we are giving these students and the community a sense of pride in their school and their learning. Simple changes can give a hole new perspective to the education system in general.
What I believe would be the second most important element is on preparation, mentoring and professional development of teachers. With these supportive changes in the career the number of teachers that leave the profession within the first few years will decrease eliminating this revolving door effect that only breaks down student's self- esteem and self worth.
Lastly, the modified curriculum to meet the individual student's need and authentic assessments and offers the biggest amount of support to students. This positive environment gives them the sense of security in a genuine classroom community.
As I read through the article, The Evolution of thought practice, I actually giggled some because I was able to see myself in each one of the stages. My first couple of years of teaching known as the Entry stage, I was totally scared of technology. I looked at it as another lesson I had to put together and it made me nervous. Almost all my lessons were direct instruction and it was very traditional. When I came to NVUSD I moved over to the Adoption stage because now my students were introduced to using technology because there were programs we had access to and about 4-6 iPads in the classroom. However, there was still very little work for me to do and they were only exposed to it. After being in this district for a year or two I learned to use the resources and tools and incorporate them into the teaching/learning that was already happening by including a routine in my daily lesson plans. Right now I feel as if I am in stage 4(Appropriation) because I now look for ways to use technology apps that include collaboration and exploration opportunities appropriate for first graders. With the help of this course by next school year I hope to be at the final stage of Innovation.
Unfortunately with every new bit of information I learn that excites me, every new page I read of The Flat World of Education, saddens me. Knowing how much I can teach and show my students to help prepare them in the process of being 21st century learners but also knowing so many children will never get that opportunity. Knowing that in 2019 there are still school districts that don't not only have access to technology they don't even have access to enough updated textbooks for their students or even the same teacher for more than 30 days. Knowing that minorities and the poor cannot compete on the same academic playing field as their peers leaving them with not even a chance to get the high paying technology jobs in the future is so unfair.
Typically we have early finishers because hand few students have found the assignment easy therefore they get through the work before the rest of the class leaving them with nothing else to do. The experienced teacher would prepare for this by having a worksheet or "early finishers packet" (busy work) or have routines in place such as a "May Do" or Quiet Activity" for these students to complete, usually unrelated to the topic or lesson. This is necessary because when these early finishers are done with their work they want something else to do and if it isn't engaging they either become a distraction to the rest of the class and their learning or a behavior problem.
Through my driving question, I plan to explore what can be done to reduce various behavior issues in my class when particularly, my advanced boys, have completed their assigned work by not just throwing addition empty work at them.
In researching articles related to my topic I found that internationally this is an issue as well. A study by Jane Marshall explores the oldest problem in education, the epidemic of ennui,(dissatisfaction/excitement, i.e- bored) of school among pupils in France considering its centrally controlled system appearing to be the foundation of other school problems.
Nationally is where most of my articles were centered. I found many other studies where teachers struggled in the classroom with teaching mixed ability students and how to incorporate differentiation towards advanced learners. One article that caught my attention was, "Juxtaposing mathematical extensions with cognitively loaded questions in the mathematics classroom", by various authors published by the University of Calgary. This article offered ideas of bonus questions after the initial assignment is completed still on the current lesson or topic to deepen students mathematical understanding. By simply extending what they are already doing it gives opportunity for more practice. Calling them bonus questions leads the students to believe the are continuing on with the classwork not doing anything extra or more because they finished early and it's okay if everyone doesn't get to it.
As far as districts I know data and numbers are important. If the amount of behavior related infractions are entered in SWISS such as referrals; suspensions; drop outs decrease and a noticeable positive increase with advanced learner's academics, districts get acknowledged by the state.
Finally school wide, ideally we would see classrooms with engaged students at all learning levels. Teachers with less time taken away from learning to deal with behavior issues, building a classroom community that respects all students learning among peers.