“Standards” of Diversification: Pass the Plate [Zuleika]
Posted by Zuleka Irvin on Aug 06, 2010 - 01:31 PM
You want standards? You got 'em. It's simple enough. It's not in legal terms. Give me feedback and let's get things going for the sake of students, not businesses. I propose that we all submit our own snippets of our ideal standards based on democracy, and learner choice. To get us bloggers working in lockstep aside from our other posts, let's have "Pass the Plate" posts. Eh? Eh?
Take this post and improve it. You type the title of the post +Pass the Plate and in brackets you type your name. Then another person can snatch it and make changes. Or make a change to one or more issues and leave it in the comments!!! If we doctor it up well enough, we might have some potential legislation in ours hands!!! Edit any part!
I say let's make standards because it's a step towards people in the traditional mode of things giving us consideration. Of course I don't want every kid obliged to do something, but my standards are more like free form opportunities centered around student desire and empowerment. Standardizing TO the student, not the other way around.
You only need to add, take away, change or edit one thing to be able to pass the plate. Put notes on the bottom about why you changed it.
- Reading for pleasure and knowledge: student choice in books. Provide non-mandatory book lists and encourage library visits over mandatory book lists.
- Write for discovery rather than approval. Focus on self expression through writing at young ages, and teach writing to share knowledge later for young adults. It's different from writing sentences and such from dictation, or having young adults write about things they are not genuinely interested in.
- Real world math: arithmetic and financial literacy need to be taught all throughout school, not just in the lowest grades. This will prepare students for economic life. Abstract higher level math should be optional, only for those interested or who need it for careers. Many adults and youth have problems with simple math because they long since forget it from the lower grades, and knowing about finance is more important for competence in the real world and the economy.
- Replace grades with student evaluations.
- Semester teacher evaluations. Annual school evaluation forms to be performed by students. This can give governments or whoever, a real picture of how successful a school is, because schools exist to serve students and give them knowledge.
- Academic Niche Construction. Environments need to suit the learner, not the other way around.
- Assess for traits, not subjects. Going back to niche construction, assessing personality, emotional intelligence, interests, and multiple intelligences every year can start showing a picture as to a youth's inclinations and strengths. This can help career paths.
- Learning disability integration program. Based on the work of Thomas Armstrong's, "eight principles of neurodiversity," #7, youth are also helped to integrate into various learning environments with "assistance technologies" and assessments for ability. In essence, have the strengths they do have, work for them, so that they can be in regular classrooms if possible.
- Heed to student choice in learning.
- Place based/service/experiential learning education in lowest performing schools. Rather than focus on the global economy, schools in low economic communities need to be aware of their surroundings and have education that encourages students to be socially active in changing social and economic adversity LOCALLY. Tied in with student choice in learning and real world mathematics, students in low performing schools will have better opportunities for educational enhancement and success for and in their communities *low performing schools can't conform to state or national expectations because there are too many adverse circumstances going on in their local communities . (I know this is cheesy, but think about Freedom Writers, if you have seen it).
- Have part of public funds go toward having internships and extensive career days throughout public schooling years.
- Public funds go toward, academic excursion programs. Students needs more access to the world outside of school, field trips are all too important, and a base of four trips per year is encouraged.
- Summer travel enrichment and internships throughout school. Rather than fund book learning and classroom time during the summer, travel to other states and countries (global economy benefit alert) and internship partnerships will be publicly funded as summer school programs. Public schools can implement various trips and work in tandem with other schools across the globe to explore different environments.
- Recognize all subjects: math, science, engineering, technology, visual art, performance art, music, humanities. These all need equal funding opportunities and awareness so that all children can achieve success based on their talents and interests. Buffing up some more than others is detrimental to students who genuinely are not good at or interested in some subjects (see 5 - 8).
- Specialized education programs. in line with 13, have specialized education "schools" on campus so students can decide what subject is more important to them, be it engineering, art, aircraft and spacecraft, culinary arts. for instance, a middle school's school of culinary arts program could allow students to sign up to be involved with helping staff prepare real cooked meals, and students could get community service credit. Also give funds to the establishment of independent schools of various subjects. This is good for students who are already aware of their passions and career interests.
- Opportunity for play. Play is critical to discovery, intrinsic motivation, and happiness. Have equipment for outdoor play on any campus, regardless of age group. Recess/break reduction or cancellation is not allowed.
- Grade level transparency. Implement fluidity with courses, allow students to easily take courses on various levels. For this assessment of skills is actually needed to see if a student is competent enough to take various courses on different levels. taking lower level courses over again will not affect entrance into the courses the student has passed (i.e. failing one or two classes in 7th grade does not mean the child will repeat the entire 7th grade). Accommodations into courses and continuous evaluations and skill assessments will need to be used until the student can raise their competence in a subject. Grade level transparency also gives teachers a hand as older and young students and help one another out more often.
- Extra Options/Informal Program. Independent study, online homeschooling, alternative schools, and learning centers are made aware to the public in order to replace certain courses or replace learning inside an actual school building. Different people thrive in different environments. http://infed.org/
- Uniform elimination. Uniforms do not unify anyone in any other way than a superficial way. People will still have their strengths, weaknesses, and individual personality traits and learning styles regardless of appearance.
- Home life will remain untouched by homework. In our modern fast paced society, family connection is more valuable than ever. If a student wants guidance to take home, it can be sought out. Essentially optional homework in the form of suggestion lists will be assigned. Projects are the only exception.
- Real world information periods: health, sociology, psychology, emotional management, lifestyles, diversity awareness.
- Youth Work Program. This is critical in producing leaders and active members of democracy. Youth work will have school take time to provide opportunities as extracurricular enrichment. This will empower youth (wikipedia, youth work) as respected citizens in society.
- Academic Freedom on the K-12 level.
#X, [camping trip] - eliminated - not a pressing issue because not everyone wants to go.
#Y, [insert summary] edited - insert snippet about why