Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tipping point near?

Many are creating change in our own little corners of the world (and quite alone there might I add.) We are encouraged by every possible sign. Several times at Educon, I was reassured by others saying the tipping point was really near. I hope so and continue to be encouraged. The following news stories further push my thinking that the more that are on board, the faster this train is going to move...

Superintendents in Texas put the brake on decades old education practice and NCLB. view an article here. a pdf of the actual document can be found here.

Further argument in No Dog Left Behind (from the ASCD Smartbrief.)

Minnesota's focus on Science has increased their students test scores. I have not poured over their website, but there is much reference to project 2061 which emphasizes science as a process and working through basic tenets of science deeply (in a nutshell, it is not about content.) I talked about it before on this blog.

Increasing recognition to educators that are making a difference with a different pedagogy than the current norm. One recent example is here.

New Science standards for the State of Washington discussed here which include 4 essential requirements:
• Systems thinking to analyze and understand complex phenomena.

• Inquiry activities to develop understanding of scientific ideas.

• Application of the science they are learning to solve real-world problems.

• Understanding of the domains of science: physical science, life science, and earth and space science.

The emphasis is on fewer core concepts that are learned in a deeper manner to understand the process. The standards can be found here.

I am encouraged that this conclusion is finally being reached by more than one agency at the same time. What is needed: continual discourse and collaboration and an emphasis on our own learning in perfecting our profession.

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