All tag results for ‘education reform’

Eliminating the Fear of the Test: Reflections on Assessments

March 26th, 2007

Evaluation and Assessment of Curriculum


Our world is full of assessments. This seems especially true to those in the education field who conduct assessments ranging from self-designed assessments for classroom use, to nationally designed assessments to compare students from different states or districts. So caught up are we in the act of either administering or taking an assessment, that we rarely stop to ask questions like, “Why are we conducting this assessment?”, “What will be the added value of conducting this assessment?”, and “Are the assessments we use being used appropriately?” The following questions are addressed in the following first-person narrative account based on some of my experiences with assessments. In the process, I also highlight two experiences with traditional assessments which had drastically different impacts on my perception of assessments.
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Personalization and Standards-Based Assessments

February 1st, 2007

Standards-Based Curriculum and Instruction

Educational standards have the potential to revolutionize access to high-quality education for everyone. Standards can help parents, teachers, students, and administrators cope with the demands of our increasingly mobile environment. They can aid in providing more efficient training for teachers, allowing governments to train more teachers, and to ensure that teachers are more effective in the classroom. Standards can serve as rulers with which students can measure their own progress, and they can help parents discover new ways in which learning can be a welcome addition to the household. Yet, despite its potential, education that is too standards oriented is often highly criticized, a common complaint being the cold and rigid assessments that often go along with standards-based education.

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Educational Reform through a Standards-Based Approach

December 10th, 2006

Standards-Based Curriculum and Instruction

Before one can look at educational reform critically, one needs to first ask why reform has taken place. Analysis from a naïve or overly simplistic perspective will simply point to education reform being the result of changing needs of students or of the overall population. However, such a view will not immediately shed light on some of the more political influences that have pushed education reform over the years, nor will it illustrate the role teachers—as opposed to policy-makers—can play in promoting effective change.
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Instructional Design and Individualization: Standardized Approaches for Individualized Outcomes

September 18th, 2006

Instructional Design

We have all worked somewhere, perhaps under someone else’s supervision, where we have had the inclination to say—at least to ourselves— “If I were in charge, I would….” During those moments, we are questioning both the ability and the approach of the organization to meet different needs, objectives, and efficiency requirements. Conversely, we may have worked in an environment that was very productive and where objectives were often met—just not with the same level of quality that was intended. Projects produced in such an environment are submitted with a disclaimer like “It was the best I could do with what I had to work with” or something similar. Our critiques of the organization’s approach, or our subtle expression of our needs, may be well-grounded in our firsthand experience; however, these approaches are rarely systematic.

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Improving the Classroom Performance of Students with Emotional or Behavioral Disabilities: Proactive Interventions at an Out-of-School Time Program

September 6th, 2006

Action Research

Preface: This paper is a sample “Action-Research Proposal” in which we were required to go through the complete process of designing the research and justifying it by a review of current literature. Ideally, we would have the proposal reflect our work setting; however, since I’m not in the educational setting these days, I worked with a combination of my past experiences. The community setting I have identified is the one I worked at while in Santa Barbara. The description of the student population, however, is a little bit more hypothetical and based more on observations from my other after-school experiences and from my observations of one of the sites that the after-school program was going to be expanded to. This paper also borrows certain elements of an earlier paper on program design for out-of-school-time programs.