All tag results for ‘individualized instruction’

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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The “Good for You” Pizza Store: A Multi-disciplinary Lesson for 6th-grade Students

November 30th, 2006

Integrating Educational Technology in the Classroom

The Good For You Pizza Store document cover

The Task: For this group assignment, we were supposed to develop three inter-related lesson plans, preferably multi-disciplinary, which included the integration of computers in some way.

The Inspiration: I made the proposal to my group based on my work at both the Education Enhancement Program (EEP) at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing as well as my work at the King Open Extended-Day (KOED) program in Cambridge. At the EEP, we had done a store-type project with several of the younger students, and they all really enjoyed the whole process. At KOED, I did several cooking projects with the students—pizza being one of them. In the process, I made broccoli converts out of at least six students.

The Lesson Plan Set “Introduction”: Everyone eats. Everyone likes to make money. This instructional plan appeals to these facts by engaging students in nutritional research, exercises in cost and profit, and advertising. Pizza was selected because it is a favorite food of many middle school students and thus has high appeal. The “store” format allows students to engage in learning in mathematics, language arts, nutrition, visual arts, and economics. The overall result is an engaging, student-centered, problem-based series of lessons incorporating several disciplines and integrating several technological applications.

The Lesson Plans: Download this PDF document to view the three lesson plans.

The Other Team Members: Marilee Warner and Christopher Wood.

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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An Exploration of My Teaching Philosophy

June 21st, 2006

Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction

Just as there are many blends of learning styles that can be observed among students, so too can one find a range of teaching styles. Perhaps what is more significant than a teaching style—partly because it influences one’s teaching style—is a teacher’s philosophy about teaching and learning. Although I have had experience teaching, I have never formally considered what my teaching philosophy was; so, before taking an assessment that would help identify my teaching philosophy, I took a moment to reflect the experiences I felt had shaped me as a teacher.

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An Individualistic Approach to Education: A Personal Theory of Learning

April 2nd, 2006

Lifespan Development and Learning

In comparing different learning theories in detail, one ultimately gets to the point that they realize that no one theory is right or wrong, but that each theory has something to offer. Learning theories are valuable because they are often revised and reanalyzed or tested in different contexts to see how well they stand up, effectively minimizing the need for teachers to spend too much time developing research projects and testing them for accuracy. Instead, teachers are given the opportunity to test the results of theories they find interesting or solidly designed and see how well each theory works as a predictor of outcomes. This testing of theories is important for at least two main reasons: (1) theories are often developed in a very controlled environment where the limited variables used do not always accurately reflect the “real world” and (2) depending on how old the theory is, it may be out of date and not applicable to many of the problems we encounter in schools today. Thus, even if we do not fully agree with the implications of a particular theory, it may be helpful to periodically review them and carefully consider their messages about human learning and behavior.

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