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Ronald Vallecer

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Who wants an open source curriculum based Education?

Inspired by Clay Shirky's recent open source talk, I thought about having an educational curriculum that is open sourced to students. Wouldn't it be exciting if students are taught to take ownership of their own learning journey. No more vague and unhelpful teacher feedback, instead students come into educational institutions knowing that their perspective counts and that they are in charge of their learning. Conceptual.understanding at their pace and language.

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  • Sep 30 2012: I have been a preschool teacher for many years and find that it's easy to plan an entire year of curriculum based on my needs, perceived interest of the kids, and what parents want/expect. But it's so much better for the childen when they have a say in what they are learning. This is sometimes called a "project approach"--actually asking children to express what and how they want to study a topic. I think it would be difficult, as a teacher, to satisfy the interests of an entire class, especialy with a multi-age grouping, but in a modified format, it could work well. The biggest problem I see is in class size. In my Head Start classroom I had 20 children, 3-5 years old, and strict regulations for lesson planning, individual goals for children, and environmental requirements that actually made a 40 hour work week (another regulation) difficult to adhere to. It was frustrating! I did ask parents for input on ideas for curriculum and got some good feedback on that which I incorporated into my weekly plans. I also encouraged parents to participate in class in ways that were meaningful to them and their children.
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      Sep 30 2012: This is not intended as a comment about your program or your abilities, but there is no shortage of critics of the Head Start program in general. The numbers just aren't there to justify the number of dollars we're spending.

      "Head Start is a bust, but the bureaucrats who manage it zealously protect it as politicians in both parties lavishly fund it. And Head Start is just one of 69 closely related federal preschool programs that consume more than $25 billion annually.

      Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/editorials/examiner-editorial-it-s-time-face-failure-head-start#ixzz27zf3gedC

      I believe that the issue is that we need to better understand child development.
      • Oct 1 2012: Last sentence of your post, Theodore: AMEN! I retired because I wasn't allowed to teach according to my philosophy of what's best for kids. It's not about child development, it's about money.
        • Oct 1 2012: I guess the challenge is for everyone in society to start realising that everyone is a stakeholder in education. Money should never be an issue when it comes to quality Education, but in today's world, I guess there is a price to everything. Let us put our wills together and make open source learning happen. Let us then put our minds together and make open source learning work!

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