Trenton Wilson

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How do we expose our educators to new ways of learning?

I really want to be involved in doing something productive for my community.

  • Jul 18 2013: educators are well aware of new ways of learning, however they're not able to pursue them because of restrictions imposed on them by education department bureaucrats, psychologists, school boards, and principals, none of whom currently teach and most of whom never have. even if they were free to teach in the manner they want (and know i best for students) they wouldn't have time to prepare such lessons because of all the hours of paperwork they have to submit just to get funding.
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    Jul 17 2013: By removing government meddling in education, completely and comprehensively. Given this freedom, teachers would change to new and necessary ways of learning almost overnight, because of their direct contact with students, and therefore the crucial grasp of student creativity and autonomy.

    Politicians want standard curricula and standardized identikit students. People generally do not fit that identity.
    • Jul 17 2013: Hi Allan Macdougall:) I think by inviting government's better spporting in education is wise.why do goverment and politicians become education's obstacle?it deserves us to keep reflecting.isn't it educaiton's fault to be caused that?
  • Jul 17 2013: Hi I am a Montessori teacher teaching children ages 3-6 years. Please watch this video from American Montessori society. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM1Gu9KXVkk Trenton please tell me what you think of this approch.
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      Jul 17 2013: i think this is a beautiful idea. the only problem I see is after they grow out of the Montessori school then whats next?
      • Jul 17 2013: Montessori approach doesn't necessarily stop with primary years. The approach is effective and successful all the way through high school. There are many schools that use Montessori philosophy and have been bringing out well rounded individuals year after year. One such school I worked at is Dearborn Heights Montessori school that goes through middle school. For over 35 years this school has been serving the community. Please check out their website.
        http://www.dhmontessori.org/
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      Jul 17 2013: I love your idea very much. i think this will make children able to accurately remember the information they learn, recall it at a later time and utilize it effectively in a wide variety of situations.
      • Jul 17 2013: I Agree with you David, The kind of education Montessori class offers to a child is so beautiful that the child has a chance to learn a concept as a whole not in bits and peaces. She is given an opportunity to develop some really core learning skills like development of concentration, large and small motor coordination, organization skills, and last and the most important- independence. A word so alien to most of the traditional classrooms. Teachers tend to have less faith in a child's ability to complete a task.
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    Jul 14 2013: " Every child deserves a champion"

    Hi Trenton,
    Great mission!!
    I found a lot of wisdom and guidance at:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion.html
  • Jul 14 2013: From my communication with educators, they are exposed to far too many "new ways of learning". By the time they manage to get any grasp of the latest "thing", the "thing" has changed, and they have to start over with yet another "new way of learning", one that is usually based on a doctrine but no solid research in cognitive science.
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      Jul 14 2013: if educators are exposed to far too many new ways of learning then why haven't i seen any of them, the only new learning technique i have come across is Spring-Board, and Spring-Board is the worst way to learn i have heard more teachers complain about it then students and the only reason they put Spring-Board in action is because Bill Gates was going to pay for all of it so the school system didn't have to so they sacrificed a good education for money
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        Jul 14 2013: What is the new learning technique in Spring_board? I thought Spring-board is a pre-Advanced Placement curriculum emphasizing critical thinking and designed to be offered to all students rather than only those traditionally expected to start college level work in high school.

        What is the new pedagogical technique you see in it? What is it that you believe doesn't work for a student like you?
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          Jul 14 2013: there is no new technique and that's exactly my point. as far as a new teaching technique i have no idea. i do like the khan academy but that is hard to impliment because if it was to ever become more global it would require everyone to have a computer or at least have access to a computer
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        Jul 14 2013: Oh, you said it was "the worst way to learn." What way is that?
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          Jul 14 2013: worst compared to all the ways i have been taught. Spring-Board is just a distraction to real teaching and learning in the classroom. No teachers take it seriously and maybe if they did it would make more sense, but from my experience teachers only do the bare minimum required of spring board because they are forced to teach it. they don't teach it because they want to or because they think it actually helps.
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        Jul 14 2013: But how is it taught?
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          Jul 14 2013: its basically taught the same way a teacher would teach the class without Spring-Board except with Spring-Board there is a lot of extra B.S. Spring-Board starts every section with a question but when u read further it just goes around the question being addressed without ever coming to an answer.
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        Jul 14 2013: Is it because the question posed has no clear "answer?" Could you give an example of the question and how the teacher has you inquire into it?
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          Jul 14 2013: i guess the question is more rhetorical and is just designed to get you to think.
          for example: "Is the American Dream still obtainable" or "is Assimilation a bad thing"
          but then they don't teach both sides of the question. they will give you a uber liberal answer like "no only rich people have access to the american dream" or for the other question about assimilation, "yes assimilation is the root of all evil"
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        Jul 14 2013: I thought you said there is no answer in the context of the lesson. What is the role of students in theory development, finding support, and making arguments?
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          Jul 14 2013: i don't know about you but the answers they give are not real answers
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        Jul 14 2013: You misunderstand my question. You first said there was not guidance toward answers but then offered that "they" gave answers without showing both sides.

        I am trying to figure out what the path looks like after the posing of the question and how students are involved in that path.
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          Jul 14 2013: you just read a lot of passages and excerpts from various books and stories. and spring board kind of forces you down a bias path with the choices of passages they choose
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        Jul 14 2013: Thank you for the explanation. I will look into it further myself.

        My son is in high school and his culminating exercise for Big History was a debate for or against the role humans have played in the history of the planet. It was a rigorous debate, with probably the four strongest students separated with two arguing each side.

        In AP I know there is something called the DATA Based Question in which students are expected to consider a range of original documents and excerpts representing the different biases of the time and to defend a thesis from those documents.

        Math was my field of teaching, so my familiarity with this is second hand.
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          Jul 14 2013: i think student on student debates are very helpful because nobody knows a student better than another student, but student and teacher debates often don't end will. the teacher should just pose the question and have the students debate. This is actually my favorite way of learning in the classroom.

          Also Spring-Board is becoming replaced by a new curriculum in a few years maybe even next school year. and i only know this because i have 2 Aunts somewhere in the upper school board
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      Jul 14 2013: "From my communication with educators, they are exposed to far too many "new ways of learning". By the time they manage to get any grasp of the latest "thing", the "thing" has changed, and they have to start over with yet another "new way of learning", one that is usually based on a doctrine but no solid research in cognitive science."

      Woah, this is actually pretty revelating...

      As far as I can see, teaching isn't rocket science. You don't need cognitive science or fancy technology to learn.

      People think associatively.
      People are curious beings.
      People like stories.

      That's all you need to know for cognitive science to be able to teach.
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        Jul 14 2013: The question, perhaps, is not what the minimum is to be able to teach, but rather how to maximize learning in your classroom. It is best to understand dramatically more than this.
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          Jul 14 2013: I'm just saying that they're putting a lot of technical efforts and research to figure out the best way to teach, when in my opinion, the best way already exists. And it has existed since cavemen and before.

          Storytelling.

          Stories engage students, and you can make stories to relate to their lives. You hear a teacher in front of the class telling a funny story, all the kids are drawn in.

          Stories inspire curiosity.
          What's gonna happen next?
          So I was walking in a bar one day, when all of a sudden...

          Stories have conflicts that are addressed.
          ...you find your ex-girlfriend dating your best friend...

          Stories take you into the main character's shoes.
          ...and you were infuriated!

          Stories have resolutions.
          ...so you unleashed your wrath and laid a massive beatdown on your best friend and got arrested for assault and a lifetime imprisonment.

          Stories have lessons to be learned.
          ...so the moral of the story is, control your emotions.

          I'm not undermining the kind of cognitive science or research, that should be continued, but storytelling is BY FAR one of the most efficient ways to teach. Not list a bunch of bulleted points on a slideshow and call that teaching. It's not teaching if it's not engaging. Stories are fun, they can be exciting, they can make you cry, whatever it takes to get the message acrossed.
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        Jul 14 2013: People tell stories. To teach effectively, it is not enough to be a storyteller.
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          Jul 14 2013: You underestimate storytelling.

          I learned EVERYTHING I needed to know in calculus from Mr. Khan from KhanAcademy. The dude tells stories to relate to students. I didn't learn shit in my lecture because the guy was too confusing and he introduced too many new words too fast.

          If you've ever experienced telling stories, you'll know that people are engaged. Kids are extremely susceptible to stories.

          What if I told you storytelling could achieve world peace?
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        Jul 14 2013: I have experienced storytelling and a great deal of it. What I can only say is that you have made up your mind- except that a couple of days ago listening was also important- not only telling. Time flies, as they say. You must be quite disappointed that the TED prize has gone to Mitra, with his SOUL model of student-driven learning that shuns teacher "telling.".
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          Jul 14 2013: I sort of refined that first post on Understanding, Listening, and Focus.

          Communication is a 2 way street. You need someone someone to Listen, but you also need someone to Facilitate.

          Not everyone listens so intently like you, Fritzie, that's where strong Facilitators come in.
          And these guys are great storytellers.

          I have made up my mind! Because I have yet to see it fail and I have a hard time seeing it fail. If it does fail, it is not because the story was bad, it was because it was the wrong story to engage with for that particular Listener.

          How do you make your audience care? What do they want? You'll get different answers from CEO's to children, who are in vastly different situations and deal with different issues. The issue with most people is that they already know the content, but they don't know how to tell the story that makes others understand and believe in their idea.

          Storytelling gives people voices.
          Now combine Storytelling with Social Media.

          Storytelling can achieve World Understanding.
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        Jul 14 2013: If you ever get interesting in the idea of learning by inquiry, or hands-on, you will find plenty of material. There is, indeed, facilitation, but it is more through asking questions than through telling.

        Just try to keep an open mind. Telling is the traditional way but not the only way.
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          Jul 14 2013: Faciliation also means facilitating inquiry.

          Open-mindedness is good. But being too open is directionless. Moving forward requires direction.

          So here's some direction.

          When there are new ways of teaching, there are two simple questions that need focus.

          Does it Facilitate?
          Does it make them Listen?

          What are strengths and weaknesses of X teaching method? In what ways is X method better/worse than Y method?

          I've evaluated storytelling extremely thoroughly and it is Effective and Efficient. It's so efficient, it doesn't even require technology or even books.
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    Jul 19 2013: Teachers should be rotated. Think of it in terms of 4 week periods, as an example. So instead of student having one primary teacher for Algebra, you have 4, per year. Schools could share teachers and break the monotony of the nine to five. Several different styles of teaching one subject can be introduced to the student and open up a new world of possibilities.
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      Jul 19 2013: I like that you are thinking outside the box, but I think the idea of having teachers rotate in four week spots for a math class is not a winner, I think.
    • Jul 20 2013: This was actually done in my school district some years back......but it failed.

      I don't know the particulars.
  • Jul 19 2013: Show and Tell, use teacher's meetings to show effective ways of training students that equaled results and then provide the resources for the teachers then bring in those individuals who were successful to come in and talk about how they were successful and give tips on how to introduce to students. Next, mgt. faculty follow-up with the teachers mid-week to get feedback then post this feedback for all to see on a website to help teachers become better.
  • Jul 18 2013: I dont think exposure is the right phrase, if you want to help, then I'd suggest that you Trenton or anyone else ask your local schools, I can't think of a better place to get an answer.
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    Jul 18 2013: The basic difference, if you agree with me, is the difference in between the way they made children to learn and the time they took to make them to learn basic alphabets of mother tongue whatever it is in the past and the present way of making children to study and the time they are taking to teach the basic alphabets of language.
    1. To reduce the burden of sub standard syllabus on children
    2. To improve the standards of teaching and time taken for
    teaching
    3. To avoid tutions even from the l.k.g class
    4. To avoid sanction of schools in buildings without playgrounds
    5. To avoid false competition in between schools
    6. To avoid complicacies in studies and there should be standard in what ever quantity of study they give
    7. To avoid political interference in education and educational institutions
  • Jul 17 2013: Trenton,

    I've worked in higher education outreach and continue to be an education advocate despite the change in industries (education is my heart and passion). I was "forced" out of education when the economy took a nose dive and my aspirations to teach remedial middle school classes were dashed. In that time and since then, there's been a major criticism of the effectiveness of teachers in the classrooms, but the mitigating variables in the classrooms are rarely described.

    1) Tracking - Poor performance (behaviorally, academically,etc.) can lead students to be set into a "non-performer" track with other similar students thus denying kids an opportunity to improve.

    2) Transience - From temporary teacher programs (Teach for America) to the inability for districts to afford local living wages, institutional knowledge and respect will continually be lost to more attractive, easier-to-teach-in districts.

    3) Problems at Home - Adults must constantly fight the urge to assume that children "know nothing" or "do not understand". We all hated when this was assumed of us as children and too many of us perpetuate the prejudice on the youth. Children fully understand and internalize the stress, violence, poverty, and hopelessness and take that burden to the classroom.

    4) The Cost and Difficulty of Becoming a Great Teacher - If a high school senior declares his/her desire to become a great teacher, how would you direct him/her. How straight-forward is the process (not at all). How much does it cost? Try adding up the costs of college apps, undergrad education, grad school apps, MS/MA degree, credentialing classes, all the tests (SAT, GRE, CSET, CBEST, etc.), finding a tenure-track job, the additional education required after the first couple years in the classroom, and the out-of-pocket funds to fill in the lack of budget. Don't forget the starting salary: $35,000.

    Until it's no longer necessary ask, "How do they do it?", let's not ask, "How can they do more?".
  • Jul 17 2013: Trenton, you have some great participation here.
    Many are educators.
    I am one also.

    As I have stated in other conversations, many times teachers who love the art of teaching, will find ingenious ways to spark a light of learning in their students, despite any roadblocks they may encounter.

    Oftentimes, though, teachers are just workers.
    They do as they're told.
    They are interested in a check, and not so much the students.

    So, in order to change educators, the system they use needs to be changed.

    I graduated University in the 80's, and have lived and taught in three different countries.
    Sadly, I do not see the education system getting any better.
    Despite all the books, and studies, and TED talks, things continue to go down hill.

    But, there are so many options out there to help students that want to thrive, and that have natural curiosities.

    On-line learning is helping a new generation of students be aware of their choices.
    And accessing it, they can grow in their knowledge of any field of study.

    I think the possibilities are endless.........you are limited only by your imagination.
    I know it sounds corny, but it's the truth.

    Simple men have done great things, without an educational system to help them.
    How can youngsters living in today's information age not be able to do great things........and even greater things with the plethora of information out there?

    I think the key is to change ourselves.
    To lead by example.
    This is a great way to help others see the benefits of anything you wish them to do.

    I've rambled........I hope you don't mind.
    It all came from the heart.
    Be Well.
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      Jul 18 2013: My good friend Mary. Do you think teachers in this country on the whole receive enough compensation? Do you believe teachers should have to stay up till 10;00,or11;00 PM to complete the corrections and grading of student papers with class sizes of 60 students in cities like Detroit? Of course teachers should be dedicated. If they don't demonstrate professional commitment, and behavior they should be removed. If teachers were the ones in charge of lesson plans, lesson structure, lesson timing, and many of the other critical components of learning, wouldn't that make more sense, than administrative bureaucracy? The need for strong innovative public schools is a necessity in this country. How in heavens name does anyone think the bulk of American children are going to succeed if all the money is given over to exclusive, expensive private schools. It leaves the poor, and middle class hanging in the breeze. That's really bad for all of us, rich and poor. There will always be Henry Fords, and Horatio Algier stories of course. We respect and admire those. That is irrelevant to the average student. Wouldn't you agree that teachers should be able to avail themselves of the same global symposiums as professionals from private industry? That's where the big ideas materialize,through networking, and real time exposure to other human beings openly, and passionately sharing new ideas. I love the internet, and technology, but it has not yet replaced the human brain, or human contact. We're not taking about the Ritz Carlton here, just prescribed relevant travel for graduate work, or Symposiums. If a fund was established to subsidize teacher travel it would blow the lid off the mess in American schools. Americans do not travel enough to begin with. Technology only takes you so far. What do you think my friend. "Am I crazy?" Wait don't answer that : )
      • Jul 18 2013: You make such good points Peter.

        When I entered the teaching profession, I got to attend some wonderful seminars.
        Sometimes we would get flown to New York, or even Washington DC.

        But things have changed.

        I have always noticed that teachers do not get treated like the professionals that we are.
        We don't carry business cards, or have the elite status of other professions.
        Especially not in the elementary schools.
        And this is where the basics takes place........without elementary teachers, kids would have a hard time reading, writing, and doing math.......

        On another note..........having summers off.....makes travelling easy.
        And most teachers that I know love to travel Peter, me included.
        And we bring back all that we learn right back into the classroom.

        I think perhaps there is a silver lining to all this misery.

        I think technology is helping dedicated teachers in a big way.
        There is a plethora of teacher blogs out there.
        We are doers!! And we love to share our ideas with other educators!!

        So, despite the fact that the system is not helping us, we are helping ourselves.

        Don't believe me? Take a look-see:

        http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/

        http://4theloveofteaching.blogspot.com/

        http://www.lessonsfromthemiddle.com/

        And.......NO!!! I don't think you are crazy.
        I think you see what a lot of us see.

        But we teachers are ingenious. We know it's all about the kids, and their future.
        Many educators are picking up the slack for the broken system.

        Don't lose hope!!!
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    Jul 16 2013: The best restaurant in the world 2 years running, El Bulli, became so becuase they closed down for 6 months of the year to experiment. Recently, they announced a closure of 2 years in order to do more experimentation. The education system could benefit from the same procedure...but public and private education alike are loathe to allowing teachers "free" time for the learning of new teaching skills and methods. Every minute a teacher has is filled with teaching, dreary administrative tasks and ridiculous showing off to parent end-of-term shows....as well as endless preparation and marking when at home. They need to be given the time to share ideas, go to conferences and experiment. People complain about teachers teaching the same thing year after year in the same way, but quite frankly they don't have the time or energy to do anything else, however much they would like to.
    • Jul 17 2013: From your mouth..............to the Department of Education's ears..............

      Super idea, and one we have all asked for.

      What has sadly happened in the internet age, is that we no longer even get workshops.
      Everything is online.

      So now we have to learn in our private time.
      No more substitute covering for us while we luxuriate in new knowledge and skills.
      No summer institutes.

      Thank you for your support. It's nice to know someone out there understands we are between a rock, and a hard place.

      It's nice to talk to you again David.
    • Jul 17 2013: Hi Dear Dvid Barnett,we have to use vacation to take part in teaching training.Most of teachers are annoyed by those trainning.We do that for assigment not learning.
  • Jul 15 2013: If all the teacher could keep up with the new way of teaching autonomously, that would be the best in terms of both the standards of education and the budget for education. But, most of the teachers stop learning how to teach after they build their own teaching style. So, we need the system that prevent the teachers from persisting in their way of teaching. I think the solution is re-education of teachers. By giving them the chances to learn new ways of learning periodically at university, they are able to rethink how they are supposed to teach.
    My point is teachers also must have opportunity to learn in school like school kids, since they are required to change how to teach as time goes by.
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      Jul 16 2013: Change is a slow beast, especially in a bureaucracy so closely tied to politics, and public opinion.

      In order to keep our teaching licenses, we are required to attend college courses and workshops every year. For example, this year I am working on my masters program (6 college credits/semester), took a classroom management class (16 continuing credits), and am taking a test writing class (40 continuing education credits).

      Last year I took a Linguistics class, a different classroom management class, and about 40 hours of computer and technology courses. The year before that I earned a new endorsement that allows me to teach kindergarten through senior in high school on my license due to the number of credits I had earned. But, you get the idea.

      It isn't the fact that teachers never go back to school after finishing. If anything, we are always in school. Until the ideas become more mainstream, and the government changes its emphasis from the crippling multiple guess exam, to a meaningful method of assessment schools will be stuck with factory settings. But, as charter schools, and hands-on type schools become more popular we should see a general change in public education towards constructivism.

      We know that the old top down models don't work, we just wish the politicians who dictate school funding would figure it out.

      There are other problems that need to be fixed, starting with mom and dad and guardians and important adults in the child's life making school and learning the child's number one priority.

      Oh, and yeah, a few old dinosaur teachers do need to be retired.
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        Jul 16 2013: i think the ultimate problem is unions keeping those dinosaur teachers a job, but like you said about the problem being mom and dad and guardians. Well that goes more with culture and that is a even more serious problem. Its not all on the teachers but a good amount is. a more serious problem is defiantly culture and the environment the kids are in and even the teachers are in.
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          Jul 18 2013: Do I detect anti union sentiment ? You describe teachers of today as (counter culture generation)? "PLease". What FoxLoose propaganda moment did you take that from? The counter culture generation is bull,manufactured by media about a tiny portion of spoiled upper middle class,kids who made good news footage to spin. The majority of kids from the 50s60s were to busy working, or fighting in Vietnam to be marching in the streets,not that that's a bad thing.You really show inexperience by making statements like that. Unions exist because people don't like to pay the fiddler after dancing all night. Millions of parents are working 2 jobs to survive. Sadly many forget that your children are your responsibility. They think they can neglect their children's education, using school as a dumping ground while they work. It doesn't work that way. Parents have to read to their children from infancy for proper growth, spend learning time with them.They come home after a long day, and vegetate on NFL, or NASCAR, while the kid who needs them vegetates on video games.You talk about Montessori schools. Most parents can't afford that.The massive shift of jobs to China, and resulting employment crash in the US. is the biggest problem. The condition is due in large part to the catastrophic failure of neocon economic policy, which nearly collapsed the entire world economy and led directly to the biggest bank robbery in history.Public schools( in some form ) will continue to exist for the foreseeable future. If people would stop bashing unions, and teachers for a national paradigm failure, we'll make progress. Schools cost a lot of money. Get over it. Until teachers receive pay, and benefits are commensurate with their professional status schools will continue to suffer.Teachers and schools require federal subsidies it's a fact of life. American big business, and multinationals should be made to pony up $. We can most certainly innovate but it's easier when people aren't attacking you.
    • Jul 16 2013: I actually take a bit of offense at this statement, that "most teachers stop learning how to teach...". If anything, I have learned more about education since I started teaching than I ever learned before I entered the profession.

      In addition to required education for maintaining certification, I have attended a myriad of professional development courses throughout my career. All of them good in their own right and all have improved my educational career.

      You know what though, most of the time, we are recycling "old" ideas that were solid and research based with new ones, or just putting a new name to them. They are good ideas. Many of them, if implemented with integrity, would show improvement in student learning.

      Instead, we are faced with a constantly changing field that is swayed by politics much more so than rational thought. The "next good idea", yes including technology and distance learning, are introduced and not taught real well. But educators are expected to do it and students are expected to learn, all with not enough support to make things actually work well. Then, a year later, administrations put for a new set of "new ideas" for how to teach, and we start again.

      If schools were to have great administrators with clear visions and the ability to do one thing right for a while with quality teachers, you would see amazing results because the teachers have the experience and knowledge to do things right if allowed to.
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        Jul 16 2013: Everett, it is just a popular misconception about the teaching profession.
        • Jul 16 2013: Fritzie, I know. Still frustrating to hear. I do try respond professionally when I hear comments like that.

          My greatest frustration is not the constant learning, it is the constant learning about the knee jerk programs that someone thinks are important without any type of actual data or fact to support the need for the program. For several years I have learned "the next best thing" and implemented a program only to learn a new one the next year.

          Much of it is just re-packaged from what someone did years ago, and it was good then as it is now.

          Admittedly, only good teachers, or teachers who care about their profession, are students of teaching as well as teachers. Not all fit that category.
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        Jul 16 2013: I was not suggesting, Everett, that you were not responding professionally. I know it is tough sometimes to hear people claim to have all the answers in this field and also tough to go through all the training and implementation of programs experienced teachers know are likely not to improve outcomes for kids.

        What is only an experiment to a funding source can have a lifetime of impact on the students happening through at that time.

        People outside the field are typically unaware, I find, of the mandatory as well as self-initiated professional development teachers undertake each year.
        • Jul 17 2013: Thank you Fritzie. I sometimes feel that my comments, while I attempt to be professional, come across as harsh or caustic. I did not feel that you were suggesting that they were. Sometimes I do need do do a double take on what I wrote.

          I do believe it is an awareness issue for the most part. Just like that of many other professions.
      • Jul 18 2013: I`m sorry for making you frustrated. I meant most of the teachers in Japan. I see you are doing hard and you would do better if only the administers did their jobs right. But the situation here is not the same. We still don't have the course or systems that are meant for middle aged teachers. So, I see a great deal of gaps between young and old teachers' method in teaching.
        I totally agree with you that teachers are working hard. It is same here in Japan. Possibly, we might be working harder in terms of time. Most of the teachers come to school around 8:00 and leave around 20:00 and still have the work to do at home. In addition, those who are in charge of club activities have to do their work after students go to home. For sure, we are working hard. But, I just feel something is wrong. Though we are working so hard on educating children, I feel we are not spending enough time on honing our skills of teaching and cultivate our knowledge of the subjects.
        • Jul 18 2013: Kazu, don't apologize for making a statement based on your observation and opinion.

          I have had the opportunity to work with some teachers from Japan and actually found them to be incredible teachers. And yes, they are hindered by the long hours and limited opportunities for professional development.

          The issue you address is common around the world, simply not enough time or not enough effort placed on providing good opportunities for professional development for teachers.
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          Jul 18 2013: Thank you for contributing a perspective based on your experience in Japan.

          Teaching and schools are not at all uniform within a country and even less so in different countries. A couple of months ago TED staff sponsored a thread specifically for those not in the United States to share the challenges and triumphs of schools in their countries.

          It was an amazingly productive thread, both for showing the common challenges and the differences.
    • Jul 17 2013: HI Dear Kazu hanayama:).You are definitely right.We teachers should go on studying like kids go to school too.At least once two years period,offering opportunity for every teacher to go back to schools to keep on learning.Those teachers wouldn't like to go on learning,should be fired from teaching occupation.
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    Jul 14 2013: Trent, Please read this as my opinion. The worst thing that happened to education was Carter making ED a cabinet post and making the federal government the major player in education. Two other things have weakened the system. The major power in education are the textbook writers and the test developers. They determine what will be taught, when, and a daily guide to be followed that will provide the materials to be covered for success on the accompanied test. Arne Duncan has stated his agenda was for the government to write all text and to develop and grade all tests. He suggests complete government dominance over education.

    Many of the options have been eliminated from the teachers as they have "guides" that demand where they will be and what they will teach on a strict line. That in my opinion is teaching the test.

    CORE and STEM are, again IMO, knee jerk reactions to PISA exams and a excuse for the federal government to dictate the direction they are seeking to go. They do not say you must do it our way ... they do say if you chose not to we will withhold funds and grants.

    So your question "How do we Expose our Educators to new ways of learning"? I suggest that it may be unfair to teachers as they would often like to do things different but funding and state and federal dictates prevent them.

    I sit on the school board and we have VERY limited power. We attempt to find money to do as we are told by the state and feds under law. I suggest that you talk to board members and administrators to give you a better outlook on options available. The answer is budgets and mandates.

    I highly recommend that you check out all I have said ... talk to teachers / administrators / board members / and get a copy of the school budget and talk to the business manager.

    Schools are big business / politics .. read the laws and the budget reports.

    Glad you want to get involved ... frustration awaits you. Do the homework.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Jul 14 2013: Hello Bob, you have a very good point that a lot of teachers would like to teach more creatively and get more involved but they are hindered by the federal governments view and forced direction.

      I posted a sort of short minded question hoping i would get a wide variety of answers and suggestions like i have been.

      but i don't think the problem lies all on the educators. similar to what you have said some fault lies on the government. but also on unions i would like to add. don't get me wrong there was a time and need for unions but as we know absolute power corrupts absolutely. and the unions have taken advantage of there power and have no concern for the student.

      i think really our whole economic system is wrong because what you learn in Pre. college is basically un necessary and most jobs don't require any of it but then again 53% of people who graduate from college with a degree don't get a job in their field of study.

      but we have to have college and standardized tests because our employers are too lazy to get to know someone and know their true talents and know their capabilities. all employers look for now-a-days is do you have that Harvard seal on your diploma or do you have a community college seal.
      so part of the problem maybe lies with our employers

      the problem with college today is more and more people our told day in and day out that you have to go to college or you wont get a job. but the problem with that is people are going to college with no idea what they want to study... they are going to college just to get that seal.
      there was a time awhile back when the people who went to college really wanted to go to college and they knew why.

      our kids just need to slow down find their passion and then study it. instead of wasting mommy and daddy's
      money finding their passion in an expensive college.
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        Jul 14 2013: Trent, I agree with the union part also. Lets look at a few solutions.

        1) At high school .. dual syllabus one for college prep and another for technical /manual arts. Not everyone needs to go to college.

        2) at high school / community college / liberal arts college ... take select courses for half a day and report to a work site for application and further education.

        3) Everyone attend CC / liberal Arts schools prior to going to university. University should not deal with general education ... IMO .... they should be for advanced studies. The life of Elvis the younger years is not ... again my opinion ... a university level course. At $1000 a semester hour and books / labs / etc .... the university is being dishonest in even offering this course and junior is showing his immaturity in taking the Elvis courses. Example only. No offense to the "kings fans".

        4) Most universities have a research area for grants and corporate sponsorship. The factory (or what ever) could send their recruits there for further training and select new employees for those taking the course.

        5) The only way for anything to change / get better / improve ... is to get the federal government out of the process and reduce the states input. We send billions to Washington in hopes of getting thousands back .... probably a bad plan for one of us and great plan for the other.

        Just for the heck of it .. look up what the duties of the US Secretary of Education is. Answer: The United States Secretary of Education deals with Education policy. He has a staff of 5000 to write a policy statement ... better be on heck of a statement. All the rest of the duties are taken from the states.

        Think of how many of our problems would be solved if we returned to a Constitutional government and did away with career politicians. Fun thought. Out of space.

        I wish you well. Bob.
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          Jul 15 2013: Bob your comments have enlightened me to a new level. thank you for your contribution to the conversation and i will take your advice and try to help the next generation in politics, teaching and any other way possible.
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      Jul 14 2013: You know, one convincing message could be...

      "If public education doesn't change right now, then everyone's gonna be homeschooling in 10 years or less and all the funding they tried to invest with textbooks will go down the drain because I guarantee the homeschooled kids will be learning and enjoying some calculus in the 6th grade WITHOUT textbooks, unless they do something about it NOW"

      - People learn from KhanAcademy. People learn from Youtube. What are they doing right? They tell great stories. What good are these expensive ass textbooks? I would try to use them as campfire barbeque, but I think I can find cheaper wood to burn. I would enjoy burning the textbook just for the heck of it, but then I realized, I just burned away $200 bucks. So to conclude, these textbooks are good at doing NOTHING and you guys are paying $200 per student per grade level for this good-for-nothing shit you call standard teaching.

      Thanks for that Robert, it just confirms everything. Textbooks probably were pretty good back in the days when they made every school use them, but times are changing, we got a little advanced.
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        Jul 15 2013: i agree with what you are saying but more and more every day schools are incorporating kindles and electronic text books. and that kind of ties in my other conversation about the Digital Divide
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          Jul 15 2013: Yeah, because as far as I can see, the real problem is McGraw Hill. Robert, one of the members of the board, is on here and he's telling us that it's them.

          Robert's HIGHLY intelligent and he's definitely been in this business for a long time.

          The source of the problem is McGraw Hill, or at the very least that's where our lead is.

          So it is McGraw Hill that needs to be convinced to just stop making these textbooks or else they'll lose huge revenue drops when massive numbers of people start homeschooling or private schooling.

          E-readers and kindles are good in reducing the cost of textbooks and making everyone happier, but it's not good enough. They're still just textbooks.
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        Jul 15 2013: do you have any solution to changing textbooks? because if we use storytelling then you are going to have to read that story from somewhere
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          Jul 15 2013: We can't do anything until we UNDERSTAND what the underlying problem is. Blind protest is not smart imo.

          Unless you guys can just go talk to McGraw Hill as a company or something and get their perspective on things, you'll never create an effective solution.

          Or you can just start some social media campaign, present a story about why textbooks suck and how we are losing out on an opportunity to raise geniuses by using said textbooks, even if they're in digital form. The goal of this would then be raising awareness and spreading Ideas Worth Spreading. If McGraw Hill is too hard to reach.

          Maybe, even get help or ask questions to some people who have already done social media campaigns and about how to start a social media campaign yourself. I dunno.

          OH, use quora.com, and post/find some questions about McGraw Hill.
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        Jul 15 2013: I just don't really understand why textbooks are the problem, the knowledge in them for the most part is not wrong besides maybe history books. i think the real problem is the way we go about teaching the information in the books
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          Jul 15 2013: Textbooks are the problem.

          Think of what we could be doing if we got rid of all textbooks? Think of how much money public education gains from not having to pay for textbooks anymore. Think of HOW FAST kids will learn without having to spend time comprehending what the textbook is trying to say?

          You're right that the knowledge in them is good, but only a select few will ever really engage. I've spent 5 hours trying to read a textbook and I still didn't understand what it was trying to say until I watched a 5 minute youtube video that teaches the same thing.

          That same information from a textbook could be put on a wikia. In a wikia, you can just make without having to spend $200 per book. In a wikia, you can also constrain and regulate only experts to post information (the people who write on textbooks). So effectively, the Wikia is the same thing as a textbook, except it's better in every way. It's vastly cheaper, vastly more accessible (even to homeschoolers), collaborative, and the information on it can adapt over time. Textbooks cannot adapt over time, unless you want to buy the new 10th edition for the same price as the previous and they only changed like 2 pages of it.

          What we gain from getting rid of textbooks now is why I think in 20 years, we would become a society of Leonardo Da Vinci's, Mark Twain's, and Stephen Hawking's.
  • Jul 14 2013: The subject of new ways of learning is one of the concerns of the National Education Association (NEA).

    http://www.nea.org/

    However, educators have gone through training and have been taught what has evolved to be the most effective techniques for educating as part of their college experience. Following this, they have tailored what they learned to the circumstances associated with the environment, resources and restrictions that are associated with their work experience. On top of this, they usually have some natural professional curiosity about how they can do their job better. TED education topics, professional organizations, educational research, and many other resources exist for educators to improve their techniques.

    I point all this out because by asking the question about how to expose educators to new ways of learning sort of assumes that it doesn't already happen. Keep in mind this may be something that already occurs through post-graduate continuing education, training, research, conferences, reading and professional curiosity.

    Another point is that "new" doesn't necessarily mean effective, and even if it is effective, is it more effective than current techniques? How to measure effectiveness of new techniques and effectively integrate them into the existing processes and curriculum is also an area of research and study.

    Although I like Mr. Khan's techniques, teachers are entrusted with teaching the next generation and so there is probably a reluctance to trying something that has not been proven effective.

    There are many ways to do something productive for your community. First, learn as much as you can in the field you choose, and then be a good citizen. Perhaps look for ways to volunteer in your community to help directly. Perhaps learn how your local government works and what you might do to help it work more effectively.

    Perhaps, you could teach, and push the profession in the direction you think it should go with your ideas and work.
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      Jul 14 2013: thank you for your comment and i was actually thinking of taking up a career in a local government and once i have accomplished my goal and put in place a good education system then hopefully the word will spread
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    Jul 20 2013: New ways of learning have to be understood by teachers, and the want to do so has to be organic. We regularly are thrown ideas from administrators who tout the latest new thing, but without buy-in and trust from your educators, it will fail.
  • Jul 20 2013: Yeah, it's easy.. LET THEM KNOW! [coud be the name of a campaign btw.]

    Encourage students to tell there own teachers, how they would better understand.

    I guess teachers care about such things. It's a direct way.
  • Jul 17 2013: From my communication with educators, they are exposed to far too many "new ways of learning". By the time they manage to get any grasp of the latest "thing", the "thing" has changed, and they have to start over with yet another "new way of learning", one that is usually based on a doctrine but no solid research in cognitive science
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    Jul 17 2013: Stop allowing radical, libertarian, right wing extremists to take over political power. Stop blaming teachers for poor school performance. Stop falling for the propaganda, that says only private schools can do the job. Stop undervaluing teachers. Come into the light of reality. Stop thinking that highly trained dedicated professionals like teachers, should be paid less than their industry counterparts. Stop valuing (I phones), (grown up toys), and (Sports Stars) more than your children. Proper (home guidance), (proper discipline), and (teachers) are the only thing between a life of success, and a life of humiliation, and poverty for your children. The teachers are hard working, and passionate, but they are buried under a mountain of administrative, and disciplinary garbage. If they we're paid a decent wage, and provided compensation, and stipends for summer credit learning, the innovations would come streaming in. All professionals need constant skills improvements. Industry provides all this for it's workers for free, because it helps their bottom line. The teachers in the public schools are even more in need of constant, experience, training, and (TRAVEL)! Travel, in my opinion, should be heavily subsidized, for teachers. Subsidized travel may sound like a ridiculous proposition, living high off the hog, but only to those who have never done any. Travel is perhaps the single greatest instructional tool, and method of disseminating ideas that exists. Seeing other successful methods, and models actually working in situ, is enormously powerful. That's when brainstorming, personal hands on training, and networking breeds innovation. It's not ridiculous at all, it's common sense, and "no" the internet is not sufficient.
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      Jul 17 2013: i have never disagreed with anyone more. we are being taught by the liberal counterculture generation. that system has not been working that's why there is a demand for change and the only opposition to the liberals is libertarian/conservatives.
      you have been misinformed. the current system in place is the radical one. you only call the new system radical because it has to be radical to change a system that has been in place for many years.
      you are clinging to the past, and are shunning new technology
      you must still want us to learn with this:
      http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-G7PbW33m2uY/UDsY_6KarBI/AAAAAAAACRE/eo6uRJgUTAo/s1600/nytimes_classroom_school_slate-703088.jpeg
      when we should be learning with this:
      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a4/IPad_3.png
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        Jul 18 2013: That's your opinion, however skewed. Industrialists created a system in 20th century, by pulling purse strings. Pump out diploma mill students, people with just enough education to work low skilled jobs in their factories all by design.Today,we see the culmination of 30 years of rightwing scams like (no child left behind) Republicans attack teachers unions trying to have a decent wage for the most important job of all.There's Ridiculous (teach to the test, to keep your job scams), pumped up, again by the right wing. Waste of teachers,time, and a waste of money.There's a plague of fundamentalist lunacy that denies science,opting for religious indoctrination. Doesn't do much for a kids resume. Are you saying teachers don't work hard ??? If so, you have no idea what your talking about. My sister just retired after teaching 4th -5th grade. She made little more than $55,000 dollars a Masters in education in Missouri, a cruel joke. Students come to her class, A 4th grade class mind you, where she's expected to teach mathematics, only to find that the child cannot read. What is a teacher with 39 other students supposed to do with that kid.? How is he going to learn math, when he can't read at the age of 10? That's obscene, and mostly the fault of parents who probably can't read ,or write either, but thought they would have kids anyway.Your visceral reaction to my statement, and insulting remarks demonstrate lack of understanding of the situation,history,and my statement. I am for (radical change), and (innovation), not 30 more years of right wing scams,patronage, wasting money, ripping of kids, and taxpayers.Your the one that's clinging to the past, not me. How much have you traveled??? Have you been anywhere to see other models? Kahn academy is wonderful, but it's face to face teachers that make the difference. Counter culture success you might want to think about, before eating your foot next time. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Meg Whitman. You're grossly misinformed my friend
  • Jul 17 2013: The more I teach the more I found being a teacher,I needed to keep on learning and be interested in learning too.Because only learning can keep me in fresh air.only learning can keep me in thinking.Just because I keep learning,I learn'I think therefor I am ' more than any before I did.

    From my experience,when I was a kid,it seemed I had been wraped by cliche education system.I didn't know when I learnt a lot from outside of the world.I am really curious when I was just born,anything in my mind and my brain?I had been foreced to learn until someday I was enlightened I want to learn,not for exams,not by anyone's force.I was aware of learning should be part of my life...actually learning works anytime anywhere,maybe that's too bad we define studying:reading,writing,speaking...those special aspects.Do you guys feel so?

    I don't want to give more sigh about present education system.There isn't perfect thing in this world,that's why the world deserves us to explore?Lol
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    Jul 16 2013: How do we expose our educators to new ways of learning?

    There is only one way, luckily it is simple and only takes two words.




    YOUR FIRED!

    Personally as a "recover victim of public education", I’d prefer “You’re arrested! For crimes against humanity”.
    • Jul 17 2013: Don, my question to you is thus, How would this solve the problem? And what is your solution to the issue?

      Yes, some teachers need to be encouraged to seek employment in another field. However, firing all teachers would be counter-productive and quite possibly more heinous than what you propose to replace.
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        Jul 17 2013: Simple; a blend of local, national and international interactive online classes, with a none-monopolized school system. (Blend of public, private/independent, and home school, AKA a voucher system) `

        I find it interesting how private schools are done around the world, the Netherlands and Sweden seem to have good systems.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_school

        P.S. I did not say all, just the ones that need new ways. So I’ll guess about 99.98%
        • Jul 17 2013: This looks like a good idea. We should have an idea sharing platform to post problems and find solutions.
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      Jul 17 2013: Teachers are under constant pressure. They're under pressure from students, students' parents, their bosses and sometimes colleagues. They are one of the few professions which are subject to constant inspections and reforms. Boards of so-called experts (none from the teaching profession) change on an almost annual basis objectives, evaluation processes, and the structure of the teaching system, mostly to save money, using whatever reasoning they can...and teachers just have to put up with it...and they have to put up with it because they are paid a pitiful wage, despite receiving the same education as engineers and architects and doctors, and they are told, quite simply as you say, that if they don't meet the new objectives then they are fired, or have their wages lowered. What other profession has to put up with that? Why is it that teachers more than any other profession seek professional psychological help? Why?

      Give teachers time, space, respect and a decent wage and see what they can do.
      • Jul 17 2013: why most of places teachers' wage is low among average's?when we can be aware of how important teaching jobs in our society?miracle from educatoin is inestimable.Teaching jobs required high innerworld quality.people just aren't capable of evaluating it's .for that we humanbeing is blind.
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    Jul 15 2013: By making life hell for them.

    I am sorry, i mean take them out of their comfort zone and stimulate them to think more and think differently.
    • Jul 17 2013: Hi adesh saxena,of course most of teachers can live in comfort zone,you know what,because students are new every minute.So most of them would like to take it as a joy or burden to deal with.
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      Jul 15 2013: no offence to you or your education or your university but i don't think its right for me
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    Jul 14 2013: It would seem to me that recent efforts are meant to pamper learners and blame all the inadequacies of the system on teachers.
    I'd say all stakeholders should get their hands busy in revitalizing the education sector. And we should not forget that the school system is only a part of the whole pictures. Parents and learners should take responsibility for their education; instead of looking for someone to blame and clinging to excuses.
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      Jul 14 2013: There's a pretty powerful tool called Social Media.

      I'll leave it at that.
  • Jul 14 2013: Hello,everyone! I'm new here.I like to watch TED programes which take me into a rich world.
    I've known many advanced technologies here as well as creative ideas.When I reviewed the website
    this night and I found this column which includes many different topics of consersation.It really
    interests me.I can ask my questions here and reply to others about my opinions.

    I'm now a student in the university for my master degree majoring English teaching.Actually,I have
    worked for around eight years in another business before this.Obviously,this was a tough decision
    I had to make before I entered the university again.But I want to change my life,my career,maybe the path of
    my life.I decided to live another different life.So I quit the job and successfully entered the local university
    so that I can be an English teacher in
    the future.I'm 32 years old now.I have got married and had a three-year old baby.For me,study is not easy now because
    I have a family.When I was studying in college,I didn't know what I want to do.But now I know exactly what I want.
    I think I should go for it.

    Because of my future job-English teacher,I'm always thinking how to teach children to learn English well in creative ways.Let them enjoy it

    and use it freely,not just for examinations.Maybe my question is a little bit general.What's more,I think many of you here
    are native speakers who have different ways to learn English.Still,I 'm waiting for your different thoughts and ideas about
    teaching English.
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      Jul 14 2013: hello Anna, I love that you want to be a teacher. and i actually like the fact that you are struggling because of your family and what-not because it shows that teaching is something you really want. of course i don't want you to struggle but what i mean is i appreciate your determination. As far as teaching goes James Zhang's idea about storytelling is a very relate-able and engaging way to teach. i think it should be the job of the teacher to pose questions and spark the kids interests because once you have a kids curiosity they can almost teach themselves. this is just my opinion though. i have no teaching experience but i would call myself an expert in being a Student, if that makes any sense to you.
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    Jul 14 2013: Teach them storytelling and teach them to care. And connect all the lesson plans with stories kids can relate.

    It's nothing new, storytelling has been around since cavemen. It's amazing that this still works after thousands of years.
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      Jul 14 2013: good point. the kids need something they can relate to. and to further that i think our maths should be directed more towards financial situations and economics rather then teaching kids to be a aeronautical engineer
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        Jul 14 2013: I think any kid can learn anything, and enjoy it.

        Math is hard to engage with because most kids can't relate to it. That goes for most things you don't understand. You just have a hard time relating with the concept.

        But humans are associative thinkers, and therefore I think they learn associatively just as naturally as well.

        Stories are relatable, or at least they're really interesting and engaging.
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          Jul 14 2013: if there is nothing to relate certain maths to then what is the point of it. if there is no real world circumstance of applying it then why teach it. you could spend the valuable class hours to do something more productive and I'm sure its possible to teach some if not most of the maths in a more relatable way like implementing the maths into economics and financial applications. and the amount of math learned that is actually applied will be far greater than the 5% today
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          Jul 16 2013: The point is that math is supposed to teach you logic. I dabble in many things, and I have used more math than I can ever relate. Math was very hard for me in school. In fact, I think that math is the hardest subject I ever studied. I am forever grateful that my math teacher in college was passionate about his subject because that is what woke me up to the fact of math's importance. Before then I possessed the same attitude that you demonstrated. It was the same myth that my parents perpetuated. No, math is important because of the many wonders that it reveals, even at the introductory levels available in high school. After basic algebra in most school districts students can elect to take "consumer math," which is pretty much what you have described. It is math that teaches the basics of money management, and other simple ideas. There are still students who complain that the math is just way to hard. Attitude is everything, and math requires that you be at your best.
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        Jul 14 2013: You need calculus to become an engineer. You need statistics to do data analytics. You need algorithms and logic to do coding. You can't do any of those professions, which are used in the real world without math.

        If you DON'T teach them math, you close them off of paths to those professions and more. What can be more damaging to a child's education than denial of opportunity?

        All of society's greatest innovations in each era had mathematics involved to move humanity forward from inventing the wheel to creating the internet.

        Math IS used in the real world, time and time again.
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          Jul 14 2013: math is used every day i understand that and there is technically no job that doesn't use math but there is a point where the level of math they are teaching is irrelevant to anything but the 3 jobs you listed including a few others. now the argument about how we cant deny a child's opportunity. well that is being done every day in schools actually. they don't teach art or dance or music. you have to choose those things and if you do wind up choosing them then the budgets they have are very slim if nothing at all. so should math be a choice after a certain point? still offering the subject and its different branches but not making math a forced subject.
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        Jul 14 2013: I think math is relatable. Dare I say, even college-level calculus is relatable, THAT I really don't know lol.

        "well that is being done every day in schools actually."

        Yeah, it's sickening and frustrating how slow public education is at integrating technology and just good teaching. Don't get me started on the textbooks. Uh huh, yeah, real engaging -_-. But things will turn out. Each generation is smarter than the previous due to the efforts of that previous gen to take what they've learned and apply it to previous gen.

        "so should math be a choice after a certain point?"

        Hmm, that's a really good question. I think I would have to think about this one for a while... Basic math is important, but does everyone really need calculus? You know, actually I'm not sure. I've taken some classes I thought were pretty useless for me, but had I not taken them, I wouldn't have understood other problems, nor overcome challenges of trying to engage calculus. But, had I not taken calculus and decided to do something I REALLY wanted, I may have gotten much better at specializing that one thing. However, I wouldn't have experienced anything outside my comfort zone.

        Honestly, I'd just flip a coin, because I think either solution is valid. I would learn a lot either way.

        "you have to choose those things and if you do wind up choosing them then the budgets they have are very slim if nothing at all."

        Alright, if they stopped wasting their money on $200 textbooks that only like 3 students in a class of 20 may actually read, then they would have a lot more money for other things. These textbooks are expensive, and if you scale that to the amount of students they need to support with these textbooks, that's a lot of money. Wasted.

        What they NEED to spend is not refinement of lesson plans, but refinement of teachers. When was the last time a teacher told a story? I know from personal experience that hardly happened.
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    Jul 14 2013: it's being done already in that (in NZ anyway) there is a move to incorporate different learning styles to best support learners.

    there aren't really that many new ways to learn, just trends, endlessly changing catch-phrases and , worst of all, sales-pitches for education-based products
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      Jul 14 2013: thank you for commenting i agree a lot with what you are saying. i feel like the education system is just a big business with no care for its customers
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      Jul 14 2013: I would REALLY like to know what kind of salespitch McGraw Hill and other textbook brands did to convince them that their product is good.

      "i feel like the education system is just a big business with no care for its customers"
      Everything is a business, even donation foundations. They just have different business models.

      All it takes to convince them that a product is good is an extremely good Pitch to sell the idea. There's a lot of effective ways to do this.

      Sales-pitches aren't a bad thing. You need to tell a convincing story about your idea for others to believe in it. The rest then becomes natural. The trick is, we need the right people with the right ideas to know how to make a mindblowing pitch, and they need to have a voice in the decision making of the Board of Education or whatever that entity is called.
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        Jul 14 2013: i researched how McGraw Hill got its start and way back in 1890's 2 guys James McGraw and John Hill both had different publishing companies and they joined together and actually bought out the leading textbook producer which was The Economy Company. and actually now in 2013 they are trying to sell there education system to Apollo Global Management for 2.5 billion or 2.4 billion cash.
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          Jul 14 2013: dang...

          Alright someone NEEDS to tell the higher up guys that these people are a waste of money. $2.5 billion? Really?!
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    Jul 13 2013: Do you mean you want to educate yourself in this area so as to be able to make a career in education, or are you looking for opportunities to volunteer or to participate in educational reform advocacy even as you are finishing high school?
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      Jul 14 2013: i just want to be able to open up more teachers and educators eyes to whats happening because most of the ones i have come across don't care about whats happening and I'm astonished by why they don't care about there own field
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        Jul 14 2013: In my experience, people in a field know more than you may think and care more than you may think. You might consider why everyone else would know and not people who work in the field. Doesn't that strike you as a bit strange? Do other people know more about what people are talking about in nursing than nurses do? Do other people know more about what is going on in IT than IT professionals do? Do other people know more about what is going on in film and television than people who work in that industry?

        It is worth asking yourself, I think.

        Meanwhile, there are many contributions people can make to the education of those less fortunate than themselves. There is room on the team for someone with a cooperative mindset. Depending on your interest, you can work on reading with kids who cannot get the individual attention they need because there is only one teacher for twenty students. You can help students with math who could not get as much attention in class as would have been ideal, not because the teacher doesn't care but because the teacher has twenty-eight or 34 students, all of whom have slightly different misconceptions and ways they learn best. You can offer to help middle-schoolers with science fair projects.

        If you can do these things, you will make a difference. The younger the kids, the more difference you can probably make.
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          Jul 14 2013: i understand that i obviously don't know as much about education as a educator does. but based on my personal experience i have not come across any teachers that are passionate about what they do, i have had many teachers that just sit at their desk and assign the class to just read a chapter and answer a few questions at the end of the chapter. It requires no degree to do that. they are getting paid to do that. i could of done that at 3
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          Jul 16 2013: Sometimes it is all about giving the learner free reign and allowing them to construct their own meaning. I am a constructivist. That means that unless you are a kindergartner, I am going to give the resources to find your answer, and then make you find it. Why? Because I know that when you successfully walk away, you will not only know the correct answer, but it will make perfect sense to you. This is because you were forced to use your wits and do a bit of research to make it personal. Until you can "put it in your own words," you don't really understand the topic. Even if you could recite the text front to back without error, if you can't relate it to your own understanding, it is completely useless information that you will never know.

          Now for the teacher who says, "Read pages 10-20, do questions 4,5, and 6," I hope that they are also providing you with that opportunity to collaborate with your peers in the classroom on questions 4,5 and 6. I hope those questions are so hard that there is no clear answer in the text and you are forced to use other resources to answer them.

          It is not the job of the teacher to spoon feed you in our modern education system. It is the job of the teacher to tell you what you need to know, where the information is, and let you make sense of it with gentle nudges as appropriate. It is your job as a student to make sense of the material, to internalize it, and make it your own. Until you do that, you have not learned.

          Now, if the teacher in your example is using the text as a crutch and not within the context of what I have said, then yeah, that teacher needs to be re-evaluated. There are most certainly bad teachers out there, dinosaurs, and ones who have given up. They are a blight, but most certainly exist within every professional group. There are doctors, lawyers, car mechanics, carpenters, etc. who easily fall there as well.

          Interesting topic.
        • Jul 18 2013: Hi Fritzie Keisner,I couldn't agree with you more:'the younger the kids,the more fifference you can probably make'.that's why I often dream myself to teach in kindergartens.Lol
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        Jul 14 2013: That is so sad. Once one is doing that, it is time to retire.

        I taught secondary school for a number of years and pretty much never sat down.
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          Jul 14 2013: now i understand why you are so passionate about my some what negative comments towards today's teaching methods. and i would also like to say thank you for refuting my statements it has opened my mind a bit wider and I'm a better person for it.
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        Jul 14 2013: Actually, there is no uniform thing that can be called "today's teaching methods." Teachers use widely different pedagogies. The rest is often caricature.

        Teaching and learning are very important- yes, I am passionate about children's educations, and we can achieve better outcomes if we do not over-simplify the challenges and the opportunities.
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        Jul 16 2013: @Michael. My training to teach secondary is constructivist as well.
  • Jul 18 2013: Trenton, have you seen this latest TED talk?

    http://www.ted.com/talks/jack_andraka_a_promising_test_for_pancreatic_cancer_from_a_teenager.html

    Truly inspiring.

    And, even though he mentions how his biology class stifled him....he still overcame the education system, and pushed on ahead to make a difference.

    What do you think?
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    Jul 17 2013: everyone thinks this conversation lashes out at teachers but I'm simply asking how do we help them.
    • Jul 18 2013: No Trenton, I don't get the same impression as you.

      I think that people are just voicing what they believe is happening.

      A lot of us have had a lot of years of experience in the field, and we are so tired of all the talk.....

      "After all is said and done, there is usually more said than done".........this quote, from my collection, reflects what I have been seeing in education for the last three decades......it's just not getting any better.
      I don't think it will either.

      But eventually the system will change.
      What to?
      I don't know.........?????
    • Jul 18 2013: Give teahers space and time to focus on what they want to teach.Let students come to estimate what teachers they like not authorized privilege from any department.
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      Jul 15 2013: i didn't try to make judgment but based on the short info. you supplied earlier i had no choice to come to that conclusion. and can i ask what you have been studying for 9 years?
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      Jul 15 2013: can you please explain the university a little better because i am typically not a big fan of universal education because the majority of this conversation is about unstandardizing education
    • Jul 17 2013: Hi Deepak Behl,you can keep thinking all the best not because of the university by the most is yourself would like to be so.Once anyone has learning inner-motivation,any university or learning can support him(her) to keep on learning in his(her)life.
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    Jul 14 2013: Ok, another convincing message for Education.

    If I told you, you could raise a NATION of Leonardo Da Vinci's in 3 years by just Listening and Storytelling, would you do it?

    Or how about.

    If you had the right teacher training program for just 1 month, you can create a NATION of Leonardo Da Vinci's, Mark Twain's, Stephen Hawkings in just 3 years.

    And here's why...
    (list reasons, maybe burn a few textbooks in the process just for satisfaction and stress relief. $200 bucks worth of quality service after all.)

    In 10 years, we may solve world hunger, achieve world understanding, cure cancer, put a man on Mars, etc. Because these were the same nation of geniuses who were raised from REAL education who were facilitated by the same teachers that we will put in that 1 month crash course training camp.

    And we could all build a big bonfire with textbook and kumbayah, but I don't want to pollute the air with textbook.
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    Jul 14 2013: public education has no competition and is basically a monopoly that is going to continue serving standard fast food based education. public education does not shift and rise with the new technological advances in society