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Jonathan Sieg

Boy Scouts Eagle Scout

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A curriculum based around projects and collaborative efforts while deemphasizing standardized testing and homework

A curriculum based around group projects designed to challenge students, build confidence and creativity, and allow them practical hands-on learning should be implemented. The education would start at an early age, and emphasize creative learning and intellectual curiosity while still addressing fundamental reading, writing, and math. Essentially, the most important aspect of early education is stimulating a curiosity about the world to prepare students to be life-long, excited learners. Furthermore, socializing should be strongly encouraged, along with interesting group problem solving to inspire confidence and facilitate strong communication skills.
Analysis of student ability will be conducted by school counselors who work closely with students. The counselors serve mainly two purposes: ensure the emotional well-being of students is secure not only in the school environment but also at home and serve to develop new projects and group students for those projects together in the most effective way.
As students reach a point of maturity and ability to handle a more self-directed project based curriculum, counselors will essentially then take the place of teachers. Hopefully by the time students reach teenage years, they will become generally self-directed in learning. Counselors will then assess students through individual relationships and past projects to group students to create the most effective learning environment possible. The counselors will also decide on projects and challenges to assign the group. Ideally, these projects will encompass a wide variety of disciplines and be a goal that is plausible for the group, but still provides an interesting, relevant challenge. Students may have as few or as many projects as they can handle and which will provide the most profitable experience for learning.
When these students are assigned projects, the school will make many resources available for them. Counselors will then hold students accountable and focused.

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    Jan 6 2014: After the PISA results were published I attempted to evaluate the merits of the Singapore system. One of the things that is included is a practicum ... Practicum objectives and learning goals are to help students translate into practice in a particular setting the concepts and principles taught in the classroom.

    We, in the USA, do not require application. I think that to be an error. I can express how to change a tire or bake a cake and not have ever done either and get an A on a test. I think it important that we actually bake and change and then receive a grade on the outcome. But then I do no believe in a grade either ... I think you are either competent in the task or incompetent pending review, assistance, and retesting.

    We agree that high stakes testing is the worst of systems and only justifies the text publishers and test writers but does not accurately measure the student or prove that "learning" takes place.

    We are only discussing opportunities to improve the system.

    When earning your Eagle badge ... all along the way you were challenged and required to demonstrate your understanding of a area by application ... such as swimming, first aide, hiking, etc .... they demanded you be competent in the task to advance. Should we not expect the same in Education?

    Be well. Bob.

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