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Austin Jones

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Elementary education reform.

I have a mapped out curriculum that entails practices of bio/neurofeedback into elementary schools. Basically just emotional therapy, cognitive exercises, abstract thought building, and individual analysis. All of this without changing the system too much, that's my goal for an easy and agreeable transition. The goal being that we want to captivate a childs' imagination, identify what their individual interests are, build on that while still educating them on the other fronts, and teach them about their own mind. How their mentality is effected by environment and how to control it. Show people at a young age how to identify when their emotions have relatively larger impacts on their decision making processes.

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    Jan 26 2014: Austin, Wow sounds like a pretty heavy and in depth approach. The problem I have is getting around the state and federal mandates. The textbook writers and the test developers have out lined a curriculum and set time schedules to cover high stakes tests that the federal and state governments use to rate teachers, administrators, and school systems ... in short money and careers are on the line. Frankly the federal and state governments do not care about the emotions or the child they want pure data and to meet the mandates or they will reduce or stop your funding.

    What we can do to enrich the opportunity to succeed is to use preparatory events such as hands on and enriched vocabulary. We should pay more attention to study habits and test taking techniques. We should require demonstration / application and not multiple guess.

    We are no longer in charge of what occurs in the classroom ... that was decided at the white house in a knee jerk reaction to the PISA exams which the USA fell to the bottom third of the bottom third. It is the documented intention of the Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, to socialize our education system to be ran by the federal government. With the advent of CORE and STEM and ability to control the purse strings he is well on the way to socialism. We should note that Duncan was the state superintendent in Illinois where they spend the most and have the worst results in education in the states .. his plan worked for that state .... NOT.

    We fail to prepare the elementary student for the transition to the junior high rigors .... that should be the goal.

    I too have a plan for the renovation of the school system ... cannot occur when the feds are running the game.

    Carter really screwed the pooch when he made Education a Cabinet post.

    We beat this up on TED quite often ... don't give up. We know what the problem is ... get the feds out of the state business .. then we can work to heal the system.

    Be well. Bob
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      Jan 26 2014: There is simply no way any guidelines or mandates would cause a teacher not to try to address the social and emotional needs of the children in her charge, as well as often trying to attend to the separate needs of their parents. The caveat is that some teachers teach large classrooms of children with an array of emotional challenges that are too much for one person to handle.

      Some schools have a useful in-building resource for counseling problems beyond what can be addressed in a whole class format and some have found that resource stripped in the face of budget cuts.

      An example is that the classroom teacher is not equipped to diagnose and address real depression, OCD, and so forth in a classroom setting of thirty students, even if she had the training for it. Also, only specialists are equipped to address some of the anger-related issues that can arise at schools.
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        Jan 27 2014: Hi Fritzie, I agree. No caring teacher would not attempt to address these issues. My intent was to address the issues ... as you say there are many cuts .... teachers have been strapped with a very tight schedule to prepare students for high stakes testing.

        My issue is that the federal government is becoming more intrusive in the states business and in particular education.

        I think we must address the issues we are facing prior to attempting changes.

        We too are losing many things here in order to fund the mandated changes.

        I am with you in supporting teachers ... I am afraid the deck is stacked against them. In Arizona now the teachers evaluation is based on the students results on the high stake tests. The teaching plan is directed by the text writers and the test developers. It has become a matter of teaching the test.

        I can only imagine the frustration this must present to caring teachers.

        As always thanks for the reply. Bob.
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          Jan 27 2014: I know and appreciate your support for teachers and recognize too the various destructive impacts of much high stakes testing.

          In terms, though, of attending to the social and emotional needs of kids, I believe they would do better on ANYTHING you might measure about their learning- including tests- if teachers attend to their needs as kids. There are no shortcuts around it. The human factor is important for its own sake, for their school performance, and for students' future.

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