Toni Wright

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Toni Wright
Posted over 2 years ago
What's that one book, movie or work of the human imagination that will make a thinking person think more deeply?
In response to your delightfully wonderful question, I offer up things that made me think: so, in no particular order: Publications and Articles: Declaration of (American) Independence Constitution of the United States Emancipation Proclamation writings by Abraham Lincoln Books and short stories: Aristotle's "Poetics" (and other practical philosophies) Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality by Dr. Henry Cloud (while the writing itself isn't highly intellectual, the essence impacted me) Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 1984 by George Orwell (mentioned previously) the Old Testament of the Bible for a history lesson that we haven't learned the New Testament of the Bible (sans Revelation) for a story of hope and courage any book by Sir Ken Robinson (focus is on the need for a change in our education system) Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe The Gospel According to RFK: Why It Matters Now Plays: Tales from the Mississippi Delta by Dr. Endesha Ida Mae Holland Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley A Raisin in the Son by Lorraine Hansberry Coyote on the Fence by Bruce Graham Movies: A Passion of the Christ (yes, it has spiritual significance, but for a 'thinking man' it is so much more than mere religion) Schindler's List A Beautiful Mind And The Band Played On (book to film regarding AIDS in the 80's) on TV: Discovery Health network: Amazing Families: the Kirtons (all six children with some degree of Autism) Temple Grandin (HBO special, an "extra-ordinary" person who happens to have Autism) and of course TED - in any form
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Toni Wright
Posted over 2 years ago
What are the limitations that keep new educational designs from being implemented tomorrow in schools and especially in higher education?
I'm an Associate Professor with 10 years classroom experience, a terminal degree in my field and about 10 years professional non-academic experience in the same field. I am pursuing another advanced degree in Education for the purpose of 1) better educating today's youth and helping to close the achievement gap, and 2) to contribute to the Education Revolution that needs to and hopefully will happen. "What are the limitations..." I believe that money, training, and apathy are central. Money because it is needed to modify every aspect of public schooling from buildings to curriculum to personnel. Training because it is needed to "re-educate" the vast majority of currently practicing teachers of every level from pK-16 equipping them with 21st C methodologies to effectively educate the individual while also teaching the group. Apathy because while the "silent majority" may agree that change needs to happen, they aren't willing to demand change, much less make enough noise that it happen. That said, my thoughts for your personal plight are these: you seem to be judging your entire undergrad experience based on 4 or 5 Instructors out of the 35-40 that you are likely to encounter, and judging it on 4-5 courses out of 35-40 that you'll likely take. Not all of us teach the same way so don't give up hope in your first term. I could have my students focus on memorizing names and dates and terminology, but that won't make them successful in their careers. What will add to their success is a comprehensive understanding of the why and how of their craft. I want my students to be able to converse, debate, evaluate and ultimately make a personal choice - it's those tools that will aid in their success as professionals and as human beings. I agree with your suggestion that there are two basic approaches to disseminating information - just the facts, go memorize them, or WHY, now let's look at it and talk. Old minds use the former, revolutionaries use the later.