Friday, June 11, 2010

Movement to a new paradigm in Wisconsin?

I believe that this group of 45 Wisconsin Superintendents from CESA #1 in southeast Wisconsin may be starting to "get it".  Their vision of the future of education is one very different than the present assembly line schools.  To read the entire article, you need a login to eSchool News - which is free.  It is worth you time!
Their white paper contrasts examples of typical current educational practices with examples of transformative practices, such as:

• Moving from age-based cohorts to learning or progress-based groupings.

• Changing classrooms with randomly assigned age mates into small, collaborative, flexible learning groups.

• Dropping standardized solutions in favor of customized learning plans and processes.

• Transforming largely face-to-face, teacher-directed instruction into electronic, digitally blended instructional approaches.

• Phasing out largely print-based instructional resources and implementing digital, highly customizable textbooks and online instructional and learning resources.

Two quotes had me nodding my head as I read:
A system that only values testing is “hurtful for children,” Evers added, saying the state must “move forward in a more positive direction.

“We see the educator as the key to success,” Gavigan said. “You can tinker with systems [and] funding methodologies, but if something substantial is not changed with regard to the teacher-student interaction, we have not accomplished the transformation.”

I will be watching the progress of this group.
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