No child left behind?

In the United States of America, the no child left behind policy is leaving 40% of its kids behind.

In Finland there is a 0% dropout rate because no students are ever left behind.

This Ted Talk is fascinating. I only wish Canada could have a more well-rounded education system where teachers were given more flexibility when it comes to curriculum and the support they need for their students for future success. I also think post-secondary education should be free – but that’s another story!

The Green School Bali

I have been fascinated with this school for several years now and felt that it applies to our GDPI course.  It relates to the inquiry based school videos that were assigned.  Have a look and see how a school can truly reach greatness through a holistic and inquiry based student driven curriculum.  The website is very large and has many components including a CNN documentary and visits from speakers like the secretary general to the United Nations as well as Jane Goodall.  (Plus, the founder is Canadian!)


Introductory Speech

More recent speech

I think this school aims at social reconstruction: critically analysing the state of society and trying to make it better.

Philosophical Foundations of Curriculum: Module 2

I have gained further insight into the philosophies behind education after reading the course material for this second module.

After originally having some of my own mis-conceptions about reconstructionism I have come to the conclusion that it does have relevance to my own teaching practice. However, my day to day teaching philosophy is more pragmatic than any other philosophy.  I feel that my teaching reflects pragmatic philosophies through: students-centred learning, activity-based learning and attitude based learning that is to central to the PYP curriculum I am currently teaching.

Please enjoy the modified Prezi that Kerrin Celestine and I have made as a collaborative project.

Comments and suggestions are more than welcome, but please reference individual statements within the document rather than slide numbers (as they are ever-changing).

Concepts of Curriculum – Additional, response to B’s questions.

How I am trying to apply technology into the 21st century curriculum while I teach at my international school in China:

We use

  1. an interactive white board regularly,
  2. as a math resource
  3. online home reading program as a library for reading development
  4. incorporate technology into final presentations for 6 week units of work such as video, powerpoint, Microsoft publisher and word documents
  5. use iPad apps to enhance learning and library research
  6. use video presentations to assist learning like those from and a select few on

of course, among others.

Why I believe that math curriculums with a small amount of rote learning would be good?

I fully support and wholeheartedly believe that integrated learning through hands-on activities and real life situations are the best way to learn math.  I love playing learning games and using maths centres to solidify learning in my classroom.  However, after teaching for 2 years in a school with a wide variety of incoming 7 year olds from a vast selection of school curricula I can see that students with a strong background in basic number sense and numeration do much better in hands-on and situational learning activities.  Students who master and actually just go ahead and memorise their times tables and simple addition and subtraction facts really perform to a much higher standard than students without that solid mathematical awareness as a background.  I fear that the humanistic focus may in fact be a little too lenient on students in this simple and rudimentary aspect of learning. I can remember the only way for me to learn these skills when I was young was flash cards and drills.  I remember thanking my teacher for finally taking the time to drill the facts into us, so the rest of math would come easier, later on – like word problems and comprehension questions related to maths skills.