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Warning:

You are in the process of being indoctrinated. We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be. You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others, will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself-educating your own judgment. Those that stay must remember, always and all the time, that they are being molded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this society. ~Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

Each link on this page has links to other pages—with those often having further links. This is the nature of the Internet. In working on this course, I suggest that in each section/essential question, you “survey” links and “bookmark” ones you think you want to read closely. Then go back and review your selections to decide what to reprint and highlight/annotate for your Portfolio. This will combine scope and depth, and enable you to compile a Portfolio of most use to you.

WELCOME TO EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY--A Combination Meeting and Distance Learning {"Any time, Any place} Course of Five Essential Questions and Resources, Using Moderated Discussions and Web Assignments

An underlying assumption for this course is that the current "teaching-to-the-test furor is both based on false ideas [see DEPTH vs. "COVERAGE" in TEACHING and MCAS PREP] and on little understood historical and political factors behind current schooling and standardized testing [see SCHOOLS ARE INTENTIONALLY DUMBED DOWN].

This page has the assignments and sites to be visited.

You are to complete each Essential Question and turn it in by the dates noted below. One week following the Thursday required class discussion on the due date, there will also be class discussion when your work is returned (date in parenthesis)

Question 1 (Reform) 2/8/2001 (2/15)
Question 2 (Assessment) 3/1(3/13)
Question 3 (Motivation) 3/22 (3/29)
Question 4 (Inclusion) 4/12 (4/19)
Question 5 (Learning Theory) 4/26 (+Any Revised Work Due) (5/3--Final Class). The rest of the course may be done any where, any time. I will hold individual and small group meetings throughout the course that you will also be required to paricipate in.

DISCUSSION BOARD

Key Course Search Sites: GOOGLE [Highest rated single search engine]

DOGPILE [Top rated multiple search engine].

Try to work at a pace of one good writing for each essential question selected and two DISCUSSION BOARD postings (aim at ten lines) per week. Each Question is seeking YOUR thoughts and opinions, based on the sites on this page. There are no predetermined answers, which is why it is important for you to explain your views. This is equally true for questions you are asked to address on the DISCUSSION BOARD.

Let me know right away if you have any trouble making postings on the DISCUSSION BOARD or have difficulty with any questions. YOU are responsible for keeping up with web work and DISCUSSION BOARD postings (one good chunk per week for each).

At regular intervals, you will be asked to participate in class discussion of ideas and resources pertaining to each question.

YOUR WORK ON THESE WEB ASSIGNMENTS IS TO BE KEPT AS A PORTFOLIO. {By portfolio, I mean a file folder or notebook with a 2-5 page essay/listing for each question, highlighted and annotated reprints of sites supporting your views, showing alternative ideas, and reflecting your web work; and reprints of your entries on the discussion board.} THIS PORTFOLIO WILL BE EVALUATED WITH THE FOLLOWING RUBRIC.

PORTFOLIO RUBRIC EACH ESSENTIAL QUESTION HAS: 1. Reprints of selected web sites and articles, enough sites to support your viewpoint,and to show you have considered alternative views. 2. Reprints are highlighted and notated, reflecting thoughtful reading (both critical and creative thought). 3. A written summary of what you have learned and concluded (for each essential question). 4. Reprints of relevant postings from the Discussion Board.

Your answers for questions 2 through 5 should include a LIST of POSSIBLE ideas and approaches and a PLAN selecting what you feel are the most promising ideas for how you would approach each essential problem.

Each Essential Question can at various points in the course be addressed through Brainstorming and Creative Problem Solving, which we will do as we go along. Check out sites on CREATIVITY to understand more of what this means.

ESSENTIAL QUESTION 1: WHAT DO YOU "MAKE" OF REFORM?

[Be sure your "answer" addresses the teacher test, MCAS, and curriculum content and process.]

Part 1: The Origins of Compulsory Education - by John Gatto suggests a true but little known series of historical contexts for today's testing controversy. Respond to the article on the discussion board. Then consider the following:

HARD TRUTHS

Advocates of school reform would do well to consider the "Hard Truths" the “deep structure of schooling,” Barbara Benham Tye explores in her book by this title (Teachers College Press, 2000). Consistent with the failure of past reform cycles to last beyond a three to five year cycle, and the lack of transfer of successful practices from one context to another, Tye’s insights help explain why what can hope to be changed in schools are the “personality factors”—moving pieces around within a box. The box, the deep structure, is not simply the factory-like structure of school organization, or the persistence of teacher-centered classroom traditions. Tye asserts it is the “conventional wisdom” of unexamined assumptions held in our culture. The ones she enumerates are

1. Schools are chaotic, dangerous places.
2. Teaching is an easy job, with lots of time off.
3. Too much money is spent on schools.
4. Schools today are not doing a good job of teaching the basics.
5. A quiet classroom is one where learning is taking place. 6. The most effective teaching is traditional frontal, and teacher-directed.
7. Children should be grouped by age and ability.
8. Parents should participate in running the schools.
Given these unexamined assumptions, and the influence they have in current society, is it any wonder that we have growing movements in

Charter Schools

Homeschooling, and

Unschooling?

MCAS testing and the increasing teacher shortage are sure to fuel the continued growth of these movements.

Case in Point 1: The Teacher Test and MCAS Testing.

MCAS: WHY IS THIS BEING DONE TO OUR KIDS?

IN-SITES for MCAS

Gatto's UNDERGROUND HISTORY OF AMERICAN ECUCATION TOUR

NAEP 1998 Reading Report Card

Differing Viewpoints

STUDENT PERFORMANCE TODAY

The State of the States

JUST SAY 'KNOW' TO 'WHOLE LANGUAGE'

D.O.E. MCAS Brochure

Here is a final section for you to consider thoughtfully in this inquiry. Think about the role of thinking time in your own learning; of privacy and solitude, of this diminishing and essential ingredient of intelligence and intellectual and emotional growth. React to the reading on the discussion board and in this inquiry.

Excerpt from Why Schools Don’t Educate
by John Taylor Gatto
This is from the text of a speech by John Taylor Gatto accepting the New York City Teacher of the Year Award on January 31, 1990.

Here is the calculus of time the children I teach must deal with:

  1. Out of the 168 hours in each week, my children sleep 56. That leaves them 112 hours a week out of which to fashion a self.
  2. My children watch 55 hours of television a week according to recent reports. That leaves them 57 hours a week in which to grow up.
  3. My children attend school 30 hours a week, use about 6 hours getting ready, going and coming home, and spend an average of 7 hours a week in homework - a total of 45 hours. During that time, they are under constant surveillance, have no private time or private space, and are disciplined if they try to assert individuality in the use of time or space.
  4. That leaves 12 hours a week out of which to create a unique consciousness.
  5. Of course, my kids eat, and that takes some time - not much, because they've lost the tradition of family dining, but if we allot 3 hours a week to evening meals,
  6. we arrive at a net amount of private time for each child of 9 hours [per week!].

I want to tell you what the effect is on children of taking all their time from them - time they need to grow up - and forcing them to spend it on abstractions. You need to hear this, because no reform that doesn't attack these specific pathologies will be anything more than a facade.

1. The children I teach are indifferent to the adult world. This defies the experience of thousands of years. A close study of what big people were up to was always the most exciting occupation of youth, but nobody wants to grow up these days and who can blame them? Toys are us.
2. The children I teach have almost no curiosity and what they do have is transitory; they cannot concentrate for very long, even on things they choose to do. Can you see a connection between the bells ringing again and again to change classes and this phenomenon of evanescent attention?
3. The children I teach have a poor sense of the future, of how tomorrow is inextricably linked to today. As I said before, they have a continuous present, the exact moment they are at is the boundary of their consciousness.
4. The children I teach are ahistorical, they have no sense of how past has predestined their own present, limiting their choices, shaping their values and lives.
5. The children I teach are cruel to each other, they lack compassion for misfortune, they laugh at weakness, and they have contempt for people whose need for help shows too plainly.
6. The children I teach are uneasy with intimacy or candor. My guess is that they are like many adopted people I've known in this respect - they cannot deal with genuine intimacy because of a lifelong habit of preserving a secret inner self inside a larger outer personality made up of artificial bits and pieces of behavior borrowed from television or acquired to manipulate teachers. Because they are not who they represent themselves to be the disguise wears thin in the presence of intimacy so intimate relationships have to be avoided.
7. The children I teach are materialistic, following the lead of schoolteachers who materialistically "grade" everything - and television mentors who offer everything in the world for free.
8. The children I teach are dependent, passive, and timid in the presence of new challenges. This is frequently masked by surface bravado, or by anger or aggressiveness but underneath is a vacuum without fortitude.

I could name a few other conditions that school reform would have to tackle if our national decline is to be arrested, but by now you will have grasped my thesis, whether you agree with it or not. Either schools have caused these pathologies, or television, or both. It's a simple matter [of] arithmetic, between schooling and television all the time the children have is eaten away. That's what has destroyed the American family, it is no longer a factor in the education of its own children. Television and schooling, in those things the fault must lie.

Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education (Oxford Village Press, 2000), gives complete background and sources for understanding the intentional "dumbing down" of public education to create a consumer and working class basis for commercial profit. Gatto says it was not a conspiracy as such that brought this about, but numerous factors and the implicit bargain of giving up our freedom and quality schooling in exchange for prosperity and a higher material quality of life. It is now becoming apparent, however, that the bar is set too low for either human good or the future prosperity of corporations.

Do you agree? Before concluding this first question, read several of the online essays by John Taylor Gatto, especially The Public School Nightmare: Why fix a system designed to destroy individual thought?

**Lastly, two positive yet difficult directions for positive, productive reform are 1) Small Schools By Choice, meaning breaking big schools down into "houses" or "clusters" of 70-120 students each. This helps students and teachers to know each other better--and results in higher attendance, achivement, and less violence. Smaller school units also make it easier to bring about 2) Parent and Family Engagement as a Reform Strategy. Give consideration to both of these dimensions of reform in this inquiry.

Essential Question 2: IN WHAT WAYS MIGHT I USE ASSESSMENT TO HELP MY STUDENTS LEARN MORE AND AT DEEPER LEVELS?

[Be sure your "answer" addresses the impact of classroom assessment, multiple measures, especially RUBRICS,and self-evaluation.]

The following nine sites will give you numerous links to develop ways to address Essential Question 2. They are

  1. Types of Assessment
  2. Establishing Curricular Priorities
  3. What Is Backward Design?
  4. National Tests and Education Reform: Are They Compatible?
  5. Critical Issue: Rethinking Assessment and Its Role in Supporting Educational Reform [Read links from this key page!]
  6. LOOKING AT STUDENT WORK
  7. ASSESSMENT TOOL KIT
  8. THE AUTHENIC STANDARDS MOVEMENT AND ITS EVIL TWIN
  9. A Difficult but Awesome Design for Assessment
  10. WHOLE-CLASS SELF MONITORING
  11. RUBRICS! Superb Site!
  12. PARKER CHARTER SCHOOL [Click on "Curriculum & Assessment," and scroll down to yor subject area. Click here for evaluation RUBRICS in your discipline.]
  13. ASSESSMENT MATTERS!
  14. AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT
  15. Rethinking Accountability
  16. TESTING 1...2...3 Preparing students for Standardized Tests
  17. The Immorality of Giving tests for Grades in Teaching
  18. GRADE INFLATION
    and
  19. Lessons on Constructing Good Tests is a site with Power Point presentations on constructing traditional tests. Follow directions given in class on work from this site.

    Also, try the course search engines with the word "rubric." See if you can find some rubrics for the subject(s) you plan to teach.

    In Essential Questions 3, 4, &5, work for depth and authentic learning, rather than only for "coverage."

Essential Question 3: IN WHAT WAYS MIGHT I MOTIVATE MY STUDENTS TO LEARN MORE AND DEEPER WHILE MAINTAINING APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR IN MY CLASSES?

[Be sure your "answer" addresses discipline and classroom management issues (teacher and school), effects of student choice and voice, and a variety of approaches.]

The following sites relate to this quest.

First, look at USING RUBRICS, and consider how making the criteria for evaluation and description of high performance can be a key factor in motivating students. Then, consider ways of connecting some of your teaching to exploration of CAREER DESIGNS for students' future planning can be a extra-added factor in motivation.

  1. MOTIVATION and LEARNING, Chapter 1 of the book by this title; great explation of making intrinsic motivation work, although it goes against the grain of public schooling, as the Gatto articles explain.
  2. Empowering Students: Essential Schools' Missing Link Key article understanding how and why to make classroom learning more democratic--a key to the motivation/active learning problem.
  3. HOMEWORK: Too Much of a Good Thing?
  4. MOTIVATION IN THE CLASSROOM
  5. MOTIVATING SECONDARY STUDENTS TO LEARN
  6. NATIONAL SLEEP FOUNDATION ISSUES A WAKE UP CALL TO EDUCATORS: BE ALERT TO SLEEP NEEDS AND HABITS OF TEENS
  7. Essential Questions in Teaching and Learning -- Activating students' higher mental and emotional capacities to overcome "high stakes" testing's trivialization of learning.
  8. Questing the Web: Web Quests As Essential Questions -- A highly motivating class-wide inquiry strategy
  9. Personal "Energy Audit" -- Do this mini-workshop to sense how managing your energy level will aid both your own and students' motivation.
  10. My Hero: Teacher Heroes Inspiring!
  11. MOTIVATING STUDENTS TO LEARN
  12. FUN BRAIN[Learning Games to Help with motivation]
  13. ERIC Digest: STUDENT MOTIVATION TO LEARN
    [Check out bibliography links to articles]

  14. TrackStar: MOTIVATING STUDENTS
  15. **DISCIPLINE & CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT
  16. ATTRIBUTION THEORY
  17. Take this CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT STYLE QUIZ
  18. CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT LINKS
  19. CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT
  20. **TEACHING for RESILIENCY shows positive, preventative and recovery appraches that are particularly promising. Reflect on some of these sites on the Discussion Board.
  21. Give particular attention to the links in What Is the HEART?
  22. An Interview with Joseph Chilton Pearce is an eye-opening overview of pre-school factors that have a chilling effect on motivation. Reprint and carefully read with highlighting and annotating this article, noticing the effects of birthing practices and television watching in particular.

Essential Question 4: IN WHAT WAYS MIGHT I ADAPT MY TEACHING FOR INCLUDED SPECIAL ED. STUDENTS AND THOSE FROM DIFFERENT CULTURAL AND LINGUISTIC BACKGROUNDS SO THEY CAN LEARN MORE AND DEEPER?

[Be sure your "answer" addresses practices that will help all students, especially inclusion, differentiated instruction, multiple intelligence, and a variety of approaches.]

The following sites will give you resources for developing your ideas and answersfor this essential question.

  1. Read and react on the Discussion Board to The ANIMAL SCHOOL
  2. Also, read and react to A.D.D. The Karmic View
  3. ACCOMMODATION STRATEGIES
    A key Chapter for this Question
  4. IN-SITES for INCLUSION
  5. ThinkQuest theAbleDisAbled
  6. Special Education and the Real Meaning of LD
  7. DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION - Research shows a tremendous "undertow" in teaching toward "one size fits all" procedures of teachers working with the whole class. Strategies to help all students include learning logs and peer assisted learning.
  8. Double Entry Journals and Learning Logs
  9. Assessing Students with Interactive Collaborative Learning Logs
  10. Peer-to-Peer Learning - The "buddy system" applied to learning
  11. Insites for BILINGUAL EDUCATION
    "Brain Gym" and "One Brain" demonstrate the power of MOVEMENT activities to reverse learning disabilities.
  12. The Brain Gym Connection
  13. Brain Gym
  14. ONE BRAIN
  15. HeartMath
  16. The Institute of Heartmath
  17. ADD/ADHD and Brain Gym
  18. Emotional I.Q. and Multiple Intelligences
  19. INCLUSION
  20. FAMILY VILLAGE SCHOOL
  21. INCLUSION HOME PAGE
  22. INCLUSION - Table of Contents
  23. ALL THE BEST ANSWERS FOR AT-RISK, TROUBLED, ADD, TRUANT YOUTH
  24. BASIC SKILLS
  25. DOCUMENTS ON DEPRESSION and SUICIDE
  26. BECOMING A BRILLIANT STAR
  27. CONTENT-SPECIFIC LEARNING STRATEGIES DATABASE
  28. MULTICULTURAL TEACHERS' CORNER
  29. PBS: The MULTICULTURAL CLASSROOM
  30. DIVERSITY IN AMERICA
  31. FACING HISTORY AND OURSELVES
  32. PBS RECOMMENDED WEB SITES ON RACE AND RACE RELATIONS
  33. RESOURCES for DIVERSITY

Essential Question 5: IN WHAT WAYS MIGHT I USE LEARNING THEORIES TO HELP MY STUDENTS LEARN MORE AND DEEPER?

[Be sure your "answer" addresses differences in control ideology for differing approaches, "goodness of fit" to your teaching/learning desires, and blending of approaches.]

OR do an Inquiry based on a topic from In-sites for Educators.

Using following sites, develop an eclectic combination of approaches and foundations for answering this culminating essental question.

  1. A Vision and Plan for Reinventing Teacher Education
  2. FUNDERSTANDING: ABOUT LEARNING--THEORIES
    Important to consider each of these
  3. HOW PEOPLE LEARN: BRAIN, MIND, SCHOOL & EXPERIENCE
  4. SUCCESS in the INFORMATION AGE: A Paradigm Shift
  5. CONSTRUCTIVISM: In Brief
  6. PIAGET
  7. BEHAVIORISM AS A LEARNING THEORY
  8. BEHAVIORISM
  9. COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY and ITS APPLICATION to EDUCATION
  10. HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGY: FROM MASLOW TO THE 21ST CENTURY
  11. MASLOW'S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS
  12. HUMANISTIC THEORY
  13. Humanistic Psychology, Humanistic Education, Somatics and Wellness, Social Issues/Action Resources, and Spirit and the Sacred
  14. HOWARD GARDNER: THEORY OF MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES
  15. JEROME BRUNER'S CONSTRUCTIVIST THEORY
  16. CREATIVITY
  17. SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM
  18. A TRANSACTIONAL MODEL of the TEACHING/LEARNING PROCESS