Archive | July, 2012

The teacher master’s degree and student achievement

23 Jul

In Education Trust report: Retaining teachers in high-poverty areas, moi said:

Every population of kids is different and they arrive at school at various points on the ready to learn continuum. Schools and teachers must be accountable, but there should be various measures of judging teacher effectiveness for a particular population of children. Perhaps, more time and effort should be spent in developing a strong principal corps and giving principals the training and assistance in evaluation and mentoring techniques.

The Ed Trust report, entitled “Building and Sustaining Talent: Creating Conditions in High-Poverty Schools That Support Effective Teaching and Learning,” examines how several districts have handled the issue of teacher retention:

Specifically, districts should take the following steps:

Recruit talented school leaders to their highest need schools, an get them to stay. In addition to the districts spotlighted earlier, the District of Columbia Public Schools has taken a rigorous approach to principal recruitment. The district scours student achievement data from school districts around the country (especially those close to D.C.) and then actively recruits principals of top-performing schools.

Put in place teacher and school-leader evaluation systems that differentiate educator effectiveness in order to identify top performing teachers and leaders. Using these systems in conjunction with data on working conditions and attrition, districts can study which teachers are more and less satisfied, as well as which ones are staying and leaving — and why.

Provide teachers in the highest need schools with meaningful professional growth and career ladders as well as opportunities to collaborate with other teachers, as Ascension Parish and Boston Public Schools have done.

Avoid isolating their most effective teachers and, instead, build teams of highly effective teachers in the district’s most challenging schools, as both Boston Public Schools and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have done.

Concentrate not just on recruiting new school leaders and teachers to high-need schools, but on developing the skills and instructional abilities of existing employees, as have Fresno and Ascension Parish.

Implement a tool to measure teacher perceptions of their teaching environment, such as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ working conditions survey, and then use data from the tool to identify target schools and determine primary issues that need to be addressed. For example, Pittsburgh Public Schools works with the New Teacher Center to implement a district-wide survey on working conditions. The district requires all schools to use the data to identify a plan of action and pays special attention to the plans of schools with the poorest survey results to ensure that the planned interventions align with the identified areas of need.

Once better evaluations are in place, districts should make working conditions data part of school and district-leader evaluations. North Carolina requires that survey data on working conditions are factored into school-leader evaluations, which encourages leaders to take the survey results seriously and to act on areas identified as needing improvement.

CONCLUSION

To date, the conditions that shape teachers’ daily professional lives have not been given the attention they deserve. Too often, a lack of attention to these factors in our highest poverty and lowest performing schools results in environments in which few educators would choose to stay. For too long, the high levels of staff dissatisfaction and turnover that characterize these schools have been erroneously attributed to their students. But research continues to demonstrate that students are not the problem. What matters most are the conditions for teaching and learning. Districts and states have an obligation to examine and act on these conditions. Otherwise, we will never make the progress that we must make to ensure all low-income students and students of color have access to great teachers.                                                                                                                                http://www.edtrust.org/sites/edtrust.org/files/Building_and_Sustaining_Talent.pdf

Melanie Smollin has an excellent post at Take Part, Five Reasons Why Teacher Turnover Is On The Rise See, Report: Make Improving Teacher Working Conditions a Priority http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2012/06/report_make_improving_teacher_working_conditions_a_priority.html

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/education-trust-report-retaining-teachers-in-high-poverty-areas/

The Center for American Progress has released the report, The Sheepskin Effect and Student Achievement: De-emphasizing the Role of Master’s Degrees in Teacher Compensation written by Raegen Miller and Marguerite Roza.

Miller and Roza write in the issue brief:

All teachers in Finland have a master’s degree, and they get extraordinary results from their students. If we want be(er results in U.S. schools, then, we should require teachers to have a master’s degree, so the argument goes.

But this argument has two fatal flaws. First, teachers in Finland hail from the top 10 percent of their graduating class.25 “is selectivity is woven into a set of policies that Linda Darling-Hammond, a professor at Stanford University, has astutely described as a “teaching and learning system.”26 “e Finnish system could scarcely be more diferent than our domestic grab bag of policies arising from approximately 15,000 separate school districts carrying out their responsibility to provide public education, variously conceived by the diverse states of a country with an unmatched tolerance, at least among wealthy industrialized nations, for inequity in school funding and facilities.

Secondly, Finnish teachers hold master’s degrees that augment their knowledge and skills in a way that’s deliberately connected to their instructional challenges. Secondary teachers earn a master’s in the subject of instruction, and the master’s degree required of elementary teachers equips them with specialized knowledge and skills often found only among special education teachers and school psychologists in U.S. schools. “us, holding master’s degrees means Finnish teachers either have a serious grasp on academic content or are well equipped to problem solve around the individual learning needs of their students.

“The typical master’s degree held by a U.S. teacher and the associated skills a(ached pale in comparison. Moreover, it’s unlikely to move in this direction barring a tectonic shift in the higher-education landscape. Institutions of higher education, of course, won’t be at the vanguard of efforts to repeal legislation that inflates demand for one of their most lucrative products, master’s degrees in education. In addition, it bears mentioning, for example, that Connecticut’s requirement that teachers seeking a professional license hold a master’s degree was unscathed by recent reform-conscious legislation in that state. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/07/pdf/miller_masters.pdf

In Is it true that the dumbest become teachers? Moi said:

There is a quote attributed to H.L. Mencken:

Those who can — do. Those who can’t — teach.

People often assume that if a person could do anything else, they probably wouldn’t teach. Matthew Di Carlo, senior fellow at the non-profit Albert Shanker Institute, located in Washington, D.C. has an interesting article in the Washington Post.

In Do teachers really come from the ‘bottom third’ of college graduates? Di Carlo writes:

The conventional wisdom among many education commentators is that U.S. public school teachers “come from the bottom third” of their classes. Most recently, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took this talking point a step further, and asserted at a press conference last week that teachers are drawn from the bottom 20 percent of graduates…

Overall, then, the blanket assertion that teachers are coming from the “bottom third” of graduates is, at best, an incomplete picture. It’s certainly true that, when the terciles are defined in terms of SAT/ACT scores, there is consistent evidence that new teachers are disproportionately represented in this group (see here and here for examples from the academic literature).

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/do-teachers-really-come-from-the-bottom-third-of-college-graduates/2011/12/07/gIQAg8HPdO_blog.html

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/is-it-true-that-the-dumbest-become-teachers/

There isn’t really a definitive answer. Miller and Roza’s analysis of the importance of the masters degree in Finland means that more training might be useful in student education achievement.

Related:

Urban teacher residencies                                        https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/urban-teacher-residencies/

Study: When teachers overcompensate for prejudice https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/study-when-teachers-overcompensate-for-prejudice/

The teaching profession needs more males and teachers of color https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/the-teaching-profession-needs-more-males-and-teachers-of-color/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Single-sex classrooms should be allowed in public schools

22 Jul

Moi says repeatedly at this blog that there is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education, there is what works to produce academic achievement in a given population of children. The American Civil Liberties Union and their minions are gunning for single-sex classes in public schools. They should cease and desist.

Denise Williams had a hit with a catchy little tune, “let’s hear it for the boy.” The question for many parents and schools is how are boys doing? Time summarized the issue of the “boy crisis.” Boy Crisis

There was, for example, Harvard psychologist William Pollack’s Real Boys (1998), which asserted that contemporary boys are “scared and disconnected,” “severely lagging” behind girls in both achievement and self-confidence. The following year, journalist Susan Faludi argued in Stiffed that the cold calculus of global economics was emasculating American men. In 2000 philosopher Christina Hoff Sommers blamed off-the-rails feminism for sparking The War Against Boys, and two years later writer Elizabeth Gilbert found The Last American Man living in a teepee in the Appalachian Mountains.

The Seattle Times reported on the study by the respected women’s group AmericanAssociation of University Women (AAUW) AAUW Report

Both boys and girls are doing better in school, so there’s no reason to fear that school systems favor girls at boys’ expense, a women’s advocacy group says in a study to be released today.

It’s the freshest argument in the boys vs. girls debate in education, one in which the group, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), has been a major player. Having said in an influential 1992 study that the education system worked against girls, it now argues that the real crisis is racial and economic disparities, not gender. “The mythology of the boy crisis continues to be influential,” said Catherine Hill, the association’s director of research. One reason, she added, is that “people feel uncomfortable with the success of girls and women.”

Some readers might be thinking, a women’s group declaring there is no crisis. Right. Is there a crisis or a problem with boys? For every book, report, or study citing the difficulties that some boys are having, there is another book or study that questions the findings. Vanderbilt University researchers conducted a study of how boys and girls differ in some activities. Vanderbilt Study According to the Vanderbilt study, girls have an advantage over boys in timed tests and tasks. That finding is significant because many classroom activities are timed. A good summary of gender issues is provided by the Kansas Education Association.Gender and Achievement Issues

Boys Barriers to Learning and Achievement

Gary Wilson has a thoughtful article about some of the learning challenges faced by boys. Boys Barriers to Learning He lists several barriers to learning in his article.

1. Early years

a. Language development problems

b. Listening skills development

2. Writing skills and learning outcomes

A significant barrier to many boys’ learning, that begins at quite an early age and often never leaves them, is the perception that most writing that they are expected to do is largely irrelevant and unimportant….

3. Gender bias

Gender bias in everything from resources to teacher expectations has the potential to present further barriers to boys’ learning. None more so than the gender bias evident in the ways in which we talk to boys and talk to girls. We need to be ever mindful of the frequency, the nature and the quality of our interactions with boys and our interactions with girls in the classroom….A potential mismatch of teaching and learning styles to boys’ preferred ways of working continues to be a barrier for many boys….

4.Reflection and evaluation

The process of reflection is a weakness in many boys, presenting them with perhaps one of the biggest barriers of all. The inability of many boys to, for example, write evaluations, effectively stems from this weakness….

5. Self-esteem issues

Low self-esteem is clearly a very significant barrier to many boys’ achievement in school. If we were to think of the perfect time to de-motivate boys, when would that be? Some might say in the early years of education when many get their first unwelcome and never forgotten taste of failure might believe in the system… and themselves, for a while, but not for long….

6. Peer pressure

Peer pressure, or the anti-swot culture, is clearly a major barrier to many boys’ achievement. Those lucky enough to avoid it tend to be good academically, but also good at sport. This gives them a licence to work hard as they can also be ‘one of the lads’. …To me one of the most significant elements of peer pressure for boys is the impact it has on the more affective domains of the curriculum, namely expressive, creative and performing arts. It takes a lot of courage for a boy to turn up for the first day at high school carrying a violin case….

7. Talk to them!

There are many barriers to boys’ learning (I’m currently saying 31, but I’m still working on it!) and an ever-increasing multitude of strategies that we can use to address them. I firmly believe that a close examination of a school’s own circumstances is the only way to progress through this maze and that the main starting point has to be with the boys themselves. They do know all the issues around their poor levels of achievement. Talk to them first. I also believe that one of the most important strategies is to let them know you’re ‘on their case’, talking to them provides this added bonus….

If your boy has achievement problems, Wilson emphasizes that there is no one answer to address the problems. There are issues that will be specific to each child.

Single Sex Classrooms

Wesley Sharpe offers the pros and cons of single sex classrooms. Single Sex Classrooms  in Seattle Child describes the atmosphere at O’Dea and reports that for some boys, this is an environment where they thrive. Seattle Child Some children have achievement problems and social adjustment problems. When other solutions have not yielded results, single sex classrooms are seen as a possible solution. The New York Times reports on single sex classrooms in the Bronx. Single Sex Classrooms

The single-sex classes at Public School 140, which started as an experiment last year to address sagging test scores and behavioral problems, are among at least 445 such classrooms nationwide, according to the National Association for Single-Sex Public Education. Most have sprouted since a 2004 federal regulatory change that gave public schools freedom to separate girls and boys.

The nation’s 95 single-sex public schools — including a dozen in New York City — while deemed legal, still have many critics. But separation by a hallway is generally more socially and politically palatable. And unlike other programs aimed at improving student performance, there is no extra cost.

We will do whatever works, however we can get there,” said Paul Cannon, principal of P.S. 140, which is also known as the Eagle School. “We thought this would be another tool to try.”

Adam Cohen puts the focus on gender stereotypes in his Time article.

Cohen writes in the Time article, Ew, Boys: The Brewing Legal Battle Over Same-Sex Education:

The American Civil Liberties Union is on a vigorous campaign to integrate Mississippi’s public schools, making requests across the state to find out which have segregated classrooms and weighing whether or not to sue.

But the investigation isn’t about racial segregation — it’s about sex-segregation. Single-sex classrooms are a growing phenomenon across the country. In 2002, just about a dozen schools had them, but now as many as 500 do, according to the Associated Press. The movement shows no sign of slowing down and has set off a pair of debates: a pedagogical dispute over whether sex-segregation makes for better education, and a legal one — which the ACLU is at the center of — about whether this sort of separation violates civil rights laws. http://ideas.time.com/2012/07/16/ew-boys-the-brewing-legal-battle-over-same-sex-education/#ixzz21Pk94S00

Wilson and Cannon are correct in stating that there is no one solution to solving a child’s achievement problems and a variety of tools may prove useful. Whether there is a “boy crisis” can be debated. The research is literally all over the map and a variety of positions can find some study to validate that position. If your child has achievement and social adjustment problems, whether there is an overall crisis is irrelevant, you feel you are in a crisis situation. There is no one solution, be open to using a variety of tools and strategies.

So, how is your boy doing?

The ACLU is wrong on this one.

Resources:

NEA Debate: Do Students Learn Better In Same-Sex Classes?     http://www.nea.org/home/17276.htm

Single-sex education: the pros and cons     ttp://www.greatschools.org/find-a-school/defining-your-ideal/1139-single-sex-education-the-pros-and-cons.gs?page=all

Are Single-Sex Classrooms Better For Kids?                    http://www.npr.org/2011/10/25/141692830/are-single-sex-classrooms-better-for-kids

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Do intense high school programs help students?

22 Jul

Catherine Gewertz reports in the Education Week article, High School Rigor Narrows College-Success Gap

Students from some racial- and ethnic-minority groups and those from low-income families enroll in college and succeed there at lower rates than their white, wealthier peers. But a new study suggests that if teenagers are adequately prepared for college during high school, those gaps close substantially.

The “Mind the Gaps” study, by ACT, draws on the Iowa City, Iowa-based testmaker’s earlier research showing that taking a strong core curriculum in high school and meeting benchmark scores in all four subjects of the ACT college-entrance exam enhance students’ chances of enrolling in college, persisting there for a second year, earning good grades, and obtaining a two- or four-year degree.

The ACT defines a college-ready curriculum as four years of English, and at least three each of mathematics, science, and social studies. The study found that “college-ready” scores on the ACT exam correlate with earning good grades in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses. Fewer than one-quarter of students currently meet those benchmarks in all four subject areas of the exam, however. (“Rate of Minorities Taking ACT Continues to Rise,” Aug. 25, 2010.)

A lot of the foundation for success in high school is built by a solid grounding in the basics during elementary school and that is where we are failing a lot of children.

Joel Vargas has an excellent article in Education Week, Early-College High Schools: ‘Why Not Do It for All the Kids?’

Hidalgo, Texas, has one of the most successful school systems in the United States. The dropout rate is nearly zero, and the high school regularly lands on a top-school list published by U.S. News & World Report. Last June, when members of the high school graduating class crossed the stage to receive their diplomas, 95 percent of them could proudly point to their college credits as well. Two-thirds of the graduating seniors had earned at least a full semester of credits toward a college degree.

It’s time for the nation to pay attention when any community boasts results like these. These are especially remarkable in one of the most economically depressed areas of the United States, just across the Rio Grande River from Mexico, with one of the lowest number of college-educated adults. Nine out of 10 students in the high school are considered economically disadvantaged, 99.5 percent are Hispanic, and 53 percent entered with limited proficiency in English.

The story of Hidalgo is not only one of success, but of turning around an entire school district. In the late 1980s, student achievement in Hidalgo ranked in the bottom 10 percent in Texas. But local leaders took giant steps to improve student performance, and they gained support from every segment of the surrounding community. Over the next two decades, everyone—from bus drivers to principals, from teachers to school board members—began to focus on doing what it takes to raise the achievement levels of all 3,500 young people in the Hidalgo schools.

You can’t be afraid of change,” says school board President Martin Cepeda. “It starts from the superintendent all the way to the custodians. … Everybody counts. Everybody.”

One key to the turnaround came when Daniel King, the superintendent of the school district at the time, enlisted four partners: the University of Texas-Pan American, the University of Texas System, the Communities Foundation of Texas/Texas High School Project, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Together, the partnership formulated an innovative plan to create an “early-college high school.”

Over the next two decades, everyone—from bus drivers to principals, from teachers to school board members—began to focus on doing what it takes to raise the achievement levels of all 3,500 young people in the Hidalgo schools.”

The early-college design is a vehicle for providing traditionally underserved students with an opportunity to earn a substantial number of college credits along with a high school diploma. Students spend fewer years and less money achieving a college credential. Hidalgo took this cutting-edge idea and extended it: By embedding a college and career culture in everyday activities, from elementary school through middle school and into high school, the school system motivates all of its students to believe that they can and will go on to postsecondary education.

The Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University has an interesting report by Katherine L. Hughes, Olga Rodriguez, Linsey Edwards, and Clive Belfield

Here are the policy recommendations of Broadening the Benefits of Dual Enrollment:

Policy Recommendations

Policymakers and community leaders can build on the lessons learned from the Concurrent Courses initiative and further reduce the barriers to program development and student participation. Based on the experience and outcomes attained in high schools and colleges across California, here are three high-value recommendations for state policymakers.

Remove funding penalties: To encourage dual enrollment, California should adopt a “hold harmless” funding model for dual enrollment, in which neither participating institution loses any ofits per-pupil funding for dually-enrolled students. State policy should also require, rather than allow, colleges to waive student fees.

Make dual credit earning consistent and portable: State policy should mandate that dualenrollment students automatically earn dual credit — both high school and college credit — forcollege courses they complete. In addition, a statewide system that facilitates the portability of college credits would ease student transfer and help ensure that students do not repeat courses theyhave already taken. This would benefit all California college students.

Standardize broad student eligibility: At present, California policy sets no statewide academic

eligibility criteria for dual enrollment participation but stipulates that participating colleges may do so. Following the standard of student eligibility for community colleges, the state should encourage broad access and prevent students from being disqualified by grades or test scores alone. The experience of dual enrollment implementation partners leads to five recommendations for institutions.

Continue to make dual enrollment available on both the high school and college campuses.Courses on the college campus provide a fuller and more authentic college experience; college opportunities must also be available at high school for students who lack transportation.

Explore ways to ensure authenticity of the high school-based program format. Courses delivered at high school must have the same rigor and quality as college campus-based courses, andstudents must be held to the same standards of achievement as those in campus-based programs.

Provide professional development to dual enrollment instructors. High school teachers mayneed greater assistance in creating a college-like atmosphere, and college instructors may need insights into scaffolding and other pedagogical strategies to support high school students.

Identify dedicated college staff to smooth logistical challenges. In particular, colleges should identify a student services staff member knowledgeable about and responsible for registration of dual enrollment students.

Obtain student consent to share college records. High school administrators and counselors need to be aware of how students are doing in their college coursework; monitoring progress is essential to providing needed interventions.          http://www.concurrentcourses.org/files/CCI_policy_brief_2012jul16.pdf

Citation:

Broadening the Benefits of Dual Enrollment

By: Katherine L. Hughes, Olga Rodriguez, Linsey Edwards & Clive Belfield — July 2012. New York: Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University

This study suggests that career-focused dual enrollment programs—in which high school students take college courses for credit—can benefit underachieving students and those underrepresented in higher education. The study found that California students who participated in dual enrollment as part of their high school career pathway were more likely than similar students in their districts to graduate from high school, enroll in four-year colleges, and persist in college. They also accumulated more college credits and were less likely to take remedial classes. The three-year study, funded by The James Irvine Foundation, examined the outcomes of almost 3,000 students participating in eight dual enrollment programs across California. Sixty percent of participants were students of color, forty percent came from non-English speaking homes, and one third had parents with no prior college experience.
–A practitioner brief and a policy brief are available at:
http://www.concurrentcourses.org/publications.html.

–Read the technical report at: http://www.postsecondaryresearch.org/index.html?Id=News&Info=New+NCPR+Working+Paper+on+Outcomes+for+Dual+Enrollment+Students.

As with anything there are pros and cons for each student regarding whether a dual enrollment program should be part of their school experience.

Studypoint has a great article, Dual Enrollment Programs: The Pros and Cons:

There are a number of benefits to dual-enrollment programs. Earning college credit while still in high school sounds like a dream for many students. In addition, these programs introduce students to the rigors of college coursework early, and recent studies have shown that students who participate in dual-enrollment programs are more likely go on to get a college degree. But is dual enrollment right for your child?

Why Should My Child Consider a Dual-Enrollment Program?

  • Dual enrollment gives students an idea of what full-time college coursework will be like, says ecampustours.com. By trying out a few classes while still in high school, your child can get used to the academic environment before he or she leaves the comfort and support of home.
  • Your child may be able to take classes that aren’t offered at his or her high school.
  • College courses can give your student a closer look at his or her area of academic interest. If your child is currently loving AP history, a college course next year on the Civil War or the Great Depression will help him or her explore that period in greater depth and precision.
  • According to collegeboard.com, most students change their majors at least once. Taking a college class as a high school senior can help your child find his or her area of interest before the pressure is on to declare a major.
  • If your student didn’t qualify to take AP courses, or if those courses weren’t available at your child’s high school, taking a college-level class will help him or her demonstrate the ability to handle more difficult coursework, according to ecampustours.com. This ability is something every college admissions officer wants to see.
  • Due to the large number of online and virtual classes offered by many schools, dual-enrollment courses may be conducted right at your child’s high school, says ecampustours.com. Ask your student’s guidance counselor about dual-enrollment options in your area.
  • Perhaps the biggest benefit of dual enrollment is that your student may start accumulating college credits, helping him or her graduate on time or even early.

Dual Enrollment Sounds Great! Is There Any Reason My Child Shouldn’t Participate?

  • If a course is already available at your child’s school, it might be best to take it there. Colleges may wonder why a student has chosen to take an intro class at a community college if there’s an AP class in the same subject available at the high school level. (High school AP classes may well prove more challenging than an intro-level college course.) If the college course won’t give your student something above and beyond what’s available at his or her high school, take a pass.
  • If a college class will interfere with your child’s regular coursework or extracurriculars, it may not be a good idea. A college course should enhance a student’s resume, but not at the expense of other resume-enhancing activities. When considering scheduling, be sure to take into account not just the normal class schedule but breaks as well, cautions Nevada’s Great Basin College; your local high school and community college may not operate on the same academic calendar. A different holiday schedule could cause conflicts with class trips, family vacations, or out-of-town athletic commitments.
  • A college course in music appreciation is a great resume booster—as long as your child plans to go into music. If he or she is planning a career in chemistry, the music class won’t help, and could raise questions about the academic rigor of your child’s senior year courses. Carefully consider the academic value of any class your child is considering.
  • Dual-enrollment courses are real college courses for real college credit; the grades will go on your student’s permanent record. Before enrolling, make sure your student is ready for the demanding work a college class will require, or it could hurt his or her chances at college acceptance down the line, recommends Florida’s Valencia Community College. Furthermore, if a student fails a dual-enrollment course, it could mean he or she won’t graduate high school on time.
  • If your child is considering a dual-enrollment program for the purpose of earning college credits, be sure of the value of the credits. For each college where your child may apply next year, check to see how many credits (if any) a dual-enrollment class would earn your child. The credit policy will depend on the school.

Where Should We Start?

  • Rules for dual-enrollment eligibility vary from state to state, so students should check with their high school guidance counselors to find out if they qualify, says ecampustours.com. Usually, students must be at least 16 years old and have a GPA of at least 2.5; they may also have to take placement tests. Students will also need permission from parents/guardians and a guidance counselor or principal.
  • Your child’s guidance counselor will also be able to provide information about financial obligations. Many states pay for dual enrollment; in other states, students must pay. http://www.studypoint.com/ed/dual-enrollment/

In The GED as a door to the future, moi said:

This world is in a period of dislocation and upheaval as great as the period of dislocation which ushered in the “industrial revolution.” The phrase “new, new thing” comes from a book by Michael Lewis about innovation in Silicon Valley. This historical period is between “new, new things” as the economy hopes that some new innovator will harness “green technology” and make it commercially viable as the economy needs the jump that only a “new, new thing” will give it. Peter S. Goodman has a fascinating article in the New York Times, Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs

Unless, children are given a meaningful education which provides them with basic skills to adapt to a changing environment, the education system is producing a permanent underclass which will not be able to participate in the next “new, new thing. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/the-ged-as-a-door-to-the-future/

Resources:

Dual enrollment may not benefit every student http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/30867913/ns/today-parenting_and_family/t/dual-enrollment-may-not-benefit-every-student/#.UAw88JFDS1R

Do high school dual-enrollment/AP classes push kids too far ahead in college? http://blogs.ajc.com/momania/2012/05/17/do-high-school-dual-enrollmentap-classes-push-kids-too-far-ahead-in-college/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Dress codes in school may pay dividends later

21 Jul

In Does what is worn in school matter?  Moi said:

Particularly in the elementary grades it is important that teachers model appropriate behavior and appropriate attire. Given the number of children in distressed circumstances in contemporary society, it is important that schools be one institution where appropriate behavior is modeled. Another purpose of a good basic education is to equip children with the skills and the ability to make choices about their life. It has been my observation that many in education, not all, like to “rage against the machine” or what they perceive to be the dominant political dynamic. That is their right during their off hours. If a child wants to grow up and lead JP Morgan Chase, that is THEIR choice and THEIR right as well. The teacher is there to equip the child with the skills to follow THEIR dream. Many children come from families and backgrounds who are not as equipped to nurture and promote the child’s dreams as other families are. All children deserve a chance and a teacher modeling professional dress is an important part of the education of these children.

Moi supposes that after “business casual” probably degenerated into P.J.s and flipflops, banking giant UBS put the brakes on and delivered a dress code to its employees. Huffington Post has a good synopsis of the code along with a link to the actual document at the post, UBS 43′ Page Dress Code Warns Employees Not to Show Underwear:                                                                            https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/dressing-for-success-in-school/

Apparently, too many folks on the job have no clue what is appropriate work attire. Melissa Korn writes in the Wall Street Journal article, What Not to Wear To Work:

A new survey shows U.S. adults expressing more outrage at scantily-clad co-workers this year than they did last year.

The   report, commissioned by temporary staffing firm Adecco and based on interviews with more than 1,000 U.S.  adults, found that 72% of Americans believe strapless or backless tops and dresses are “inappropriate for the workplace,” up from 66% (strapless) and 64% (backless) in June of last year.

Showing a little skin below the knee by wearing shorts, flip-flops or open-toed shoes is also a bigger no-no this year. Fifty-nine percent of respondents say shorts are inappropriate at the office, up from 55% last year. Meanwhile, 76% said flip-flops aren’t appropriate attire, up from 71%, and the percentage that disapproved of open-toed shoes in general increased to 35% from 31%.

Mini-skirts, while still meeting with disapproval by 69% of respondents, are slightly more acceptable this year than last year, when 70% said they were inappropriate.

Perhaps more surprising than the findings regarding workplace attire were the results of a question about offensive workplace activities. Forty-nine percent of survey respondents said they were offended when people clip or bite their nails at work. That means 51% actually aren’t offended when a colleague breaks out the clipper for some finger-and-toe grooming. (We beg to differ.)

Other habits respondents found offensive include taking your shoes off, putting on makeup and brushing your hair at work.    http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2012/07/20/work-wear-101-what-not-to-wear-to-work/?blog_id=226&post_id=228

It would be great if people were judged by what Dr. King described as the “content of their character,” but people are quite often judged by the clothes they are wearing.

Meds Available has some interesting thoughts about clothes in the article, What your Clothes Say about You:

The truth is, whatever reasons you may have for choosing your clothes says you are still trying to make a statement even if that statement is “I don’t care about fashion.”

But clothes is more than just the fashion trends. It is who you are and who you want to be.

Dressing your emotions

How you look on the outside reflects or affects how you feel on the inside. If you know you are wearing fashionably chic clothing, then you feel a little more confident than if you wore baggy ones. Subsequently, if you are wearing an ill-fitting dress, your actions will tell everyone that you are uncomfortable with what you’re wearing, which affects your confidence, performance, and mood.

Dressing for your future

How you carry yourself through your clothes can say who you want to be. For example, if you want to be a respectable lawyer, you would make it a point to dress in professional looking blazers and “power” outfits to serve as a constant reminder of what kind of person you are trying to be.

Dressing to Impress

How others view you based on your fashion sense also affects your mental health. The clothes you wear everyday can be used against you by judgmental people in the society. They use it as a yardstick to determine who they are talking to – whether they are talking to a “somebody” or a “nobody.” It is unfortunate that there are many people who are like that and teenagers are especially aware of the presence of these people that they easily believe they will only be hip enough for them if they are thin and trendy, solely based on the opinions of these people.

The sad part about this is that these teens, in spite of their better judgments, worship these people. They allow themselves to be swept by their mockeries and bullying, which lead them to depression, anorexia, or depression and anorexia. At some point, they may succeed in impressing these people with their clothing size and style, but when the curtains fall, they feel naked because what they are wearing are not their true colors.

Clothing is never a luxury but a necessity but not because it clothes and protects you from environment, but because you simply need to feel beautiful and special. You may or may not love fashion but you have to love what you wear.                                                                                http://medsavailable.com/articles/be-careful-of-what-you-wear-you-may-be-wearing-the-wrong-attitude

Often schools and public authorities are concerned about clothing worn by children at school because it may indicate gang affiliation or gang identity. See, Gang Identity http://www.gangfree.org/gangs_identity.html There are several reasons moi feels that all children deserve a good preschool and a good basic education. Those reasons center around the purpose of education which in addition to individual enrichment are the ability to understand and participate in the political process and the opportunity to acquire skills which will make them employable and able to care for themselves and their families.

Related:

Study: Girls as young as six think of themselves as sex objects                                                                                                     https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/study-girls-as-young-as-six-think-of-themselves-as-sex-objects/

Does what is worn in school matter?                                                        https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/does-what-is-worn-in-school-matter/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Data mining in education

19 Jul

Marc Parry has written a fascinating Chronicle of Higher Education article which was also published in the New York Times, Big Data on Campus:

With 72,000 students, A.S.U. is both the country’s largest public university and a hotbed of data-driven experiments. One core effort is a degree-monitoring system that keeps tabs on how students are doing in their majors. Stray off-course and a student may have to switch fields.

And while not exactly matchmaking, Arizona State takes an interest in students’ social lives, too. Its Facebook app mines profiles to suggest friends. One classmate shares eight things in common with Ms. Allisone, who “likes” education, photography and tattoos. Researchers are even trying to figure out social ties based on anonymized data culled from swipes of ID cards around the Tempe campus.

This is college life, quantified.

Data mining hinges on one reality about life on the Web: what you do there leaves behind a trail of digital breadcrumbs. Companies scoop those up to tailor services, like the matchmaking of eHarmony or the book recommendations of Amazon. Now colleges, eager to get students out the door more efficiently, are awakening to the opportunities of so-called Big Data.

The new breed of software can predict how well students will do before they even set foot in the classroom. It recommends courses, Netflix-style, based on students’ academic records.

Data diggers hope to improve an education system in which professors often fly blind. That’s a particular problem in introductory-level courses, says Carol A. Twigg, president of the National Center for Academic Transformation. “The typical class, the professor rattles on in front of the class,” she says. “They give a midterm exam. Half the kids fail. Half the kids drop out. And they have no idea what’s going on with their students.”

As more of this technology comes online, it raises new tensions. What role does a professor play when an algorithm recommends the next lesson? If colleges can predict failure, should they steer students away from challenges? When paths are so tailored, do campuses cease to be places of exploration? http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/education/edlife/colleges-awakening-to-the-opportunities-of-data-mining.html?emc=eta1

For a really good explanation of “data mining” go to Alexander Furnas’ Atlantic article.

In Everything You Wanted to Know About Data Mining but Were Afraid to Ask, Furnas writes:

To most of us data mining goes something like this: tons of data is collected, then quant wizards work their arcane magic, and then they know all of this amazing stuff. But, how? And what types of things can they know? Here is the truth: despite the fact that the specific technical functioning of data mining algorithms is quite complex — they are a black box unless you are a professional statistician or computer scientist — the uses and capabilities of these approaches are, in fact, quite comprehensible and intuitive.

For the most part, data mining tells us about very large and complex data sets, the kinds of information that would be readily apparent about small and simple things. For example, it can tell us that “one of these things is not like the other” a la Sesame Street or it can show us categories and then sort things into pre-determined categories. But what’s simple with 5 datapoints is not so simple with 5 billion datapoints….

Discovering information from data takes two major forms: description and prediction. At the scale we are talking about, it is hard to know what the data shows. Data mining is used to simplify and summarize the data in a manner that we can understand, and then allow us to infer things about specific cases based on the patterns we have observed. Of course, specific applications of data mining methods are limited by the data and computing power available, and are tailored for specific needs and goals. However, there are several main types of pattern detection that are commonly used. These general forms illustrate what data mining can do. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-data-mining-but-were-afraid-to-ask/255388/

With the ability to collect vast amounts of information comes the question of what about privacy and what is the definition of privacy?

Ljiljana Brankovic and Vladimir Estivill-Castro discuss privacy issues in Privacy Issues in Knowledge Discovery:

Recent developments in information technology have enabled collection and processing of vast

amounts of personal data, such as criminal records, shopping habits, credit and medical history, and

driving records. This information is undoubtedly very useful in many areas, including medical

research, law enforcement and national security. However, there is an increasing public concern

about the individuals’ privacy. Privacy is commonly seen as the right of individuals to control

information about themselves. The appearance of technology for Knowledge Discovery and Data

Mining (KDDM) has revitalized concern about the following general privacy issues:

· secondary use of the personal information,

· handling misinformation, and

· granulated access to personal information.

They demonstrate that existing privacy laws and policies are well behind the developments in

technology, and no longer offer adequate protection.

We also discuss new privacy threats posed KDDM, which includes massive data collection, data

warehouses, statistical analysis and deductive learning techniques. KDDM uses vast amounts of

data to generate hypotheses and discover general patterns. KDDM poses the following new

challenges to privacy.

· stereotypes,

· guarding personal data from KDDM researchers,

· individuals from training sets, and

· combination of patterns.

http://www.ict.griffith.edu.au/~vlad/teaching/kdd.d/readings.d/aice99.pdf

In Who has access to student records? Moi said:

There is a complex intertwining of laws which often prevent school officials from disclosing much about students.

According to Fact Sheet 29: Privacy in Education: Guide for Parents and Adult-Age Students,Revised September 2010 the major laws governing disclosure about student records are:

What are the major federal laws that govern the privacy of education records?

  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 20 USC 1232g (1974)

  • Protection of Pupil’s Rights Amendments (PPRA) 20 USC 1232h (1978)

  • No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Pub. L. 107-110, 115 STAT. 1425 (January 2002)

  • USA Patriot Act, P.L. 107-56 (October 26, 2001)

  • Privacy Act of 1974, 5 USC Part I, Ch. 5, Subch. 11, Sec. 552

  • Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act (Pub. L. 106-386)

FERPA is the best known and most influential of the laws governing student privacy. Oversight and enforcement of FERPA rests with the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA has recently undergone some changes since the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act and the USA Patriot Act….https://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs29-education.htm

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/who-has-access-to-student-records/

See, The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act balancing act https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/the-federal-educational-rights-and-privacy-act-balancing-act/

Still, schools collect a lot of information about students.

Jason Koebler has written an interesting U.S. News article, Who Should Have Access to Student Records?

Since “No Child Left Behind” was passed 10 years ago, states have been required to ramp up the amount of data they collect about individual students, teachers, and schools. Personal information, including test scores, economic status, grades, and even disciplinary problems and student pregnancies, are tracked and stored in a kind of virtual “permanent record” for each student.

But parents and students have very little access to that data, according to a report released Wednesday by the Data Quality Campaign, an organization that advocates for expanded data use.

All 50 states and Washington, D.C. collect long term, individualized data on students performance, but just eight states allow parents to access their child’s permanent record. Forty allow principals to access the data and 28 provide student-level info to teachers.

Education experts, including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and former Washington, D.C., Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, argue that education officials can use student data to assess teachers—if many students’ test scores are jumping in a specific teacher’s class, odds are that teacher is doing a good job.

Likewise, teachers can use the data to see where a student may have struggled in the past and can tailor instruction to suit his needs.

At an event discussing the Data Quality Campaign report Wednesday, Rhee said students also used the information to try to out-achieve each other.

The data can be an absolute game changer,” she says. “If you have the data, and you can invest and engage children and their families in this data, it can change a culture quickly.”Privacy experts say the problem is that states collect far more information than parents expect, and it can be shared with more than just a student’s teacher or principal.“When you have a system that’s secret [from parents] and you can put whatever you want into it, you can have things going in that’ll be very damaging,” says Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “When you put something into digital form, you can’t control where that’ll end up.”

According to a 2009 report by the Fordham University Center on Law and Information Policy, some states store student’s social security numbers, family financial information, and student pregnancy data. Nearly half of states track students’ mental health issues, illnesses, and jail sentences.Without access to their child’s data, parents have no way of knowing what teachers and others are learning about them.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/01/19/who-should-have-access-to-student-records

The U.S. Department of Education enforces FERPA.

Resources:

Data Mining: How Companies Now Know Everything About You        : http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2058205,00.html#ixzz2172ZKahA

What is Data Mining? – YouTube
  ► 3:22► 3:22 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-sGvh6tI04

Defining Privacy for Data Mining                                                                      http://cimic.rutgers.edu/~jsvaidya/pub-papers/ngdm-privacy.pdf

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Study: Girls as young as six think of themselves as sex objects

18 Jul

In Children too sexy for their years, moi said:

Maybe, because some parents may not know what is age appropriate for their attire, they haven’t got a clue about what is appropriate for children. There is nothing sadder than a 40 something, 50 something trying to look like they are twenty. What wasn’t sagging when you are 20, is more than likely than not, sagging now.

Kristen Russell Dobson, the managing editor of Parent Map, has a great article in Parent Map. In Are Girls Acting Sexy Too Young?  Dobson says:

A 2003 analysis of TV sitcoms found gender harassment in nearly every episode. Most common: jokes about women’s sexuality or women’s bodies, and comments that characterized women as sex objects. And according to the 2007 Report of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, “Massive exposure to media among youth creates the potential for massive exposure to portrayals that sexualize women and girls and teach girls that women are sexual objects.”

Those messages can be harmful to kids because they make sex seem common — even normal — among younger and younger kids. In So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids, co-authors Diane E. Levin, Ph.D., and Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., write that “sex in commercial culture has far more to do with trivializing and objectifying sex than with promoting it, more to do with consuming than with connecting. The problem is not that sex as portrayed in the media is sinful, but that it is synthetic and cynical.”

http://www.parentmap.com/article/are-girls-acting-sexy-too-young

The culture seems to be sexualizing children at an ever younger age and it becomes more difficult for parents and guardians to allow children to just remain, well children, for a bit longer. Still, parents and guardians must do their part to make sure children are in safe and secure environments. A pole dancing fourth grader is simply unacceptable.

The most recent example of the culture sexualizing women involves starlet, Dakota Fanning. Sean Poulter is reporting in the Daily Mail article, Dakota Fanning’s ‘Lolita’ perfume ad for Marc Jacobs is banned for ‘sexualising children’

A perfume advertisement featuring teen actress Dakota Fanning has been banned on the basis it appeared to ‘sexualise a child’.

The actress is 17, but she looked younger in the magazine ad for ‘Oh Lola!’, where she was sitting on the floor with the perfume bottle between her thighs.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2059097/Dakota-Fannings-sexually-provocative-perfume-ad-banned.html#ixzz1dImHgIQP

Moi loves fashion and adores seeing adult looks on adults. Many 20 and 30 somethings prefer what I would charitably call the “slut chic” look. This look is questionable fashion taste, in my opinion, but at least the look involves questionable taste on the part of adults as to how they present themselves to the public. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/children-too-sexy-for-their-years/

Jennifer Abbasi reports about a study conducted by Christi Starr and Gail Ferguson in the LiveScience article, Why 6-Year-Old Girls Want to Be Sexy:

Most girls as young as 6 are already beginning to think of themselves as sex objects, according to a new study of elementary school-age kids in the Midwest.

Researchers have shown in the past that women and teens think of themselves in sexually objectified terms, but the new study is the first to identify self-sexualization in young girls. The study, published online July 6 in the journal Sex Roles, also identified factors that protect girls from objectifying themselves.

Psychologists at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., used paper dolls to assess self-sexualization in 6- to 9-year-old girls. Sixty girls were shown two dolls, one dressed in tight and revealing “sexy” clothes and the other wearing a trendy but covered-up, loose outfit.

Most girls as young as 6 are already beginning to think of themselves as sex objects, according to a new study of elementary school-age kids in the Midwest.

Researchers have shown in the past that women and teens think of themselves in sexually objectified terms, but the new study is the first to identify self-sexualization in young girls. The study, published online July 6 in the journal Sex Roles, also identified factors that protect girls from objectifying themselves.

Psychologists at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., used paper dolls to assess self-sexualization in 6- to 9-year-old girls. Sixty girls were shown two dolls, one dressed in tight and revealing “sexy” clothes and the other wearing a trendy but covered-up, loose outfit. Using a different set of dolls for each question, the researchers then asked each girl to choose the doll that: looked like herself, looked how she wanted to look, was the popular girl in school, she wanted to play with. http://www.livescience.com/21609-self-sexualization-young-girls.html

See, Study: Girls As Young As 6 Are Thinking Of Selves As Sex Objects http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/07/18/study-girls-as-young-as-6-are-thinking-of-selves-as-sex-objects/

Citation:

Journal Article

Sexy Dolls, Sexy Grade-Schoolers? Media & Maternal Influences on Young Girls’ Self-Sexualization

Christine R. Starr and Gail M. Ferguson

Sex Roles, Online First™, 6 July 2012

Concern is often expressed that mass media contribute to the early sexualization of young girls; however, few empirical studies have explored the topic. Using paper dolls, we examined self-sexualization among sixty 6–9 year-old girls from the Midwestern United States; specifically self-identification, preference, and attributions regarding sexualized dress. Based on simultaneous maternal reports, we also investigated potential risk factors (media consumption hours, maternal self-objectification) and potential protective factors (maternal television mediation, maternal religiosity) for young girls’ sexualization. Findings support social cognitive theory/social learning theory and reveal nuanced moderated effects in addition to linear main effects. Girls overwhelmingly chose the sexualized doll over the non-sexualized doll for their ideal self and as popular; however, dance studio enrollment, maternal instructive TV mediation, and maternal religiosity reduced those odds. Surprisingly, the mere quantity of girls’ media consumption (tv and movies) was unrelated to their self-sexualization for the most part; rather, maternal self-objectification and maternal personal religiosity moderated its effects.

The Girl Scouts of America has some great suggestions for dealing with a reality television world.

Here are suggestions from Girls Scouts Research about how parents can talk to their children about reality television

Tips for Parents

Real to me: Girls and Reality TV/ Girl Scout Research Institute

Reality TV is a popular form of entertainment for young people today. While this may seem like a benign phenomenon, our research suggests that girls who view reality TV on a regular basis are impacted signifi­cantly on personal and social levels. Regular viewers seem to have more extreme expectations of how the world works and relate to their peers differently than do those who don’t watch as much. Reality TV can also serve as a learning tool, inspire families to explore new interests and activities, and encourage young people to get involved in social causes.

Tip #1: TV watching is the number-one activity for girls, but they don’t necessarily want it to be this way. Use this opportunity to create alternatives for your entire family….

The good news is that girls would like to spend their time differently. Ninety percent of girls would rather spend an hour hanging out with friends than an hour watching their favorite TV show, and 84% would rather spend an hour doing a fun activity. This finding is similar to one from the GSRI study on social media, which found that even though girls today communicate profusely through the computer and/or their mobile devices, most prefer in-person time with friends….

You can even think about ways you can use what you see on TV to get the family interested in other things. For instance:

o Try out a recipe seen on a cooking program.

o Explore a place—through books or the computer, or in person—inhabited or visited by characters in a program you like.

o Engage in a fun family activity seen on a favorite show.

Put effort into demonstrating that face-to-face communication and enjoyable activities are important in your family, and you’ll create a healthier balance between TV and other things family members like to do.

Tip #2: Reality TV is here to stay, but not all shows are created equal. Be mindful of the type of reality TV your daughter is consuming, consider watching with her, and use the shows as learning tools and conversation starters….

Our study suggests that competition-based shows (American Idol, Project Runway, etc.) and makeover shows (The Biggest Loser, Extreme Home Makeover, etc.) have the most potential for inspiring conversa­tions with parents and friends, making girls feel like anything is possible, and helping girls realize that there are people out there like them. These shows have an educational and awareness-based component, portraying new ideas and perspectives; increasing girls’ exposure to people with different backgrounds, values, and beliefs; and teaching girls things they might not have learned otherwise. Makeover shows in particular raise awareness about important social issues and causes….

o Did your daughter relate to the characters or scenarios?

o What did she think about the situations portrayed? Does she have any questions?

o What did she agree or disagree with? What is the most valuable thing she came away with?

o Is she inspired by what she saw? What inspires her?

o Does x-show encourage new passions or thoughts about what she wants to be when she

grows up?

.By being mindful of the variety of reality programs that exists and monitoring/participating in what your daughter is watching, you are in a better place to inspire conversation and learning.

Tip #3: Talk about the differences between reality TV and actual reality.

This is especially true of girls who watch reality TV regularly. These girls are more likely to be comfortable with gossiping, feel that girls have to compete for a boy’s attention, and say it’s natural for girls to be catty and competitive with one another than are girls who watch reality TV less frequently. They are also less likely to trust other girls and to place more value on being mean and/or lying to get ahead.

What girls don’t often recognize is that much of what they consider “real” is actually scripted. In the Girl Scout Leadership Journey MEdia, TV producer Melissa Freeman Fuller shares that crew members often feed lines to participants, set up situations, and edit shots to make things seem more dramatic and inter­esting.* As an adult, you may be able to distinguish between reality and scripted TV and to take the latter with a grain of salt, but young people are more impressionable and perhaps believing in and mimicking these behaviors….

o Does your daughter find herself mimicking the negative behaviors depicted or is she totally turned off by them?

o Does she assume this is just the way the world works?

o Does she know a lot of people who depict these behaviors?

o What are some ways she might react differently that could produce a better outcome?

…Because girls so often think that what they see in reality TV programs is an accurate portrait of real life, it is imperative that you discuss the differences between the two. If shows don’t reflect your daughter’s reality, encourage her to create media that does.* [Emphasis Added]

Tip #4: Encourage your daughter to look beyond the mirror.

Girls who regularly view reality TV are focused on the importance of physical appearance and more likely to think that a girl’s value is based on this, and it’s a shame, because of course girls have so much more to offer the world than their looks. Make sure your daughter knows this. Compliment her on her talents and praise her for her values or willingness to try new things. Encourage her to pursue interests that are not based on improving her looks….

Tip #5: Model healthy relationships.

One of the more troubling findings of this study is that reality TV shows seem to promote questionable behavior, appearing to compel girls to act out stereotypes like being catty and competitive and fighting among themselves for guys’ attention. Girls understand that reality shows depict unhealthy relationships, but they don’t always understand that these kinds of behaviors aren’t and don’t need to be the norm. As long as girls think that other girls can’t be trusted and that it’s necessary to fight and beat out others in order to “win” the affection of a romantic interest, they will continue to engage in actions like those above.

Girls need to believe that they can trust one another and that not all girls are out there to hurt others through relational aggression, bullying, and other detrimental behaviors. As a parent, keep your eye out for potential harmful behaviors between your daughter and her friends/peers. Promote healthy relationships and prevent gossiping in your own life so that your daughter has a model of healthy relating to look to. Think about groups or places in which your daughter can build positive relationships, such as Girl Scouts, and encourage her to develop these relationships with her peers.

Tip #6: Keep girls grounded.

Some reality shows feature characters competing for a prize, be it fame, fortune, or status, and in some cases these characters choose to lie, cheat, or be mean along the way. Regular reality TV viewers are more likely than their non-viewing counterparts to internalize this and believe that one has to do these things in order to get ahead in life.

As well, many girls want to become famous—more so now than in years past. While it’s encouraging that girls have high hopes for their futures, it’s important they don’t go overboard to become noticed and recognized. Becoming famous often means focusing on external beauty and acting out; it’s critical that girls remain grounded and in possession of the positive values instilled in them by family and other healthy influences. Continue to encourage your daughter to cultivate such internal assets as assertiveness, confi­dence, individuality, and creativity; she’ll go far. More information on the research cited here can be found at www.girlscouts.org/research.

Dr. Wilda has been just saying for quite a while.

Resources

  1. Popwatch’s Miley Cyrus Pole Dance Video

  2. Baby Center Blog Comments About Miley Cyrus Pole Dance

  3. The Sexualization of Children

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Penn State: An example of ‘groupthink’

18 Jul

The latest scandal involving lapses in ethical behavior is the Penn State child abuse scandal. There have been other lapses in ethical behavior and unfortunately there will be future lapses. Many are shaking their heads and asking, why? Manuel Velasquez, Dennis Moberg, Michael J. Meyer, Thomas Shanks, Margaret R. McLean, David DeCosse, Claire André, and Kirk O. Hanson.of Santa Clara University have an interesting framework for making ethical decisions. In, A Framework for Thinking Ethically, they write:

Recognize an Ethical Issue

  1. Could this decision or situation be damaging to someone or to some group? Does this decision involve a choice between a good and bad alternative, or perhaps between two “goods” or between two “bads”?
  2. Is this issue about more than what is legal or what is most efficient? If so, how?

Get the Facts

  1. What are the relevant facts of the case? What facts are not known? Can I learn more about the situation? Do I know enough to make a decision?
  2. What individuals and groups have an important stake in the outcome? Are some concerns more important? Why?
  3. What are the options for acting? Have all the relevant persons and groups been consulted? Have I identified creative options?

Evaluate Alternative Actions

  1. Evaluate the options by asking the following questions:
  • Which option will produce the most good and do the least harm? (The Utilitarian Approach)
  • Which option best respects the rights of all who have a stake? (The Rights Approach)
  • Which option treats people equally or proportionately? (The Justice Approach)
  • Which option best serves the community
    as a whole, not just some members?
    (The Common Good Approach)
  • Which option leads me to act as the sort of person I want to be? (The Virtue Approach)

Make a Decision and Test It

  1. Considering all these approaches, which option best addresses the situation?
  2. If I told someone I respect-or told a television audience-which option I have chosen, what would they say?

Act and Reflect on the Outcome

  1. How can my decision be implemented with the greatest care and attention to the concerns of all stakeholders?
  2. How did my decision turn out and what have I learned from this specific situation?http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/framework.html

Clearly, those in positions of authority failed at Penn State. The reason for the failure my lie in “group think.”

Lawrence J. Cohen and Anthony T. DeBenedet, M.D. have written a fascinating Time article, Penn State Cover-Up: Groupthink in Action:

While Big Football certainly played a role, what happened at Penn State is best explained by a psychological phenomenon known as groupthink, whereby sound decisionmaking is impaired by the bigger concern of group unity and preservation. Insider groups — private clubs and fraternities, religious groups and sometimes corporations — are particularly prone to groupthink, and it’s hard to imagine a more inside group than university president Graham Spanier, senior vice president Gary Schultz, athletic director Tim Curley and revered football coach Joe Paterno. The characteristics of groupthink, first described by social psychologist Irving Janis in 1972, are that the group sets itself above the law, avoids transparency and oversight, and protects itself at all costs. Instead of trying to find the best solution, it encourages the conformity of opinion, often around the wrong decision.

Groupthink also helps explain why the leadership protected Sandusky — one of their own — instead of vulnerable children. As Janis said his book Victims of Groupthink, the phenomenon “is likely to result in irrational and dehumanizing actions directed against out-groups.” The outsider status of Sandusky’s child victims was most likely exacerbated by the fact that many were poor. The e-mails detailed in the Freeh report show that this particular insider group managed to twist logic to the point where they thought that it was more “humane” to cover up the repeated allegations of Sandusky’s abuse than to report them to the police. The “only downside” they saw to this decision was that they would be vulnerable if the truth came out. The humanity — and vulnerability — of the abused children and potential future victims didn’t come into the discussion.

Janis first described groupthink as the dynamic behind foreign policy fiascos like the Bay of Pigs, and the concept is still applied to political decisions. Some of Janis’ recommendations to prevent groupthink have been widely followed, such as appointing a devil’s advocate, introducing outside voices and allowing brainstorming to occur without judgment or criticism. Over the years, his original concept was also criticized, especially what he described as the conditions necessary for groupthink to emerge: internal cohesion, crisis, pressure, group insulation and members with similar ideologies and backgrounds. More recent research has actually found that groupthink can occur when group dynamics aren’t as optimal, which means that it’s more ubiquitous than Janis initially thought, and in this sense, perhaps more dangerous.   http://ideas.time.com/2012/07/17/penn-state-cover-up-group-think-in-action/#ixzz20vEBtcaq

The University of Oregon has a great synopsis of “groupthink.”

In Groupthink, the synopsis describes the key elements of “groupthink.”

Groupthink occurs when a homogenous highly cohesive group is so concerned with maintaining unanimity that they fail to evaluate all their alternatives and options. Groupthink members see themselves as part of an in-group working against an outgroup opposed to their goals. You can tell if a group suffers from groupthink if it:

  1. overestimates its invulnerability or high moral stance,
  2. collectively rationalizes the decisions it makes,
  3. demonizes or stereotypes outgroups and their leaders,
  4. has a culture of uniformity where individuals censor themselves and others so that the facade of group unanimty is maintained, and
  5. contains members who take it upon themselves to protect the group leader by keeping information, theirs or other group members’, from the leader.

Groups engaged in groupthink tend to make faulty decisions when compared to the decisions that could have been reached using a fair, open, and rational decision-making process. Groupthinking groups tend to:

  1. fail to adequately determine their objectives and alternatives,
  2. fail to adequately assess the risks associated with the group’s decision,
  3. fail to cycle through discarded alternatives to reexamine their worth after a majority of the group discarded the alternative,
  4. not seek expert advice,
  5. select and use only information that supports their position and conclusions, and
  6. does not make contigency plans in case their decision and resulting actions fail.

Group leaders can prevent groupthink by:

  1. encouraging members to raise objections and concerns;
  2. refraining from stating their preferences at the onset of the group’s activities;
  3. allowing the group to be independently evaluated by a separate group with a different leader;
  4. splitting the group into sub-groups, each with different chairpersons, to separately generate alternatives, then bringing the sub-groups together to hammer out differences;
  5. allowing group members to get feedback on the group’s decisions from their own constitutents;
  6. seeking input from experts outside the group;
  7. assigning one or more members to play the role of the devil’s advocate;
  8. requiring the group to develop multiple scenarios of events upon which they are acting, and contingencies for each scenario; and
  9. calling a meeting after a decision consensus is reached in which all group members are expected to critically review the decision before final approval is given.

http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/theory/grpthink.html 

For a really good example of “groupthink” in action, see the Strategically Speaking Blog.

There is an excellent example of “groupthink” in How to identify groupthink: An introduction to the Abilene Paradox at the Strategically Speaking Blog.

When your organization makes decisions, do you find the same dysfunctional activities repeated over and over? If so, you want to be on the look out for the paradox and find a way to cut it off before it causes more damage. If you want to identify the paradox at work within your group, we’ve compiled the following list to look out for:

  • Members exhibit different opinions in the group as opposed to one on one
    If your people are telling you one thing and then offering their true opinions only in private, there’s likely an issue with communication. It’s common for bad news to have trouble flowing upstream in an organization, but if no one’s telling you the plan is a dud, you’ll never know.
  • Members are discouraged to dissent, often seen as lack of commitment
    When someone on your team offers constructive criticism, is it encouraged, or are they accused of failing to be a team player. If anyone offering a different opinion is asked “hey, where are your pom-poms?” you may have a problem on your hands.
  • Members seem frustrated or resentful towards management and other team members
    If your organization has a habit of letting bad ideas come to fruition, then it stands to reason that someone’s being blamed for each failure. There’s plenty of reasons for employees to be resentful of management- some is reasonable and some isn’t. In this case, you’re looking for resent for being blamed- often for tasks that when assigned were already doomed to failure.
  • Members avoid responsibility or even attempt to blame others
    The same systemic habit of failure mentioned above can often lead to a culture of blame. If no one feels the freedom to point out bad ideas, then no one wants to take responsibility for them either.
  • Members exhibit a lack of trust
    Eventually, all of these things erode trust. Employees distrust management that doesn’t listen to their concerns and that delegates not only tasks, but also blame for failed initiatives. Corporate politics then lead to backstabbing and blame-shifting among employees under such management, as everyone does what they can to avoid being targeted.
  • All decisions require unanimous agreement
    Leadership by committee can breed horrible decision-making. On the one hand, it may increase buy-in. On the other hand, every member is incentivized to agree as soon as possible, or risk being stuck in committee session longer than they want, as well as risk the image of dissenter.
  • Very little dissent from group opinion is observed
    Again, lack of dissent is not always a good thing- in fact, if you as a manager aren’t encountering any dissent for the decisions you make, that should be a red flag. You have a choice- you can go on believing that the reason that your employees fail to argue with you because all of your decisions arise from bulletproof logic and infallible judgment, or you can probe to find out if the Abilene Paradox is thriving under your leadership. http://mystrategicplan.com/resources/how-to-identify-groupthink-an-introduction-to-the-abilene-paradox/

Increasingly, more emphasis is placed on teams.

Susan Cain has written the New York Times piece, The Rise of the New Groupthink:

SOLITUDE is out of fashion. Our companies, our schools and our culture are in thrall to an idea I call the New Groupthink, which holds that creativity and achievement come from an oddly gregarious place. Most of us now work in teams, in offices without walls, for managers who prize people skills above all. Lone geniuses are out. Collaboration is in. 

But there’s a problem with this view. Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption. And the most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted, according to studies by the psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist. They’re extroverted enough to exchange and advance ideas, but see themselves as independent and individualistic. They’re not joiners by nature. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-the-new-groupthink.html?pagewanted=all

In order to prevent more Penn States, two things must happen. First, those responsible for the lapse in behavior must be punished. Second, some dissent and even “whistleblowing” must be tolerated to air what may sometimes be “dirty laundry” sooner rather than later.

Resources:

Ethics Resource Center                                                                                         http://www.ethics.org/

Ethics and Virtue                                                                                                          http://www.scu.edu/ethics/practicing/decision/ethicsandvirtue.html

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Pre-kindergarten programs help at-risk students prepare for school

16 Jul

In Early learning standards and the K-12 continuum, moi said:

Preschool is a portal to the continuum of life long learning. A good preschool stimulates the learning process and prompts the child into asking questions about their world and environment. Baby Center offers advice about how to find a good preschool and general advice to expectant parents. At the core of why education is important is the goal of equipping every child with the knowledge and skills to pursue THEIR dream, whatever that dream is. Christine Armario and Dorie Turner are reporting in the AP article, AP News Break: Nearly 1 in 4 Fails Military Exam which appeared in the Seattle Times:

Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can’t answer basic math, science and reading questions, according to a new study released Tuesday.

Many children begin their first day of school behind their more advantaged peers. Early childhood learning is an important tool is bridging the education deficit.

eSchool News.Com reports that the Pre-K Coalition, which includes the American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, Council of Chief State School Officers, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Education Association, and the National School Boards Association has released the report, The Importance of Aligning Pre-K through 3rd Grade.”

Gains made in high-quality preschool programs must be sustained and built upon throughout the K-3 years, according to the report. Robust P-3 initiatives align comprehensive early learning standards with state K-3 content standards in an effort to promote children’s healthy development, social and emotional skills, and learning. Those standards should be connected and build upon one another so that pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and primary grade educators can develop and select effective curricula, teaching strategies, and assessment systems. Teaching teams should engage in joint professional development….
The Common Core State Standards hold promise in helping schools connect early learning to later grades, but many state K-12 systems might not connect to early childhood education systems within the same state….
http://www.eschoolnews.com/2011/12/22/report-sets-forth-early-learning-recommendations/

Our goals should be: A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood. ©

Think small, Not small minded ©

Money spent on early childhood programs is akin to yeast for bread. The whole society will rise.

Nancy Cambria writes in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch article, School camps in St. Louis area aim to give incoming kindergartners a leg up. The St. Louis programs are typical of many pre-kindergarten programs which are aimed at giving at-risk children a running start.

Some in the child development field worry that the programs are indicative of a national push by too many school districts to regiment young children into rigid, performance-based academic learning too early.

“I don’t have a problem that children have a four-week introduction to going to school in the summer, but you don’t want them to burn out and get them turned-off to school,” warned Joan Almon, director of programs for the Alliance for Children at the University of Maryland.

Administrators and teachers at Hazelwood said the monthlong program that ended last week gives children a chance to test the waters of a more structured school environment so they have less anxiety and more academic and social confidence in the coming school year.

Most of the classrooms are led by district kindergarten teachers, which, at bare minimum, gives the students the chance to know familiar faces when the school year starts in August, said Shanon Drennan, the coordinator for Sunny Start at Garrett Elementary.

For teachers, such programs get more children up to speed earlier on the basic routines and early reading and writing skills needed for an intensive learning year ahead. That makes things easier from the start for teachers who must achieve a lot of goals with their students in just nine months, Drennan said.

Mary Carver said her daughter, Annabell Wallsmith, loves Sunny Start.

“It gets my kid motivated to jump into kindergarten,” she said. “She’s learning the social skills, and it gets her more ready to read.”

TOO MUCH STRUCTURE?

But Almon worries that the motivation behind kindergarten summer school in some districts is to prepare students earlier for mandatory assessment testing and to move them away from the free play and exploration that research suggests enhances learning in young children.

“I just think that when we get caught in thinking the most regimented approach will be the best way, I haven’t seen them bring about a love of learning or a comfort with a group situation or an excitement about learning,” she said.

In the most extreme example she’s seen, Almon said, one North Carolina school district openly praised a teacher in their kindergarten summer “boot camp” program who wore military fatigues as she shouted lessons in ABCs and 1-2-3s….

Almon said the push she has seen toward rigid academics is particularly common in lower-income school districts where the stakes for funding and accreditation are high. She cites one study that found kindergartners in New York and Los Angeles public schools spent two to three hours a day in chairs working on literacy, math and testing and allowed about 20 minutes of play time.

At St. Louis Public Schools, Cheryl Davenport, the director of early childhood programs, said the district’s free “Kindergarten Here I Come!” program focuses heavily on play, though academic enrichment is a clear goal for their students.

The program, which has been running for more than a decade, enrolled about 400 children this summer. Although it’s open to all St. Louis children about to enter kindergarten, Davenport said the bulk of the program’s students are recommended by district preschool teachers who identify them as perhaps needing “a little bit of extra time and focus on basic skills such as early reading and early writing.”

But, she stressed, the program is geared toward fun. So math and lessons are typically given outside at the water table with measuring cups. Prereading and science come through cooking and art projects.

“Our program is meant to provide additional enrichment time,” she said. http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/education/school-camps-in-st-louis-area-aim-to-give-incoming/article_3dc0b0b4-9063-5755-9261-90cf94269b23.html#ixzz20cfmYtC6

One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. Without continued sustained investment in education in this country, we are the next third world country.

Related:

The state of preschool education is dire                        https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/the-state-of-preschool-education-is-dire/

Seattle Research Institute study about outside play https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/seattle-research-institute-study-about-outside-play/

College Board’s ‘Big Future’: Helping low-income kids apply to college                                                                        https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/college-boards-big-future-helping-low-income-kids-apply-to-college/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Why I support the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS

15 Jul

Moi’s local PBS stations are KCTS Channel 9 and NPR’s KUOW. It had been a few years since moi had been inside the KCTS building as a member of the KCTS Advisory Board. The specific reason for moi’s return was a July 10, 2012 lunch speech featuring PBS President, Paula Kerger. Ms. Kerger provides competent and forward-looking leadership for PBS, but more important, she symbolizes PBS’s commitment to adapting and serving the areas in broadcasting which are under-served, whether it is in content of programing or geography.

Mayer N. Zald of Vanderbilt University writes in the 2008 article, Politics and Symbols: A Review Article:

The relation of symbols, myths and rituals to the functioning of the state and the social system is a venerable concern of social philosophy and social science. In social theory symbols and rituals have been variously presented as a means of evoking symbols of solidarity, and as representing and reaffirming the power and authority of the state, of signalizing the power within the state. Furthermore, symbols can be seen as reaffirming and rewarding the virtues held dear in the polity and as a means of reassuring the citizenry that all goes well. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1533-8525.1966.tb02268.x/abstract

Symbols are very important to what happens in society.

Moi remembers that when she was a member of the KCTS Advisory Board, there was the relentless drum roll in Congress to “defund” public broadcasting. Not much has changed. The reason this post begins with a discussion of symbols is evident when one looks at the PBS funding mix. According to Alternative Sources of Funding for Public Broadcasting Stations:

For public television and radio stations system-wide, the share of funding derived from the federal appropriation to CPB is approximately 15 percent, with larger percentages to smaller and rural stations, and smaller percentages to larger stations.

According to information reported to CPB by public television licensees during fiscal year 2010 (the latest information available),38 individual contributions accounted for 22 percent of system revenue, the largest single source of revenue. The share of revenue for public television from CPB was 18 percent. System-wide, public television revenue sources were as follows:
Source of Funding Percentage of TV System Revenues
Contributions by individuals 22%
CPB (federal appropriation) 18%
State government support 14%
Underwriting by businesses 13%
University support 8%
Foundation support 7%
Other federal grants and contracts 5%
Local government support 4%
All other sources 9%
The revenue received from these various funding sources differs significantly from licensee to licensee. Smaller licensees (those with less operating revenue) and licensees that provide service in small television markets tend to receive a greater percentage of their revenue from federal sources than large licensees and those operating in large television markets.

According to an earlier study by the GAO,39 for public television stations with annual budgets less than $3 million, the federal share of their revenue is approximately 33 percent, while for the largest public television stations the federal share is approximately 10 percent.

Public radio revenue sources are similar to those for public television, with individual contributions again being the largest source of revenue. The share of revenue for public radio from CPB in FY 2010 was 11 percent. System-wide, public radio revenue sources were as follows:
38 Each public television and radio station that receives a Community Service Grant from CPB must file an Annual Financial Report (AFR) or Annual Financial Summary Report (FSR) reporting its revenues and expenditures, and a Stations Activities Benchmarking Survey (SABS) on non-financial activities.
39 GAO Report at 29.

Source of Funding Percent of Radio System Revenues
Contributions by individuals 34%
Underwriting by businesses 19%
University support 13%
CPB (federal appropriation) 11%
Foundation support 8%
State government support 3%
Local government support 1%
Other federal grants and contracts 1%
All other sources 10%
Again, the relative sources of funds differ significantly from licensee to licensee. Smaller licensees and licensees that provide service in small markets receive a greater percentage of their revenue from federal sources than large licensees and those operating in large markets.

http://cpb.org/aboutcpb/Alternative_Sources_of_Funding_for_Public_Broadcasting_Stations.pdf

What critics of public television are really saying is that they do not like the symbolism of a public broadcasting system.

Prior to the luncheon, moi sent a series of questions to KCTS. Here are the key questions and the responses:

1.     Any stats that you have about how educational programs help teachers and students as well as parents

FROM RAISING READERS 2008 STUDY:

See the attached PDF on Raising Readers Success Stories, p. 13 (includes link to full study)

Children who watched SUPER WHY! scored 46% higher on standardized tests than those who did not watch the show.

Here is the link: http://www.pbs.org/about/media/about/cms_page_media/146/raising_readers_a_story_of_success_1.pdf

FROM READY TO LEARN (2005-2012 Report)

Here is the link:

http://pbskids.org/readytolearn/

2.     How programs help children of color, low-income children and children in families where English is not the first language

FROM RAISING READERS 2009 STUDY:

See attached PDF on Raising Readers Success Stories, pp. 5-6 (includes link to full study)

The study found that preschoolers from low-income communities who participated in the PBS KIDS Raising Readers media-rich curriculum outscored their peers who did not participate in the curriculum on all tested measures of early literacy, such as naming letters and knowing their sounds. Furthermore, children who

started out with the lowest literacy skills gained the most, learning an average of 7.5 more letters than children in the comparison group.1 Ultimately, the study showed that utilizing PBS KIDS Raising Readers content for both kids and teachers helps build critical literacy skills to better prepare children from low-income communities for success in kindergarten.

Here is the link:

http://www.pbs.org/about/media/about/cms_page_media/146/raising_readers_a_story_of_success_1.pdf

4.     Any information about how PBS presents diverse views and engages its audience in thoughtful discussion about sometimes contentious topics.

Building on a long tradition of educational value, KCTS 9 and PBS are in the midst of developing new projects that extend the value of public media to teachers and learners both inside and outside of traditional classrooms. With more and more users looking to mobile and web-based platforms, public media is placing greater emphasis on “transmedia” content – content that follows users and learners across devices. For example, a child may watch SuperWHY! via broadcast as well as access its themed learning games through mobile/tablet. At the same time, her teacher might be pulling an interactive literacy game for a classroom Smartboard via PBS LearningMedia and taking an online professional development course on supporting early literacy via PBS TeacherLine.

What’s new with KCTS 9?

·         KCTS 9 is in the midst of rolling out a localized version of www.PBSLearningMedia.org (see below) and will begin producing standards-aligned digital learning assets geared particularly toward the needs of Washington schools. In-house educators have initiated listening sessions with districts and ESDs in the region.

·         This year KCTS 9 will institute a permanent home for its community-generated media projects. Dubbed the 9 Media Lab, this effort will include a comprehensive home for digital storytelling projects, with full time staff support, technical training and production support for community and youth participants, and a full complement of small, consumer grade video cameras, basic audio equipment and desktop editing units. As a preview to the 9 Media Lab, students and educators produced video diaries exploring education reform efforts at Lincoln High School in Tacoma. (Learn more at http://kcts9.org/education/golden-apple-awards/lincoln-center).

·         In connection with its documentary on the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair, KCTS 9 teamed up with HistoryLink.org and others to produce a ten unit curriculum on the World’s Fair which is available free, online at http://kcts9.org/education/worlds-fair-curriculum and which won a Heritage Award from the Association of King County Historical Organizations (AKCHO).

·         This past year marked the 20th Golden Apple Awards, a ceremony and program that honors outstanding educators from across Washington state.

·         KCTS 9 continues to extend early learning support in Spanish as well as English. Vme, the Spanish language broadcast presented by KCTS 9 in Washington, offers 30 hours/week of high quality educational programming in Spanish – close to ten times the amount of children’s programming on commercial Spanish networks. Vme recently hosted a teacher training and family science night for migrant families in Toppenish.

What’s new with PBS?

·         As referenced above, PBS is ambitiously pursuing a transmedia approach. That means new resources are being developed to work in sync with the broadcast offerings of programs like Dinosaur Train, Sid the Science Kid, Curious George, Word Girl, Electric Company, Martha Speaks and other valuable programs. These new resources include mobile apps for phones, tablets and Smartboards, as well as strong web presence for PBS Kids, PBS Parents and PBS Teachers.

·         PBS LearningMedia (www.PBSLearningMedia.org) is a new online library of over 20,000 learning assets designed especially for use in the classroom. Teachers can search assets by subject, theme, grade level, media type and soon by standard. From STEM to early literacy, arts and social studies, the collection has resources for preK – post12. PBSLM allows teachers to stream content from children’s shows, American Experience, Frontline, NOVA, etc – it also allows them to access focused 2-4 minute clips that resonate with a particular classroom activity. This free service also allows teachers to create class lists to email links for clips, along with related questions to students and parents. (eg. a teacher message might be: “Tomorrow we are going to discuss federal vs. state power. Examine this clip from Freedom Riders and be ready to discuss how the federal government responded to states’ segregation laws during the Civil Rights Movement. Can you find any parallels to the recent Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s immigration laws?”)

·         PBS TeacherLine (www.pbs.org/teacherline) offers a catalog of online professional development for educators. Courses in the areas of literacy, math, science, ELL strategies, instructional technology are available quarterly at competitive prices and teachers in Washington can receive clock hours and graduate credit through several institutions.

·         American Graduate (http://www.americangraduate.org/) is an effort by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that uses media to highlight the challenges of secondary education, examines disparities, and supports efforts at improved graduation rates.

Clearly, for those who value early learning programs for at-risk children, PBS is a valuable instrument of delivery of quality programming for these children. Much of the PBS allocation goes to support under-served rural areas that are not competitive in a for-profit model.

The issue is the symbolism of a public entity model. Many of those who attack the PBS model do not want to admit that there is a value to having some institutions outside the for-profit model. These institutions provide “public” goods which do not readily translate into a for-profit model. One only has to look at the amount of reality television programming currently on television because these programs bring in advertising dollars. Do we, as a society, need more shows like, “Ice-Road Truckers” and “Cajun Pawn-Stars?” Moi supports PBS because it delivers quality, diverse programming, gives voice to under-served communities, provides a forum for the arts, and has children’s programming with high quality learning content. Yes, PBS is a powerful symbol, but the fact that it exists is a symbol of this society’s strength, not weakness.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Personal learning networks (PLNs) and education

15 Jul

Peter DeWitt has written an interesting Education Week piece about personal learning networks (PLNs), Do Our Students Have PLN’s?

Teachers need to make sure that they are fostering strong PLN’s in the classroom because as much as it is important to learn from a teacher, we also understand that the conversations students have with one another can be invaluable as well.

Through social media and other venues there is a lot of talk about personal learning networks (PLN). A PLN consists of all of the places where you get your information and its how educators tap into educational conversations with colleagues near and far. It’s a fantastic way to stay current in our practice as educators. As a principal, I believe it’s highly important to be connected so I can bring the most current and best resources to staff and in return they share their best resources with me…

Students do have personal learning networks and they have to decide, much like we do, whether that PLN is a good one or a bad one. Their PLN begins with their parents. We have all learned a great deal from our parents and at a very young age they helped shape our thinking before we ever stepped foot into a school building. Our parents taught us how to talk, read (in some cases), walk and how to ride a bike. If you haven’t thanked your parents lately for being the first member of your PLN, perhaps you should.

Secondly, our students learn from their teachers. In some cases it may be a self-contained teacher that they spend their days with in the classroom. Other times they may switch classes and learn from a variety of teachers. Some teachers and the ones they truly connect with and others they just learn from.

Thirdly, students learn from one another. In some cases their peer groups are their strongest PLN. They may work in groups or by just listening to answers that other students give when teachers ask questions. Teachers need to make sure that they are fostering strong PLN’s in the classroom because as much as it is important to learn from a teacher, we also understand that the conversations students have with one another can be invaluable as well.

Lastly, in my opinion (you may have more) students have PLN’s that are on-line. These PLN’s, depending on the age of the student, need to be monitored because they can have positive or negative impacts and consequences. However, connected teachers and principals know that students can learn from the likes of Twitter. There have been countless conversations between classes of students and other educators. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2012/07/do_our_students_have_plns.html?int

For an excellent example of how to create a PLN, see 10 simple steps to creating a free online Personal English Learning Network:

So, how do you find your English speaking friends and create your own Personal English Out There Learning Network? Just follow the process below and you will soon have unlimited English speaking opportunities for free whenever you want them:

  1. Join an international social network like Facebook and a free online web phone like Skype, then make some online friends by joining groups that promote friendship, use the search tool to find groups under ‘meet new people’ or ‘make friends’
  2. Contact people using the words “Hi, I am using a new system called English Out There can I practise English with you, it will only take a few minutes each time”, in the text chat system and using the special pre-written EOT message in our ‘Social Media Tool Kit
  3. Make as many English speaking friends as you can, preferably in different time zones and with different accents, 15 to 20 should be enough
  4. The more practice partners you have the more likely you will be able to practice 24/7 and be able to hear global English
  5. Do the lesson and prepare the Out There Task questions
  6. See who is online and text them to see if they can talk
  7. Call those who say ‘yes’ and use the language from the lesson to break the ice and get going
  8. Talk for about five or six minutes and then say “Goodbye”.
  9. Text another friend in your network and ask the same questions again.
  10. Repeat four or five times with different people in your network.

REMEMBER:  Ask your questions, have a quick chat and then GO! You will be amazed with the results.
http://englishoutthere.com/10-simple-steps-to-creating-a-free-online-personal-english-learning-network

In Children’s sensory overload from technology, moi said:

Like it or not, technology is a part of life. The key is to use technology for YOUR advantage and to not let technology control you. Parents must monitor their children’s use of technology. Caroline Knorr has an excellent article at Common Sense Media, How Rude! Manners For the Digital Age Parents must talk with their children about the responsible use of social media and the Internet. Common Sense Media has some great discussion points in the article, Rules of the Road for Kids https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/childrens-sensory-overload-from-technology/

Resources:

5 Things You Can Do to Begin Developing Your Personal Learning Network                                                                  http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2008/04/5-things-you-can-do-to-begin-developing.html

Personal Learning Networks for Educators: 10 Tips                                                      http://gettingsmart.com/news/personal-learning-networks-for-educators-10-tips/

Building a Learning Network for Students                                                                            http://classroom-aid.com/2011/11/20/building-a-learning-network-for-students/

23 Resources about Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)                                           http://teacherbootcamp.edublogs.org/2010/05/09/16-resources-about-personal-learning-networks-plns/

Related:

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’ https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

What is a creativity index and why are states incorporating the index into education?                                                https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/what-is-a-creativity-index-and-why-are-states-incorporating-the-index-into-education/

The digital divide in classrooms                             https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/the-digital-divide-in-classrooms/

Critical thinking is an essential trait of an educated person https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/critical-thinking-is-an-essential-trait-of-an-educated-person/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©