Monday, October 5, 2015

Call to Improve Teacher Education: New or Continual?

I am currently reading a very interesting book by Shelly Sherman, associate professor of education at Lake Forest College entitled: "Teacher Preparation as an Inspirational Practice."

She shares some  examples of recommendations from across time on how we conduct teacher education in the 21st century.

"The world, and our country with it, is on the verge of a new and revolutionary era. The changes that have already occurred are only a beginning. Whether man can meet and master them remains a question. If that question is to be answered as we pray it may be, education must meet the challenge. The schools provided for by our future citizens must prepare them to make a better world. The schools must change. And if the schools are to change, teachers must change as well. This calls for a change in teacher education.
(American Council on Education, 1946, p. 272)

"In striving to answer students' demands - in some, perhaps many, of our institutions - we are learning to listen anew. We are learning to work with our prospective teachers in new, exciting, and creative ways. many of our institutions are accommodating these new forces and working toward a transformation of their personnel and their programs."
(Engbreton, 1969, p. 24)

"New policies are needed for teacher education that recognized its pivotal role strengthening the teaching profession. Sweeping changes are required both in institutional structure of teacher education and in the curriculum offered to the students. Through much has been learned in recent years that can inform the education of teachers, an event greater effort must now be made to provide a solid foundation of research under an intellectual framework that teacher educators can use to develop the kinds of teachers the nation needs."
(Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy, 1986, pp. 71 and 73)

"Notwithstanding debates about the evidence, it is clear that devastating public critiques of "traditional" teacher preparation are influencing how the education community conducts and uses research in, on and for teacher education. In conjunction with the push for evidence-based policies and practices, there is intense pressure on teacher educators and others to measure the impact of teacher education on pupil learning and to assemble persuasive evidence that teacher preparation makes a difference."
(Cochran-Smith & Fries, 2005, p. 43)

Concerns are ongoing:
  • Report from September 30, 2015, indicates: Teacher-training programs are in need of improvement, according to educators and teacher trainers who participated in a discussion this week in Washington, D.C. At issue, they said, is that many teachers enter the classroom unprepared and with little or no experience in handling such issues as diversity and childhood trauma. The Hechinger Report (9/30)

I hope that agricultural teacher education can continue to collaborate as a profession to ensure that quality candidates are prepared to delivery school-based agricultural education programs wherever there are students and communities in need.


Friday, September 25, 2015

PWP- Personal Web Presence: A grass roots effort is VITAL for School-based Agricultural Education

A teacher I follow on Twitter recently posted a GREAT blog post that clearly articulates what I believe will be important for all teachers in the upcoming years, but most importantly for school-based agricultural education advocates as so, so, so many individuals do not even know that we exist.

The post was written by Alice Keller (@alicekeller). PWP – Personal Web Presence:

“Your Personal Web Presence (PWP) is the message you want to convey with your online presence. What you are passionate about and being intentional about that coming across in your web presence.”

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How has Arizona Career & Technical Education Impacted my life?

A thank you to Ms. Reta Yanik, Westwood High School (Mesa, AZ) Agriscience Teacher for asking me to share!

The Online College Revolution | College Choice

Online learning has already disrupted higher education, as more and more colleges react to student demand by offering classes online. And as our technological capacity expands and classes get better and better, there’s no reason to see the online college revolution as a temporary one

The Online College Revolution | College Choice

Leadership Beliefs (REBLOG: Dangerously Irrelevant, Scott McLeod)

Some of you know that one of my favorite blogs out there is Dangerously Irrelevant: 

Scott McLeod is the author and it is just amazing how so many of the items he shares resonates with me. Today, he shared 14 "leadership beliefs". It is amazing how much I connect or agree with these concepts; especially in regards to school-based agricultural education.
  1. Intentionality. Our work needs to be deep in meaning and rich in purpose
  2. Dream big. Every single one of us needs to be dreaming much bigger when it comes to our students and schools. Learning and teaching and schooling MUST do a better job of being relevant to our new information, economic, and learning landscapes. We can change if we choose to.
  3. Question everything. Everything should be on the table for consideration, including many of our most basic assumptions.
  4. Goal-oriented. No one has time to waste. We should continually ask, ‘Why are we doing this? What will be different as a result of this action, initiative, or meeting?’
  5. Systems approach. We are embedded within systems. We must address the leadership and contextual factors that surround and infuse our work.
  6. Action. Orient toward action. Don’t just talk about it, do it. If it didn’t go as well as you had hoped, learn from it and change it for next time.
  7. Transparency. We deserve openness, honesty, and transparency about our work together. If something is unclear or is causing concern, let’s chat. When in doubt, overcommunicate.
  8. Together. We are the solution. Together we can do anything. Together we can do amazing work. Together we can be remarkable.
  9. Ignore the naysayers. Spend time with folks who go beyond the ‘yes, but’ and embrace the ‘why not?’ and the ‘how can we?’ Those folks get things done, despite the obstacles put before them.
  10. Respect. Everyone brings multitudes of skill and insights to the table. We need to honor people’s voices and talents. Autonomy is a fundamental human need. (I pledge to always respect your ideas, beliefs, expertise, and experience. I pledge to learn from you.)
  11. Kindness. Sniping, backbiting, bullying, and general meanness have no place in either our personal or professional lives. Everyone deserves a happy work environment.
  12. Joy. The workplace can and should be joyful. Enthusiastic fun can coexist with serious work. 
  13. Conflict. Productive, healthy disagreement can get us through roadblocks. Lean into conflict rather than shy away from it. The path to resolution does not start with avoidance.
  14. Ethic of care. You deserve the strongest support and advocacy that leadership can provide. If something’s not working for you, please get in touch.

Monday, August 17, 2015