Thursday, February 27, 2014

Something for Higher Education and something for K12 today February 27 2014

Sometimes some things are so interesting that I have to share more than just one.

On the K12 side, I was very pleased to see this article because it is something that I truly believe in, as do many teachers; but yet school policies do not always allow this to happen.

“Suspensions Should Be Last Resort”

“U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced their new guidelines at Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore, which is a shining example of a public school that has seen marked student improvement since it changed its discipline practices and implemented other reforms to improve student achievement.”

“Every school must create climates where everyone feels safe and respected and where every child has the opportunity to succeed. Schools should be safe, welcoming, and respectful, with meaningful professional development, wraparound services to meet children's health and social service needs, and alternatives to suspensions. But policies in a vacuum without real resources and support will not succeed.”

The zero tolerance approach so desperately needs to be changed, because students are not the enemy.

On the higher education side, I found this worth thinking about, especially since I teach in a non-traditional environment.


“Teaching Nontraditional Students Calls for a Nontraditional Lesson Plan”

“The takeaway: It’s no secret that the number of nontraditional students has been trending upwards on many college campuses in recent years. The economic downturn has brought older adults back to school, and many institutions are widening their nets to attract older students for continuing-education programs.”

“But that demographic change comes with a challenge: When college students bring more life experience to the classroom, professors have some catching up to do.”

Recommendations for new professors:

“Know your audience. Figure out how the older adults in your classroom learn, try to get a sense of the reasons why they’re in college, and be clear about how the content of your course can be immediately useful to them.”

“Create a welcoming environment. Adult learners need to feel confident and safe to participate alongside their younger classmates. Be clear about the learning goals and objectives of your course.”

“Respect that they have different learning styles. Older adults tend to learn at their own pace, not at the pace of their instructors. Be sure that your teaching practices are in alignment with your students’ learning, and provide curriculum tailored to the cultural backgrounds of your students.”

“Recognize that they will likely want to share their own experiences in discussions. Encourage older students to speak up and participate in class activities so they don’t feel like the “old man” or “old woman” pariah sitting in the corner of the classroom.”

“Be flexible and provide support for life-changing events. There’s no getting around the fact that, from time to time, these may occur in your students’ lives. Remember, they must balance work, family, and school.”

Good simple advice and we should constantly be revaluating as we teach our classes.

Happy Thursday!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

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