Aug 27

Taylorism: An Education Assessment

taylorism Taylorism came under the leadership of Frederick W. Taylor in the early twentieth century (Spring, 2011). Taylorism was known as pre-packaged scientific management like factory workers working under controlled environments. According to Au (2011), teachers use standardized testing and scripted curriculum in a controlled corporate environment in classrooms. Because of this pre-packaged curriculum, there are rigid controls placed on teachers and the curriculum is viewed as teaching to the standardized tests instead of teaching to student needs and styles. Teachers are viewed as forming factory workers through these controlled environments. School administrators, teachers, and legislators must realize the need for individualized student needs in how they plan, teach, and assess achievement. Not all students learn in the same methods; therefore, not all students can be assessed with the same techniques. Students at the pre-k level can be assessed through observation and interview as well as through forms of standardized testing. Older students can be assessed in similar methods based on their learning styles; however, standardized testing should not be the final assessment measures in determining student knowledge and achievement. These assessment techniques require more work on administrators and teachers, but allow them to perform more professionally rather than as factory-controlled workers.

Spring, J. (2011). The American School: A Global Context from the Puritans to the Obama Era. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Au, W. (2011). Teaching under the new Taylorism: high-stakes testing and the standardization of the 21st century curriculum. Journal Of Curriculum Studies, 43(1), 25-45. doi:10.1080/00220272.2010.521261

 

Aug 23

Pre-K Students choosing Learning Centers

To avoid a free-for-all atmosphere in a pre-k classroom at center time, have the students take the responsibility to place their own markers or sticks on center signs. In this class, the teacher made apple signs with velcro dots for the appropriate number of students allowed in each center. Students have green sticks painted like a worm with their names printed on them. Once the dots are full on the signs, then students must move on to another center. When students are finished working in that center, they take their worms with them to the next learning center. Students begin to actually remind classmates: Where’s your worm?

Then at the end of center time when it is time to clean up for the day, students place their worms back on the big red apple near the door to be ready for the next day.

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Aug 23

Teacher Gifts to Start the Year

Here is a great inspirational idea for teacher gifts at the start of a new school year. Or this gift could be given at any time of the year for that matter.

Tie a bouquet of markers together with a ribbon. Hole punch a card and a packet of seeds together and attach to the marker bouquet with the ribbon.

On the card:

Making Marks and Planting Seeds in Early Christian Education

(Note: You may need to adjust the Christian Education part if you are in a non-faith based environment.)

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Aug 22

100 Days 100 Books

One of the highlights of the school year in pre-k is counting up to the 100th day of school. We started our count this year and decided to add another element to the count: 100 books.

The students will add a circle a day with the number and the book they feature that day. Stay tuned to this blog for updates and count with us up to 100. We hope to be able to count by 10′s, 5′s, and maybe by 2′s as well.

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Aug 20

Lesson Plans must meet Student Interests

Johann Herbart contributed to the Harbartian movement to introduce and provide class lesson plans for any class size (Spring, 2011, 251). Teachers needed a formal lesson plan with instruction and classroom organization to prepare students for the workplace. With the development of lesson plans, supervisors could quickly glance on teacher activity and evaluate order and planning. Spring stated an idea that “perception is the first stage in cognition, but its equally important correlative is apperception, or mental assimilation” (Spring, 2011, 251). The most effective instructional method is for material to be presented to interest students. Teachers must organize lesson plans with subject matter that is of interest to students. If they are not interested in the material, then they will lack the motivation to participate and accomplish the learning standards.

 Teaching History’s article stated that teachers were confined to departmental lesson guidelines and lacked the freedom to cater plans to student interests. In the article, Simon Montfort welcomed the prepared lesson guides at first but soon became frustrated and struggled with the restrictions. Simon’s mentor worked with the system to coordinate his lesson plan ideas with the structured ones; however, he continued to struggle with the department head’s approval. He and his mentor devised a plan to work with the lesson plans and see a broader picture of the department’s expectations and he could incorporate his plans. Lesson planning must remember, “presentation is organized so that the material is related to previous interests and knowledge” (Spring, 2011, 251). Teachers must use previous experiences and ideas to build upon new material at student interests.

Spring, J. (2011). The American School: A Global Context from the Puritans to the Obama Era. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

This issue’s problem: Simon Montfort is given very little freedom to learn how to plan. (2013). Teaching History, (150), 56-59.

Aug 19

The Existentialist in You

“The teacher should look for the ‘potentiality and wisdom of the person’ and work for self-directed change on the part of the learner” (Ozmon, 2012, 228). In existentialism, the teacher is the facilitator to guide students to discover and explore learning on their own learning styles and levels. Students learn best by doing and the teacher must guard against showing and directing and allow the students to explore and discover to reach their own understanding. As a pre-k teacher, the learner uses existentialism on a daily basis as she serves as class facilitator in allowing students to discover learning centers and activities. She leads students to discover learning on their own levels with the end result to be that of “fully functioning persons” (Ozmon, 2012, 228). She ultimately desires for her students to be successful in the early years of school to high school and on into adulthood. An existentialist gives her students the freedom to grow and explore on their own.

Ozmon, H. (2012) Philosophical Foundations of Education. Boston: Pearson.

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