Friday, March 4, 2011

It's not the test; it's the timing of the test....


Recent #ecosys Twitter (EcoSys: Exploring the future of K12 Education) chat surrounding the issue of common core curricular standards has me thinking about how EduKare would respond to the issue. In the interest of furthering the EduKare thought experiment, like everything else about an EduKare approach to teaching and learning, the element of assessment would require a series of small shifts as opposed to piecemeal change. Twisting the lens regarding how we view the role of assessment in education allows EduKare proponents to use their best integrative thinking to identify currently useful elements of assessment, and insightful, informed ways to improve them. Despite what some educators appear to believe, it's essential that we know what kids know.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fundamental EduKare... balance and adaptabilty

flickr photo by Tom Hilton

Earlier this month I attended the annual Alberta Initiative for School Improvement (AISI) Conference. The purpose of the AISI Conference is to showcase a wide variety of Education Department-funded action research projects from all over the province. It was evident that a large number of teachers in Alberta take being involved in embedded action research within their schools very seriously... a good thing. A colleague pointed out to me today as we reflected on our experiences at the conference that although he was undoubtedly impressed by the broad range of research and results teachers were experiencing, each project was contextualized locally according to the needs, goals and environment surrounding it. We agreed that some of the projects were so specific and specialized that they simply wouldn't be adaptable in different situations. This is a problem that EduKare seeks to solve.

Large scale system transformation efforts must be grounded in foundational philosophical elements so the integrity of the process is transferable from school to school. They have to possess universal qualities allowing them to find balance by adapting to unique school contexts. Two fundamental systems quality attributes of an EduKare environment are flexibility and adaptability. If EduKare is to scale effectively in different school environments, it has to be able to fit different environmental school contexts. EduKare schools must demonstrate that they routinely balance their priorities toward providing services to address locally identified social, emotional, physical and educational needs, and they also must display adaptability with respect to addressing these needs in their unique social, physical and political environments.

EduKare- Believe it and you'll see it....

 flickr photo via Takanori Ishikawa

When I shop for new stuff I have a tendency to look for unique qualities in whatever I'm shopping for. Even in the most mundane consumer items I find myself being impressed by qualities that set them apart from their more predictable comparables. An element as simple as color can make an item look totally exclusive... at least until you buy it and bring it home; then all you see for the next few weeks is similar items in the same color. I know of what I speak; this happens every time I buy a new vehicle. When I'm not looking for it, I don't see the color I ultimately choose to buy. After I buy it, I see it everywhere. The thing is we become situationally blind to that which we aren't looking for. This inattentional blindness prevents us from perceiving things that are essentially hiding in plain view.
Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

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