Read Think Change — Striving for Excellence

February 26, 2010

Learning Walks

Filed under: Global Acheivement Gap — jnuparksie @ 6:01 pm

Wagner talks about doing “learning walks” in schools–simply walking through a school and making unplanned visits to classrooms to see what kind of learning is going on. What would we find if we did this in Juneau schools? Would it be acceptable? How many teachers are really comfortable with surprise visits? How many administrators are really familiar with what’s going on day-to-day in their buildings?

February 23, 2010

Where and how should kids be learning “soft” skills?

Filed under: Global Acheivement Gap — jnuparksie @ 10:51 pm
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On page 26, Wagner quotes a Mike Summers, a V.P. at Dell Computers.  “’Kids just out of school have an amazing lack of preparedness in general leadership skills…They lack the ability to influence versus direct and command…Students have a naïveté about how work gets done in the corporate environment.  They have a predisposition toward believing that everything is
clearly outlined, and then people give directions, and then other people execute until there’s a new set of directions.  They don’t understand the complexities of an organization—that boundaries are fluid, that rarely does one group have everything they need to get a job done.  How do you influence things that are out of your direct control?’”  What is the best way to learn skills like leadership
through influence and persuasion, rather than directives?  Would this be an appropriate use of classroom time?

Career-Curriculum Connections?

Filed under: Global Acheivement Gap — jnuparksie @ 10:50 pm
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Wagner asserts that contemporary curricula do not prepare students for careers in science and engineering, and that the U.S. has a damaging lack of people currently at these jobs.  Do you think your classes, or any classes you’ve observed, prepare students for any career or industry in particular?  How should this affect the way that class is taught?

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