Sunday, February 15, 2009

This Week's Issue

Four comments on four articles from the Feb. 11 issue of Education Week:
  • When comparing U.S. teacher professional training to top-performing European and Asian countries the U.S. teacher training takes place in isolation and not in on-the-job training or in a school-based setting. Training that included less than 14 hours had little effect but programs that included 30-100 hours over six months positively influenced student achievement. ("Staff Development for Teachers Deemed Fragmented")
  • Interactive web galleries and video provide a great alternative for field trips. In seasons of budget reduction and the need to maximize our classroom time some of these sites provide resources for online field trips or EFT, Electronic Field Trips ("Virtual Field Trips Open Doors for Multimedia Lessons"):
    1) The Virtual Smithsonian,
    2) Jet Propulsion Lab at NASA,
    3) Nationial Geographic Expeditions Online,
    4) Ball State University Electronic Field Trips,
    5) Colonial Williamsburg
  • There is a need and a demand for students to graduate with career skills, but in the push to prepare all students for college career skills get neglected. Business and industry groups say that high-wage jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree often go unfilled. "Industry after industry is going after high-skilled laborers and cannot find them," says a former assistant U.S. secretary of labor. ("Career Skills Said to Get Short Shrift")
  • There is a push to use graphic novels (comic books) to capture students for reading. "There are multiple studies to suggest that students who read comics go on to read more, and to read more varied literature," said an English professor. This article also included an image from a comic book series produced by middle school students. ("Scholars See Comics as No Laughing Matter")

Mr. Wiemers

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