Monthly Archives: July 2014

Transforming Curriculum

It’s a little on the long side, but here is my final paper for my EDCI 532 course. 

Transforming Curriculum

The field of education has often been compared to a pendulum swinging. In the course of their careers, educators witness swings in pedagogy, methodology and curriculum from the academic, memorization side to the opposing open learning, open concept side. The pendulum of curriculum, however, has a new dramatic addition to consider. The digital age in which society now finds itself, is acting as a catalyst for major changes in curriculum the world over. The content rich, knowledge based curriculum of the past 100 years, is no longer fully applicable to the world students now exist in.  Beliefs about education that were first documented in the early 20th century are being brought into focus to help transform curriculum into a process oriented system, meant to keep up with the rapidly changing technology of the 21st century. The principles of education which are fundamental to all learners from K-12 need to be considered in curriculum changes. These principles include that learning requires active participation of the student, that learning is both an individual and a group process, and that people learn in a variety of ways, and at different rates (B.C. Ministry of Education, 2010, p. 12).

Curriculum is Student Centered

In 1929, John Dewey penned his Pedagogic Creed. Within it, Dewey repeatedly references the need for schools to focus on the interests of the student and on the priority to create real life learning for children.  Curricular changes in the 21st century should allow for these student interests to flourish, should transform the idea of the “More Knowledgeable Other”, and should teach the new literacies emerging from digital technologies.

It has been almost 100 years since Dewey made the connection between student interest, engagement and real world scenarios, yet the need for this focus remains today.  The Premier’s Technology Council report, A Vision for 21st Century Education, (2010) echoes Dewey’s thoughts by claiming “There is a great deal of evidence that students remain more interested in their education if the content is relevant and current. It ensures they are properly engaged in the learning process” (p. 15).  The digital world students are experiencing cannot be isolated from the school environment where they spend their days. Pre-Kindergarten students are already considered digital natives and are entering school with knowledge of digital technologies. Educators and curriculum cannot avoid using technology in classrooms while it is such an integral part of society. Students of all ages are interested in digital learning, and curriculum can no longer be blind to the digital age.

Curriculum, as it is being rewritten for the 21st century, also needs to change from a teacher directed, teacher led style of lesson to a more student focused and student directed style of learning. Vygotsky’s traditional idea of a “More Knowledgeable Other” being a teacher or adult standing in front of a group of students delivering wisdom, is transforming to one where students take pride in their expertise and share their knowledge with others. Technology is one way to aid this shift in thinking. Megan Cicconi (2014) wrote, “Technology now transcends its previous isolative barriers and acts as a conduit for collaboration learning –simultaneously transforming typical students into their peers’ more knowledgeable others” (p. 58). Technology aids students in becoming the more knowledgeable other by providing access to information and collaboration due to the availability and accessibility of the virtual world. It also provides opportunities for introverted or seemingly underachieving students to develop a voice (Attonacci et al., 2008, as cited in Cicconi, 2014, p. 58).

The change to a more student centered curriculum needs to address the new literacies that are being developed in the digital age. Traditionally print and media literacy has been the main source of information in schools. The digital age is creating a new type of literacy, often referred to as digital literacy, which helps to create digital citizenship.  The paper, New Literacies for Digital Citizenship (Simsek & Simsek, 2013) provides a variety of theories and skills considered to be digital literacies. Among these are “information literacy, computer literacy, media literacy, communication literacy, visual literacy, technology literacy” (Covello, 2010, as cited in Simsek &Simsek, 2013, p. 128). These new digital literacy skills must be included in curriculum to help all students understand the digital citizenship and responsibility which accompanies the digital age. Educators are tasked with helping to create responsible citizens, and that now extends to developing responsible digital citizens. As Faith Rogow (2002, as cited in Alper, 2013) writes,

     We don’t wait until children are capable of deciphering the intricacies of a Toni Morrison novel before introducing them to the alphabet. It makes no more sense to wait until children are developmentally able to fully comprehend media messages before introducing them to media literacy skills. To the contrary, if we see media literacy as vital to life in the “Digital Age,” then we should begin the acquisition of that literacy as early as possible. (p. 188)

Curriculum is Collaboration Based

There has been a renewal, in recent years, of the word collaboration in educational circles. The curriculum of the digital age requires a component of collaboration to support student success in life. As collaboration is often described as a process of working with others to produce or create something, students must develop their skills in socialization and higher order thinking

Many educators and curriculum guides stress the importance of socialization in early childhood programs, but as students grow, socialization and communication skills are given less teaching time. In our current digital age, technology allows for communication and socialization for all students, across all ages. One of the goals of the K-12 system is to have students “access and engage with their own content, at their own pace of learning and take an increasing role in charting a path best suited to those talents, interests and abilities”, (BC Premier’s Technology Council, 2010, p. 2). Although individualized learning appears very solitary, Alper (2013) notes, “as learning becomes more individual, it also becomes more social” (Weigel et al., 2009 as cited in Alper, 2013, p. 178). Students require a curriculum that allows the freedom to work with others in person, online and through a variety of means. Students who are introverted, have language deficits or anxiety may benefit from online interaction with peers rather than face to face. Blended learning environments in the future will allow for this type of online socialization to occur.

The development of higher level thinking skills should also be included in curricular change through real world scenarios and collaboration. In the mass media market students live in, critical higher level thinking skills are needed to “allow users of online information to understand that the biases of authors and the selection of appropriate sources play important roles in the validity of information” (Premier’s Technology Council, 2010, p. 10).  Through various apps and programs online and on mobile devices, students are encouraged to work together to create, analyze, and assess their own learning as well as the learning of their peers.  This can be done with students as young as pre-Kindergarten all the way to Grade 12.  Cicconi (2014) explains that the use of technology even in early childhood classes can demonstrate that “technology simultaneously ushers the tasks of creating, evaluating, analyzing, and applying through collaboration into the classroom” (p. 64).

Curriculum is Active

Education systems have traditionally held the belief that students should be seated at a desk, table, or carpet area where they silently soak up knowledge from their teacher. In order for students to become knowledgeable regarding the process of learning, curriculum and methodology require a transformation to a more active, creative, process oriented classroom model. Curricular changes should embody the idea of encouraging the whole child, not just the academic, and must allow for students to ask questions and investigate their thinking.

Sir Ken Robinson, in his TED talk in 2006, declared that “creativity now is as important in education as literacy.” Students enter school with a wide variety of talents, passions and interests. Curriculum that seeks to stifle the creative side of students will inhibit their curiosity and their sense of inquiry.  In A Vision for 21st Century Education, (B.C. Premier’s Technology Council, 2010) the council observed that “the children of tomorrow, indeed the students of today, will have to be flexible enough to adapt to an incredible pace of change” (p. 7). Curriculum in the 21st century should allow for student growth to be messy and non-linear. Students are already using technology to create content rich videos, collages, and more to document their learning process outside of the school community. Curriculum must allow students the opportunity to “generate new ideas and concepts, to see information in a different way from others, and to approach issues from a different direction than others” (B.C. Premier’s Technology Council, 2010, p. 10). If education is to truly encompass the divergent nature of intelligence, curriculum must reflect the diversity. As Sir Ken Robinson states, “we think about the world in all the ways we experience it. We think visually, we think in sound, we think kinesthetically. We think in abstract terms, we think in movement” (2006). A curriculum that incorporates and encourages creativity will allow for innovative citizens.

Curriculum for all students in the K-12 system should reflect the importance of play based or inquiry based learning. A major focus in early childhood curriculum is the importance of play and, in the younger years, students are provided with many opportunities to explore their world. Educators of young students know that during active play, children develop communication, self-regulation and academic skills. Curriculum should include a version of play for all students in the form of inquiry based learning; this will look different for the various developmental levels of K-12 learners. In the older years, technological play within inquiry affords older students opportunities to use their creative talents to build on their “innate curiosity and sense of wonder” (B.C. Ministry of Education, 2010, p. 19). Inquiry based learning allows the development of many other curricular areas mentioned, including student interest, creativity, collaboration and higher order thinking skills.

The focus of curriculum for many years has been content oriented. Students learn facts for an exam, essay or presentation and then quickly forget what they have learned. In the information rich world of the digital age, the focus of curriculum should now be on the process of learning, rather than the content.  The idea that information is at the tip of one’s fingers negates the need to memorize mindless facts. Learning skills to succeed in the changing 21st century world is “important because the content relevant to a student’s interests is constantly changing and growing” (B.C. Premiers Technology Council, 2010, p. 15). Allowing students an opportunity to discuss how they mastered a concept or developed a theory gives them the chance to evaluate their own learning and to grow from it.

Conclusion

Three principles of learning are at the core of curricular change in the 21st century. The draft curriculum by the B.C. Ministry of Education includes the ideas that education requires active student participation, that learning can be individual or social, and that students learn differently. Each of these principles validates a use for technology in schools, as technology is part of the everyday lives of students. Technology acts as a collaborative tool, invoking creativity, socialization and problem solving skills for students of all ages and abilities. Educators need to prepare students to be responsible citizens and to embrace the fast paced changes of the digital world. The students of the 21st century must acquire the flexibility and creativity to thrive and succeed in an unknown future, for, as Jean Luc Picard said, “That is what it is to be human. To make yourself more than you are.” (Berman & Baird, 2002)

References

Alper, M. (2013). Developmentally appropriate new media literacies: Supporting cultural competencies and social skills in early childhood education. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 13(2), 175-196. doi:10.1177/1468798411430101

Berman, R. (Producer), & Baird, S. (Director). (2002). Star trek: Nemesis. [Motion Picture] United States: Paramount Puctures.

British Columbia. Ministry of Education. (2010). Full day kindergarten program guide. Victoria, B.C: Ministry of Education.

British Columbia. Premier’s Technology Council. (2010). A vision for 21st century education: Premier’s technology council. Victoria, B.C.: Premier’s Technology Council.

British Columbia. Ministry of Education. (2012). BC’s education plan. Victoria, B.C: British Columbia Ministry of Education.

Cicconi, M. (2014). Vygotsky meets technology: A reinvention of collaboration in the early childhood mathematics classroom. Early Childhood Education Journal, 42(1), 57-65. doi:10.1007/s10643-013-0582-9

Dewey, J. (1929). My Pedagogic Creed. In D. Flinders & S. Thornton (Eds.), The Curriculum Studies Reader (pp. 34 – 41). New York: Routledge.

Robinson, K. (2006, June). Sir Ken Robinson: How schools kill creativity [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity

Simsek, E., & Simsek, A. (2013). New Literacies for Digital Citizenship. Online Submission, 4(3), 126-137.

 

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Characteristics of 21st Century Learning

Educators, politicians and the general public believe that education has undergone a variety of major shifts and growth over the past 100 years. Policy makers, curriculum writers and teachers believe that the next major shift in education is upon us: 21st century learning. Methods for 21st Century learning are being shared worldwide instantly through social media and technology conferences. However, there is no absolute certainty about what current students in the education system will need to be successful in the future due to the rapid changes in technology. Among the many characteristics of 21st century learning being discussed in various forums, I feel learning in today’s classroom should be student-centered, should encourage communication skills, and should reflect the real world with its many challenges.

A student-centered approach to education is not a new concept to the 21st century. In 1929, while writing My Pedagogic Creed, John Dewey observed, “Education, therefore, must begin with a psychological insight into the child’s capacities, interests and habits” (p. 34). Children of all ages will not become engaged in their learning if the subject matter is of little or no interest to them. The educator can no longer simply impart “bits of information to be deposited in the students” (Freire, 1979, 2013, p. 160) but rather should seek to understand where the student is coming from and what they want to learn. Student centered learning also must take into account what their capabilities are. Asking a child to do a task beyond their developmental stage does nothing to encourage further learning, and often leaves the student discouraged. Dewey (1929) writes, “The active side precedes the passive in the development of the child-nature; that expression comes before conscious impressions; that the muscular development precedes the sensory; that movements come before the conscious sensations” (p. 39). The learning environment of the 21st century must allow the child to be active, not passive. We must have a genuine interest in the world of the child so that we may understand him/her. Even when we attempt to bring new technologies into the classroom, educators need to ensure the content has meaning to the students, and is not just there as a gimmick to be used. In a study done on massively multiplayer online games, a hypothesis was posed that the higher amount of interest during gameplay would have a positive effect on the engagement of the students (Eseryal, 2014, p. 45). The results of the study showed “interest and competence negatively predicted engagement” (Eseryal, 2014, p. 49). When questioned by the researchers, the students explained that the game did not fulfill their expectations, but that “gameplay was the only classroom activity during the class session”(Eseryal, 2014, p.49). Allowing only one activity for all students, does not address the variety of interests and capabilities present in any classroom situation.  As Dewey (1929) stated, “the constant and careful observation of interests is of the utmost importance for the educator” (p. 38). While technology may appeal to children, it is imperative that we match student interest to the digital media they are using.

The 21st century learning environment should also have a focus on communication skills. In New Literacies for Digital Citizenship, Kress (2010, p.6, as cited in Simsek, 2013) states, “that the communication practices transformed from reading and writing to designing and distributing” (p. 127). In order to communicate in the new, digital, 21st century learning environment, students and educators must be able to not only speak, read, and write, but have an understanding of blogging, tweeting, posting and more. Dewey (1929) believed “that the individual who is to be educated is a social individual” (p. 34) and a great part of that socialization is the ability to communicate. Communication has grown from the simple face to face conversation, to pen and paper reports and letters, to discourse handled instantly across digital means. However, our learners need to have an understanding of how to communicate in person as well as digitally. In Nancy Perry’s paper, Helping Young Students Become Self-Regulated Researchers and Writers (2002), the teacher she observed for a year, spent a large amount of time in the fall creating a learning community where students felt respected, valued and listened to. The learning environment in her classroom has the rule of “no putdowns” (Perry, 2002, p. 304) and she uses circle times and sharing to facilitate “encouragement and constructive criticism” (Perry, 2002, p. 304). Educators need to help guide this classroom culture of respectful communication for others into the world of digital communication and citizenship.

The last characteristic I chose of an effective 21st century learning environment is the inclusion of real world scenarios and problems. Students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and belief systems. If we wish to encourage them to be a contributing member of society, they must learn how to function in and understand the community. School should “exhibit these activities to the child and reproduce them in such ways that the child will gradually learn the meaning of them, and be capable of playing his own part in relation to them” (Dewey, 1929, p. 35). For example, the process of learning basic addition can simulate the real world by using a make believe grocery store. It not only teaches the students the process of adding numbers, but allows them the opportunities to make choices, wait in a line, bag products and figure out what to do when stock runs out.  As Noddings (2013) wrote, “real-life meaning is fundamental in learning to communicate, in developing the willingness to face changes and engage in analysis, self-reflection, and problem solving” (p. 402).  Using real world scenarios also allows students to learn an appreciation for and a love of the world in which they exist. Students are exposed to a wide variety of images in the multimedia world we live in, and often come to school with preconceived notions of how to treat others.  Using real world social media tools like twitter and blogging can provide educators with an opportunity to model appropriate digital citizenship. In Simsek and Simsek’s paper on New Literacies for Digital Citizenship (2013), digital responsibility, ethics and behaviours were mentioned throughout in several domains, theories and literacies for this new age.

In conclusion, there are many characteristics and skills which will be deemed important as the digital age continues to move forward. We, as educators, will have to reflect on the importance of past educational theories mentioned by such greats as Dewey and Freire, while we integrate new skills, literacies and methods.  We cannot remain stagnant in the belief that to educate is to impart great knowledge on our charges. Instead we must realize that we are here to facilitate student interest and communication. Ultimately we are here to guide them in their understanding of the digital world they are living in.

 References

 Dewey, J. (1929). My Pedagogic Creed. In D. Flinders& S. Thornton (Eds.), The Curriculum Studies Reader (pp. 33 – 40). New York: Routledge.

Eseryel, D., Law, V., Ifenthaler, D., Ge, X., & Miller, R. (2014). An investigation of the  interrelationships between motivation, engagement, and complex problem solving in game-based learning. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 17(1), n/a-53.

Freire, P. (1979, 2013). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. In D. Flinders& S. Thornton (Eds.), The Curriculum Studies Reader (pp. 157 – 165). New York: Routledge.

Noddings, N. (2013). Curriculum for the 21st Century. In D. Flinders& S. Thornton (Eds.), The Curriculum Studies Reader (pp. 399 – 405). New York: Routledge.

Perry, N., & Drummond, L. (2002). Helping young students become self-regulated researchers and writers. The Reading Teacher, 56(3), 298-310.

Simsek, E., & Simsek, A. (2013). New Literacies for Digital Citizenship. Online Submission4(3), 126-137.

 

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Bibliography on Technology in Early Childhood Education

I chose to do my bibliography for EDCI 591 on Technology and Early Childhood.  My focus right now has been a little scattered on this topic, so instead of focussing on just one area of technology with young children, I tried to find articles on the “big” picture. I hope to read many of these as I  discover exactly what direction I want to take and what my big question will be on this MEd journey. (It is not in the formal APA format at this time, as I could not figure out how to format WordPress for it. Apologies.)

Bibliography

Alper, M. (2013). Developmentally appropriate new media literacies: Supporting cultural competencies and social skills in early childhood education. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 13(2), 175-196.                             doi:10.1177/1468798411430101

Blackwell, C. K., Lauricella, A. R., & Wartella, E. (2014). Factors influencing digital technology use in early childhood education. Computers & Education, 77, 82-90. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2014.04.013

Blackwell, C. K., Lauricella, A. R., Wartella, E., Robb, M., & Schomburg, R. (2013). Adoption and use of technology in early education. Computers & Education, 69, 310.

Cicconi, M. (2014). Vygotsky meets technology: A reinvention of collaboration in the early childhood mathematics classroom. Early Childhood Education Journal, 42(1), 57-65. doi:10.1007/s10643-013-0582-9

Dooley, C. M., Flint, A. S., Holbrook, T., May, L., & Albers, P. (2011). The digital frontier in early childhood education. Language Arts, 89(2), 83.

Eagle, S. (2012). Learning in the early years: Social interactions around picturebooks, puzzles and digital technologies. Computers & Education, 59(1), 38-49. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2011.10.013

Guomundsdottir, G. B., & Hardersen, B. (2012). The digital universe of young children. Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 7(3), 221-226.

Hardersen, B. (2012). Digital competence in the kindergarten sector. Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 7(3), 227-230.

Howard, J., Miles, G. E., & Rees-Davies, L. (2012). Computer use within a play-based early years curriculum Routledge. doi:10.1080/09669760.2012.715241

Lin, C. (2012). Application of a model for the integration of technology in kindergarten: An empirical investigation in Taiwan. Early Childhood Education Journal, 40(1), 5-17. doi:10.1007/s10643-011-0494-5

Lynch, J., & Redpath, T. (2014). ‘Smart’ technologies in early years literacy education: A meta-narrative of paradigmatic tensions in iPad use in an Australian preparatory classroom. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 14(2), 147-174. doi:10.1177/1468798412453150

Mohammad, H., & Mohammad, M. (2012). Computer integration into the early childhood curriculum. Education, 133(1), 97-116.

Northrop, L., & Killeen, E. (2013). A framework for using iPads to build early literacy skills. The Reading Teacher, 66(7), 531.

Parette, H. P., Hourcade, J. J., Blum, C., Watts, E. H., Stoner, J. B., Wojcik, B. W., & Chrismore, S. B. (2013). Technology user groups and early childhood education: A preliminary study. Early Childhood Education Journal, 41(3), 171-179. doi:10.1007/s10643-012-0548-3

Peluso, D. C. (2012). The fast-paced iPad revolution: Can educators stay up to date and relevant about these ubiquitous devices? British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(4), E125.

Plowman, L., & McPake, J. (2013). Seven myths about young children and technology. Childhood Education, 89(1), 27-33.

Sandvik, M. (2012). Digital practices in the kindergarten. Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 7(3), 152-154.

Siegle, D. (2013). iPads: Intuitive technology for 21st-century students. Gifted Child Today, 36(2), 146-150. doi:10.1177/1076217512474983

Turja, L., Endepohls-Ulpe, M., & Chatoney, M. (2009). A conceptual framework for developing the curriculum and delivery of technology education in early childhood. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 19(4), 353-365. doi:10.1007/s10798-009-9093-9

Zaranis, N., Kalogiannakis, M., & Papadakis, S. (2013). Using mobile devices for teaching realistic mathematics in kindergarten e

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Attack of the Immune System

Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? I’ll preface this post with: I AM FINE. I really am. I am just having an emotional, dramatic response to something today because I am, well, an emotional, dramatic person.

I found out today that my immune system is “attacking” my thyroid. Not life ending. Not even life changing. But still, I am having an emotional, dramatic response. You see, my immune system already took out my pancreas 33 years ago, and the diabetes affected my retinas. Now, the immune system is targeting my thyroid.  This apparently happens to a percentage of Type 1 Diabetics. I got this instead of neuropathy or kidney disease. I’d rather have thyroid issues than those other things.

In my dramatic, over-emotional head, this feels big though. I tend to internalize all my health issues. Growing up with what was called, “a life threatening” disease affected me. It has caused panic whenever I feel a lump.  It has forced me to realize that when I get a chest cold, it could turn into pneumonia. I have to be aware of how I feel 24/7. That is my reality. But I didn’t see this one coming.

My gentle doctor asked me if I was more tired lately, but I have attributed that to teaching K/1, being a union activist, going on strike and starting a Masters degree. He asked if I sometimes feel muddled and unclear. I again attributed that to the reasons I was tired. He asked if I was putting on weight. Well, d’uh, I like to eat carbs and my only real physical activity is chasing 5 and 6 year olds around. Apparently, all of this could be because my thyroid isn’t working right.

My thyroid will never be what it was. Neither will my pancreas. I’ll add taking pills to the list of things I do daily to keep my quality of life good. It’s not a big thing. It’s not going to kill me and it’s just a pill every day. But right now, for today, it’s a big thing. It’s an adjustment. It’s something else to read up on and be aware of.

Today, I will process and somehow writing this out makes it a little better.

Thanks.

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Précis on My Pedagogic Creed by John Dewey

John Dewey begins his pedagogic creed with his idea of education.. He describes it as a process which all people undertake from an age of near infancy and explains that it shapes each human continually. The educational process, according to Dewey, has two equal and related sides: the psychological and the sociological. For an individual to be educated, they must be a social individual whose capabilities, skills and interests have been investigated, interpreted and encouraged. Dewey believes that school is meant to be a social place, where real life is presented and the child’s learning is scaffolded onto the familiar. In doing so, the simplified social relations of the adult world may be experienced and learned by the child in order to lessen his apprehension.  Curricular subjects at Dewey’s ideal social institution are not independent of each other, but interrelated and social. They grow out of each child’s experiences and have no set plan for all. Method in Dewey’s Pedagogic Creed focuses on the child’s interests and development, where the interests of the child are the focus and active development precedes passive. Observational insight into the developmental stage of the child foretells the ensuing stage he will enter, and a focus on developing proper imagery is considered vital to education. Dewey concludes his Pedagogic Creed by describing education as the primary method for social progress and for cultural reform. The ideal school is a place where individual character can be influenced by the community; where the teacher is not just instructing each individual child, but helping to form a proper society.

Reference

Dewey, J. (1929). My Pedagogic Creed. In D. Flinders & S. Thornton (Eds.), The Curriculum Studies Reader (pp. 34 – 41). New York: Routledge

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The Galaxy Known as Curriculum

I’d like for you to take a moment and picture a starry night sky; dark as ink, nary a cloud in sight, bright beacons of wishes and promises above you. This is how I envision curriculum. Night Sky

The galaxy is this massive system of billions of stars, surrounded by gases and dust, and all held together by a huge gravitational attraction. Imagine if you would, that each of those twinkling lights up there is an outcome, an objective, as Egan wrote the “what” that we try to lead our students to. Each of those stars can be orbited by their own planetary objects, which represents prior knowledge or skills which our students need in order to master the larger outcome. Some of those stars are closer to us, and we will reach them sooner than others. Some have more weight and some share their solar system with other stars. Some knowledge is easier to reach, some knowledge will come sooner than others, and some of our outcomes carry more weight than others.

Take those stars and look where they are clustered. They shine through the darkness, creating images from our past: Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Orion, Gemini, and more. These constellations are images of curriculum working together across disciplines; music meshing with language and mathematics, the sciences blending with sculpture and movement. One can link these stars together to create a bigger picture, a larger understanding.

The galaxy, as immense as it is, appears unchanging, yet it evolves and transforms every day, hour and minute. New stars are born from gases and dust as they combine together in the gravitational crockpot. Old stars collapse and become the swirling dust and debris needed to further encourage growth and change in the sky. Curriculum reacts the same way. Methodology evolves, educational trends develop, and pedagogy has phases of innovation. Through it all, educators must sift through the debris and find ways for our students to pursue their passions, interests and skills, all while reaching for those luminous orbs in the sky.

Spiral Galaxy

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