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In Schools We Trust Book Discussion

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This is a book discussion on our summer reading selection, In Schools We Trust, by Deborah Meier. Some of the debate points are unique to our Peoria Notre Dame High School world.

This is a book discussion on our summer reading selection, In Schools We Trust, by Deborah Meier. Some of the debate points are unique to our Peoria Notre Dame High School world.

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  • 1. Teachers Take On In Schools We Trust : A Book Discussion
  • 2. Learning in the Company of Adults
    • Greater, not less, intimacy between generations is at the heart of all the best school reform efforts around today and is the surest path to restoring public trust in public education – while also enhancing the capacity for creativity and novelty, which earlier forms of apprenticeship learning often downgraded (13).
  • 3.
    • The kind of company I want children to keep with adults is essential to learning. And the key building block of this relationship between student and teacher is trust (13).
  • 4.
    • The key was that we risked showing ourselves as learners alongside the students (14).
    • There is no way to get around it: the willingness to take risks , ask questions, and make mistakes is a requirement for the development of expertise (14).
  • 5.
    • … but that their teachers learn the same way they do, and that it’s what we do with our mistakes that makes us worthy of our authority (19).
    TEACHERS… There is no way to avoid doing something dumb when you are inexperienced or lacking in knowledge, except by not trying at all , insisting you don’t care , or aren’t interested (18).
  • 6.
    • If we begin to see all the kids who come to us in school as possessing quite remarkably complex skills that are springboards to doing equally well in a host of new learning topics, we’d be on our way to imagining new ways to approach teaching (17).
  • 7. 7 Components That Make Schools “Work” First Schools that work are safe. Discussion on different definitions of what it means to have a “safe” school environment.
  • 8.
    • Second
    • Schools that work do their best to reproduce the ratios that make for successful learning:
    • smaller classes
    • multi-age classes
    • older students working with younger
    • adult volunteers
    • activities that cut across age and skill levels.
    7 Components That Make Schools “Work”
  • 9.
    • Third
    • Schools that work make it possible for those precious experts – even if they are only slightly more expert – to show their stuff, to display and demonstrate both their passion and their skill in highly personal ways (not just to talk about what they’re good at but actually to do their stuff alongside of novices.)
    7 Components That Make Schools “Work”
  • 10.
    • Fourth
    • Schools that work offer a range of ways for learners to find their way around any new domain of knowledge, and more than one way to become good at science or history.
    7 Components That Make Schools “Work”
  • 11.
    • Fifth
    • Such schools offer plenty of time for ideas to grow, and they don’t set rigid timetables.
    7 Components That Make Schools “Work”
  • 12.
    • Sixth
    • Schools that build around this style of learning do their best to make schooling engaging and fun.
    7 Components That Make Schools “Work”
  • 13.
    • Seventh
    • Such schools know that what one is learning needs to have lots of possible hooks to other things and thus leads itself to being practiced in the normal course of living (20-22).
    7 Components That Make Schools “Work”
  • 14. One teaches best by listening and learns best by telling (23).
  • 15. Experiments in Trust
    • Small schools represent a different vision of what it means to educate all children well, and what it would take to do so in the public sector (25).
  • 16.
    • Debate Point
    • Space…
    • To what extent is the school driven by furniture?
    • Principal has no formal office…it removes the formality and spatial intimidation that a desk and big office offers.
  • 17.
    • Debate Point
    • Textbook-Driven Courses…
    • Can our courses be taught without textbooks?
  • 18.
    • Debate Point
    • Real Learning…
    • How do you define what it means to be well-educated?
    • How does learning best takes place?
    • What you think learning looks like at age 5, 15, or 18?
  • 19.
    • Debate Point
    • Teacher Evaluations…
    • Teachers should be
    • observing and evaluating other teachers instead of administrators always doing the evaluations.
  • 20.
    • Debate Point
    • Teacher Evaluations [cont.]…
    • What’s wrong with holding each other accountable? pg. 67
    • Ex: Math curriculum: Why don’t you teach what everyone else does?
    • How to handle confrontation…conflict resolution in teaching subjects…
  • 21.
    • Debate Point
    • Standardized Testing…
    • Can be very damaging for some students.
    • How do you address the issue of:
    • test bias?
    • test preparation?
    • pressure from colleges to score high on ACT & SAT?
    • Small school idea allows for more:
    • concentrated learning
    • real-world learning
    • project-based learning
  • 22. Photograph Credits
    • Fotosearch.com
    • 0051340
    • K0318908
    • K0176398
    • Corbis:
    • 42-17678875
    • 42-15603822
    • 42-20326171
    • 42-21233563
    • 42-16738131
    • S0205-161
    • 42-21526720
    • 42-19861882
    • 42-20713764
    • 100685-272
    • 42-17225230
    • 42-21402218
    • 42-20817296
    • 42-19947457
    • 42-18525456
    • CBR003954
    • 42-19034558
    • 42-22065072
    • 42-15522555