Connections: Current Trends, Challenges & Issues in Education
Below are my 5 connections starting with the most influential to the least:1. No Child Left Behind2. Differentiated Instruction3. Student-Centered Learning4. Literacy Coaching5. Youth Dropout Rate
NCLB was implemented with the hopes to improve student achievement and hold all involved more accountable. An unsettling outcome of this act is high-stakes testing.
This has become a controversial ISSUE due to increased focus on basic skills instead of meaningful, life-long learning. Teachers are “teaching to the test”
NCLB is extremely influential to students because it affects the progress and future of each student (Duffy, 2008).Ex. There is a female student at our school that does well in her high school classes. She made a 4 on her EOC. (Keep in mind that many teachers are teaching to the test for job security.) On the flip side, she failed all of her college classes she was enrolled in at the same time. She lacks the ability to be an active participant in her learning and it shows in her college classes.
To promote a high quality education teachers must produce a learning environment in which students want to learn. This means differentiating instruction to meet everyone’s needs. Teachers must also allow students to participate in respectful work while maintaining a flexible working relationship (Logan, 2011). A few ways to differentiate instruction: • Give students choices • Create learning contracts • Provide learning centers • Provide a variety of resources/reading material about the topic
This is a growing TREND because our classrooms are more diverse than ever and youth dropout rates are not decreasing. I ranked this as second most influential because differentiated instruction is the key to ensuring that you reach every child in that classroom.
I had a male student who came in my classwith little intention of learning. Teacherspreviously had given up on him and it showed.It took me about two months to establish agood relationship with this young man andlearn about his interests. Everything we did Isomehow related it to sports and tweaked hisassignments to follow suit. We also agreed toestablish learning centers and he was in chargeof the students in his center. I am proud to saythat he succeeded in my class as well as on theEOC.
Student-centered learning is where students play an active role in their learning. This is a CHALLENGE because of many reasons: 1.) student motivation (Pederson, 2003) 2.) keeping students on task (Pederson, 2003) 3.) how does one accurately assess this process (Pederson, 2003) 4.) NCLB focusing on the basic skills
There was a student in my class who hadtrouble with rote memorization. He had toperform hands on activities, write his thoughtsin a learning log and then teach it to anotherstudent in the class. He was key in choosingthese activities and he felt responsible not onlyfor himself but for the students he wasteaching.
A current TREND that consists of someone providing professional development to teachers in efforts to help them improve their students’ abilities to read, write and succeed in that content area.
Literacy coaches meet with teachers one-on-one to discuss current tactics and encourage new strategies to include reading, writing and more student oral participation (Gross, 2010)
We have an awesome literacy coach but as I said earlier, it is difficult to correct a problem that has been ongoing in a short amount of time. There was a student this year that could not read or write sufficiently. We worked with him extensively and he did improve but he was still not on grade level by the end of the year.
The number of youth dropping out of high school is alarming. WHY??????????? Struggle with the transition to high school Feel alienated due to cultural differences Lack of diverse teaching
This is an ISSUE because the national high school graduation rate is estimated to be between 75 – 78% (Rouse, 2009). High school dropouts earn 46% than college educated adults (Rouse, 2009)
I rated this last, not because I think it is any less influential than the others, but because if the previous topics are addressed then the dropout rate would decrease
Duffy, M., Giordano, V.A., Farrell, J.B., Paneque, O.M., & Crump, G.B. (2008). No Child Left Behind: Values and Research Issues in High-Stakes Assessments. Counseling & Values, 53(1), 53-66.Gross, P.A. (2010). Not Another Trend: Secondary-Level Literacy Coaching. The Clearing House, 83, 133-137. doi: 1080/00098651003774844Kellough, R., & Kellough, N. (2011). Secondary School Teaching: A Guide to Methods and Resources. Retrieved from the University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.
Logan, B. (2011). Examining differentiated instruction: Teachers respond. Research In Higher Education Journal, 13, 1-14.Pederson, S., & Liu, M. (2003). Teachers’ Beliefs about Issues in the Implementation of a Student-Centered Learning Environment. Educational Technology Research and Development, 51,(2), 57-76.Rouse, C., & Kemple, J.J. (2009). Introducing the Issue. Future Of Children, 19(1), 3-15.