Another how to deal with troubled students A gripe session about the resources we’ve lost Hopefully a leave with nothing workshop A negative experience A sad awakening
Explanation of “the neglected majority” Some sad statistics Some interesting quotes by interesting people Some ideas for dealing with the AVERAGE student Some ideas for “making winners out of ordinary students” in 2012
To challenge you to work with me To challenge you to work with each other To challenge you to work with others To challenge you to work FOR your students To challenge you to NOT be (stay) frustrated To challenge you to see the GOOD students To challenge you to HELP the average students To challenge you to challenge you!
DALE PARNELL DARLENE CROSS School teacher Country girl Principal City girl School superintendent of Worker public instruction Soldier College professor Student President of 3 community Software engineer colleges College professor President & ceo of the YOUR colleague american asociation of community & jr. colleges
EXAMINES ISSUES RELATEDTO: EXAMINES: student success dilemmas faced by Learning continuity educators in defining Individual differences excellence Lack of community college The effects of involvement in secondary technological, educational, education & socio-economic tensions on educational excellence
Barriers to excellence: Unfocused learning Loss of continuity in learning Failure to accommodate individual differences Unfounded images about learning
Careers education Learner centered Bridge between subject-matter disciplines & competencies required by modern life A policy statement for the associate degree Cooperation & coordination between the high school & the community college A 2+2 tech-prep/associate degree program
>= 75% of high school graduates (the neglected majority) did not earn a baccalaureate degree. This middle quartile of students deserve & need an excellent education. In many cases they require a better education than they were (ARE) receiving WE MUST ensure that all our students, regardless of their differing abilities, receive the education that they deserve & America needs.
More than ½ of entering freshmen in ALL institutions of higher learning began their college careers in community, technical, or jr. colleges. About 80% of the adult population in the US did not hold college bachelor’s degrees More & more young people emerged from high school ready neither for college nor for work. Almost half the Hispanic high-school students in the country drop out before graduating from high school. 40% of the Hispanic drop-outs never complete the 10th grade. (sound familiar?)
“A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars & its warriors will have its thinking being done by cowards & its fighting by fools.” – Thucydides “More & more young people emerge from high school ready neither for college nor for work.” – National Commission on Excellence in Education in A Nation at Risk, The Imperative for Educational Reform
“Meeting the educational needs of the neglected majority is central to the future of America.” – Thomas A Shannon “Excellence & elitism are not synonymous.” – National Science Board Commission on Pre- College Education in Mathematics, Science & Technology
American education is undergoing constant reform. If reports & studies alone could improve schools & colleges, we would have achieved excellence in education a long time ago. Now is the time to move toward educational quality –opportunity with excellence. There is relentless pressure to improve the quality of life, with education as the centerpiece of that process. It is hoped that this report will trigger hundreds of high-school/college roundtable discussions.
The tough problem is not in identifying winners, it is in making winners out of ordinary people. That, after all, is the overwhelming purpose of education. Historically, in most of the periods emphasizing excellence, education has reverted to selecting winners rather than creating them. The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate ordinary people to unusual effort. We tend to live somewhere between our hopes & our fears.
Unrealistic/artificial images of excellence From television, movies, etc. Causes frustration of the ordinary student Great debate really a monologue of 1-sided opinions of well meaning individuals & groups who have little contact with non-baccalaureate- degree America. The majority of our population will never earn a baccalaureate degree. What about the ordinary student? There is surprisingly little attention given to the “ordinary people” in the school reform reports.
Technological Our society grows technically more sophisticated, yet continues to produce an increasing number of individuals who are uneducated, unskilled, & unable to cope with these technological changes. A single inoculation of education for the young is no longer sufficient for a lifetime.
Educational Can we have quality & equality in education? ▪ A democratic society must have both! Academic or vocational educational track fragmentation ▪ Students who don’t fit get unfocused general education track leading to nowhere American education system is derived from an elitist philosophy Liberal, fine, & practical arts (& sciences!) must move closer together We continue to prepare individuals for specific jobs rather than for careers
Socio-economic There is a continuing & widening gap between the “haves” & the “have-nots” in our society. Groups can be granted the full range of opportunities, but only individuals can take advantage of them. Rather than view the poor as untapped human resources, we tend to view them as problems. It is time to value our human resources as much as, if not more than, we value our natural resources of oil & gas & metals.
Helping individuals develop the competencies to be effective life-long learners should be the top priority of any educational institution.
The academic & vocational desert of American education is the high-school general-education program. Unfocused learning remains one of the prime barriers to achieving excellence for a host of students. Having a goal, meeting a challenge, & being pushed to one’s limit are what build self-esteem. 63.5% of the high-school drop-outs indicated they were in the general-education track at the time they left high school.
The present system of pot luck in the schoolhouse, where students take a little of this & a little of that, provides young people with: Too many loopholes Too little reality therapy Too many excuses for failing to learn The student who sees no future for herself will also not make much progress in education. Goal development & goal setting have never been driving forces in the educational enterprise.
One of the important lessons yet to be learned by many educators is that the “why” of learning is more important than the “how”. “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.” – Nietzsche Students who see no connectedness, no aim, no purpose to their education, also often see no point in continuing in school. We live best by living on our hopes rather than our fears, by looking to the future.
Educators have a heavy responsibility to help students see meaning in their educational programs. Clear goals for the curricular course or program & clear goals for the individual student are absolutely essential to achieving excellence in education. We all shoot better when we can see the target.
If students are to be motivated to learn, they must know: why they are learning, How this learning connects with other learning, & Where this learning relates to real life. “Whatever you teach, make the children understand why they are studying it. Don’t tell them ‘You’ll need it later.’ Later doesn’t exist.” - Hechinger Instead of permitting half our students to slip through the “general education” crack we must cultivate a goal-oriented educational program.
“An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity& tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.” - Gardner
The greatest single challenge facing instructors in comprehensive community colleges: How to meet the great range of individual differences in every classroom. In desperation schools have labeled students: Advanced Terminal Remedial& are still missing the mark.
Research suggests that given adequate time for learning, & favorable learning conditions, 95% of students can achieve mastery of any basic skill. The notion of excellence must be extended to every course & each student. Of necessity, education will lifelong.
We must purge ourselves of academic snobbery. “If only the beautiful birds sang, the forests would be quiet indeed.” – 1973 National Teacher of the Year (how many of you were gifted or troubled?)
The student sees no purpose, no meaning in his academic program The student sees no relationship between what he needs to meet the challenges of real life & his schooling experiences. (the ONLY slide re: behavior; I promise!)
If we believe it should be the primary purpose of education to help each student become a fully competent, self-motivating, self- fulfilling member of our society, then it is time to dust off the literature & to redirect the old career education discussion toward a careers-education orientation.
Children acquire so much information from television (& the ‘net) that many suffer from too much data. They are not emotionally equipped to assimilate or interpret all they see & hear without the personal experience that provides realistic perspective They see brutal scenes of wartime combat before their eyes before they have suffered the loss of a pet dog. When they enter the classroom they are confronted with even more information, often as ambiguous as & generally less interesting than that on television (& the ‘net).
Young people of today (1985 & 2012) & tomorrow need an information- rich, experience-rich education. When schooling focuses on the real-life career roles of individuals & the competencies required to cope with those careers & roles, we will see a positive educational change for the neglected majority of our students.
That delivery system which helps students develop the competencies required to function in the real-life roles of learner, wage earner, citizen, consumer, family member, leisure-time pursuer, & individual.
Consumer role should: 1. evaluate quantity & quality of goods 2. Use consumer assistance agencies 3. Understand buying with credit 4. Understand provisions of standard insurance policies 5. Compute interest rates 6. Understand basic legal documents (e.g., contracts, warranties, bills of sale)
Wage earners role should: 1. Analyze employment trends 2. Plan for career/vocation 3. Understand the processes of production & consumption 4. Prepare job application forms 5. Develop effective interviewing techniques 6. Understand the meaning “inflation” & “wage” 7. Understand payroll deductions 8. Develop some saleable skills
Citizenship role should: 1. Explain the judicial system 2. Explain local government operation 3. Locate community resources 4. Cope with bureaucracies 5. Identify with community, state, & national issues 6. Understand basic principles of economic & governmental operations
Family role should: 1. Understand legal & social responsibilities of parenting 2. Plan for long-range economic security 3. Learn to deal with family crises (e.g., divorce, illness, death, etc.) 4. Develop family activities 5. Understand family planning
Individual role should: 1. Understand physical health principles 2. Understand mental health principles 3. Develop principles for making moral choices 4. Develop interpersonal & intergroup relationship skills
Is a learner-centered bridge between the time-honored subject-matter disciplines & the competencies required of an individual to cope with modern life. Is an information-rich & experience-rich education based upon life-role proficiencies. Student competence is defined as demonstrated ability to apply knowledge, understanding, or skills assumed to contribute to success in life. Does not turn its back on traditional subject matter or on time-honored instructional techniques, it only insists that the instructional program be based, at least in part, on real-life needs & that students demonstrate the applicability of what they have learned.
Beginning with the 11th grade, students would choose 1 of 3 curricular majors: 1. A college-prep/a baccalaureate-degree major 2. A 2 + 2 tech-prep/associate-degree major 3. A vocational cluster major All 3 majors would focus on preparation for the next step for the student. All 3 majors would also include a common core of learning, including communication skills, social sciences, physical educational. Mathematics & the physical, biological sciences would be tailored for each major.
“The greatest American educational invention of the 20th century is the 2-year community college.” – John Gardner, No Easy Victories Community colleges have said: there is dignity & worth in all honest labor. I may resemble or behave like someone else, but I have my own personality & my own definition of excellence. Opportunity is the very soul of the community college
The 5 most debilitating words in the English language are “it won’t make a difference.” Community colleges are making a difference! The roots of the community college grow deep in the high schools that feed students into the college. Community colleges are the low cost institutions in higher education. There is a tremendously diverse population in the community college, & providing a caring environment for that diversity may be its greatest strength. Community college faculty ranked the highest on the faculty-satisfaction scale.
The real competition for jobs will be (IS) between the well-educated & the not-so-well-educated. Community colleges are taking on the task of helping to supply America with a skilled & knowledgeable work force. Increasingly, strong academic students are choosing the community college for their 1st college experience. Community colleges have their sleeves rolled up & are heavily involved in the task of helping the socio- economically disadvantaged remove their educational barriers & move into the economic mainstream of American life.
High school students entering college have little or no idea of what to expect once they are enrolled. most colleges are not doing a very good job of helping high school students develop a realistic idea of what it takes to succeed in a college program.
Of 18,000 incoming college freshmen in 1982 & 1983 98% said they expected to earn a B average or better in college. 61% estimated they would study fewer than 20 hours per week. > 80% said they knew little or nothing about their choice of major. ~ 50% listed “no one” as their main influence in choosing their major.
It is obvious that few high school students know how much work or what levels of proficiency will be required to complete a college program. They know about entry standards, but few know about college exit requirements. Some high school students seem to interpret the phrase “open- door college” as an invitation to expend a minimum amount of effort in high school, one need not prepare for the next step at all! The feeling seems to be, “I can always get into a community college.” So much attention has been given to college admissions that college exit requirements have been overlooked & shortchanged.
Do open door colleges have a responsibility to state clearly to high school students the exit requirements for each & every community college program including the requirements to earn an associate degree? YES! The concentration of cooperative effort between high schools & community colleges must emphasize what it takes to successfully complete a program rather than just emphasize entry requirements.
>70% of all high school graduates will eventually attend a postsecondary institution of one kind or another for one or more years. 55% of all entering college freshmen are beginning their college careers in a 2-year college. This fact alone should be enough to motivate program coordination between the high schools & the community colleges.
“There is surprisingly little attention given to ‘ordinary people’ in the school reform reports.” – K. Patricia Cross The associate degree is not only central to the mission of the community college, but it is also a quality-control issue. The liberal arts & the practical arts absolutely need each other. Students work better with goals, indeed so do we all.
~ $30 billion is spent annually by U.S. public & private employers for employee education & training programs. This figure does not include costs for training in the military. DOD estimates that some $50 billion is spent on education & training per year when all DOD education & training costs are included.
How about establishing a new 4-year tech- prep/associate-degree program of cooperation between high schools & community colleges? In case study after case study students report they experienced the best teaching of their college careers in the community college. The curriculum of the future must so integrate the instructional program that students can easily connect what they are learning with real- life issues.
Ordinary students can experience excellence in learning as long as they are taught by those who understand 1 important concept: Education has 2 roles. ▪ 1st: to prepare our young to be productive members of society. ▪ 2nd: to prepare young people –regardless of their eventual career choices- to understand the society in which they live.
Excellence in education will not be achieved by pursuit of excellence. Excellence in education cannot be caught. It can only be cultivated, challenged, & celebrated. Are YOU chasing excellence or cultivating excellence? Quantity is no substitute for quality.
Unfocused learning simply will not produce excellence. How much unfocused learning is going on in YOUR classes? Open admissions & open doors cannot be interpreted to mean that preparation is unimportant. Much greater attention must be given the exit requirements of colleges in communicating with high school students. How much program coordination is going on between YOUR high schools & YOUR community college? How much do YOUR students know about associate degrees?
If we do not know how to seek the best in all our citizens & to fully utilize our human resources, we become a wasteful society regardless of what we do elsewhere.