Friday, December 7, 2012

Self directed learning

Sure enough, just google this term and a slew of links come up.  Maybe someone will have time to sort through them and see if any controlled studies have been done on the outcomes  of this approach.  In terms of PPPS there  does not seem to have been any input obtained in advance from parents. From teachers? From students?  Does anyone know?


Anonymous said...

Self-directed learning is clearly a very important trait to acquire and should be cultivated.

However, schools hire teachers for the purpose of providing basic skills and content to those who have not yet learned a high-quality of self-directed achievement in broad and basic ways that give foundation to next steps or more independent steps in knowledge

All of the PPS data from inside and outside of education, classrooms, schools, districts, and the work world are telling us that students are not getting what they need in SCHOOLS to be successful.

The great majority of schools in PA are not having the problems of PPS.

So, administrators blame teachers and teachers blame administration.

Administration has turned to consultants who have no vested interest in PPS schools or children.

We need a competent central office people who have demonstrated success somewhere with an urban district.

Questioner said...

It is hard to imagine a really intelligent, highly communicative teacher wanting to spend most of the workday silent. Give and take is one thing but this doesn't sound like a give and take exchange. Babysitting comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

Silent or scripted, teachers seem to have been stripped of the skills they have been trained/educated to perform in classroom where every child is different and in need of teachers with the experience and expertise to TEACH.

Perhaps, PPS central office can answer Dr. Holley's questions about their definition of an effective teacher with detail about the specific skills needed by teachers in PPS.

Anonymous said...

"Give and take is one thing but this doesn't sound like a give and take exchange. Babysitting comes to mind."

They prefer the word facilitator. Sort of like a party planner. The teacher plans everything but rarely actively participates, otherwise known as teach.

Questioner said...

So how long did it take some of the best minds in history to derive formulas for inclined planes and why should the average or even a bright kid today be able to do it in 45 minutes (working in a group or not)? Administrators need to be required to get in a group and figure out formulas themselves before they impose these methods on kids.

Anonymous said...

Amen. And in elementary schools, children are expected to basically reproduce the first couple thousand years of math thought in their little groups and projects.

After they flail around for a while (or in many cases, just talk until the teacher finally gets to those few moments of teaching time), the lesson often includes two, three or more ways of doing a problem.

AGAIN, that sounds great, doesn't it? Sounds like each kid will be able to see a way that works for him/her and be able to understand the underlying concept, as well.

The problem is that it doesn't work. Most of the kids get the part of the message that says "there are lots of ways of doing this kind of problem." However, that morphs in their unsurprisingly childlike minds (you know, since they are in fact children) into the idea that you can just do *anything* and still solve math problems.

Numbers look to complicated to multiply? Let's subtract instead! Can't "take a 5 out of a 0" when subtracting? Just do the problem you know (5-0) instead!

And then parents are shocked when 5th graders don't know even ONE single good algorithm for multi-digit multiplication, can't "borrow" for subtracting, and can't do any sort of long division (the top students can do it, but it takes them loooooong columns of numbers).

Questioner said...

Maybe we can ask our board rep w actual Pps teaching experience to request an educational committee meeting on this topic, with questions from the public addressed.

Anonymous said...

Only slightly off topic, but how soon will PPS get the results of the Keystones? Drove some kids around today and listened while they predicted failure. I plan to read some of the research but I can't see how the student driven method will help turn things around quickly. Seriously as fast as we throw new stuff at these kids is it any wonder their thinking is scattered and they are performing poorly.

Anonymous said...

A few years ago parents were really concerned/worried about the math program at our "high achieving" elementary school. The PTO coordinated a parent, teacher and principal meeting. There was a pretty big turnout and everyone left scratching their heads.

It was a really convoluted variety of ways to solve a math problem vs. simply solving the damn math problem! Something about grids and something..

Math is hard enough, why introduce 3 ways of solving a problem in 3rd grade?

Anonymous said...

PPS has not published the PSSA results from LAST year yet on the website. Click on any school >school information. Results from the previous year limited/edited to suit the PR.