Ideas for Reforming Teaching Practices?


… the provenance of reform ideas can be found in the daily experiences of sitting in classroom many years ago. And those ideas, as Mary Kennedy reminds us, are distorted because children are emotionally involved with their teachers and  know little about the planning, the improvisational decision-making during lessons, and work outside of school that teachers do.

From a post by Larry Cuban in which he describes where ‘education reformers’ often get their ideas and data – as the old adage goes, everyone is an expert on schools because they went. Yet being in a classroom (at any level) does not tell the entire story as Cuban suggests. The comments to this post are also interesting.


Action Plan for Transforming Education

Get all the stakeholders to the table

Get everyone involved and invested in education …. for decision-driven examination of the … issues …

Put children first

The single focus of stakeholders at the table must be meeting the needs of our children.

Redefine teaching

Don’t even bother to come to the table unless you are willing to rethink everything you’ve ever learned about being a teaching professional…

Adopt a campus model

Plan to move to an open campus model where students bring their own technology to schools …

Individualize learning

It is all about student learning. Not achievement scores. Not closing statistical gaps. Not putting technology in their hands in the name of some digital utopia. Learning here and now, accepting for the first time in western education that every student deserves a personal learning plan with the resources provided to ensure success. It’s time to put aside the standardized classroom model and put in place individualized learning for every student. We know enough about individual cognition and learning styles to tailor learning for each child, and the tools are available to make it happen.


… we must redefine learning time so that it recognizes learning taking place seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. 

K-20 Competency-based Learning Continuum with no age/grade benchmarks

The ultimate goal is to provide learning experiences for students that span their formative years and provide a strong bridge into adult learning and productivity … Project-based learning and problem-solving experiences embedded in every student’s learning plan … a system of education that allows all children to be successful; no one settling for meeting minimum standards or being held back from reaching their full potential.

via (post by Walter McKenzie)

An interesting plan for transforming education, some good ideas, many should be kept in mind by all educators on a daily basis – not just to enact transfromational change. The key points, in my mind are: to put children first, that it is all about student learning and we need to rethink what is meant by ‘teaching’ – or at least live up to what has been talked about for years. Read the complete post, good food & reminders for thought. Can you implement some of these to make change in your own practice?

Designing for Learning: Solutions for the “crisis in ed”

Assumption 1: The future of education is about learning not schooling.   

Assumption 2: Technology is not an end in itself but a means to an end, and that end is better learning.  

Assumption 3: The power of technology to advance learning depends on context of use.  

Now, our three aspirations.

Aspiration 1: We want to be disruptive in our work.  

Aspiration 2: We see our work as taking place on the edges.

Aspiration 3: We want to work with thinkers and doers, makers and movers beyond the “usual suspects.”

This is taken froma response to ‘Waiting for Superman’ on the web site “”. It contains some interesting ideas applicable to education reform, not limited to the U.S. either. A good read.