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Example Of Short Writing Assgiment In Japanese Ceramic Art History.


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#21 Babs

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 10:40 PM

 

Probably 75-80% of the students I see in collge can't write to any kind of collegiate academic standards.  In talking to colleagues at other institutions... they say pretty much the same thing.

 

This is NOT the fault of the ART TEACHER not teaching writing. :rolleyes:

 

best,

 

........................john

I don't know John, they tell us we all need to "Contribute"..... 

Basically, that seemed to be the gist of it, when other content areas asked, "Why we were expected to take time out of our curriculum, to focus on basic writing skills?"  Some of the English teachers got a little miffed, when we'd ask such a thing.  Others, fully agreed.  My point was, if I'm taking time out of my class, to teach the basics of English, are the English teachers taking time out of theirs to teach the Elements and Principles of Design?

 

What's even worse is that next year, we are focusing on Standard Based Grading.  I don't have a problem with this, as it's essentially the way I've always taught.  But we are expected to spend this year getting our standards ready for next year, and even "practice" implementing them.  But we spent two full PD days, and several classroom days, focusing on writing, which unless you teach English, has nothing to do with your content.  Along with that, let's say they expect us to continue taking class time out for writing, or continue the PD down the road.  How can we work that in, when we are also supposed to be meeting all of our standards?  It's really not, and we shouldn't be expected to do so.

 

Do the students have an adequate vocabulary, can they express their thoughts and ideas orally to a high level of academic standard, do the Institutions have to go to another form of assessment? 

Just questions, but I feel that if they cannot express their thoughts and ideas adequately, then the educaton system is failing.

An excolleague was a language teacher and was trying to set up penfriends with an Asian country. He was embarrassed to find tht the yr 4 Indonesian students had a much more advanced literary level of English than his YR 7 English speaking Australian students.

I don't feel the educational system is failing.  But it is struggling to keep up.  There are so many factors working against it.  Technology is moving fast, and while it can supplement education, much of it works better to distract students (phones, tablets, etc.).  And using that technology are a bunch of students, who have so much.  They don't have to work for anything.  They don't see much need to get better, because they are so used to having things come easy.  And when things do get difficult, they get frustrated and shut down.  They expect A's.  They still want good grades, no doubt, because they want to go to college, because their parents expect that.  But actually putting in time and effort to get those A's, ridiculous!  And sometimes, the parents aren't much help.  They either expect the same easy way through, or just don't care at all.

I'm not absolving teachers of their responsibility, just saying there are many more factors, than most people realize.  In fact, I was at a PD day, for one of my previous districts, and the presenter, flat out said, "You can't blame the parents"....At all.....  I was done listening to her at that point.

 

Don't know how to shorten the quote box so sorry.

I agree with Technology being a distraction and the presumption that all kids are up there with it is not right. Only got to look at their filing systems and you can see that they are as disorganised as their lockers! Seems to be the fashion to baby students along, with teachers frantically trying to get them thro'. Repetition of skills to acquire the said skill etc... boring. Gotta be gimmicky and in 5 minute bites.

Somethings are failing Benzine, not only one thing. Teachers have been disempowered, students and parents have been given many rights without the responsibilities attached.

Whole school PD days are as much of a waste of time as a web search without a question.

Keep on chipping, influence one student a year and it will still be worth it.



#22 Benzine

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 11:19 PM


Don't know how to shorten the quote box so sorry.

I agree with Technology being a distraction and the presumption that all kids are up there with it is not right. Only got to look at their filing systems and you can see that they are as disorganised as their lockers! Seems to be the fashion to baby students along, with teachers frantically trying to get them thro'. Repetition of skills to acquire the said skill etc... boring. Gotta be gimmicky and in 5 minute bites.

Somethings are failing Benzine, not only one thing. Teachers have been disempowered, students and parents have been given many rights without the responsibilities attached.

Whole school PD days are as much of a waste of time as a web search without a question.

Keep on chipping, influence one student a year and it will still be worth it.

 

Oh, don't get me started on PD.  It could be beneficial, it just never is.  Every year, we seem to be focusing on a "Flavor of the month", whatever the new trend in education is.  The next  year, the trend has changed, so we abandon the old, and move on.  Do you know what educational trend never changes?  Just teaching the students, the content we were hired to teach them. 

Honestly, I would have less of an issue with PD, if it didn't take us out of the classroom so much.  Every other week, we have an early out for PD.  So students lose about half an hour out of each class, each of those days, for an hour total each month.  Last year, we used to have morning meetings every other Tuesday.  We were told this year, it was requested that we have more of those meetings, so now they are every Tuesday.  Students ask to come in early, to work on projects, and I can't let them.  The same with the early outs.  Students want to stay in after to work, but without supervision, cannot legally do so.

So how is taking teachers out of the classroom, beneficial to the students?  Answer, it's not, it just fills a requirement the State and Federal government think we should have, to prove we are doing our job. 


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#23 Babs

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 04:07 AM

It also belittles teachers in that it presumes that they do not have the interest and professionalism to keep educating themselves towards "better student outcomes." A little weaselly, squirrely  phrase I picked up at a PD some time ago. I think a negative student outcome means that someone did not actually survive the schoolday! 

Couldn't agree more wit your comments.

Wouldn't mind taking on board the new trends, but evrything that has gone before is chucked out! New trenf to me now, in my sixties, are usually about the third time round on the merry go round.

Enjoy the term break.



#24 Benzine

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 01:55 PM

It also belittles teachers in that it presumes that they do not have the interest and professionalism to keep educating themselves towards "better student outcomes." A little weaselly, squirrely  phrase I picked up at a PD some time ago. I think a negative student outcome means that someone did not actually survive the schoolday! 
Couldn't agree more wit your comments.
Wouldn't mind taking on board the new trends, but evrything that has gone before is chucked out! New trenf to me now, in my sixties, are usually about the third time round on the merry go round.
Enjoy the term break.


It does indeed belittle us, especially considering we have to get so many recertification credits in five years to renew our license. Many times the district PD isn't a credit, so it's five years of PD, which counts for next to nothing, and then the courses you have to take on your own.

I haven't been in the profession all that long, but even I've noticed old ideas get brought back as new.
Another question is, why the desire to change everything? Almost any teaching approach will work, but there has to be a focus on it, and reinforcement of it. Rote Memorization can work, despite the seeming attempt to demonize it. People talk about the days when the US was more competitive globally. During that time, teaching was a whole lot of memorization and repetition, and wasn't designed to be "fun". It was a different time, but an effective approach none the less.
I'm not saying we shouldn't try to improve or enhance education, but change, just to say we are trying is pointless and counter-productive.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#25 Babs

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 05:11 PM

Now we have to stop this focus, could be a life time of dialogue!

However,

Not all  but some people who 'win' leadership positions have to be seen to be making Change,  these people have not been at the coalface for a long time, ie in the classroom 6 lessons a day.

If the teachers are kept in a state of flux, they don't cause trouble, they are too busy trying to implement the new prescriptive chunk of programme they've been handed, no questions appreciated. Chaos theory I think, but worse. 

There used to be school clusters in this area and teachers from the same faculties were given a 1/2 day here and there to discuss their subject area and do mapping of the curriculum etc. Teachers liked this and it was effective.

However it cost $ in temp. teachers , students were still in the classrooms etc, but this was stopped.

A number of schools here go from grade1 to grade 12 , whole school pd on the new trend in the teachng of reading, and the new maths for 1-3 really goes down a treat.

I guess the change thing may be a lack of conviction in what is happening is the ,cringe,  best practice.

My solution was to do what I do well and take notes on what orked and what didn't, and why.  

Gets difficult the more prescriptive the curriculum becomes, need to scrutinise and se where you can bend it, and still smile sweetly.

There was a book once called "Teaching as a subversive activity" Great title, can't remember the book.

New Director of Education for htis state was a head hauncho on the Police Dept. Go figure!! Lots of changes to come here, dismissed before proven guilty??



#26 Chilly

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 09:30 AM

 

Don't know how to shorten the quote box so sorry.

 

Babs - just click into the quote box and delete any unrequired text.  You do need to leave the leading line tho'. :)


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#27 Benzine

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 12:21 PM

I agree Babs, it would be a seemingly never-ending discussion, we best pull back on the reigns.  Not much will be accomplished here, since we are all on the same page anyway.  Sadly, the people, who we'd like to listen, really don't.  I will give credit to my district's Superintendent though.  He meets with each building once a month, for an optional sit down, to give us an update, on things going on, as well as to ask us about anything that's one our minds.  I've never had that with other Supers. 

 

In regards to writing, I will keep incorporating it, into my classroom.  My Photo/ Advanced Photo students, are required to do a write up for their portfolios, and I've done written project critiques in the past.  We always do a verbal critique, but I'm leaning towards, having them write it out first.  It has always been ungraded, just a check, no check, but I may also give them some points for it as well.  My big concern isn't so much their writing ability with the critique, though it is a nice bonus, but instead just getting them to express their ideas behind the process and projects.  I still remember Freshmen year in college, and doing the critiques there.  No one wanted to speak up.  I hope my students, who go into the field, are more confident, and ready to give feedback.  This isn't a bad skill for all my other students to have either.  Nothing wrong with knowing how to provide constructive criticism to others, and especially themselves. 


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#28 Wyndham

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 09:24 PM

We've become a Disneyland nation, pampered and self indulgent. 17 trillion bucks in debt with politicians on both sides kicking the can to the next generation.

Samson has pulled the pillars of the modern age down upon us, it's simply the roof has yet to hit.

The sad truth is that this generation we are discussing, could care less.They have nothing invested to make them care.

 As Yogi Berra once said "When you come to a fork in the road, take one"

And Bob Dylan said,"Don't think twice, it's alright"

Next year on the forum, be safe and play in the clay.

Wyndham



#29 JBaymore

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 09:42 PM

Chinese.  The coming century will be the Chinese Century.

 

best,

 

..................john


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#30 Benzine

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 01:07 PM

I'm not sure it matters what second language students learn.  We had a choice of Spanish, French, German or Latin.  But the global scene has changed since then. But unless it's used conversationally, nothing is really learned.
 
I have no interest in bygone rules of sentence construction, punctuation or Austrians who claim not to understand standard German,even though they do.
 
But even though language in use changes, you're left out of far too many opportunities if you only speak pidgin or pocho.
 
A few years ago we were on a flight to Guadalajara Mexico and two latin teens living in California seated next to us needed help in understanding a form we needed to fill out in English.  Later in the flight they needed my assistance explaining what the flight attendant was saying in Spanish. Being lost between two languages speaking neither of them is not very functional.
 
 
Middle English, like Chaucer, is doable with footnotes, but old English like Beowulf is a completely different language.  I still remember part of one line, I have no idea why.
 
Scolde Grendel fleon under fenhleoou, secean wynleas wic.
Should Grendel fleeing under the fen banks seeking available refuge.
 
It turns out to be lines 819 through 821  http://www8.georgeto...texts/a4.1.html
 
Incidentally, there's a great new biligual version of Beowulf by Seamus Heaney  http://www.amazon.co.../dp/0393320979/

The problem with language and writing, is that it is a constantly changing "organism".  It advances, it evolves.  I was talking with one of the English teachers in my school, about text language.  I joked about it becoming ingrained into our language.  He then pointed out that English is a very different beast, than it was one, two hundred years ago.  Look at Old, Old English, it is almost unidentifiable as the English language. 
Then we have rules for sentence construction, punctuation, spelling, that are not only confusing to begin with, but in some cases have been changed and disregarded, without telling anyone. 
 

 o

Wow Norm, that Old English is nearly incomprehensible, much like today's internet/ texting shorthand


 

Chinese.  The coming century will be the Chinese Century.
 
best,
 
..................john


I agree to some extent John. The Chines are definitely at the forefront, though they do have some competition. India, and Eastern Europe.
Years ago, some honcho in the state had an obsession of sorts with an educational consultant of sorts, named Daggett. The state paid the man a good chunk of money to lecture around the state. My district at the time, watched a video of his speech during a meeting, but later attending his lecture live. It was redundant as he said the exact same thing, and we let school out early just to go.
The summary of his lecture is that technology is changing fast, and we need to prepare our students. Also, our jobs have been shipped to places like China, India and Eastern Europe. The people here are willing to work and study hard, to improve their situation. Very informatice lecture, but he provided no solution(s).
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#31 JBaymore

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 02:18 PM

Having just been in China... I was totally astounded by what I saw.  It was nothing like what I had expected from my impressions created from afar.  Most of that "astounded" was in a rather positive direction.  The only two things that were "worse" than I expected were the air pollution.... which was so unbelievable it defies description....and the almost universal road-rage kind of driving to beat ALL US road-rage driving. 

 

While we hear that China's economy is now "in trouble" here in the US........ it sure looked like things were thriving pretty well over there.  And we were not "handled" and shown only "the good stuff" while there.  We got to see plenty of abject poverty....... but go to Appalachia in the US and you'll see the same exact thing.

 

The combination of a fast growing middle class with a lot of disposable income, a MASSIVE population, lax environmental laws and concerns, the holding of a huge portion of the US's debt, and a really serious entrepaneurial attitude will drive them to the forefront in the world soon. 

 

China is kind of poised where the US was following the WWII era; ready to grow exponentially with a huge market to drive that expansion.  I think Europe has really had its day, unfortunately (for us Americans) America too, China will be next, and then India will follow. Africa is the "sleeper"... and likely will eventually follow India ..... if we don't all blow oursevles up or pollute ourselves off the planet before then.

 

If China is not the next world leader super-power...... it will be because they are all dying young from the effects of air (and other) pollution.

 

As to "solutions"... I don't think there are any.  Now that we are all interconnected, I think it is based on the global normal "business cycle".

 

best,

 

..........................john


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Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#32 Benzine

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 02:54 PM

Very good points John. I've often discussed with my Dad, about how US companies have shipped their jobs overseas. He doesn't think the significantly lower wages are the reason. He blames the tough EPA regulations, that cost companies a bit of cash. I have little doubt this part of the reason, they go elsewhere. But it isn't the hassle of implementing the regulations the companies are avoiding. It is the cost. Going overseas, they get to double dip. They pay way less for workers, and don't have to follow nearly as many regulations. Case in point, China's air and water pollution. India is also pretty bad. Eventually, decades down the road, companies will have painted themselves in a corner. These emerging economies will be more developed, and will be asking for greater wages, and preservation of their environment. I hope that day comes sooner rather than later, so we don't permanentaly damage the Earth beforehand.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#33 JBaymore

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 03:12 PM

 Eventually, decades down the road, companies will have painted themselves in a corner. These emerging economies will be more developed, and will be asking for greater wages, and preservation of their environment. I hope that day comes sooner rather than later, so we don't permanentaly damage the Earth beforehand.

 

They already have painted themselves into a corner, at least with US consumers, I think.  We (as a society) have pretty well demonstrated we want "cheap".  Quantity over quality.  The "miracle" of Walmart. 

 

The impact of the changes in emerging economies as they strengthen is already happening.  The garment industry is the current prime example of this.  The location for the manufacture of such goods changes like the wind.  One day it is in an area of China... as they demand higher wages or include increased costs...... suddenly the production picks up and moves to Vietnam... then to Cambodia... then to Laos... then to Bangaladesh... then to ????????  And thise moves often are based in changes of only pennies per item....and whole groups of workers are then left high and dry as their jobs disappear.  There was a great piece on this recently on NPR.  Very sad.

 

What happens when we reach the end of cheap labor and places that will let manufacturers destroy the environment?

 

best,

 

.......................john

 

PS: Note to Moderator self............ we are getting way off the original topic and heading into an area that COULD start to digress seriously into the area of "politics"........ so ...... let's all try to keep the discussion civil..... and maybe start to steer it back onto something NEAR the original topic........ that had something to do with writing and education :) .


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#34 Benzine

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 09:40 PM

Yeah, you better get back on topic John.  Not only will I report your to the moderators, but I'll specifically report you to the one from the Glaze Board.  That guy is a real hard ass!


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#35 JBaymore

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 11:21 PM

.................., but I'll specifically report you to the one from the Glaze Board.  That guy is a real hard ass!

 

I've heard that.  ;)

 

best,

 

.......................john


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com




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