A few days ago, I posted an article explaining “Why You Won’t See Me at ISTE ’14.” In it I wrote,
I blame and accept the fact that experience that spans from TRS-80 to IOS has become a little less important compared to the creative energy of much younger educators…
Our discussion, however, had almost nothing to do with technology, but concerned the era in which we began teaching.
For me, it was a full 25 years before No Child Left Behind standards-based teaching and punitive high-stakes tests stained the “art of teaching.” Things were quite different in terms of the autonomy that teachers exercised in determining what and how their children learned – and some mediocre teachers, admittedly, took advantage of the freedom. However, most, whom I came in contact with, used their academic freedom as a seedbed to create dynamic and effective learning experiences for their students.
For years I have felt that this-too-will-pass, that the arrogant belief that we can know and teach everything our children will need to know to be prepared for their future simply makes no sense, and that we would come to our senses.
But it occurred to me, during that email exchange, that more and more of the teachers in our classrooms today were trained to test-prep and have been indoctrinated to an education system based, more than ever before, on an industrial production model.
So I did some research and tinkering with a spreadsheet, and found that about half of the teachers in U.S. classrooms today have never worked in a school culture free from high-stakes testing.
To illustrate this, I made an infographic that shows the decline in teachers who have experienced academic freedom and the rise in teachers who have always worked under the constraints of government/corporate standards.
To be sure, this does not mean that there aren’t young educators, today, who are courageously and creatively going beyond the regimentation that is the character of test-prep classes, nor that there aren’t older teachers who are happy to model their classrooms on mass production.
But it does suggest a dramatic shift in the culture of our schools,
An approaching point of no return.
To complicate things, the table included only data for every 4th year, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011, which was not enough to plot the level of accuracy that I wanted. In addition, the years experience were grouped, i.e. less than 3 years, 3 to 9 years, etc. I searched further, but could not find any more complete data at the national level. If you know of such a document, please comment below.
To fill in the blank years, I worked my OO spreadsheet so that it calculated trends from the 4 years and the experience ranges, and filled in the blanks, across and down, based on those trends. Not a perfect solution, but the point of my infographic was to illustrate a trend, not precisely measure a phenomena.
Having such a seemingly rich data set enticed me to plot for other trends and anomalies, such as specific rises or declines in teacher numbers, indicating times of sudden influx of new teachers, or increased retirements or, and I hate to suggest the possibility, mass resignations. Alas, it would take more completely accurate information to do such a thing, not just calculated trends.
In the opinion of you and your students, what was the biggest development that has led to our modern day life? The Gutenberg Press, the typewriter, electricity, the computer? How can your students harness this technology in order to take advantage of the opportunities this infographic claims there is?
Most importantly in preparing for tomorrow, your students must look to tomorrow, what are going to be the technological advances of tomorrow that will build the opportunities of tomorrow. Without knowing what they are, what can your students do to prepare for the technology of tomorrow. Better yet, what can your students do to create the technology of tomorrow.
We are taught that Johann Gutenberg created the first printing press. But this infographic goes back to an older printer in 618 AC. It also says that Gutenberg’s was the first movable type. So why are we (or at least I) taught that Gutenberg invented the first printing press, and before this it was all handwritten.
Regardless of what is taught, how did the printing press, both the Chinese version and Gutenberg’s, change things? How did this change literacy and lead to the Enlightenment and then the American Revolution, and other revolutions? What could have happened if the Europeans had a printing press before the dark ages? Could we be living like the Jetsons?
Now, look at newspapers from various centuries and after important developments in this infographic. How did the appearance of the newspapers change? What is the most significant technological change? What about the most significant appearance change?
Begin this class on a survey of how your students sleep. What hours do your students sleep? How much sleep do your students get per night? How do your students personal habits affect sleep patterns?
Young adults may not realize the importance of sleep, or simply choose to ignore the necessity of it. With this infographic, go into the necessity of sleep. What can your students accomplish with more sleep?
This infographic begins in the year 1820. What was going on in the world in 1820 that makes this infographic begin there. Do you agree that it should begin there? Should it begin earlier, or later? What were the biggest factors that led to immigration to America?
Where did the immigrants settle in America? What was going on in each state that led to the number of immigrants, or lack there of? The infographic only talks about how many immigrants are in each state. When did the immigrants travel there and why? For instance, North Carolina has a recognizable immigrant population. What is going on that we have so many? Why not other states?
What of these complex machines do you use in class? What complex machines do you and your students use every day? How will you use these machines to teach your students? One idea for teaching your students over the course of a year could be the development of discoveries from the simple to the complex. Helping your students understand the development of discoveries over time, and allowing them discover them in an accelorated manner may help them understand the significance of modern science.
The end of video shared that there are more discoveries in the universe. In modern era, sometimes we cannot see what is undiscovered. The majority of the world has not only been explored, but much of it is lived on. While it simply requires a look up into the sky to see what has not been discovered, it takes money to get up there. Fortunately for us, despite money, people were able to get across the Atlantic Ocean to discover and settle America. Encourage your students to not let money stop their dreams. Education is a valuable form of currency as well.
This infographic is an entertaining video on various aspects of the Universe. It goes into size, age, and different aspects of our universe.
There are several important things that can be taught using this infographic. First of all, it does go against the Biblical idea that Earth is only 6,000 years old. Regardless of what the Bible says, this infographic shares important information. Using this infographic, teach your students tolerance of other ideas. Another important aspect of this infographic is its lack of sources. Challenge your students to find sources supporting every aspect of this infographic. Teach your students that the most important aspect of any argument is using reliable sources.
A friend once told me that he once had a history teacher who, because she had studied history teacher, she foresaw the recent recession coming. Let’s hope that she got all of her money out of stocks before it happened. There is also a saying that history repeats itself. Looking at this infographic, what do you think?
By comparing and contrasting each economic down turn, what are some of the similarities and some of the differences? What are factors that may contribute to the next economic down turn?Answer the same questions for each economic upturn? Does it simply take time to come out of a poor economic time, or are there certain things that can be done to help it along?
Finally, do you and your students think that once we are out of this recession, we will be done with them for good? Probably not, but what can you and your students do to prepare for the next one? The next one will probably happen when your students are adults, and starting jobs. What should they do to prepare of a recession while they are just starting out in life?
In the 1960s, it was every child’s dream to be an astronaut. This was the age of the space race, or who would get into orbit and to the moon first. Of course, Russia beat America in getting into space, but we beat Russia in getting to the moon. With the International Space Station, it has become less of a competition against one another and more of a cooperation to gather knowledge.
This infographic gives information on the space race, relations between various nations since the moon landing, and little tidbits that are just interesting. Share this with your students, and discuss the future of the space program. John F. Kennedy said that America would reach the moon by the end of the 1960s, which came true with a few months to spare. What do your students think will be next? Ask for a timeline on the future of space travel with support for their guestimations.
The good news shared by this infographic is that Earth should still be around for at least another one hundred quintillion years, at which point everything that is not biodegradable will be destroyed, although this infographic does mention even the decay of titanium in laptops. But this infographic goes into many more details that lead to the destruction of the Earth.
The first two points on the timeline involve civilization collapse versus continuance. It gives us a timeframe for when buildings will collapse, and when vocabulary will be changed. The timeline continues to changes in the solar system and the galaxy even what can be seen with the naked eye. It also involves global changes, including global warming, Earth’s tilt.
There are several questions that arise from this infographic. First, what data supports this? We have all heard the theories of global warming, and that it is inevitable, but has man made it come sooner. In addition to this, there is the questions of Earth’s tilt, would this occur suddenly and be catastrophic, or would people most likely migrate over thousands of generations and not notice these global changes?« go back — keep looking »