Reality and Education: A New Direction for Educational Policy

Reality and Education : A New Direction for Educational Policy by Daniel Wentland (2013, Paperback)
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Education is being reshaped for students and teachers alike through new, innovative teaching methods, advancements in technology, and programs designed to make that technology available to as many schools as possible. In the last five years, education has been changing in so many ways so quickly that it can be difficult to tell what all this upheaval will lead to.

VR in Education

But in a broad sense, it is not hard to see that all these changes are pointing in one direction: increasing educational opportunities for all students. If this result seems far away, consider how the following trends are making this idea closer to reality everyday. The biggest change has been the increasing power, portability, and lower price for computers. Some schools are buying the machines while others are allowing students to bring in their own devices. Cooper, B. Fusarelli, and E. Better policies, better schools: Theories and applications.

Boston: Allyn and Bacon. A text used to introduce key concepts in the policymaking process and their role in educational policymaking specifically. Formisano, R. Boston against busing: Race, class, and ethnicity in the s and s. Fuhrman, Susan H. Elmore, eds. Redesigning accountability systems for education. New York: Teachers College Press.

A series of essays addressing the manner in which accountability policies and structures can be reconfigured to meet the challenges of standards-based reform. Guthrie, J. Successful school leadership: Planning, politics, performance, and power. Ravitch, D. The troubled crusade: American education, — New York: Basic Books. Historical piece outlining perceived failures of educational policy to sustain excellence in a period of equity. Roza, M. Educational economics: Where do school funds go? Washington, DC: Urban Institute. A consideration of how federal and state policies interact with the unintended consequence of systematically underfunding high-needs students.

Wirt, F. Political dynamics of American education. Richmond, CA: McCutchan. Provides an overview of political interest groups and the use of power in educational policymaking at the local, state, and national levels. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Productive online learning also depends on well-developed learning, technology, critical thinking, research, and even reading and writing skills, as well as strong intrinsic motivation, perseverance, and self-efficacy, which many students do not possess. Finally, substituting real-life objects and processes with virtual reality is not helpful in developing practical skills, which makes real-world laboratory and experimental work less effective in virtual online environments.

Still, the question remains whether online education has helped improve teaching and learning. With the popularity of online education and enormous investment, do online college programs now prepare better specialists? Have we achieved the result we had expected, besides widening access to education for working adult learners, formerly marginalized groups, such as disabled students and minorities, and people geographically separated from the learning centers, thus reaching multi-million enrollment in online programs by and making sure that students enjoy convenience in their studies?

Innovative technology may bring performance enhancement in some ways but does not necessarily produce a direct benefit to education expressed by increased learning productivity. Are the secondary benefits, like convenience or fun with technology, worthy of heavy investment? What, then, is needed to raise the quality of education? The real question here is, as always, do we control technology, or do we let ourselves be controlled by it and those who have created it?

The raw powers of technology should be harnessed by sound pedagogy. Pedagogy of online education is just being developed, after two decades of titanic effort Serdyukov, a. Online learning is a big business Stokes, , which should be turned into a serious academic endeavor. When improving online learning, we should not narrow our innovative focus down to only technical solutions in all educational issues. We need to develop a broader look at all aspects of teaching and learning rather than trying to resolve problems and overcome barriers with technology alone.

There are reasons for the discrepancy between the drive for educational innovation that we observe in some areas, great educational innovations of recent times, and the daily reality of the education system. Moreover, education being a system itself is a component of a larger social supersystem, to which it links in many intricate and complicated ways. As a social institution, education reflects all the values, laws, principles, and traditions of the society to which it belongs. Therefore, we need to regard education as a vital, complete, social entity and address its problems, taking into account these relations and dependencies both within the educational system and society.

In turn, if the society supports innovations in education, then its educational system will continuously and effectively evolve and progress. If it does not, education will stagnate and produce mediocre outcomes. An example of negative socio-cultural impact on education is mercantilism, which is destroying the ultimate purpose of education, and consumerism which is degrading institutions of higher education Feeman and Thomas, ; Ng and Forbes, ; Abeyta, Other harmful social and cultural trends exert a powerful influence.

These include monetization of education, entitlement, instant gratification, and egotism, which destroy education in general and the development of creativity and innovative spirit of students in particular Kerby et al. Such grave societal issues must be dealt with forcefully. Second, it is well known that higher education has been historically slow to adopt innovations for various reasons Hoffman and Holzhuter, ; Marcus, ; Evans, Because it is complex due to cohesion and contuinuity of science and labor intensive, higher education is particularly difficult to make more productive Brewer and Tierney, Both secondary and higher education function as two separate and rather closed systems in their own rights.

They are not only loosely connected to the wider world but also suffer from a wide disconnect between high school output measured in graduate learning outcomes and college entrance student expectations. Innovation, whether it is with technology, assessment or instruction, requires time and space for experimentation and a high tolerance for uncertainty. Disruption of established patterns is the modus operandi of innovation.

Innovation is difficult to spread across school and academia because it disrupts the established routine and pushes implementers out of their comfort zone. Supporting something seen as secondary innovation in the face of pressure, far-reaching programs, external standards ranging from Common Core to Literacy, Technology, and Career Readiness becomes a matter of priority and job security. In many instances, innovation in educational institutions does not take priority over pressing routine issues — really, abiding by the state standards is more urgent.

Teachers and school administrators are commonly cautious about a threatening change and have little tolerance for the uncertainty that any major innovation causes. Of course there are schools and even districts that are unafraid to innovate and experiment but their success depends on individual leaders and communities of educators who are able to create an innovative professional culture. Pockets of innovation give hope but we need a total, massive support for innovations across society.

It was used by standardized testing companies to reap huge profits or, may be, vice versa, these companies influenced NCBL. The trend stifled true education and produced unsatisfactory learning outcomes that changed the nature of teaching, narrowing the curriculum and limiting student learning.

Fourth, even when an innovation comes to life, it is of little worth without implementation Csikszentmihalyi, Innovation is not about talking the talk but walking the walk. Moreover, an innovation can make a significant difference only when it is used on a wide scale. To create innovations is not enough, they need to be spread and used across schools and universities, a more difficult task.

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For the innovation to make a sizable effect, we need an army of implementers together with favorable conditions for the invention to spread and produce a result. Implementers in turn have to be creative and motivated to do their job; they must also have freedom to innovate in the implementation, security on the job to take risks, and control of what they are doing.

Ultimately, they need be trusted as are teachers in Finland to do their job right. Is this where one of the main problems of innovating lies? This is clearly an extension of the adaptive or differentiated approach to teaching and learning, thereby leading to customization of education Schuwer and Kusters, When we began to be more concerned about how students feel in the classroom, what bothers them, and how best to accommodate them to make their learning experiences superior and anxiety-free, we began to set aside the quality outcomes of the learning process.

Every cloud has a silver lining, fortunately. When market approach is applied to higher education, as it is in the current national and global competitive environment, the contest for enrollments increases and forces colleges to decrease attrition in all ways possible. This requires innovative approaches. The institutions that depend on enrollment for their revenue appear more willing to innovate than traditional, public universities that enjoy government support. Clearly, private institutions are more adept at innovating than public ones.

The market is a powerful factor, however, the changes it may bring have to be tackled cautiously. The hurdles to technology integration are described by Peggy Ertmer as external first-order and internal second-order barriers. The first-order barriers are purely operational technological , while the second-order barriers are applicational pedagogical. The difference in approaches to applying technology to teaching and learning overcoming technological vs pedagogical barriers might explain why huge investments in ET have brought little if any effect to the quality of learning outcomes.

Last but not least, innovations grow in a favorable environment, which is cultivated by an educational system that promotes innovation at all levels and produces creative, critical thinking, self-sufficient, life-long learners, problem solvers, and workers. This system enjoys a stimulating research climate, encourages uplifting cultural attitudes toward education, and rallies massive societal support.

The ultimate question is, what innovations do we really need, and what innovations might we not need? The Finnish example can teach us a good lesson. Pasi Sahlberg identifies a set of reforms popular in many countries that Finland has not adopted, including: standardization of curriculum enforced by frequent external tests;. Instead, the Finns went their own, the Finnish Way, so profoundly described by Pasi Sahlberg in his bestselling book Sahlberg, So would it be innovative not to adopt some reforms? A big question now arises, what is then the American way to build innovative education?

And what would be the global way? To create innovations, we need innovators, and many of them.

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But though innovation is often a spark originated in the mind of a bright person, it needs an environment that can nourish the fire. This environment is formed and fed by educational institutions, societal culture, and advanced economy. Csikszentmihalyi underlines the importance of creating a stimulating macroenvironment, which integrates the social, cultural, and institutional context, and also microenvironment, the immediate setting in which a person works.

Then, when the invention is created, it must fall into a fertile ground like a seed and be cultivated to grow and bring fruit. The audience is not only the educators but also students, parents, policy makers, and all other members of society who act either as implementers or consumers of the innovation. Coherent systemic support is essential for growing innovations.

Technology integration in education can be successful only when the human element is taken into consideration. This then integrates innovators, implementers, educational leadership, professional community and, certainly, the learners. When we try to innovate education, we often leave students out of the equation.

Yet, we try everything we can to improve teaching delivery , while what we actually need is to improve learning.

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Reality and Education: A New Direction for Educational Policy [Daniel Wentland] on wamadawipu.cf *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The uniqueness of this. Reality and Education: A New Direction for Educational Policy [Daniel Wentland] on wamadawipu.cf *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A poorly designed.

In education, nothing works if the students do not. According to the famous Bulgarian scholar Georgi Lozanov , learning is a matter of attitude, not aptitude. This is where the greatest potential for improving education lies. To help develop new survival skills, effective communication and critical thinking skills, and nurture curious, creative, critical thinking, independent and self-directed entrepreneurs, we must disrupt the ways of our school system and the ways our teachers are prepared.

Teacher education and professional development are definitely one of the primary areas that call for innovative approaches: teachers must be taught to teach well Marcus, Students are much more likely to learn to solve real-world problems and collaborate productively with their peers, for example, if their learning activities are carefully designed to offer opportunities for them to do these things. Teacher social status is one of the determining factors of the teacher quality. It reflects the quality of teaching and learning and also the level of pedagogic innovations.

In our drive to enhance educational innovation, empowering school teachers and college instructors may be the most important task. What kind of people do we consider teachers? How do we elevate teachers in society?

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Research focusing on raising productivity and efficiency and improving the quality of learning has to increase in all critical areas of education. One crucial indicator of educational effectiveness is measuring the quality of learning that remains imperfect. Developing clear and effective measures of educational quality is an important venue for future innovative research. Societal support for innovative education and building up a new culture of educational preeminence both inside the education system and around it is paramount for its success.

Brunner suggests viewing education in a broader context of what society intends to accomplish through its educational investment in the young. The best way to achieve superior education is to shape a new educational culture. Innovation can be presented as a model in the context of its effects on the quality of teaching and learning within an educational environment, which is permeated by professional and societal cultures Figure 1. Therefore, innovations in education focus primarily on technology and technology applications.

Technocentrists want to see education more automated, more technology-enhanced, and more technology-controlled in the hope of making education more effective.

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While we realize there is no stopping the technological revolution, we educators must do all we can to preserve the primary mission of education, which is reflected in a humanistic approach that caters to the whole person wherein efforts are made to develop a free, independent, critical thinking, active, and effective thinker, doer, citizen, and worker. Along with developing our own innovations and creating a broad base for implementation, it might be useful to look outside the box.

As the world becomes more and more globalized, national education systems are shedding their uniqueness and gaining a more universal, homogeneous look e. The rich international educational palette offers unique solutions to many issues facing US schools and universities. What attractive innovative approaches exist in the world that could be applied to the US education system?

In Finland, a new ecosystem for learning was created Niemi et al.

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Lee, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. Serdyukov, Writer Daniel Kinnaman sums it up quite aptly: "If empowered with today's technology Reinventing and enhancing teachers' roles must occur if children are going to surpass the basics of drill and practice. Summing Up: Recommended. This same technology is now available to let us instruct students as individuals. Administrative responsibilities include budget preparation, strategic planning, and working with stakeholders to develop a world class learning environment for students and the faculty.

Singapore, for one, has become one of the top-scoring countries on the PISA tests by cultivating strong school leadership, committing to ongoing professional development, and exploring innovative models, like its tech-infused Future Schools EDUTOPIA, b. In Shanghai, China, every low-performing school is assigned a team of master teachers and administrators to provide weekly guidance and mentorship on everything from lesson plans to school culture EDITOPIA, a. The list of international innovations to cogitate is, fortunately, extensive. Is this what our educational innovators could do something about?

This attribution is helpful to students because it tells them that intelligence is under their control. There are numerous exciting foreign examples for the US educators to learn from and innovate, implementing and adapting them to US schools. A right step in this direction is to integrate global education ideas into teacher preparation programs. The principal focus of this specialization is on advanced, innovative, and effective international approaches, ideas, and strategies in teaching and learning that address the needs of the nation and create contemporary school environments to accommodate diverse student populations.

Focusing on the universal need for continuous improvement in teaching and learning, this specialization provides students with a balance of philosophy and theory, practice and application through collaborative research projects and field-based activities. An even more remarkable consequence has been a change to their national cultures. This provides a worthy example for other nations, including ours.

To sum up, we need to create favorable conditions for growing our own innovations, while taking advantage of the best international theories and practices. Among many points for educational innovations time definitely deserves close attention. Time is a significant factor in education.

Attempts to save time on learning and raise its productivity are well known to each of us. To increase learning efficiency using so-called accelerated and intensive approaches is a promising path for innovation. These two approaches demonstrate the difference between evolutionary and revolutionary disruptive approaches. Innovation, as we know, can be called to life by social, political, or professional factors but the strongest is definitely economic. A flat world Friedman, means global competition, faster production cycles, and more to keep up with.

Time is speeding up. Requirements for workers are rapidly mounting in industry and business due to swiftly changing technologies and fierce international competition. If you ask students what worries them most, it is the cost of the next course and its value for their future job. Education has become more expensive and less affordable for many people.

Therefore, educators need to find ways to make education more time and cost efficient Hjeltnes and Hansson, We can identify two possible roads to take. The first is to increase revenue, and this is what the majority of colleges and universities are doing. Raising tuition, however, has its limits; government support is drying out. Cutting costs, on the other hand, may undermine some essential aspects of higher education. The second road is to increase learning productivity defined as the output learning outcomes measured in certain units per dollar or per time unit academic year, semester, month, week, day, or hour.

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The former can be used to compute cost efficiency, while the latter will help to define time efficiency. Time efficiency and cost efficiency of education are evidently interrelated. The most obvious source of enhancing educational productivity is integration of ICT; however, there are other ways. Time is the most precious of commodities, especially for WALs. Our own survey of National University students who take accelerated programs, which allow them to graduate sooner than in conventional programs, shows that time is paramount when selecting their learning program Serdyukov et al.

When asked what is more important for them, the cost of the program or the time spent learning, 88 percent of surveyed WALs stated that time was more important, and they were willing to pay more for a shorter program of the same quality. So accelerated programs are often more competitive than the conventional extended ones. Serdyukov and Serdyukova posit that time efficiency of the learning process is a decisive factor in assessing a program or a course.

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In their opinion, colleges and universities, which are now evaluated based upon the quality of their education, will soon be selected and valued based on the time needed for the learning to take place. In the same way, programs that cost less will be more competitive than those that cost more.

When considering time investment, instructional activities are basically concerned with either learning more in the same time i. Consideration of time investment in learning coupled with recent innovations in cognitive psychology and ET is what brought to life accelerated and intensive programs. Various approaches and methodologies for providing faster and shorter education without compromising academic quality have been described in the literature Scott and Conrad, ; Rose and Nicholl, ; Bowling et al. They are grounded in the newest brain research in the cognitive and emotional potential of learners Lozanov, , ; Kitaigorodskaya, , innovative approaches to teaching and learning that use nontraditional organizational forms, techniques and processes Boyes et al.

Accelerated and intensive programs can significantly shorten the duration of the learning measured in class hours, days, weeks, or semesters. In some cases, they can also increase learning outcomes measured in the volume of knowledge constructed or skill sets learned in a given time.

Serdyukov, A conventional semester model of college education may not suit a new generation of WALs who take school part-time and need to speed up learning to obtain employable competencies and skills. The AL model delivers a semester program in a shorter period of time than the conventional program model but with the comparable results.

Reality and Education : A New Direction for Educational Policy by Daniel Wentland (2013, Hardcover)

Onsite classes usually meet two evening sessions per week for four-and-a-half hour each; in some cases, there are two additional Saturday morning sessions of the same duration. Thus, each course runs for eight evenings with one Saturday morning final session for graduate programs totaling Online courses also run for four weeks but instead of face-to-face classroom sessions students participate in threaded discussions one or two per week , view live videoconferencing sessions one per week , carry out weekly written assignments, develop projects, and in some courses complete mandatory field activities e.

The sequential approach when students take one course after another allows for more accumulated and integrated learning experiences. Besides, according to the student survey Serdyukov et al. Therefore, learning only one content area at a time has become one of the crucial factors of AL. The intensive approach, a superior level of AL, has been used in many countries primarily for foreign language education, probably the most time-consuming didactic endeavor. One indicator of how efficiently a student has learned a foreign language is the number of words learned, retained, and correctly used in communication, both in oral and written speech reading and writing.

According to research Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, , a person needs to know and be able to use two to three thousand words in a foreign language for basic communication. These so-called communicative skills can be assessed by the ability of the learner to accomplish a communication task in certain communicative situations. Duration of the study course at this level in a conventional institution can reach hours. At a rate of two hours a week, the course duration may extend to or more weeks two years. When an innovative, intensive instructional methodology, such as suggestopedia Lozanov, ; Kitaigorodskaya, ; Rose and Nicholl, , is used to teach a foreign language, the learning efficiency significantly rises, and the course duration with the same outcomes can be reduced by approximately 50 percent, as compared to a conventional college course.

For instance, an initial intensive course can take up to to hours. The course is usually taught with higher frequency and longer lessons usually four to five hours, two to three or more times a week. Thus, a complete course of study may be completed only in ten weeks 2. This is a case of disruptive, revolutionary innovation that produces a radical transformation in foreign language learning where learners achieve course goals and objectives in half the study hours and one-tenth of a typical course duration.

This approach, which was extremely popular in Eastern Europe Bulgaria, Soviet Union in the s and s, was to a larger extent inspired by the rise of the Iron Curtain and prospective emigration to the west.