NSTA’s Uncritical & Authoritarian Position on the Next Generation Science Standards

The National Science Teachers Association released a position statement on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). 

The NSTA statement is  uncritical and authoritarian.  It granted outright compliance with the NGSS, even though there is a groundswell questioning the use of standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards.  Should we endorse one set of performance goals for all K-12 students in English Language Arts, Mathematics and Science?

Although the position statement includes citations from the literature of science education, of the 17 references, 11 were National Research Council publications.  … Read more

Inquiry: The Cornerstone of Teaching–Part I

Fifth Article in the series on The Artistry of Teaching

Conservative and neoliberal paradigms dominate education, which have reduced teaching to skills, economic growth, job training, and transmission of information.

In spite of these authoritarian policies,  many K-12 teachers practice a different form of instruction based on principles of equity, social constructivism, progressivism, and informal learning.  The cornerstone of this approach is inquiry, and in this article, I’ll explore the nature of inquiry, and why it is the magnum principium of teaching.… Read more

The Art of Mingling Practice and Theory in Teaching

This article is the Fourth in a series on The Artistry of Teaching.  

In 1896, the laboratory school of the University of Chicago opened its doors under the directorship of John Dewey (Fishman and McCarthy 1998).  Dewey’s idea was to create an environment for social and pedagogical experimentation.  Theory and practice should mingle, and the laboratory school as Dewey conceived it would be a place for teachers to design, carry out, reflect on, and test learner-centered curriculum and practice.… Read more

Is Teaching an Abacus or a Rose?

First article in a series on The Artistry of Teaching

Preface

Teaching is more immediate than reflective, and the artistry of teaching, much like creativity, comes to the prepared mind, sometimes serendipitously, more often as an invention or ingenious solution to an immediate problem.

Many of you will agree that teachers are closer to being orchestra conductors than technicians. Yet, in 2013, we are in the midst of a sweeping assault on teaching and the teaching profession by people who focus on test scores, efficiency, cost benefit analysis, achievement, and common standards.The argument, in The Artistry of Teaching, is that in spite of the corporatization of schooling, it will be teachers and other educators who will lead the way to restore schooling to its democratic ideals.… Read more

A Letter to The Fordham Institute

Dear Colleagues at The Fordham Institute,

The American Education Research Association (AERA) developed a framework for Scientifically Based Research (SBR) in 2008.  The SBR definition described below was supported by the AERA Council as a framework that offers sound guidance to members of Congress seeking to include such language in legislation.  As you know Congress is inundated with partisan think tanks who offer their research results on issues close on their agenda.  I believe that you are one of those think tanks.… Read more

Fordham Institute’s Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards Rated as Junk Science

Fordham Institute’s Final Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards (Fordham Evaluation) Rated as Junk Science.
In this post I am going to provide evidence that the Fordham Evaluation of Next Generation Science Standards is junk science, and does not meet the basic standards of scientific research.  Figure 1 is the Junk Science Evaluation and Index Form that I designed to assess the Fordham Evaluation.  The ten categories are definitions of junk science that emerged from a study by Michael Carolan (2012).  … Read more

Why We Should Reject The Fordham Institute’s Opinion of the Next Generation Science Standards

In this post I am going to give evidence that the Fordham Institute’s evaluation of the Next Generation Science Standards should be rejected.

The Thomas Fordham Institute is a conservative advocacy think tank which issues opinion reports written by “experts” on science education (other education issues as well).  I have reviewed earlier reports released by Fordham, and have critiqued their reports on the basis of their obvious bias against science education, especially against professors of science education who advocate an inquiry approach to teaching science.… Read more

Warning: If You Believe the Fordham Foundation on Their View of Science or NCTQ’s View on Teacher Education, You Should Check Your Eyesight. Really.

Warning: If You Believe the Fordham Foundation on Their View of Science or NCTQ’s View on Teacher Education, You Should Check Your Eyesight.  Really.

On this blog, I have reviewed earlier reports put out by these two oxymoronic organizations, the Thomas Fordham Institute: Advancing Education Excellence (Fordham), and The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ).  You need to know that these are ultra conservative organizations, and that the National Council on Teacher Quality was formed by the Thomas Fordham Institute.… Read more

Teach Like Vladimir Vernadsky: Education as a Holistic & Dynamic System

I started going to the Soviet Union when it was the USSR in 1981, and for the next 20 years collaborated  with teachers and researchers, particularly Julie Weisberg, Phil Gang and Jennie Springer in the US, Sergey Tolstikov, Galina Manke, and Anatoly Zaklebny in Russia in a mutually designed and developed program, the Global Thinking Project (GTP).  The GTP is about how citizen diplomacy among American and Russian educators and psychologists emerged into a youth and teacher activism project.  … Read more