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PostPosted: Jun 21st, '07, 21:01 
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Exactly John! If these "Administrators" want an "integrated educational system" for thier students then why not set things up so that all disciplines are involved as much as possible in every educational pursuit? Think of it, students in the building trade courses could do some of the work in the construction and design phases, the science or agriculture students would operate the system and the students in the culinary arts courses would be the end users of the products produced. Overall, I can not think of a better way for students to learn than to say, "I built, I grew or I prepared this and I learned..."

Kevin


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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '07, 01:57 
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Sort of like a closed loop AP system everything is used, no waste. A source of sound resourse management in the shadows

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '07, 03:03 
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I taught AP in alternative ed school in California. It is very practical and multi discipline. However, I ran up against administrators who were trying to get state standards in line with NCLB.

Slowly and surely our applied arts (except sports) are being sacraficed to concentrate efforts toward educating the masses who are largely non-english speaking and remedial learners. I tried getting more money for AP that I was told would be there at the end of th school year. However, the incoming administrator saw the need for a new math curriculum more critical to get the test score up to state standards.

My wife is a school administrator...I know how they think;)


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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '07, 05:59 
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I dont think its the school administrators. I think it takes someone to get behind it and make it happen. You can do AP in your classroom if you want. You can fill out the paperwork ect. Its if you want a BIG system is where it can fall down. To justify it, you need support from colleges, subjects, money, local suppliers etc. Not just the admin support. And its also their headache if you get knocked over by a bus with nobody else to run the project. You have to build it with redundancy in mind. e.g. If I get knocked over by a bus tomorrow - which teacher will take over it and look after it - With the same drive.

Even in Aquamads case, and in mine... who would keep the project going if we had to stop it tomorrow?

The answer is to embed it into the curriuculum as much as you can. You need to sell it, and if need be write up activities for other teachers to do so its easier for them.

Once embeded into the curriculum, its then in other peoples interests to keep it going - and in Admins...

Sorry - I had to post this. I think people have to take in the realities of AP is that it does take time, money, sweat... but to use it for school its just not as simple as that.

Schools work to units of work. Once the unit is finished in 3 weeks, we move onto something else... and so on. So an AP system isnt in use ALL the time - at least not by one class. Yet if embeded into curriculum, the more it will get used etc.

I did Bottle Biology last term for biology. This term im teaching chemistry. Sure I can do PH of the water in our AP system - but I have to relate PH to other things in kids real lives to also make it real and so they can understand and apply it. So even in PH im not using an AP system much in a term.

Embed, Embed, Embed - That way Maths might use it while im teaching chemistry etc...

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '07, 15:18 
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Excellent post McPhro!

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PostPosted: Jun 22nd, '07, 17:19 
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Ecellent post McPhro!

yep, preach it brother!

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PostPosted: Jun 23rd, '07, 17:21 
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All well put. The beauty of being a primary teacher is that we get to integrate things like AP across as many learning areas as we are responsible for.
The best way to sell AP or any associated 'outside the square' idea is to produce a class full of enthusiastic kids who write, read and enjoy coming to school!
I know where Michael F is coming from - I can see it coming in WA, with standardised this and that, performance pay and the rest linked to state testing - yuk!
I guess it's start small, prove it works and then they'll write it into the syllabus for sustainability!


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PostPosted: Jun 24th, '07, 04:25 
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The problem here is that the politicians have enacted legislation which more or less ties the hands of administrators to the point that teachers are now being made to "teach to the test", rather than teach curriculm that provides both the basics and encourages advanced individual studies and learning. Many schools are now at the point of understanding that due to the "No Child Left Behind" Act thier funding is tied directly to how well or how poorly thier students are doing in meeting state and national standards. What Administrators are having happen to them is if they have students who are slightly behind the state or national average they can get additional funding for programs to assist in getting thier test score averages up, while schools that are getting good scores are made to get by on the funding they are allocated. We also see Administrators going through the same situation due to students who can be evaluated as having educational disabilities, emotional/behavior disorders, and physical ailments. I have known of students who were diagnosed as having an educational disability, placed into "special assistance" program one year, and then the next removed from the program because they progressed and achieved grade level proficiency, then fall behind again because they did not have the help they needed. I have also known students who needed a kick in the arse, but who were placed into I.E.P.'s (Individualized Education Plans). In most instances they had been diagnosed as having a "behavior disorder" and were therefore subject to laws concerning individuals with disabilities, which meant, short of murder they would not recieve any discipline equivalent to a "normal" student. (Our laws concerning disabilities has been interpreted to mean that you can not expell or suspend a student with a behavioral disorder for misconduct because you would be denying them thier right to an education. It seems to have been forgotten that the child might be causing one hundred other children from getting an education because of thier poor behavior in school.)

I must admit that some Administrators are just now coming out and telling the public about the problems our well intentioned laws are causing. The biggest problem is getting our schools back to the point of teaching students not only how to survive in the world, but also how to think, and how to live a life where ethical treatment of others is much more important than the amount of dollars they can put into the bank or the degree of fame they can achieve.

Doug K. did bring up one of the best points; that AP can easily be integrated into the curriculm when one teacher has control over all of the educational disciplines being presented to the students. The big problem is when you have to get others involved in the process, and you lack support from the other faculty and the Administration.

Kevin


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PostPosted: Jun 24th, '07, 06:21 
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Performance based pay can be a good thing... het i work till 5:30 at school every day.. ask my wife... But there are too many issues...

1. Teachers with higher qualifications dont teach... they get a job that pays their worth... e.g. in the mines...

2. Should it be linked to teacher performance or student performance? If student performance, what rights does the teacher have in regards to disuptive students when the classes performance determines my families livlyhood...

3. What about extra curricular activities.. coaching etc...

4. Should Parents and students also help determine a teachers worth... hated teachers might not get much, but it doesnt mean they either dont have good skills, or 2, hated by which portion of the school... the disruptive kids? I know someof the teachers voted bad in ratemyteacher.com are really good teachers with some terrible classes... is that a good example of how it could be bad...

I say relate permornace based pay as rewards for teachers increasing their skills, doing courses to improve teaching and staying in the profession... extra curricular work...

- For poor classes and performance, a discipline scheme/ action already exisits in schools... why kick the teachers down...

"feed the teachers.. before they eat the kids...." - Professional Development

5.

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