What teachers need and reformers ignore: time to collaborate

One of the primary things that teachers value but that school reformers have given short shrift is time to collaborate. As the Washington Post reports,  Stanford University Professor Linda Darling-Hammond, an expert on teaching and teacher education, writes about why this is so important to the profession. Darling-Hammond directs the Stanford University Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and was founding director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. A former president of the American Educational Research Association, Darling-Hammond focuses her research, teaching, and policy work on issues of school restructuring, teacher quality and educational equity…

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Engaging students while avoiding plagiarism

Turnitin helped one school crack down on student plagiarism.
Turnitin helped one school crack down on student plagiarism.

Mt. Olive High School is a large, diverse public school in New Jersey that experienced a unique problem with plagiarism. Student collaboration at times led to paper-sharing among students—and administrators and educators knew they needed a system to check student assignments for plagiarism.

Danielle Kulawiak teaches 112 students at Mt. Olive High. Many are in her honors and college prep language arts courses. “What we were finding at our school was very little plagiarism from the internet—it was from our own students sharing papers,” Kulawiak says. “Now we require all papers to be submitted through Turnitin.”

After successfully implementing and benefiting from Turnitin’s OriginalityCheck service, Kulawiak and some of her colleagues decided to implement the entire Turnitin solution by adding GradeMark to grade papers digitally and PeerMark to let students give each other feedback.…Read More

Education in a social world

jigsawresized-150x150Prior to the industrialization of education, the education model was centered around a single-room school house consisting of one teacher with many students throughout many grades. The teacher was a facilitator of an instructional design that had students teaching each other. The younger students benefited from the knowledge of the older students and the older students benefited by reinforcing what they had learned, encouraging their mastery of a subject.

As populations moved from rural to urban communities during the Industrial Revolution, the education system also became industrialized–which wasn’t necessarily a good thing. Schools were turned into factories and teachers began disseminating the knowledge. In fact, the new instructional design was purposely modeled after the factory to streamline learning. In the new factory model, students moved along from grade to grade and were imprinted with the required learning from the books and teacher of that grade. Let’s fast forward 100 years to today.

Today’s educational landscape…Read More