Tag Archives: Linda Darling-Hammond

Photo Journal of my Experience @ AERA

Here are some snapshots and highlights of my experience at AERA this year. If I (yiola) could name the experience I would call it:  Goosebumps and Inspirations… it was just that good.

  1.  I attended a Round Table session (this is where presenters gather at a “round table” and share their research). The Round table is a great opportunity to not only share your work but hear from others in a less formal manner.  This round table was hosted by the  Writing and Literacies special interest group (SIG) and the focus of the round table was critical literacy.  Dr. Barbara Comber from the University of South Australia presented on critical literacy pedagogy in the early years. Her work and my work are closely aligned.

2.I attended a presidential talk that was a tribute to the life and work of Dr. Phil Jackson. The focus of the talk was on the question of education.  I really like what this panel did: each panel member selected a passage from a text written by Dr. Jackson and talked about its significance to them. A paragraph was read from The Practice of Teaching and the idea of transformative teaching… such an important and central idea in progressive education. A piece was read from Handbook of Research on Curriculum: Conceptions of Curriculum and the the idea that school is systematically harming children… and how can we work against that?  Linda Darling-Hammond read a passage from his famous book Life in Classrooms and spoke of the “multi-dimensionality and simultaneously nature of teaching” and the essential relationships associated with teaching. And, one panel member shared from Dr. Jackson’s last book published in 2012, What is Education and spoke of education as pure and simple; something we must rededicate ourselves too over time.

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3. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to the presidential lecture  for Division K hosted by Dr. Lin Goodwin, Teachers College Columbia University.  A remarkable speaker who not only inspires with her words but truly challenged me to think about what quality teacher education requires. What I like most about Dr. Goodwin is her genuine nature. A distinguished academic and also a beautiful human being. Here are some pictures from her talk including slides from her presentation.

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4. Yet another interesting Presidential session with Wayne Au, Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Kevin Kumashiro (and others) that explored policy and standards in Teacher Education. Laden with some controversial findings for the testing systems for new teachers and teacher education programs, the presentations were provocative and interesting:

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5. The last session I would like to share is one where we presented at the Constructivist SIG. A lovely group of people from across North America, we exchanged ideas of what it means to teach in constructivist ways. Our team leader Dr. Clare Kosnik presented work from the Literacy Teacher Education research and presented on a group of literacy teacher educators who had strong constructivist pedagogies.

Finally, AERA is held at such interesting places. One has to take some time to enjoy the beauty of the district and take in some of the sights.

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Learning Policy Institute

I (Clare) continue to be concerned about our often “over assessment “of students. Last year at AERA I was at a presentation where the presenter talked about one elementary school teacher with whom he was working who had to conduct 30 standardized tests in one year! Yes 30 (that is not a typo). What does this number of assessments do to children? The teacher? The curriculum? The climate in the classroom. I just received the announcement below which I hope will bring some “common sense” to assessment.

 

How Can Schools Measure True College and Career Readiness? Learning Policy Institute Receives Award to Support More Authentic Assessments for California Students

The Learning Policy Institute (LPI) was named today as one of 12 organizations nationwide th-2to receive a grant award from the Assessment for Learning Project (ALP) to fundamentally rethink the roles that assessment should play to advance student learning and to improve our K-12 education system. LPI is supporting the California Performance Assessment Collaborative (CPAC), a newly launched pilot project that enables schools, districts, and networks in California to share, research, and document current efforts to graduate students using competency-based approaches. Instead of assessments based only on testing, these will assess applied learning focused on deep understanding of content and demonstration of 21st century skills in order to inform other schools as well as state policymakers.

CPAC’s work has deep implications for teaching and learning in participating schools and for the work of both practitioners and policymakers who are rethinking assessments with the passage of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA requires states to implement assessments that measure “higher-order thinking skills and understanding” and explicitly invites the use of “portfolios, projects, or extended-performance tasks” as part of state and local assessment systems.

Born from the vision of a group of committed educators, policymakers, and researchers in response to the current policy environment, CPAC serves as an “innovation site” within the state where educators from various contexts are now working together within a professional learning community dedicated to the advancement of authentic, meaningful assessments for California children.

CPAC is composed of the Learning Policy Institute working with schools from the CORE network, including the Fresno, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Francisco Unified School Districts; Envision Schools; High Tech High; Internationals Network for Public Schools; Linked Learning Alliance; and New Tech Network; plus East Palo Alto Academy (Sequoia Union High School District); Hillsdale High School (San Mateo Unified School District); John Muir High School (Pasadena Unified School District); and Oceana High School (Jefferson Union High School District). In addition to ALP, support for this collaborative program comes from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Notes Linda Darling-Hammond, CEO and President of the Learning Policy Institute, “This work will inform both those seeking to develop more meaningful assessments in their schools and those seeking to develop policies that can support the deeper learning opportunities today’s students need to succeed in today’s and tomorrow’s world. Ultimately, the goal is to enable students to pursue – and colleges and employers to be able to receive – more productive measures of students’ genuine accomplishments and readiness for postsecondary college, career, and civic life. “

“For too long, assessment has been something that is ‘done to’ kids instead of with them,” said Gene Wilhoit, Executive Director of the Center for Innovation in Education, one of the organizations partnering with the Assessment for Learning Project (ALP). “These 12 grantees have promising plans to use assessment to build student agency, support a broader definition of student success, and envision new systems of assessment and accountability.”

Out of 148 proposals, ALP selected its 12 grantees based on the “boldness of their ideas, the quality of their learning plan and general orientation toward learning, potential for scale and routes to ‘systemness,’ and their potential contribution to the learning agenda.” Next Generation Learning Challenges is the the co-partner of this initiative, with funding provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The Learning Policy Institute and CPAC proudly join the Center for Collaborative Education, Colorado Education, Del Lago Academy, Fairfax County Public Schools, Hawai’i Department of Education, Henry County Schools, Large Countywide and Suburban District Consortium, New Hampshire Learning Initiative, Summit Public Schools, Two Rivers Public Charter School, and WestEd as recipients of the initial round of ALP grants. For more information on the project and the 12 grant recipients, visit http://www.assessmentforlearningproject.org.

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About the Learning Policy Institute
The Learning Policy Institute conducts and communicates independent high-quality research to improve education. Working with policymakers, researchers, educators, community groups, and others, we seek to advance evidence-based policies that support empowering and equitable learning for each and every child. For more information, visit http://www.learningpolicyinstitute.org.
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