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Why Students Can't Write

  • Written by Anita Swigart
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 Submitted by: Anita Swigart - English Teacher from Ohio You've heard the question, "Why can't my students write?"  It seems that question is being universally asked.  However, the answer is less universal.  Some would like to blame it on too much texting, tweeting, and other uses of technology.  I don't buy it.   I've been teaching long enough to know that this problem existed before any of that technology existed.  I have my own idea as to why students can't write and it has...

Traditional Equals Bad: The Dangers of Definitions.

  • Written by Andrew Elliott McBurney
  • Hits: 10077
Stand before an audience of school administrators and ask them to define “traditional teaching.” Go on. I dare you.Here’s an educated guess of what you’ll hear:“The teacher is in front of the class talking.”“Students are not engaged.”“Students are asleep.”“The teacher uses worksheets.”“The teacher is grading papers while the students work.”“Students are learning at low levels.”“There is no student interaction.”You get the idea.There is a leadership training course you have...

Google Docs and the Dreaded Research Paper

  • Written by Laura Robertson
  • Hits: 9693
Google docs has transformed the writing instruction of the classes I teach. Prior to our school's adoption of Google Aps, I gave significant feedback on the margins of student papers. I also used the comment boxes in Pages or MSWord when my students began to hand in their papers electronically via email. I liked the freedom that the infinite space of the comment box gave me. This space enabled me to rework students sentences and to specifically and directly target individual words and...

Whatever Happened to Lifelong Learning?: The Dangers of Measurable Objectives.

  • Written by Andrew Elliott McBurney
  • Hits: 9978
One of the innovations of 21st century education driven by NCLB is the widespread adoption of measurable objectives to be achieved by systems of improvement promoting the development of measurable, attainable goals.However, we unnaturally limit ourselves if we limit our learning only to measurable objectives. Learning, by its very nature, is a process of exploration and discovery. Reducing it to mere training—which limiting ourselves to measurable objectives does—will correspondingly stunt...


  • Written by Andrew Elliott McBurney
  • Hits: 9355
I wrote this post in one of my graduate courses on curriculum in March 2012, in response to a couple of questions that asked what learning theorists influenced me, and what impact my prefered learning theory would have on my teaching: Educational psychology is a tumultuous convergence of science and our democratic principles. It is an area I have wrestled with as an educator. I believe the issue at the root of all of it is the idea of motivation. Unlike the first sentence of the chapter*...