Discussion Question (Please respond in 8 hours to all four discussion questions.)

“A Metaphor for Learning” Please respond to the following:

Create a metaphor that typifies the type of learning environment that existed within a school that you have attended in the past. Assess whether your metaphor conveys a negative or positive image of the school.
Propose at least three revisions to the metaphor you created that support a robust learning organization.

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Peer Discussion:

The school district that I would like to review would be Robertson County schools. I worked at Springfield high school before moving back to metro schools. The metaphor I would considered this district Springfield high school to be would be equivalent to a TV station. A tv station has its own brand of people/ demographics it caters to. It normally does not deviate from that group of people. I think Robertson county schools is much like a tv station. The district is small and pretty much to itself. They do not have alot of opportunities for students explore different types of careers. It is as if the county is only preparing the students to walk into the footsteps of their parents or the adults within the community. The schools trade classes reflect the county greatly. Like a t.v. station, this county caters to a specific type of audience/students. Robertson County is a small county and rural area towards the North side of Tennessee. There are positive ways to turn this county into a learning organization. This district and specific school uses data efficiently. Brandt continues this point by saying “to be a learning organization, schools need provisions for collection and analysis of data on matters that concern them, especially feedback from parents, employers, and other “customers.” This school has math and science scores of 18.7 and 19.0. According to a 2013 study, 38% of students are considered proficient in the area of math in the nation. Robertson County Schools, does a good job of using data and benchmarks to pinpoint what should be happening in the classrooms, how to plan for next year’s instruction and testing’s. I think one of the things that Robertson County does, but could enforce a lot better would be the review weeks leading up to the testing. Typically, we would get an email encouraging teachers to encourage students to attend the week before EOC’s or exams. But I think that we should enforce the month before the testing. In using the intervals of studying and testing method, Carey, 2014 discussed, this should begin a month before. It is necessary but may help for retaining information in our students.  I see alot of my coworkers who teach EOC classes stressing out the week of if students were absent during this week. They know that they only have so many days to review information that probably was not even retained in the students mind during the school year. It makes my co-workers worried.  In reading these chapters this week, I think that alot of methods of studying and retaining information should be introduced.  Robertson County also employees a rigorous “catch up method” time, called x-time. I would support this time because, for teachers it is time where we get 30 minutes to call in any students we feel need additional help. We would have that time to go over anything that we feel the student is lacking. This is in line with helping the students retrieve information and building on the storage space in the students mind, to this information or lesson. This method keeps everyone up at the same level and has proven to raise test scores, EOC scores, and SAT scores with this additional help.  

Initial Post:

“Paradigm Shifting Model” Please respond to the following:

From the e-Activity, determine how you would leverage this model in your work environment (or a past or future work environment).
From the e-Activity, determine which phase is the most important. Determine three significant challenges to implementing this phase and how those challenges could be overcome. Provide specific examples to support your response.

Peer Response:

One of the most important things that stood out to me about this article was when the author stated “I believe that the initial target of paradigm shifting efforts must be the mindsets (or attitudes) of educators. Our goal should be to motivate educators to open their minds to new possibilities, to increase the malleability of their mindsets and to introduce new ways of thinking, believing and doing” (Duffy, 2009, para. 3). This quote really helped me to see a way to introduce any new plan, implementation, idea to a group of people within the education world. It really help me to see some type of way or progression to gradually persuade people into either a metaphor, learning organization or education reform. In my paper, I discussed how I think my district had evolved greatly over the past decade, but that I felt we lacked or are not consistent with certain components that are important to run a diverse system. The step/phase that I think is the most important is the preparing and educating portion of paradigm shifting. Alot of times we, as educators, are asked to do these new things, but we are not given enough information or even persuaded that these changes would yield any significant results. What I like about the paradigm shifting phases is that each builds upon the other. You would think that prepare and educate would be the same thing or apart of the same phase, but they are distinctly different. Phase 1, preparing, involves persuading an organization into a new mental mindset, reform, or transformation. This is important and different from the traditional way that education organizations are ran; most educational reforms are mandated and leave no room for buy from the very people who will be carrying out the changes. Phase 1 gives time for people to first get used to the idea and even provide time for input about the new implementation. Phase 2, educating stands out to me because it is the time when the people of the organization learn new information that will help this new implementation flow and adapt. Duffy states, “The ultimate outcome of Phase 2 is to help educators expand their mindsets. Mindset expansion is the absolute starting point for paradigm-change because before shifting to a new paradigm educators first need to be “willing” to consider the new paradigm and its supporting mental models” (2009, para. 8). The fact that the creator of paradigm shifting considered a phase just dedicated towards helping the individuals within an organization expand and grow their mindset to expect this change is completely different from traditional reform. As educators we have just had to expect and figure out the new change either during implementation or a few months (sometimes weeks) before the change is to be mandated). This really reflects the heart of learning organizations; it is all about learning to bring people into the change and continue to learn and grow from what we do everyday.

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