Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Quality Education Defined by Jill Speering- Former Reading Recovery Teacher Leader and Current Board Member

At last week's meeting, an MNPS Board member suggested that there are 3500 seats in Metro Schools that lack "quality" so I've been thinking about this language and what this term means. What do we mean by student "success"? What do we mean by "quality" seats?
Is "quality" defined by a number on an achievement test?
Is "quality" defined by students in charter schools who chant answers to questions for a big part of the day?
Is "quality" the extension of a school day for TCAP preparation yet little -if any- opportunity remains for art, music & recess?
Are "quality" seats those that hold an authoritarian style of teaching which values obedience, a belief in the need to restrict a child's autonomy? Is "quality" defined as a culture where no verbal give and take is allowed?
Is "quality" defined as high-control, low-nurturance seats?
Or rather than a simplistic definition, is "quality" much broader, much deeper, much more meaningful and much more difficult to measure than the previously stated questions?
I believe student success is measured by a joy in learning that results from a culture of respect and expression . When children's passion for learning is ignited, they begin to lead their own learning. Good teachers and parents know how to stimulate students' innate strengths. Good teachers know how to encourage self-expression through reading, writing, speaking, thinking, art and music! Pedagogy is more about how to reach each and every child through learning intimate details about the child's background, knowledge and interests so that learning becomes personalized--rather than following a script or meaningless assessments that only serve to burden students and squelch curiosity.
Rather than authoritarian leadership, isn't "quality" communicated more significantly through authoritative leadership where a healthy combination of love and limits are communicated? Where the culture is encouraging and nurturing? When constant pressure is expected for mature, obedient behavior while providing verbal reasoning and rationales for requests and expectations?
"Quality" results when students learn the relevance and inter-relationships of each and every subject. "Quality" results when students work together cooperatively rather than competitively. Working together in teams more closely resembles real world experiences and helps prepare our children for the expectations of an unknown future.

Quality Education

No comments:

Post a Comment