"Student outcomes are not uniform but varied, like students." -Angela Engel
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (PRWEB) October 11, 2014
In Fixing Public Education, ten experienced educators diagnose and suggest an innovative remodeling of public education to both solve the most pervasive problems that impede student success and to return the joy and enthusiasm of learning to students.
Fixing Public Education was conceived and edited by Dr. Anthony Dallmann-Jones, a 50 year veteran of education and published author of seven books on educational issues. He called upon nine other educational stakeholders from all levels of education - teachers, administrators & higher education professionals - to discuss and propose what they consider to be learner-centered educational reform - not to be confused with current practices under the reform label. They propose something that focuses on children’s strengths and talents and call it the January Educational Model, signaling new beginnings.
The January Education Model is based on seven principles. These principles bypass many of education's existing problems by focusing on the positive practices that will automatically reduce dropout, truancy, violence and achievement gap figures. The JEM model urges reform from the inside out, student-centered rather than statistically-centered or politically-centered. Teaching is based on learners’ skills, talents, strengths, not on their deficiencies.
In his chapter on Educating for Human Greatness, Lynn Stoddard exhibits how the positive elements can be enhanced in schools and students, eliminating the constant and nagging pressure and negative outlook that occurs with the current model of teaching to the test and living and dying by test scores. “It can be done,” Stoddard stated, “because it has been done.”
What are the tenets of the January Education Model that make it so revolutionary? Dr. Dallmann-Jones, the originator of the January Educational Model, asks readers to "Imagine a school with the following attributes."
A learner centered environment with a goal of uncovering the potential greatness in every child. A focus on the strengths, talents, interests, needs, and abilities or aptitudes of each child and a curriculum developed with these attributes in mind. A school where students have a role in creating the learning environment. An educational system where the content standards are legitimate but only as a guide for teacher diagnostics and planning learning experiences. A school where student progress is measured against their previous levels so that personalized student growth plans take the place of one-size-fits-all curriculum. An environment with rich parental and community involvement in supporting student development and learning.
The ten authors of Fixing Public Education view education today as a runaway train. Schools today more and more often are teaching to the tests - some suspending classes for up to six weeks cramming for them. 'School and learning' is much more than test scores could possibly begin to represent, but the current unrelenting focus on testing apparently belies that. One serious problem in utilizing standardized test scores to judge anything means that 50% of any group is cast into a “below average” category - even if they are not.
The authors of Fixing Public Education have seen the changes in education over the last decade or two and believe it is currently coming apart at the seams. They urge educational stakeholders to take action. Their proposed January Education Model was written for and aimed straight at that purpose. It encourages a rethinking of education and a utilization of the JEM model as one possible template to begin genuine learner-centered educational reform.
More information on the ten authors and the January Education Model at http://www.FixingPublicEducation.com