Friday, October 17, 2008

MEXTESOL: Performance Tasks

For those who are interested in the PowerPoint presentation (that I presented at MEXTESOL yesterday), it is available by clicking the link below (Scribd).  It was good to meet teachers with similar interests regarding performance tasks as an alternative form of assessment.  I am interested in hearing your successes and challenges in adapting performance tasks within your own particular teaching/learning contexts.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

CCK08: Gemeinschaft vs. Gesellschaft

This week made me think about Sergiovanni´s distinction between Gemeinschaft (community) vs. Gesellschaft (society) as ideal extremes and Rothstein-Fisch and Trumbell´s treatment of dealing with diverse classrooms through an individualism/collectivism dichotomy.  The latter, I believe, parallels more with George´s definition of connectives in that individual efforts and identity are not compromised for the sake of the group´s goals and objectives.  Rothstein-Fisch and Trumbell´s deal with how "individualistic" attributes of US culture are different than the rest of the world, seen more as a collectivist culture.  They go on to explain how teachers can account for these differences and thus take advantage of them in creating more of a dynamic and productive learning experience.  The main difference between these two perspectives is that Sergiovanni speaks to participants as a whole in shifting the paradigm while Rothstein-Fisch and Trumbell deal more with accepting and working with the dichotomy in a practical sense (less about actually trying to shift the paradigm).