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Saturday, December 31, 2011

How Do You Provide Affordances to The Nomad (Language) Learner?

From A is for Affordance « An A-Z of ELT. the following questions were presented:



How can you replicate [learning affordances] in a typical classroom? How can you turn the classroom into a hike through the snow, or a walk around the island? How can classroom talk achieve the degree of contingency that Crusoe and Friday achieved?



As a language teacher, I think in terms of how might I create cognitive, physical, and emotional affordances for each-as-every student.  The short answer in how to replicate affordances in the language classroom is by engaging students in opening up the content, process, and products in ways that allow them to make informed decisions and take responsibility for their own learning.  This requires constant feedback loops that stem not only from me (their teacher), but also the students themselves, their peers, and other experts that extend beyond the four walls of the classroom.  One example might be teaching an academic writing class.


Using a public wiki allows the writer to openly choose a topic and produce an essay, report, thesis, etc. where feedback loops emerge from anyone at any given time.  That is, public spaces used to complement face-to-face classes (i.e., blended learning) provide a key affordance: feedback loops that exist across time and space.  As a web tool, a wiki provides an affordance for more engaging, effective, and efficient feedback loops.  Since anyone can change the wiki, anyone can provide feedback.  And since each revision of the wiki is saved, the writing process is preserved and made explicit as well.  


In a learning ecology, the learner must adapt to the environment, and that adaptation is associating the potentialities that exist at any given moment.  Helping the nomad learner recognize learning potentialities also means recognizing that outcomes will vary.  In formal education, the challenge is reconciling the various outcomes to specific outcomes that are explicit or implicitly stated in the curriculum.  

 

At the end of the day, I attempt to promote understandings (Wiggins and Mctighe, 2005) and language so that each becomes both a means and an end.  Instead of following a task or problem-based approach, I guide the learner in helping to recognize personal adaptations made throughout the learning process and to problem-set along the way.  Very little is fixed when it comes to learning about something or learning a particular skill set, as in learning an additional language.

 

As a teacher, how do you go about designing a learning ecosystem?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Teachers as Advocates for a Learning Ecosystem

...we have to admit that a gap exists between what our students actually understand and are able to do, and what we actually end up reporting (via Come and sit beside me and I'll tell you what I think! | Canadian Education Association (CEA)).

I'm not sure I'd consider it a gap between student understanding and what a student can do because student understanding is in fact, what a student can do.  When I assess a learner (i.e., student understandings), essentially, the entire process depends on what evidence the student is providing.  I see formative assessment where there is less of a boundary between assessment and instruction as the avenue for providing the "learning ecosystem" needed in order for students to perform in a way that provides the evidence required to make reasonable inferences on student achievement.  The following questions were posed:


What are the assessment strategies and tools that allow us to collect the most accurate picture of student understanding? Which methods of assessment actually widen the gap between student and teacher? Which come closest to allowing us to “sit beside” our students? Does any of this really matter when it comes to quality teaching and learning?


Formative assessment - as opposed to summative assessment - allows educators and students to "sit beside each other" as well as students themselves sitting beside each other in a more cooperative learning community.  Specifically, formative assessment that is "baked in" to the following approaches are in order: questioning techniques (aka Socratic Method or instructional conversations), performance tasks, projects, and problem-based learning.  These approaches, methods, whatever, provide higher-order thinking that is more likely linked to leading learners to think outside of the box and to be more creative in how they interact with people and materials (i.e., forming a socio-technical organization based on the principles of semiotics).

Having more formative assessment than summative (and we can have both) is the best way to provide the constant feedback loops necessary for all educational stakeholders to grow and learn from the educative experience that a classroom can provide.  But I feel that teachers are in the best position to be advocates for working with all other educational stakeholders in making it all happen.  This is only possible if teachers are free to take risks, make mistakes, and share their successes and failures through open and constructive discourse.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Preparations for authentic learning #change11

I'm reading Preparations for authentic learning #change11 and wondering how we recognize which of the theories in education are trustworthy and helpful.  And I'm wondering if we need to "recognize the right theory" to begin with.  


I'm wondering if recognizing how we plan, implement, and reflect on a class in terms of established or emerging theories (plural) is enough.  


So the question is, do we try to find the right theory for our educational context, then speculate?  Or do we interpret the actions that occur in the classroom in terms of the various theories that exist...a kind of theory eclectic?   

Monday, November 28, 2011

Asking Why Instead of How (#Change11)

How to balance soft and hard technology?


Soft technologies are flexible, supporting creativity and change, because the gaps inside them have to be filled with processes constructed by people. They are needy and incomplete until people fill the holes, while hard technologies contain within them the processes and methods to achieve the ends for which they were designed [emphasis added], bring efficiency, scalability, replicability, freedom from error and speed.  Conclusion: "Most learning technology research concentrates on technology (including methods and pedagogies) not the talent and skill with which it is applied that is frequently more significant" (Dron, 2011).


I would approach the use of technology a bit differently, asking why instead of how.


I find it combersome drawing a distinction between soft and hard technologies.  Defining hard technologies as particular processes and methods that inherently achieve certain ends confines the user to act or think in a certain way.  This leads to linking technologies to individuals based on socio-cultural-historical assumptions.  If one concludes that it's not the technology but how one uses it, does it matter which contained processes and methods lead to arbitrary (decontextualized) ends?


When reflecting on the different (hard) technologies that I use, I have yet to find one that does everything.  I am constantly adding and pruning technologies as my teaching and learning context changes.  The hard technologies that I use (in aggregate) are as fluid, flexible, and incomplete as some soft technologies.  Individual web tools serve as nodes that make up part of my PLN; a change in one can influence a change in others, similar to how people interact.


Jumping on the ANT bandwagon, I find it helpful to view technology as designing an assemblage (i.e., PLN) which views the social as a "very peculiar movement of re-association and reassembling" (Latour, 2005).  I see a PLN as a movement that re-associates and reassembles reifying conceptualizations, people, and material. 


Reifying conceptualizations is the process of making some abstract idea, notion, or problem more concrete through open and ongoing interaction.  From a socio-technical perspective, people use artifacts to interact with each other around related conceptualizations.  Interactions that connect conceptualizations, people, and material are contextually rich and provide the basis for one's teaching and learning rationale.


Consequently, my approach to technology would be to ask why someone chooses to interact within a PLN in ways that foster open and ongoing professional learning.  Asking why, also requires asking what, how, when, and with whom (plus any other applicable question words), while embracing a perspectival sensitivity between subject (i.e., participants of the study) and object (i.e., researcher). In other words, it's about understanding how the individual's interpretation of becoming emerges from the recollection of the associations, assemblages, and dynamics of a PLN. It just so happens that my interest in such a topic has led me to a doctoral proposal.


 


 

Technologies I'm Thankful For

I know it's a bit late, but still wanted to get my list in for this year.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'd like to submit my list of technologies that I'm thankful for.  I'm thankful because all five technologies - that I use virtually every day - are compatible with Linux, and most are open source; that is, people self-organize and develope software so that others can freely modify and use it as they wish.

The first technology on my list has to be the Ubuntu Linux OS (Macbuntu 11.04 to be exact).  I did away with Windows the first part of this year and have never looked back.  Macbuntu (Linux) is more stable, faster, doesn't get viruses for the most part, and there's no need to defrag the harddrive.  Ubuntu works right out of the box and is ideal for a non-tech person such as myself.

WordPress is next on my list.  This entire website is built on Wordpress, in fact.  With a load of plugins available, WordPress is ideal for adapting a website to one's needs.

Although Mendeley is not open source, it works great on Linux.  Since I am involved with doing research, Mendeley allows me to not only keep track of references, but I can sync all my references to my work and home computers as well as sync to my mobile device (Galaxy Tab) instantly.  I can also create groups and interact with others who are doing similar research.  There's a premium account available but the free account allows for a lot of free space to include both the reference information and any attached PDF files as well.  This is a must for researchers!

Since I do a lot of screencasting, Tibesti is another absolute must.  Even though you must install the software from the terminal, it's an easy process, just cut and paste.  The great thing about Tibesti is that you can record your voice through the mic and also record audio coming through your sound card simultaneously.  For example, I can record an online live session in Google+ Hangout and capture my voice and the participants' voices with no problems.  If you are a tech. person, you can do the same from the terminal but you need to know what you are doing.  I don't know what I'm doing, so two thumbs up for Tibesti!

Last but not least, I'm thankful for Ubuntu One!  Cloud computing seems to be the thing these days, but Ubuntu One is great because it's "baked" into Macbuntu, so getting started is as easy as signing in with a username and password.  They provide up to 5MB of free space (premium accounts are available) and it allows me to automatically sync my files with my work and home computers as well as my mobile device, all in an instance.

Well, there you have it, the software I depend on daily to get the job done.  What software are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Learning Preferences Emerge


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Do we need to adapt our teaching to suit the learning style of learners?


Instead, I would say that learning preferences emerge throughout the teaching and learning process, a process that is both iterative and reciprocal.


Designing an engaging and effective learning experience requires establishing desired results, various forms of assessment, and instruction, whether the educative experience is formal or informal. These three interrelated aspects of the learning experience evolve around a learner's interaction with conceptualizations, material, and people (i.e., PLN). In my view, the notion of a PLN is based less on one's socio-cultural background yet still depends highly on the choices an individual makes at any particular moment; it avoids isolating the individual from the material and concepts, isolating the material from the individual and concepts, and so on. The PLN is a context-rich ontological frame that connects the desired results of the individual, feedback loops (i.e., assessment and instruction via human interaction), conceptualizations, and material through open and ongoing negotiation.


Students experience a dynamic shift in learning preferences depending on the PLN and more specifically the learning experience at hand. Working with learning preferences by giving learners some level of choice leads to adapting the teaching and learning process at any given moment and not simply presuming that learners are visual, kinesthetic, etc. a priori (e.g., via curriculum, standard teaching methods, lesson plan, etc.).

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm back...

Well, after about a week, I finally made it back...sort of.  This past week I had an unfortunate incident with my website host provider (WHP).  I found out the hard way that I was not getting a service I was paying for.  I realized that it was time to change WHPs and I decided to move to GoDaddy.


About two weeks ago, I began to make several structural changes to my website in preparation for a doctoral study that will begin in the coming months.  The past year I've been using WordPress, Moodle, and Dokuwiki for most of my online work.  Although my old WHP includes other applications as well, it wasn't until last week's incident that made me realize I could do most of what I need in WordPress alone.  Although GoDaddy is a little more than my past WHP, I realized that you do get what you pay for.  I decided it was worth scaling back the applications for better service and deliverability.


So, as I waited for my last domain to transfer to GoDaddy (which usually takes 5-7 days), I began to get impatience and decided that it was also time to get a new domain. Since info domains are much cheaper, I also decided to transfer my entire website from the old domain to the new.  Within a day or so, I had most of my website up and running.


Some of the changes to this new site will be the inclusion of open courseware.  Since I am no longer using Moodle for the most part, I've decided to put most of what I do in my face-to-face classes here. Even though most content will be open, some information will remain private, depending on the class I'm teaching.  I've also decided to automatically assign new subscribers to this site as collaborators which will allow everyone to upload posts and to edit and add wikis as they choose.  My goal is to make this site as open and transparent as possible.  For now, Google+ hangouts will be used to conduct periodic online meetings as well. 


If you are new or moving over from my old site, welcome!  Expect many upcoming changes to this site and feel free to comment and contribute as you wish!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Improve Learning: The Socio-Material Dynamic versus Structure

My response to The Virtuous Middle Way...

The efficiency of the learning process speaks nothing of the effectiveness of it. Might we say, "the machinery of education is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the learning process"? I doubt that many educators would argue against this as an espoused theory, but as a theory in use, perhaps it is a different story (as Jeremy eludes to). Comparing MOOCs to educational institutions (if I must), I find that some MOOCs are actually more structured than some institutional courses I've been involved with - at least in terms of laying out a content timeline and delivery. Regardless, to understand the effectiveness and efficiency of any learning process, one needs to analyze how the socio-material dynamic (i.e., how over time people interact with each other together with the necessary artifacts that allow such interaction to take place) emerges within a given structure.

Offering guidance in any structure could be seen as being helpful or a hindrance. What constitutes guidance? A newsletter? Syllabus? Freedom of choosing an ICT? Personal explanation/feedback? Graded exam? Lecture? These all could be seen in both a positive and negative light depending on the circumstances. But it's precisely the circumstances that we need to understand in order to have a better idea about the effectiveness and efficiency of the learning process at hand.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Busy...

Ok, so it's been awhile since my last post. I've been (and continue to be) extremely busy developing a concept paper for my dissertation, teaching, and doing separate research regarding peer/self reflection among English language learning writers.  This week I plan to hang out, so if you are into Google+ and you are interested in knowing more about my research, let's connect!  My Google+ profile link can be found by clicking the About tab above.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Teaching and Learning with ICTs

 Well, Monday starts a new semester.  As I reflect on how I might create opportunities for my students to be more engaged in the learning experience, both in and outside of class, my current inclination is to use ICTs but in a slightly different way.

This semester I'll be teaching Microteaching I (third semester), Academic Writing (seventh semester), and Applied Linguistics (seventh semester) to pre-service English language teachers (i.e., eight-semester bachelor's degree program in English language teaching).  The primary ICTs that I'll use for these blended classes will be wikis and Moodle.

Student-teachers (STs) taking Microteaching I meet four hours a week, teaching in 15-minute blocks with their classmates (i.e., "students").  At the time of this post, the wiki was still under development, but will be further developed in the coming days.  The wiki will home STs' reflective wiki pages that will remain open for all to see and will also be integrated (i.e., embeded) to Moodle.  Since this is my first time teaching this class, there will certainly be tweaks and turns as the class unfolds ultimately driving which ICTs to use and how they will be used to best engage students.

I've taught Academic Writing in the past using primarily Wikieducator, but this year I wanted to do something different.  This year I will be using(Doku) wiki along with Moodle as I plan to do with Microteaching I.  The main reason for using Dokuwiki over Wikieducator is that (a) Dokuwiki is more user-friendly and (b) it integrates well to my website hosting service (Fatcow).  The wiki/Moodle integration will look something like the following:

 Wikis are a great tool for academic writing as it makes the writing process more transparent.

 

 

 

The course in Applied Linguistics will also integrate a wiki with Moodle...are you seeing a pattern here? :) Students will apply their understanding of linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and discourse analysis to their own teaching practice through an action research project.

The objective this semester is to make the learning process of each course as open as possible so that students see the value in transparent learning.  As their facilitator, making course designs open will provide other educators with ideas as well as opportunities to collaborate and cooperate in areas of curriculum, assessment, and instruction.

How will you use ICTs this semester or year?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

ICT Challenge (#edumooc)

There was some talk this week during a recent Google+ hangout about how others were using technology to understand all the content related to edumooc 2011. I decided to share some ICTs that I'm currently using and thought I'd invite others to do the same. Perhaps this might help those who are still trying to find their way around the vast amount of information that's out there. Feel free to include the link to your video below.

My First Google+ Hangout! (#edumooc)

Had my first Google+ hangout this week! I used no headset and we had several microphones active at the same time with no echo. Check it out for yourself.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Massive or Meaningful and Relevant? (#edumooc)

 As can be seen, it is often pointed out that [size] is a necessary characteristic, but I've been experimenting with what I call Miniscule Open Online Courses, which is where I think that the principles on which MOOCs are based apply to courses run on a much smaller scale e.g. http://goodbyegutenberg.pbworks.com. - 

Adding to this point, I would be content simply calling a MOOC an OOC.

It's difficult enough interpreting the concept of openness given the different opinions on the most appropriate Creative Commons license to use for example, namely whether content should be under a commercial or noncommercial license. For some, openness is all or nothing, for others it's a matter of degree.

The notion of online delivery is another issue for (especially) those new to this type of learning environment. Which technologies should be used? How to engage yet not feel overwhelmed?

The idea of a “course” then leads to issues of start and end dates, identifying explicit or implicit desired results (intentional/unintentional learning), implementing different types and the distribution of assessment, taking the course for credit or no credit, etc.

Notions of openness, delivery, and course attributes are more important than how many participants there are in an OOC - subscribing to the notion that says, “more is better”. One might argue that having large amounts of participants will lead to continued discourse or peer-to-peer learning after the MOOC has completed; that learners will be more engaged if a MOOC has large numbers. But it has more to do with the type of communication that flows between each learner and their neighboring nodes (i.e., those individuals or communities that remain within one degree of separation and any artifacts the learner has direct contact with) than it does simply knowing how many neighboring nodes (NNs) exist in the first place. And who's to say it's better if those NNs are exclusively MOOC participants? And even if all NNs are exclusively MOOC participants, what's the ratio of NNs/MOOC participants, and does that even matter. A more engaging and effective learning experience is possible if we focus on what it means for this type of learning environment to be open, online, and how it's presented as a course.

I believe it's quite possible to have an engaging and effective learning experience when five OOC participants have 30 NNs that include the other four OOC participants and 26 individuals or communities that have nothing to do with the OOC itself. It's also possible that these same five OOC participants can have a fruitful learning experience being part of a 1000 other OOC participants but still choose to interact with the same NNs; that is, to remain on the peripheral of the (“M”)OOC.  If we must stick to the acronym, I'd leave it as a Meaningful (and relevant), Open, Online, Course.  Then have a discussion around what is meaningful and relevant around particular educational contexts.

What any OOC needs is sustainability - at least between the start and end dates, otherwise there is no course. Creating a discourse around openness, delivery, and the course in terms of curriculum, assessment, and instruction (in terms of meaningful and relevant learning given particular educational contexts) will go much further in bringing about OOC sustainability than talking how many numbers lead to “massiveness”.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Favorite Things (#edumooc)

Here are a few of My Favorite Things:

  • I use my Galaxy Tab to manage tweets, email, facebook, Google+, and other web-surfing tasks.  And my favorite Galaxy app right now is live365!

  • I use my website and Moodle to organize my thoughts and my classes that I teach to pre-service English language teachers.

  • I also like VoiceThread, WizIQ as a virtual classroom, Internet Archive, YouTube, BlipTV, Google Docs, Google Reader, and NetVibes as I use all of these both as a teacher and learner.

  • Wikieducator is a great website.  Producing OERs and OEPs is something I wish I could dedicate more time to.

  • Skype is great for language exchanges and communicating with colleagues.

  • Overall, I love Linux Mint 11 as it allows me to work more efficiently and effectively at the computer while feeling good that an OS of this caliber is possible as a result of people working together in an open and caring way (open source).



[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw4Hy6MtBLE&w=425&h=349]

You say "Ground Rules", I say "Netiquette Rules" (#edumooc)

I appreciate Michelle Pacansky-Brock from Mt. San Jacinto College for sharing her Community Ground Rules - direct link - (under a CC-BY license) for a still photography history class she's involved with.  The document will certainly be of some use as is while others may tweak it to their liking.  But upon reading it, I immediately felt compelled to share my thoughts on how the term network is being used within a formal educational context.  A notion that all stakeholders should consider when participating in a MOOC or any blended course.

At the top, left-hand corner of the document is a picture of Alexander Rodchenko who claimed,
One has to take several different shots of a subject, from different points of view and in different situations, as if one examined it in the round rather than looked through the same key-hole again and again.

The first eight points of the community ground rules document are what I would consider basic netiquette terms or simply ways in which individuals should act when interacting with others.  The list is fairly straightforward and I certainly think is applicable regardless to whether we are discussing groups or networks.

However, there are two other sections of the document that made me question whether the objective was to create a group or network.  For example, it reads "...to ensure we maintain a safe, trustworthy discussion environment", students must be enrolled in the course in order to be an eligible community member.  This sounds more like a group than a network to me.  And I would argue that in some educational contexts, learners would benefit from discourse that is less than safe, or more diverse than what they are accustomed to since this is what they will likely face as members of a global society.

In another instance the term network was used in reference to more group-like behavior:  What happens to this network after our class is over?  The question is in relation to content and how all the content is to be deleted once the course has be completed.  This seems to indicate almost a pruning of one's network back to what it was at the beginning of the course, perhaps shifting back the spaces as they once were.

Growing a network among learners within a class requires taking several different shots of a subject, from different points of view and in different situations, as if one examined it in the round.  Forming a group among learners within a class means looking through the same key-hole again and again.  As educators, I think it is to our advantage to take an honest look at how our students are learning collectively (as in a group) and connectively (as in a network) in order to find the right mix based on particular educational contexts.  We can meet course objectives while still forming long-lasting networks that will continue transforming well after the course has been completed.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Theoretical Threshold for MOOCs (#edumooc)

What is the theoretical minimum for a successful MOOC learning experience -- 100, 500, 1000, or 2000 registered participants?
Source:

OERu-EduMOOC mailing list
OERu-EduMOOC@lists.wikieducator.org
http://lists.wikieducator.org/mailman/listinfo/oeru-edumooc

---------

One answer: If 10 registered participants actively participated in a open online course, it might not be massive, but it still could be a meaningful and relevant learning experience under the right context.  Let's assume that only 4% of the registered learners finish the MOOC, we would need 250 registered learners (if my figures are correct).  But there are so many variables to this scenario that it raises more uncertainty than anything else.

In my view, MOOCs need sustainable discourse to survive - I agree that those on the peripheral "need something to read."  But I would consider the following questions in determining whether a MOOC will offer a meaningful and relevant learning experience:

1. How will registered participants who are actively participating in the MOOC present different perspectives around each topic, theme, or subtheme?
2. How many turns (i.e., back-and-forth discussions) around different topics, themes, or subthemes will registered participants who are actively participating in the MOOC produce?
3. How are topics, themes, and sub-themes being applied to different contexts or disciplines?

I feel that the operationalization of a MOOC will ultimately depend on the university or context of each learner.  It will depend on the types of assessments and the particular goals of the MOOC, the university, and/or the learner.  A MOOC becomes operationalized by the particular educational context that evolves around the MOOC experience, and that could vary from MOOC to MOOC, university to university, and learner to learner.  And as we get more universities giving credit to students who are taking a MOOC, I think threshold numbers will become less of an issue.  Currently, few universities are offering credit (to my knowledge), but the individuals and universities who are offering MOOCs have the following to sustain continued discourse.

So I would say that what drives a MOOC to be operational is for the most part dependent on how the individuals interact within a given educational context and not the number of registered participants.  If we need a threshold number that leads to the likelihood that lurkers will have something to read, then I would refer to it as leaving evidence that a MOOC existed or audit trail with no assumption that it has anything to do with learning.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Projects Slated for the Rest of 2011

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The great difficulty in education is to get experience out of ideas. -George Santayana

This next semester is a busy one.

Dissertation


The last few days I have been working feverishly on my dissertation proposal, trying to get it cleaned up and approved before I start my research.  I'm conducting a study on how EFL educators working in Mexico interact within a personal learning network and how that interaction influences a change in behavior and beliefs (i.e., teaching practice and reflection).  It's a hermeneutic, qualitative case study involving three teachers who will be using various ICTs in which to interact with other individuals, communities, and/or groups.  The Moodle course that we will be using can be found here and many of the activities are open to anyone interested in teaching English to students of other languages.

University Classes


Classes begin the second week of August and I'm scheduled to teach the following: (a) Applied linguistics, 7th semester, (b) academic writing, 7th semester, and (c) teaching practicum, 5th semester.  The applied linguistics and academic writing classes will have some online content made available to anyone who might be interested.  The idea I have for applied linguistics is to get my students to interact in online communities so they can address current issues related to teaching and learning English as a foreign language.  And the students taking the academic writing course will work largely in Wikieducator as they improve their writing skills and knowledge about formal writing discourse.  Finally, I will also be facilitating 5th semester students who will be teaching for the first time English in front of a group of peers.  They'll work in groups and students will be ask to plan, implement, and reflect on their English classes in terms of curriculum, assessment, and instruction.  All the students from the three classes are pre-service English language teachers studying a BA in ELT at the UAA.

I will be sharing more about these classes throughout the semester either in the form of a blog post or in my TESOL Talk program.

University research


Since February of this year, I have been involved with a research line with two other colleagues investigating the noticing hypothesis among EFL learners practicing their writing skills.  This next semester we are slated to begin the data analysis and will begin writing up our findings for peer-reviewed publications.  This semester we are scheduled to present talks at RECALE (in September),  MEXTESOL (October), and ANUPI (October).  More information will be provided as our research unfolds.

Edukwest writer


I am happy to announce that as of this month, I will be joining a group of writers for Edukwest: On the search for better education.  Edukwest (originated by Kirsten Winkler) covers a wide variety of topics and formats all dedicated to improving education.  I look forward to joining in on the discussion and if you have any interest in anything related to education, I recommend that you check out the website!

Well, that's about it.  The latter part of 2011 will certainly prove to be the busiest semester yet, but am happy to be involved in so many worthwhile projects.  If there is anything in particular that interests you and you would like to know more, feel free to contact me by clicking on the email icon below.

Friday, July 1, 2011

MOOCs and Credit-Seeking Students (#edumooc)

I do make most all of my content openly available, but to get credit at least at my university, they have to take the class. - Ray Schroeder

Credit-seeking students taking a MOOC fascinates me.  Being on the outside of the administrative aspects of a MOOC, it's hard to know how well university students respond to such a format and to the degree that a course syllabus is publicly shared with others.  I'll share a few questions I have.

  1. Are universities willing to publish a syllabus online under a Creative Commons (CC) license? And if so, which CC license is most common: CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, etc.?

  2. Are credit-seeking students open-authoring content (under CC or public domain) and if so, what type of preparation, if any, if needed?  For example, do they understand CC and how to respect the license?  Are they given a choice of licenses? Etc.

  3. How do (tenured) teachers feel about open-authoring?  Are universities giving credit to non-refereed, online, and open publications?  Should universities give credit to open authoring?

  4. My assumption is that those credit-seeking students taking #edumooc 2011 were instructed to blend in with the rest of the participants and interact in a way that meets the objectives of the course (whatever they are).  But it would be interesting to know who the students are and/or what their objectives are for the class as well.  In fact, I don't see anything wrong with explicitly stating expressive objectives for the course (i.e., throughlines, understandings, etc.) and still having each participant chart out their own learning sequence and goals for the course.


I know perhaps this is new for many universities, but if I were to design a MOOC, I would be pushing for open educational processes (OEPs), that is, openly publish every (or nearly every) administrative and academic function (say on a wiki) and just see what kind of response gets generated among other participants.  So far, there seems to be just as much talk about the MOOC itself as there is about the course content.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Expressive objectives for #edumooc 2011

The objectives I have for #edumooc 2011 include the following:

  • connect with others that ultimately go beyond #edumooc 2011

  • find the right mix of technologies that enable me to pull information to me (i.e., RSS feeds, GR, twitter hashtags, etc.) in such a way that enables me to interact with content that is most meaningful and relevant to me

  • interact with other participants by posting to Twitter, blogs, and study groups.

  • avoid any participation in Google Groups, forums, and other group-like technologies

  • not to have any behavioral objectives set a priori, but to reflect on what I learned (or didn't) based on my prior experience; mold objectives as I progress through the experience


What objectives have you set for edumooc and what technologies help you set or achieve those objectives?  Do study groups influence the way in which you set and achieve your objectives?

Friday, June 24, 2011

The "prepared" learner... (#eduMOOC)

By “well prepared,” I mean someone who has had the necessary prerequisite learning experiences and who has succeeded in those experiences. A person who is well prepared is ready for the current learning experience in terms of prerequisite knowledge and skills.

This may be true in formal educational settings (to a degree), but I think it doesn't apply as much to MOOCs.  Depending on the content of the course, an open, online course provides all participants to share ideas in the manner they choose.  Learning can occur not only through question and answer, but simply through a process of sharing diverse opinions.  Sharing diverse opinions can occur regardless if one is a novice or expert as terms such as "novice" and "expert" can be misleading representations, even in formal circles. That's why ZPD falls short in adequately explaining how people learn in real life; that is, that we learn when we teach others regardless of the expert or novice labels.  When there is open interaction, invariably individuals are teaching and learning through an iterative and reciprocal process.  Teaching others can occur at many levels and this is what ultimately happens in a MOOC - Instruction occurs most often through the participants themselves.

Depending on the subject matter, it is quite possible to enter a MOOC unprepared and leave prepared (the act of becoming prepared is a learning process).  The point really is whether a person knows more after (and because of) having taken the MOOC or not?


Thursday, June 23, 2011

eduMOOC

The official start of eduMOOC is June 27.  Please carefully read this page for important information about MOOCs in general.  Thanks to all who have made suggestions and have contributed to the effort!  A special long-distance thanks to Wayne Mackintosh, director of the OER Foundation for help, encouragement and support of eduMOOC!



Many new resources will be added as we approach the beginning of the MOOC on Monday!  There will be a new space to post your network connections (email, blogs, twitter, etc. addresses).  We are working on details of streaming our weekly live panels to serve many hundreds of simultaneous viewers via both flash fixed and mobile configured streams.  The Twitter back channel (hashtag #eduMOOC) will certainly be especially active during those Thursday (US Central Time/Day) panel discussions.

So, how do you plan to participate: primarily in forums (e.g., Google Groups, Moodle, etc.) or via Twitter and blogs?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bridging the Gap between ELT Theory and Practice



My response to Bridging the Gap between ELT Theory and Practice...

I draw a parallel between closing the gap between theory and practice with closing the gap between what teachers know and what they actually do.  But beyond that, do teachers understand theory when it applies to an actual classroom experience?  That is, how do teachers interpret (or reframe) a theory - which is a generalization - to a particular educational situation?  And what does that process look like?

I think most would agree that applying a theory (or creating a theory) is contextually-laden with numerous confounding variables which teachers can't always control.  Certainly, planning is an essential part of learning, but it's the reflection-in-action and the resulting outcomes that matter as well.  I'm not sure if success in the classroom can be planned for, but it can be one (of many) factors that can promote a more educative learning experience for each student (and teacher).

You say, ELT theories do help in beefing up our predictability in the field of teaching...

I would argue that theories are most useful when grounded in actual classroom experiences.  That is, how can I explain what just happened in my classroom from a theoretical perspective (assuming that it's always possible).  This is in contrast to a theoretical inclination (prediction) of how students are likely to behave a priori.  For me, this is the difference between applied linguistics and linguistics applied respectively.

How do you view theory and practice in ELT?

Using Twitter in the Classroom

In response to Using Twitter in the Classroom...

I've never used Twitter in my classes because many of my students still do not have Internet access on their mobiles. But since I teach and tweet, I do have a couple of suggestions.

1. Twitter inside the classroom: Conduct a "normal" class but have students tweeting at the same time. Setup a projector and computer (with access to the Internet) and project the backchannel on the wall using a decided-upon hashtag. Incorporate the backchannel into the class itself. This technique can also provide instant feedback when determining whether students are getting what you are talking about in class or not.

2. Twitter outside of class: Conduct a backchannel (again using hashtags) that students contribute to outside of class. Incorporate the backchannel in the f2f class as needed. This can also help to see if students are getting it and can contribute to collaborative learning (or colearning) since students can ask questions or complete assignments using Twitter both individually and in groups.

How have you used Twitter in the classroom?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Action research in education

This presentation covers basic approach on educational action research and basic technique on this research.
Detail Description:

Topics:

1. What is educational action research?

2. Approach on educational action research.

3. The importance of educational action research.

4. How to do an action research in education and report the result.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Cultivating Personal Learning Networks through Participatory Action Research in ELT

Tomorrow, I'm presenting a talk on PLNs and action research at UPTC 2011 and wanted to include a link here for those who were interested. Feel free to leave comments and suggestions below!

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Ethical Leadership


As part of an overall educational philosophy, ethical considerations, along with aesthetics, provide an axiological framework of what makes a good school. The perception of what makes a school good has been associated with the notion of accountability which has given rise to high-stakes testing (e.g., No Child Left Behind Law) in ways that fundamentally limit how common assessments measure a wider range of student learning (Conley, 2011, p. 20). Reaching a point in today’s schools where “students...find [ethical reasoning] as important in their lives as content knowledge (Sternberg, 2011, p. 39) will place equal importance on how the curriculum, assessment, and instruction subsume issues of reality (i.e., metaphysics), knowledge (i.e., epistemology), and values (axiology). In turn, students become better prepared for college and a career when an educational and life-long philosophy mirror each other.


Ethics in schools, based on moral principals, embodies various dimensions of schooling:


community involvement, school buildings and grounds, classroom spaces, organization of knowledge, uses of learning materials, philosophy of education, teaching strategies, staffing patterns, organization of students, rules and regulations, disciplinary measures, reporting of student progress, administrative attitudes, teacher roles, and student roles (Wiles & Bondi, 2007, p. 46).


Within each of these dimensions, a variety of moral principles can be applied, especially notions of compassion, wholeness, connectedness, inclusion, justice, peace, freedom, trust, empowerment, and community (Glickman, Gordon, & Ross-Gordon, 2007). Indeed, given the 10 different moral principles to be applied to the variety of dimensions possible, prioritizing becomes foremost. Academic leaders (i.e., instructional leaders) therefore play a central role in how ethical behavior emerges at the school, faculty, and classroom levels such that a holistic approach to curriculum, assessment, and instruction afford learners the greatest probability of succeeding in a global society where many future jobs have yet to be created.


Areas where ethics play a central role


Ethics play a key role in schools; among faculty where professional development is the result of a democratic, iterative, and reciprocal communicative process; and within the classroom according to how student achievement excels through a democratic, iterative, and reciprocal communicative process among students as well. The three areas - school, professional development, and classroom - are not meant to be viewed as existing in isolation, but rather adapting to each other (i.e., as an overall complex system) temporally and spatially according to network principals, namely in terms of connection and contagion (Christakis & Fowler, 2009). A moral imperative thus becomes the skillful utility of a network that incorporates moral principals within the different dimensions that reside in each of the three aforementioned areas.


School ethics. Of the four major philosophies (i.e., idealism, realism, experimentalism, and existentialism), idealism and existentialism render a juxtaposition worth considering since both are considered at either ends of the philosophical continuum (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2009); ethics or values are seen as being “absolute and eternal” at the conservative end, while existentialists view values as being “freely chosen” and “based on individuals’ perception” (p. 37). To resolve this juxtaposition, philosophies and their respective reasonings must adhere to the “four pillars of a professional learning community: mission, vision, values [or collective commitments], and goals” (DuFour, DuFour, & Eaker, 2008, p. 166). Particularly, moral judgments are best viewed in terms of overall mission and vision statements that set out to achieve goals by establishing collective commitments.


Rooting school-wide goals in collective commitments comprises of equitably input from all educational stakeholders (i.e., board members, administrators, teachers, parents, & community leaders). For example, Adlai Stevenson High School, one of the most successful schools in the United States (DuFour, DuFour, & Eaker, 2008), creates collective commitments that ultimately drive what the faculty do on a daily basis. The following provides some detail:


Every candidate for a teaching or administrative position is asked to review them before applying, and the statements are referenced repeatedly as part of the interview process. The commitments are studied and discussed during new staff orientation as veteran representatives of the group review each commitment and stress its significance. Experienced teachers tell net staff members, ‘this is what it means to join this faculty. These are the promises we make to each other and to our students. These are the promises that have made us who we are, and we ask you to honor them.’ Upperclassmen mentors review the student commitments with incoming freshmen during the first week of school and stress, ‘these are the commitments the students who have gone before you have made to make Stevenson the school it is today. If you honor these commitments, you can be assured you will be successful here, and you will make an important contribution ot our school’s tradition of excellence’ (Wiles & Bondi, 2007, p. 150).


Action-based, collective commitments communicate not only express expectations in terms of what needs to be done at the individual level but are developed and adapted in such a way that groups of people are not marginalized. “Consensus decision-making” (n.d.) leads to a more professional learning community by virtue of taking one a collective and connective responsibility.


Ethics and professional development. Ethics and establishing a moral imperative is key to addressing the problems the field of education faces with regard to professional development. The problem with professional development is that it


(a) frames accountability in terms of summative assessments that assumes academic outcomes through simplistic relationships of causes and effects,


(b) adheres to a singular approach to differentiated instruction that focuses more on the program than on people and practices,


(c) ignores the importance of setting priorities,


(d) ignores that much of learning is unintentional and is emergent,


(e) recognizes that interaction is more important that simply the content or topics being discussed (Reeves, 2010).


To address these issues, a sense of right and wrong consequently drives the change process both in teacher behavior as well as individual perspective. Implementing change in how professional development is planned and implemented stems from a moral imperative towards a common good (both for the individual and the professional learning community) and not a top-down directive expressed in terms of an obligation imposed by those outside the school (e.g., state legislation, standards, etc.) (Reeves, 2009). Hence effective professional development remains ethical as long as professional learning, as opposed to professional development, endures through an ongoing, situated learning cycle that considers the learner, context, and the learning itself that emerges through the experience (Webster-Wright, 2009).


Professional learning and ethical behavior become apparent through an explicit moral code. Typically, a moral code is stated in terms of what a teacher can do (i.e., beneficence) and what a teacher cannot do (i.e., non-maleficence) (Ozturk, 2010) while other principles include justice, fidelity, and autonomy (Cook & Houser, 2009). If principals, for example, are fair and just, respectful of established rules and principles, and are mindful of individual freedoms and diversity, then so too will the faculty (Karakose, 2007). Essentially, modeling a code of ethics and professional learning transitions an individual from a novice to becoming an expert learner through ethical decision making; that is, doing “the right thing for the right reasons at the right time” (McDonald, Walker Ebelhar, Orehavec, & Sanderson, 2006, p. 162).


Classroom ethics. Classroom ethics builds a democratic, learning community. A democratic learning community involves “creating the kinds of ties that bond students together and students and teachers together and that bind them to share ideas and ideals” (Sergiovanni, 1999, pp. 120-121). Ties between students and teachers provide the basis for understandings the sociocultural complexities that influence academic progress. For example, pedagogy can serve “as a bridge between...home culture and the classroom” (Cammarota & Romero, 2011, p. 492) in ways that can benefit the community, referred to as “social justice youth development” (p. 490). As a matter of ethics, understanding what goes on at the homes of students can offer insight into a pedagogical perspective that both adheres to the curriculum as well as making learning experiences that are more relevant and meaningful for each student.


A classroom with international students can bring about ethic complexity. A common goal among parents from collectivistic societies (e.g., Kenyan, Mexican, Japanese, etc.) is that students should be moral and should maintain a strong bond with family; a goal that can be more different for those accustomed to a more individualistic society that places individual success as a top priority (Rothstein-Fisch & Trumbull, 2008). Moreover, a paradigm of sameness, or tendency to presume that international students, each with their own ideology, will assimilate to the dominate culture, is likely to continue especially among poor, urban schools where little parental involvement is commonplace (Caruthers, 2006). Even in terms of becoming bilingual, a non-equivocal notion, investigating how some students take on an additional language (e.g., English as a second language) and respective cultural underpinnings while others find it a challenge will lead to a shift from “‘colorblind’ philosophies” (Fitts, 2006, p. 356) to one that is pluralistic and more accepting in the way diversity is celebrated within a school.


Ethics play a role in how schools adapt values or collective commitments throughout the system, how academic leaders guide teachers in their own professional development, and how teachers promote a more equitable education within the classroom. Ethics and moral reasoning that align with the mission, vision, and goals of the school provide the direction and justification by which all educational stakeholders are to follow. Similarly, academic leaders guide novice and expert teachers alike via a moral code based on beneficence and non-maleficence. Finally, ethical behavior within the classroom leads to a more equitable learning experience based on the backgrounds and sociocultural upbringings that is specific to each learner. As a result, the academic leader (i.e., instructional leader) must mediate between collective commitments (i.e., values, moral code, moral reason, and moral judgment), professional development - more accurately termed as professional learning, and current teaching practices to avoid treating each discipline as separate and independent endeavors. In doing so, curriculum, assessment, and insturction is not seen as solely a specific issue related to the teaching practice, but more of connective and collective responsibility that is more likely to lead to greater academic achievement.


Ethical concerns relating to curriculum, assessment, and instruction


As ethical considerations regarding schools, professional development, and the classroom are not handled in isolation, nor are issues concerning curriculum, assessment, and instruction. The job of the academic leader is to find meaning and relevance to school goals and state and national standards in terms of the written, taught, and tested curriculum; student assessment; and differentiated instruction. The ethical academic leader (EAL) is the primary mediator through which all educator stakeholders voice an opinion and are given the freedom to act in ways that are beneficial and are consensual to all learners.


The EAL and the curriculum. An academic leader uncovers standards that can be incorporated within the curriculum in terms of big ideas and deeper understandings (Wiggins & McTighe, 2007). An EAL can tie standards and the curriculum to the learner’s perspective. For example, 51 states and territories within the United States have adapted the Common Core State Standards Initiative (National Governors Association, 2009), which is a state-led effort, involving many teacher leaders in determining what students should learn. Many more academic leaders will be required to continue adding and adapting standards, sharing common assessment practices, and determining at a local level how the standards will be met. Determining how the standards will be achieved will take careful and critical pedagogical mindsets to assure that the student’s perspective and identity are not lost as they pertain to the curriculum.


Ethics, values, and culture play an important role towards the influence of individual perspective” (Hiriyappa, 2009, p. 85). Indeed, cultivating a learner’s identity can contradict educational ideologies that mitigate race as a factor in advancing the educative experience. For example, colorblindness, as an ideology, “is particularly persuasive because it seems to advocate for an equal and just society. However, in a just society skin color would not be associated with degrees of power or privilege” (Patterson, Gordon, & Groves Price, 2008, p. 97). One solution is by implementing a “critical language pedagogy” that aligns a learners identity through language that instead of ostracizing one’s ethic, value system, and culture, creates a curriculum that provides “opportunities for students to compare multiple perspectives on language variety and dialects, including sociolinguistic perspectives, widespread language ideologies, and students’ own preexisting viewpoints” (Godley & Minnici, 2008, p. 338). The role of the academic leader is to mediate between state standards, the curriculum, and those educational stakeholders that are involved in the teaching the curriculum (i.e., students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community leaders) by allowing for open, iterative, and reciprocal discourse that is tolerant of diversity.


The EAL and assessment and instruction. The EAL champions formative assessment in schools. “Formative assessment is a planned process in which assessment-elicited evidence of students’ status is used by teachers to adjust their ongoing instructional procedures or by students to adjust their current learning tactics” (Popham, 2008b, p. 6). Since formative assessment entails both instructional adjustments on the part of the teacher and modifications to current learning tactics, the EAL’s role is to provide opportunities for sharing contextual circumstances by which such student-and-teacher adjustments and modifications take place. From an ethical standpoint, the benefit of sharing assessment practices throughout the learning community is to avoid assessment bias, or the “qualities of an assessment instrument [or technique] that offend or unfairly penalize a group of students because of students’ gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, or other such group-defining characteristics” (Popham, 2008a, p. 73). So not only must honest and deliberate discourse among students, teachers, and administrators cover student and teacher adjustments, but it should also be sensitive to students’ identity in the way in which they are being assessed.


Ethical instruction connects the building of cognitive structures with the affectiveness of teaching and learning. EALs who promote through assessment and instruction “metability” (Garner, 2007) or “ongoing, dynamic, interactive cycle of learning, creating, and changing” (p. xv) among learners and at the same time encourage a spiritual dimension to learning that include elements of “acceptance, curiosity, enjoyment, flexibility, patience, and perseverance” (p. 133), among others are creating opportunities for learners to not only gain knowledge and skills, but also to become more driven to act on that knowledge and skills through a “social emotional learning” (Hoffman, 2009, p. 533) or even an “existential intelligence” (Armstrong, 2009, p. 182). Students and teachers alike need to feel like they belong, that their contributions to a particular community has some form of impact, and that mistakes are celebrated as opportunities for improvement. It is the EAL’s job to assure that such an environment exist so that knowledge and abilities can be put to use in ways that benefit the individual as well as the group (i.e., school or network).


EALs are most effective then consistently taking part in ethical decision making. An EAL typically chooses between one of three different ethical decision criteria when choosing to take action: utilitarianism, rights, and justice (Robbins, 2001). A utilitarian approach to decision making seeks to take action in ways that benefit the higher number of educational stakeholders. Respecting the rights of students, teachers, etc. is another factor when making a decision that impacts the quality of learning in schools. And third, decisions are made by being fair or just to those who will be affected by the change. Of the three criteria, the utilitarian approach is least favorable because it ignores individual rights and personal equity (Robbins, 2001). EALs directly or indirectly answer to all stakeholders through the ethical decisions they make on a day-to-day basis. Some decisions will require consultations with other teachers, the EAL ultimately making the final decision, at times the team alone will make the decision, the EAL may make the decision alone, or the decision may be made between the team of teachers and the EAL (Alvy & Robbins, 2010). Thus, ethical decision making is a highly situational act that if done consistently well, can lead to sustainable professional learning and high-impact improvements to student achievement.


Ethical decision making occurs at various levels. Schools establish mission statements, vision statements, values (e.g., collective commitments and moral codes of ethics), and goals that not only must align with each other but also impact each other based on the major philosophy a school happens to adapt, typically choosing among one or more of the following: idealism, realism, experimentalism, and existentialism. The role of an EAL is to contribute to the development of these four pillars that make up a professional learning community (DuFour, DuFour Eaker, 2008) so that teachers begin respecting certain collective commitments through a certain moral code. Beneficence and non-maleficence, along with justice, fidelity, and autonomy, hence guide the novice teacher to becoming an expert in terms of knowledge base, skill set, and disposition. Finally, ethical behavior in the classroom lends itself well to building a democratic learning community among students. Many notions applicable to professional development and ethics also apply to the classroom with the central theme of recognition of sociocultural factors that negate the paradigm of sameness assumption based on “colorblind” philosophies. The EAL’s responsibility is to create an open discourse whereby teachers are able to share how ethics within their respective classrooms celebrate diversity and learner identity in ways that promote a more educative experience. School ethics, ethical professional development practices, and classroom ethics then link to how the curriculum is written, taught, and tested.


Academic leaders have a moral obligation to contribute to standards (e.g., the Common Core State Standards Initiative) then find innovative ways to develop a curriculum that is relevant and meaning to the students at a local level. The curriculum should promote big ideas and understandings (Wiggins & McTighe, 2007) in ways that promote critical thinking skills. In turn, the EAL serves as a mediator in bringing together state standards, or what students should be learning, to a local level in determining how students are to meet or exceed said standards. Assessment and instruction, commonly viewed less as being separate distinctions and more as an iteration between informally assessing the students and making subsequent adaptations to instruction and students modifying future study tactics, is to unite cognitive development (i.e., metability) with a spiritual dimension of acceptance, curiosity, enjoyment, flexibility, patience, and perseverance (Garner, 2007). Therefore, the successful EAL will have the ability and wherewithal to know when to make key decisions, who to involve in the decision-making process, and will have the foresight to anticipate how the decision will impact each of the educational stakeholders in ways that both preserve individual rights and retain overall justice.


References


Alvy, H. & Robbins, P. (2010). Learning from Lincoln: Leadership practices for school success. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


Armstrong, T. (2009). Multiple intelligences in the classroom. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


Cammarota, J. & Romero, A. (2011). Participatory action research for high school students: Transforming policy, practice, and the personal with social justice education. Educational Policy 25(3), 488-506. doi: 10.1177/0895904810361722.


Caruthers, L. (2006). Using storytelling to break the silence that binds us to sameness in our schools.The Journal of Negro Education, 75(4), 661-675. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/222067743?accountid=28180


Christakis, N. & Fowler, J. (2009). Connected: The surprising power of our social networks and how they shape our lives. New York: Little, Brown and Company.


Conley, D. (2011, March). Building on the common core. Educational Leadership, 68(6), 16-20.


Consensus decision-making: A virtual learning center for people interested in making decisions by consensus (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.consensusdecisionmaking.org/


Cook, A. & Houser, R. (2009). ASCA ethical standards and the relevance of eastern ethical theories. Journal of School Counseling, 7(28), 1-24.


DuFour, R., DuFour, R., & Eaker, R. (2008). Revisiting professional learning communities at work: New insights for improving schools. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.


Fitts, S. (2006). Reconstructing the status quo: Linguistic interaction in a dual-language school. Bilingual Research Journal, 30(2), 337-365. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com/docview/222026601?accountid=28180


Glickman, C., Gordon, S., & Ross-Gordon, J. (2007). Supervision and instructional leadership: A developmental approach. New York: Pearson.


Godley, A., & Minnici, A. (2008). Critical language pedagogy in an urban high school English class. Urban Education, 43(3), 319-346. doi:10.1177/0042085907311801


Hiriyappa, B. (2009). Organization behavior. New Delhi: New Age International (P) Limited, Publishers.


Hoffman, D. M. (2009). Reflecting on social emotional learning: A critical perspective on trends in the united states. Review of Educational Research, 79(2), 533-556. doi:10.3102/0034654308325184


Karakose, T. (2007). High school teachers’ perceptions regarding principals’ ethical leadership in Turkey. Asia Pacific Education Review, 8(3), 464-477.


McDonald, W., Walker Ebelhar, M., Orehovec, E., & Sanderson, R. (2006). Ethical decision making: A teaching an dlearning model for graduate students and new professionals. The College Student Affairs Journal 25(2), 152-163.


National Governors Association. (2009). Fifty-one states and territories join common core state standards initiative: NGA center, CCSSO convene state-led process to develop common English-language arts and mathematics standards [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.nga.org/portal/site/nga/menuitem.6c9a8a9ebc6ae07eee28aca9501010a0/?vgnextoid=1716f7e861ed3210VgnVCM1000005e00100aRCRD&vgnextchannel=759b8f2005361010VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD


Ornstein, A. & Hunkins, F. (2009). Curriculum: Foundations, principles, and issues. New York: Pearson.


Ozturk, S. (2010). The opinions of preschool teachers about ethical principles. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice 10(1), 393-418.


Patterson, J., Gordon, J., & Groves Price, P. (2008). The color of caring: Race and the implementation of educational reform. Educational Foundations, 22(3-4), 97-116. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/detail?accno=EJ857641


Popham, W. (2008a). Classroom assessment: What teachers need to know. New York: Pearson.


Popham, W. (2008b). Transformative assessment. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


Reeves, D. (2009). Leading change in your school: How to conquer myths, build commitment, and get results. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


Reeves, D. (2010). Transforming professional development into student results. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


Robbins, S. (2001). Organizational Behavior: Custom edition for University of Phoenix. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.


Rothstein-Fisch, C. & Trumbull, E. (2008). Managing diverse classrooms: How to build on students’ cultural strengths. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


Sergiovanni, T. (1999). Building community in schools. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


Sternberg, R. (2011, March). Building on the common core. Educational Leadership, 68(6), 34-39.


Webster-Wright, A. (2009). Reframing professional development through understanding authentic professional learning. Review of Educational Research. Vol. 79(2), 702-739, doi: 10.3102/0034654308330970


Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2007). Schooling by design: Mission, action, and achievement. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


Wiles, J. & Bondi, J. (2007). Curriculum development: A guide to practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.