Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Essential Questions

What Is an Essential Question?
by Grant Wiggins
Nov 15, 2007
return to Big Ideas Home

What is an essential question? An essential question is – well, essential: important, vital, at the heart of the matter – the essence of the issue. Think of questions in your life that fit this definition – but don’t just yet think about it like a teacher; consider the question as a thoughtful adult. What kinds of questions come to mind? What is a question that any thoughtful and intellectually-alive person ponders and should keep pondering?
In Understanding by Design we remind readers that “essential” has a few different connotations:
One meaning of “essential” involves important questions that recur throughout one’s life. Such questions are broad in scope and timeless by nature. They are perpetually arguable – What is justice? Is art a matter of taste or principles? How far should we tamper with our own biology and chemistry? Is science compatible with religion? Is an author’s view privileged in determining the meaning of a text? We may arrive at or be helped to grasp understandings for these questions, but we soon learn that answers to them are invariably provisional. In other words, we are liable to change our minds in response to reflection and experience concerning such questions as we go through life, and that such changes of mind are not only expected but beneficial. A good education is grounded in such life-long questions, even if we sometimes lose sight of them while focusing on content mastery. The big-idea questions signal that education is not just about learning “the answer” but about learning how to learn.
A second connotation for “essential” refers to key inquiries within a discipline. Essential questions in this sense are those that point to the big ideas of a subject and to the frontiers of technical knowledge. They are historically important and very much “alive” in the field. “What is healthful eating?” engenders lively debate among nutritionists, physicians, diet promoters, and the general public. “Is any history capable of escaping the social and personal history of its writers?” has been widely and heatedly debated among scholars for the past fifty years, and compels novices and experts alike to ponder potential bias in any historical narrative.
There is a third important connotation for the term “essential” that refers to what is needed for learning core content. In this sense, a question can be considered essential when it helps students make sense of important but complicated ideas, knowledge, and know-how – findings that may be understood by experts, but not yet grasped or seen as valuable by the learner. In what ways does light act wave-like? How do the best writers hook and hold their readers? What models best describe a business cycle? By actively exploring such questions, the learner is helped to arrive at important understandings as well as greater coherence in their content knowledge and skill.
A question is essential when it:
causes genuine and relevant inquiry into the big ideas and core content;
provokes deep thought, lively discussion, sustained inquiry, and new understanding as well as more questions;
requires students to consider alternatives, weigh evidence, support their ideas, and justify their answers;

stimulates vital, on-going rethinking of big ideas, assumptions, and prior lessons;
sparks meaningful connections with prior learning and personal experiences;
naturally recurs, creating opportunities for transfer to other situations and subjects.

Here is a variety of subject-area examples of such questions:

How well can fiction reveal truth?
Why did that particular species/culture/person thrive and that other one barely survive or die?
How does what we measure influence how we measure? How does how we measure influence what we measure?

Is there really a difference between a cultural generalization and a stereotype?
How should this be modeled? What are the strengths and weaknesses of this model? (science, math, social sciences)

Note that an essential question is different from many of the questions teachers typically ask students in class. The most commonly asked question type is factual – a question that seeks “the” correct answer. For example, in a history class, teachers are constantly asking questions to elicit recall or attention to some important content knowledge: “When did the war break out? Who was President at the time? Why, according to the text, did Congress pass that bill?”
Such questions are clearly not “essential” in the sense discussed above. Rather, they are what we might call ‘teacherly’ questions – a question essential to a teacher who wants students to know an important answer.

Is such a leading question bad? No. There are all sorts of good pedagogical reasons for using a question format to underscore knowledge or to call attention to a forgotten or overlooked idea. But those questions are not “essential” in the sense of signaling genuine, important and necessarily-ongoing inquiries. Teachers have to be careful not to conflate two ideas: “essential to me in my role as a teacher” and “essential to anyone as a thinking person and inquiring student for making meaning of facts in this subject.”

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Execution

"What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child." --George Bernard Shaw

After a short sabbatical to work on my doctorate's degree, in March of the school year I returned to the school district where I had been previously employed. There wasn't a job opening at my former high school campus, so I hired on as an Accelerated Reading Instruction Program (ARIP) Teacher. It had been seven years since I had taught elementary school, and I was not enthused about the prospects of working with "little people" again. Despite those initial reservations, my position as ARIP Reading Specialist has been one of the most educational and inspiring jobs I could have had at the time.

My early days of teaching took place in an elementary school. During that time, I learned a lot about what it takes to be a good teacher. It is not that my positions in middle and high school did not do the same, but after moving out of elementary school, I learned the importance of those foundational years of learning.

As the ARIP Reading Specialist, it was my responsibility to service students who were "at risk" of failing our infamous state mandated reading test.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What? I have to teach?

Wisdom Lists
Education, Kids, Technology, Media
About Wisdom Lists

Wisdom Lists is a collection of lists of important ideas, theories, events and timelines collected over many years. It is presented in three categories:

Education, kids, media
History, society and technology
Humor and philosophy

Wisdom lists
Part I. Education researchers, theorists
Bloom, Benjamin
Taxonomy of Cognitive SkillsTaxonomy of Affective SkillsTaxonomy of Psychomotor Skills
Cuban, Larry
Questions teachers ask about using computers
Gagne, Robert
Instructional Design and the Conditions of Learning
Gardner, Howard
Multiple Intelligences
Kohlberg, Lawrence
Kohlberg'"+encodeURIComponent(location.href)+" A Development<>
Piaget, Jean
The Construction of Reality in the Child
Piaget, Jean
Stages of Cognitive Development
Postman, Neil
What We Want Students to Know About Technology
Wiggins, Grant & Jay McTighe
Principles of Backwards Design
Part II. Education practicioners, prognosticators
Andree, Judy
What Is Critical Thinking?
Breeden, Laura, et. al.
Seven Elements of the Information-age School
Chickering & Ehrmann
Seven Principles of Good Educational Practice
Childress, Herb
Seventeen Reasons Why Football Is Better Than High School
Davis & Botkin
The 6 Rs from The Monster Under the Bed
Fortunato, Ron
Project Design and Process
Kallick, Bena, et. al.
Project Design Process
Luginbill & Associates
Designing A Curriculum Project
Paul, Richard

What is Critical Thinking?
A Selection of Critical Thinking Abilities
from The Art of Redesigning Instruction
Ruggiero, Vincent

Five Steps of Creative Problem Solving
from The Art of Thinking
Sykes, Charles

Eleven Rules for Not Dumbing Down Our Kids
Tapscott, Don

Four Themes of the New Generation Gap

The 10 Themes of N-Gen Culture

Eight shifts of Interactive Learning
Wallis, Claudia

5 Rules of How to Get Involved with Your Kid's Use of Computer Games
Co-Nect Schools

Scoring Rubric for Project Reports
Washington State

Seven Essential Learnings for Technology (1994 Washington State Technology Plan for K-12 Common Schools)

Winners of the "worst analogies ever written in a high school essay" Contest
Imitations of "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey" by 4-15 year olds
If a Dog Were Your Teacher

Bloom's Taxonomy of Skills
Benjamin Bloom
Prepared by Donald Clark, Copyright 1999 (found @
Bloom's Cognitive Taxonomy
The cognitive domain involves knowledge and the development of intellectual skills. This includes the recall or recognition of specific facts, procedural patterns, and concepts that serve in the development of intellectual abilities and skills. There are six major categories, which are listed in order below, starting from the simplest behavior to the most complex. The categories can be thought of as degrees of difficulties. That is, the first one must be mastered before the next one can take place.
1. Knowledge Recall of data.
Examples:Recite a policy. Quote prices from memory to a customer. Knows the safety rules.
Key words: defines, describes, identifies, knows, labels, lists, matches, names, outlines, recalls, recognizes, reproduces, selects, states.
2. ComprehensionUnderstand the meaning, translation, interpolation, and interpretation of instructions and problems. State a problem in one's own words.
Examples: Rewrites the principles of test writing. Explain in one's own words the steps for performing a complex task. Translates an equation into a computer spreadsheet.
Key words: comprehends, converts, defends, distinguishes, estimates, explains, extends, generalizes, gives examples, infers, interprets, paraphrases, predicts, rewrites, summarizes, translates.
3. ApplicationUse a concept in a new situation or unprompted use of an abstraction. Applies what was learned in the classroom into novel situations in the workplace.
Examples: Use a manual to calculate an employee's vacation time. Apply laws of statistics to evaluate the reliability of a written test.
Key words: applies, changes, computes, constructs, demonstrates, discovers, manipulates, modifies, operates, predicts, prepares, produces, relates, shows, solves, uses.
4. AnalysisSeparates material or concepts into component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood. Distinguishes between facts and inferences.
Examples: Troubleshoot a piece of equipment by using logical deduction. Recognize logical fallacies in reasoning. Gathers information from a department and selects the required tasks for training.
Key words: analyzes, breaks down, compares, contrasts, diagrams, deconstructs, differentiates, discriminates, distinguishes, identifies, illustrates, infers, outlines, relates, selects, separates.
5. SynthesisBuilds a structure or pattern from diverse elements. Put parts together to form a whole, with emphasis on creating a new meaning or structure.
Examples: Write a company operations or process manual. Design a machine to perform a specific task. Integrates training from several sources to solve a problem. Revises and process to improve the outcome.
Key words: categorizes, combines, compiles, composes, creates, devises, designs, explains, generates, modifies, organizes, plans, rearranges, reconstructs, relates, reorganizes, revises, rewrites, summarizes, tells, writes.
6. EvaluationMake judgments about the value of ideas or materials.
Examples: Select the most effective solution. Hire the most qualified candidate. Explain and justify a new budget.
Key words: appraises, compares, concludes, contrasts, criticizes, critiques, defends, describes, discriminates, evaluates, explains, interprets, justifies, relates, summarizes, supports.
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Bloom's Affective Taxonomy
This domain includes the manner in which we deal with things emotionally, such as feelings, values, appreciation, enthusiasms, motivations, and attitudes. The five major categories listed in order are:
1. Receiving phenomenaAwareness, willingness to hear, selected attention.
Examples: Listen to others with respect. Listen for and remember the name of newly introduced people.
Key words: asks, chooses, describes, follows, gives, holds, identifies, locates, names, points to, selects, sits, erects, replies, uses.
2. Responding to phenomenaActive participation on the part of the learners. Attends and reacts to a particular phenomenon. Learning outcomes may emphasize compliance in responding, willingness to respond, or satisfaction in responding (motivation).
Examples: Participates in class discussions. Gives a presentation. Questions new ideals, concepts, models, etc. in order to fully understand them. Know the safety rules and practices them.
Key words: answers, assists, aids, complies, conforms, discusses, greets, helps, labels, performs, practices, presents, reads, recites, reports, selects, tells, writes.
3. ValuingThe worth or value a person attaches to a particular object, phenomenon, or behavior. This ranges from simple acceptance to the more complex state of commitment. Valuing is based on the internalization of a set of specified values, while clues to these values are expressed in the learner's overt behavior and are often identifiable.
Examples: Demonstrates belief in the democratic process. Is sensitive towards individual and cultural differences (value diversity). Shows the ability to solve problems. Proposes a plan to social improvement and follows through with commitment. Informs management on matters that one feels strongly about.
Key words: completes, demonstrates, differentiates, explains, follows, forms, initiates, invites, joins, justifies, proposes, reads, reports, selects, shares, studies, works.
4. OrganizationOrganizes values into priorities by contrasting different values, resolving conflicts between them, and creating an unique value system. The emphasis is on comparing, relating, and synthesizing values.
Examples: Recognizes the need for balance between freedom and responsible behavior. Accepts responsibility for one's behavior. Explains the role of systematic planning in solving problems. Accepts professional ethical standards. Creates a life plan in harmony with abilities, interests, and beliefs. Prioritizes time effectively to meet the needs of the organization, family, and self.
Key words: adheres, alters, arranges, combines, compares, completes, defends, explains, formulates, generalizes, identifies, integrates, modifies, orders, organizes, prepares, relates, synthesizes.
5. Internalizing values (characterization)Has a value system that controls their behavior. The behavior is pervasive, consistent, predictable, and most importantly, characteristic of the learner. Instructional objectives are concerned with the student's general patterns of adjustment (personal, social, emotional).
Examples: Shows self-reliance when working independently. Cooperates in group activities (displays teamwork). Uses an objective approach in problem solving. Displays a professional commitment to ethical practice on a daily basis. Revises judgments and changes behavior in light of new evidence. Values people for what they are, not how they look.
Key words: acts, discriminates, displays, influences, listens, modifies, performs, practices, proposes, qualifies, questions, revises, serves, solves, verifies.
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Bloom's Psychomotor Taxonomy
The psychomotor domain includes physical movement, coordination, and use of the motor-skill areas. Development of these skills requires practice and is measured in terms of speed, precision, distance, procedures, or techniques in execution. The seven major categories listed in order are:
1. PerceptionThe ability to use sensory cues to guide motor activity. This ranges from sensory stimulation, through cue selection, to translation.
Examples: Detects non-verbal communication cues. Estimate where a ball will land after it is thrown and then moving to the correct location to catch the ball. Adjusts heat of stove to correct temperature by smell and taste of food. Adjusts the height of the forks on a forklift by comparing where the forks are in relation to the pallet.
Key words: chooses, describes, detects, differentiates, distinguishes, identifies, isolates, relates, selects.
2. SetReadiness to act. It includes mental, physical, and emotional sets. These three sets are dispositions that predetermine a person's response to different situations (sometimes called mindsets).
Examples: Knows and acts upon a sequence of steps in a manufacturing process. Recognize one's abilities and limitations. Shows desire to learn a new process (motivation). NOTE: This subdivision of Psychomotor is closely related with the "Responding to phenomena" subdivision of the Affective domain.
Key words: begins, displays, explains, moves, proceeds, reacts, shows, states, volunteers.
3. Guided responseThe early stages in learning a complex skill that includes imitation and trial and error. Adequacy of performance is achieved by practicing.
Examples: Performs a mathematical equation as demonstrated. Follows instructions to build a model. Responds hand-signals of instructor while learning to operate a forklift.
Key words: copies, traces, follows, react, reproduce, responds
4. MechanismThis is the intermediate stage in learning a complex skill. Learned responses have become habitual and the movements can be performed with some confidence and proficiency.
Examples: Use a personal computer. Repair a leaking faucet. Drive a car.
Key words: assembles, calibrates, constructs, dismantles, displays, fastens, fixes, grinds, heats, manipulates, measures, mends, mixes, organizes, sketches.
5. Complex Overt ResponseThe skillful performance of motor acts that involve complex movement patterns. Proficiency is indicated by a quick, accurate, and highly coordinated performance, requiring a minimum of energy. This category includes performing without hesitation, and automatic performance. For example, players are often utter sounds of satisfaction or expletives as soon as they hit a tennis ball or throw a football, because they can tell by the feel of the act what the result will produce.
Examples: Maneuvers a car into a tight parallel parking spot. Operates a computer quickly and accurately. Displays competence while playing the piano.
Key words: assembles, builds, calibrates, constructs, dismantles, displays, fastens, fixes, grinds, heats, manipulates, measures, mends, mixes, organizes, sketches. NOTE: The key words are the same as Mechanism, but will have adverbs or adjectives that indicate that the performance is quicker, better, more accurate, etc.
6. AdaptationSkills are well developed and the individual can modify movement patterns to fit special requirements.
Examples: Responds effectively to unexpected experiences. Modifies instruction to meet the needs of the learners. Perform a task with a machine that it was not originally intended to do (machine is not damaged and there is no danger in performing the new task).
Key words: adapts, alters, changes, rearranges, reorganizes, revises, varies.
7. OriginationCreating new movement patterns to fit a particular situation or specific problem. Learning outcomes emphasize creativity based upon highly developed skills.
Examples: Constructs a new theory. Develops a new and comprehensive training programming. Creates a new gymnastic routine.
Key words: arranges, builds, combines, composes, constructs, creates, designs, initiate, makes, originates.
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Questions teachers ask about using computers
By Larry Cuban
Is the machine or software program simple enough for me to learn quickly?
Is it versatile, that is, can it be used in more than one situation?
Will the program motivate my students?
Does the program contain skills that are connected to what I am expected to teach?
Are the machine and software reliable?
If the system breaks down, is there someone else who will fix it?
Will the amount of time I have to invest in learning to use the system yield a comparable return in student learning?
Will student use of computers weaken my classroom authority?
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Multiple Intelligences
By Howard Gardner
THE ORIGINAL SEVEN INTELLIGENCES Howard Gardner identified and introduced us to seven different kinds of intelligence in Frames of Mind.
Linguistic intelligence: a sensitivity to the meaning and order of words.
Logical-mathematical intelligence: ability in mathematics and other complex logical systems.
Musical intelligence: the ability to understand and create music. Musicians, composers and dancers show a heightened musical intelligence.
Spatial intelligence: the ability to "think in pictures," to perceive the visual world accurately, and recreate (or alter) it in the mind or on paper. Spatial intelligence is highly developed in artists, architects, designers and sculptors.
Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: the ability to use one's body in a skilled way, for self-expression or toward a goal. Mimes, dancers, basketball players, and actors are among those who display bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.
Interpersonal intelligence: an ability to perceive and understand other individuals -- their moods, desires, and motivations. Political and religious leaders, skilled parents and teachers, and therapists use this intelligence.
Intrapersonal intelligence: an understanding of one's own emotions. Some novelists and or counselors use their own experience to guide others.
Naturalist intelligence: the ability to recognize and classify plants, minerals, and animals, including rocks and grass and all variety of flora and fauna.
Gardner discussed the "eighth intelligence" with Kathy Checkley, in an interview for Educational Leadership. Gardner said:
"The naturalist intelligence refers to the ability to recognize and classify plants, minerals, and animals, including rocks and grass and all variety of flora and fauna. The ability to recognize cultural artifacts like cars or sneakers may also depend on the naturalist intelligence. …(S)ome people from an early age are extremely good at recognizing and classifying artifacts. For example, we all know kids who, at 3 or 4, are better at recognizing dinosaurs than most adults."Gardner identified Charles Darwin as a prime example of this type of intelligence.The naturalist intelligence meshed with Gardner's definition of intelligence as "…the human ability to solve problems or to make something that is valued in one or more cultures." And the naturalist intelligence met Gardner's specific criteria:* "Is there a particular representation in the brain for the ability?* "Are there populations that are especially good or especially impaired in an intelligence?* "And, can an evolutionary history of the intelligence be seen in animals other than human beings?"
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Kohlberg 6 Stages of Moral Development
from "Writing Your Own Philosophy of Life"
Stage 1: Respect for power and punishment.A young child (age 1-5) decides what to do--what is right--according to what he/she wants to do and can do without getting into trouble. To be right, you must be obedient to the people in power and, thus, avoid punishment. Motto: "Might makes right."Stage 2: Looking out for #1.Children (age 5-10) tend to be self-serving. They lack respect for the rights of others but may give to others on the assumption that they will get as much or more in return. It is more a matter of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours," instead of loyalty, gratitude, or justice. Motto: "What's in it for me?"Stage 3: Being a "Good Boy" or "Nice Girl."People at this stage (age 8-16) have shifted from pleasing themselves to pleasing important others, often parents, teachers, or friends. They seek approval and conform to someone else's expectations. When they are accused of doing something wrong, their behavior is likely to be justified by saying "everyone else is doing it" or "I didn't intend to hurt anyone." Motto: "I want to be nice."Stage 4: Law and order thinking.The majority of people 16 years old and older have internalized society's rules about how to behave. They feel obligated to conform, not any longer to just family and friends, but also to society's laws and customs. They see it as important to do one's duty to maintain social order. Leaders are assumed to be right; individuals adopt social rules without considering the underlying ethical principles involved. Social control is, therefore, exercised through guilt associated with breaking a rule; the guilt in this case is an automatic emotional response, not a rational reaction of conscience based on moral principles (as in stage 6). People at this stage believe that anyone breaking the rules deserves to be punished and "pay their debt to society." Motto: "I'll do my duty."Stage 5: Justice through democracy.People at this stage recognize the underlying moral purposes that are supposed to be served by laws and social customs; thus, if a law ceases to serve a good purpose, they feel the people in a democracy should get active and change the law. Thought of in this way, democracy becomes a social contract whereby everyone tries continually to create a set of laws that best serves the most people, while protecting the basic rights of everyone. There is respect for the law and a sense of obligation to live by the rules, as long as they were established in a fair manner and fulfill an ethical purpose. Only about 20-25% of today's adults ever reach this stage and most of those that do supposedly only get there after their mid-twenties. Motto: "I'll live by the rules or try to change them."Stage 6: Deciding on basic moral principles by which you will live your life and relate to everyone fairly. These rather rare people have considered many values and have decided on a philosophy of life that truly guides their life. They do not automatically conform to tradition or others' beliefs or even to their own emotions, intuition, or impulsive notions about right and wrong. Stage 6 people carefully choose basic principles to follow, such as caring for and respecting every living thing, feeling that we are all equal and deserve equal opportunities, or, stated differently, the Golden Rule. They are strong enough to act on their values even if others may think they are odd or if their beliefs are against the law, such as refusing to fight in a war. Motto: "I'm true to my values."
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Kohlberg's Six Stages of Moral Development - another perspective
From Joseph Craig's site:
LEVEL A. Preconventional Level
Stage 1. The Stage of Punishment and ObedienceRight is literal obedience to rules and authority, avoiding punishment, and not doing physical harm.Stage 2. The Stage of Individual Instrumental Purpose and ExchangeRight is serving one’s own or other’s needs and making fair deals in terms of concrete exchange… The reason for doing right is to serve one’s own needs or interests in a world where one must recognize that other people have their interests, too.
LEVEL B. Conventional Level
Stage 3. The Stage of Mutual Interpersonal Expectations, Relationships, and ConformityThe right is playing a good (nice) role, being concerned about the other people and their feelings, keeping loyalty and trust with partners, and being motivated to follow rules and expectations… Reasons for doing right are needing to be good in one’s own eyes and those of others, caring for others, and because if one puts oneself in the person’s place one would want good behavior from the self (Golden Rule).Stage 4. The Stage of Social System and Conscience MaintenanceThe right is doing one’s duty in society, upholding the social order, and maintaining the welfare of society or group. What is right is fulfilling the actual duties to which one has agreed. Laws are to be upheld except in extreme cases where they conflict with other fixed social duties and rights. Right is also contributing to society, the group, or institution. The reasons for doing right are to keep the institution going as a whole, self-respect or conscience as meeting one’s defined obligations, or the consequences: "What if everyone did it?"
LEVEL C. Postconventional and Principled Level
Stage 5. The Stage of Prior Rights and Social Contract or UtilityThe right is upholding the basic rights, values, and legal contracts of a society, even when they conflict with the concrete rules and laws of the group… What is right is being aware of the fact that people hold a variety of values and opinions, that most values and rules are relative to one’s group. These "relative" rules should usually be upheld, however, in the interest of impartiality and because they are the social contract.Stage 6. The Stage of Universal Ethical Principle. This stage assumes guidance by universal ethical principles that all humanity should follow.
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Stages of Cognitive Development
Jean Piaget - source: Wayne Hall and Beverly Drinnin, 2000
Characteristics of the Stage
Developmental Tasks
0-2 yrs
Simple reflexive behavior gives way to ability to form schemas (beginnings of symbolic thought)
Object permanence; infant becomes aware over time (3 to about 20 months) that objects may leave and return
2-7 yrs.
Use of symbolic thought and development of imagination
Egocentrism - inability to consider events from another person's point of view; irreversibility - mentally reverse a sequence of events or logical operations back to the starting point; centration - tendency to focus, or center, on only one aspect of a situation; conservation - two equal physical quantities remain equal even if the appearance of one changes, as longas nothing has been added or subtracted
Concrete operational
7-11 yrs.
Capable of true logical thought about physical operations; able to perform operations - conserve, reverse, and consider all physical factors
Not able to think hypothetically and abstractly
11 yrs. +
Able to think hypothetically and abstractly
May be limited to areas of expertise oroperational special interest
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The Construction of Reality in the Child
Jean Piaget from The Construction of Reality in the Child
The Development of Object Concept
The first two stages: no special behavior related to vanished objects
The third stage: beginning of permanence extending the movements of accommodation
The fourth stage: active search for the vanished object but without taking account of the sequence of visible displacements
The fifth stage: the child takes account of the sequential displacements of the object
The sixth stage: the representation of the invisible displacements
The constitutive processes of object concept
The Spatial Field and the Elaboration of Groups of Displacements
The first two stages: practical and heterogeneous groups
The third stage: the coordination of practical groups and the formaiton of subjective groups
The fourth stage: the transition from subjective to objective groups and the discovery of reversible operations
The fifth stage: "objective" groups
The sixth stage: "representative" groups
The main process of the construction of space
The Development of Causality
The first two stages: making contact between internal activity and the external environment, the causality peculiar to the primary schemata
The third stage: magico-phenomenalistic causality
The fourth stage: the elementary expernalization and objectification of causality
The fifth stage: the real objectification and spatialization of causality
The sixth stage: representative causality and the residues of the causality of preceding types
The origins of causality
The Temporal Field
The first two stages: time itself and the practical series
The third stage: the subjective series
The fourth stage: the beginnings of the objectification of time
The fifth stage: the objective series
The sixth stage: the representative series
The Elaboration of the Universe
Assimilation and accommodation
The transition from sensorimotor intelligence to conceptual thought
From sensorimotor universe to representation of the child's world
Space and object
Causality and time
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What We Want Students to Know About Technology
Neil Postman from "The End of Education"
All technological change is a Faustian bargain. For every advantage a new technology offers, there is always a corresponding disadvantage.
The advantages and disadvantages of new technologies are never distributed evenly among the population. This means that every new technology benefits some and harms others.
Embedded in every technology there is a powerful idea, sometimes two or three powerful ideas. Like language itself, a technology predisposes us to favor and value certain perspectives and accomplishments and to subordinate others. Every technology has a philosophy, which is given expression in how the technology makes people use their minds, in what it makes us do with our bodies, in how it codifies the world, in which of our senses it amplifies, in which of our emotional and intellectual tendencies it disregards.
A new technology usually makes war against an old technology. It competes with it for time, attention, money, prestige, and a "worldview."
Technological change is not additive; it is ecological. A new technology does not merely add something; it changes everything.
Because of the symbolic forms in which information is encoded, different technologies have different intellectual and emotional biases.
Because of the accessibility and speed of their information, different technologies have different political biases.
Because of the conditions in which we attend to them, different technologies have different social biases.
Because of their technical and economic structure, different technologies have different content biases.
(Postman, Neil. The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School. New York: Alfred A. Knoph. 1996)
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Part II. Educational Practicioners
What is Critical Thinking?
compiled by J. Andree
I. Positive habits and attitudes that foster critical thinking
A. Awareness of the sources of ideas and opinions
B. Willingness to step back and examine those sources
C. Willingness to risk failure
D. Curiosity
E. Desire to become a strong critical thinker
F. Willingness to delay judgments and base them on sound evidence rather than feelings
G. Desire to seek the truth
H. Understand the complexity of issues
I. Willingness to apply ethical considerations and self-criticism
J. Intellectual humility
II. Critical/Creative Thinking Skills
A. Define problems, issues, and relevant vocabulary
B. Apply creative thinking
Generate ideas
Play with ideas
Suspend judgment
Take risks
Evaluate ideas
C. Read critically
Determine writer's attitude
Identify the supporting evidence
Identify concessions to the opposition
Evaluate arguments, conclusions, and solutions
Evaluate evidence
Detect fallacies/irrationalities
Predict consequences of various solutions
Predict and consider the opposing view
D. Ask pertinent questions
E. Summarize and integrate a variety of views on a topic/issue
F. Distinguish between irony and the literal as well as fact and opinion, judgements, inferences
G. Draw reasonable/logical conclusions
H. Identify unstated assumptions
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Seven Elements of the Information Age School
Laura Breeden, et. al. from Building Consensus/Building Models: A Newworking Strategy for Change
Learning occurs in collaboration, not in isolation
Students are active architects of their own learning experiences
Educators' roles expand: They re facilitators, innovators, collaborators, researchers, and electronic publishers
Advanced technologies are commonplace tools for educators and students
Interior and exterior walls become "transparent"; that is, greater collaboration among educators and students within a school, and with others around the country and the world, is encouraged
The community actively participates in the teaching and learning processes
All stakeholders, including practitioners and parents, play an active role in managment decisions regarding instruction and technology
(Breeden, Laura, Eric S. Hood, Laurie Maak, Kathleen M. Rutkowski, Gwen Solomon, Connie Stout. Building Consensus/Building Models: A Networking Strategy for Change. Federation of American Research Networks, Inc. Consortium for School Networking. 1994)
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Seven Principles of Good Educational Practice
Arthur W. Chickering and Stephen C. Ehrmann from Implementing the Seven Principles
1. Good Practice Encourages Contacts Between Students and Faculty.Frequent student-faculty contact in and out of class is a most important factor in student motivation and involvement. Faculty concern helps students get through rough times and keep on working. Knowing a few faculty members well enhances students' intellectual commitment and encourages them to think about their own values and plans.
2. Good Practice Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students. Learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort than a solo race. Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases involvement in learning. Sharing one's ideas and responding to others' improves thinking and deepens understanding.
3. Good Practice Uses Active Learning Techniques. Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write reflectively about it, relate it to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves.
4. Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback. Knowing what you know and don't know focuses your learning. In getting started, students need nelp in assessing their existing knowledge and competence. Then, in classes. students need frequent opportunities to perform and receive feedback on their performance. At various points during college, and at its end, students need chances to reflect on what they have leanred, what they still need to know, and how they might assess themselves.
5. Good Practice Emphasizes Time on Task. Time plus energy equals learning. Learning to use one's time well is critical for students and professionals alike. Allocating realistic amounts of time means effective learning for students and effective teaching for faculty.
6. Good Practice Communicates High Expectations.Expect more and you will get it. High expectations are important for everyone -- for the poorly prepared, for those unwilling to exert themselves, and for the bright and well motivated. Expecting students to perform well becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
7. Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning.Many roads lead to learning. Different students bring different talents and styles to collegs. Brilliant students in a seminar might be all thumbs in a lab or studio; students rich in hands-on-experience may not do so well with theory. Students need opportunities to show their talents and learn in ways that work for them. Then they can be pushed to learn in new ways that do not come so easily.
Chickering, Arthur C. and Stephen C. Ehrmann. Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever. AAHE Bulletin
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Seventeen Reasons Why Football is Better Than High School
Herb Childress
In football, teenagers are considered important contributors rather than passive recipients.
In football, teenagers are encouraged to excel.
In football, teenagers are honored.
In football, a player can let the team down.
In football, repetition is honorable.
In football, the unexpected happens all the time.
In football, practices generally run a lot longer than 50 minutes.
In football, the homework is of a different type from what's done at practice.
In football, emotions and human contact are expected parts of the work.
In football, players get to choose their own roles.
In football, the better players teach the less-skilled players.
In football, there is a lot of individual instruction and encouragement from adults.
In football, the adults who participate are genuinely interested.
In football, volunteers from the community are sought after.
In football, ability isn't age-linked.
Football is more than the sum of its parts.
In football, a public performance is expected.
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The Six R's
Stan Davis and Jim Botkin from The Monster Under the Bed
(Botkin, Jim and Stan Davis. The Monster Under the Bed. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1994)
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Project Design and Process
Ron Fortunato
Defining Project Oriented Design.Projects may be defined by any combination or all of the following attributes:
Projects should be real-world, solving real problems.
Project curriculum and activities generate complex problem solving environments.
Projects are supported and managed by systems oriented, collaborative problem solving organizations.
Projects are inherently interdisciplinary, which naturally allows the integration of various discipline areas.
Project design includes the facility, curriculum, assessment, and new roles for all participants including the superintendent, principals, teachers, students, parents, community and industry partners.
Projects should be supported at all levels including the superintendent, principals, teachers, students, parents, community and industry partners.
Community interaction should be part of the project design and activities in the context of solving important problems - local, national, or global.
Successful, innovative environments require a clear understanding of vision and mission. The purpose must be present and communicated by all participants.
Partnerships should be developed with business, industry, government, and universities.
Real-world problems allow the development of projects which must operate in the real, competitive world. Projects should be based on solving real problems that are important to the community for mutual buy-in.
Projects allow for the development of professionally and community evaluated products and assessment giving justification to any gradaint/evaluation, and process utilized.
The community should be educated in and involved with the new project orientation. This is particularly important with potential business partners since many assume the traditional educational systems are in operation which function on memorization and isolated learning skills. Community support is critical for successful implementation of new thinking for project oriented teaching and roles.
Projects support continual generation of new projects and spin-offs.
Students constantly create new knowledge in project environments, allowing for dynamic curriculum generation.
Students are products and must be able to demonstrate skills identified as outcomes.
Projects allow new modes of teaching and learning. Teachers learn alongside of students-everyone learns and teaches.
Process. The process of designing projects may include the following activities, and not necessarily in this order:
Identify the need-why do it, and how did we get into this position. In order to get started, there must be a decision to commit.
Environmental scan and research-study the school culture, the history/chronology of how we arrived at our current position, determine what community resources are available locally, and distant or remote.
Determine corporate mission statements and goals, their burning issues, current initiatives, product development and ongoing projects to help identify which problems they would buy into and support.
Identify local/national/global problems and match them with business/ industry/community research.
Determine the skills, outcomes and products desired. For example, if process skills such as problem solving and communication are desired, these must be made explicit.
Idenfify new roles for teachers, students, administrators, parents, community. The Christa McAuliffe Institute has identified 7 emerging roles for educators: broker, collaborator, entrepreneur, long range planner, mentor/mentee, researcher, seeker. These new roles are defined later in the process section.
Demonstrate models of projects and activities which will help people to see new possibilities.
Determine the project mission and objectives. Create problem definitions and objectives, and develop the justification for designing and implementing the project.
Design the curriculum and related activities. Use scenario building as a tool to create form and structure. Scenarios are not blueprints, rather they are a paradigm shifting tool. See the scenario at the end of the process section for an example.
Develop the evaluation/assessment tools for process and product. Take into account the skills and outcomes previously determined in order to develop the full potential of the student, including intellectual, physical, and self-awareness aspects of the individual. The evaluation tool should include requirements for obtaining statements of student ability and performance from the community. Planning activities should include benchmarking, or the determination of student skills development over time.
Determine schedules and milestones. The development of project milestones allows for effective planning of resources to support all activities, including money and personnel.
Design and develop the problem-solving/learning organization. This should be a systems model. Problem solving organizations are remarkable in that process/higher order skill sets are inherent in the organizational structure. This structure shifts the responsibility of learning to the student, and creates an interdependence of learning between students. The models following the scenario provide examples of student problem-solving organizations implemented in districts around the country. The first diagram illustrates a k-12 generic organization, and the second diagram illustrates a more complex organization of two teams of high school students solving multiple problems. The NORSTAR Project article illustrated a mature and complex organization of a team of high school studetns who ran the first high school student-run space flight project ever attempted. The organizational chart in that article illustrates the relationship between organizational responsibility and mentor support.
Identify the function and responsibilities of interrelated systems in the project organization.
Learn and experiment with new roles for students, teachers, administrators, parents, community members.
Conduct orientation sessions for families, this might be an orientation night for new students, their parents, and community partners. Allow an orientation time period for new students joining existing and ongoing projects.
Develop partnerships with the community-business, industry, university, government. Partnerships and mentors can be developed locally and remotely using various telecommunication methods effectively.
Create and Sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the school and the community partner to outline the responsibilities and commitments from both sides. It is important for the partners to clearly understand what they are giving and receiving.
Promote the circle of learning process between teachers and students since everyone will be learning from each other. The students gain new bonds wih the teacher in this process.
Require peer tutoring as part of the organizational learning activities. Students with expertise should be required to teach other students, and to take on new responsibilities as they gain experience in the project.
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Ten Step Project Design Process
Bena Kallick, Patrick Laherty, Ed Murphy, John Schiller, and Don Zundel from Project Design and Evaluation
Set criteria for the project, let students know your expectations.
Teams brainstorm and decide on the type of project, the subject and the audience(s).
Teams write a proposal presenting their ideas in paragraph form.
Teams have a proposal conference with the instructor.
Teams present their proposal to the class and revise as necessary, based on feedback from the group.
Teams write a script and/or storyboard including specific details.
Teams meet with the instructor for script/storyboard approval.
Teams conduct research, collect resources and build their project.
When it is finished, teams "premier" the product along with the rest of the class and evaluate it.
Teams re-edit the project/product if necessary.
(Kallick, Bena. Patrick Laherty, Ed Murphy, John Schiller and Don Zundel. Pesign and Evaluation: Working With Multimedia)
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Six Steps of Designing A Curriculum Project
George Luginbill and Associates, Inc.
The Process Steps are:
Stating the learning assignment
Resource Listing: Listing all of the materials and people needed to accomplish the project
Project Settings : Planning scheduling, time allotment for tasks, facility arrangement, etc.
Project Objectives : Listing learning objectives, i.e. The teacher and student will .........
Connections : Stating expected interactions between student and teacher, student and student
Project Evaluation : Listing how the project will be evaluated; tied to any district or building goals
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What is Critical Thinking?
Richard Paul from "Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs to Survive in a Rapidly Changing World"
A Unique Kind of Purposeful Thinking
In any subject area or topic, whether academic or practical, requiring intellectual fitness training for the mind akin to physical fitness training for the body
In Which the Thinker Systematically and Habitually
Actively develops traits such as intellectual integrity, intellectual humility, fairmindedness, intellectual empathy, and intellectual courage
Imposes Criteria and Intellectual Standards Upon the Thinking
Identifies the criteria of solid reasoning, such as precision, relevance, depth, accuracy, sufficiency, and establishes a clear standard by which the effectiveness of the thinking will be finally assessed
Taking Charge of the Construction of Thinking
Awareness of the elements of thought such as assumptions and point of view, that are present in all well-reasoned thinking; a conscious, active and disciplined effort to address each element is displayed
Guiding the Construction of the Thinking According to the Standards
Continually assessing the course of construction during the process, adjusting, adapting, improving, using the candles of criteria and standards to light the way
Assessing the Effectiveness of the Thinking According to the Purpose, the Criteria, and the Standards.
Deliberately assessing the thinking to determine its strengths and limitations, according to the defining purpose, criteria and standards, studying the implications for further thinking and improvement
(Paul, Richard. Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs to Survive in A Rapidly Changing World. 3rd ed. Center for Critical Thinking. 1993)
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A Selection of Critical Thinking Abilities
Richard Paul from "The Art of Redesigning Instruction"
Identification and Recognition Abilities
Identifying and recognizing elements of reasoning
Uncovering significant similarities and differences
Recognizing contradictions, inconsistencies, and double standards
Comprehension Abilties: Comparing and Clarifying
Uncovering significant similarities and differences
Refining generalizations and avoiding oversimplifications
Clarifying and analyzing issues, conclusions, or beliefs
Clarifying and analyzing the meanings of words or phrases
Developing criteria for evaluation: clarifying values and standards
Comparing and contrasting ideals with actual practice
Reasoning dialogically: comparing perspectives, interpretations, or theories
Application Abilities
Comparing analogous situations: transferring insights to new contexts
Designing and carrying out tests of concepts, theories, and hypotheses
Making interdisciplinary connections
Abilities of Analysis
Clarifying and analyzing issues, conclusions, or beliefs
Clarifying and analyzing the meanings of words or phrases
Analyzing and evaluating arguments, interpretations, beliefs, or theories
Analyzing and evaluating actions or policies
Rethinking your thinking: metacognition
Exploring thoughts underlying feelings and feelings underlying thoughts
Synthesis Abilities
Reasoning dialogically: comparing perspectives, interpretations, or theories
Comparing analogous situations: transferring insights to new contexts
Making interdisciplinary connections
Reasoning dialectically: evaluating perspectives, interpretations, or theories
Evaluation Abilities
Refining generalizations and avoiding oversimplifications
Comparing and contrasting ideals with actual practice
Designing and carrying out tests of concepts, theories, and hypotheses
Analyzing and evaluating arguments, interpretations, beliefs, or theories
Analyzing and evaluating actions or policies
Rethinking your thinking: metacognition
Exploring thoughts underlying feelings and feelings underlying thoughts
Reasoning dialectically: evaluating perspectives, interpretations, or theories
Evaluating the credibility of sources of information
Generating and assessing solutions
Questioning deeply: raising and pursuing root or significant questions
Abilities to Create or Generate
Dsigning and carrying out tests of concepts, theories, and hypotheses
Generating and assessing solutions
Creating concepts, arguments, or theories
Our idea for instructional design is built on a systematic approach that includes all of the dimensions above. The logic of the teaching process should reflect the logic by means of which students ought to learn. (Paul, Richard W. The Art of Redesigning Instruction. Santa Rosa: Foundation for Critical Thinking. 1995.)
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Five Steps of Creative Problem Solving
Vincent R. Ruggiero from "The Art of Thinking"
Step 1: Searching for Challenges. In most situations, the problems and issues are already in front of us and we don't need to search for them. But Ruggiero tries to get students to search for such things as improvements for products and policies in addition to dealing with ready-made problems.
Step 2: Expressing Problems and/or Issues. Listing a variety of expressions, using "How can" for problems and "Should," "Is," or "Does" for issues, helps focus and narrow the problem/issue. Students then select an expression that seems manageable.
Step 3: Investigating the Problem/Issue. List questions that need answering and research those answers. In small groups students may brainstorm a list of questions even though the time isn't allow for the actual research.
Step 4: Producing ideas for Solutions. This requires brainstorming beyond the ordinary through the ridiculous to the creative and uncommon. When a list is developed, students select one possible solution to evaluate and put into action.
Step 5: Refining and Evaluating Solutions. This step involved determining the steps in the implementation of a solution, the soundness of the solution, and the possible arguments against the solution.
(Ruggiero, Vincent R. The Art of Thinking. Harper Collins)
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Eleven Rules for Not Dumbing Down Our Kids
from Charles Sykes, Dumbing Down Our Kids
Charles Sykes is the author of Dumbing Down Our Kids. In his book, he talks about how the feel good, politically-correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and set them up for failure in the real world. You may want to share this list with them.
Rule 1: Life is not fair; get used to it.
Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3: You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.
Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.
Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This, of course, doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
(Sykes, Charles J. Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why american Children Feel God About Themselves but Can't Read, Write, or Add. St. Martins Press. 1995.)
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Four Themes of the New Generation Gap
Don Tapscott from "Growing Up Digital "
The older generations are uneasy about the new technology--which kids are embracing.
Older generations tend to be uneasy about new media--which are coming into the heart of youth culture.
Old media are uneasy about new media.
The digital revolution, unlike previous ones, is not controlled by only adults.
(Tapscott, Don. Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1998.)
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Ten Themes of the N-Gen Culture
Don Tapscott from "Growing Up Digital"
Fierce Independence
Emotional and Intellectual Openness
Free Expression and Strong Views
Preoccupation with Maturity
Sensitivity to Corporate Interest
Authentication and Trust
(Tapscott, Don. Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1998.)
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Eight Shifts of Interactive Learning
Don Tapscott from "Growing Up Digital"
From linear to hypermedia learning
From instruction to construction and discovery
From teacher-centered to learner-centered education
From absorbing material to learning how to navigate and how to learn
From school to lifelong learning
From one-size-fits-all to customized learning
From learning as torture to learning as fun
From the teacher as transmitter to the teacher as facilitator
(Tapscott, Don. Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1998.)- Top of page

Top Ten Reasons Parents Should Relax About Cyber Love
Don Tapscott from "Growing Up Digital "
10. Alcohol isn't served in IRCs 9. Time on the Net is time away from the TV 8. No curfew disagreements 7. Meeting someone in a chat room doesn't require new clothes 6. Heavy breathing won't fog up a computer screen 5. The car won't run out of gas 4. Kids have to read and write to chat 3. Your son can't get someone pregnant in a chat room 2. Your daughter can't get pregnant in a chat room 1. No one ever contracted an STD through a modem cable
(Tapscott, Don. Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation. New York: McGraw-Hill. 1998.)
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Scoring Rubric for Project Reports
From The Co-Nect School
Line of argument is not clear; inappropriate or missing evidence and examples. Poor sense of audience. Transitions poorly made, or totally lacking.
Takes position but with occasional lapses; evidence is provided, but not always sufficient-opinion may be presented as fact. Audience may be misjudged. Transitions may be occasionally mishandled.
Maintains clear position throughout, with well-organized and coherent argument, appropriate to audience, and strongly supported by evidence and examples. Effective use of transitions and connecting words.
Shows poor understanding of subject matter; provides little information of relevance.
Shows reasonable good understanding of subject matter. Presentation is informative, but may be lacking in detail.
Builds argument on rich base of knowledge, displaying deep understanding of subject matter. Presentation is informative and rich in detail.
Language is highly constrained, obscuring argument, word choice is severely limited and often inappropriate; simple and repetitive sentence structure.
Shows adequate, but somewhat predictable use of language. Somewhat limited word choice and sentence structure.
Effective and appropriate use of language; effective, idiomatic, word choice, varied sentence structure; writing is above all interesting and artful.
Very little care given to presentation and appearance of document. Visual aids totally lacking or inappropriate. General appearance is sprawling and messy, or very short.
Shows attention to quality of presentation, with some lapses. Appropriate graphics may be present, but sometimes inadequately integrated with text. Some parts may appear to be hastily done.
Shows careful attention to quality of presentation; good use of paragraphs, headings; charts, tables, graphs (if any) are skillfully made; illustrations are porvided where appropriate. Overall impression is that of a well-crafted document.
Numerous misspellings, errors in punctuation and grammar.
Reasonably good mechanics, but fairly frequent errors in punctuation, spelling, grammar.
Language and format is mechanically sound. Few mistakes in spelling, punctuation, or grammar.

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5 Rules of How to Get Involved With Your Kid's Use of Computer Games
Claudia Wallis from TIME
Rule 1. Know what your kid is playing. If possible, rent and test a game before you buy it. We made the mistake of buying Golden Eye 007, not realizing that the whole game is played peering over a revolver.
Rule 2. Remember, a new game is like a fever. It must run its course. Allow generous playtime when the game is new, preferably during a school vacation.
Rule 3. Then set strict time limits.
Rule 4. If you can stand it, play the game with your child.
Rule 5. Worry if the fever doesn't let go. Then you are dealing with an illness that will obliterate other activities.
(Wallis, Claudia. "Learning To Love Zelda". TIME. May 10, 1999. p.56.)
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Seven Essential Learnings for Technology
(from 1994 Washington State Technology Plan for K-12 Common Schools, Tomorrow: Technology in K-12 Schools)
Effective use of technology will require students to develop new roles in learning, living and working. The following essential learnings for technology should be woven into the work of the Commission of Student Learning as they develop essential academic learning requirements, performance standards, and assessments for all academic areas.
The student as information navigator. The student recognizes and values the bredth of information sources, browses those sources, differentiates and selectively chooses sources, and retrieves appropriate information/data using all forms of media, technology and telecommunications.
The student as critical thinker and analyzer using technology. The student reviews data from a variety of sources, analyzing, synthesizingand evaluating data to transform it into useful information and knowledge to solve problems.
The student as creator of knowledge using technology, media and telecommunications. The student constructs new meaning and knowledge by combining and synthesizing different types of information through technology, telecommunications and computer modeling/simulations.
The student as effective communicator through a variety of appropriate technologies/media. The student creates, produces and presents ideas, stories, and unique representations of thoughts through a variety of media by analyzing the task before him/her, the technologies available, and appropriately selecting and using the most effective tool(s) media for the purpose and audience
The student as a discriminating selector of appropriate technology for specific purposes. The student discriminates among a variety of technologies and media to extend and expand his/her capabilities.
The student as technician. The student develops sufficient technical skills to successfully install, setup and use the technology and telecommunications tools in his/her daily life, work stiuations and learning environments.
The student as a responsible citizen, worker, learner, community member and family member in a technological age. The student understands the ethical, cultural, enviornmental and societal implications of technology and telecommunnications, and developsa sense of stewardship and individual responsibility regarding his/her use of technology, media and telecommunications networks, respecting historical context and enhancing cultural lineage with integrity and concern for truth.
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Selman's Levels of Enacted Interpersonal Understanding
From "The Growth of Interpersonal Understanding" as quoted in "Moral Classrooms, Moral Children"
Negotiation through collaborative strategies oriented toward integrating needs of self and other
Mutual Third-Person Level (3)
Shared experience through collaborative empathic reflective processes
Negotiation through cooperative strategies in a persuasive or deferential orientation
Reciprocal Reflective Level (2)
Shared experience through joint reflection on similar perceptions or experiences
Negotiation through one-way commands/ orders or through automatic obedience strategies
Unilateral One-Way Level (1)
Shared experience through expressive enthusiasm without concern for reciprocity
Negotiation through unreflective physical strategies (impulsive fight or flight)
Egocentric Impulsive Level (0)
Shared experience through unreflective (contagious) imitation

Negotiation Strategies
Core Developmental Levels in Social Perspective Coordination
Shared Experiences
(Selman, R. The Growth of Interpersonal Understanding. New York: Academic Press. 1980. As quoted in DeVries, Rheta and Betty Zan, Moral Classrooms, Moral Children: Creating a Constructivist Atmosphere in Early Education. Teachers College Press, New York. 1994.)
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Nineteen winners of the "worst analogies ever written in a high school essay" contest
He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it. (Joseph Romm, Washington)
She caught your eye like one of those pointy-hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again. (Rich Murphy, Fairfax Station)
The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't. (Russell Beland, Springfield)
McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty Bag filled with vegetable soup. (Paul Sabourin, Silver Spring)
From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and "Jeopardy" comes on at 7 p.m. instead of 7:30. (Roy Ashley, Washington)
Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)
Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center. (Russell Beland, Springfield)
Bob was as perplexed as a hacker who means to access\aaakk/ch@ung but gets T:\flw.quidaaakk/ch@ung by mistake. (Ken Krattenmaker, Landover Hills)
Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever. (Unknown)
He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree. (Jack Bross, Chevy Chase)
The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease. (Gary F. Hevel, Silver Spring)
Her date was pleasant enough, but she knew that if her life was a movie this guy would be buried in the credits as something like "Second Tall Man." (Russell Beland, Springfield)
Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph. (Jennifer Hart, Arlington)
The politician was gone but unnoticed, like the period after the Dr. on a Dr Pepper can. (Wayne Goode, Madison, Ala.)
They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth. (Paul Kocak, Syracuse, N.Y.)
John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met. (Russell Beland, Springfield)
The thunder was ominous-sounding, much like the sound of a thin sheet of metal being shaken backstage during the storm scene in a play. (Barbara Fetherolf, Alexandria)
His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free. (Chuck Smith, Woodbridge)
The red brick wall was the color of a brick-red Crayola crayon.
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Eighteen actual newspaper contest entries by kids age 4 to 15 who were asked to imitate "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey."
(If this is true, there are some scary 4-15 year olds out there..)
I believe you should live each day as if it is your last, which is why I don't have any clean laundry because, come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life? --Age 15
Give me the strength to change the things I can, the grace to accept the things I cannot, and a great big bag of money. --Age 13
It sure would be nice if we got a day off for the president's birthday, like they do for the queen. Of course, then we would have a lot of people voting for a candidate born on July 3 or December 26, just for the long weekends. --Age 8
Democracy is a beautiful thing, except for that part about letting just any old yokel vote. --Age 10
Home is where the house is. --Age 6
I bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween. --Age 13
I often wonder how come John Tesh isn't as popular a singer as some people think he should be. Then, I remember it's because he sucks. --Age 15
For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That's what happens to cheese when you leave it out. --Age 6
When I go to heaven, I want to see my grandpa again. But he better have lost the nose hair and the old-man smell. --Age 5
I once heard the voice of God. It said "Vrrrrmmmmm." Unless it was just a lawn mower. --Age 11
I like to go down to the dog pound and pretend that I've found my dog. Then I tell them to kill it anyway because I already gave away all of his stuff. Dog people sure don't have a sense of humor. --Age 14
As you make your way through this hectic world of ours, set aside a few minutes each day. At the end of the year, you'll have a couple of days saved up. --Age 7
Often, when I am reading a good book, I stop and thank my teacher. That is, I used to, until she got an unlisted number. --Age 15
It would be terrible if the Red Cross Bloodmobile got into an accident. No, wait. That would be good because if anyone needed it, the blood would be right there. --Age 5
Think of the biggest number you can. Now add five. Then, imagine if you had that many Twinkies. Wow, that's five more than the biggest number you could come up with! --Age 6
The only stupid question is the one that is never asked, except maybe "Don't you think it is about time you audited my return?" or "Isn't it morally wrong to give me a warning when, in fact, I was speeding?" --Age 15
Once, I wept for I had no shoes. Then I came upon a man who had no feet. So I took his shoes. I mean, it's not like he really needed them, right? --Age 15
If we could just get everyone to close their eyes and visualize world peace for an hour, imagine how serene it would be until the looting started. -- Age 15
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If A Dog Were Your Teacher (here's nineteen things you would learn)
You would learn stuff like.....
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
When it's in your best interest -- practice obedience.
Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
Take naps and stretch before rising.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout... run right back and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
Be loyal.
Never pretend to be something you're not.
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
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