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Teaching is NOT a Dirty Word!

March 31, 2009

This is a slide and audio presentation given by Chris Betcher at the Sitech Champion Schools Conference in Napier, New Zealand.  The slide show is done with Chris’ typical style of humour and sarcasm but it really hits home with those of us who use Interactive Whiteboards (IWB’s) on a daily basis.

In the presentation, Chris challenges teachers to teach “New Things in New Ways” as opposed to “Old Things in New ways” and he is truly correct in doing so.  The one thing that we all must remember though is that teachers need the right work environment for this to be possible.

Many of the private schools (both here in Canada and abroad) have the luxury of full administrative support when it comes to tinkering with new forms of student-centred learning.  Unfortunately, for those of us stuck in mainstream public education, this is simply not the case.  The bureaucracy involved in “getting approval” for even minor changes in pedagogy and/or assessment is immense to say the least.

Dr. Robert Marzano has published several studies that indicate student success increases with the use of IWB’s as long as they are paired with experienced teachers who use them effectively.  One would think that this sort of thing would be enough to convince the powers at be of what the right thing to do is.

Sadly,  our system continues to cling to its one size fits all, mass-production model of public education.  I actually like to call it the General Motors’ model for public education.

Wait!  Aren’t they going bankrupt?

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