Opinion
Education Opinion

The Challenge

By LeaderTalk Contributor — May 04, 2009 1 min read

My office was literally covered in post-it notes as I sat staring in frustration over a challenge posed to me by a colleague, mentor, and inspirational leader: what is your top ten list of tools for teachers?

For nearly a month, I wrestled with this question with NOTHING to show for it but a bunch of post-it notes with fragmented tools that meant little in terms of teaching and learning when shown in isolation. Then I realized why I was struggling; it went against everything I believed about instructional technology and education. So, I shifted the question and that is exactly the move my colleague expected and sought - pedagogy not tools is the focus!

What are ten methodologies and values all classrooms should exhibit?

This is a challenging yet vital question for all educators to negotiate as we continue to discuss what it means to be well-educated in the 21st Century and what that profile means for teaching and learning. While I am still painting this picture and it is a collaborative painting, here is an initial list for discussion and debate:

- Quality of Thought: Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Interdisciplinary, Meta-Cognitive, Multi-Sensory, Knowledge Transfer, Community, Flexibility, Synergy, Design, Listening, Innovation, Risk-Taking, Independent
- Participatory Learning: Play, Performance, Multi-tasking, Collective Intelligence, Judgment, Networking, Simulation, Appropriation, Distributed Cognition, Visualization, Negotiation, and Transliteracy
- Inquiry-based Learning (problem/project): Research, Collaboration, Design, Present, Contribute, and Reflect
- Connective Learning
- Differentiated and Customized Learning
- Cooperative and Collaborative Learning
- Authentic
- Transformative Assessment and Data Use
- Brain-Based
- Higher-Order Thinking and Questioning

Would this be the types of classrooms that would engage students? ignite their passions? build genius? create well-educated, global citizens capable of competing, connecting, and contributing in the 21st Century?

If not, what values, methodologies, and pedagogical practices should each classroom in your school should exhibit?

Start there and begin this conversation with your school today. After all, isn’t it time we begin shifting our organizational mindsets on teaching and learning?

Image by Peter Gerdes

Ryan Bretag is the Coordinator of Instructional Technology at Glenbrook North High School

The opinions expressed in LeaderTalk are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
How Principals Can Support Student Well-Being During COVID
Join this webinar for tips on how to support and prioritize student health and well-being during COVID.
Content provided by Unruly Studios

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Washington Data Processing Representative - (WAVA)
Tacoma, Washington, United States
K12 Inc.
Software Engineer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
Proposal Writer
Portland, OR, US
Northwest Evaluation Association
CCLC Program Site Director
Thornton, CO, US
Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: February 3, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 20, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read