Why Teacher Unions Are Good for Teachers and the Public

In the current climate, when it is in vogue to select non-educators to administer school systems, it is vital that teachers have a voice. School reform cannot possibly succeed when teachers—who are on the frontlines of implementation—are left out of the decision-making process. If there is no “buy-in,” if teachers do not willingly concur with the orders handed down from on high, then reform cannot succeed. If administrators operate by stealth and confrontation, then their plans for reform will founder. They cannot improve what happens in the classroom by humiliating and bossing around the teachers who are in daily contact with the children. Only in an atmosphere of mutual respect can administrators and teachers produce the kind of partnership that will benefit students. And administrators cannot achieve this collaborative atmosphere unless they are willing to talk with and listen to the leaders chosen by teachers to represent them.

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Six trends for 2007 and the 21st century

Via Stephen Downes and ZD Net

eSchoolNews editor Gregg Downey offers six prognostications for the coming year. He has listed

Web 2.0.

Cloud computing

Service-oriented architecture

The gathering SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model)

Telepresence …

The sixth is

21st-century learning

An organization called the Partnership for 21st Century Skills has developed a program designed to help educators prepare their students for the future. According to the Partnership, students need the following skills. The job of educators in the 21st century is to deliver them:

  • Information and communication skills;
  • Thinking and problem-solving skills;
  • Interpersonal and self-direction skills;
  • Global awareness;
  • Financial, economic, and business skills; and
  • Civic literacy.

Website update

I updated the website for teachers last night.

These are the pages updated.

Polar Regions
Behaviour Management
Maths
Books in sign
Science
Animals
Fiction activities
Computers & ICTs
Thinking skills
Books for teaching similes
Anorexia – booklist
Countries

and I have also updated the Quotations about Teaching and Education

and the Just for Fun pages

Social-networking sites confound schools

At least half of school systems in a recent poll do not have policies to address students’ use of MySpace, Facebook, and other such sites

More than three years after social-networking web sites such as MySpace and Facebook first began cropping up online, school leaders still struggle with how to set policies regarding the use of such sites both inside and outside of school–and many school systems lack these policies altogether, according to a recent survey. Read on …

Schools mull new Microsoft technologies

Office 2007, Windows Vista promise greater security and ease of use–but upgrading will require significant planning and training

Software giant Microsoft Corp. will begin licensing two major new releases, Office 2007 and Windows Vista, to schools and businesses at the end of this month.

The programs include a host of new features aimed at boosting security and improving their ease of use–but upgrading will require significant planning and training on the part of schools.

Read on …