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Friday, 6 February 2004
Thinking about Rexford Brown!
I wanted to take a few minutes to summarize Rexford Brown's ideas. I hope his words left you with something to think about.

Concerns for Restructuring Education
1. Economy - can we understand, synthesize and analyze information; know good information from bad; can we communicate diversely?

2. Quality of Life - educaiton is extension of government. Reminder that people are primary resource NOT industry. Do we know how to develop people to their fullest potential?

3. Reschooling our thoughts
a. Disciplines (content areas) are not connected and are not collaborative enough

b. Respect for each discipline as a different form of knowing, of being in the world, and organizing thinking

4. Three-fold curriculum
a. Use students' prior knowledhe and interests to drive curriculum
b. CORE knowledge of facts and central ideas that all learn as a collective, cultural literacy
c. Teachers' interests are shared-passion is easy to connect with anything else


CHARACTERISTICS OF A HEALTHY MIND
1. thinks critically
2. is creative
3. makes distinctions and defends them (good vs bad; compare and contrast)
4. interprets situations
5. analyzes information
6. has curiosity/sense of wonder
7. has a disposition for learning
8. has values (courage, character counts)
9. possesses core knowledge

THOUGHTFULNESS OF LITERACY
Different people use a different knowledge base and a different way of organizing information for the work that they do. These are ways of making and giving meaning within their discipline, which extends beyond basic skills, to discuss, write critically and problem-solve.

NURTURING A THOUGHFULNESS OF LITERACY, the following is necessary:

1. students are active learners
2. in richly textured environments
3. children writing and asking lots of questions
4. excellent teachers are excellent facilitators
5. constantly finding ways to appeal learning to students
6. AND MAKING CONNECTIONS (how, why, how come...)
7. Explanations provide context to shift teaching modes-coaching-lecturing-questioning
8. time to REFLECT
9. Use language of learning - caring, thoughtful, open to reflect, asking of questions
10. proving to others that students whom others think can't learn, CAN!

Our educational system is set up with bias in mind. Some will pass and some will fail. (Freire, Illych)
Thoughfulness of Literacy conflicts with high stakes testing.


.............QUESTIONS FOR YOU.....................

Can standardized testing and thoughfulness of literacy coexist or will one need to override the other?

After listening to Rexford Brown What has remained a lasting impression, phrase, question, ideas for you?


Ending Note:
Studies have proven that the most effective reading comprehension strategies are those that help students connect text to their own lives/experiences by questioning:
1. what is explicit in the text;
2. what is inferred in the text; and
3. what questions do students pose based on their prior experience.

These strategies can become routinized and integrated as a practice of modeling how to bring about a thoughtfulness of literacy.



Posted by unm-farmington at 1:21 PM MST
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Friday, 23 January 2004
Welcome to Reading in the Content Area (LLSS 538)
I am pleased to introduce our Discussion/FORUM BLOG! This website is a vehicle to relay your ideas, responses, and reflections throughout our course. Please feel free to respond to postings from your colleagues. This is a conduit for interaction outside of our classroom walls. I look forward to a productive and stimulating semester. Our course syllabus is available online (1/26): Reading in the Content Areas. Please print your own copies and bring with you to review at our second class meeting.

Posted by unm-farmington at 11:37 PM MST
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