Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Presentation on Standards 2.0

This past Friday I spoke at the 29th annual meeting for Maine's High School Physics and Physical Science Teachers, held at the University of Maine. I was invited to speak by my M.S.T. thesis advisor, Dr. Michael Wittmann, to present some of the work I've been leading at my current school to refine our standards-based system for curriculum and grading. It was a great honor to be invited and to have the opportunity to spend the day working with teachers from all around the state. Other speakers included Michael Dudley, a Physics teacher at North Central Charter Essential School, and Craig Kesselheim, a Senior Associate at Great Schools Partnership. Mike presented on his experience implementing the Intuitive Quantum Physics curriculum developed collaboratively at UMaine by Dr. Wittmann and other folks in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and at the Center for Science and Mathematics Education Research. Craig presented an overview of the work coordinated by the Great Schools Partnership, including development of networks of schools to promote good practice and their iWalkthrough software that facilitates collecting and visualizing data from short, protocol-based classroom observations.

I've embedded below the presentation I developed for the conference - I hope that some of the attendees will come back to view it here, and that other educators here in Maine or elsewhere might find some of the information within of value. One of the more validating aspects of my work on Friday was the opportunity to speak with other educators who've been working within a standards-based system for nearly as long as my current school; although the details of these systems vary, the issues that arise over time tend to have lots of similarity. We all agreed that the standards-based approach does have some benefits, but that we need to work toward minimizing some of the emergent difficulties if the standards-based reform hypothesis is to be supported in the long-term.

(Please note that if you're reading this post in a RSS feed reader, the embedded presentation below may not show up, click through to the web page to view if so inclined.)

1 comment:

  1. Seems like you had an opportunity for a very interesting discussion.

    When I go out and talk to schools about standards-based grading practices, teachers of grades 11 and 12 are invariably described as being the least "ready" to hear this kind of message.

    What did you find with the physics group?