Thursday, June 09, 2011

New Gov/Econ Approach Brainstorm

Total brainstorm.  Read if interested. Otherwise move along.

-New idea for Gov/Econ:  Don’t break class into semesters.  Establish overall guiding question:  How to improve the community.

-Not nearly as easy as you might think to integrate the two.  Gov not focused at all on state/local gov.  Does it really matter? 

-I’m not tested at all.  No “accountability” to state testing.  Could go completely PBL and no one would care because I have the reputation of being rigorous and thorough.  Could I redefine what learning is and still have the support?

-How to deal with assessment?  How do I justify to parents if there are less grades.  Many want busy work/lots of little assignments.

-If I integrate the classes together, how do I deal with transfers to other teachers.  Traditional way of teaching is not leaving any time soon.  Standards based assessment really pushed…..except in Gov/Econ, which could be my savor.

-Gov points need to address: Foundation of Gov, Federalism, The Constitution, Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, Political Parties, and deeper looks at each branch.  Some of that can easily be integrated locally.  Some will take a lot of work.  Incorporating the 7th Amendment?  Should I even bother?  (and don’t you dare say the amendment really matters)

-Guiding prompts are needed for each unit.  But they need to relate to the overall theme of the community.

-Resource issues.  Local field trips: City council, local businesses, the golf course (7th tee overlooks the entire valley), Skate Park.  Can’t require, but it will be really necessary for success.

-More resource issues: Tech, computer lab, access to online material that is free online but cost printed.

-What is the culminating assignment?  Present to??  Should I let the students make the call on the assignment?  Grading?  I can tell you that I can establish a grade, but it is the parental and administrative justification that’s the problem.

Your thoughts on my initial thoughts?

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