Sunday, January 2, 2011


Book Reflection
This book had an interesting feel for me at times I was motivated and inspired by the book and then one page or even one paragraph later I was angered or frustrated with the author. There was even times I would laugh at or with the author.
A lot of the reasons for so many different or mixed emotions during the book are because of the good ideas that make a lot sense, yet we as teachers have only so much control of. For example with the survival skills and problem solving style of teaching/learning the teachers and students of today I believe are in favor of this. Yet, society, politics, school boards and state governments tell us that students will be evaluated by a standardized test as well we as teachers will have curriculums that must cover all the standards and get the students to master every single standard. This leaves little to no room for inquiry based/ problem solving techniques, yet the ideas inspired me and did lead me to alter and adjust some of my lessons and projects to do a better job of using problem solving skills.
At times I would get angered by the way it appeared the author was judging the education world and educators abilities. Then during the same segment of reading I would have to agree with the author and his ideas to improve teacher training. The idea of using a “residency” was very intriguing as well the results of the charter schools cannot be argued with due to student success.
Overall the book did work some magic for me to find some ways or at least explore some ways for me to close the gap the students have from the classroom to “real live” application. In the beginning of the book I was frustrated and disappointed at times. Now when I look back I laugh a little about the different ideas that I started with compared to what I finished with. The book “Global Achievement Gap” did help me find some new ideas and revaluate some of my own classroom techniques.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Global Achievement Gap Reflection

After reading The Global Achievement Gap, I am more aware of how the vast changes in our world over the last twenty years have drastically influenced the needs of education today. Due primarily to the amount of information available because of the Internet, the skills students need to be successful today contrast the old school mentality of needing to be able to recall factual information. Today students need to be taught how to locate, interpret, and analyze information to draw conclusions. Students are motivated in different ways today than in the past. Long gone are the days of lecturing, taking notes, memorizing, and recalling facts to pass a test.

Reading The Global Achievement Gap has opened my mind to the amount of change that needs to take place in today's schools across America so that our youth are ready to compete in the world market. Reading this book has motivated me to want to make changes within my classroom, but mostly, it left me feeling overwhelmed. The philosophy of High Tech High is wonderful. What professional would not want the intellectual challenges of such an environment? do we get public schools to that level? That's the overwhelming aspect of this book.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pittman's Reflection

The book "Global Achievement Gap" had similar points that other educational books that I have read. I enjoyed and appreciated the opportunities problem based learning has provided for education while realizing the significance of the state standardized tested. However, I believe that there is a happy medium comprehension of material and improving state standardized test score. I question the teachers that are "teaching to the test", are they really teaching?

But the point that stood out to me the most in this book is the individual way teaching is handled. In the first part of the book, it described how lonesome teaching can be. A student teacher works with an experienced teacher for one semester and then is put in a classroom by themselves with a group of students. For the rest of that teachers career they are alone. I thought about my own career right know and could see that going on with myself. I taught agricultural classes for the past 8 years and started my first year of teaching science. Even thought I have teaching experience, I am still alone in trying to figure out the best way to teach my students. I don't have an experienced teacher with me in the classroom to team teach or share experiences with.

Reading about the charter schools that were used as examples in the book made me want to pack up and go teach at one of those schools. Not only would an educator learn from others to be a better teacher but what an educator learn teaching student with an "interest based learning" method. I love the idea.