The Conundrum of Education in the Age of Distraction

A work in progress. Enjoy and feedback is welcome!
EducationPhilosophyWalkerBrief2 Also in Merlot: The Conundrum of Education   And here for Merlot also: Education Dive:
http://www.educationdive.com

For more research on education today here is just one site the Center On Education and the Workforce at Georgetown.

Schooling or Education?

The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education by Diane Ravitch is a seminal work, again, but John Taylor Gatto is an equally and powerfully astute competitor for the title of America’s premiere education historian.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0465014917/ref=pe_5050_14307210_snp_dp

Is choice still viable? Isn’t this what education is all about, making choices about what to learn and pursue? Have we been sidetracked by thematic schools, when students want even broader choices, the “Big Picture” so that they can fit their careers into a growing frontier of research and knowledge? Ravitch examines her career in education reform, and repudiates positions that she once fiercely defended. Evaluating broadly popular ideas for restructuring schools, she explains why they have had no positive impact on the quality of American education. Ravitch reconsiders the evolution of her own views on key issues and reveals her skepticism regarding charter schools, privatization, accountability, and the philanthropists who are trying to control school reform using business models for school planning. Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University. She has written or edited more than twenty books, including The Language Police, The Great School Wars, The Troubled Crusade, The American Reader, The English Reader, and Left Back. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Christian Science Monitor
“Ravitch has had enough of fly-by-night methods and unchallenging requirements. She’s impatient with education that is not personally transformative. She believes there is experience and knowledge of art, literature, history, science, and math that every public school graduate should have.”

As far as I know Mr. Gatto allows this Internet Archive of his book, with a new version coming out soon. https://archive.org/details/JohnTaylorGattoTheUndergroundHistoryOfAmericanEducationBook

Also see the latest book by Ravitch Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools.  “We must take care not to reestablish a dual school system, with privately managed charters for the most motivated, most able students and public schools as the repositories for those unable to get into the charter system… To reduce the achievement gap, we must reduce the opportunity gap… Protecting our public schools against privatization and saving them for future generations of American children is the civil rights issue of our time.” The Reign of Error (not complete copy)

Publishing

I’m in the midst of an intensive investigation of how one can publish today using social media to locate and qualify one’s readers, and save paper! Poets & Writers is a good place to start looking for a publisher: www.pw.org/about-us RefWorks may be an intriguing method for publishing to ProQuest and I plan to investigate that to publish my Trinity College master’s thesis on Orwell. I own a publishing house, Emanations Press and can help you to publish if I accept your work. For a sample of my work as an editor (including cover design) see Poems of Love and Loss, by Shalom Saada Saar, of MIT, on Amazon.

Here is the last Cambridge College book I created, in toto:
http://issuu.com/cambridgecollege/docs/alumni_book

The latest was for Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena. I also wrote the President’s message: http://www.pacificoaks.edu/Alumni/Alumni_Profiles

The Plagiarism Debate and Epistemology

PlagiarismArticleFeb2014  This article is also in Pulse on LinkedIn with 173 views as of November 2016.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/plagiarism-debate-epistemology-rick-walker-ma?trk=pulse_spock-articles

Research & Open Access

There are vast changes in the world of research, including Open Access, and this site is designed to analyze and discuss some of these changes.  There is a lot of excitement and positive news if you seek it out, but without specific values and a commitment to a meaningful philosophy of life the Tower of Babel is the best analogy.   I teach a required Charter Oak State College course, IDS 101 Cornerstone Seminar (click here for syllabus) and have been a professional writer/editor/publicist/instructor in academia and the corporate world for more than 37 years. I used to run speakers bureaus.  I’ve had many different jobs in academia, industry, journalism, even blue collar and healthcare sectors.  

America’s CareerInfoNet.  Virtually anything you want to know about any career:  http://www.careerinfonet.org

Suggest a Topic

The world of research is exploding thanks to the Internet and collaboration and synthesis.  All of this is very hopeful, though of course there are other issues in our society that seem to negate the hope.  How do we find balance and the media res? As H.G. Wells once said, “History is a race between education and catastrophe.” In any case, this site is the place for meaningful & exciting dialogue on a wide variety of topics, but NOT related to selling consumer products or nostrums please or marketing of any kind (except scholarly writing)!   I like reading Scientific American because so much of this is hopeful.  See their list of topic areas! http://www.scientificamerican.com/topics/ Pick an article for discussion and create a post heading for review in the Science section on my blog.  These were the Top 10 for 2014

Here is a chart about the most popular research in different media. Fascinating don’t you think?  Have you signed up for Google+ for example?  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/different-research-papers-score-big-with-scientists-and-the-public/  Be sure to click on “Detailed Rankings” for an interactive version.

As I often tell my students “there are no boring topics, just boring questions.”

New England Auto Museum

You can read a bit about the cover photo here of the Pope Hartford at The Old Motor site:    http://theoldmotor.com/?p=65193  This photo is in the Smithsonian.  I was a director and continue as educational advisor to the proposed New England Auto Museum.

Considerable research demonstrates the value of museums and science centers for hands-on, informal, educational enrichment programs that can’t be recreated in classrooms. Today, they also represent a promising, new platform promoting critical thought, analysis, creativity, and tangible excitement about learning and teaching in the new century. White Oak Associates Museum Planners and Producers notes that “A new format for changing visitor experiences is now possible given advances in museum research and practice, new audience expectations including participation, and matured digital technologies. But the innovation should bravely create a new and distinctly different kind of changing museum experience—a new presentation format combining immersion and interactivity into a new platform for STEM learning, revenue generation, and museum vitality.”

Some museums are already moving in this direction, but The New England Auto Museum presents a unique opportunity to lead the way not just because of this kind of planning, and of course to preserve amazing autos, but to directly help fill the growing demand for talented workers in the STEM and related arts fields (STEAM). There are all kinds of possibilities for curriculum and enrichment.

The goal is to help break the more than100-year-old process of separating technical and academic subjects, and unite the silos of science and engineering via the Next Generation Science Standards and other programs. Students not only need to be able to succeed academically to get into these promising careers but to be motivated to do so. With an artificial separation they lack motivation, or the “growth mindset.” The walls between formal and informal learning professional fields are only beginning to crumble. There is too little transfer of practice, learning, and community. Martin Storksdieck, the director of the Board on Science Education at the National Academies, suggests that advocates still have a lot of work to do in convincing policymakers and the public that informal science <and engineering and technical> learning merits increased investment. With your support we can make this happen!

Here are links to some research. (SpotlightonSTEMintheClassroom ) An interest in history is the gateway to other disciplines and fields of study. AA3PM_National_Report  Also see Teaching History With Museums: Strategies for K-12 Social Studies, by Alan Marcus, Jeremy Stoddard, Walter Woodward. 2012.

Here is a brief presentation about the project:
NEAM Overview 24 Belden AveCopy

Here is the STEM Pathways Playbook from IBM used to create P-TECH six-year schools, which are an inspiration for this project even if this doesn’t become a six-year. We now have our first one in CT, Norwalk!  STEM-Pathways-Playbook_Feb-2012    See attached  MDRC Study.  Also see Project Lead the Way, Ford Next Generation Learning, SAE International.     Some references: MDRC Study,  STEM-Related_Educational_Assets_ListBeyondHSConnecticut_hs, this  CT STEM Career Partnership Grant apparently led to this CT STEM Jobs site.    Also see  NCREST STEM Early College Expansion Project in Bridgeport,  Made in CT video at CCAT.  STEM BibliographySTEMBiblioRWalker .

I bring 60 years of experience in the world of auto collecting, as my father was a collector.   I serve as secretary of the Valley Collector Car Club that donates 92% of all proceeds to charities. We still have his primary pride and joy, this 1929 Packard Roadster 640, that won the Lou Biondi Award in 2014 at the Klingberg Family Centers annual car show, hosted by Wayne Carini and his dad. ( See F-40 Motorsports) At the Klingberg site you’ll see honorable mention of the Packard’s owner, the late  Charles Walker.  At Blurb you  can download a free, 79-page Klingberg Auto Show Anniversary ebook with this auto on page 8 and at the end.

Abstracts

How much evidence is enough to validate one’s research and when do you publish or go public? How and when do you test out your audience?  If you would like to include an abstract of your research here, or just your idea, write to me here for consideration. I will be happy to offer my opinion about your writing, and offer some guidance on how to investigate if it is publishable. Princeton offers info on abstracts. See attached PDF.abstracts-1

All authors and publishers need to familiarize themselves with The Creative Commons and the Open Access movement.

Explore ways of knowing and the meaning of education today.

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