Education - Readers' Responses to Handbook Forum
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Name: Alice Lesnick
Date: 2005-05-14 21:46:55
Link to this Comment: 15188
Welcome to this forum, a place to share responses, questions, and ideas prompted by your reading of our handbook. We look forward to reading of connections to your work, as well.
Name: Justine G.
Date: 2006-01-25 00:53:33
Link to this Comment: 17780
As I read the varied handbook entries, I began to realize the importance and scope that this project will eventually encompass and the wealth of information it will provide to both new and experiences teachers, as well as any student participating in an education related experience. Though disparate in topic and tone, the handbook can and will gain strength from additional entries, and I can envision the handbook eventually divided into sections and chapters with unified themes. I was particularly struck with the highly personal tone that each entry resonated, reflecting the individuality of the author but also commenting on broader educational issues that were raised in extremely varied environments.
One difficulty that many authors struggled with in their entries, whether directly or indirectly, was their place and role in the classroom or learning setting. Teachers, while also struggling with their role in the classroom, have at least a defined position. But we, as students placed in various classrooms, do not have the luxury and are therefore faced with an often difficult position. The authors who explored this topic did an excellent job of defining some boundaries, which I believe will be a great help to not only students in this class, but any student in a Praxis based class.
The entries also raised many questions in my mind that were previously unapparent, particularly in my role as TA. I have found many facets that require study in this new environment, and I am very much looking forward to writing an entry that reflects my unique position as an arts educator.
Name: Lauren Mak
Date: 2006-01-25 09:34:15
Link to this Comment: 17781
The Empowering Learners Handbook, located on the Serendip webpage, is an extremely useful tool in allowing educators of all ages and fields to explore the realms of extra-classroom teaching. I admire this attempt to connect educators and to encourage them to analyze their own experiences and teaching approaches; however, the contents of the current handbook raise several questions for me.
Overall, the existing entries seem somewhat random and unorganized in regard to one another. To some extent, I can see why this condition is to be expected, especially when the content of the handbook is being developed continuously as students add new entries each semester. This seemingly wide array of subject matter also, in turn, led me to question why some students chose to address some of the topics they did. Are there any subject guidelines associated with the handbook in terms of what contributors may discuss? Or is it meant to be a free exchange of ideas within the learning community? Regardless, the existing handbook would provide a more user-friendly atmosphere if heading categories were implemented to group entries and to guide users to relevant discussions. In addition, restructuring to include general headings would also provide a way for potential contributors to sort through and reflect upon pieces that address similar issues. Because the Empowering Learners Handbook is “not intended to be authoritative”, reader reaction to existing entries is just as important as the creation of new ones in fostering the spirit of communication for which the handbook was initially conceived.
Furthermore, an extremely effective practice I observed throughout the handbook is the authors’ use of personal anecdotes to illustrate their arguments; however, a discontinuity lies in the actual format and way in which this information is presented. If each entry is added to the site with the intention of it contributing to a whole, then I feel each piece should have some degree of conformity in terms of structure. Some pieces, like Heather Davis’s “Teaching is More,” proceed to address topics by raising questions in a vague manner without presenting different approaches to work through an issue. In Davis’s “He’s a fag!” anecdote, she conveys the uncomfortable nature of her student’s comment and the need to turn the situation into a learning experience. Nevertheless, she does not recount her response behaviors, and she fails to propose an alternative course of action that desire aide young educators in conditioning their responses to such events. This is a major misunderstanding of the audience. Anyone reading a handbook is looking to gain information that he or she either did not know or did not consider previously. Still more successful ways of communicating consist of entries where classroom experiences are used as platforms from which a subject is further explored. Allison Jones’s “Creating a Productive Space” is an exceptional example of the type of writing that should be found within a handbook. Acknowledging the audience’s drive for self-improvement, Jones presents her idea of productive space by breaking up her concepts into several parts and steps for the reader to follow. What is presented is a concise but informative approach to addressing an ongoing concern in education. Of course, structure and style are decisions that have been left up to the contributor at this point. However, I find those entries that utilize examples in an organized form to be some of the most illustrative and effective.
|Michael Lacapa's novel "Antelope Woman: An Apache |
Date: 2006-09-18 19:00:46
Link to this Comment: 20466
Who ever read the children book Antelope Woman: An Apache Folktale
What is your understanding, what does it conveys,is there a moral lesson?
Date: 2007-02-22 11:15:17
Link to this Comment: 21484
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Date: 2007-04-26 12:35:27
Link to this Comment: 21712
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