Ernest Morrell Lecture Series Day 1

I must admit that I had never heard of Ernest Morrell until last month and I am certainly working on my ability to incorporate critical literacy into my classroom. I say that to say – I am no expert on any of this and still very much a student. However, here are some notes from the lecture at Simmons College today in case you weren’t able to make it. He will continue the lecture series Wednesday and Thursday and you can find more information here.

On the limitations of the current conversation about reform

• It is focused on outcomes and not on the process
• It doesn’t include the voices of the youth, the people who are most impacted yet least regarded in the conversation.
• It focuses on resource allocation and policy instead of classroom practice. Policy makers rarely talk about what good teaching looks like – what quality education looks like.
• The conversation does not focus on the successes in America’s classrooms. Even if you think that a very low number of teachers are delivering excellence, say 10% (again this is a low, conservative number), that is still 300,000 excellent teachers. Why don’t we focus on their success? They have something to teach all of us.

On motivating students

• The value of learning to the learner + The extent to which the learner expects success in the learning = motivation.
• We must impact confidence if we expect to impact motivation. Relevancy is key here; are my activities relevant? Relevant right now, relevant today?

On powerful teaching 4.0

• It must consist of: Voice, Affirmation, Achievement, Purpose, and Love
• Help students to say what they want to say by developing their critical literacy (Voice). Build confidence and make it relevant to their lives (Affirmation). Push students beyond their expectations of themselves (Achievement). Have students create work and products that have an impact on their local communities (Purpose). Teach with love. Would you ever send your child to a place where they were given no love for six to ten hours a day? Schools cannot function without love.

He spoke about much more and I am sure my notes do not even do this part of the lecture justice, but I hope they are informative or may at least spark a larger conversation which I encourage you to start by leaving a comment below.

15. March 2011 by RK
Categories: Curricula, Events of Interest, Resources | Leave a comment

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