As posted on Education Update 7/7/14.
Here are 5 key education needs that deserve an integrated solution:
- to equalize the distribution of resources and opportunities for all students.
- to increase teacher empowerment.
- to develop students into 21st Century thinkers and doers who make meaningful, pro-social contributions to the world, and who act with gratitude, grit, open-mindedness, and self-control.
- a mechanism for implementing Common Core Standards.
- high-quality literacy instruction that goes beyond decoding.
For the past five years, I have been working on a platform to help address these issues found at ACEMyAcademics.com. ACE stands for Always Capture Excellence and is based on the belief that all learners can succeed in school. This system affords teachers and students a clear structure for communicating about assignments and discussing information, while linking academic to social-emotional learning goals. ACE’s Module 1: Attacking Reading and Writing Across the Content Areas is designed to give learners from elementary through high school a meta-system of evidence-based strategies and tactics to understand narrative and expository text, media, and primary sources. It allows students to devise responses that show higher-order thinking, creativity, and insight, while encouraging meta-cognitive awareness and self-regulation. Here, reading and writing become a narrative process. Important learning tasks, such as pre-reading’s motivation, prior knowledge, and text structure, and during reading’s vocabulary knowledge, information architecture, and connection-making, become characters that students use to prime themselves, hunt for evidence, and write well. Students are active through the entire reading and writing process, which can increase academic learning time and achievement. Learners can have an engaged, playful attitude as they do meaningful work in English/language arts, social studies/history, and science, producing innovative, structured written and oral responses.
ACE My Academics can afford teachers the opportunity to be learning doctors who diagnose problems and prescribe interventions, to be scientists whose classrooms are laboratories for increasing learning potential, and to be social entrepreneurs, who inspire students to be passionate about issues and want to take action in their communities. The Common Core asks students to be thoughtful interpreters of knowledge and wise articulators of opinions supported by evidence. To accomplish these goals, we are in need of a common language that is introduced in the elementary grades and is continued throughout high school. As data complexity increases, students need a firm foundation for learning pattern recognition and understanding subtle informational differences. We need a methodology that links daily practice of teaching and learning of literacy to the higher-order aspirations that we have for our students and for education-at-large. ACE My Academics might offer such a path.