June 14, 2010

Isn't Florida guaranteed a republican form of government?

The first draft of the new Florida Educator Accomplished Practices was released last month for public comment on a form that allows almost little substantive feedback. The accomplished practices are supposed to serve as the minimum elements of educator preparation programs, and I understand the balance between micromanagement and platitudes is hard to strike.

The draft is brief and reduces several of the current list's main items into subsidiary bullet points under seven main items in the draft revision. Ethics, critical thinking, and role of the teacher completely drop off the revision's first draft, and the first draft reduces diversity and cognitive research to bullet points. One item that worries me is the downgrading of cognitive research into subsidiary elements of main expectations. Given the prevalence of educational fads, teachers and administrators need to have a solid grounding in educational psychology.

As an historian, what worries me about the draft in addition is that you could transplant it to China or many another undemocratic country, and most of it would fit reasonably well. That shouldn't be the case: teachers in Florida should know that they're obligations are tied to the relationship between teaching and citizenship. So I've proposed an additional accomplished practice I've termed democracy and citizenship and covers issues such as ethics, nondiscriminatory treatment of students and families, and pushing civil debate. We'll see if the task force agrees with me in any way on this.

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Posted in Education policy on June 14, 2010 3:45 PM |