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It is a constant truth that technology is growing rapidly and it is opening up many opportunities for students as well as teachers. Through the use of the internet information that would take scholars months to acquire out and interpret can be found in less than a minute though a Google search and not only is the information their, but in many cases the information that you wanted is shown in bolded so it can even be found quicker.
Through technology even rural schools who cannot afford to pay for magazine subscriptions can buy into online periodical programs like Proquest or Infotrack. This opens up articles written from hundreds of magazines and over several years. All of this information that allows for thousands of facts that students can pull and rewrite; but they loose something in this method. Patents and the ability to pull the facts for themselves. In many cases when online magazines or sites are used students see only and abridged copy of the original text they do not get to decide what is important or have to take the time to read through the book or magazine to see the author’s intent.
If you type in gun control online you will be bombarded by thousands of items including the Second Amendment. Yet instead of reading the complete bill of rights they would only see the Second Amendment. Which is fine in many cases; but isn’t better for the students at least scan the entire constitution. If nothing else to scan the Preamble or the 1st Amendments right of the freedom of the speech. If students scan the entire constitution then not only will they find the information they are looking for, but maybe their eyes will be caught by something that interest them, allowing them to think for themselves and ask questions that will provoke thought and hopefully continue to seek knowledge on. But how can this be accomplished?
Through the use of the Teacher-Centered Philosophies Essentialism and Perennialists to build off of and Problem based learning Teacher can use Scaffolding to ask the questions that make children want to search for answers that make since to them in a organized and educational fashion. Like many things in Social Science the same information can be seen by two people and get completely different answers. During the Civil War Thomas Jackson received the Nickname Stonewall.
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Students should be encouraged to look up information and read the great authors and find the information to make decision for themselves. The teachers need allow students to make their own Interpretations in fields like social studies before showing the established are. Was it a Good Idea for us to go to invade Iraq? What were the real causes of the Civil War.? A good teacher should ask questions to get the students started and make sure the students do work. But never insult or revoke a student’s idea. The teacher should discuss what led to the student’s conclusion and though group discussions and see if the reasons hold logic and reason.
Students will have great differences in opinions through Problem Based learning in areas like Social Studies the students can see that most problems have been seem before and like them their has been differences in how the should be handled. They can read Benjamin Franklins complaints about road signs in a foreign languages and realize that these problems are still around. This can show the relevance the subject holds in modern times.
In Today’s time words like Mainstreaming and Inclusions are common and are going to be around indefinitely. Allowing special needs students in normal class settings is an excellent idea; when students with disabilities are separated it leads to prejudice from the majority since most have never dealt with many of the special needs people. On the flipside the special needs students are not sure how to handle society. Through inclusion and mainstreaming students to are to be in their least restrictive environment many of the prejudices can disappear.
I have worked with an inclusion child who has Down Syndrome though he does not take all standard classes he would take art and history in a standard class. He would also have breaks with the students this allows to be extremely comfortable with him. Most students even help him get his assignments done. In his situation Mainstreaming has worked extremely well.
Full Inclusion is also becoming standard practice by allowing students to stay completely in regular education classes the only exception being the use of an I.E.P to make moderate exceptions for the needs of the students. This allows students to not be flagged and give the students a chance to go on to even further education. I believe this is an invaluable step in America’s goal to educate the populous. Students should be challenged an when they are put in a self-contained classroom for physical disability especially in rural area like West Virginia they end up doing work at a much slower pace than they should. This is one of the most horrible things that can happen in a school. With the use of Problem-Based- learning it allows the Students with I.E.P to work at their own pace or handle their difficulties in privacy, Though I know in many classes like math and science this would be impossible, However in the other Core classes like Social studies and English Literature this could be accomplished. Though nothing is easy and there is expectations to every rule it all boils down to this. A good teacher should ask the questions that not only teaches the required material; but invokes thought, and if students want to learn they will not follow anything blindly. If the teacher can accomplish this then they have given a student everything they need to succeed and this is more important than any fact or rule they can memorize.