Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Bottom Up" Instruction

It's spring break and I'm using some of the time to catch up on reading RSS feeds and exploring new blogs.

As I researched articles from Education World over coffee this morning, I came across a new blog that really has me thinking. The article, "Innovations in Teaching and Learning: Top Down or Bottom Up? " by Peter Pappas, blog creator of Copy / Paste: Dedicated to relinquishing responsibility for learning to the students is not a new concept but one that I think bears more examination on my part.

I was assigned a class of gifted/talented students this year and although I was a bit excited about it at first, I've been disappointed over the course of the year. I designed our class around the existing curriculum but tied in applications of edtech web programs to enhance our study. However, my expectations of working with this group of students has apparently been way off-base. I was expecting to work with students that were interested to take a topic to a higher level and were ready for new challenges. However, for the most part, I have encountered students who fail to bring materials to class and fail to complete assignments. I have tried to take our curriculum "outside of the box" and possibly outside of their comfort levels but I do not think that I'm asking for more than they can achieve.

So back to Peter Pappas. I've added his blog to my RSS feeds and am looking forward to reading more of his opinions on student-based education which is a "bottom up" approach to instruction. Pappas describes it below (read more from his blog at )

"In fact, the best innovation in instructional practice is coming from the "bottom up" - from teachers who find effective ways to harness the creative energy of their students. These teachers don't simply deliver information to kids, they craft lessons where students can research, collaborate, and reflect on what they're learning. They harness a flood of new platforms that enable students "see" information in new ways and support a more self-directed style of learning."
I'm on board and planning to read more. Maybe I can capture my gifted/talented group of students with a new perspective of instruction and learning.

1 comment:

  1. Your gifted students don't bring materials to class and don't complete assignments? Oh dear. That makes me feel a little better about my remedial readers but not so good for the future. What are we to do????? Quit? ;)