Reading Response #3

I enjoyed reading about different, personal, teacher experiences and perspectives with curriculum integration in chapters 10 and 11. I was particularly engaged in the case about Alpha, mostly due to some of the student feedback. On pages 168 a student reflects that, "the relationship between teachers and students is unique" (Brown and Knowles) and that really suck with me. I like the idea that students and teachers working together to create a curriculum fosters mutual respect, but it allowed me to think about the relationship between teachers and students and comparing it to a co-worker type relationship. I can understand how this is initially effective in asking questions and developing a learning plan together, in fact I believe that students being able to work with their teachers will allow them to find more of a purpose for being in school and for learning what it is that they are learning, however I would want to still maintain a mentor, role model, and authoritative type role with my students. 

The section on Dave Mercurio also stuck with me. I like how he said he was able to rethink his view of education (pg. 173). This is important for teachers to be able to do so that they are not always so caught up in standards, or the common core, or deadlines, and are able to adjust or adapt to new teaching methods or strategies. Of course there are many factors to put into play such as district policies and culture, but I always wondered why people would get so caught up in this. This section discussed teachers as "facilitators" of knowledge, not givers of knowledge, and I connected that to previous discussions we've had about teachers even being coaches, to get students to their own learning discoveries- we cannot just give them the discovery. While I agree that students tend to get too focused on the grade as a number, and I want to measure growth be it different for each student, I am still not quite comfortable with the idea of eliminating grades and would want to know more or think more about that. 

I was happy to read about constructivism in chapter 11 because I connected it to constructionism, which I recently expressed wanting to know more about. I learned that a constructivist classroom leads to a rich learning environment and I continued to think about how to create this environment in my own classroom as I read. The information tied in nicely with that of the Robotics article, and distributed constructionism. At some point I may have gotten myself confused and wondered the difference between constructionism and constructivism, however pages 4 and 5 of the article helped clear that up for me. 

Just as in the Robotics project, students can use technology to come together and interact in ways that are otherwise nearly impossible. With constant advancements, and consistent student interest in technology, they are able to express themselves in new ways, problem solve, and most importantly discover. Some ways that I have used technology to create a collaborative classroom are with webquests, games, videos, dialogues, skits. For example with webquests, students work with a partner to navigate a culturally authentic Italian website, and answer questions or fulfill tasks based on the site. Students have also been able to use recording features to create dialogues and conversations with partners or groups. Technology allows students to come together to build something, for example the students in your project using software to collaborate together and design games (pg. 6). While I know my students have access to this in our Maker Space, I am still questioning how to incorporate that type of technology in my classroom, however other uses, such as Quizlet or Kahoot, etc. does allow students to communicate, interact to solve problems, and ask and answer questions.

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito


      I loved reading your response to these readings. It is so thorough and thoughtful. I can see the ideas building up and dying to escape into your classroom.

      This particularly stuck out to me:

      I like the idea that students and teachers working together to create a curriculum fosters mutual respect, but it allowed me to think about the relationship between teachers and students and comparing it to a co-worker type relationship.

      I am intrigued by what you are saying here. In my work as a middle school teacher, I started to realize that my students and I were working simultaneously, but that we had different work. I had my work as a teacher and they had their work as students. These "works" certainly intersected and overlapped, but they were different. As soon as I realized this, my practice changed. It was no longer my job to get them to do my work. Rather, it became about empowering them to do their work as well as possible. The resulting learning environment was a very exciting place to be.

    ED 524 Summer 2017

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