Educational Beliefs

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Educational Focus
21st Century Skills
Why School by Will Richardson “Psychologist Herbert Gerjuoy predicts that the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write. The illiterate will be those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.  The world doesn’t care what you know. What the world cares about is what you can do with what you know.”
Digital Literacy
Adolescent Development
 Focus on social development, problem solving, and emotional literacy skills.    -Project AWARE by Reginald Washington
“Blend critical thinking, social-emotional learning and other valuable skills.” Inquiry Learning Vs. Standardized Content: Can They Coexist? By Thom Markham
Using tools such as Twitter and Google, information can be shared, collaborated, evaluated and perpetuated in seconds.  As an educator, it is my responsibility to teach students the skills they need to navigate an ever changing world.  Students need not only the how to use but how to explore, create, and collaborate using technology at lighting speeds.  (From Knowledge to Knowledge-able by Michael Wesch)
“Acknowledging biases often opens doors for learning and allows people to consciously work for harmony in classrooms and communities” Understanding Unconscious Bias and Unintentional Racism by Jean Moule
Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is required to be successful and creative problem solvers. Inquiry based science,  students are in charge of learning and exploring natural phenomena.  Students utilize guided inquiry to create their own understanding of the natural world.   (Science Instruction in Middle and Secondary Schools by Chiappata)
Core Beliefs
Curriculum should be designed with interdisciplinary approaches.  To successful in this design, collaboration between teachers is needed. Within science, students need to be effective collaborators to work together to produce relevant field and lab work.   (Science Instruction in Middle and Secondary Schools by Chippata)
Neil deGrasse Tyson says that from the day children are curious, we try to stifle them. To ensure that students are prepared for this workforce needs, students will have to be experts at divergent thinking. (Changing Educational Paradigm by Sir Ken Robinson) "Developing an education that enhances human curiosity and creativity, encourages risk taking, and cultivates the entrepreneurial spirit in the context of globalization" (Flunking Creativity by Zhao)
Communication is an essential skill in education.  Students need to communicate with other students to enable collaboration.  Teachers need to communicate with parents to allow for parental involvement.  Teachers need to communicate with other teachers to design interdisciplinary units.  Teachers need to communicate with administration to not only determine what is available but what are the expectations of the students.
Kelly Ferns Educational Beliefs
Classroom Management
A Glimpse into my Classroom
“We know how kids learn; we know what classes should look like, and yet our classes look almost the opposite,” Katrina Schwartz How "deprograming" kids from how to "do school" could improve learning
Conflict Management Approach: The idea behind conflict transformation is to not only treat the immediate conflict but the source behind the conflict.  This lesson comes from both modeling conflict transformation and also various discussions revolving how to solve problems at the source.  (Lederach, J., 2003)
Focus Towards Mastery Based Learning
"Grades waste a lot of time that could be spent on learning." Alfie Kohn
Students will be focused on mastering skills and grades will be based upon completion of that mastery.  This will allow flexibility in the curriculum to allow for different learning types.
Classroom Expectations
Class develops a set of classroom expectations to facilitate learning.  The activity will produce a classroom contract which every student and teacher will sign as a commitment to learning.  Including Students in Development of Rules; a community building project and development of clear expectations.  (Villa, Thousand & Nevin, 2010)
Common Teaching Strategies
Limit Lectures to 10 minutes, ensuring a 2 minute think and process time.  
Interactive Notebooks to build informational resources
Multiple Modalities approach: Information is presented using a variety of teaching strategies to cater to every learning style
Project Based Learning
Field and Laboratory Work
Developing English Language Skills via Science
Hands On - Minds On Activities
Integration of Technology