Monday, March 8, 2010

Teaching for Tomorrow

Just read Teaching for Tomorrow by Ted McCain and then stumbled across a set of really elucidating graphics that Langwitches did after reading Curriculum 21 by Heidi Hayes Jacobs. After a clarifying exchange with Jackie Gerstein on Twitter, a lightbulb went off. So here is my feeble attempt of illustrating McCain's 4D's of Problem Solving. Kudos to everyone else.

DefineCollect all the details needed to successfully complete the project
DesignCreate a plan to complete the project
DoActually do the project
DebriefEvaluate participant performance on the project

It's interesting that the most important step is the Debrief and it is the longest word. So much learning takes place during honestly assessing one's own performance on the project, talking about what went wrong, and what could have been done better. McCain emphasizes that learners cannot jump wholesale into this Problem Solving method. I plan to use a modification of the Debrief step with my 7th graders. McCain throws in many great ideas for authenticity that I wish I had done this year....sigh....

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Rob Jacklin said...

I'm almost done reading the book myself. I think it should be require reading for every pre-service teacher.

The thing that has impressed me the most about McCain's approach was just the sheer audacity of whole-sale classroom change!

I am wondering though how he manages his classroom. Not how me manages learning, but just the ins and outs of the day. How do his colleagues react to his "way" of teaching? What does he do when students finish ahead of schedule?
These types of questions wouldn't make or break a classroom activity, but rather enable consistent orderliness.

I'd also like to see how he transitions the kids over the year. What does progressive withdrawal really look like in practice?

Thanks for posting! This book has the potential for awesome conversations...thanks for starting one!

mrsdurff said...

I read the book in one day! If McCain's classroom is anything like mine, the students (or whatever they are called) run the room; other adults walk in and cannot find me (I personally think they don't look); those who finish early review their work, help others as expert's, go to any school appropriate activity (the Jonas Brothers are big around here) and other teachers hate me.
I need to incorporate more of this 4D thing though!

mantz's_mission said...

I want to start off by thanking you for bringing this book to our attention. I will look into purchasing one for myself.
In reading the comments written here, as well as other book reviews, I came up with this question that I ask others to contribute to "Do you feel that this book would be best used in all Education Methods courses or just in a Technology in the Classroom course?" Personally, I feel that all Methods courses involving pre-service students should use this book but I look forward to see what other views are expressed. Thanks in advance!