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Laura Dearman
Posts By Laura Dearman

Film Series: Lessons from the Real World - Saturday, November 15

“Lessons from the Real World is an hour-long film your local board of education, PTA, and teachers should watch. It shows what school can be. Should be. Every member of Congress should be required to watch this film.” – Susan Ohanian, Winner of the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language

Lessons From the Real World

Saturday, November 15 • 9:30am • Malco Paradiso


Many people feel our public schools are failing, or at best, muddling through. What to do about this critical issue has almost exclusively focused on the efforts of No Child Left Behind and now Race to the Top legislation to improve test scores in core subjects like math and reading.

The future of our nation and our ability to compete in the economic marketplace with other countries is considered to hinge on these high stakes tests, with teachers, schools and entire school districts held accountable for failure. The results, afforded much media coverage, have been mixed though the process has produced many students turned off to formal education. An equally important consequence is that the increased narrowing of the curriculum to try to achieve these limited objectives, has undermined the ability of students to become active, informed and engaged citizens in a democratic society – capable of doing something about the issues which dramatically impact their lives.

Lessons From the Real World, contends, like many educators, that focusing on test scores to improve student achievement is looking in the wrong place.

Learning to read, do math and other subjects will come if students care about what they are learning, rather than drilling them with subject matter largely divorced from their real lives, and the community and societal problems which often impact those lives.

In Portland, Oregon, teachers at a wide range of schools are putting this idea into practice. While this is their story, it can help point the way to rethinking how schools everywhere can be successfully transformed.

Lessons From the Real World, a highly informative and entertaining documentary, filled with engaging teachers, students and lessons will surely bring much needed attention to a long neglected and critical aspect of the debate around public education.

New Teacher Network Seminars for 2014-2015

Sign up now for our New Teacher Network seminars! The series will begin on September 30 at 4:00.

The New Teacher Network supports new teachers beyond the typical new teacher orientation that most schools provide. Connecting teachers early in their careers to strong learning habits, reflective teaching practices, and other teachers sets new teachers up for greater success and satisfaction in their work.

New Teacher Network
4:00-6:30 pm
September 30       Routines and Procedures and Mindset
October 28 Teaching Each Child
December 2 Building Relationships for Positive Collaboration
January 27 Data Analysis
March 31 Literacy Development
May 5 Taking Care of You: Time and Stress Management

Martin Institute Learning Seminar: Special Education: Understanding Needs and Resources

CBUThe Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence is pleased to be collaborating with Dr. Samantha Alperin and Dr. Wendy Ashcroft of Christian Brothers University to learn about Special Education: Understanding Needs and Resources.