Reading Summary and Reflective Comments Form & Instructions
For each assigned reading, summarize the main principles and reflect on these principles in order to make the content meaningful to you. This will ensure that you understand the reading and understand its relationship to daily life experiences within your educational setting or work environment. The reflective statements may draw on previous experiences or future plans to use the information from the reading. You are also encouraged to critique ideas in light of a biblical worldview. Summaries will be 100-125 words and will be in paragraph form, and the reflections will be 150-200 words. (Submit the Reading Summary by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday in Modules/Weeks 1, 3, 4, 5, and on Friday in Module/Week 8, adding the new entries each time.)
Reading Summary 1
Razik and Swanson
Data within the United States is processed based on four assessments. The assessments are reading, math, science, and other subjects. They are based on 4th, 8th, and 12th graders. They are also broken up into different ethnic groups. There are a lot of data that is alarming within the U.S. Data is based on household characteristics, family and peer influences, and student achievement. Also in this chapter it reaches on the education reform movement. Global forces and the specific causes that are concerning within the U.S. education system. What are the causes of failure within the U.S. school system and what changes can be implemented to improve the rapid downfall of our education system.
When all of the assessments were implemented on the different groups that provided data that broke up the groups that is when I feel our education system had been broken. Ways of instruction as well as curriculum has not changed much, however, all of the testing data is what has changed and the ways that the data is being implemented. Schools have become all about the numbers instead of the importance of what is being taught to our children. If the U.S. school systems were not all about the numbers and teaching our children how to read and write I feel that our schools would be more successful in all the data assessments that are being implemented. The problem is that special attention is given to achievement gaps among ethnic and economic groups instead of teaching everyone the same way that was taught years and years ago. With all the changes within the school systems and how they are wanting teachers to teach their children has caused a lot of confusion as well as stress upon the teachers as well as the children.
First of all, I love this book. It goes into practices and prospective within the interaction between theory and practice. It explains why in public schools that God cannot be taught and how the Christian schools central theme is focused in the teachings of Jesus Christ. In this chapter it provides classroom examples for several different teachers and how they implement their assignments. This chapter emphasizes on the teaching of Jesus Christ within the classroom as well as how to implement it in public school classrooms. There are ways to implement God in the curriculum without explicitly practicing the word of God.
This chapter focuses a lot on the biblical worldview of Jesus Christ within the classroom. God is everywhere even when some may not realize it. The questions that are answered within this chapter are why do we have schools, aims of teaching and learning, and school functions in the community. Each one of these questions are answered thoroughly with examples provided. It is easier to focus these questions in a Christian school rather than a public school. In a public school setting you have to be careful what is being taught and when it is being taught about Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, this is a huge issue within some of the public school education. Providing different scenarios is a good thing within this chapter and it explains in detail what education stands for and how to implement education in different viewpoints. It explains nurture and education. Education is like nurture in many different perspectives. Children learn from parent modeling and sometimes that is not a good thing.
Reading Summary 2
Razik and Swanson
Chapter 2 reflects on the different development of systems that involve with the duties of school administrators. The main reflection is the way an organizational change is implemented and orchestrated within the school system. The important role of the school administrator is the structure and shape of how they run the school system; in which is very important.
Chapter 7 reflects on the philosophical foundations which is very important within the school settings. Values and morals are effective ways of implementing when being an administrator in the schools. The intrapersonal cycle is a self-oriented philosophy which is effective if used with values in the organization.
Values are essential to effective leadership. Because of the values within a person in his heart, his words express truth. The presence of God and lives a blameless life is the one who speaks the truth from the heart and an effective administrator does just that. In chapter 2 and 7 it emphasizes on the importance of administrators and how they shape the structure within the school system. Chapter 2 emphasizes on the system and fundamental concepts that a system needs to be shaped to become effective. For instance, Karen has to restructure her way of thinking to create an effective way to meet her goal of becoming an administrator. Chapter 7 emphasizes on values and issues within the school settings. Placing values and beliefs can sometimes be difficult, however, God places his values within his heart and values kindness. I enjoyed chapter 7 better than 2 only because I feel that values and beliefs are extremely important when working with children. Children need to be taught the importance of values and in chapter 7 it expresses the importance through the philosophical foundations.
Chapter 2 explains the ways in which the Bible informs teaching and learning. Teaching and learning are both essential but I believe learning is more of a priority over teaching. Teaching the Word of God is emphasized throughout Christian schools, however, not in public schools. We need God to be placed in all schools. Chapter 3 is about how to shape the curriculum so the students are able to understand. Placing emphasize on curriculum is essential for learning. Both of these chapters work together and express a lot of well needed knowledge. Lesson plans are done daily and at times may be changed throughout the day.
I love this book it expresses so much knowledge within the teaching and learning process. Chapter 2 allows ways teachers are able to teach their students without really placing God into the picture. For instance, in public education where I teach God cannot be placed in the curriculum as easy as it can be in a Christian view. Chapter 3 shaping the curriculum is an interesting chapter. I feel that this chapter is essential when implementing lesson plans and incorporating God into the lesson. If a teacher provides a good lesson plan then the lesson is whether knowledgeable to the student and the lesson becomes effective. Both of these chapters were effective but chapter 7 was more knowledgeable to me. Learning is important to me because it seems that material is a constant change and learning never ends.Books are references just as the Bible is my reference. Placing God above everything is where the goals are attainable.
Reading Summary 3
Razik and Swanson
Chapter 8 is about the evaluation in education. Evaluations have been around for some time, however, they have not evaluated the same things. Much of this chapter is talking about two different types of evaluation: summative and formative evaluations. Evaluation processes are targets of concern. They can be on the teacher, administrators, or students. Teacher evaluations are receiveing a lot of attention because of some of the incompetencies. Teacher evaluations are important because of the student achievements. If the teacher has incompetencies then the student’s will not be able to acquire their goals. Teacher models are divided into two catergories: planning and quantitative models. Both of these models are essential and needed.
This chapter was well informative. I really did not realize there was as many evaluations as there are. The evaluation models started back in the 1800s with The Age of Reform. Although, it really did not evaluate the teachers it was important for many reasons. An evaluation measures, assesses, and provides accountability. It depends on what you are evaluationg as to what is measures and assessed. The evaluations have targets and processes that are gone through. In Table 8.1 it explains in detail what the educational evaluation models mean. This table was real informative to me when I did not understand what the model was evaluating. I feel that teachers do need evaluated because from my opinion it seems that once a teacher has tenure they begin to slack off and not teach appropriately. Being a special needs teacher I enter different classrooms and see different teaching styles. Not all the styles are the same and not all the curriculum is taught the same. This is the main reason I feel that teachers should be evaluated.
Chapter 5 explains the assesses the ways to enhance student learning. Assessments are the way that most teacher’s predict the way student’s are learning and their mastery skills towards that lesson. Training student’s to understand the material is essential. Making sure the student’s are able to master the lessons provided to them is a task for teacher’s and can become difficult at times. Assessments can be taken without testing. For example, chapter 5 explains the different ways of implementing assessments. Teaching and learning can be provided by different activities. Students like different styles of being taught lessons. Role playing, solving problems, holding debates, and discussing new ideas are just a few that Van Brummelen talk about.
I felt that this chapter explains a lot of good ways of assessing students learning. It does not always have to be testing because not all student’s do well on test. It can be broken up into different types of assessments. Enhancing students learning is a top priority and whatever way works for the student is the way it should be assessed. Students learn a lot better by sometimes setting goals for them and letting them master those goals. I’m not big on standardized testing because I feel students become bored with the test and rush through them without even thinking of the answers chosen. Encouragement is always an effective way to students learning improvements. Students enjoy being encouraged. Formal and informal assessments can be different each time. The same ways of testing is boreing to the students and they definitely lose interest. Things have to be interesting to the student for them to become motivated in their assessments.
Reading Summary 4
Razik and Swanson
Chapter 11 allowed me to understand the different models of decision-making. As I become an administrator all of these models will be extremely helpful. Providing productive decision-making to my staff will allow them to become productive for our students. This chapter also emphasizes on bias. Straegy formation provides a course of action for the future that will allow me to organize and provide good direction to others.
Chapter 12 focuses on allocation of funds. As schools are costing more is the allocations funded equally and correctly. This chapter allows you to see the external and internal spendage. Is the funds being allocated effectively for the achievement of our students.
I found chapter 11 for informative to me than chapter 12. Although, it is more formative now to me in the future as I become an administrator the shift will change. I will want to know where allocations are funded and if they are funded properly. I will want my students to have what is needed for their achievements. As educational models for decision-making is essential for daily or weekly activities the funding is just as essential. As a school in poverty sections are allocated less than the higher achieving areas that is a huge problem to me. All students are equal and should be treated equally just as the funding should be equally allocated. I know first hand that it is not. I worked in a title 1 school as well as a high achievement school and I seen the difference first hand. Not fair at all. School districts either should place emphasizes on all schools are redistrict the schools so they are equal.
Chapter 9 focuses on believing in Jesus Christ and how it affects teachers when they are teaching in public schools. There are many challenges that Christians face as a public education educator. As the schools are ideological diverse there are lack of understanding to some. There are often times when unethical aspects are presented and teachers have to act upon. Providing good character encourages students to act ethically. Although, the fact that religion is out of the question in public education it has some huge drawbacks presented. At times you have to hide your beliefs because it can cause issues, however, teachers also have to be careful and not lecture upon religion. Religion and spirituality can be taught put it has to be meaningful and nonindoctrinating.
I absolutely love this chapter. As a Christian and a public education teacher, I have to often bite my tougue on somethings I see. It is extremely unethical but I ask for forgiveness at the end of the day. Unfortuately, God understands because I need to pay my bills. I believe that if public education were to place religion back in their schools that students would provide moral and ethical perspectives within their lives. Some students do not know anything about religion. By placing religion back in schools would at least reach out to the students that does not know anything about religion and hopefully place them in the proper hands of God. It is difficult to see students going down the wrong path because it is unlawful to teach them God’s Word and the right way to be. Working in public education is a task and extremely challenging. I really do not understand how schools can dictate whom represents God and when they represent Him.
Reading Summary 5
Razik and Swanson
Chapter 13 focuses on systemic change. Not everyone likes change, however, it happens quite often. Change is not an adjustment it is a process in which can either me detrimental or beneficial. There are 4 models based upon change. They are identification and priority ranking of needs, developmental of specific plans and broad strategies, implementation of selected approaches, and assessment of outcomes. All of these are essential for effectiveness when it comes to change.
Chapter 14 focuses upon educational leadership. This chapter is quite interesting to read. Providing the challenges that educational leaders face can be a draw back if your not strong enough for the position. Placing emphasis upon God will allow the individual to place their heart in the position and follow on with their goals.
I enjoyed both chapters, however, I would have to say chapter 14 was more beneficial to me than chapter 13. As a educational leader one day I felt that chapter 14 provided me with a lot of insight that will benefit me as a leader. Allowing me to see the challenges that I face as I become a educational leader one day will allow me to see how I may fix the issues before they arise. Explaining the difference between structural reform allows me to choice the best schools that I can be effective as a leader in. Transformational and moral leadership is important to me because I feel that morals has been lost within our school systems. I hope to become a principal and be able to put a difference within my students. I want to show them the importance of beliefs, morals, and values. These three things are not among some of the schools that I have worked at. I want to make changes in my students and one day hopefully they will look back and see that I have made them successful individuals.
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