Saturday, May 23, 2009

Understanding by Design Workshop Tentative Teacher Participants Announced

On June 2 and June 3rd there will be a two day teachers workshop on "Understanding by Design" ("UbD").  The workshop will run all day from 8:30 - 4:00, both days and will be held at the Brandt Professional Development Center.  This is a follow-up workshop to the one held in April and is intended for those from the Curriculum Committee who were not able to attend the first 2 day workshop. The purpose of the workshop is twofold. First, to provide more depth and understanding of UbD in order to edit and modify curriculum units previously developed and two, in order to impact teacher pedagogy in the classroom. A tentative list of participants includes:
Kelly Sogluizzo                 Connors
Damian De Benedetto       Demarest
Christopher Munoz            Demarest
Melanie Alberto-Kolmer        HHS
Geidy DeLaRosa                 HHS
Kate Dominique                   HHS
Michelle McGrievey              HHS
Meghna Patel                      HHS
Jared Ramos                       HHS
Ryan Sorafine                      HHS
Andrea Canonico             Wallace
Tasha Leggard                 Wallace
Martin Shannon               Connors
Mary Sifonios                     HHS
Derek England                Demarest
Victoria Chodos                  HHS
Fiona Stephens                  HHS
Denise Toles                      HHS

Diagram explanationIn schools, where curriculum is a central issue, there are three competing interests that are often in conflict with one another. There is, of course, the district, the governing body that oversees the delivery of educational efforts to students within the oversight boundaries of the district itself. In the case of the district the goals for curriculum are driven from the top down. Districts, no matter how large or how small, are driven by the need to seek standardization, to centralize the decision making process, and to control, to the best of its ability, the outcomes of the process of teaching and learning. In direct competition with the district, and at the other end of the continuum is the classroom. Classroom teachers spend their day in direct contact with children and are, therefore, far more prone to devote their energies into understanding the context within which they work. Classroom teachers understand the need to decentralize schooling and to approach the classroom with an open and flexible attitude if they are to be successful. Stuck in the middle is the school itself. School administration is, in fact, stuck in the middle, having to contextualize yet retain administrative control. This paradox of leadership leads to understanding curricular continuity and negotiating curriculum design through professional conversations within the school.


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