Josie and Gerald both made great comments on my blog that had a somewhat similar undertone. Things go out of date very quickly because our society is just evolving too fast. There are great intentions behind the standards but they just aren't practical in the society we live in. I believe the new NGSS science standards look very promising, in that they allow more teacher creativity and aren't extremely narrow.
Jeff wrote about student empowerment and I really liked the way he wrote his post. I wrote about student empowerment a little bit on my post. I like how he related it to coaching. A coach isn't the coach because they are the best at the sport. They coach because they are good at motivating athletes to achieve at a higher level. They provide encouragement, suggestions, and sometimes even help other athletes help each other. I feel like my biggest role as a cross country coach is to always be positive and encourage my runners to keep going. My other role is to convince runners to not always run with friends but to make sure they are challenging themselves sometimes as well. I'm not a coach because I am a great runner. I think as teachers we need to change our roles. We are teachers because we want to help students succeed. When we start to focus on this goal I think it might change the way we teach.
Teresa first talked about a very positive environment she was able to achieve in one of her classrooms. This is a very good point to make because without a positive environment I don't think you will ever be able to teach more than you know. Students won't feel comfortable and will refuse to work to help the classroom. It goes with what Jeff wrote about in empowering students. We need to help students feel like they can do things and in turn can help and teach others. It is hard to build this environment in a MS/HS classroom where students are in and out all day long. Next year we will have less classes per day and they will be longer. I'm hoping with this change I can work to provide a classroom where students will take more ownership.
Teresa also talked about how we teach, and that determining if we can teach more than we know. If you lecture it will be nearly impossible to teach more than you know simply because the classroom is focused on the teacher and what they know. If the classroom were student centered then you can have more than one teacher. Everyone can be a teacher and depending on the classroom that could be 20-30 brains working together. It goes with the saying "2 brains are better than 1." If we combine all of this knowledge so much more can be accomplished than on our own. Each student will have their own unique set of skills and teachers could really capitalize on this.
I definitely think that if a teacher sets up their classroom in a way that is student centered, then teaching more than you know is easily possible. When students are empowered and feel like they have an active role in their education they will take it. They also like to help each other, if given the opportunity. This is where the first days of school are important to set up a positive and encouraging environment.