Muungano Wa Tanzania: Serikali Mbili Ama Tatu?


Na Ally Saleh,

Hii ni post niliondika kwa mmoja wa Wabunge la Katiba kutokana na reaction nilizoona akipongezwa kwa uwasilshaji wake akiwa Mwenyekiti wa Kamati ambao ulinivutia.
Ana uwezo wa kujieleza, kupanga hoja na kuvutia wanaomsikiliza.
Lakini yeye na wajumbe wengine wengi bado nina masuali kwao na kwa hivyo post hii si yake binafsi tu ni pamoja na wajumbe wote wa Bunge la Katiba na ndio maana nikaona pia nii post hapa ili tusaidiane kukwamua nchi yetu katika mgando w amawazo ya 2 + 3
Salaam,
kama wengine unatumbukia katika shimo la kunukuu nukuu unazozipenda au zinazopendeza. Na mtindo huu umetulemaza katika bunge. Hebu stand aside and look into things from a position of a dwarf enjoying staying on the shoulders of a giant….kama alivyosema Mchungaji Msigwa kwa maana una advantage ya kuwa msomi na sio mkereketwa wa kawaida wa CCM.
Nionavyo mle ndani ni woga, mazoea, mahaba na khofu za kujitisha tu si jengine. Sijashawishika na hoja za kubakisha mbili.
Nijibu mambo yafuatayo ili niridhike tubaki kuwa na mbili
1. Tutakuwa na Serikali mbili ambazo hatujazifafanua kwanza na tukijua kuwa mbili tulonazo sasa zimetufikisha hapa ktk lukuki ya migogoro.
- Tuna hakika gani Mbili Maboresho zina manufaa na pande zote mbili, maana kwa sasa kinachochukuliwa ni kuiridhisha Tanzania Bara tu.
- Cha kushanga tunachosikia Mbili Maboresho ni kuchukua yale yale ambayo yameletwa na Tume ya Katiba katika Rasimu na kuyatumia na kisha kusema haya ni ya maboresho.
- Suali kama kungekuwa na UBORESHAJI basi CCM ilikuwa wapi?
- Kama kungekuwa na UBORESHAJI na CCM ikijua kuwa kuna haja ya uboreshaji basi CCM kwa nini isingeyafanya hayo bila ya kupoteza Blioni 70 za kuunda Tume?
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2. Tatu zilizoletwa zimetolewa ufafanuzi. Kama kuna udhaifu au maeneo ya kukuziwa kwa nini isifanywe hivyo.
- Hoja gani za kiufundi za kukataa 3?
- Kwa nini tusikosoe 3 ili zibaki tatu na maslahi ya pande mbili yalindwe?
- Kwa nini CCM wanashindwa kuona kuwa kuna pande mbili za Muungano?
3. Utamshawishi vipi mtu akubali kubaki na mbili ambazo zitaboreshwa bila kujua na kuyaona hayo maboresho kwanza. Haitakuwa kuuziwa mbuzi katika gunia?
4. Hebu nijibu hizi inherent structural contradictions:
a) Tukibaki na mbili…chombo gani kitatunga sheria za Tanzania Bara? Kwa sababu kwa sasa Bunge al Muungano Art 64 ndio lina jukumu hilo lakini hakuna uhalali huo kwa sababu hizi
- Ni makosa kulipa Bunge hilo kufanya kazi ya kutunga sheria za Tanzania bara
- Wabunge wa Zanzibar hawana uhalali wa kutunga sheria za Tanzania Bara
- Wabunge wa Znz hawabanwi na sheria za TBara na haijawahi kutokea mtu anaetunga sheria na kisha sheria hiyo isimbane
b) Tukibakisha mbili Mahakama Kuu ya Tanzania ambayo kwa mazoea tumeiita hivyo kwa miaka 50 ina uhalali gani wa kuendelea kuitwa hivyo? Kiuhalisia hii ni Mahakama Kuu ya Tanzania Bara ikiwa hutaki kuiita Tanganyika. Hii inatokana na ukweli kuwa the so called Mahkama Kuu ya Tanzania ina concurrent jurisdiction na Mahakama Kuu ya Zanzibar ( mamlaka zilizo sawa). Na ndio maana Mzanzibari hakati rufaa Mahakama Kuu ya Tanzania bali Mahakama ya Rufaa kama Mtanzania Bara. Vipi uta reconcile hii bila ya kuwa na Tanganyika?
c) Mzanzibari anachagua Rais wa Tanzania. Lakini kwa mujibu wa Ibara 34 (3) huyu Rais wa Tanzania anakuwa pia msimamizi wa Tanzania Bara. Jee kuna haki gani kwa Mzanzibari kumpigia kura msimamizi wa Tanzania Bara, kwa maana nyengine Rais wa Tanzania Bara?
d) Je kwa nini tuendelea kumpa jukumu Rais wa Tanzania kusimamia mambo ya Tanzania Bara wakati ipo njia safi, salama na isiyo dhihirisha ujuha wetu ya kuwa na Rais wa Tanganyika na kuwa na eneo la Tanganyika na wananchi wanaoishi Tanganyika kumpigia kura Rais wao?
e) PM wetu, mimi kama Mzanzibari si wangu. Kama Mtanzania sawa. Lakini kichekesho kinakuwa PM wa Tanzania hana mamlaka yoyote yale na hana uwezo wowote wa kisheria wa kukamata hata kuku katika eneo la Zanzibar.
- Huoni kuondosha contradiction hii ni kumu elevate huyu PM awe Rais wa Tanganyika ashughulike mambo ya Tanganyika kama anavyofanya asilimia 100 hivi sasa.
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f) ni vipi tuta reconcile Waziri asiye wa mambo ya muungano kama walivyo hivi sasa kuitwa Waziri wa Muungano kama wa Tawala za Mikoa, Afya, Kilimo? Kuna haki gani kisheria na kikatiba Waziri kama huyu kuitwa wa Muungano?
- Ni mbili gani maboresho ambazo zitaondoa contradiction hii bila ya Waziri kama huyu ama kumwita Waziri wa Tanzania Bara au Tanganyika?
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g) Na tukibaki hapo hapo kwenye Uwaziri ni kwa haki gani Waziri huyu asiye wa Muungano alakini anayeitwa wa Muungano ana haki ya kuwakilisha Muungano wakati mamlaka yake kiuhalisia ni sawa na Waziri wa Zanzibar.
- Yeye anashughulikia pande la nchi la Bara na huyu pande la nchi la Zanzibar ambapo tumekubali mapande haya yawepo, tena kipi kimpe yeye hadhi kubwa zaidi?
- Ubaya pia anakuwa na jeuri na kiburi kuwa yeye ni mkubwa zaidi? Hebu nipe tuta reconcile vipi hili?
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h) Waziri huyu haendi nje kuisemea Zanzibar jee ana haki gani kuitwa wa Muungano? Waziri huyu kukutana na Waziri wa Zanzibar hufanya kama ni ihsani…kuna haja gani ya kuwa na Waziri kama huyu?
- Wallahi mawaziri wa Zanzibar wamefanyiwa jeuri. Wakitoka nje Serikali ya Muungano humpa ka-mkurugenzi tu instrument za kuwakilisha nchi na Waziri wa Zanzibar akawa anabeba mkoba wake.
- Muulize Waziri Omar Yussuf hakuwahi kulalamika hadharani kuwa wakati wa Waziri Mustapha Nkulo na yeye akiwa fedha Zanzibar kwa miaka 3 mizima Nkulo alikataa kuonana nae na kuchezesha foliti tu?
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i) Katika Afrika Mashariki katika mambo 17 basi 4 tu ni ya Muungano. Zanzibar imetoa lini idhini ya kusemewa katika mambo yasio ya Muungano? Tena anaekwenda kutusemea si Waziri wa Mambo ya Nje bali ni Waziri asie wa Muungano? Haki iko wapi? Si ndio maana tuna migogoro isioisha?
j) Kwa mujibu wa Presidential Decree ya 1964 ya Nyerere civil service yote ya Bara ni ya Muungano na ni pamoja na mfanyakazi wa kijiji cha Kitanda, Tunduru ambaye hatoki kabisa katika Wizara yoyote ya Muungano.
- Mfanyakazi huyu toka mwanzo wa ajira yake analindwa na pensheni ya Muungano hata kama yeye hatoki wizara ya muungano. Lakini ikitokea mfanyakazi wa Zanzibar akihamia katika muungano miaka yake ya kazi yote ya Zanzibar inafutika na anaanza upya.
- Hata hili pia litarekebishwa vipi? Ndo maana Tume ikasema tutenganishe ajira hizi. Iwepo civil service ya Tanganyika, ya Zanzibar na ya Muungano.
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k) Tanzania Bara kwa kuwa ina sit Bunge, ina sit Urais, ina sit Makao Makuu ya Nchi inakuwa na hadhi mbili ndani ya moja. Kukiwa na mzozo wowote Bara becomes Tanzania and Tanzania becomes Bara as against Zanzibar.
- Kwa hoja yoyote ya conflict Zanzibar haina nafasi ya kudeal na mshirika mwenzake Tanganyika bali ina deal na Tanzania. Where is the fairness? How can Zanzibar get her rights? Na ndio tumefika hapa leo.
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l) Ni namna gani tutakuwa na uwiano wa ajira za Wizara za Muungano bila ya kutenganisha Tanganyika na Zanzibar? Ni lazima tuwe na mamlaka tatu ili katika mamlaka tunayo share na twenye jukumu la pamoja kuwepo na utaratibu unaoeleweka wa ajira.
- Leo kuwepo Mzanzibari kwenye ajira ya Muungano ni ihsani tu na kidogo kupenyapenya
- Hivi sasa kuna Mzanzibari mmoja tu Mwenyekiti wa Mamlaka, Katibu Mkuu mmoja tu na Director General mmoja tu
- Siku zote ama Zanzibar haina nafasi au ikiwepo nafasi basi ni Makamu. Hivi sisi tumekuwa relegated kuwa hivyo tu? Hatustahiki, hatuna uwezo, hatuna elimu?
m) Tuna CAG anaitwa wa Muungano lakini pia anafanya kazi za Tanganyika. Kwa mamlaka gani? Huyu CAG alipokuja Tume na kuulizwa kwa nini hakuwachukua Wazanzibari kujiunga na ajira za UN kwa kuwa Tanzania ilipata nafasi 70 alisema, “ Ni hiari yangu silazimishwi na sheria.”
n) Inasemwa kuwa kero zimekwisha zimebakia za kiganjani tu? Kero zipo 49 na zote hazina suluhu baada ya miaka yote. Kama ni kujidanganya kusema Bandari si Kero, Mambo ya Anga si kero, Kodi ya Mapato si kero, Mafuta na Gesi si kero, double taxation si kero, leseni za viwanda si kero, takwimu si kero na kadhalika
- Hebu niambi ni sheria gani ya Tanzania ilotungwa kusafisha kero hiyo? Ni kifungu gani cha katiba kilichoondosha kero hizo?
- Jee kwa miaka 50 ni jambo gani la Muungano liloondolewa kwenye Katiba na kurudishwa kwa upande unaohusuka?
- Ndio maana Tume imesema sasa inaondosha kero hizo kwa kitendo cha kuyaondoa RASMI MAMBO HAYO kwenye orodha ya Mambo ya Muungano.
- Kwa maneno mengine Tume kufikia Mambo Saba mengi yamekwisha ondolewa lakini woga wa kuchukua hatua ya Kikatiba CCM walikuwa na kigugumizi au woga.
- Na kama hujui mwaka jana tu Zanzibar imeunda Baraza la Mithani huku ikielewa wazi kuwa Baraza la Mitihani kwa sasa ni katika Mambo 22 ya Muungano
Na kuna contradictions nyengine nyingi kama hizo. Pia tumeshindwa kuelewa kwa nini SMT na Zanzibar wasikae kwa miaka 50 kusuluhisha mambo kama yafuatayo:
- Kuunda mahaakama ya katiba ilotajwa kwenye katiba
- Kuunda tume ya pamoja ya fedha ilotajwa katika katiba
- Kutengeneza mfumo wa mchango wa muungano
- Kutengeneza utaratibu wa migogoro ya muungano
- Kutengeneza njia za kiila upande ku enjoy fursa za muungano
- Kujenga misingi ya kuimarisha muungano ambayo leo inasemwa zikija 3 zitavunjika
- Kushindwa kukubali ukweli kuwa Zanzibar ni visiwa na lazima ziishi kwa uchumi wa viiswa lakini badala yake kila siku kuikaba Zanzibar kiuchumi…unachukua mradi wa bandari huru unaopeleka Bagamoyo wakati suitable place ni Zanzibar.
- Hata akili ya kawaida kuipa Zanzibar eneo la kuwekeza Tanzania Bara haifanywi lakini mnatoa maeneo kwa ekari mamilioni kwa Wachina, Makaburu, Wakuwait halafu mnaitusi Zanzibar kuwa haiwezi kuchangia Muungano kwa uchumi wa karafuu na mwani.
- Kwa miaka 50 SMT imeshindwa kuonyesha presence yake kwenye eneo la Zanzibar. Kama nakumbuka kiji ofisi ya Immigration, TRA na Bot na Mamlaka ya Bahari
- Kwa miaka 50 SMT na SMZ zimeshindwa ku solve namna na mgawano mwema wa mapato ya taasisi za Muungano kama TCRA, Posta, Simu na kama hizo.
Inazungumzwa uwezo wa Zanzibar kutoweza kulipa mchango wake katika Muungano. Hii ni jambo la ajabu kwa sababu hilo lisemwe na Wazanzibari, lakini hata hao Wazanzibari wanaounga mkono hoja hii ni “sell out” na hawakijui wanachokisema
- Hakuna popote pale penye Muungano ambapo washirika hulipa 50-50 au kama ni zaidi ya wawili basi wote walipe kwa mgao sawa
- Principle ya Muungano huwa mbili. Ama ulipe kwa kuchaguliwa kodi maalum moja au mbili au zaidi na kuwa za Muungano au kila upande kutakiwa kiwango maalum au asilimia maalumu
- Lakini principle ya pili ni ile yenye pacha mbili. Moja ni capacity to pay na pili ni assessed contribution. Ndio maana kwa ku asses uchumi na mapato Marekani inalipa 300m dollars katika UN na Tanzania 48,000 dollars only. Lakini Denmark ambayo inaingia ndani ya Tanzania mara 20 inalipa 50m dollars.
- Principle ya tatu kwenye Muungano ni ile ya need assessment.
- Zanzibar ina watu 1,300 na Bara 44,000. Bara ina eneo la 960,000 sq miles na Zanzibar 2,600 sq miles na hatuwezi kuwa na mahitaji mamoja.
- Kwa mfano kwa kiwango cha kimataifa cha askari kwa ratio ya 1:400 mahitaji ya Zanzibar ya Polisi ni 3,250 na Bara kwa ratio hiyo hiyo ni 107,500. Vipi hawa watalipa sawa?
- Mahitaji ya Zanzibar na Bara ni ratio ya 1:33 kama ilivyo ratio ya watu wetu wa pande mbili za Muungano.
- Chengine ni mapato ya Zanzibar kama billion 270,000 visa vis ya Bara 1.7 trillion ambapo humo ndani yake yamo mapato ya Tanzania. Tafadhali pata vyema ripoti ya Tume ya Fedha uone mnyumbuliko wa mapato sekta kwa sekta ili uone jinsi ambavyo Zanzibar itaweza kujisimamia iwapo itakuwa na vyanzo vyake vya kiuchumi.
- Lakini hata kama Zanzibar isiwe na uwezo kwa sasa haina maana kuwa haitakuwa na uwezo maisha. Seychelles na Mauritius ni mifano mizuri. Mauritius per capita yake ni 15,595 dollars (2011) na GDP ya 345 billion.
- Na Seychelles wa kwa 2012 walipata GDP ya 1 billion dollars na kwa hivyo per capita ya 11,164.
- Hebu ipine Zanzibar haki na hadhi yake na muipe uhuru wa kiuchumi. Iwapo kwa sasa kwa kiwango cha assessed contribution ni 6 to 8 percent ya budget ya Tanzania mkiitengezea Zanzibar mazingira si hasha kwa figure kama za Mauritius na Seychelles basi Zanzibar kuweza kuchangia hata 20 -25 budget ya Tanzania.
- Hilo pia lishindikane basi pia katika Miungano kuna principles nyengine mbili tunapaswa kuzijua. Hizo ni ile ya SOLIDARITY na ile ya SUBSIDIARITY. Ukiingia katika Muungano hayo mawili ni lazima.
- Kuwa na mshikamano na kusaidiana. Huwezi kukubali Muungano na mtu au huwezi kukubali kumuuoa mtu kisha msiwe na mshikamano au msisaidine.
- Au kuoa mtu kisha ukasema “angekuwa mrefu,” au kusema “angekuwa na nywele za singa” Kama alivyo ndivyo umkubali. Siku moja nilimsikia Waziri Wasira akisema kuwa Serikali Tatu zingewezekana kama Zanzibar ingekuwa na saizi kama Tanganyika. Oh, what a lord of rubbish.
- CCM inajibana kwenye takwimu za Tume na kuonyesha kile kinachoonekana ni flaw katika takwimu. Nini takwimu katika yote ambayo nimeyaaleza hapo juu, Takwimu ni tool tu lakini bado zinaelezeka vyema.
- Kwanza ni kuzisoma takwimu kama pande mbili za Muungano. Jee inakatalika idadi ya hao hao wanaoswikiliwa kuwa ni kidogo kuonyesha sampling ya nchi? CCM haiji na mfano wowote ambapo sample ilikuwa 100,000 au zaidi duniani.
- UK sampling hufanywa kwa watu 1,000 tu hata ile ya kuamua kuingia au kujitoa EU au kutumia Euro au kubakisha pound. USA sampling hata ya kujua Urais wa Marekani utaenda vipi katika uchaguzi fulani hufanyika kwa watu 2,000 tu.
- Hata Synovet wakifanya uchaguzi kusema CCM ina nafasi ya kushinda uchaguzi sampling yao haijawahi kuvuka watu 1,000
- Lakini chengine CCM wanaji mislead kudai maoni ya Mabaraza ya Katiba hayakuingizwa katika takwimu za walikokataa mfumo wa Serikali Tatu.
- Kwanza wanajidanganya kwa sababu wanajua walivyo manipulate mabaraza ya katiba pili wanajipumbaza ( wanajidai hawajui) kuwa madhumuni ya mabaraza hayakuwa kukusanya maoni
- Maoni yalitolewa kabla na mabaraza kazi yake ilikuwa ni kutoa maoniya kuboresha RASIMU. Kusema pale palikuwa na maoni ya mtu mmoja mmoja ni kufumba macho na kujidanganya.
- CCM wanasema kwa nini maoni ya mabaraza yasichukuliwe. Kama ni kuchukuliwa basi ingekuwa kwa KILA BARAZA na sio idadi ya watu ndani ya Baraza ambao walikuwa kama 19,000.
- Lakini humo ndani ya mabaraza pia walikuwamo watu walotaka Serikali 3 lakini Tume ilisema VERY VERY VERY SPECIFI kwamba haitachukua takwimu. Inashangaza leo CCM inadai tena kwa nguvu kuwa Tume imekwepa kuchukau takwimu.
- Mimi nashangaa na strategist wa CCM na pia nashangazwa na wasomi ndani ya CCM kwamba hata hili hawalioni.
- Hivi CCM hawajui kuwa mabaraza ya CHADEMA yalikuja na maoni 6,000,000. Walifika Tume na canter mzima ya maoni. Yepi maoni mengi yale ya mabaraza 19,000 ( hata tuseme yote ni ya CCM) au maoni ya watu 6,000,000 yalokuwa yaletwe na Chadema?
- Kulikuwa na mabaraza ya taasisi kama 650 ambayo tume Hoja kwamba mbona Tume inataja maoni ya mabaraza kama ya Ofisi ya Makamo wa Rais, Ofisi ya Waziri Mkuu, TRA, Baraza la Wawakilishi kuwa yalitaka Serikali Tatu.
- Pia kwa taarifa hata hiyo Bakwata, Episcopal Conference na wengine wengi walitaka Serikali Tatu lakini sasa wanabadilisha msimamo wao.
- Hivi ungekuwa wewe katika Tume usingetaka mifano ya taasisi muhimu kama hizo kuonyesha nchi inakwenda wapi?
Tume haikufanya maamuzi yake kwa takwimu tu kama wengi wanavyotaka kuamini. Tumeshindwa kupata jawabu na ndio tukaona njia pekee ni 3. Na kama mtu anakataa basi hoja zisiwe za emotions, hisia, mazoea na urithi wa waasisi ambao ni wetu wote.
“ We should not be held prisoners of the thinking of the past generation.”
Ahsante kwa kusoma dada ummy, hata kama hutakuwa na nafasi ya kujibu, nimekusamehe.
Mambo mengine tumekubali kwa ujinga wetu. Na mungu amsamehe karume lakini mimi nisingekubali rais wangu aende akajikubalishe kuwa yeye atakuwa makamo tu na mwengine awe rais maisha. Hii sijapata kuona hii. Na ndio tukafika hapa nishawishi na nitakuwa pamoja na wewe all the way.
Samahani kama kutakuwa na ukakasi wa lugha
Ally Saleh

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Education Ideologies: A comparative Study


By: Shaaban Fundi

In this essay, I will start with a brief history of the Social Efficiency and Learner Centered ideologies of education. I will then compare and contrast the two educational ideologies.  For each ideology, I will describe how the ideology treats the nature of the learner, the subject content of the ideology, how the ideology views the needs of society, and which type of knowledge the ideology deems most important.   Finally, I will discuss the supporting arguments and criticisms of the two ideologies of education.

 

Historical Backgrounds of the Learner Centered and Social Efficiency Ideologies of Education

Ideal schools or what we now call, Learner Centered schools, have existed in the past and continue to exist today at all levels of education. The ideal school originated in Europe and were promoted by four early educationists.   First, John Amos Comenius (1592-1670) emphasized that learning was developmental.  He argued that learning progressed from concrete to abstract thought (Schiro, 2013).  Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), however, is the person most credited with introducing the Learner Centered ideology. He believed that children were not miniature adults.  Instead, he insisted that children’s natural growth should be the focus of children’s education which he called “child-centered” education. Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827) put Rousseau’s theory into practice by emphasizing that children should be free to explore their own interests and draw their own conclusion from their experience.  Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) invented kindergarten as we know it today. He emphasized the use of games, songs, stories, crafts, and manipulation as tools for early education.  

In the United States, the Learner Centered ideology was first promoted by Francis Parker in the 1890s in the Quincy, Massachusetts public schools. The ideal school then became known as organic schools at the turn of the 19th century. Marietta Johnson promoted her organic schools with students from elementary school to secondary school in the first few decades of the 20th century.  Her school is still in operation today. The organic schools became the progressive schools in the 1920s. Progressive schools became popularized in the 1920s through the 1940s and reached their peak during the Depression Era. Notable educationists who supported the Learner Centered ideology in the United States include John Dewey, H. O. Rugg, and A. Shumaker. The open education movement promoted Learner Centered education in the 1960s and 1970s in K-12 education. The Sudbury Valley School still practices Learner Centered education from elementary through secondary school. At the higher educational level, Learner Centered education took the form of the free university in the 1970s through the 1980s. Most adult education centers in the United States align themselves with the Learner Centered approach.

In contrast, the Social Efficient ideology is truly an American invention. It gained influence in American educational spheres at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. It was popularized in reaction to the rising concern regarding utilitarian forms of education such as agriculture education, manual training, industrial education, and vocational training. The central focus of Social Efficiency education was to equip students with the ability to perform useful skills rather than filling their minds with useful information. This ideology is credited with making the American educational system more practical over the last century. Notable educationists who strongly supported the Social Efficiency ideology in the United States include Franklin Bobbitt, Ralph Taylor, and Thorndike. Currently, the Social Efficiency ideology is the most influential educational ideology in the United States with its focus on improving efficiency and accountability.  This ideology forms the basis of the federal Race to the Top funding and the No Child Left Behind mandates (Schiro, 2013).

Comparing and Contrasting the Learner Centered and the Social Efficiency Ideologies of Education

The main focus of the Leaner Centered ideology is on the learner.  The child’s needs and interests are central to his/her learning and must be incorporated in the learning experience.  I agree wholeheartedly with this view. As a teacher, I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the semester to learn my students’ names, interests, prior knowledge, learning styles, and abilities.  I believe that in order to teach students effectively, I need to know who they are and what they like. Being aware of my students’ interests and abilities is useful in the process of creating the experiences from which students will create their own meaning of the curriculum content.

The “child” or leaner is not the main focus of the Social Efficiency ideology.  Instead, the focus is on helping students develop the necessary skills to allow them to fulfill society’s needs. In this ideology, each child is viewed as potential adult member of society. As a result, the Social Efficiency ideology places less emphasis on the individual needs of the child and more emphasis on the capability of each child to become a productive member of society.  I take issue with this approach of educating children. I believe in educating the whole child and that other aspects of the individual child are equally as important as teaching them the skills needed to fulfill the social needs of society.  In my opinion, the individual needs of the child must be taken into account in the process of teaching and learning

The Social Efficiency ideology views a teacher as a “manager of the conditions of learning (Gagne, 1970, p. 324; as cited in Schiro, 2011). In essence the teacher’s role is to implement curriculum developed by developers with little or no input of their own. As a teacher I feel that this role is misguided.  Teachers should be able to adapt the curriculum as necessary to meet the needs and interests of their students. This will help students remain engaged, learn, create meaning, AND develop the necessary skills to be fully functioning members of a democratic society.

In contrast, the role of the teacher in the Learner Centered ideology is to provide consultations with the child. This consultation will help the child to reach whatever destination s/he needs to go. I am in favor of this teaching and learning approach. I see myself in this role while teaching my courses. I create experiences and put myself in the background to watch and admire as my students create their own meaning from their experience.  In conclusion, while I see the value of both ideologies and borrow from each in my praxis, I tend to more closely align myself with the Learner Centered ideology in my teaching philosophy.

In terms of instructional content, the Social Efficiency ideology views education and schools as a shaping process through which an educated person is produced in much the same way as the railway industry manufactures steel rails in a factory. Social Efficient ideologists obtain the purpose of education from their client such as the parents, businesses, teachers, scholarly organizations, and publishers.  Educational purposes are mostly behaviorally stated and they specify what the learners should acquire throughout the learning process. Bobbit (2004a) believes that education is a social process that perpetuates the existing social functions. Social ideologists view themselves as behavioral engineers who shape the behaviors of the learner to satisfy the needs of society and not that of the child. I take offence to this view I feel as though education is more than a cookie cutting business where everything must match the client’s needs and specifications without regard to the learner’s needs. I value the contributions, experiences, and curiosity each individual student brings to the learning process. Students should have a say in what they learn and how they learn the content. The skills based education is misguided because it misses the central objective to learning, which is the experience of the student. Therefore, learning content should be geared to students’ needs, interests, and capabilities and students should be free to learn at their own rate.

The Learner Centered ideology views subject content in a different way. This ideology emphasize that the role of schools is to meet the needs, interests, and desires of the child. Their belief is that if the present needs of the child are fully met, the future of the child is assured. The Learner Centered ideology does not view the child as lacking social, intellectual, artistic, and physical interests but rather as individuals full of self-expression, curiosity in their own world, and an active maker of meaning resulting from their interaction and interests with their world. According to Learner Centered ideologists, experience is the mother of all learning and children must discover facts for themselves through their experiences. I subscribe to this view of learning. I believe that learners must personally experience reality in order to grow, learn, and construct meaning. Therefore, I reject the belief that students need to develop skills by learning mere facts from books that others have written. I believe in the idea that learning comes through the interaction of an individual with their surrounding world. Creating meaning (knowledge) through experiencing reality by physical and social encounters is the best way to learn.

Under the Social Efficiency ideology, society’s expectation and needs drive the learning outcomes. In this ideology the client, which is society, has specific demands that must be met. Society’s needs for certain skills drive the entire learning process. The child is seen as a miniature adult that needs to acquire certain skills in order to fulfill society’s need to build a stronger economy and advance the existing society.  Society’s needs are not the main focus of the Learner Centered ideology.  The main focus is on the child and the child’s needs, desires, and abilities are central to the learning process. The learning process under the Learner Centered ideology is activity based. Students engage in stimulating activities through the manipulation of objects such as making models, airplanes, radios, videos, and websites rather than watching a video about them or listening to didactic lectures from their teachers. Thus, to construct meaning, students are provided with the reality they need to experience in order to create meaning for themselves.

Current Literature Supporting and Refuting the Learner Centered and the Social Efficiency Ideologies of Education

As with any educational philosophy, there are many arguments for and against each of the two learning and teaching ideologies. Lea and colleagues (2003) reviewed several studies of the Learner Centered ideology and found that it was indeed an effective method of instruction. In the review, Lea (2003) reported that students felt more respected in the Learner Centered approach and found the approach to be exciting, interesting, and a boost to their confidence in their ability to learn.  In addition, a six year study in Helsinki, Finland found that when compared to a traditional didactic learning approach, the Learner Centered approach was associated with the development of better study skills and with a deeper understanding of the concept (Lonka and Ahola, 1995). Also, Hall and Saunders (1997) found that students who received an active learning type of instruction in a first year information technology course had increased motivation, participation, and grades. Furthermore, 94% of the students in the study would recommend a student-centered approach over the conventional approach.

There are three main criticisms of the Learner Centered approach. These are: the focus on the individual learner, the amount of resources needed to successfully implement the approach, and the belief that students hold about their learning.  Edwards (2001) warns that the student centered approach may lead some students to feel isolated. He argues that if the focus of instruction and learning is mainly geared to each student’s need, then the needs of social interaction with peers will be ignored. Another criticism of the Learner Centered approach is that it requires a lot of resources to be implemented successfully. This may make it difficult to implement in resource poor schools and countries. O’Sullivan (2003) argues that the Learner Centered approach may not be transferable to developing country settings where the resources are scarce and there is a different learning culture. Students belief system is another criticism levelled at the Learner Centered ideology. Students conditioned to the teacher-centered learning approach may not be receptive to the student centered approach.

On the other hand, the Social Efficiency ideology is credited with making education relevant and practical in the United States. It has transformed education from being informational or knowledge based to being focused on helping students acquire useful skills that are transferable to their careers and societal needs. There are several criticisms to the Social Efficiency ideology. First, critics believe that the Social Efficiency ideology perpetuates the existence of the current exploitive and capitalist society. Students are not taught to question the ills of society nor taught how to change the existing exploitive mode of society. Rather, they are taught to unquestionably fit in the existing society. Second, critics believe this model places too much emphasis on testing and separating students based on the results of that testing. Third, critics believe that this ideology focuses almost exclusively on developing students’ skills with little or no regard to educating the whole child.

In conclusion, I have learned that both educational ideologies have their pluses and minuses. In my career as a curriculum manager, I plan to use not just the two educational ideologies discussed in this paper. I also plan to use other educational ideologies when developing curriculum for school districts and nations in order to develop a balanced curriculum. I believe that there is a place for both ideologies in education. I will try to keep balancing between these two competing ideologies so that the pendulum does not end up swinging too much towards either of the two ideologies. I strongly believe that balance is needed when preparing a good and effective curriculum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

Edwards, R. (2001). Meeting individual learner needs: power, subject, subjection. In C. Paechter, M. Preedy, D. Scott, and J. Soler (Eds.), Knowledge, Power and Learning. London: SAGE.

Hall, J. and P. Saunders (1997). Adopting a student-centred approach to management of learning. In C. Bell, M. Bowden, and A. Trott (Eds.), Implementing Flexible Learning. London: Kogan Page

Lea, S. J., D. Stephenson, and J. Troy (2003). Higher Education Students’ Attitudes to Student Centred Learning: Beyond ‘educational bulimia’. Studies in Higher Education 28(3), 321-334.

Lonka, K. and K. Ahola (1995). Activating instruction: How to foster study and thinking skills in Higher Education. European Journal of Psychology of Education 10, 351-368.

O’Sullivan, M. (2003). The reconceptualisation of learner-centred approaches: A Nambian case study. International Journal of Educational Development 24(6), 585-602

Schiro, S. M. (2013). Curriculum Theory: Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns (2nd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc

Curriculum Mapping: The Essentials


By Shaaban Fundi

Curriculum Mapping and Explanations

As I was planning to design my curriculum model, several ideas came to mind. In the beginning, I thought maybe I should make my model fit models such as the Taba Model, the Tyler Model, or the Oliver Model. However, I realized through this process that, I really did not need to come up with a completely new curriculum model. Rather, what I should spend more time on is how to enhance the existing curriculum model in my school district. The current curriculum model in my district works perfectly well in some parts, but in other parts it does not work at all. Therefore, I thought it would be unwise to use the meagre district resources to create or buy an entirely new curriculum, but rather, to enhance the parts that are currently working successfully and to focus on revising the parts that are not working well. The best way to achieve this is through the curriculum mapping process. Therefore for this assignment, I deviated from the norm and decided to create a curriculum map that is relevant to my district’s current needs.

Since teachers are the most important professionals when it comes to educating and implementing any curriculum, I plan to engage all the teachers in the district throughout the process so that they can be informed of the curriculum changes and be able to implement those changes successfully. Currently, my district has two curricula in place. The written curriculum and the taught curriculum. Through the curriculum mapping process, I hope to harmonize the two curricula such that the elements that are actually taught are highlighted and the elements that are only in the written curriculum but are not actually taught are either dropped or incorporated into the taught curriculum. This process will be a collaborative bottom up approach. Below is my curriculum model and explanation for how to address the challenge. Figure 1. The Phases of the Curriculum Mapping Process

Phase 1 – the “finding what is actually taught phase”

This will be an individual level process. In this phase, I will ask each educator in each school to list the topics they really teach during each month from August to May. Each teacher will be given a two column sheet with months on one column and what topic is taught in the other column. In this process, I will ask teachers to refrain from looking at the district standards and benchmarks. They should only use their lesson plans to fill in the month and the topics they teach on those months. The purpose for this phase is to identify which topics are actually covered in each month to be able to understand what is really taught. Therefore, it is extremely important for educators to only list the topics that they actually teach each month and not what is on the district’s written curriculum.

 

Phase 2. The “collaboration phase”

This will be a department level phase. In this phase each department will work together to look at the maps produced in the individual educator phase. This phase will be led by a trained department head or a teacher leader. In this process each teacher will work collaboratively with others in the department to iron out the difference in the taught curriculum and the written curriculum. It should be done at the subject level. The topics that are taught by some teachers but are not part of the curriculum will be dropped and those that are not taught but happen to be in the curriculum will be added to the maps. This process will allow teachers to develop the monthly topic maps for each subject in each school in the district.

 

Phase 3. The district-wide map review phase

This is a district-wide professional development phase. In this phase, educators will be grouped based on the subjects they teach. I realize that some educators teach more than one course and therefore the district-wide process may take longer to accommodate the teachers’ needs. In this phase, educators will compare the subject maps developed at the department level for each school. The purpose of this phase is to have the same subject maps in the entire district. Therefore, teachers will add or remove topics to make sure that all teachers have the same maps for each subject in the entire district. This phase can also be used to share strategies and approaches that are effective to teach the topics. In addition, teachers can use this phase to develop activities that will be used to teach each topic. Caution: This phase may take longer for elementary school teachers since they normally teach more than one course.

 

Phase 4. The educator self-reflection phase

In this phase, educators can reflect on the process and how they will use the new maps they have developed to align instruction to benchmarks and standards. This phase can also be used to share strategies and approaches that are effective to teach the topics. In addition, teachers can use this phase to develop activities that will be used to teach each topic.

 

In conclusion, instead of creating an entirely new curriculum every other year, this process may help improve learning across the district. In addition, this process can improve student outcomes through the harmonization of the district’s standards and benchmarks to instruction in the classrooms across the county. Furthermore, since the process involves teachers from start to finish, it will have a higher buy-in during the implementation phase.

 

Reference

Den Keyer, K (2013). The challenges of curriculum change, ATA Magazine, 93(4): 16-19

Blanchard, L.J. (1978). Creating a climate of rapid response to needs for change. Journal of Educational Leadership, 37-40.

The Qualitative Method of Impact Analysis


The article entitled “The Qualitative Method of Impact Analysis” by Mohr (1999) attempts to qualify qualitative study design as a rigorous and explicit method for impact analysis (impact evaluation purposes). In this article, Mohr discusses the problems facing qualitative methods when it is used to study impact. He asserts, impact it fundamentally is a causation type of a problem. Causation impact analysis is better evaluated if one uses a quantitative methodology. Mohr argues that the main issue here is based upon the definition of causality. The most accepted definition of causation is based solely on the counterfactual definition of causality. Therefore, if Y occurs, then, X must have occurred. This aligns perfectly with the quantitative methodology of impact evaluation. According to Mohr (1999), a more defensible version of the counter factual definition is called factual causation. Factual causation states that “X was caused by Y if and only if X and Y both occurred and, in the circumstances, if X had not occurred, then neither would Y” (Mohr, 1999; p. 71). As a result, causation is better established when variables are compared. Thus, causality is derived from the comparison of results from the experimental group to those in the control group. Without this base of combination of observations it would be impossible to determine the variance on the treatment variables. Hence, statistical analysis would not be possible.

Based on the counterfactual definition of causality it is impossible to use qualitative methodology to evaluate impact. To better determine impact, qualitative methods must rely on something other than evidence of counterfactual to establish causal inferences. Therefore it renders impossible for a qualitative methodology to show the concurrence of X and Y without the use of a treatment group and a control group that is prevalent in quantitative designs. However, Stricken (1976 as cited in Mohr, 1999) offer us an approach called the “modus operandi’ method which can be used to bypass the counterfactual definition of causality. The modus operandi method can be described as follows: it is an elimination process. For example, to demonstrate that treatment T has caused Y to occur, other possible causes of Y such as U, V, and W must be eliminated as contenders for causing T to occur through elimination. The modus operandi is commonly used in the daily works of professionals such as doctors, police, and investigators. Modus operandi does not meet the counterfactual definition of causality used in quantitative study designs. However, because of the modus operandi methods, qualitative study designs can be used to determine the programs impact using the elimination process to determine causal inferences. Therefore, no variables are needed to establish causation in qualitative designs because physical causality rather than factual causality does indeed produce compelling evidence for ascertaining the occurrence of T when Y occurred after all the other contenders have been eliminated. Thus, causal reasoning can be reliably used in qualitative designs to determine causal inferences in program and impact analysis.

I enjoyed reading this article because it offered me practical and useful insights in conceptualizing causality inferences. I have learned that the causation debate between researchers in quantitative design and those in qualitative design is based on the definition of causation. For the supporters of quantitative design, causation is defined by the counterfactual definition of causality. Thus, causation is determined by comparing two sets of variables (control and experimental values). On the other hand, the proponent in the qualitative design camp proves that causation can be established through the elimination process. The process of elimination is commonly used in our daily lives without comparisons and/or variables. I can relate this to my research. There are several similarities between my research design and the process of elimination described in this article. My research follows the quantitative design tradition, but it does not involve a control group. The causal inferences I can draw from my research design (single participant research design) are largely a result of better controls of the internal threats to validity rather than the comparison of results from the control group to that of the experimental group. There are no control groups in my proposed experimental design. Thus, as a researcher I plan to incorporate the useful, practical, beneficial insight, and steps of determining causal inferences discussed in this article.
Reference
Mohr, B. L. (1999). The qualitative method of impact analysis. American Journal of Evaluation, 20 (1), 69-84.

Escaping the realities of the health care system – at your expense.


Shaaban Fundi:

Here is an article from the blog entitled “Africa Development Politics” by Mike Jennings that touches on MP salaries and the perks that goes along with it. In addition to their exorbitant salaries, they also have perks for medical treatment abroad on tax-payers money. For more information, read Mike Jennings article below.

Originally posted on Africa Development and Politics:

There’s nothing like allowances for representatives of national assemblies to really get people fired up. Annoyed as people get about MPs salaries, it’s the perks that lurk below the headline wage that cause righteous spluttering and indignation. The UK’s parliamentary expenses scandal that erupted in 2009 resulted in resignations, de-selections, and even jail sentences for those MPs unable to come up with even the barest semblance of a plausible reason as to why they should pay rent to their partner, have their hedges trimmed, or buy new toilet seats or duck houses with public money (OK, the duck house claim was actually rejected – but the picture of some hapless MP trying to argue it was legitimate is too good not to mention).

The salaries and benefits of MPs in Tanzania and Kenya have in recent years come under fire. In Tanzania, reports over the past few months – denied…

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Kibogoji Experiential Learning Center Funding Proposal


Turiani is a small town located in Mvomero district of Morogoro. Turiani is comprised of six villages including: Kichangani, Mhonda, Kilimanjaro, Lusanga, Manyinga, and Komtonga. It is a diverse area with many tribes and composed primarily of low income residents. The majority are subsistent farmers and a few are cattle herders. There are seven primary schools and two secondary schools with approximately 5,000 students. Like many other rural areas in Tanzania, access to technology and quality education is a huge problem in Turiani. Out of 1200 students who complete primary school each year, approximately 150 students continue with secondary education (Tanzania National Examination Data, 2012).  At the secondary school level students’ achievement gains are atrocious. For example, in 2012, Lusanga Secondary School (the better of the two secondary schools in the area) had 109 students who sat for the Ordinary Level National Examination, however, only 5  students out of the 109 received enough credits to continue with high school (shule.info, 2013).

Because of these disappointing results, Kibogoji Experiential Learning Center, Inc developed a survey to identify educational needs in the community. We learned from our household survey that students and the community at large are facing a number of challenges. First, the majority of our students come from poor families who cannot afford electricity in their homes. Out of the 200 students we surveyed, only 67 students had access to electricity supplied by TANESCO.  This access was often unreliable with frequent black-outs. Second, our survey found that only six out of the 200 students surveyed had a computer in their homes. However, none of the six computers was reliably connected to the Internet. Third, our survey found that only 17 out of 200 students had at least one book to read in their household. Fourth, our survey found that there was a shortage of qualified teachers and resources at all the schools.

Explain your Innovative Solution to the Problems

Kibogoji is an innovative organization that believes in equal access to technology and quality education for all children. To improve the quality of education and access to technology in Turiani, Kibogoji plans to use a two prong solution. First, Kibogoji plans to open an after school program called VIJANA POA to serve children ages 5 to 19 year olds in our community. This after school program will provide students access to computers connected to the Internet. The program will also offer qualified tutors to help students with homework. In addition, Kibogoji will offer books to improve students’ reading and comprehension in both English and Kiswahili. Second, we plan to use school visits to our center as an opportunity for teaching and learning using our innovative experiential learning approach. Our expert tutors will also visit the schools to train teachers on how to use the experiential learning approach in their classrooms to improve student learning, engagement, and achievement.

 

How will your idea improve the life of children, now and in the long-term?

Kibogoji Experiential Learning, Inc believes that the number of students who get selected to continue with secondary and high school level education in our community is unacceptably low.  Kibogoji Experiential Learning, Inc plans to increase the number of students who have the opportunity to pursue higher education by providing our young people with access to technology driven, brain based, developmentally appropriate learning through after school programs, school visits to our center programs, and teacher trainings. To meet the educational needs of our children and the challenges stipulated above, Kibogoji Experiential Learning, Inc has come up with the following solutions. First, Kibogoji Experiential Learning Center, Inc plans to use solar power at our center to offer a conducive environment for learning with a reliable power supply. This will increase study time for students who are otherwise dependent on natural sunlight for most of their study time. In addition, the center will have tutors who are qualified teachers to help them with their homework in math, science, reading, and writing.

Second, in the 21st century computer technology is a very important tool for student learning and for developing work related skills. In realizing the importance of computer technology for our students and the community at large, Kibogoji Experiential Learning Center, Inc. has 10 computers obtained through individual donations that will be connected to the Internet for students and community members to access information and to also receive basic computer operating skills. In addition, Kibogoji plans to implement the flipped classroom model in order to help students master what they normally learn in class.  In the flipped classroom model, students study what they will be taught in class the following day so that they come prepared to learn the new material.  Furthermore, computers will be used as a tool for supplementing and complementing classroom instruction.

Third, the number of students that do not have access to books in their homes is troubling. Kibogoji recognize the importance of early exposure to reading and learning through books. Kibogoji plans to open a community lending program for books, games, and videos for students and the community to have access to quality books, games, and educational videos. So far, Kibogoji has received over 3000 books, 30 educational videos, and 15 different game boards from individual donations that we plan to use at our Reading and Lending Center. Students and community members can stop by Kibogoji Experiential Learning Center, Inc to read books, daily newspapers, play games, and watch educational videos. In addition, students and the community at large will be able to obtain books, videos, and games after paying a small membership fee. Kibogoji believes that this multi-prong approach will help our students improve their achievement at the primary and secondary levels now and in the long-term.

 

How will you develop, scale or replicate your idea so you are able to improve the lives of as many children as possible in the future?

 

Kibogoji Experiential Learning Center, Inc believes that its idea has the potential to meet the educational needs of students in rural areas across Tanzania. The educational challenges identified in Turiani are not unique to Turiani alone. These challenges are universal to most rural areas in the country. We believe that since it is hugely expensive to supply solar panels to every household, the idea of having a center where students can come to learn with a constant solar power supply, access computers connected to the Internet, and learn in the presence of qualified tutors is extremely important for improving students’ achievement. This idea can be replicated elsewhere in the country because Kibogoji believes that the same needs exist in rural areas across the country. To implement this plan, Kibogoji plans to start small with one center first.  This will give us the opportunity to learn from our challenges and mistakes. Then, we will use the lessons learned in the first year to scale-up our operation to the entire district of Mvomero. Kibogoji Experiential Learning Center, Inc sees itself in the next 3-5 years as having the potential to impact children in rural areas across the Morogoro Region.

 

How do you plan to finance the solutions?

Currently Kibogoji is exploring a four prong funding model.  First, we plan to submit funding proposals to several local and international organizations that support children’s equal access to education.  Second, Kibogoji plans to use volunteer retired teachers from the United States and other countries to lower the running cost of the center.  Third, Kibogoji plans to open an educational supply store and a chicken farm along with the center to generate income and profit.  Fourth, Kibogoji plans to run an educational consultancy business by developing educational assessment and management courses, creating education materials at the secondary and primary school levels, and writing children’s books to obtain additional funding. It is our belief that these four funding models will generate enough income to help the center be self-sustaining and allow expansion to additional centers throughout the District and Region. 

 

Describe your experience and personal skills that show that you can build and lead an organization that will make a difference in the world.

 

I have over 13 years of experience in education. For the first two years of my career, I worked with Frontier Tanzania to implement an environmental education program in the coastal areas of Mtwara and Lindi regions of Southern Tanzania. I organized and facilitated a marine environmental education program for 12 primary schools and one secondary school on marine resources and conservation methods that included 186 students and 36 teachers. In addition, I organized and facilitated a marine environmental education program for 19 local fishermen and 2 fisheries officers on marine resources and conservation, coastal zone management, power boat handling, and the collection and handling of fisheries data. Together with other Frontier Tanzania staff members, I wrote and developed a bilingual (Swahili and English) teaching manual for secondary schools on coral reefs, mangroves and sea grasses. This book was the first of its kind in Tanzania.

For the past 11 years, I have worked as an educator and educational consultant in the United States. I am a certified science educator in both Maryland and Georgia and have over 11 years’ experience teaching high school chemistry and physics.  In addition, I have an extensive background in the areas of planning, developing, monitoring, and managing educational programs for schools and for private organization. I have also worked as a consultant for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in the Accomplished Science Instruction (ASI) project.  As part of this project, I helped develop, pilot, and evaluate an online science course for new science educators in the United States. I also work as a part time Trainer and Score Director for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. As a Scoring Director, I train educators on holistic methods for evaluating a variety of teacher certification examinations. My other duties are to prepare materials that exemplify state-specific standards, to orient educators on established calibration processes, to manage educators’ scoring sessions, and to serve as a content expert in the science teaching area.

I believe my past experience and education background has provided me with unique skills and leadership that will help me to develop and run a successful educational organization that will benefit many children in rural areas across Tanzania. The seed money from Reach for Change will give me the resources I need to empower rural Tanzanian children with the knowledge, exposure, and experiences that will help them realize the dreams they have for themselves.

Snow-Wintry Mix Hits Atlanta


Here are some pictures I took this morning showing the snow fall in Atlanta. I know, it isn’t much. Atlanta rarely gets snow and this the second snow storm this year alone. So, we are a bit jaded down here. I guess there is no global warming after-all! lol!

Most of the pictures were taken in my backyard for you to enjoy. Happy Winter Everyone!

Image

My foot prints this morning…….

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage                                            Here are some pictures I took this morning showing the snow fall in Atlanta. I know, it isn’t much. Atlanta rarely gets snow and this the second snow storm this year alone. So, we are a bit jaded down here. I guess there is no global warming after-all! lol!

Most of the pictures were taken in my backyard for you to enjoy. Happy Winter Everyone!

Florida Christmas, 2013


ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage                                      Every year, my family and I take this journey down to the swamp. This annual ritual remind me of how blessed I am. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to come to Florida, go fishing, and splash for a couple of days while waiting for Christmas. This year, the temperatures have been an extra bonus (they are in the 80s for the whole week).

I am not going to be rumbling all the way through. I will just share with you some of the shots I took today. Enjoy the photos.

Dear Santa, I Want to Sell My House for Christmas


Shaaban Fundi:

Here is a Christmass gift for a family in need! Thanks Lesley.

Originally posted on Bucket List Publications:

Our New Home

Right now, I should be in Banff, Alberta on a sleigh ride with my daughter… dashing through the snow with the cold Alberta air filling our lungs. Instead, I flew home last minute to pack up my house in Charlotte, North Carolina and move to California. It was a dream come true. We put our house on the market less than a month ago and we had an offer on December, Friday 13th. Should that have been a sign? I didn’t think of it.

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The One Size Fits All Assessment Model: A disastrous approach.


In this analysis, I will discuss the book review entitled “Computers, Curriculum, and Cultural Change (2rd ed.)” by Bonita Wilcox (2005). I will review the four types of literacy discussed in the book review and how to incorporate these literacies in instruction. Finally, I will conclude by discussing the lessons I learned from reading this article and how I will use some of the information in my praxis.

In her article, Wilcox reviews the book entitled “Differentiated Literacy Strategies for Student Growth and Achievement in Grades 7-12” by Gayle H. Gregory and Lin Kuzmich (2005). Ms. Wilcox begins here review with two fundamental questions: “Overwhelmed by student diversity? Too much content and too little time? I am sure that many educators can relate to that. We all are struggling to meet the needs of each and every student in our classrooms. Some of the needs we must meet to remain effective educators are student development, learning styles, learning preferences, and multiple intelligences”.  Ms. Wilcox goes on to state that student diversity is one of the biggest challenges for American educators in the 21st century classroom.  In their book, Gregory and Kuzmich (2005) suggest looking at these challenges through the lens of the four domains of literacy: functional, content, technological, and innovation/creative. Gregory and Kuzmich further suggest educators consider numerous differentiated learning methods while acknowledging that these methods have to be balanced against the time and resource constraints many educators face. To address these challenges, Gregory and Kuzmich offer several instructional strategies, assessment strategies, planning models, checklists, rubrics, and lesson plans based on current brain research and recommendations from prominent educators.

Gregory and Kuzmich believe, like most educators, that gathering and evaluating data is crucial in making well-informed decisions to improve learning. They also believe that diagnostic thinking must be done by teachers themselves since they work with and know all the students in their classroom. External testing and evaluation is not tailored to individual students and therefore does not offer the best diagnostic prescription for student development at the individual level. The use of differentiated instructional practices for specific learning styles, preferences, and multiple intelligences are discussed to address the functional and content area competence. These include flexible grouping, anticipation guides, SQ3R, graphic organizers (four corner, compare/contrast, and cross classification), choice boards, KWL charts, reciprocal teaching, and writing prompts. To meet the technological and innovative literacy challenges, Gregory and Kuzmich suggest best practices for promoting multidimensional thinking and multimedia production. These include useful websites for various content specific areas, search engines, search guides, website credibility measures, and some innovative methods including switch between work groups, kinds of text, and types of writing skills and media use.

In conclusion, this book review was very informative. I have learned many useful teaching and learning strategies that I will be utilizing in my daily praxis. Furthermore, it was very interesting to learn that most educators over-value the importance of external student testing and evaluation. In my view, this practice is not formative and does not help educators improve their teaching. The best diagnostic thinking is the one envisioned and implemented by the teachers themselves. This kind of test takes into consideration student diversity and can address challenges at the individual student level. The one size fits all assessment that we are currently using assumes that all students are the same.  In my opinion, this is an incorrect assumption.

 

 

 

 

Reference

Wilcox, B (2005). Computers, curriculum, and cultural change (2rd ed.), English Leadership Quarterly, 28(2): 12.