Curriculum Mapping: A Synthesis


The article entitled "Curriculum Mapping: A How-To Guide" by John DeClark (2002) discusses the process through which a curriculum can be mapped to align topics and promote seamless instruction. In the article, DeClark (2002) describes the purpose of curriculum mapping, the step-by-step process used for successful curriculum mapping, and the benefits derived from a good …

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Educational Ideologies: Schiro’s Book Review


In this book review, I will discuss the four main educational ideologies presented in the book entitled "Curriculum Theory: Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns" by Michael Schiro (2013). The ideologies I will discuss include: (1) the scholar academic ideology, (2) the social efficiency ideology, (3) the learner centered ideology, and (4) the social reconstruction ideology.  …

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Part III: Conversations with Educators Regarding Virtual Labs Usage In Science Education


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y5XRBJb-Eo In this video I interviewed a science general biology educator regarding her experiences with virtual labs in science education. I started the interview by asking her to describe her education background and how she became an educator. In addition, I asked her to describe her educational philosophy and how that philosophy fit in with …

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Part II: Conversations with Educators Regarding Virtual Lab Usage in Science Education


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y5XRBJb-Eo&feature=c4-overview&list=UUsBOaftq4cVpXbQAvRYCGhQ In this video I interviewed a science special education educator regarding his experiences with virtual labs in science education. I started the interview by asking him to describe his education background and how he became an educator. In addition, I asked him to describe his educational philosophy and how that philosophy fit in with …

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Part I: Conversations with Educators Regarding Virtual Lab Usage in Science Education


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7U_ptOLIuI In this video I interviewed a physics educator regarding his experiences with virtual labs in science education. This was my first interview with teachers. I started the interview by asking him to describe his education background and how he became an educator. In addition, I asked him to describe his educational philosophy and how …

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Recomendations for Successful Curriculum Revisions


The article entitled “Principles of Effective Change: Curriculum Revision That Works” by Johnson (2001) describes a study conducted to determine factors for successful curriculum revision for teachers and school administrators in southern Iowa, United States. The purpose of the study was to determine the key elements that will affect the success of curriculum revisions at …

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Change Theory and Curriculum Development


In this reflection I will discuss the article entitled “Creating a Climate of Rapid Response to Needs for Change” by Blanchard (1978). I will present the steps that Blanchard used to develop an alternative curriculum (model) for a high school.  This curriculum addressed the school’s current and future needs that were identified during discussions with …

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Social Reconstruction Ideology of Education


In chapter 5, Schiro (2013) introduces the social reconstruction ideology. Central to the social reconstruction ideology is the idea that the existing society is imperfect.  In other words, the society in which we reside is broken.  Social reconstructionists believe that education should not be used as a vehicle for merely fixing the flaws within our …

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Phenomenological Study


According to Creswell (2013), a phenomenological study, “describes the common meaning of several individuals of their lived experience of a concept or a phenomenon.” There are two types of phenomenological studies.  The first type is a heuristic phenomenological approach which brings to the fore the personal experience of the researcher (Moustakas, 1990b:9, as cited in …

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Curriculum Development: Lessons from South Africa


The article entitled “A Strategy for Teacher Involvement in Curriculum Development” by Ramparsad (2001) discusses effective strategies for involving practitioners in curriculum development. Ramparsad begins the article by providing a brief history of the educational system in South Africa.  Historically, South Africa was an apartheid state and all educational systems and curricula were centrally controlled. …

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Narrative Research Approach: Synthesized.


In this synthesis of narrative qualitative inquiry, I will review the readings that I have done on narrative inquiry. I will also present my plans for using the narrative inquiry tradition to develop my exploratory study. Finally, I will provide lessons learned throughout the process and discuss whether a narrative inquiry approach is appropriate for …

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Charlie Rose Reflections


In this reflection I will discuss Charlie Rose’s interviews with President Obama and Michael Moore. I will also discuss the lessons I learned from watching these interviews. In addition, I will discuss how the lessons learned will help me in conducting my own interviews with my study participants. Finally, I will end my reflection by …

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Post Structuralism and Deconstructionism In Education


This week’s supplemental reading was very informative and added to my overall understanding of chapter five of the book entitled “Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches” by Creswell. Chapter five of Creswell (2013) details the five qualitative inquiry types: Case Study, Ethnography, Phenomenology, Narrative Study, and Grounded Theory.  I, however, will not …

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Social Efficiency and Learner Centered Ideologies in Education


Reading through chapters 4 and 5 of the book entitled Curriculum Theory: Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns by Schiro (2011), I gained an in-depth understanding of what the Learner Centered and the Social Efficiency ideologies represent. In this week’s brief reflection of the two chapters, I will base my discussion on how the two ideology …

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A Reflection on Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design


While reading through chapter three of the book Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches, Creswell raised two points that I found to be very informative in conducting qualitative inquiry.  The first point was that there are varied designs that can be used to frame a qualitative inquiry. Creswell, however, finds it useful …

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A Reflection on Curriculum Theory


Reading the first two chapters of the book entitled Curriculum Theory: Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns I gained three major ideas that I will discuss in this reflection. In chapter one, Schiro briefly discusses the beliefs that people have about the American school curriculum and the four curriculum ideologies namely: the scholar academic, the social …

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Virtual Labs: Are they as effective as face to face lab instruction?


Article Title: Investigating the Effectiveness of Virtual Laboratories in an Undergraduate Biology Course.Name of Reviewer: Shaaban FundiOverview            In his article entitled “Investigating the Effectiveness of Virtual Laboratories in an Undergraduate Biology Course”, Flowers asserts that most research has shown virtual labs to be highly effective with benefits equal to and in some cases better than …

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The Politics of American Education: My take on Joel Spring’s Book


By: Shaaban Fundi Growing up in the East African country of Tanzania, attending school was the only way I knew to escape poverty. My parents and teachers emphasized to me from an early age the importance of remaining in school so that I could gain the skills necessary to get a high-paying job.  In my …

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Literature Review: Cognitive Functioning Models and Cognitive Brain Imaging


Currently, there are two fundamental approaches to cognitive science of modeling. The two approaches are the connectionist approach and the probabilistic or computational approach. The probabilistic or computational approach is viewed as the top-down approach of studying the mind whereas the connectionist approach is viewed as the bottom-up approach. Connectionist modeling begins with “the characterization …

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Summer Vacation: St. Simons, Jekyll, and Savannah, Georgia.


We usually take our June vacation somewhere by the beach in the hot and swampy Florida. This year I was in for a change. Not changing the beach scene, but changing the vacation location altogether. It gets boring going down to the Sunshine State when you have already seen and done all the beaches and …

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A Day in the Woods, Social Circle, Georgia.


It was one of those days again when you wake up in the morning and say to yourself I am getting out of here. I was tired of the daily grind and ready to chi-relax my mind by hitting up some trails in a nearby town named Social Circle. So, we left the house after …

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The Critical Pedagogy in Me


Learning to read may take many paths. There are those who learn to read from the whole to the parts and those that learn to read from the parts to the whole. I found my experience to be the former. Growing up in the East African country of Tanzania, I experienced a number of challenges …

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A Critique: ChemVLab+: Evaluating a Lab Tutor for High School Chemistry


Title of the Article: ChemVLab+: Evaluating a Lab Tutor for High School Chemistry Overview In the article entitled, “ChemLab+: evaluating a virtual lab tutor for high school chemistry” by Devenport and colleagues., the authors argue that teaching high school chemistry typically involves quantitative problem solving activities with the assumption that students will learn core concepts …

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Tanzania Education System: Why Change It?


Each year and each time the National Examination results (Standard Seven, Form Four, and Form Six) are announced, the discussion regarding the failures of the education system in Tanzania pops up.  The central question in these discussions is whether or not the education system is meeting its goals of educating the Tanzanian youth? TWAWEZA's  data (2011-2012) from a cross-sectional studies …

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Ms. Magreth Mushi’s First Year Doctoral Studies Reflections: Join the Conversation.


I am starting a conversation here with students who completed their first year of studies in a doctoral program. My hope is that through a deep reflection of their experiences, I will be able to help others who are interested in this joyous, but thorns-laden-journey. If you are a PhD student anywhere in the world …

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Smoky Mountains, Tennessee and Ballet Recitals


 There are so many ways to spend your week-end here in Atlanta without going into your wallet. Don’t take this literally though, because you will have to shell some cash for gas, drinks, and food. For starters, there are numerous outdoor festivals going on each week-end; the many parks, lake Lanier activities, and the nearby …

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Predictors of Student’s Likelihood of Passing the Biology End Of Course Test (EOCTs) by Gender, Race and Economic Status in an Urban High School Setting.


Gender, race, and the economic statuses of students are directly associated with students’ achievement in mathematics and reading in urban schools (Southworth, 2010; Lubienski & Crane, 2010). The achievement gap associated with these factors has persisted in the American education system for 59 years since the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. Moreover, it has …

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High Stakes Standardized Testing in America: The History


This essay will explore the history of testing in American education, the introduction of standardized testing in American Secondary Education, the philosophical underpinning of these events, the historical perspectives, and the ethical standpoint that led to where we are today. In addition, the essay will also touch on the ontological perspectives, axiological perspectives, and the …

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Student Survey: Predictors of Students’ Scores on the Biology and Physical Science EOCTs in Georgia.


Student Survey: Predictors of Students’ Scores on the Biology and Physical Science EOCTs in Georgia. Ethnicity and/or Race Check the box next to the correct term that correctly describes your race or ethnicity.  Black/African American  Latino/Hispanic  Caucasian  Asian  Other Parents’/Guardian’s Income Do you receive free or reduced lunch and/or breakfast? …

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Easter Fun Sunday


It’s Easter Sunday. Without a doubt, Easter is a kid friendly holiday around this time of the year. Many churches around my neighborhood sponsor a Easter eggs-hunt on the Saturday before Easter Sunday. I took my kid there yesterday to pick up some candy. Our Easter Sunday tradition is to do a eggs-hunt early in …

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In Nothingness Is Nothing


Nothing happens in a vacuum as they say. What happens in the education system is always a reflection of what is going on in that society—socially, economically and otherwise. What type of education do we want for our youth? What knowledge is of most worth in our society? Who should get it? These are some …

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Tanzania Form IV Results 2013: The Saga Continues!


The Tanzania form IV results 2013 are out and the picture they paint isn’t pretty. Let me get straight to the numbers first. The breakdowns by divisions are as follows:  division I-1,641; division 2-6,453; division 3- 15,426; division 4- 103,327, and division 0-240,903.  And the breakdown by gender for those who received divisions 1-3 are …

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Swahili To Be The Language of Instruction in Tanzania.


Not so fast!!! This debate comes and goes. The debate normally arise whenever secondary schools results comes out. And, it is especially true when students achievement scores are terrible. Educationists in Tanzania will normally and easily point their fingers to English as the culprit. The argument always goes like, “see, I told you so, we can’t test them …

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Scientific Cheating Catalog: The Mismeasure of Man


Scientific Cheating Catalog: The Mismeasure of Man The book “the mismeasure of man” chapters 3 and 4, Gould discusses further some of the ways that scientists have cheated either intentionally or unintentionally. I have cataloged some of those instances I found to be fascinating in these two chapters below. 1) Francis Galton (1822-1911) was Darwin’s …

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Transformation Theories: A Reflection


By: Shaaban Fundi In this essay I will discuss transformative theory of learning through four different lenses or approaches. These approaches include Mezirow’s psychocrtitical approach/theory, Daloz’s psychodevelopmental perspectives, Paulo Freire’s sociocultural theory and Boyd’s psychoanalytical approach. I will then, discuss the similarities and differences among these four lenses of transformative learning. Furthermore, I will discuss …

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Savannah: Georgia Educational Researchers Association Conference Reflections


In this essay I will reflect on one educational topic presented I at the Georgia Educational Researchers Association (GERA) 2012 conference in Savannah, Georgia. I will discuss what I thought was interesting in the presentation and also discuss the applicability of the research to my own teaching and research. Friday morning I attended several presentations. …

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Andragogy: My Education Philosophy


I believe that education is a collaborative process between the educator and the students. I feel that educators should recognize that students bring their own experience and skills to the classroom. In other words educators should view their students as active partners in the learning process and not as passive participants. In so doing, the …

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Learning and Teaching Theories: A Critique


Lecture hall instruction needs to be derived from learning theories. But, in reality this is not happening. Educators either do not have the time to use theory to drive instruction or have no basic understanding of the learning theories. In this essay I will discuss and critique the article titled “Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Conctructivism: Comparing Critical …

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Stone Mountain, Georgia


We try to get out every week end and do something outdoors. This week end was nothing short of fantastic. Starting with the vintage car show in our neighborhood and ending with a trip to the top of Stone Mountain Park. The temperatures are currently dipping and it’s nice to be out to enjoy nature. …

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Antique Car Show, Embry Hills, Georgia


First I will admit my ignorance to cars—new and olds. Today I took a spin in my neighborhood just looking for something beautiful to take a shot of. An expectedly I ran into a car show. This is an annual event where people showcase their vintage cars. It was beautiful all around. Enjoy the shots …

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Historical Examples of Scientific Cheating: The Mismeasure of Man


Chapter one of the book entitled The Mismeasure of Man discuss various issues related to the concept called biological determinism. According to Gould (1996) biological determinism is a belief that races, classes, and sexes are biologically determined. This concept tries to justify that “social and economic differences between human groups” are inheritable, inborn, and that …

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The Role of One’s Epistemology on Theoretical Frameworks


How would you explain a personal epistemology? In my understanding of the word epistemology, a personal epistemology is the view that one has about his or her world. Epistemology encompasses ones’ belief system. It is concerned with different ways that a person believe what knowledge is, how it can be acquires and the truth in …

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Apple Picking at Hillcrest Orchards, Ellijay, Georgia


Each year we celebrate the fall season in various ways. The fall season bring the best weather and its best to spend the fall days on the outside before winter sets in. To enjoy the nice weather, we decided to go apple picking in the Georgia Mountains today. The drive scenery was fantastic. The trees …

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Does The Post Racial Society Really Exists? White Teeth: A Novel By Zadie Smith.


By: Shaaban Fundi The book White Teeth by Zadie Smith is about a mixed-race couple and an immigrant family life in London. Many of the controversy in the book deal with issues of identity and social class in a post racial society. Smith shows many provocative themes related to science, technology, history and religion. The …

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Practice Fall Shots.


Many people who are interested in photography like myself understand that often times we miss the opportunity for great shots because we are too involved looking for great photographic moments elsewhere. The moments that we plan for and go searching for are sometimes in our own backyards. And We forget that there are numerous photographic …

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The Unskilled Degreed Graduates: Why Do We Chastise Them?


Shaaban Fundi, University education is at the top of the root education (pre-K, K-7 and secondary education) in Tanzania. Whenever there is a missing link (a gap) at the bottom, the gap gets magnified as you move up the education ladder. This is analogous to the bioaccumulation concept in environmental science. The most toxic fish …

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A Bus Ride From Hell and BACK!


I always travel from Morogoro to Dar Es Salaam on Aboud buses. This time around I went for a change; a change that nearly ended my life--Literary. I arrived at the Msamvu bus station about 5 minutes after the on-the- hour Aboud bus had just left for Dar. I did not want to spend the next hour sitting on a bus waiting …

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