The vision of Paterson Public Schools is “to be the leader in educating New Jersey’s urban youth” (Paterson, 2017). My vision of student learning is aligned with the school’s vision in the sense that my goal is to help my students be the leaders of their communities, classrooms, schools, and workplaces when they grow up. Part of this leadership must come from character education, which Lickona (1993) and Kristjansson (2014) note is of particular importance in today’s schools. Part of what helps to inform character education is the focus on self-directed learning, which was advocated by Maria Montessori through the Montessori Method (Mangal, 2007). One of the best ways to promote self-directed learning and thereby facilitate character education and achieve the vision of the school is to use computer-assisted instruction as a teaching approach (Hsieh, 2017).
The process needed to implement and promote my vision required access to computer-technology and tutorial time for students so that they could familiarize themselves with the computers that would be used in class. The planning and implementation of this vision was facilitated by meetings with the administration and other teachers so that a support system could be erected that would allow the CAI approach to take place with full network support.
The communication plan used to share my vision was printed off for students and emailed to parents as well as discussed in meetings with administrators and other teachers. The point of this plan was to inform all stakeholders as to the benefits of CAI, how it could support self-directed learning, and how self-directed learning could facilitate the vision of the school.
Planning and Implementation
The stakeholders involved in the process included: 1) Principals and vice-principals and other administrators, 2) teachers, 3) parents, and 4) students. These stakeholders were included to support the process through direct forms of communication, in which my vision, aligned with the school’s, was set out. I asked for feedback from all stakeholders so that I could better understand their perspective and make adjustments to the process accordingly.
The planning steps I took prior to implementation included: 1) speaking with the relevant administrators and teachers about the idea of CAI and its feasibility, 2) coordinating with budget administrators to plan for the implementation of technology in the classroom, and 3) developing an implementation process that intertwined with the school’s curriculum.
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Technology applications used to assist in the plan development included Microsoft Office applications to help me keep track of issues that emerged as well as to record my own reflections in an electronic journal.
Issues of school climate and culture that I uncovered during planning were that some students’ parents were not as receptive to the idea of using technology in the classroom as they felt there was already too much reliance upon technology in every other part of society. These families were mainly more traditional in deportment and their view was that students should stick to books and penmanship. I discussed with them the realities of the world in which these students would be entering and how having an understanding of computers could benefit them in the long run. I also stressed the importance of self-directed learning, which they supported, and so we were able to find common ground on this point and build from there. I included other teachers in these findings as well and a healthy dialogue was conducted all along the way. They helped me to use internal and external resources to implement my plan, such as places to go for ordering computers, sites to peruse for applications, and external outlets for learning more about what is available.
Goals and Topics of the Session
The goals and topics for the session and how they aligned with the school’s improvement goals were simple: the school’s goal for the curriculum was as follows: “The standards covered during each instructional unit of the Language Arts curriculum are reflective of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards outlined in the New Jersey….....
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Paterson. (2017). Mission & Vision. Retrieved from http://www.paterson.k12.nj.us/11_pages/mission_vision.php
Paterson Public Schools. (2017). Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.paterson.k12.nj.us/11_curriculum/language%20arts/Curriculum%20Guides%20K8/GRADE%205/ELA_Grade%205_Unit%201.pdf
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