Just Released by Educational Experts Offers Cure for Public Education’s Ills: "Fixing Public Education," by Various Education Experts Including Dr. Anthony Dallmann-Jones
Statistics are now showing that dropout figures are high for both students and good teachers, and testing scores have risen to god-like status in deciding who stays and who goes for faculty and staff. An innovative revolution is proposed in a book by ten experienced educational experts. Published October of 2014, Fixing Public Education has a clear diagnosis and prescription to lead the way out of the current morass.
"Fixing Public Education" was conceived and edited by Dr. Anthony Dallmann-Jones, a 50 year veteran of education and published author of seven books on educational issues. He called upon nine other educational stakeholders from all levels of education - teachers, administrators & higher education professionals - to discuss and propose what they consider to be learner-centered educational reform - not to be confused with current practices under the reform label. They propose something that focuses on children’s strengths and talents and call it the January Educational Model, signaling new beginnings.
The proposed January Education Model in the book is based on seven principles. Dr. Dallmann-Jones, senior author and editor says, "These principles bypass many of education's existing problems by focusing on the positive practices that will automatically reduce dropout, truancy, violence and achievement gap figures.
The JEM model urges reform from the inside out, student-centered rather than statistically-centered or politically-centered. Teaching is based on learners’ skills, talents, strengths, not on their deficiencies."
In his chapter on Educating for Human Greatness, Lynn Stoddard exhibits how the positive elements can be enhanced in schools and students, eliminating the constant and nagging pressure and negative outlook that occurs with the current model of teaching to the test and living and dying by test scores. “It can be done,” Stoddard stated, “because it has been done.”
What are the tenets of the January Education Model that make it so revolutionary? Dr. Dallmann-Jones, the originator of the January Educational Model, asks readers to "Imagine a school with the following attributes:
A learner centered environment with a goal of uncovering the potential greatness in every child. A focus on the strengths, talents, interests, needs, and abilities or aptitudes of each child and a curriculum developed with these attributes in mind. A school where students have a role in creating the learning environment. An educational system where the content standards are legitimate but only as a guide for teacher diagnostics and planning learning experiences. A school where student progress is measured against their previous levels so that personalized student growth plans take the place of one-size-fits-all curriculum. An environment with rich parental and community involvement in supporting student development and learning."
The ten authors of "Fixing Public Education" view education today as a runaway train. They offer data that schools today more and more often are teaching to the tests - some suspending classes for up to six weeks cramming for them - and that 'School and learning' is much more than test scores could possibly begin to represent, but the current unrelenting focus on testing apparently belies that. Statisticians note that a serious problem in utilizing standardized test scores to judge anything means that 50% of any group is cast into a “below average” category as that is how standardized tests are configured.
The authors of "Fixing Public Education" have seen the changes in education over the last decade or two and believe it is currently coming apart at the seams. They urge educational stakeholders to take action. Their proposed January Education Model was written for and aimed straight at that purpose. "It encourages a rethinking of education," states Dr. Dallmann-Jones, "and a utilization of the JEM model as one possible template to begin genuine learner-centered educational reform. There are others but we think this one brings together the strengths of learner-centered education."
More information on the ten authors and the January Education Model at http://www.FixingPublicEducation.com
Anthony S. Dallmann-Jones