Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Education: Learning Must Extend Beyond Knowledge For Sustainable Performance Improvement

If you are an educator whether in the K-16 schools or corporate training, can you answer the following three questions:

Who is Krathwohl?
Who is Dave?
And why is that important to me as a teacher or a trainer?
Krathwohl is an educational researcher who worked with Bloom and developed the Affective Taxonomy published in 1964. (NOTE: Bloom and his colleagues indentified the 3 learning domains of affective, cognitive and psychomotor and spent considerable time constructing what is now known as the Bloom Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (1956) around the cognitive learning domain.)

The Affective taxonomy or classification in ascending order consisted of:

Organizing and Conceptulizing
Characterising by Value or Value Concept
Dave in 1975 suggested a taxonomy based upon Bloom's and others earlier works specific to the psychomotor domain. His efforts led to the following:

The reason it is important is that the initial research by Bloom and his colleagues suggested that all three domains must work together in tandem to maximize the effectiveness of learning. When there is emphasis on only one domain, then sustainable learning will not happen.

Some additional questions to consider:

As an educator, teacher or trainer, do you agree that Bloom's work is important to learning?
Do you construct lesson plans or training sessions based upon all 6 categories within Bloom's educational objectives?
Are your lesson plans and instructional strategies reflective of all 3 domains or of just the cognitive domain?
Are you frustrated by the lack of academic progress or results your students or participants are making when compared to your daily efforts?
Are you building the desire or the affective learning domain?
Are your actions intentionally or unintentionally shutting down the affective or psycho motor domains?
After working with the performance of young people for the last 10 years and with adults for over 25 years, I can honestly state that no one wants to be a performance failure. What we as educators or trainers need to do is to ensure that we unite all 3 domains for true sustainable performance improvement.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Will Education Get You Where You Want To Go?

Does an education really buy you anything in the job market?

Most people have pretty firm opinions on this and believe
that degrees are vital to landing good jobs. But is this

Let's look at the idea that "Yes, you must have a good
education to get a good job." That's one possibility. If
you're in education yourself you can make an excellent case
for needing degrees to get a job in education. That is
definitely what most people do. Most job requirements for
teachers, professors and administrators require anything
from a four year college degree to a doctorate in the field
in which you will teach or work. But do all jobs in
education require a degree? No.

When people are outstanding in their field, they are often
invited in as guest faculty, no matter what their
qualifications. Can you imagine learning about relativity
from Einstein? He had no advanced degrees. Or what about
learning business and computers from Bill Gates? He has no
degree and he is worth billions. The same is true of Steve
Jobs. No degree there, either, and he didn't do so badly.

According to, "at
least 108 members of The Forbes 400 Wealthiest Americans
never graduated from college. Their average net worth: $4.3
billion each!" Hmm. No degree? That's not what we were told
would lead to success. It seems pretty clear that a degree
is not required for wealth or success. In fact, this site
gives a very long list of successful and famous people who
have no degree at all. Their list includes such luminaries
as Walter Cronkite, Steven Spielberg, Ted Turner and John
Glenn. Debra Fields of Mrs. Fields Cookies and Rosie
O'Donnell are two of only three women listed, but there are
undoubtedly others.

A degree does not even guarantee an entry-level job in
your chosen field. Ask anyone in California or Colorado
with a master's in counseling or a massage therapy license.
Nothing can really guarantee wealth or success.

Entrepreneurs in many lines of business who do not have
formal education have been recruited to bring their
expertise and knowledge to related businesses, programs and
schools. Some people even "invent" their career due to
their ability to perceive the world in a unique way.

Getting a degree could be fun. You could learn things you
won't take the time to learn any other way. You may meet
people who will be influential in your career and make
friends with similar interests. But your degree does not
guarantee your success. It doesn't even guarantee a job in
your field. And that's okay. As they say, "Success is a
journey, not a destination."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kids in School? Check Out the School Systems Before You Buy a New Home

If you're looking to buy a new home and you have school-aged children, the quality of the school systems in the towns or cities you're considering needs to be a major component of your decision making process. As you're looking for homes, be sure you research the schools, both public and private, in the region where you'll be living.

First, what sort of school would you like for your children? Does one of your kids want to seriously pursue athletics? Then a school with a strong team sports culture might be a perfect fit for that child. If your child is not an athlete, you may want a school system with more emphasis on health and individual physical development, with many options for non-athletes, and less emphasis on team sports.

Do you have a budding genius in the family? An honors program or advanced placement program is a plus. Do you have a special needs child, or one who needs just a bit of extra help? A school with a solid special ed program and lots of built-in support for every child would be a good fit. Is your child artistic? Pay attention to a school's arts and music programs, and the variety of course offerings and extracurricular activities for students. Some schools offer the bare minimum, while others have a rich selection of activities for kids. Once you've defined your children's needs in terms of a school, you're ready to ask questions.

Your Realtor may very well have a lot of information on the schools in his or her area, and information from the real estate agency is a good start; but you need to go beyond that. State and local governments should offer basic information on the supervisory unions in the area; many of them supply information on the Internet. Once you've identified a contact person at the supervisory union, make appointment to meet and quiz him or her about each school in the district. The staff of the supervisory unions will often have a good sense of the atmosphere and learning culture in each school, and when asked specific questions, should be able to suggest a school compatible with your child's needs.

Once you've gotten an inkling of the schools you've like to explore, make arrangements to visit each school and meet with the principals. It's a good idea to prepare questions in advance; some suggestions are to ask about the academic programs, and in the case of high school, any vocational training or guidance available. Beyond that, consider the following: Does the school have a written policy on bullying and cliques? Is there a variety of extracurricular activities for different students, and active encouragement for all students to become involved in the school? Or is there a dominant football or basketball culture that leaves a lot of kids on the sidelines?

Safety and security are surely important issues; does the school deal with these issues by enforcing a strict disciplinary code, or by creating an atmosphere of acceptance and diversity?

Talk to members of the local PTA to find out how the school administrators and the school board deal with parent concerns. If you've got time before your move, subscribe to the local newspaper and follow local issues regarding school. And, if you can, connect with former and current students, and get their view of the school; kids' opinions are often very different from the official viewpoint, and need to be taken into account.

With kids in school, a big part of family life is going to be centered around issues of learning, extracurricular activities, and school culture. Doing some research on the school systems, and finding a house in a district where you have a positive impression of the schools your children are going to be attending, will increase the chances that living in your new community will be a positive experience.

Aldene Fredenburg is a freelance writer living in southwestern New Hampshire and frequently contributes to Tips and Topics. She has published numerous articles in local and regional publications on a wide range of topics, including business, education, the arts, and local events. Her feature articles include an interview with independent documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and a feature on prisoners at the New Hampshire State Prison in Concord.