Classroom Dynamics: Implementing a Technology-Based Learning Environment

Classroom Dynamics: Implementing a Technology-Based Learning Environment

Classroom Dynamics: Implementing a Technology-Based Learning Environment

Classroom Dynamics: Implementing a Technology-Based Learning Environment

Synopsis

This book reports an attempt to introduce change in schools using a computer-based curriculum innovation for teaching higher-order thinking skills to middle and high school students. One of the volume's themes is the extraordinary complexity and difficulty of facilitating such change in schools. A corollary of that theme is the fact that patience must be an integral part of the strategy when promoting or studying change in schools.

In reporting the activities during the early years of a technological innovation and research project in which the emphasis thus far has been primarily on establishing the change, this book focuses on describing the move to a technology-based learning environment. As such, it details an ongoing process -- a fascinating process -- and one that is likely to be repeated in the near future in countless schools throughout the nation.

Excerpt

School administrators often cite the apocryphal analogy of elephant mating behavior and educational reform. Both are accompanied by a great deal of noise and dust, but nothing happens for a very long time. In the case of elephant mating, the calf typically arrives in 24 months. In the case of educational reform, it is usually a much longer time before anything is even noticeable. From one perspective, this book is about much noise and dust with very little happening for a long time. It is the report of an attempt to introduce change in schools using a computer-based curriculum innovation for teaching higher order thinking skills to middle-and high-school students. A leitmotif of this volume is the extraordinary complexity and difficulty of facilitating such change in schools.

A corollary of the complexity and difficulty theme is that if one wants to promote or study change in schools, it is imperative that patience be an integral part of the strategy. Innovations in any institution, but particularly in schools, require an extraordinary length of time. Therefore, any attempt to draw conclusions prematurely from the study of planned innovations is likely to be misleading. In the project reported in this volume, it is expected that data collection, analysis, and interpretation will span many years to produce valid results and useful policy implications. A decade is not an unreasonable time frame for this type of endeavor.

This is an unusual project because it is planned to continue for such a long time. This is also an unusual book, for it is a report of activities during the early years of a technological innovation and research project in which the primary emphasis thus far has been on establishing the innovation. This volume focuses on describing the innovation and includes few traditional, empirical data analyses reported in the usual manner. Although the project is now more than 6 years old, it still is in the implementation stage. The research activities which will examine systematically the impact of the innovation are just getting underway. This book is an account of an ongoing process, a fascinating process; moreover, it is one that is likely to be repeated in the near future in countless schools throughout the nation.

The authors believe that the experiences gained and the insights produced in the early stages of designing and implementing this project need to be recorded and shared with colleagues in the educational research and practitioner communities. The account of the creation and implementation of this project is given in some detail in this volume. In this Preface, it is sufficient to call the reader's attention to the dramatic shifts in the scope and foci of this endeavor as it evolved in launching the project. After describing these shifts in perspectives, a preview of the volume chapters is provided.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.