Collaboration: Of Missionaries and "Microids." (Reflections on the Need for Strong Educational Policy to Encourage Pan-European Educational Collaboration)

By Foster, John F. | T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education), January 1992 | Go to article overview

Collaboration: Of Missionaries and "Microids." (Reflections on the Need for Strong Educational Policy to Encourage Pan-European Educational Collaboration)


Foster, John F., T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)


I am still suffering the culture shock of leaving Britain in January, 1991 to come to be director of the Science Center at TERC. TERC stands for Technical Education Research Centers, a 26-year-old, comparatively well-kept secret in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which produces excellent "hands-on" materials, research and technology in mathematics and science education. Its work is probably better known in Portugal than it is in Portland. They are modest souls, but as a strange foreigner I can shout their praises.

I am fast learning the American variant of English but am still largely baffled by the size and by the diversity of educational practice. There is so much I didn't know about. None of us talk enough to each other (and if we talk, not enough of us listen). There is so much overlap and so much parallel invention. The excuse of "it was not invented here" seems to have been invented everywhere.

Since at least the early thirties the education world has known that children can achieve more if, from time to time, they work collaboratively. We encourage them to share; to listen to their peers; to build on previous work. Working with others is one of the life skills they must learn, we say. But we don't do it ourselves.

Well, perhaps we are just starting to realize that there are some pay-offs to collaboration. Electronic mail and comparatively easy world travel have allowed us to invent new, worthy goals of international collaboration and to allow us to experience the enticement of foreign travel, the warmth of international hospitality, new audiences for our old ideas--all sufficient to remove any nagging doubts that we ought to be talking to institutions down the road (or even down the hallway).

While international collaboration is not possible for most teachers, there are notable exceptions. The National Education Association's interchanges with the U.K.'s National Union of Teachers led to exchange visits and seminars, in days of slightly less economic stringency, that talked about the ways we could collaborate on the developments in the use of computers in education in our two nations. They made good recommendations to states and local education authorities (LEAS), more weighty in that they were common views held by both organizations--but I know of no further actions.

At the classroom level, students can collaborate internationally in such programs as The National Geographic Kids Network (designed, written and tested by TERC). But too few teachers anywhere get the chance or encouragement to learn from each other, to go to conferences or even to read! Worldwide, the media currently seem to be blaming teachers for most of the things that are wrong with the world, but there is very little most of us can do about it-even in shaping change within our own school systems.

The U.K.'s Teachers' Centres

At home in the U.K., there used to be a network of Teachers' Centres--neutral ground where teachers could meet to share their ideas, listen to others and feel part of a profession. The centres had started off in the 1960s at the time of the Nuffield Maths and Science Projects. The Nuffield Foundation wisely insisted that if an LEA wished to join in piloting any of their projects (that is, to accept their funds), it would have to provide a neutral meeting place where participating teachers could share their ideas and channel feedback to the project's staff. There were soon many such subject-specific centers blossoming as the curriculum reform movement of the '60s got under way.

It was realized (probably for all the wrong reasons, like saving money) that there could be a pay-off, especially for the elementary school teachers, if there was just one, large, efficient center in each region. It would host all the curriculum meetings, be staffed, offer some facilities to share, have a professional library and sometimes even sponsor social activities. This way teachers would continue to "talk education" well outside their contracted hours at little cost to the LEAS. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Collaboration: Of Missionaries and "Microids." (Reflections on the Need for Strong Educational Policy to Encourage Pan-European Educational Collaboration)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.