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“Assessing strengths and weaknesses” on #edchat

Posted on Jun 27, 2013

Paper pointing arrows at the words A,B,C, and D.Due to ISTE 2013 being in full swing during this week’s #edchat, attendance seemed to be at an almost record low. Compared to the activity usually seen in #edchat, conversations were more limited and slower. On the upside, this made the conversations easier to follow. Unfortunately, though, the main draw of Twitter is the ability to share thoughts quickly with many people to accumulate a diverse set of ideas. Despite the lack of participants, though, some valuable thoughts were generated in the #edchat, which discussed both “What skills/abilities/attributes do you think administrators should look for in new hires for the classroom?” and “Is the idea of integrating curriculum an idea that still has a place in education today?”

In the case of the first question, discussion turned away from specific skills that administrators should look for. Instead, participants chose to make a case for the inclusion of faculty in the process of hiring another faculty member. Many echoed and supported Anna Kraftson’s (@anna_kraftson) assertion that “Teachers have intimate knowledge of their department’s strengths and weaknesses.” Here, participants made it clear that it is not necessarily the case that administrators should look for skills that might sound sort of cliche, such as “the candidate should be a team player,” or, “the candidate should be a life-long learner.” Rather, administrators should seek to interact with faculty members to discuss what weak points might exist in a department and what sort of skills and knowledge a good candidate would have.

When discussing integrated curriculum, teachers made it clear that they believed that, as Nancy Blair (@blairteach) put it, “integrating curriculum can lead to more authentic learning opportunities.” In this context, integrated curriculum indicates that learning normal school topics like math or English are incorporated into activities that involve students and turn them into active learners.

Josh Luthi is a computer science student at the University of Kansas and has a penchant for politics.

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