Renewal Runs Deeper than Dollars

When government tosses out money as renewal incentives, in hope that dollars buy benefits, bureaucracies respond with inferiority.  Rewards and pay-for-performance practices work against renewal, according to Alfie Kohn who draws from hundreds of studies. Do you agree?

Have leaders of educational institutes removed themselves from the heart of problems ordinary people face? Sadly,  many leaders appear to sustain tired systems by distancing themselves from real renewal initiatives.

It’s also true that money rarely equals rejuvenation, and as Kohn’s research shows, dollars tossed at  problems, simply sustain the very stagnation that stomps out solutions. Have you seen it happen?

With new government incentives we see disastrous effects, as money pours into broken bureaucracies, and fast rewards raise resilient barriers against growth. Have you seen money equal wonder, or does it hamper renewal in your secondary schools or universities?

What’s needed, is an alternative to teaching, learning and assessing that fails. Americans would be more successful if we present specific  curriculum and assessment tactics to raise  motivation and achievement for all teens.

Not that we need new fads, or that learning theories cannot work for finer performances. I work with a curriculum and assessment model that’s proven to increase learning at secondary and university levels through renewed methods from 15 well-respected learning and assessment theories.

After listening to government plans to disperse incentive funds for renewal I heard far too little about over-arching curriculum related renewal initiatives. No wonder grant writers clamor for money in New York – with less interest in learning improvement than dollars that take its place.

When learning forms the mind and heart of growth, curriculum includes:

1). Learners with their multiple intelligences welcomed at the table in ways that jump-start renewed learning;

2). Texts, of many sorts – including  traditional texts and lectures used more as references than engines that drive learning;

2). Faculty, and their reconfigured approaches to engage, guide and assess learners for finer performances;

3). Approaches to help learners use new knowledge to solve real related problems, with evidence of ongoing transfer;

4). Settings that will create the best opportunities for renewed learning and assessment;

5).  Assessments that are Intelligent-fair and open multiple segues where learners can progress from where they stand currently, to where they hope to arrive.

6). Communities that inspire more relevant offerings by respecting families and valuing contributions each person brings.

8). Administration and renewed roles to facilitate more change by empowering others in their community for a shared vision of renewal

9). Tactics to deal with cynics who stop change and hinder renewal while adding toxic chemicals that destroy learning communities

10). Technology that’s current, and well used and builds data banks to prepare learners to actively embrace and lead change!

Imagine a highly energized circle, free from hidden traps that pay broken systems to undo brainpower.   Renewal that  impacts learners and builds caring communities at the secondary and university level? Think of the prototype that kind of unity would generate! What do you think?

Articles for secondary and university race to the top:

1. No Brain Left Behind

2. Death of Education – Dawn of Learning

3. Brain Parts Promote or Stomp out Change

4. Secondary and University with Brains in Mind

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17. Retention Lost in Lectures


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