I do not know whether the students will be prepared, but it is a good contributor to their possible success. I love open ended projects, because they do have real world application. I believe it calls for them to use their highest thinking.
I think that the DAP Tools four components will better prepare students, but like every other tool we use it won’t stand alone and solve everyone’s problems. I think that the statement on page 48 “these expectations must be two fold: One, teachers must have high expectations for their students, and, two, students must have high expectations for themselves.” is the best answer for this question. Teachers can’t teach students everything that they are ever going to need to know in their life, what we can do is teach them how to learn and how to set their own standard high and not accept mediocrity or sub standard work from themselves or anyone else.
I think the DAP Tools four components will prepare students for the future and for what the real world is like, since not everything is a fill in the blank or multiple choice test; I like the performance level assessments too. I like that it gives students creativity and authority over their work.
In response to oliverl: I agree with what you said about teachers having high expectations of students, as well as students needing to set expectations for themselves--since you won't always have other people to do it for you.
I do believe that the four main components that the DAP tools use will help in facing future problems, but nothing is a stand-alone. As mentioned, high-level thinking, problem solving, creativity, organization, authentic products, and self-analysis through authentic reflection are some of the useful tools that we should have as high expectations for today's learners that will eventually be tomorrow's future. If we begin early and learners take on these types of self-discipline and start to have the same expectations for themselves and others around them, it is a step in the right direction for the 21st century and some of the challenges that we might eventually face.
I agree with comments that OliverL stated, in that we, as educators, cannot solve everything through our teaching, but we can begin there. It's similar to the cliché, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." There's only so far educators can take students towards their success - they have to also have high expectations for themselves. These DAP tools are also a great way to grow these high expectations and lay them out for students to better prepare themselves. It also bring to mind the other cliché about "give a man a fish and he can eat for the day, but teach a man to fish and he can eat for a lifetime."We need to have high expectations for all learners, and also teach them to have high expectations for themselves. Essentially we will only be with our learners for a brief, limited time, so our influence must be that of an ongoing nature to give learners the tools they will need both in the present and in their future.
I like what Katie Kavanagh said about student creativity and authority because it implies student responsibility also. These are bright students but they still need to learn resposibility in order to be functional in a real world setting. I like the part about the world not being a fill in the blank proposition too, it is really an open ended word problem with multiple solutions.
The use of the DAP Tool encourages teachers to provide real-world opportunities for their students. Products that adhere to a differentiation model generally require critical thinking and creativity, key skills needed in a technologically savvy world. The reflection component of the DAP Tool requires students to communicate their thinking and develop a self-awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses. The authors state on page 57, "This self-analysis encourages growth as they dissect what they learned, how they learned it, why they learned it, and what role they as learners took in making that learning happen." This awareness is empowering, hopefully guiding the individual onto a career path that suits their talents and passions.
I agree, as guillorys points out, that if we begin early, students learn the self-discipline necessary to tackle higher expectations and challenges. Paper and pencil worksheets and a heavy emphasis on standardized formats limits the real-world applications of skills. Critical thinking projects require consistent planning, preparing and assessing, but the rewards for the students are more applicable for future endeavors, both in school and in a career. The DAP Tool can aid teachers in this transition.
I believe that it is one of many components of a balanced education that will help in the preparation of our students for the 21st century. Certainly, as the career market gets more competitive skills such as creativity and problem solving will help them gain greater success. And the insight gained from being introspective, reflecting on their own performance, their strengths and weaknesses will help them to not only improve their performance but identify what their niche is. It is these skills such as these that many people such as myself did not truly master until my college career and beyond. If we can facilitate their mastery of these at an earlier age, certainly they will be more prepared for the upcoming challenges life has to offer.
I also agree with oliverl in that high expectations must be cultivated - and each student will have a certain threshold. As educators we of course push students to achieve to their highest ability but, in the end, they will only be responsible to themselves. So, yes this tool is part of the preparation, but cannot be held entirely accountable for their success in the 21st century.
Responding to Rebecca J, who quoted from page 57, "This self-analysis encourages growth as they dissect what they learned, how they learned it, why they learned it, and what role they as learners took in making that learning happen." What a great quote...the self-analysis is at the evaluation level on Bloom's Taxonomy.
I feel the DAP tool will definitely help students be prepared for the future. Education has evolved from a place where teachers lectured, kids recited, and then answered book question. Lower level order thinking has been replaced by rigorous curriculum that forces student to think outside the box and reach the higher levels. Having students create products that are meaningful and relate to the curriculum prepares them for their future endeavors.
I agree with guillorys that the DAP tools are important, but must not be the only tool teaches use in their classrooms. It is never too early to start using these tools with the younger students. This is especially true since most of the younger students have been using a computer or some type of play computer toy since they were born. These young students have the advantage of being introduced to complex tools earlier than other older generations.
Anytime a teacher can get their students to go beyond regurgitating facts and really think about their learning it is a great day in the classroom. The DAP tool allows for this higher order of thinking, showing proof of their learning, then reflecting on their learning. DAP takes student learning to a more challenging degree. I think the DAP could help challenge students by providing a common language and expectation between curriculum and teachers.
@ Rebecca J. I think it would be great if using the DAP would help our students become more aware of their personal learning style and interest so they can be empowered and able to find a career path that suits their talents and passions more easily. I think about the many students who don't know what they want, even after 2-4 years of college.
@ Guillorys I totally agree that we have to have high expectations and then to teach our students to hold their work to high expectations. While the DAP isn't going to do it alone it is a start.
I absolutely agree with the authors’ statement that using the DAP tool will help prepare the students for the 21st century challenges. On p. 56, the author states “The DAP Tool actively engages the learner throughout the learning process, encouraging through and skill development each step of the way.” This is exactly what students who are studying and working in the 21st century need. This tool forces a student to the higher order thinking process. Students need to be taught how to think and problem solve. Students and teachers who allow students to create and work on student products in their classroom will help develop this process. As a teacher, I do not want my students to memorize a million facts about government. I want them to understand the process of how our government works. This is why I have my students do projects that help them foster this type of learning.
@SanchezI really liked how you said that with the new job markets, people with skills like creativity and problem solving will definitely be at a huge advantage over the people without them. I know that my husband’s company requires all people interviewing to create a solution (presentation) to a problem that is given to them. The process is very grueling and very competitive. Students who have been exposed to this type of problem solving will be the ones at a great advantage.
I agree with Arkreynolds statement: Anytime a teacher can get their students to go beyond regurgitating facts and really think about their learning it is a great day in the classroom.I think that when we as educators present basic information and then allow the students to take that information and produce a new idea, product, or discussion using those facts is a break through. So many times students are unmotivated due to the 'routine' of worksheets or tests. This approach allows for so more - hopefully an enjoyment in learning even from the most resistant individuals. This process of using the DAP tool to me allows ndividuals to be just that, individuals. Without that opportunity even in the real world, many discoveries would still be undiscovered. Therefore, I think that it would compare to the real world. Even in education we hop from one great process or learning style to another. These are not already out there and we just pulled it off the shelf. Someone thought outside the norm and developed a new approach to teaching, lesson planning, or even evaluating projects.
Yes and possibly no (if not used consistently and as the designer intends). The author’s statement sounds dangerously silver bullet-ish, and, well, I think we all know by now that there is not a silver bullet in education. However, I think that the DAP tool can be effective and useful in helping our students learn 21st –century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and creativity if used appropriately and consistently. That being said, I wonder how long it would take (with a regular ed inclusion class) before a teacher started to notice a measurable acquisition of 21st century skills in his/her students as a result of using this tool. It seems that the tool would have to be used pretty regularly for that to be the case. This would probably require consistently assigning problem based learning projects, i.e, at least 1 every unit. Although, I feel strongly that that is a best practice, I wonder if that is practical or manageable for all teachers. I read a blog recently title Focus on the Teacher by Lissa Metzler, and it seemed to make a good argument for allowing teachers to implement effective teaching practices based on their personal teaching philosophy/style, and well, I suspect that some might not choose this tool regularly enough to produce the learning results the author intended. Focus on the Teacher http://www.metzilla.com/home/2010/10/17/focus-on-the-teacher.htmlI make this argument based on personal experience with my students (LEP, low SES, At Risk, high ability underachievers). I have using the author’s formula content+skill+product consistently since August, and I am just now starting to see evidence (in about 65% of my students) of progressing level application of some taught skills and content. Although I believe whole heartedly in this formula, I must admit there are moments when the grass looks greener because slow results, prep/grading time, and need to stay focused on the long term goal (probably the hardest part).
I think that anything educators do to push students above and beyond their comfort zone will help them be ready for what lies ahead. If the DAP tool is used consistently and widely, it could be a strong component in helping students ready themselves for the future. I do not think that the tool alone will do this. The DAP is an assessment tool, not a magic wand for teaching students what they need to know. I'm sure the authors meant that along with solid teaching, personal motivation, the 40 assests, and whatever else factors into success, the DAP tool will ready students for 21st-century challenges. We can't hand students the DAP tool and then they are prepared. Perhaps the author's meant that using the DAP tool to assess projects that mimic a 21st century challenge will prepare the students for the expectations that will be held when they leave the school system. If so, that I completely agree with.
I agree with sanchezh. Giving students the chance for metacognition will make a huge difference in their preparedness. I notice that my students rush headlong into all work, projects included, without coming up with a plan or evaluating their progress along the way. The DAP tool has a strong edge over typically rubrics in this area.
Friedman’s book talks about the decline of innovation in this country and that other countries are picking up the slack. There are many reasons for the rise of other countries, such as the immigration and visa policies that have nothing to do with our education system. China and India are doing well, but those countries’ educational systems focus much more on rote learning. They also have national sets of standards. Even though the National Core Curriculum has been released, Texas has chosen not to be a part of the program. I do think that differentiation and meeting the needs of our more creative thinkers is very important, so yes, I agree that the DAP tool can be helpful in that regard. Unfortunately, it’s not enough, though. A structural shift must take place from PK-16 so that critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration happens in all classrooms, not just the few where teachers have read The World is Flat.
I agree with sanchezh and oliverl that the earlier students can build autonomy and self-responsibility along with metacognition, the better off they'll be. Self-empowerment can work wonders for motivation and learning, and the DAP tool certainly provides that.
@Rebecca J. Like your statement regarding the impact of self-reflection. “This awareness is empowering, hopefully guiding the individual onto a career path that suits their talents and passions.” Have been having my students do reflections after each unit project and often wonder when/if it will lead them to thinking seriously about their post high school choices. We asked them (hs students) the question all the time, “so, what do want to do after you graduate?” and we usually get the dreaded answer, “I don’t know” or some generic version of what they think they want to do. I am hopeful that consistent reflection will change this common response to “what do you want to do after you graduate?”.
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@patricet Your statement, “a structural shift must take place from PK-16 so that critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration happens in all classrooms”, reminded me of a video titled RSA Animate-Changing Education Paradigms that argues a similar point with some pretty impressive graphics. Check it out… the link is below.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4UAnd, I agree with you regarding a need for a structural shift, however, I haven’t decided (for myself) yet how exactly that looks. It seems like the first step would be to change the way the collective” think” about education and learning. But, I think, more importantly and probably most challenging, will be to translate a shift in thinking into universal classroom practice, i.e., things are easier dreamed up than doable :)
I think that anything that presents students with challenge and rigor, such as the DAP tool's four components, will help better prepare our students for the 21st Century, although nothing can do it solely on its own. Additionally, students must also be willing to prepare themselves for the 21st century by challenging themselves with their own high expectations. Nothing bothers me more than when a student asks me if they've done "enough", as if to say they are happy with minimum expectations.
I agree with so many here, including guillorys and oliverl, that not only do we as teachers need to have high expectations for our students, but that they must also have those expectations for themselves. Guillorys's cliche about leading a horse to water is so true. I can want it badly enough for my students, but until they want it badly enough for themselves, they won't internalize that drive and motivation work ethic that no one can take away from them!
The use of the DAP Tool’s four component will definitely help students to be prepared for 21st-century challenges, but I think students would be helped even more so if campuses were more unified in implementing high expectations and an assessment tool such as this. One teacher on a campus can only do so much. Our students need consistency in order to internalize the higher level thinking skills they will need for success in the future.
S. Acevado and WonderWeiss both caution against teachers viewing the DAP tool as a "silver bullet" or "magic wand" that could conquer all learning issues. They are both right that the DAP tool will not bring about noticeable change if one teacher uses it here and there. Like with anything else in education, a whole school or a whole district would need to get behind it in order to really see a transformation. I agree with S. Acevado that some teachers might not be comfortable with getting behind something like the DAP tool. It definitely is not something that teachers could implement overnight. I definitely sense that a change is in the air as far as views of grading, assessment, and student achievement. I'm curious to see how teaching and learning will change in the next ten years.
Well, clearly students WILL be less prepared for the challenges of the 21st century if they don't have opportunities to make use of different learning styles at levels that allow for students to stretch their thinking and work production. Pages 56 and 57 provide sound justifications for using DAP Tools: Descriptive words like critical thinking, problem solving, creative thinking, and metacognition are not to be taken lightly.
I like what Betsy writes (see 12/5, 1:07. The DAP Tool is teacher friendly, but beyond the tool itself there are still many demands that teachers will have to attend to. Comfort zones extend beyond the tool to conferencing with students, providing resources for students, assessing the pieces (yes, even with a really good rubric), and building expertise in students, and all the while maintaining that the curriculum is "covered". I do think, though, that even one or two opportunities for students to use the Tool for learning is of value to them.
On November 2, 2010 12:27 PM Rebecca J discusses p. 57, noting that students' self-assessment and recognition of personal strengths and weaknesses, and perhaps thereby empowering them in a career path. Going out into the realm of SEL, it seems that students would also benefit psychologically by having an awareness of when or how to exert a specific kind of energy and attention to a task so that it can be recognized, made into a doable task or mastered into a work of art. When students are not successful, they have room to think about what happened in their learning and perhaps why it happened.
arkreynolds said... Anytime a teacher can get their students to go beyond regurgitating facts and really think about their learning it is a great day in the classroom. The DAP tool allows for this higher order of thinking, showing proof of their learning, then reflecting on their learning. DAP takes student learning to a more challenging degree. I think the DAP could help challenge students by providing a common language and expectation between curriculum and teachers. I agree with this. How often do kids get bored in class because they are not challenged. In my classroom, I have to challenge my group or get into trouble. How often do our fellow teachers complain that kids seem apathetic to what is being taught? Maybe it's because they are still doing the same thing they did ten or twenty years ago.
I agree with so many of the postings and I think that the DAP tool that can be effective and useful in helping students to learn in the 21st –century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and creativity if used appropriately and consistently but it is really difficult when not all the teachers have the same theory or passion for their craft and the students are the ones that are left unprepared for the 21st century. We must be responsible and prepare our next generation with tools that it will take to lead us.