Book Club Week 2

In the second week of discussions of  Collins and Halverson’s Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America our focus was directed to Chapters 3 – The The Technology Skeptics’ Argument and Chapter 4 – The Development of American Schooling. Chapter 3 provided a strong counter view of Chapter 2 -The Technology Enthusiasts’ Argument by showing some of the challenges of implementing technologies into schools. Two of those challenges are: 1) the disruption of the balance on a system that has achieved a sort of equilibrium by applying years of experience on what works and what doesn’t; and 2) the disruption of the traditional power and authority that the teacher has in the status quo classroom. The author discusses the teaching profession by affirming that it is conservative in changing and transforming, and that classroom management, prep time commitment, and assessment are challenges that all teachers face when trying to implement new techniques and technologies in the classroom.

While our discussions are mostly focused on higher-ed topics and issues, it was important to understand and discuss Chapter 4 – The Development of American Schooling. Understanding the transformation of schooling from one room classes, to common curriculum, to the state in which the K-12 system is found today gives educators at Texas Wesleyan an understanding of the population they may face in the classrooms. For instance, when we see students that are not used to critical thinking activities and prefer drill-practice activities or rote memory assessments we can see a direct correlation to a system of public education where teachers teach for standardized tests and students are used to regurgitate facts and not to question what they have been taught. In addition, we have discussed that changes in the education system have been primarily dictated by societal changes and while technology abundantly permeates the fabrics of society it has not penetrated the educational system seamlessly.  It will be interesting to see how this integration will happen and how it will affect the students that will eventually join us at Texas Wesleyan.

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About the CETL

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Texas Wesleyan University (CETL) promotes a student-centered university by providing resources and professional growth opportunities to faculty on enhancing instructional practice, integrating technology, and promoting essential student skills.

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