Pros and Cons of Sex Education – Is Prevention of Teen Pregnancy Possible?

The U.S. Educational system suffered in the last U.S. administration, especially in regards to the pros cons of sex education. When then president George Bush was still campaigning for more funding for abstinence-only education programs in November 2007, it was immediately following a national study found that sex education programs – which included contraception information as an integral feature – were most effective at preventing teen pregnancies. This focus on abstinence-only sex education flew in the face of the findings by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

Today, we are hoping to see a positive increase in the awareness and habits of young people regarding abstinence and safe responsible sex. Unfortunately it remains the poor who lack the opportunity to get the help they need or have a voice as to what their opinions are on these issues that impact their communities. Polls show that most teen pregnancies continue to be amongst blacks and hispanics living in lower income regions of the U.S. The sex education curriculum must consider these findings in better reaching its audience.

Cons – Without Sex Education many young people will be left to the media and hear say to find answers to important questions. Questions – if left unanswered – can lead to unplanned pregnancy and the repetition of a continuing cycle of ignorance. It seems impossible to get an exact match on every parents core values when it comes to sex education, and so it is an ongoing debate more than a con or conflict.

Pros – With Sex Education, young people have the opportunity to learn a basic understanding of their bodies, human reproduction facts and pregnancy prevention techniques. There is no replacing parental, guardian and peer influences upon the behavior of young people. The sexual attitudes and low teen pregnancy statistics of many European cultures is a great example of progressive education. It is hopeful that the current U.S. policy toward sex education will be encouraged by the study of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.

When I counsel families and couples, I try to encourage a proactive approach to learning about sex. There are two extremely good resources that I recommend to my clients for their knowledge of intercourse and hopefully have an impact on lesson plans in their families and communities. Having knowledge and wisdom about sex is an invaluable gift to share as a parent or peer of a young person who may not find the greatest sex advice elsewhere.

E-Learning, The Future of Education

So what is e-Learning? First I would like to stress that it is learning. The difference between e-Learning and traditional learning is that e-Learning incorporates the web and all the other technologies that are present there. It can be thought of as a convergence of old and new.The student may be exposed to blogs, Flash videos, music, animated text and a wealth of other virtual-classroom aides. The virtual classroom, however does not eradicate the obstacles that are forever present in the traditional classroom environment. Every teacher is aware of the dynamic nature of the classroom. He/She has to fully understand the orchestration of the the classroom floor, the importance of vocal intonation, the detection of loss of interest, the relevance of material, the factorization of “meaty” topics and most importantly the individual learner.

The e-Learning environment presents challenges to the instructor/presenter. Noticeably absent is the human contact. You are not afforded the ability to detect confusion by the dropped jaw or raised eyebrows. The student is disallowed the one-on-one interaction. Students express satisfaction when they receive that directed response. Virtual classrooms, if not humanized, may tend to radiate isolation. It is imperative that the designer or presenter compensate for this by tailoring his/her vocabulary. One may choose to use words like “you”, “we” etc. Remember a mouse click is way different from a raised hand. The virtual environment removes that impulsive response. In classes I’ve taught, the student’s body language and response times tell me when a break is needed. The human brain does suffer from information overflow. A virtual class should involve short, well orchestrated topics. Monotones are hypnotic. The presenter should practice his/her presentation skills. A short story that is ice breaking is often welcomed by the learner. Comedy removes the stress of having to digest a lot of information.

I have found myself using crutch words or fillers. You know that ever present “uh”. I never realized how often I used this filler until I decided to tape myself. To be honest, I got mad at myself. This habit is extremely difficult to break, it takes a lot of practice. Newscasters spend hours breaking bad speech habits. Technical courses are also very difficult to present, technical jargon can be problematic in a live classroom environment and twice as problematic for the virtual learner. Grouping is a phenomenal aid in the traditional classroom. Though needing a lot of planning and monitoring, it can be achieved in a virtual room. Again we must overcome the problem of distance.

PowerPoint, Flash, Dreamweaver, Camtasia, Captivate are all tools with super functionality. Creativity is at its best with these tools but can also take away from the general class objective. Too much technicality can be distractive. This is synonymous to a classroom with way too many charts, colors and pictures. The designer of the program should be vigilant of media overkill.

So what is the future of e-Learning? This opinion was given in 2000 by Richard C. Close, Rob Humphrys and Brian W. Ruttebur in a SunTrust Equitable Securities report, titled e-Learning and Knowledge Technology:- “technology is increasingly changing our lives. First, it was the emergence of the desktop computer, now it is the Internet. It enables the ordinary person to have access to never-ending quantities of information and knowledge. Technology and the Internet empower individuals and facilitate a more active role in the educational process. As previously mentioned, the Internet has transformed the way people shop (B2B) and the manner in which businesses conduct transactions with each other (B2B). Over the last several months, we have seen the evolution of a third area that we believe can have the most significant impact on all our lives. The e-Learning sector is just beginning to emerge. Just as the Internet has transformed the retail market, we remain confident that it will also transform the education and knowledge market. In 1999 John Chambers (CEO Cisco Systems) commented “The next big killer application for the Internet is going to be education. Education over the Internet is going to be so big it is going to make e-mail look like a rounding error.” How right they were, today billions of dollars are being spent on the education and knowledge market.

e-Learning brings a lot of convenience to the learner. The advance of technologies for remote access, streaming, conferencing and VOIP has made education available anywhere, anytime and for anyone. High speed desktops have become remarkably cheap. Employers and the individual learner realizes a substantial cost saving due to elimination of need to travel. According to Training Magazine, corporations save between 50-70% by implementing e-learning instead of instructor led training. The removal of the static class curriculum allows the student some degree of customization to enhance his/her learning. One recent e-learner expressed her comfort while taking an on-line course. She described the environment as risk free, avoiding the intimidation of classmates who are sometimes far more advanced.

I tend to agree that we are about to witness the total revolution of schools and education. With the competitive nature of large business, Learning Management Systems will become more efficient, robust and functional. I, however, stress the maintenance of social interaction, especially for children. The classroom environment is irreplaceable for the all round development of societal skills. With this said, I hinge my bet that e-Learning is here to stay.

The Importance of Computer Education For Teachers

The world of today is run by computers and it is time that teachers understand this. The idea of going to a library and reading a book is not ideal to the students of today. Students would rather go online and read into a subject on a webpage rather than go and have to read an entire book or have to skim for the part they are looking for. So, if your a teacher what are you to do? Computer education for teachers is what every school needs to do.

Teachers, and for that matter all school districts, need to begin to integrate technology into all classrooms and this article will tell you how.

Computer education for teachers should not be that big of a deal because all teachers who have just began probably already know how to integrate technology into the classrooms, so you should only have to teach those who have been teaching for awhile.

How do you integrate technology into your classrooms though? That is the question all teachers are asking and here is the answer. Research is the number one thing students use the internet for. Many school libraries and even some public libraries do not provide students with the information they need on certain topics but the internet will almost always have the information they need. The only problem with this is the quality of the information but teachers are able to check on that by looking at the foot notes of the article to see where the information came from.

Many schools are now having students take tests on a sheet called a Scantron or other forms of it. A Scantron is a sheet where you have 50 questions on each side, a total of 100 questions, and are given multiple choice questions A-E. The teacher will hand you a Scantron which is where you answer the questions and a test sheet, the Scantron is only a sheet where you bubble in either A-E. The teacher then puts the answers in a computer and a special machine reads the Scantron and automatically grades the test off of the answers the teacher put into the computer.

Besides research and test taking there are many other ways to integrate computers into your teaching. There are now projection screens that allow you to write on them turning them basically into a white board. You are able to watch movies on the white board, stop the movie, and draw over the movie. This is very helpful for History teachers as it allows them to teach the battles and etc.

Labels for Special Education Students – A Necessary Evil

The word “label” can cause many parents to cringe inwardly. They often see it as a big sign hung on the back of their child, making them conspicuously different from the rest of the population. Some parents may fear a label will stay with their child for the rest of their lives, preventing both social acceptance and employment opportunities. Others may see a label as some kind of failure in regards to their parenting skills. In fact, no parent wants his/her child to be labeled.

However, labeling may be unavoidable. Getting your child diagnosed is the single most important step in the foundation of his education. If you perform your own evaluation and red flags pop up, it’s time to take action.

Your first call should be to your child’s primary care physician. At well-child check-ups, your doctor will ask questions regarding developmental benchmarks. Benchmarks are guidelines of normal development your child should reach by a certain age. These include expressive language, receptive language, vocabulary, and fine and gross motor skills. Because language development can vary from child to child, physicians may be lax in taking appropriate action for a child who is not reaching benchmarks. As a parent, your intuition should serve you well. Call your local county Child Development Services (CDS) office and request an evaluation. Your CDS case manager will refer you to specialists more suited to diagnosing disabilities.

If your child is already attending school and you are worried about his progress, keep the lines of communication open with his teachers. Many teachers will refer students to the special education department for an evaluation. Regardless of the results of a public school evaluation, you may want to get an unbiased, independent evaluation. Tutoring centers like Sylvan use specialized testing. In this way, you have a back up should the school district decline services.

If your child does have a disability, an appropriate diagnosis is important in order for the state to recognize him as a special education student. State funds ensure support staff will be available to help your child meet the goals listed in his IEP, or Individualized Education Plan. This plan includes any therapeutic services your child may need such as speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and adaptive physical education. These services are vital to your child’s success throughout his primary and secondary education.

Sometimes the biggest hurdle is dealing with having your child “singled out” as a special education student. You fear your child will be seen as different, weird, stupid or weak. While there is no easy fix for this issue, being an advocate for your child and his education can alleviate some of those fears. At the primary level, ask the special education teacher about reverse mainstreaming. This process invites mainstream students into the self-contained/special education classrooms. Students who spend time in the specialized classrooms tend to be more accepting of differences because they are allowed to get to know special education students on a personal level. If reverse mainstreaming is promoted regularly, lasting bonds can form between students that will carry over into the mainstream classrooms and all over the school.

Finally, teach your child to advocate for himself. Understanding the cause and reason behind a label can sometimes ease anxiety about being different. Understanding how a specialized program works, even on a basic level, can go a long way in teaching your child to advocate for himself throughout the course of his education.

The Advantages of Tourism in Education

Tourism is an important and most powerful tool to promote national integration and bring people from different parts of the country or sub – continents close together. Advantages of tourism are remarkable if it is accompanied with education. Traveling is considered as the most delightful experience in the life of students. People have enjoyed and learnt a lot while traveling on their educational tours. Students eagerly look forward for such kind of opportunities when they are taken out of the four walls of class rooms to distant places. Englishmen consider their schooling complete only after a tour of the continent.

Geography is considered a very dull and uninspiring subject if it is read sitting in class rooms and just going through various books. The Great Ganga may be thought of a snake line running along the map. The Taj Mahal may be taken as a monument just like many others without actually visiting it. The dull subject of Geography will definitely become interesting and absorbing once these places of interest are visited by the students. History is very boring for students because they think of it as a story of dead kings and their period of kingdom and which is not going to pay student of today anything. However, if students are taken frequently to the sites of glories and defeats, architectural master – pieces constructed during periods of these great dead monarchs, the subject of History becomes more interesting and exciting than any other subject.

Really we can learn a lot more things when we actually come in contact or see such things or sites associated with such happenings. Sitting at home only will make our outlook a narrow one. Any student will fail to understand the effect of environment on the life of human beings. In day-to-day life, reading and getting lonely theoretical knowledge cannot make any student successful. They must know the habits, manners, cultures and way of living of people in other places. Traveling takes students to the sphere of practical knowledge. They come down to reality from the realm of dreams and imagination. While traveling, students learn to adjust to the changed conditions of living and foot-habits and the environment also. Different and varied difficulties encountered during traveling make the students readily adjustable. As such, tourism gives far more valuable lessons to students than the lessons of text books.

There was a time when crossing the seas to acquire higher education was considered highly sacrilegious. Foreign travel was not encouraged. It was this kind of ostrich mentality which brought about the worst type of intellectual stagnation and caused an ignominous fall in the country. However now in free India students have become alive to the need of learning more languages and acquire higher education in latest technologies. The latest method to learn a new language and understand the different culture is to live and more among the people whom we want to know. The learning of Chinese language and culture is best possible by living for a short duration in China than going through longer courses in institutions in our country only. The learning of a foreign language is the first step towards understanding of a nation. International understanding is possible for students of our country through taking tourism packages all over the world.

A student has to keep his eyes and mind open while on educational tours. Tourism provides an experience of the world and calls into action and practical use of various qualities of mind and intellect developed by education. Tact, engaging personality, firmness and lively conversation are some of the products of traveling across length and breadth of country and the world. A student need not initiate the habits, manners or fashions of other people whom he visits. Only good and proper attitudes must be adopted from others. The student must understand the economic problems faced by rural people when he goes to the villages and see how without proper schools and hospitals, people are surviving. The students may make a decision to serve the poor and innocent folks in villages after completing their studies.

Traveling must be made a part of the education system at each level of studies. Students will not only become more educated about their country’s all walks of life and culture but will be liberal in outlook. They will have maturity of judgment and clear in their understanding of people and their minds. Tourism is the quickest and the best if not the cheapest method of learning new things.

Marketing Public Library Services in Sierra Leone

Introduction

The concept of instituting marketing principles to non-profit institutions such as library and information Services is no longer a controversy. Organisations operate in an environment of change. Today we live in a global market for many goods and services in which technology, purchasing power and many factors change on a regular basis. One of the key functions of marketing is to find out how these changes affect clientele’s wants and needs and to develop organisational strategies and plans that will ensure that the library meets these challenges (Dransfield and Needham, 1995). It is therefore not surprising that public librarians are joining the marketing bandwagon. This article explores the marketing activities in the operations of the Sierra Leone Public Library services.

Public Libraries

A Public Library is funded wholly and partly from public funds and the use of which is not restricted to any class persons in the community but freely available to all. It is a major agency of enlightenment for adults, providing for children the recorded experiences of others which will help them grow into adults.

Usherhood (1981) defined Public Library as an organization established, supported and funded by the community, either through local, regional or national government or through some form of or other community organization. It provides access to knowledge, information and works of imagination through a range of resources and services and equally available to members of the public community regardless of race, nationality, economic and employment status and educational attainment.

The Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB)

The Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB) was established by Ordinance in June, 1959. The setting up of the Board was envisaged in the Government’s White Paper on Educational Development in 1958 and its functions outlined therein as follows:

• To provide a national/public library Service;

• To support and reinforce programmes of adult and fundamental education;

• To provide effective services for children and young adults including requisite services to schools;

• To provide much needed information and references services;

• To provide where needed adequate services for special groups, that is women and girls, language groups.

The Central Library is designed to give public services to Freetown and also to function as headquarter of the National/Public Library services and to provide accommodation for a growing collection of book and non-book materials in the country. It does all technical processing of stock for the Regional and Branch Libraries and has an Adult Lending Reference and a Children’s department.

Libraries are charged with responsibility to provide information service to support educational, recreation and personal endeavours of the members of their respective communities and the Sierra Leone Library Board is not an exception to that. The following services are provided at the Sierra Leone Library Board to Clientele:

Children Services

The Sierra Leone Library Board provides information services to children by the provision of books and other materials for children which are often housed in a special section known as the Children’s Library. A special service for children known as child orientated educational programme specially designed for younger library users is included in the children’s library services. They also provide services to children through storytelling, drama/play and reading aloud.

Book Borrowing and Lending Service

The main task of Sierra Leone Library Board is to provide the public with access to books and periodicals. The Sierra Leone Library Board typically offers access to a variety of books which are available for borrowing by anyone with the appropriate library card.

Current Awareness Service

At the Sierra Leone Library Board, current awareness service is aimed at bringing to the notice of potential users, newly available documents and information services. This is done by collating information and producing new secondary sources, circulating current periodicals or other documents acquired and producing and distributing one or more forms of bulletins.

Selective Dissemination of Information

A more personal information service is being run at the Sierra Leone Library Board in which the library constantly notifies library users about particular information/materials matching them in a profile of the information needs and research pre-occupation of their clientele. This is done by either bringing references to relevant items to the notice of their clients and by obtaining copies and then supply the documents themselves to library users.

Outreach Services

The Sierra Leone Library Board provides outreach information services which is committed to developing library outreach programmes for non-users, the undeserved, and people with special needs in the communities in restricted areas.

Computer and Internet Services

In an attempt to bridge the digital divide, information resources and government services are being provided online by the Sierra Leone Library Board. This is done by providing access to the Internet and public computers for users who otherwise would not be able to connect to these services.

Library Marketing

Marketing is often viewed as a set of strategies and techniques that belongs to administrators outside of librarianship. But, librarians are also involved in the marketing process. The essence of marketing involves finding out users needs and want, then setting out to meet these needs.

Marketing according to Weingand (1995) “can be viewed as a process of exchange and a way to foster partnership between the library and its community” (p.296). In order to maintain the relationship between the public library and the community, marketing strategies have to be employed as effective tool.

Marketing in the public library means more than simply promotion or selling. It is more concerned about user needs. Marketing the Public Library is a social and managerial process by which products and services as well as values are exchanged in order to fulfill individuals or group needs. Marketing refers to those instruments through which information, both raw and processed, are transmitted to its members. Promotion or campaigning is but two activities in the broader exercise of marketing

Planning Library Marketing Programmes

The continued existence of libraries, if not their survivals, may well depend upon the use of marketing and planning strategies, communicated through effective public relations, to significantly alter the perceived role and position of the library in society.

In a real sense, Public Relation is the promotion component of a full marketing plan of library programmes. It can be seen as the communicated module which serves the promotion function; conversely, it may be easily depicted as a philosophical relationship between library and community which serves as a guiding light for promotion activities.

Both communication and research skills serve well in the marketing planning process of which Public Relations is an important component. Specific skills and knowledge are also needed in marketing planning programs for libraries. It goes without saying that both ongoing marketing planning and programmes, and in particular, how the needs of different groups of users differ from each other. Library and information services are complex entities, as are the human users and potential users of these services.

Planning, promotion and campaigning are but all activities in the boarder exercise of marketing. User studies therefore, have a very wide range of uses in relation to the planning of library marketing programmes of a service. They contribute in the planning, promotion and development of library services. In their contribution they help in the understanding of different user group behaviour and their needs, and can assist in effective campaigning and planning process.

Three steps to planning library marketing programmes are:

• Knowing what your beliefs are and therefore what you want to achieve;

• Communicating these beliefs as practical objectives to the people with whom you work, in order that these objectives can be fulfilled; and

• Creating a vehicle which allows this to happen. This can only be achieved by defining the basic components and through organization.

Methods of marketing in Sierra Leone Library Board

Book Displays and Exhibitions

Displays and exhibitions are widely used in most public libraries as a marketing strategy to sell their products or items. The SLLB displays jackets of new books which are not yet included in the lending department for easy access by users and to increase usage. It is also a means of drawing the attention of users and non-users to particular aspects of library resources and services.

Printed materials and Publications

In order to make a very good image of the public library and for public librarians to establish better communication between the library and users, publicity programmes are put in place by the management of the Sierra Leone Library Board through news release. The management also considers annual reports and newspapers as basic publicity techniques. Publications such as bibliographies, guides and brochures are used by the library to communicate with the wider public.

Public Relations Office

Public relations according to Usherhood (1981) is concerned with gaining of public support for an activity, cause, movement or institution. It is a process that furthers mental understanding and cooperation between a government; or any organisation and its various publics. The Sierra Leone Library Board has a Public Relations Office charged with the responsibility to enhance a smooth system of communication.

User Education/Readers Advisory Service

This could be described as training a group of users in the effective use of the library and its resources. It is used to stimulate the users to make greater use of the library and introduces library staff to clientele who might be reluctant to seek their assistance. This is the principal means through which library staff can learn about readers’ needs, opinions and habits. Good communication with readers enables staff to inform and influence readers.

The Media

These involve printed and audio-visual forms of communication and any necessary equipment to render them usable. The Press, radio and television are important means of publicising information service, since they offer potential of reaching many people from all walks of life. The media are cultivated so that messages are distributed with regularity. Publicity mechanism such as news releases, special events and brochures can also be employed.

The Social Media Groups (SMG)

The Sierra Leone Library Board makes use of the Social media groups such as ‘Facebook’ and ‘Watsapp’ as an effective way for publicity in order to put their messages across to users of their services.

Challenges of Marketing Library and Information Services at the SLLB

A lot of challenges have militated against the effective planning and implementation of library marketing programs at SLLB. The following are some of the challenges:

• Inadequate Staff: Although staff numbers have been maintained, the ratio of professional staff is very low. The library is manned mostly by paraprofessionals who mostly lack the skills to plan and implement marketing programmes.

• Finance: The library depends heavily on government subsidy. The government has no specific or substantial funds for the running of the library thus the library administration has to foot most of the bills that have to do with marketing. The irregular flow of funds has served as a barrier to the progress of marketing library and information services at the SLLB.

• Lack of standard printed materials and publications: The SLLB lacks most standard printed materials and publications due to poor planning of marketing programmes. This negligence has made the library handicapped of public relations tools in the form of printed materials and publications such as newsletters, questionnaires, diaries and calendars.

• Displays are improper and exhibitions seem almost absent: The library depends mostly on donations and most of the books are acquired without jackets. Therefore displaying book jackets in inconsistent. In fact exhibition programmes are yet to survive as they are only recently introduced. The library lacks relevant display and exhibition materials to mount these activities.

• Inability to organize frequent Radio Programs: The SLLB lacks media communication facilities. The library cannot frequently organise radio programmes on its own because of lack of funds. The absence of radio programmes stands out as an acute problem to the progress of marketing programs in the library.

Conclusively, marketing is the instrument that libraries use to transform their aims and objectives into operational plans of action. In most developing countries’ public libraries such as the SLLB, marketing strategies cannot operate properly due to the existence of bottlenecks in planning programmes. Good marketing programmes actualise the plans and measures necessary for the achievement of goals and objectives.

The Importance of Case Studies in Management Education

If you try and notice the education sphere today, there is a lot of buzz about students enrolling themselves in good established management schools and wanting to acquire their management education. Experts believe this is majorly because of the rising competition in the business sphere. A business school becomes very helpful for students because it has a theoretical as well as practical approach towards the topics and subjects of the student’s choice. These management education courses are practical because they include case studies; that is real life business situations that have occurred in major companies, along with how the company resolved the issues to rise to the top again. This is of tremendous help to a beginner manager while he is learning to apply his knowledge in a way that will get maximum benefits for his company.

After studying a number of case studies thoroughly, the students are assigned projects in order to help them develop various managerial skills like those of leadership, decision-making ability, motivational speaking ability, etc. Thus, management education hugely contributes to the overall growth of an aspirant and converts him into a thorough professional who is ready to enter the business field confidently. This is what gives individuals an edge over the others during job interviews. Thus as a result of all this, there are so many people who want to do courses from business schools.

Why these business schools are different is because they work on the problem areas of the students and teach them take not just decisions but responsibility for them as well. Initially the student is asked only to observe case studies. During this stage, the student learns to investigate and analyze the situation of the company at that particular point in time. The observation skills of the students increase tremendously during this first stage of solving case studies.

Further on, the students are asked to imagine themselves as professionals in the industry and devise solutions for the set of business problems that the company is facing at that time. This is where the students learn to strategically plan and brainstorm with the objective of coming up with good solutions. These projects also help to enhance team building skills of the students. The feedback of the professors who are actually experienced industry professionals lets the students know where they actually stand with respect to the actual business sphere. This is very important because it is a reality check that goes a long way in motivating students to pull up their socks and do all it takes to reach a respectable position with respect to the actual business sphere.

What is Your EFL / ESL English Teaching Philosophy?

The Interview

The interview seemed to be going along okay. Then the Director asked, “So what is your philosophy of teaching English?”

“My philosophy of teaching?” The TEFL interviewee twisted in her seat, tugging at the collar of a blouse that was suddenly too tight. She felt water running down her back. A certain dampness coated her palms.

“Yes. Do you have a philosophy of teaching?” the director repeated. The interview had taken a distinctive downturn. Top positions paying top dollars require top professionals.

“Well, I’m not really sure what you mean.” the teacher responded. “I can tell you what I do in my classes, what materials I use and how I interact with the students. Is that what you mean?”

No, that’s NOT what the Language Institute Director meant. The interview ended. So did the teacher’s prospects at that high-level institution.

Philosophy of Education

A teacher’s philosophy of education is now used as a major marketing strategy by savvy teachers and has become an essential component of a teacher’s CV and portfolio. It has evolved to become part of the teacher’s personal profile, which outlines all of his essential skill sets and unique qualities, and highlights the teacher’s specialties. (D. Sofsian, 2006) Reference these web sites for further information:

• Create Your Own Electronic Portfolio

http://electronicportfolios.org/portfolios/iste2k.html

• My “Online Portfolio Adventure”

http://electronicportfolios.org/myportfolio/versions.html

• How To Create an Electronic Portfolio

[http://www.essdack.org/port/how.html]

Expert author Damian Sofsian in his article, “Teacher Education Philosophies”, talks about five types of teaching philosophies: (http://ezinearticles.com/?Teacher-Education-Philosophies&id=227410)

• Liberal – which aims at developing intellectual powers

• Behavioral – these ideologies focus on the survival skills of a human being and the role of education in teaching them

• Progressive – motivates cultural development of an individual in order to bring about societal change

• Humanistic – trends look at the overall development of the personality and characteristics of an individual

• Radical – these philosophers are interested in beneficial changes that should happen in a society from time to time, and the role of education in bringing about political, social and economical changes

Teacher education philosophy is now a major marketing strategy used by EFL and TEFL teachers and has become an essential component of a language teacher resume and personal profile. (D. Sofsian, 2006)

Education Philosophy References

Before embarking on developing your own philosophy of education, reference these sites for more in-depth information and samples of Educational Philosophy statements.

• Samples of Philosophy of Education

http://www.wilderdom.com/philosophy/SampleEducationPhilosophies.html

• Materials on the Philosophy of Education

[http://commhum.mccneb.edu/PHILOS/phileduc.htm]

• Philosophy of Education links

http://dmoz.org/Society/Philosophy/Philosophy_of_Education/

Your Philosophy of Education

What is your philosophy of education? If you “don’t have one” now would be a good time to more thoroughly investigate aspects of one. Add your philosophy to all your teaching areas. Let it pervade what you do and how you approach your craft from every angle from preparation to class activities, problem-solving, discipline and assessment. Your philosophy helps set you apart from those who might just show up, do the minimum and collect their paychecks. In these days of increasing professionalism, increased requisites for teaching staff and higher expectations on the part of Educational Administrators, TEFL teachers, regardless of current status, simply cannot afford to be lax.

Importance of the K-12 Education System

K-12 education is an innovative education system. This area of education has a dominance over the conventional educational systems as it puts more weight on thinking and reaching own self-explanatory conclusions.

The way of teaching here is completely different and phenomenal. Teachers generally follow the tactic of asking students to work on a lot of assignments since it develops an intellectual, yet interesting learning habit. In reality, this method helps the students in revising what has been taught previously. In K-12 education system, all the students are given individual attention and hence they understand their subjects in a more practical way. The role of a teacher here is just to guide them in the right way and provide them with learning opportunities. What really happens is that, the individual discovers his own learning capacity and success depends on the thinking ability of the student.

The classroom activities might be similar to what is being practiced in a public school where students go and get their notes and submit records but the key difference is that her in K-12 classes, the students are encouraged to bring about their personal thoughts and visions. Students enroll themselves in different forums and educational clubs where they get to discuss many points for the same topic and get different views. The teachers here contribute so much as to turning every discussion into a positive note cooperating with the students.

K-12 education system has revolutionized the education system in India. Over the years, the level of education system and syllabus has greatly improved in time. The K-12 segment accounts for the lion’s share of India’s educational market. Students are provided with the ultimate learning opportunities. The school invests thousands of dollars in bringing the best infrastructures. It is also equally important that the student utilizes this system in best possible ways. He must always evaluate the available information to jump to a rational ending. This is the type of educational platform any student can experience in the K-12 program. Therefore, it is no surprise that this methodology is being introduced by most educational institutions in India.

The traditional learning styles have their own merits, but this new and innovative education strategy is superior in that. It helps the students work individualistically and find solutions on their own. This strategy makes students self-determining, reliable and indulgent. It also improves the relation between the teacher and students and brings a warm classroom atmosphere. Such a harmonious atmosphere can create masterminds who, in the long run, can become assets not only to the school but to the society as a whole.

Higher Education in India – Its Drawbacks and Suggestion For Reforms

Today the world is of science, new inventions and competitions to excel over the other. We can be proud to be a part of our great country but the world has shrunk today to a common platform on the basis of higher education and learning. Everybody has to be ready to receive and contribute towards new ideas, thoughts and systems. To gain the benefits of modern society and compete with the outside world, it is necessary that youth of our country get higher education. More and more avenues of higher education are provided to them at affordable prices and in all locations so that all round development in personality of the complete society takes place. Rather now it is the duty of each individual to ask for higher studies and be broadminded.

During the last few years, universities have increased manifold to impart higher education through various colleges all over the country. Liberal grants have been sanctioned by University Grants Commission. Many colleges have emerged in the private sector also to provide higher education. In different big cities and towns, massive infrastructure of buildings has come – up which is supposed to be the centre of higher learning. However, theses centres have started converting into hot beds of political intrigues. They were expected to radiate learning, discipline, sense of responsibility towards the nation, but they seem to be breathing violence, indiscipline, strikes, political groupism and even vandalism. The House of worship and learning has turned into the House of Satan. The youth is turning unpatriotic. The students take admission in these universities for the sake of just qualification instead of developing self-reliance, confidence and a sense of duty with planned career.

Now -a-days, we find that there is over-crowding in the classes of higher education also. The ratio of teachers as compared to pupils is very low and the teachers don’t have any personal feelings with the students. And thus higher education is examination ridden. Easy and shortcut methods are being adopted to achieve success. The students are getting fascinated to all things except books. The dependence on the Examinations only is the main cause of deterioration in our education system. No real or practical knowledge is gained by the students. There is a big gap between the practical life and education in colleges. Going to colleges seems to be a place of enjoyment in paradise for the students. However, their rosy dreams are shattered when they come out of colleges and enter the actual life. They have to return disappointed when they search for a service from door to door. It is due to purely technical education given to them.

The system of imparting higher education should be such that after completing education in college, the youth should not be dependent solely on service, but must be able to start some independent small scale industry or business on his own. Vocationalisation of education is the need of the hour. More and more technical and vocational institutions need to be started where training modules in practical aspects of career must be compulsory. Every effort should be made to inspire the students with noble and innovative ideas. It should be compulsory for students to appear in psychological tests. This will enable the students to choose subjects and careers of their own choice. In this way, the students can plan their careers from the very beginning. Just after their schooling, they would be able to decide the career which they wish or are interested in pursuing.

For more success in higher education, it is required that instead of lengthy examinations at a stretch, the due importance should be given to intelligence tests, personal interview and class room works at regular intervals. The development of clean character towards prosperity of nation is another important aim of higher education. The aspects of these higher studies must develop lessons of national integration as well as international integration and unity more effectively.

A great stress needs to be given for establishing good libraries in our colleges and universities. Students should be encouraged to make free use of them under the able guidance of teachers free of cost. More discussions and arguments on varied topics can impart more knowledge and information than more lecturing and completing the course. Equally important are the laboratories with latest equipments and items. To test the learning of books, students need to have good laboratories. An experiment is an unending quest of learning and knowledge on a permanent basis. The institutions providing higher education should be made temples of the modern age.