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Mark, the first thing that comes to mind is to put K-12 teachers on a teaching schedule similar to the average college prof/instructor. That would leave some time for reflection. ;-) (But alas, you're absolutely right about K-12 structure not allowing it!)

Perhaps K-12 education reform needs to go beyond putting the last 35 years of ed research on "how to do it" to work, and tackle the question of whether or not the entire structure of K-12 public education needs to be revamped. (With the feds involved, we have probably lost that option, whereas before, we could have, at least on a state-by-state basis, made some significant improvements.)

You've proposed that we think about a hugely complex issue. I think it's worth the effort.


One of the overwhelming comments I hear from veteran k-12 teachers is that current class load and curriculum expectations prevent them from getting together as colleagues to reflect and plan as a group. Even a generation ago, there was much more emphasis placed on this. I think there's a much more public perception problem with k-12 education than there is with higher ed, at least from where I've seen. At k-12, accountability (or what passes for it, anyway), is at the forefront of the political agenda in education. We need results; here's the curriculum. Don't think about it, just teach it. That works when you're a bureaucrat in Washington, anyway.

matt malcore

I teach in k-12 system where a team-based reflection is built-in. In fact, we are required (and I say "required" without any negative connotation) to meet every 2-4 weeks. In our meetings, we create, prepare to implement, and assess classroom activities. We are allotted the time to bounce ideas off other peers - and, grade each others' work based on a set of standards ("RISER" standards) used across our district.
I think what my district is doing is a small step in the right direction.

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