Re-Examining Instructional Practice…


Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach

I read a great article today on the Education Week website. It was produced by a former teacher and consultant on 21st century teaching and learning, named Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. She made some great points, but basically it really shouldn’t have to be said. All the evidence is laid out in front of us…for us to change.


“Fortunately, teachers are beginning to resist the forces that encourage isolation and unproductive schoolhouse competition. Through virtual exchanges and the building of personal learning networks, teachers are increasingly drawing on external communities that promote connection and knowledge-sharing. Some of these virtual networks develop into powerful learning communities that connect the ideas of educators from around the world as they explore together and push traditional education boundaries.” (Nussbaum-Beach, 2009)

It’s interesting to look back and reflect on what this would have been like if I grew up with technological learning communities. I did not. The closest thing I had was the MLTI Laptop initiative, approved by past Maine Governor Angus King. That was great and I am glad it is still in effect.

Similar MLTI MacBooks students receive


With connecting endless ideas, especially with people from around the world, wouldn’t that provoke more questions from students? Wouldn’t the students also get a great chance to learn about multi-cultural diversity? It’s all at their fingertips. At the end of the article, Nussbaum-Beach says, “We have to awaken ourselves collaboratively, and the Web is just the tool we need to do it.” I think she is absolutely correct. There needs to be more professional educators “on board” or at least simply recognizing the benefits and risks of todays educational workplace. This article was great to me because Nussbaum-Beach illuminated the certain reasons why Instructional Practice is a dying breed and that change needs to happen. She was very convincing, using quotes from current teachers.

What do you think? How do you think the current system is working?

About marcusdesveaux View all posts by marcusdesveaux

3 responses to “Re-Examining Instructional Practice…

  • Thomas Steele-Maley

    “I think she is absolutely correct. There needs to be more professional educators “on board” or at least simply recognizing the benefits and risks of today’s educational workplace. ”

    Can you see an emerging importance in being networked when learning and why it is so easy to isolate and sit on old ways in education?

    Excellent question, other educators will “answer” your salient questions soon!

  • JohngSchroeder

    What do you think? How do you think the current system is working?

    I am pretty sure that I went to a good high school, but here are my thoughts on how the various subjects are taught:

    Science – is not just about solving word problems (that is a huge part of it thought). Science is also about an intrinsic desire to figure out the world around us. People that work in science work with people in labs and attend conferences and keep up on research and actively follow their passions and research. In school, children are told what to learn and rarely discover things for themselves. Technology can link students to a greater scientific community.

    Math – is more than memorizing the steps to solving various problems. Each subject has its own importance. Geometry is about visualizing things and applying mathematic concepts to shapes. Algebra is about thinking abstractly. Calculus is about rates of change. Statistics is about statistics. Teachers fail to get these points across, that is why students don’t care to learn about them and or forget everything after they graduate. Math is also extremely challenging. You are not supposed to be good at it the first, second or third time around. If you think you understand it, then you don’t. The worst thing that a teacher can do is to just try to get the kid to pass the class. Teachers should help kids think abstractly, visually, statistically or with rates of change. People should not have a phobia of math. Math is a great tool that should be embraced. Technology can be instant feedback for working through problems, help students visualize and have videos of concepts.

    English – Parents should encourage reading to young kids and teachers should take all the fun away from reading. English has a huge discussion aspect to it. Technology can develop a community in which to do that.

    Foreign Language – How many people do you know took 4 years of a foreign language in high school and only learned how to say their name? Technology can link students across the world in using their language.

  • lucycn8

    You and her both make wonderful points! It’s something we must stop discussing and start changing. We have the tools, so we must incorporate them into the institutions in order to view the much needed changes. There are so many benefits to being connected to others through education. When one idea is put out in the web, another person will add to that idea and make it better, and so on and so on. Until the concept becomes the best it can and recognized by many! Connection is a very useful tool in education. Good post!

Leave a Reply to lucycn8 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: