Hi, and welcome! I'm Dr. Ellie.
I have a doctorate in educational psychology. For over 13 years, I taught middle school level special education, reading, and social studies. My special education specialties include learning, behavioral, and emotional challenges.
For 12 years, I taught at the post-secondary level, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. My main area of university teaching is research and educational psychology, and I consult on dissertation methods and analysis. Most recently, I was a mentor of doctoral learners at the University of Phoenix. Currently, I am residing in the country of St. Maarten in the Dutch Caribbean, where I have become involved in special education consulting.
Hobbies include reading (especially reading and critiquing young adult fiction), quilting, and crochet. I also enjoy walking, art museums, great music (from classical to contemporary), and exploring new local places. I love photography, and am trying my hardest to become a passable picture snapper.
The following blog post has caused me to wonder about many things, but the teaching of critical thinking skills–or rather its lack–makes me wonder about the future of our public educational system. Although the author discusses other topics related to education in his post, it’s the critical thinking that caught my eye–mostly because critical thinking is so important in every aspect of our lives, whether we realize it or not. Without critical thinking, can there be true creative thinking? Is there any aspect of learning–and life in general–that is not affected by thinking critically about something? Remember, critical thinking does not mean we look for the negative in everything; it means we weigh pros and cons, think about the past, and plan for the future, among other things.
Take a few minutes to click over to the blog below. See if you there are other aspects of education that you think are more important for the general well-being of American society. Then think about whether or not we should be judging a teacher’s ability to teach on his/her ability to teach to the test and to teach test-taking skills instead of just teach for learning with a bit of practice in taking state tests.
Enough said on this topic for now. I’ll return to it at another time. Meanwhile, read on.
If you are interested in issues related to the education of Native Americans, this is a wonderful report that came out in December, one of the first of The Nation’s Report Card publications.
The Nation’s Report Card:
Trial Urban District Assessment Reading 2011
This report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) presents results from the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) in reading. Representative samples of fourth- and eighth-grade public school students from 21 urban districts participated in the 2011 assessment. Student performance is reported as average scale scores on the NAEP reading scale and as percentages of students who attained the achievement levels set by the National Assessment Governing Board. District results are compared to results for all students attending public schools in the nation and large cities (i.e., cities with populations of 250,000 or more) overall and by race/ethnicity and eligibility for free/reduced-price school lunch. In 2011, scores for both fourth- and eighth-graders in five districts were higher than the scores for students in large cities, and scores for both grades were lower in nine districts. Among the 18 districts that also participated in the 2009 assessment, there was no significant change from 2009 to 2011 in the scores for any of the districts at grade 4, and just one district scored higher at grade 8. Scores for students in the remaining districts did not change significantly from 2009 to 2011.