Monday, February 25, 2013

Go Figure!

In my second entry of my Pedagogical Notebook in the graduate course Exploration of Education that the instructor Jamie Baker gave me an F, my lesson plan started with an engaged lecture format on direct labor and material costs and concluded with "7 Learning Centers". The following are a few examples of the learning centers:

Learning Center 2:  A crossword puzzle comprised of general business math problems with a concentration on problems specific to this lesson.

Learning Center 4:  A Lego building activity where the students choose an item to build.  They will be required to follow the directions to build the item and once the item is built they will determine the COGS of their item; each Lego piece will have a cost associated with it.

Learning Center 6:  A road map for four different businesses will be laid out on a big poster board, a separate one for each business.  The poster will detail many different options available and the price of each option.  Each business will be given an initial sum of money (dimes=$100, nickels=$50, and pennies=$10) and the students will try different options, based upon the choices detailed on the poster, on spending the money until they find an option they are happy with.

Learning Center 7:  A product will need to be assembled consisting of some wood pieces with pre-drilled holes, screws, nuts, and two metal pieces with pre-drilled holes.  There will be a sample one for the students to look at.  They will practice assembling the product and then they will time how long it takes.  They will do this three times to determine an average time and then they will calculate labor cost.

Students had to go to at least four of the learning centers.  I had been taught to give students choices and to offer a variety of activities to support different learning styles.  While the instructor acknowledged the element of choice, she failed to mention my accommodation for learning styles which is a big deal (child centered learning) in the field of Curriculum & Instruction.  She did question Learning Center 2, "appropriate for 7 -12?".  I guess I should of had the students sit in a circle where Alex shares and then tosses the "ball" to Leslie who then shares and tosses the ball to Jill (see blog post dated February 19).

I did receive an 8 out of 10 on this entry which is one of the highest scores I received from the instructor; in another post I will detail all of my assignment grades from instructor Jamie Baker for comedic relief!  On the graduate level an 80% is just one point from failing, but compared to my other scores which averaged below 50%... this entry gets a big WHOO HOO.  Ironically, I used this lesson plan (with less detail in the lecture part because this time around I included additional teaching tactics that I had recently learned) in my How to Teach Business class and the professor commented, "great objective and evaluation".

I received an "A" in How to Teach Business with Dr. Lopez, a veteran professor, and an "F" in Exploration of Education with Jamie Baker, a Ph.D. student.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Who Is Smarter?!

In my last post I stated I made 100 points out of 100 on my JAVA programming assignment.  I just saw that the mean score for this assignment is 73.2.  Upon reflection of my grades, I must surmise education courses must be at a high difficulty level compared to computer science courses. Thus, education professors are so very smart and computer science professors not so much.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Boo Yah!

Former graduate student unsuccessful in $1.3 million lawsuit against Lehigh

The integrity of this process, however, rests with the institutions and their ability to maintain high standards. 

"The grades are what the academics in the academic institutions say they are," Hamburg said.

Blah, blah, blah.

In the graduate course Exploration of Education I received an F from Jamie Baker.  Compare my work, the first entry in our Pedagogical Notebook for secondary students, to a student in the same class that Jamie Baker gave an A.

HERS ("A" Student):  When students enter a classroom for the first time, a decision of where to sit is immediately presented to a circular fashion Alex shares and then tosses the "ball" to Leslie who then shares and tosses the ball to Jill. Once a student has shared, the ball needs to be passed to five other students before that student may share again.

MINE ("F" Student):  Shifting the pedagogical podium from passive learning to active learning within a high school entrepreneurial classroom juxtaposes the core academic curriculum with real world relevance...apply math concepts to business concepts by transfiguring mathematical ideas into business ideas.

This same student was in SPED 500 the following semester with me.  A major assignment was our Disability Resource Notebook.  When our grades were released for this assignment many of the students, upset with the grade they received, e-mailed everyone.  This same student (as I compared myself to above) replied saying she had received an even lower grade than they had received (they had received a C).  I was given the FULL 50 POINTS (out of 50).  

That same semester as SPED 500, my Technology and Pedagogy professor stated in regard to my postings, "Your postings were well articulated, and you incorporated the readings into the discussions to support your arguments.  I have enjoyed reading your excellent insights on these chapters - keep it up!".  

This semester I am taking Java Programming (online).  I thought there would be support like the math department does for its math students with free tutoring available in the Math Lab, but there is not this kind of support for computer science.  So I figured out how to do the first assignment all on my own by referring to the textbook.  I turned my assignment in on time as the syllabus stated, "no late assignments will be accepted".  I then got an e-mail from the instructor stating, "Some students meet difficulties in doing assignment.  There are 31/46 submissions.  I have just extended the time".  He gave us a whole other week to turn the assignment in.  I received 100 points out of 100 on this assignment that 15 students couldn't even do.

Remember, by giving me an F in Exploration of Education I cannot get a teaching license.  

The integrity of this process, however, rests with the institutions and their ability to maintain high standards. 

"The grades are what the academics in the academic institutions say they are," Hamburg said.

Blah, blah, blah.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lawsuit over bad grade

Lawsuit over Lehigh University student's bad grade to continue

Tom Shortell | The Express-Times By Tom Shortell | The Express-Times 
on February 13, 2013 at 6:10 PM, updated February 13, 2013 at 7:57 PM
Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano expressed uneasiness over potentially changing the grade of a Lehigh University graduate student suing over the mark.
But, he allowed the case to continue this afternoon over the requests of university lawyers.
"I remain unconvinced the judiciary should be injecting itself in the academic process," Giordano said.
Attorney Richard Orloski rested his case after a day and a half of calling witnesses to testify. Orloski argued his client Megan Thode unfairly received a C-plus in her therapy internship course because then-student-teacher Amanda Eckhardt disagreed with her views on gay marriage. When Thode appealed the grade, the department's faculty did not properly handle the appeals process, he argued, failing to provide her with a student advocate.
As a result, Thode earned not a master's degree in education in counseling psychology but a master's in education in human development. Thode is requesting the judge change the grade to a B so she can pursue her career goal of becoming a licensed therapist.
A licensed therapy degree would be worth $1.3 million in earnings over a lifetime, according to testimony at the non-jury trial.
Giordano said he could not find a single example of case law showing a court possessed the power to overrule an instructor. Orloski acknowledged he was not familiar with one either, but he argued the case amounted to a breach of contract, which would grant Giordano wide latitude in settling the matter as he saw fit.
Once Orloski rested, Lehigh attorney Michael Sacks asked Giordano to dismiss the case. In the hours of witness testimony and thousands of pages of evidence submitted into evidence, he argued Orloski failed to show there was a breach of conduct on behalf of the school or unfair punishment on the part of Eckhardt.

"There is no evidence this is anything other than an academic discussion with which Ms. Thode does not agree," Sacks said.
Giordano denied the request, ruling Orloski had met his burden of proof to continue with the case.
While the judge did not cite a specific example, one of the stronger pieces of evidence may be the apparently unprecedented nature of how Thode was awarded a C-plus. Eckhardt scored Thode's participation grade as a zero out of 25, bumping her from a B-plus. None of the professors who testified, including Stephen Thode, Megan Thode's father and a Lehigh University finance professor, could ever recall giving a student no points for participation.
Lehigh's legal team called two more professors from the school to the stand. Arpana Inman, program director for counseling psychology at Lehigh, said Eckhardt opted to appeal the grade rather than take steps to correct the problems Eckhardt had identified.
Arnold Spokane, a counseling professor, said Eckhardt, who taught under the name Amanda Carr at the time, reached out to him throughout the fall 2009 semester over her concerns with Megan Thode's unprofessional behavior.
Spokane said Thode tearfully came to his office for advice on how to handle the situation. When he suggested he meet with Eckhardt and discuss strategies on how she could improve, she became quiet, he recalled. He described the conversation as awkward and said he later learned Megan Thode responded to Eckhardt in a three-sentence letter defending herself, he testified.

The trial is slated to continue Thursday.