DWFDW Day One (and Two) Debrief

UPDATE: Day two is in the books–disciplinary meetings and breakouts. I went to the one on Data Analytics by Charles Ansell and Kate Connor, which was pretty exciting (more on that as it develops). Anything else great out there from Day Two?

Better question: who has a great story from the Discipline Meetings? Bonus points for direct quotes (unattributed please–what happens in the Math meeting stays in the math meeting except for second hand reports with redaction)?

So, what did you think? Certainly better than it’s been in the past, no?

Personally, I really liked Alvin’s presentation (somewhere, sometime, I think I said that I thought there was probably a strong argument to be made for Reinvention, and I think today’s presentation is what I was looking for then –kudos, Alvin; and I’m not just saying that as payback for the shout-0ut, though it was appreciated).

After that, I went to the Mathways presentation and got some interesting suggestions for “beautiful” studies on learning that I’m excited about. Overall, I’d say, good day. On the negative side, I didn’t like the white bread and LACK OF COFFEE AFTER 9am–that gym was sleepy. Still, credit for improvements and responsiveness to feedback.

What did you think? What did you see?

5 thoughts on “DWFDW Day One (and Two) Debrief

  1. Personally, my favorite bit–and I’m usually one to hate when a presentation cuts into precious lunch time–was Mike Davis’s walk through CCC’s history. Special shout-out to HWC faculty Matt Shevitz and Tony Florez who led some highly talented HWC music students in timely pieces. I thought it was a recording at first, being unable to see the band. When I realized they were our students, my jaw dropped. I was especially taken by the student who played both the flute and saxophone expertly.

    Alvin clearly put a lot of work into the presentation, and I’m glad that individuals at district are analyzing numbers like this. It was interesting, and makes me feel like I know what we’re dealing with a bit better.

    But I have my reservations. For one, though I love quantitative data like PhiloDave loves the banjo, the numbers flew too fast for me to pay close attention to it myself. And if I’m incapable of analyzing the data, then data is nothing more than an indulgence to the modern appetite toward data. I trust Alvin that this was not a smoke-screen, but that’s all I’m left with: I’m not allowed an enlightened stance to follow the objective evidence with one’s own reasoning, but non-verifiable trust in priestly authority to do the correct analysis for me. I hope the data is presented on the CCC website at some point to allow individuals to validate the information for themselves. Do you know what would have been excellent? Handouts, or books, filled with juicy data.

    Second, to each individual’s duty, their own expertise is their own. For now, the data is interesting, giving me a global sense of what goes on around me, and that is useful. But only slightly. It is of most use for people at district, and our various deans of instruction, to make changes of policy internally, and advocate changes in other institutions such as at CPS.

    My job, my expertise, is to teach philosophy, and to pry open students’ minds to questions and lines of inquiry in the classroom itself. Myself, face to face, 180 minutes per week, for sixteen weeks. What do we say? How do we present ourselves? Do we raise standards and become more demanding, or do we strive to create a more relaxed environment to induce a love of learning rather than a fear of failing? These are the questions that make me burn. What does this data have to do with that? These questions, these essential links that tie Alvin’s data with our own performance, are left unanswered.

  2. We had a very good Child Development discipline meeting – in the best location ever (not to be disclosed…OK, I’ll tell you. It was at the outside atrium on the third floor).

    Our District-wide Child Development faculty group is truly amazing. I always enjoy sitting down at a table with them. We usually shout loudly, I know I do, but it feels kind of like a raucous family dinner where people share their opinions and debate various issues with gusto. This usually involves respectful dialogue about things that are important to our programs and to our students. It also tends to include lots of big laughs and the sharing of pastries. I like this very much and appreciate that we had time for such a meeting built in to the DWFDW schedule. It is so important to sit down together – to get to know each other, and to continue to nurture our professional relationships.

    In the afternoon, I attended the PAC meeting which was informative and quite useful to our group as we plan to go through a change process for the 10 core courses in the Child Development program.

    What I want from professional development:
    1) I want it to be useful.
    2) I want it to make me think about what I do and why I do it.
    3) I want concrete information that helps me perform my job more effectively, and
    4) I want time to communicate with my colleagues.

    Today pretty much hit the mark on all of the above!

  3. The best part of my day with my Child Development colleagues was when Bill O’Donnell’s (MX) wife called to tell him that her water broke in the Starbuck’s. He said, “Let me just finish my sandwich and I am on my way.” You gotta love Child Development faculty.

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