DWFDW Debrief

Day one is in the books, and day two is ongoing, and I am, more than anything else, still really, really grateful that District Wide Faculty Development Week (DWFDW) isn’t five days anymore! Remember how awful that was? Still gives me the shudders.

But, here we are. So, did you learn anything? See anything great? Carry out any unanswered questions in your pocket?

Got anything to say?

(I thought the opening set of speeches and what-not to be lovely, if not exactly inspiring; there was food; I thought it was cool that they used an android to give the “Business Analytics” presentation (kidding, kidding…stole that joke), and went to the TAP strand presentation on the new classroom visitation rubric at which I was really happy to see Jewel Younge who is one of my favorite people in the world. As for the rubric, I hope I’m wrong about its usability. Regardless, I’m excited to see how the new tenure process will work. It can’t be worse.)

Have at it.

DWFDW Bibliography

Speaking of Faculty Development Week, over the course of it, I heard numerous references to articles and studies and what not, and tried to keep a running list, and then at some point I thought, bah, and stopped doing it.

Then Kristin Bivens (she’s back!) was kind enough to forward me a link to an article that she’d heard mentioned, and so I thought that maybe it would be useful after all. Anywhere, here are the ones I heard about and found. Please add any others in the comments:

~Is Algebra Necessary? (h/t to Kristin Bivens). Also posted on Don’s Desk. For a response (and links to others, you can go HERE.

(Sample: “Maybe we can start by reaffirming the importance of learning for the sake of knowledge, in stark contrast to the commodification that has overtaken our educational system. No employer has ever asked me to analyze a Petrarchan sonnet, or expound on the intricacies of a Bach fugue, but I’m not sorry I have that knowledge, even if the latter meant suffering through the daily grind of musical scales on the piano as a child. The drudgery meant I might one day, in my teens, attempt Chopin. Granted, I didn’t become a professional musician; I didn’t ultimately have the chops. But my life is so much richer with Chopin in it.

I spent ten years training in jujitsu, yet I have yet to use my skills to defend myself from a real-world attack. So I guess those ten years were a waste, right? Wrong! The most important lessons I gleaned from martial arts had to do with learning to fail: getting my ass kicked and getting back up, again and again and again, until I mastered a given skill. Why wasn’t I willing to do the same for math?

All we’d end up teaching kids with Hacker’s strategy is avoidance. I was a master of avoidance. But learning to buckle down and do unpleasant things that don’t come easily to us prepares us for life.”).

~CUNY’s New College (mentioned in Alvin’s talk).

~A description of Austin Peay’s Course Picking Software  (Tristan Denley’s thing) and an article in the Chronicle.

~Uri Triesman was full of interesting quotes and references:

~”All of our services were built on someone else’s ideas of the students’ weaknesses.”

~”There is no shortage of opportunities for humility in institutional improvement.”

~”Start with what’s working.”

~”Institutional reforms can go awry and many times the first thing that they do is kill off what’s best about your institution.”

~”Being a college president is like running a cemetary; you have lots of people under you, but no one is listening.”

~”People like changes until they happen.”

~”If you can’t change the culture, enculturate the change; change, in the words of Adrianna Kazar, ‘requires a joyful conspiracy.'”

~”Placement is a criminal enterprise.”

He also said some stuff about research on how they’ve learned to predict, using data through the third week of classes who will be left in the class at the end. I found him after his talk and he said to look up the SENSE study by Kay McClenney (who runs the CCSSE and it’s associated research) and David Yeager from the Carnegie Foundation, but all I found was this link to a press release and this video (which I haven’t watched yet). They were also in the news this week when the Gates Foundation pulled funding for some of their splashy reform efforts, but that is a something else. He also mentioned Peabody models of decision making (which might be this?), Robbie Case’s work on mathematical learning called “Number Worlds” (here’s a description, but this is better), and an op-ed by Madeline Levin in the New York Times, which he connected to Placement (I don’t see it).

After that I went to a session on the new Learning Analytics, but I’m going to save my reading on that one for another post.

What did I miss?

 

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?

Next Up!

Next up! is a regular feature on Sundays, showcasing HWC (and beyond) events in the coming week. Use the “Comments” section to provide updates and additions!

As hard as it may be to believe, the wheel of time has made its way around again to point to Fall and the beginning of the school year. Welcome back! Like every new school year, some things remain the same, including the inevitable changes–some subtle, some not, in you them, everything around us. “All things pass and nothing stays the same.

Monday, 8/6: DWFDW @ Malcolm X, 9am-3pm (Mandatory, unless it isn’t);

Tuesday, 8/7: DWFDW @ Malcolm X, 9am-3pm (Mandatory? Optional? Recommended? Our new VP’s letter says “Faculty are required to report on August 6th,” which is a little ambiguous regarding our reporting obligations for the rest of the week. Anybody know the story?);

Wednesday, 8/8: HWFDW @ Harold, 9am-3pm (Sponsored by CAST);

Thursday, 8/9: HWFDW @ Harold, 9am-3pm (Sponsored by CAST);

Friday, 8/10: HWFDW @ Harold, 9am-3pm (Sponsored by CAST);

Saturday, 8/11: Business as usual as far as I know.

(One last question…last year we were required to attend five sessions of local FDW to fulfill our PD obligations. This year, I’ve seen no guidance on requirements, except the implied mandatoriness of it all and the Union letter. Anybody hear anything on this topic?)