I think that parents should be asking themselves ' what kind of teacher do I want for my kid' ?
I would want a teacher who is concerned with the whole child , not only academic learning but also learning how to be a better person within a school that focuses on community and has a sense of social justice that expresses itself in community service.
The child should be active in choosing a curiculum that focuses on questions that are relevant and meaningful to the kid and his future , learning that will promote a love of learning and foster intrinsic motivation and interest.
The learning should be in the context of a community of learners , collaborative , with kids not only learning from the teacher , but from each other and also the teacher learning from the kids .
The aim is deep understanding rather than getting good grades.
Problems , academic and social should be solved using CPS - collaborative problem solving , working with the child and focusing on a lasting commitment to values and the community rather than doing to the child using 'power and control ' - rewards , punishments and consequences.
- From http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/progressive.htm
Paul Barnwell is a teacher who is putting into practice the principles of progressive education
see his website - you tube on cell phones in the class and on grades , also his questionnaire on grades , to see if you are on the same page as Paul.
His approach to cell phones in the class is similar to what Nancy Willard ' says about internet use and internet safety. 'We have to be pro-active in changing the way kids think of the internet - as a learning or a social tool.
'We will NOT be able to effectively prepare students for their education, career, and civic responsibilities in the 21st Century if the technical services directors in schools throughout this country continue their heavy handed filtering.
It is essential to shift how the Internet is being managed from a primary reliance on filtering to more effective monitoring - in an environment where education - not social - use of the Internet is expected, and supported with effective professional and curriculum development.'
The same goes for cell phones and all other media.