The Great Chain Of Being… Educated

In a stack of papers called Instruction.

  • Mar
  • 29
  • 2006

Siddhartha speaks of the interconnectedness of everything. At one point in the novel, Siddhartha sits down with the Buddha to point out that the possibility to transcend everything and reach enlightenment signifies a break in the chain. If someone’s in nirvana, that person isn’t connected to the rest of us. An ideology can’t preach the connections between everything on the one hand and then promote escaping from the world through spiritual enlightenment on the other. The two are incongruous.

The same thing applies to education. We can’t keep saying that English skills will help you and then completely ignore all other content areas in the instruction. Math skills will help you get through your life, but only with the addition of skills learned from the other subjects.

Every Level Has Its Organizers

At my school, an idea that came up a few years ago found its way into the light again. We’re talking about picking 2 graphic organizers for each grade level, to be used extensively across all subjects. Other organization methods are welcome and adaptations of the organizers will be necessary, but students leaving their freshman year at my school should, hypothetically, know what T-Charts and Venn Diagrams are. They then carry that knowledge on to sophomore year as they work with, perhaps, Timelines and Fish Bone Diagrams.

We hope this will begin to build connections from content area to content area as similar teaching techniques will clue students in to those relations. This also helps students in that, on some small level, teachers will begin to have similar expectations and use similar language. Not only that, but this also sends the message that literacy is a schoolwide goal, something that all content areas need to be aware of and work on. Once we have these graphic organizers in place, we’ll choose 2 reading strategies to focus on for each grade level. Imagine an entire campus focused on promoting specific organization and reading strategies across the curriculum.

Imagine all teachers sharing ideas of how to use the required strategies, how to fit them into their instruction. Imagine studets who move from year to year and are expected to remember at least some part of the previous year’s instruction on graphic organizers and reading strategies.


1. Debbie says:

[4/3/2006 - 1:55 pm]

Where/when was this discussion taking place? I’ll climb on the bandwagon, since that’s pretty close to what I said at the most recent department meeting…

2. Todd says:

[4/3/2006 - 2:46 pm]

Whoa! I don’t remember you saying anything like this at the last department meeting! I must have been sleeping…

Yeah, stop by the room sometime (during our prep?) and let’s talk about what Laurie and I are thinking of.

3. Jon says:

[4/10/2006 - 3:26 pm]

This entire article is unknown to me, when was this discussed? I’m so confused!

4. Todd says:

[4/10/2006 - 3:40 pm]

No need to be confused. This isn’t a big conversation, yet. 2 of us are trying to gather some material together to show to the rest of the campus, probably in the fall. It was an idea we ran past the principal and it fits in with our school plan. It’s already starting to fall by the wayside, though, as other things more pressing pile up. Hopefully comments like this will remind me that we need to keep it alive.

Jon who? Do I know you? Are you at my school? What article are you talking about that is unknown to you?