Volume 7- January 2004

September to December: A Semester 1 Biography of Learning, 7(1)

Ryan Fitzpatrick

To be honest, I’m not sure if life can be easily described using simple metaphors. But as a poet, I understand that figurative language is useful in describing the world around us, especially in making connections that might not be readily apparent. September to December is an attempt to draw together a series of metaphors/images/thoughts/questions that permeate my life as a teacher. The series takes it's form from a sequence I wrote over the summer about my trip to Vancouver and Seattle titled Vancouver to Seattle. Taking the form of an ideological travelogue in similar ways to Vancouver to Seattle, this text proposes that an ideological change has taken place over the space of four months and, while the change seems invisible or confused, it is inherent in the ideas that rise.

My Moment Emerged Majestically, A Semester 2 Biography of Learning, 7(2)

Robin McKittrick

If I could take this moment
And put it in a frame,
I’d rest it on my mantle piece
Where it would always be the same.

Never sullied by the seasons
Or the passing of dark days
Sealed 'neath a picture frame
In my memory, it safely stays.

The Exploration of Underachievers in the Classroom, A Semester 1 Independent Inquiry, 7(3)

Natalie Roberts

Today's classrooms are comprised of a diverse student population. Students come from varying cultural backgrounds and students are variable in their learning abilities and interests. There is a group of students called the "reluctant learners" or "underachievers" who are of particular interest to me. This paper explores the issue of underachievement and offers suggestions on how to engage underachieving students in the classroom and school environment.

The Difference: A Semester 3 Themes of Teaching Statement, 7(4)

Brianna Herchek

Gertrude Stein's words puzzle and challenge me; they inspire and reinvent me – much as teaching does. Stein was a brilliant woman who understood humanity in mythical and at times even surreal ways. I believe that her writings can be applied almost universally to different times, emotions, and situations. As I sat in my high school English classroom and read this piece, I knew it would be something that would shape my future as well as give me great thought and inspiration to apply to my teaching practice. Immediately, Stein’s words jumped off the page and into my “teaching soul”. I knew that what I was absorbing was more than just words. It was life.


Using Computer Technology to Support Authentic, Relevant Demonstrations of Learning: A Semester 4 Inquiry Project, 7(5)

Janice L. Dahms

Computer technology may be more than just a tool for teachers to use in their classrooms to replace writing utensils and library research. Instead, technology may allow for independent thinking and creativity on the part of the student. In this semester four inquiry project, I explore a new vision of learning which promotes the use of computer technology to facilitate learning by engaging students, promoting creativity, fostering self-directed learning, collaboration and higher order thinking skills.


Environmental Effects on Education: A Semester 1 Independent Inquiry, 7(6)

Sherry Obenauer

What impact do various classroom environmental factors have on student learning? Specifically, how do lighting, music, aroma therapy, plants, animals, seating arrangement, technology (i.e., computers) and wall adornments impact learning? An extensive literature review, a review of personal experience as a student, and observations in the classroom indicated a positive impact on student learning by all the factors in the question, to varying degrees. Lighting alterations impacted overall student performance while health, and music positively impacted mathematical and spatial abilities. Learning-disabled students’ English skills, plants and animals increased student interest and overall performance, and technology use by students enhanced communication and academic abilities. Similarly, seating arrangements affected student behavior and performance.


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