The last few weeks I have been reading the book “The Power of Their Ideas” by Deborah Meier. In the book Deborah Meier gives 10 recommendations that schools and teachers should implement.
1. Schools should be small and highly personal.
2. Cooperative learning is a key to successful learning.
3. There should be integration of curriculum: history and literature, math and science, etc.
4. Academic periods should be longer in high schools at least an hour, ideally two hours.
5. High school homerooms should be full-length periods and serve as serious advisory places, and teachers should stay with the same homeroom for two years or more.
6. Fewer subjects, taught thoroughly, are better than lots of courses taught superficially.
7. Decisions about curriculum, pedagogy and scheduling should be made by on-site professionals.
8. Parents should be informed and involved in their children’s education.
9. Students should be expected to demonstrate their abilities directly to “show” what they know and can do.
10. Students should be expected to engage in socially useful work, and should learn about the world-of-work through school directed work experiences.
Deborah Meier gives us these recommendations because these are things she implemented in the schools she founded as well as in her classrooms and she saw how effective they can be when implemented. This book gave me a lot of different information and tools that I will use in my own classroom. She gave examples on how to handle different situations in the school such as racism and bullying. She also talked a lot on how smaller schools can be more beneficial to students than large schools because in smaller schools teachers are able to build better relationships with their students and their families. She also discussed how we should promote democracy in our classroom and schools. This means giving students a choice in the classroom. This means giving them options when completing assignments or letting them take a vote in different issues. This allows students to feel that they are important and that their opinions matter. The schools should also promote democracy by allowing teachers and parents have a choice and how the school is ran. In the book, Deborah Meier allowed the teachers to take a vote on different things that would impact how the school is ran. She would also allow the parents to weigh in and give their opinions too. This allowed teachers, parents, and students feel that they served a purpose and had a voice when it came to different things that would impact the whole school. After reading this book, I believe that I learned a lot from Deborah Meier and I will use some of her ideas in my own classroom. I would definitely recommend this book.