From October 8-10, Senior Associate Julie Ryan recently represented Search Associates at the Florida Reading Association Conference. This year marked the 56th annual conference, held at the Florida Hotel in Orlando. Attendance included more than 800 classroom teachers, literacy coaches, reading specialists, and administrators. Julie, a former reading specialist, was delighted to attend the excellent workshops and key note speeches presented by literacy experts and practitioners. She was also interested to learn about the recent developments in the Common Core (CC) and to see the many new non-fiction books that have been produced to address the CC recommendations.
Additionally, Julie conducted a workshop, "Have Passport? Teach Overseas!" She enjoyed meeting many Florida educators who posed excellent questions about international schools and the process of applying for positions abroad. In her presentation, Julie described the joys and challenges of such a move, the requirements in terms of experience and degrees, and she reviewed the variety of international schools around the world. A huge increase is expected in the number of international schools and students in the next decade.
Keynote Speaker Dr. Norman Webb, of the Wisconsin Center for Education Products and Services, spoke about the difference between content complexity and depth of knowledge. He compared Bloom's Taxonomy to a new paradigm designed by Kratwohl and Anderson. The latter focuses on students evaluating and creating--called the new "maker" idea and applied to literacy. He recommended that teachers focus on what the student performance (or product) should look like in order for students to indicate their mastery, rather than relying on more traditional methods of assessment.