Tag Archives: AllThingsConsidered

All Things Considered, no really ALL

The final paper in EDU6120 is due in 17 days.  Let’s review all that we have learned and read together and look for some common themes.

Week Author Key Themes
1 Lecture  
1 Ellis, “Teaching Decision Schumacher, E. F. () Small is beautiful.
The task of education would be first and foremost the transmission of ideas of value, of what to do with our lives.”

Why teach? 
Who teaches?

1 Whitehead, “Aims” We enunciate two educational commandments, “Do not teach too many subjects,” and again, “What you teach, teach thoroughly”.

Discovery has powerful role in education.

1 Lewis, “Tao” Certain common laws and duties have existed or developed in many separate world cultures.
1 RDS, “Sharing Fire” Storytellers and tribal elders have taught:
1. Pervasive spirituality
2. Environmental knowledge
3. Language and moral literature
4. Ceremony and celebration
5. Artistic expression
6. Cyclical time
7. Balanced innovation
1 Ellis & RDS, “Reflective Self-Assessment” Georghiades:  “metacognitive reflection involves the critical revisiting of the learning process”

Even the best activity, the most challenging lesson, will fall short of the mark if we do not give learners opportunities to personalize and capture what they learned.

2 Lecture  
2 Ellis, “Schooling and Education” the phrase “to get an education” is very different from the phrase “to go to school”


2 Plato, ”Breaking Chains” “Whereas our argument shows that the power and capacity of learning exists in the soul already; and that just as the eye was unable to turn from darkness to light without the whole body, so too the instrument of knowledge can only by the movement of the whole soul be turned from the world of becoming into that of being, and learn by degrees to endure the sight of being, and of brightest and best of being, or in other words, of the good.”
2 Aristotle, “Ethics”  
3 Lecture  
3 Ellis, “Nature of Profession” A survey of the teaching profession today:  types of experiences, job availability, salaries, types of schools, public opinion, legal issues, contracts,  professional associations, tenure, etc.
3 Solomon, Proverbs Solomon writes as a father to his son.  His advice is to do righteousness, justice, mercy, to love wisdom and to respect the Lord God.  He describes that as a life worth living.  In Ecclesiastes, he reminds the reader that existence is temporal, and even the noblest of pursuits does not mean that one will escape the final reckoning of God.
3 Jesus, Sermon on the Mount Jesus commends certain virtues in the Beatitudes that have challenged readers for centuries.  His words are revolutionary, but he upholds the spirit of the traditions as well as the letter (jot/tittle)  He proclaims a more excellent way that is counter-intuitive to the extreme, because that is what divine offspring do.
4 Lecture  
4 Ellis, “Educational Reform”  
4 Plutarch, “Education of Children” See Learning Illustrated- Plutarch
Reason, Learning and Nature must be balanced in successful education.  But, study of philosophy is best, especially when combined with politics.  Do not be harsh with children, but mix rebuke with praise.
4 Quintillion, “Institutes”  
5 Lecture  
5 Ellis, Philosophical Perspectives  
5 Luther, “Christian Schools”  
5 Comenius, “Great Didactic”  
6 Lecture  
6 Ellis, “Educational Challenges”  
6 Rousseau, “Emile”  
6 Herbart, “Aim of Instruction”  
7 Lecture RDS cancelled class on Mon 11/8/2010
7 Ellis, “Multicultural Education  
7 Mann, “On Education”  
7 B.T. Washington, “Atlanta Address” “There is no defense or security for any of us except in the highest intelligence and development of all.  If anywhere there are efforts tending to curtail the fullest growth of the Negro, let these efforts be turned into stimulating, encouraging, and making him the most useful and intelligent citizen.  Effort or means so invested will pay a thousand percent interest.  These efforts will be twice blessed—“blessing him that gives and him that takes.”

NOTE:  Washington was later criticized by some for his more moderate approach to reconciliation between the races.  W. E. B. DuBois later started calling this speech the “Atlanta Compromise”.

8 Lecture  
9 Lecture  
10 Lecture  

Defined: “All Things Considered”, A Reflective Assessment Strategy

Arthur Ellis (2001) views effective education as having three parts, teaching learning and assessment.  By assessment he means a technique of self-assessment whereby both student and teacher find meaning.  Through a process of reflective thinking, mere teaching becomes great teaching, since what we are learning must impact who we are becoming.  He describes that pursuit of meaning as being the central idea sometimes missed in all the activity that is modern education:

This is the essence of reflective thinking, a search for meaning.  Reflection involves stepping back from what you’re doing in order to achieve some measure of perspective. It means thinking, talking, and otherwise expressing your feelings, the things you’ve learned, the growth you’ve achieved, and the sense you have of accomplishing something. I am convinced that this is one of the greatest problems we face in classroom life.  The problem is, a failure to reflect.  The remedy is to take the time to do it in spite of the fact that you and your students won’t be able to “cover” as much. No amount of “fun” activities can make up for the loss that accompanies a failure to search for meaning.  (Ellis, 2001, p. 5)

In the intervening years since Teaching, learning and assessment, Ellis has been refining strategies that can help build more effective teachers and students through reflective thinking, what he calls the reflective classroom.  In particular, he has been tailoring the reflective assessment strategies for different grade levels and subject matter.  For example, in Ellis & Denton (2010) he describes 16 strategies for “Middle and High School Mathematics and Science.”

  1. I Learned
  2. Think Aloud
  3. The Week In Review
  4. Post It Up
  5. Jigsaw
  6. Key Area Identification
  7. Authentic Applications
  8. Parents on Board
  9. Search for Meaning
  10. I Can Teach
  11. Write It Down
  12. Learning Illustrated
  13. Clear and Unclear Windows
  14. Letting Questions Percolate
  15. Record Keeping
  16. Pyramid Discussion

As I get to apply some of these strategies in pursuit of the MAT, I would like to post a short description of each technique separately from the application of that technique to some coursework.  I will tag each post that intends to illustrate a given technique with the name of that technique; thus for this post “AllThingsConsidered” is the tag.  In particular, here is how Ellis (2001, pp. 115-117) describes that strategy.

The All Things Considered strategy asks students and teachers to take a few minutes at the end of the day, when the time comes in the afternoon that the day is a history that began that morning, to think back over the things that happened, and to see whether some of them might in some ways be related or connected, and if so, how they might be connected. This search for connections should cause students to focus on the essence of the activities and lessons in which they were engaged. It should bring about some sort of inquiry into what  the day at school was "all about.”

Initially, I am prone to think that there are a lot of similarities between the strategies, but that may be simply because they all have a metacognitive aspect, namely “what are you thinking about what you are thinking about”.  I am looking forward to trying out many of these techniques in the course of my study.


Ellis, A.K. (2001) Teaching learning and assessment together:  the reflective classroom.  Larchmont, NY:  Eye on Education.  Amazon. Google Books.

Ellis A.K., & Denton, D.W. (2010) Teaching, learning, and assessment together:  Reflective assessments for middle and high school mathematics and science.  Larchmont, NY:  Eye on Education.  Amazon. Google Books.

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