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Academic Redshirting by Judy Mollard - Article Example

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The first trend is academic redshirting. The second trend is the conduct of student-led conferences. The third trend is the replacement of middle schools by K-8 schools. The…
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Academic Redshirting by Judy Mollard
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On Academic Redshirting by Judy Molland By My My School My My Teacher 18 September On Academic Redshirting by Judy Molland Summary Judy Molland’s “Five top trends in education” identified five trends in United States education. The first trend is academic redshirting. The second trend is the conduct of student-led conferences. The third trend is the replacement of middle schools by K-8 schools. The fourth trend is the supposed wide use of laptops among students (perhaps to be replaced by IPADs later). Finally or the fifth trend is the lengthening of the school day.
Strength of the Article
The article is commendable for identifying the key trends that are probably very important for educators to recognize. In addition, another key strength of the article is that it has probably identified the key issues that are emerging or have emerged from each trend.
Weaknesses of the Article
In my opinion, one key weakness of the article is its failure to include the most recent studies on the subjects discussed. In redshirting, for example, some of the articles that can be included are those written in 2007, 2008, and 2009. It is possible that there were also studies conducted in 2010 and 2011. Unfortunately, Molland’s article covered only an article done on academic redshirting in 2002. A second key weakness of the article is its use of anecdotal evidence instead of scholarly studies for assertions. Finally, another key weakness of the article is that it did not summarize the overall implications of the key trends on education in the United States. Yet, at the same time, it is possible that it was never really the article’s intention to identify the overall implications of the key trends in US education.
Possible Classroom Applications of the Article
The possible applications of the article are numerous. First, on the phenomenon of redshirting, it presents one important challenge that teachers are facing: teaching classes where the age gap among pupils in a class can be as high as 16 months and where some of the children can be bored with the instructions. The trend for student-led conferences to explain their own learning is also another area for possible application. Student-led conferences were presented by the article as a possible method for identifying one’s strengths and weaknesses in the delivery of instructions. Of course, studies may be needed to find out how useful or reliable the student-led conferences are but nevertheless student-led conferences can remain an option for teachers until proven ineffective or unreliable.
The trend of bringing middle schools into K-8 schools presents an option for educators to follow. The article pointed out that K-8 schools tend to have more parent involvement and fewer discipline problems than middle schools. However, it is unfortunate that not much solid evidence was presented on the superiority of K-8 schools over middle schools. Thus, the trend must be simply considered as an option to consider rather than an option that must followed blindly. In my opinion, more evidence must be presented on the wisdom of converting middle into K-8s. The trend on the use of laptops in schools can be presented this way: more students have access to computer technology. This is a point to recognize in designing instructions. Finally, the trend on the longer school day is something that must be considered but, unfortunately, the Molland article did not present scholarly studies that can enlighten educators on the concern.
In summary, it is possible that Molland accurately presented the general trends in education in the United States although data and scholarly studies and evidence are lacking in her presentation. Nevertheless, trends are not always something to follow or a band wagon that educators must join. Educators must look into studies that may or may not justify participation in the trend.
Molland, J. (2011). Five top trends in education. Available in: (Accessed 18 September 2011). Read More
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