Editor's Note: Parag Dhagat, a regular attendee at Bernards Township Board of Education meetings, said he offers a suggested plan for how to best serve the school district's high achievers as well as a wide range of students, after hearing board and parent discussions about how to best serve gifted and talented students in elementary schools. A copy of this letter was submitted to the Board of Education, Dhagat said.
To the Board of Education (editor)l
Since you are all intricately involved in furthering our community wellbeing and children learning, and are directly involved in setting coursework and guiding curriculum, and administering a value-added dollar amount to various aspects of the arranged course-work, I thought I should bring this idea to your attention.
Lately, at the BOE meetings, I have been noticing that many parents of over-achievers are asking for a deeper approach on educating the over-achieving student.
I am sure you meanwhile appreciate how the school budget and teacher-union-contracts play a controlling role in determining how the dollar must get distributed. Add to that the guidelines set in the State by-laws about how education must happen so as to best meet the needs of the broader community, all of this while staying in compliance!
I therefore would like you to take a chance here at studying the intricacies of 'flip-teaching' as a way to better reach out to all our various community members.
I am sure you must have already been exposed to this concept and how it may disrupt a set process, but all the same, since it is your job to educate our children, I hope you will study these material-links attached below and do the best you and the BOE can.
The whole project would involve trying to get funded for a 'pilot' project, where the funding can come from some private source or a commercial bank process, which allows our district to participate in a larger, if necessary, a multi-district interaction, which then sets up our district to institute a test-process of 'flipping' the traditional class room process, to ALL our children's advantage.
You see, Mr. Bill Gates' foundation is currently involved with Mr. Khan's Academy, in California, carrying out pilot projects in the Palo Alto area, using software that allows the computer to facilitate growth of softwares, which lets the student self-teach, using u-tube recordings, etc. of teaching material, and then a centralized, modulated 'home-work' process to be carried out in class. This method appears to allow each teacher to better facilitate growth of EACH INDIVIDUAL MIND AT THEIR OWN SEPARATE PACE.
This way the over-achiever wins, and so does the under-achiever (with proper teacher guidance)....the whole spectrum of 'learners' actually experience a moderated learning growth that can be monitored at every step by the class-teacher. The teacher too may end up feeling lesser stress because the teachers are better able to guide their attention to all students who need their presence, more effectively!
When you get a chance, please view the Channel 2 (CBS), 60 Minutes, News-Program, presentation by correspondent/contributor of 60 Minutes, Dr. Sanjay Gupta (of CNN fame), where he interviews Mr. Salman Khan; at the following link: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50154139n.
This whole concept can be considered as part of or an extension of the Dhagat-Plan, if you will, and so what I bring up here is just part of the whole process of instituting a more competitive environment but something STRESS-FREE for our children. This way we can climb up the national charts of competitive school positioning, while doing what ushers in a more modern concept.
Please check out the following links:
With greatest regards,
Mr. Parag Dhagat
Basking Ridge, NJ