Keeping up with the changes in education is never easy, and adapting and aligning our area of concern to fit in the Big (and current) Picture is a challenge for any curricular area. For those dedicated to scholastic media, it’s now critical for survival. It’s not simply a matter of keeping up with the changes; it’s a matter of anticipating the pendulum swing and being ahead of the curve or, at the very least, avoiding playing catch-up.
The current buzz words – Common Core, P21, CTE — aren’t even new anymore. Terms and concepts we are only just beginning to see in our everyday professional lives need to become part of what JEA helps its members understand and share.
These factors have created challenges for any group hoping to impact curriculum and make a difference in some specific area for teachers and students. This has been no less the case for those involved in scholastic media and the reason JEA is taking a new approach with an Educational Initiatives Committee.
Guidelines for approaching the problem:
- The committee needs to start with some structure based on what we know now.
- The committee needs to work harder than most to let members (and non-members) know what educational issues/changes exist so those with new issues and suggestions can help us beat the pendulum.
- The committee requires a structure that can adapt to deal with these new issues quickly.
- The committee needs to interact with the current JEA commissions and committees and those in our sister organization National Scholastic Press Association to tap into their expertise.
- The committee needs to be ready to interact with educational groups creating change.
What will this committee look like?
First, we are naming this the Educational Initiatives Committee, which allows it to change its structure as the need arises.
Second, because we know Common Core, P21 and CTE are out there already, Candace Perkins Bowen will be a committee chair overseeing projects, serving as JEA’s face in the larger education community and facilitating communication
- between the various arms of the committee
- between the committee and JEA’s board
- between the committee and JEA’s membership
- between JEA and outside groups
Further, we will launch this with four subcommittees, and those would have their own chairs and members
- Common Core
How will we know if we’re successful?
By the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention, we will have both short-term and long-term goals in place and will have begun working on them.
Journalism teachers will be aware of what we are doing and communication will be going both ways – as members let us know what they need and share with us what they have developed already.
Journalism teachers will begin incorporating Common Core/P21/CTE into existing classes and teachers will be directed to do so by school principals.
We will be able to communicate progress and share discussions with other JEA commissions and committees.
We will have a mechanism in place so members will know to contact us when there’s a new initiative and will trust us as a place to get the latest on pedagogy and ways to fit our vital curriculum into schools everywhere.
We will add information to the JEA.org website, including a PowerPoint I have now that shows how journalism aligns with Common Core College and Career Readiness Standards.
Journalism meets all the goals of these concepts and many in the past (i.e. NCTE/IRA standards), so one of the goals is to help teachers be able to articulate this to their administrators.
We will be able to use the knowledge we gain to help develop new journalism/media/media literacy courses and curriculum.
Related: Journalistic writing and “English class” writing
From purpose to organization to information-gathering, this Powerpoint presentation highlights the similarities and differences between journalistic writing and English essays, the last several slides show how journalism relates to some of the Common Core State Standards. Courtesy Candace Perkins Bowen.