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 Teachers and Administrators in Ender's Game 

Who's teaching method was the most effective?
Colonel Graff 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Ender (with the Launchies) 100%  100%  [ 5 ]
Ender (with Dragon) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
The Computer Game 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Mazor Rackham 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Other 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 5

 Teachers and Administrators in Ender's Game 
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Although we are in a program gearing us to be administrators, it is through the hands of teachers that principals’ successes are created. Therefore, I would like to start an Ender’s Game thread and take a look at some of the teaching methods presented in the book. I see two obvious examples of teaching as Colonel Graff’s “Know and Manipulateâ€

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Daniel Bryant
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Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:45 pm
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I most identify with the approach Ender used with the Launchies. I believe education and any task should be facilitated and coordinated with multiple participants. Ender and the launchies seemed to have more achievements obtained by combining their experiences. I also identified with Ender in that my own teaching practices are usually group based but I do take individuals aside and try to make corrections or praises when needed. I believe this can build relationships within the classroom and create more confident students.

I think this method would also work well with adults and the staff of a school. As we have talked before in class, everyone wants to feel appreciated, encouraged, and as an important componenet to a group.

I am going to stick my neck out and say that I actually think as teachers we can sometimes all be a Graff and push students and manipulate situations to get students to achieve what would like them to. Kids are vulnverable and most of the time believe what adults tell them. I don't think any of us may manipulate to the severity of Graff, but we have at one time pushed buttons of our students to make them the best.

As an administrator, I don't know if Graff's method would work well. There are times, I'm sure, that we will encounter when a staff member may not want to work to their best potential and we may have to create methods to push the individual to perform the best. I don't believe Graff's methods should be used to push an individual to do what we personally think is the best. My personal question, is how do I push people to be the best for creating an outcome that will benefit everyone without coming across as a drill sergeant?

Overall, from an administrative perspective (even though I'm not one yet :lol: ) I want to create an environment in which students and staff members are valued as people. I don't want to follow the isolation traits mentioned in Ender's Game. I also don't want the school I work in to be controlled or manipulated by "Big Brother." There is a phrase in the book where Ender says the real enemies are the teachers and a person must learn to beat the game. Education isn't a game and it's not a war between students and teachers. We have to create collaboration, individual value, and a community while pushing people to excel. The biggest question always remain, How? My answer, it depends on the situation and the people involved. I think any of the methods in Ender's Game could be used as long as they are used appropriately and are beneficial.

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Meghan Wood


Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:23 am
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I agree with Meghan. I think Ender's time spent teaching the Launchies is the most affective teaching method in the book. They were given the opportunity to discover things for themselves, but received guidance from someone more experienced...someone with previous successes beyond their own. He didn't rush them to know everything at once, but was patient. He enjoyed it when they aquired new skills, and every time they reached a goal, he set another one. They respected him and realized they gained a lot by gleaning all they could from his experiences and wisdom.
Ender's time as a commander where he was very hard on the group, but displayed great care and patience with the individuals, struck me as probably being the method I most identify with as a teacher. I had a lot of success as a teacher and coach doing this, I believe. As long as students know you care about them as individuals, and will take the time to help them one-on-one, they will respond to group discipline/reprimands/stern direction. I saw myself here too, Daniel.
I think there is room for an open mind when evaluating different teaching styles and personalities. However, we also have to be willing to give direction and correction when teachers are just way off base in their approach. Tricky balancing act, I guess...

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Lora T. Tiano


Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:57 pm
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I also agree with Meghan in that we as teachers sometimes try to manipulate our students to do what we want so that they perform well. I feel that Ender's approach to educating the Launchies was more effective than that of the Colonel because Ender tried to educate them in a way that was not condescending. Ender was so patient with his Launchies which I related to in that I have grown in patience over the years and tried to be more counseling and redirect students instead of giving negative feedback. No student will do for you and themselves if they think you do not like them. Everyone wants to feel love and acceptance. Ender tried by the end of the book to forget about having friends and just "play the game". I feel we as educators sometimes get in the rut where we "just go to work" instead of having the privilege to do something life-changing today.
As administrators, we need to set up a learning environment where no one feels like Ender-isolated and alone. I do feel that like the Colonel, we need to push our students at times and believe that they can achieve. Students will not exceed our expectations if we do not set high goals. Like some many of our students, Ender I felt was crying out for love from his family and at times peers. We as educators need to show our staff and students that we care about them and therefore use the Launchies approach to educating children.

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(Ariana) Nicole Benton Hazelwood


Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:09 pm
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Not to throw salt in the "game" so to speak...but from an administrator point of view...what would/could be done to help the "teachers" become more effective?

I'm not real interested in the "game" playing aspect of the book (it confuses me really), but more about the relationships and how they are built and dealt with.

I'm on chapter 11 and have found it interesting that Ender is doing to Bean what was done to him...consciously.

Just my 2 cents.

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Kelly Campbell


Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:27 pm
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Well, I'd say that the game is not that much different from some activities teachers design for their classrooms. It's competition meant to challenge kids to find new ways to solve old problems. In one of my teacher workshops recently, we were discussing how math was taught in different countries. In many of the countries that consistently test out higher than the USA, students are presented with a problem, then challenged with figuring out a solution on their own. There is only brief teacher-directed instruction at the onset. Rather, the teacher sets up the scenario and problem (much like conditions within the Battle Room?) and then constructivist learning begins (as in the actual battles?). The difference with Ender's Game is how younger students are educated by older students with teachers simply preparing and managing the scenarios. Even the computer game analyzes knowledge then presents new conflicts with different challenges (still only teacher monitored).

Thoughts?

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Daniel Bryant
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Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:06 pm
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I revisited my thoughts and everyone's repsonses about Ender's Game this past week as I was thinking about how to increase the number of posts. :D

It led me to wonder how many times as educators do we play a game in the education world? Whether it may be to receive a positive observation report, good rapport with faculty, or what not. Can we ever be exempt from playing some sort of game and simply do our jobs or are there going to be hoops we will have to jump through or levels we will have to complete?

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Meghan Wood


Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:37 am
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