Educational Readings March 7th

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

This week’s homework!

Is Learning a Product or Process – part 2

‘When learning is seen as a product, the emphasis of the learning-teaching interaction is in instruction – and the thinking behind comes from the idea of students only learning when the teacher is instructing them, and only what they have been taught.  The reality is different, as any curriculum leader can tell you.’

Here is what Education Hell looks like

(from Canadian teacher Joe Bower.)

Watch the video – WARNING – you will need a strong stomach.

Teaching Students Not Standards

‘Taking action: The politics are dancing and we need to call attention to this (be brave!) Begin by encouraging your school team to create a definition together on what it really means to learn and the true purpose of having an education. This hopefully will begin to guide the discussion back to what matters most: the students.’

 How Do We Create Rich Learning Opportunities for All Students?

New Zealand teachers – does this seem familiar?

‘So what defines deeper learning? This group has identified six competencies: mastering content, critical thinking, effective written and oral communication, collaboration, learning how to learn, and developing academic mindsets.’

The UK needs a revolution in the way maths is taught. Here’s why….

(via Michael Fawcett)

‘Learning by rote is not the answer – unlocking the creative power of problem-solving is what will enthuse British schoolchildren and make them world-class, argues mathematician Conrad Wolfram’

Weekly Reflection: Being someone’s worst teacher

‘However the reality is that no one teacher is a perfect fit for every student.

Education is such a personalised process. Each learner brings with them their own personality and so do our teachers. The things that make a teacher great in the eyes of one student are often part of their personality.’

The Maker Movement and the Rebirth of Constructionism

‘Terms such as collaborative learning, project-based learning, metacognition, inquiry-based learning, and so on, might be new to some audiences, but they have a relatively long and well-documented history for many educators. The most widely-known and promising pedagogical approach is constructivism grounded on the work of Piaget, Vygotsky, and Bruner. Given how it has transformed my own understanding of pedagogy, teaching, and learning, constructionism seems ripe for a similar resurgence — like a phoenix rising from the ashes of Taylorization and standardized testing. Constructionism brings creativity, tinkering, exploring, building, and presentation to the forefront of the learning process.’

The Things That Linger After They’ve Forgotten Everything You Taught

Learning has nothing to do with content. If we’re talking about learning as a personal manifestation of some kind–the flow of referential schema in and out in a coming and going of recognition, sense-making, and entirely symbolic regurgitation–then learning is something that happens completely inside the mind,,and is, by definition then, a kind of illusion.’

This week’s contributions from Bruce Hammonds:

5-Year-Olds Can Learn Calculus

‘Why playing with algebraic and calculus concepts—rather than doing arithmetic drills—may be a better way to introduce children to math.’

 Give Students Time to Play

‘It seems counterintuitive to think that less classroom time and more outdoor play would lead to a better education for kids. After all, what many in our country, including most recently New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have prescribed are longer days in the classroom. But longer days on task don’t equate to better results. Instead, they translate into more burnout, lower test scores, and more of the same. All work and no play really does make dull boys and girls.’

 Contributed by Phil Cullen

Teacher Shreds Common Core

‘This brilliant ‘youtuber’ came from Mary E Mackay of Amsterdam.

While the focus is on ‘common core’, it’s also a statement about the professional judgement of teachers in dealing with top-down miseducated control of things like Standards, NAPLAN, No Child Left Behind and all other forms of testucation.’

 A “self-fulfilling, rolling disaster”?

‘A new narrative for Australian schooling would accept diversity and competition – but competition for achievement rather than for students or money.

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