By Allan Alach
Buon giorno from Siena, Italy. It’s a tough life but I am coping ….
I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s homework!
Equipped for the Future
“Continuing down the Common Core “road” with ELA standards that focus primarily on selective and specialized literacy skills instead of broad-based, applicable, and transferable literacy skills, make as much sense as the US Education Department announcing a new initiative to improve U.S. bike riding skills by mandating that all children learn to ride a bike without the use of training wheels, and declaring the new National Standard for being a proficient and globally competitive bike rider is…NO HANDS.”
Deskfree strategy turns classrooms into creative learning hubs that see student engagement soar
Another article on Stephen Heppell inspired developments in Australia.
“Teachers, parents and students across the state have been briefed by Professor Heppell, a global expert in learning spaces who claims students learn more effectively and behave better within “borderless learning” designs; when they have freedom to work in smaller groups and even learn standing up.”
Teaching Is Not a Business
“While technology can be put to good use by talented teachers, they, and not the futurists, must take the lead. The process of teaching and learning is an intimate act that neither computers nor markets can hope to replicate. Small wonder, then, that the business model hasn’t worked in reforming the schools — there is simply no substitute for the personal element.”
How We Think: John Dewey on the Art of Reflection and Fruitful Curiosity in an Age of Instant Opinions and Information Overload
“Dewey examines what separates thinking, a basic human faculty we take for granted, from thinking well, what it takes to train ourselves into mastering the art of thinking, and how we can channel our natural curiosity in a productive way when confronted with an overflow of information.”
The Rise of the Helicopter Teacher
“The risk that helicopter parents run is that they will raise children so coddled that they have a hard time functioning on their own in the larger world. So too with the way we have infantilized our students. Afraid or unwilling to challenge them, we pass them through with perfectly good grades but without much of a sense of how to work on their own or think for themselves.”
How A Popular TV Doc Has Learned To Explain ADHD Simply
Implications for teachers?
“ADHD is like having a Ferrari engine for a brain with bicycle brakes. Strengthen the brakes and you have a champion. People with ADHD are the inventors and the innovators, the movers and the doers, the dreamers who built America.”
The McDonaldization of Education: the rise of slow
“In regards to education, McDonaldization attempts to wipe out any of the messiness or inefficiencies of learning. Instead, it attempts to reduce it to a commodity that can be packaged, marketed and sold. Rather than cultivating a deep, holistic love of learning that touches every aspect of a student’s life, learning has been reduced to an assembly line. In reality, we’ve imposed a mechanistic view of life onto how people learn, which is largely an organic process, and at a great cost.”
Teaching Critical Thinking in Age of Digital Credulity
“Now, the enormity, ubiquity and dubious credibility of the information available to most of the world’s population is requiring each of us to become something of an expert on figuring out when we’re being misled or lied to. Perhaps, unfortunately, for the future of life online, few teachers or parents impart to young people the always useful but now essential skills of how to question, investigate, analyze and judge that link they just got in email or the factual claim they just found through a search engine.”
This week’s contributions from Bruce Hammonds:
The New Zealand Election coming soon!!
Bruce’s comment: If you were to listen to some politicians you would think the sky is falling in but New Zealand education is in good heart. I was particularly impressed with his positive experience of secondary education. Well worth a read.
Bruce’s comment: The Labour Manifesto’s education policy of the time made it clear what was expected in education and when elected Peter Fraser, Minister Of Education, asked the Director of Education Dr Beeby to rewrite the then Ministry of Education report to the new government to capture his ideas. Overnight Beeby wrote the following principle:
‘…that every person whatever his level of academic ability, whether rich or poor, whether he lives in the town or the country, has a right as a citizen to a free education of the kind best fitted and to the fullest extent of his power……(and that this ) will involve the reorientation of the education system.’
With the New Zealand election drawing near the choices are sharpening – or ought to be.
Bruce’s comment: It’s time for all people share in the apparent growing wealth of the few – the disparity between the rich and the poor is still growing. In schools the government talks about an ‘achievement gap’ , ignoring the effects of growing poverty and sees the solution as developing ‘super’ principals, cluster principals and lead teachers as the answer – such people obviously chosen because of their adherence to National’s policies – National Standards.