By Allan Alach
I’m early with this week’s readings list. As I’m still travelling in Croatia, it pays to make use of good wifi reception when I find it!
There are so many good articles floating around at the moment that I could post next week’s list as well, but I will spare you from that torture!
I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s homework!
STEM is incredibly valuable, but if we want the best innovators we must teach the arts
“A foundation in STEM education is exceptional at making us more efficient or increasing speed all within set processes, but it’s not so good at growing our curiosity or imagination. Its focus is poor at sparking our creativity. It doesn’t teach us empathy or what it means to relate to others on a deep emotional level.”
The Fatal Flaw Of Education Reform
“Nevertheless, I believe that this “movement” (to whatever degree you can characterize it in those terms) may be doomed to stall out in the long run, not because their ideas are all bad, and certainly not because they lack the political skills and resources to get their policies enacted. Rather, they risk failure for a simple reason: They too often make promises that they cannot keep.”
Boys Learn to Interrupt. Girls Learn to Shut Up.
“When boys and girls play together, boys interrupt more. A lot more.”
“The more boys there are in the group, the less often girls in the group interrupt.”
“When girls play together without boys, they interrupt more. A lot more.”
Why replacing teachers with automated education lacks imagination
The corporates behind GERM have this fantasy of classroom where computers do the ‘teaching’ with adults available purely as backup. All to make money, of course, and nothing to with actual education.
“The belief that technology can automate education and replace teachers is pervasive. Framed in calls for greater efficiency, this belief is present in today’s educational innovations, reform endeavours, and technology products. We can do better than adopting this insipid perspective and aspire instead for a better future where innovations imagine creative new ways to organise education.”
Are You Ready to Join the Slow Education Movement?
“Education must be personalized – responsive to the real needs of each student. This could mean the abolition of grade levels based on age. When education is personalized, it emphasizes student interests, teaches skills using worthwhile content – and most important – shows kids how to tap into their own innate motivation to learn. It puts the onus of learning on those who have the most at stake in school: students.”
Beyond Caricatures: On Dewey, Freire, And Direct Instruction (Again)
This week’s ‘heavy duty’ article but don’t let that stop you from reading it! This is important.
“The empowered student necessarily requires the classroom offered by the empowered teacher. Any who teaches must first work through the philosophical evolution that Dewey and Freire represent—as well as continuing beyond the possibilities offered by Dewey’s progressivism and Freire’s critical pedagogy.”
Dispelling the Myth of Deferred Gratification:What waiting for a marshmallow doesn’t prove
By Alfie Kohn:
“Underlying self-discipline and grit is the idea of deferring gratification—for example, by putting off doing what you enjoy until you finish your “work.” The appeal to many educators of transforming kids from lazy grasshoppers to hardworking ants explains the fresh wave of interest in a series of experiments conducted back in the 1960s known as the marshmallow studies.”
Gifted primary school children need more than special classes
“Many gifted boys and girls find the gifted label stigmatising, and go out of their way to dodge the dreaded nerd status. Would these children be better off in specialised school environment? The gifted education community is sharply divided about this issue with some educators perceiving that the specialised school environment is the ideal setting for gifted children, whereas others believe that they would be better off in the regular school milieu.”
This week’s contributions from Bruce Hammonds:
Common Core’s Five Big Half-Truths
Bruce’s comment:The US has a Common Core Standards that are neither common nor core (Sir Ken Robinson calls them a ‘race to the bottom’) New Zealand has National Standards that are neither national or standard. Both are political and populist. Both narrow the curriculum, encourage teaching the tests and side-lining of creativity and the arts. Both are the equivalent to the ‘McDonaldisation of education’.
“School is back in session, and debate over the Common Core is boiling in key states. As governors and legislators debate the fate of the Common Core, they hear Core advocates repeatedly stress five impressive claims: that their handiwork is “internationally benchmarked,” “evidence-based,” “college- and career-ready,” and “rigorous,” and that the nations that perform best on international tests all have national standards. In making these claims, advocates go on to dismiss skeptics as ignorant extremists who are happy to settle for mediocrity. The thing is, once examined, these claims are far less compelling than they appear at first glance.”
4 Big Things Transformational Teachers Do
Bruce’s comment: Are you a transformational teacher – read this then decide.
“Transformational teachers don’t react. They anticipate and prepare. Lee Shulman, as reported by Marge Scherer, suggests that expert teachers demonstrate the following, despite enormous challenges:”
Planting the Seeds of Innovation in Education
Bruce’s comment: An innovative high school class/teacher.
‘Don Wettrick is on a mission: revolutionizing the world of education by training the next generation of innovators. A reformed teacher (he taught to middle and high school students for 17 years), Don started planting the seeds of innovation at the Franklin, IN High School 3-and-a-half years ago, having found inspiration in Daniel Pink‘s book “Drive”.’
Leading the Shift to Digital: School, System & City
“We’re living through the most significant shift in how human beings learn—it’s bigger deal than the printing press and happening a lot faster. Almost everyone has a stake in the quality and speed of transition from the old model organized around birthdays and books to personal digital learning. In the near future, in cities and across networks that lead the shift, we could see a significant improvement in career readiness and economic participation.”
From Bruce’s oldies but goodies file…
The corporate takeover of society and education.
“Since the early 90s society has been reshaped by a neo liberal corporate ideology. An emphasis on private enterprise and self-centred individualism has replaced an earlier concern for collective good of all members of society. As a result of this ideological shift a wider gap has been created between the rich and poor causing a number of social concerns. Schools as part of this shift have been transformed from a community orientation to being part of a competitive cut throat ideology.”
Creativity – its place in education
Wayne Morris’s essay on education for creativity. Brilliant – from one of Bruce’s closest associates.
“Creative students lead richer lives and, in the longer term, make a valuable contribution to society. Surely those are reasons enough to bother. Creativity in the classroom – what does it look like?”
Howard Gardner on creativity – are schools encouraging creativity? The challenge of creativity.
“By definition all life is creative and schools ought to be the best place to develop the creativity of all their students but this is currently not the case.”