Education Readings November 14th

By Allan Alach

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

This week’s homework!


Integrating technology into learning

UK academic Steve Wheeler – if you ever get the chance to attend one of his presentations, take it!

“Technology is not a substitute for good teaching. No amount of technology can replace a great lesson that has been delivered in a passionate, inspirational and focused manner.”

Digital reflections

Steve Wheeler continues …

“This post examines some of the categories of technology and the places they might occupy when they are integrated into the learning process. It’s important for teachers to consider that integrated technology can provide a doorway to deeper learning, characterised for example in critical analysis and personal reflection.”

“Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” (ADHD) is Actually Correlated with Creativity and Achievement

Food for thought.

“Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs Would Be Diagnosed with ADHD If They Were Born In This Decade.”

Classroom technology can make learning more dangerous, and that’s a good thing

“The latest movement to add more technology into classrooms is repeating the same mistakes, focusing on how tech can help teachers by churning out more data about students, saving time and raising test scores. Here’s a crazy idea: What if we focused less on selling technology to teachers by convincing them it makes learning more efficient, and more on how computers, like a bicycle, might make learning a little more dangerous?”

Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack

This document will keep you occupied …

“A global study of threats or deliberate use of force against students, teachers, academics, education trade union members and government officials, aid workers and other education staff, and against schools, universities and other education institutions, carried out for political, military, ideological, sectarian, ethnic or religious reasons in 2009-2013”

Questioning Gagné and Bloom’s Relevance

Time to kick a sacred cow or two …

“Do you have research support for putting a verb in one category or another? Neither did Bloom. As far as I know, Bloom’s taxonomy was meant to be a theoretical framework and was not based on any sort of research.”

To Teach Facts, Start with Feelings

“While it’s easy to assume that student apathy is related to laziness or an attitude problem, it actually makes perfect sense that so many students don’t care about what they’re learning because they’ve never been taught how to care.”

This week’s contributions from Bruce Hammonds:

Kids Do Well if They Can

Bruce’s comment: A four minute video that makes a lot of sense

One Dozen Qualities Of Good Teachers

Bruce’s comment: Take the focus off standards and think about 12 qualities of good teachers.

“Much of the discussion today about good schools, classrooms and teachers revolves around test scores, teacher evaluation formats, and the Common Core standards. In this commentary, I want to try to bring back the discussion to what is really important to think about with regards to good teaching and good teachers. Below is a list of twelve qualities of good teachers that don’t get discussed very often, yet are important and relevant to consider as we try to improve teaching excellence.”

Too Many Kids Quit Science Because They Don’t Think They’re Smart

Bruce’s comment: Gain insight into Carol Dweck’s research about why kids give up on learning.

“For most students, science, math, engineering, and technology (STEM) subjects are not intuitive or easy. Learning in general—and STEM in particular—requires repeated trial and error, and a student’s lack of confidence can sometimes stand in her own way. And although teachers and parents may think they are doing otherwise, these adults inadvertently help kids make up their minds early on that they’re not natural scientists or “math people,” which leads them to pursue other subjects instead.”

All the Time They Need

Bruce’s comment: Teachers were taught about ‘wait time’ in the 80s – worth revisiting today?

“Waiting in silence for students to think before responding can, at first, be uncomfortable for everyone. But oh, the insights they’ll share!”

From Bruce’s oldies but goodies file:

Bruce comments: Two popular blogs from the past. Looking at reasons for educational failure.

Educational failure – it is all about poverty

“In the New Scientist article large scale UK research found, ‘that babies born in the poorest areas have slower cognitive development, which compromises their education and prospects in earlier life….Overwhelmingly the poverty into which a baby is born is going to be a big influence.’”

Why do so many students fail to achieve at school?

“School is irrelevant for too many students. The age of knowledge transmission is over – students need to be helped to ‘seek, use and create their own knowledge’ ( NZ Curriculum 2007)”

Bruce comments: And an answer – authentic learning, problem based learning.

Basing education around student inquiry.

“PBL is a far more evolved method of instruction. Well-executed PBL begins with the recognition that, as in the real world, it’s often difficult to distinguish between acquiring information and using it. Students learn knowledge and elements of the core curriculum, but also apply what they know to solve authentic problems and produce results that matter.”

This week’s contribution from Phil Cullen.

What is Happening to Our Profession? Quo Vadis?

The end of teaching as a profession – what do you think?

“The money-hungry mongrels have had their way, we placid folk have capitulated and we are now heading for a universe that has never existed before.  Teaching is now just a job. Amen. Once high in the group of noble service professions, it is so no longer.”

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