By Allan Alach
I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s homework!
Four reasons to seriously worry about ‘personalized learning’
Another gem from Alfie Kohn – a must read.
“Personal learning entails working with each child to create projects of intellectual discovery that reflect his or her unique needs and interests. It requires the presence of a caring teacher who knows each child well.
Personalized learning entails adjusting the difficulty level of prefabricated skills-based exercises based on students’ test scores. It requires the purchase of software from one of those companies that can afford full-page ads in Education Week.”
Steve Hargadon: Escaping the Education Matrix
“What are most kids getting out of 12 years of school?” he asks. “The honest answer is they’re learning how to follow, and that was the original intent. Public schools were based on the belief that what was needed was a small group of elites who would make the decisions for the country, and many more who would simply follow their directions” — hence a system that produces “tremendous intellectual and commercial dependency.”
How Learning Artistic Skills Alters the Brain
‘The art students specifically increased “their ability to think divergently, model systems and processes, and use imagery,” the researchers write. The results suggests that, in a matter of a few months, “prefrontal white matter reorganizes as (art students) become more able to think creatively.”’
The Corruption of Learning
“The biggest challenge facing schools is that the modern world amplifies our ability to learn in the classic sense, and increasingly renders the official, school based theory of learning pointless and oppressive. While our kids’ love of learning can flourish outside of school, it’s extinguished inside of school as we take away agency, passion, connection, audience, authenticity, and more.”
Three lessons from the science of how to teach writing.
So much for teaching by standards…
“Traditional grammar instruction isn’t effective. Period. Six studies with children in grades three to seven showed that writing quality actually deteriorated when kids were taught grammar. That is, graders scored the essays of students who’d been taught traditional grammar lower than those of students who had not received the lessons.”
What Comes First: the Curriculum or the Technology?
“It’s important to never force fit technology – if it’s not supplementing what’s already happening in the classroom or a teacher’s goals for the school year, the addition will become more of a barrier to learning than a catalyst.”
Why Slowing Down Stimuli to Real Time Helps a Child’s Brain
Suggest you read this and reflect….
“The pacing of all programs, both adult and child, has sped up considerably. Part of the reason for that is that the more rapidly sequenced the scenes, the more distracting it is. It’s taxing to the brain to process things that happen so fast even though were capable of doing it. And there’s emerging science now in older children that watching such fast-paced programs diminishes what we call “executive function” immediately afterwards. It tires the mind out and makes it not function as well immediately after viewing it.”
False Choices and how to Avoid Them
This came to me from Phil Cullen who found it on an Alfie Kohn tweet…
“The lesson “accept your children for who they are rather than for who you want them to be” is clear. Loving your kids for who they are is the only real choice.”
Is There School Today?
“Kindergarten, literally a “children’s garden” was traditionally a place focused on playing, singing, and otherwise imagineering. Over the past 20 years, a myopic focus on reading and math has turned the children’s garden into a factory, a place where unique beings go for standardization, followed by 12 more years of it. This standardized approach to learning supposedly prepares them for placement in an economy that no longer exists.”
This week’s contributions from Bruce Hammonds:
Welcome to Concept to Classroom!
Bruce’s comment: For teachers who want some practical knowledge about :Constructivist Teaching,Multiple Intelligences,Cooperative and Collaborative Learning, Inquiry Learning, Interdisciplinary Learning, Assessment and Evaluation and Web Based Learning, and practical ways to implement them this is the link for you. Highly recommended.
“The site features a series of FREE, self-paced workshops covering a wide variety of hot topics in education. Some of the workshops are based in theory, some are based in methodology – but all of the workshops include plenty of tips and strategies for making classrooms work.”
16 Ways Your Brain Is Sabotaging Your Effort To Learn
“The human brain is our best friend, and our worst enemy, and unless we keep one eye peeled, it can hijack our learning completely.
In this article I’d like to examine some of the “traps” the brain sets for us during the course of our academic careers, and what we can do to avoid them.”
Welcome back to a new year of learning!
Bruce’s comment: I think this NZ site Discovery Time is well worth a plug.
“Discovery Time is the perfect opportunity to excite children’s curiosity, discover their strengths and stand back and observe how they work together. Keep your ‘Key Competencies’ focussed on ‘managing self’ and ‘relating to others’ i.e. looking after equipment, sharing, taking turns, cleaning up when you have finished, trying something new, working with someone you don’t know…”
Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching – a New Zealand perspective
Bruce’s comment: The challenge of developing a 21st C education system. Some NZ thinking about personalising learning. Well worth the read.
“It is widely argued that current educational systems, structures and practices are not sufficient to address and support learning needs for all students in the 21st century. Changes are needed, but what kinds of change, and for what reasons? This research project draws together findings from new data and more than 10 years of research on current practice and futures-thinking in education.”
Personalisation and Digital Technologies
Bruce’s comment: Download this document for a UK view of personalising education.
“The logic of education systems should be reversed so that it is the system that conforms to the learner, rather than the learner to the system. This is the essence of personalisation. It demands a system capable of offering bespoke support for each individual that recognises and builds upon their diverse strengths, interests, abilities and needs in order to foster engaged and independent learners able to reach their full potential.”
Personalising learning – what does it mean?
Not to be outdone, here’s Bruce’s take in personalised learning. Bruce mentions a book called ‘In the Early World’ by Elwyn Richardson. All teachers should have this in their library,
“Once ‘child centred’ was commonly heard phrase but it now seems dated . ‘Student centred’ seems more relevant – is this personalised learning? If students are helped individually some might call this personalised but , if it is moving through a pre-determined curriculum at the students pace this is simply a more an extreme form of ability grouping than personalising learning.”