By Allan Alach
I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The problem of perfectionism: five tips to help your students
‘As well as affecting general well-being, perfectionism can lead to fear of failure. When your whole self-worth and identity are tied to your success, mistakes and setbacks are seen as a threat and you avoid taking risks.
We need to talk about these issues – but where to begin? Here are some tips for helping students manage and overcome perfectionism.’
Why For-Profit Education Fails
‘Indeed, over the past couple of decades, a veritable who’s who of investors and entrepreneurs has seen an opportunity to apply market discipline or new technology to a sector that often seems to shun both on principle. Yet as attractive and intuitive as these opportunities seemed, those who pursued them have, with surprising regularity, lost their shirts.’
What is a Teachable Moment?
Difficult to achieve in an education environment dominated by accountability/standards/raising achievement etc.
‘A teachable moment is an unplanned opportunity that arises in the classroom where a teacher has an ideal chance to offer insight to his or her students. A teachable moment is not something that you can plan for; rather, it is a fleeting opportunity that must be sensed and seized by the teacher. Often it will require a brief digression that temporarily sidetracks the original lesson plan so that the teacher can explain a concept that has inadvertently captured the students’ collective interest.’
Education in Africa
The Uberfication of Education by Bridge International Academies.
How a US for-profit, data-driven, education experiment is failing children from poor African families and homogenising culture.’
‘So bottom line. No reliable evidence of efficacy supported by independent academic research conducting randomised school trials.’
We live in a sick world…
Why do parents take such different approaches to their kids’ education?
Thanks to Phil Cullen for this article.
‘While some children spend the school holidays studying in tutoring centres, enrolled in sports camps or other structured activities, others are left to do their own thing.
So why is it that parents take such different approaches to education and how their children spend their time?’
Getting Curious (Not Furious) With Students
‘When their students act out, I propose the novice teachers do the following: Get curious, not furious. Let’s explore what that means. Rather than a teacher resorting to traditional discipline measures, it behooves the student greatly for the teacher to realize classroom outbursts, verbal defiance, or volatile anger can be symptomatic of repeated exposure to neglect, abuse, or violence. Traumatic stress can also manifest as withdrawal or self-injury.’
Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:
One best piece of advice to ensure students achieve quality learning and teachers time to teach: ‘Slow the Pace of Work’.
Bruce’s latest article:
‘Too many students spoil what they do by rushing through their tasks working on the principle that ‘first finished is best’. When teachers allow this ‘mindset’ to be an implicit part of the school culture students are not encouraged to stop and think (or reflect) about whatever they are undertaking and, as a result, a frenetic atmosphere can result. Slowing the pace allows no time for teachers to give students (particularly those struggling) appropriate help.’
STEM to STEAM
‘Makerspaces are environments that foster passion for projects of all stripes and sizes. If you can dream it, a makerspace will help you breathe life into it. I christened the makerspace the STEAMworks. The STEAM, as I told anyone who would listen, stood for science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The “works” came from what we accomplished there. Even though I was a science and math teacher, I realized a needed to integrate the arts into the science curriculum. The arts play a crucial role in child/learner development and can benefit the STEM classroom and workplace.’
Ten Tips for Mentoring a Student Teacher
If you have a student teacher in your room here is some good advice.
‘I remember the first time I was asked if I would be willing to have a student teacher. Looking back, I was totally unprepared, both by my experience and by the university, to know what to do as a cooperating teacher. I relied on the experience I had just a few years earlier and tried to model after the cooperating teacher I had—sort of the way some teachers teach today.If you are in the same boat I was in back then, I have a few tips that I hope will be useful.’
Students Use Phones, iPads to Create Digital Biographies for Senior Citizens
A simple but powerful idea:
‘A group of Orange County fifth-graders isn’t only reading about history, they’re documenting it.
As part of the Fullerton School District’s narrative writing and listening curriculum, 100 students taking part in the “Story Angels” program have begun interviewing seniors and using technology to create digital biographies of their lives.’
From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:
Creative Schools – an impossible dream?
‘If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses’ said Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.It is hard to believe that something that starts so well results in so many students leaving school with little to show for their experience – and even those deemed successful still have talents and gifts unrealised.’
What’s wrong with Ability Grouping?
‘New areas of research started to focus what was happening in classrooms which showed that teachers themselves are implicated and maintaining persistent patterns of differential achievement; that ability grouping helps create the very disparities it purports to solve. It does this in subtle and unintended ways through the ways it has on teacher’s thinking and through the impact it has on self-image for children in the ‘lower’ ability groups. It is obvious that teachers do not set out to do their children harm but they also know that children live up or down to what is expected of them.’