By Allan Alach
I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why even the world’s highest-scoring schools need to change
‘Marion Brady is a veteran educator who has long argued that public schools in the United States need a paradigm shift. The core curriculum, he says, does not meet the needs of today’s students, and schools fail to do the most important thing they should be doing. He explains in the following post.’
You Probably Believe Some Learning Myths: Take Our Quiz To Find Out
‘We all want for our kids to have optimal learning experiences and, for ourselves, to stay competitive with lifelong learning. But how well do you think you understand what good learning looks like?
Ulrich Boser says, probably not very well.’
We should be cautious about classroom tech
‘However, before we blithely fall off the digital cliff face like pixelated lemmings, we do need to assess the effect of our coming bout with the big gorilla. Education has always been about freeing ourselves from the coercive effect of ideology so that we can live informed lives free from superstition or marketing. However, today we are on the cusp of hitching ourselves to big business with very little empirical research on the effect of technology in schools.’
Most people are secretly threatened by creativity
‘Creativity is highly prized in Western society—much touted by cultures that claim to value individualism and the entrepreneurial spirit. But scratch beneath the surface, and it turns out that a lot of schools and businesses aren’t actually all that excited about bold new ideas. By and large, we tend to be threatened by creativity—and eager to shut it down.’
Finger painting as fun, learning and an act of resistance.
“Looking through some old pics of student art work I am reminded that one of the things that drove teacher-hating trolls the most nuts was that I, an elementary Art teacher, was paid a full teacher’s salary for “finger painting with kids.” So I always made sure that during the school year that is exactly what I did. And post it. Kids love to finger paint and it is messy! And I was paid in full.”
Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:
Personalising education by introducing the spiritual dimension – an antidote to linear standardised teaching
Bruce’s latest article:
‘I have just been looking at a book ,’Learning by Wandering: an Ancient Irish Perspective for a Digital World’ sent to me because the Irish author Marie Martin had made use of some of my writing from an e-zine I wrote in 2009. I felt it a bit of a honour to be included in her book alongside well recognized international educational writers she made reference to.
Why high-flying Singapore wants more than grades
‘The next update of the education system will have to ensure that Singapore can create a more equitable society, build a stronger social compact among its people while at the same time develop capabilities for the new digital economy. Government policies are moving away from parents and students’ unhealthy obsession with grades and entry to top schools and want to put more emphasis on the importance of values. Schools have been encouraged, especially for the early elementary years, to scrap standardised examinations and focus on the development of the whole child.’
Ignorance Might Be the Best Thing For Your Creative Mind
‘There is no right and standard prescription for creative work. Creativity requires some form of knowledge. But knowledge alone is not useful unless you can make meaningful connections. A more refined design and an efficient implementation are not absolute guarantees of success.
Educators argue creativity just as important as literacy and numeracy in national curriculum
‘The Federal Government-commissioned report released in October last year recommended Australia’s school curriculum should refocus teaching in early childhood years on literacy and numeracy. But some Sydney schools are worried if there is a shift away from fostering creative and critical thinking skills, students will not learn the skills needed when they enter the workforce.’
Is school ‘killing’ your child’s creativity? And does this matter?
‘Rote learning, controlling teachers and a “fixation” on standardised tests are crushing children’s creativity, according to a school principal who is on a mission to change things.’
From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:
Environmental awareness for pre-schoolers – from ‘On Looking’ by Alexandra Horowitz
‘These days learning using technology – exploring the ‘virtual’ world, seems to the latest ‘silver bullet’ and, all too often, this is at the expense of developing an awareness and appreciation of the real world.’
The Way David Hockney Sees It.
‘Hockney’s skill has been his ability to make fresh pictures many based on real technical skill. While I was in England I picked up on an newspaper interview with Hockney and feel some of his ideas are worth sharing with educators.’