By Allan Alach
I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find Your Marigold: The One Essential Rule for New Teachers
‘Surround yourself with good people.
By finding the positive, supportive, energetic teachers in your school and sticking close to them, you can improve your job satisfaction more than with any other strategy. And your chances of excelling in this field will skyrocket. Just like a young seedling growing in a garden, thriving in your first year depends largely on who you plant yourself next to.’
We are born creative geniuses and the education system dumbs us down, according to NASA scientists
‘The scientists then gave the test to 1,600 children between the ages of 4 and 5. What they found shocked them. This is a test that looks at the ability to come up with new, different and innovative ideas to problems. What percentage of those children do you think fell in the genius category of imagination? A full 98 percent!’
Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:
Summer has arrived – time to go outdoors. Some ideas to consider
‘The sooner students develop an awareness of their environment , and in the process learn to love and respect it, the sooner they will see the need to sustain and protect it. As the future generation they will need to see it as the number one world problem.’
The Feynman Technique: The Best Way to Learn Anything
How can you adapt this for your classroom?
‘The famous Nobel winning physicist Richard Feynman understood the difference between knowing something and knowing the name of something and it’s one of the most important reasons for his success. In fact, he created a formula for learning that ensured he understood something better than everyone else.
It’s called the Feynman Technique and it will help you learn anything faster and with greater understanding. Best of all, it’s incredibly easy to implement.’
When Success Leads to Failure
The pressure to achieve academically is a crime against learning.
‘The truth—for this parent and so many others—is this: Her child has sacrificed her natural curiosity and love of learning at the altar of achievement, and it’s our fault. Marianna’s parents, her teachers, society at large—we are all implicated in this crime against learning. From her first day of school, we pointed her toward that altar and trained her to measure her progress by means of points, scores, and awards.’
‘Too much control’: Pasi Sahlberg on what Finland can teach Australian schools
Pasi Sahlberg from Finland gives advice to Australia (applies to NZ as well ?)
“Maybe the key for Australia is loosening up a little bit, less top down control and a bit more professional autonomy for teachers,” he says. Maybe the problem is that things are tied up in a system that is not able to be flexible enough for teachers. “Maybe there is not enough trust in Australia in good teachers.”
After 100 Years of the Same Teaching Model It’s Time to Throw Out the Playbook
‘The transmission model of education is still the name of the game, although in some circles there are signs of its erosion.
I would like to take you on a journey in this post, starting from the 1950s banking model (Freire, 1968) of instructional design, before comparing it to my own schooling experiences as a digital native at the turn of the century. Then, finally, I would like to share my vision for C21 learning, and propose some ways that we can move forward so that we are meeting the needs of today.’
It’s OK to Say No
For those of you starting off in a new school:
‘Because the first year in a new role is a whirlwind, it’s easy to lose track of why you decided to take on the challenging role of educator. It’s easy to get discouraged with the many tasks and the overall state of being busy. I’ve learned to take time to center myself and remember why I’m doing the work I’m doing. Some might do more formal mediation or even reflective journaling.
Sometimes teachers take on so much work that they lose their sense of purpose. Here are a few steps you can take to avoid that.’
Students Share The Downside Of Being Labeled ‘Gifted’
‘When growth mindset was still a fairly new concept in the education world, many teachers of gifted children saw its potential with that population, who often feel they’ve gained a special status for being smart. It’s not uncommon for gifted students to fear failure more than other students because they feel they have more to lose.’
From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:
Placing in depth inquiry learning first!
‘Creative teachers have always placed developing authentic realistic and first hand experiences followed by creative expression through the arts central to their programmes .Important to such teachers was the need to provide opportunities to develop all the innate gifts and talents of their students.’
What the modern world has forgotten about children and teaching, and solutions to ensure all students learn
‘Modern Western learning and teaching based on ‘collecting data on human learning of children’s behaviour in school is like collecting data on killer whales based on their behaviour at Sea World.’
The rise and fall and rise again of teacher expertise
‘To see changes sometimes you to have to stand back at a distance and look for patterns. It is the same as with the difference between the weather and a storm – when you are in the middle of a storm it is hard to work out what is the weather pattern is. The same applies in education. Many people think major educational changes started in 1986 with Tomorrow’s Schools. This of course it not true. It was more just another nail in the coffin of creative teachers.’