By Allan Alach
If you’re still a John Hattie fan I suggest you carefully read the article “The Politics of Education Policy: Even More Beware the Technocrats.”
The first reference listed at the foot of the article attempts to link to an article by Kelvin Smythe. This link no longer works and has been replaced by this one: Horizons, whirlpools, Sartrean secrets, John Hattie and other symptoms of the continuing education tragedy
I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at email@example.com
Why I Want to Karate-Chop the SmartBoard and 19 Other Rants
‘I worked for a district who had the nicest SmartBoards and projectors around. I liked them, they were easy to use, and they were only there a few years. But, the darndest thing happened: the same year we took a forced pay freeze, the district purchased new equipment – because if they didn’t they’d lose the money. Socrates, one of the world’s greatest teachers, stood at a stone podium and gave his students one question to discuss for the entire day. Just give me the $5,000 it cost for that new tech equipment and let me be Socrates.’
Piles of paperwork stopping teachers doing what they’re good at
‘At the top of the list of the roadblocks are the piles of paperwork that increasingly stand in the way of good teaching. The teachers starting out this week didn’t become teachers to fill in endless forms; they became teachers to change lives.’
What Do Schools Fostering A Teacher “Growth Mindset” Look Like?
‘Yet, school leaders and teachers scarcely talk about how to adopt a growth mindset for themselves—one that assumes that educators, not only the students they teach, can improve with support and practice. Many teachers find it hard to imagine working in a school with a professional culture designed to cultivate their development, rather than one in which their effectiveness is judged and addressed with rewards and sanctions.’
A Recipe for Inspiring Lifelong Learning
A veteran teacher reflects on his quest to inspire intrinsic motivation and curiosity in his students.
‘It made me reflect over my career as an educator, and what kinds of impressions I have left in the hearts and minds of the many students I have taught. I would like to hope that the impressions I left were favorable, even memorable. One of the impressions I hope to have left is that students had success in their learning when they were in my class.’
The Politics of Education Policy: Even More Beware the Technocrats
‘Coleman and Hattie work to control what counts and what matters—the ultimate in politics—and thus are welcomed resources for those benefitting from inequity and wishing to keep everyone’s gaze on anything except that inequity.’
Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:
8 Ways to Help Older Kids Develop a Sense of Imagination
‘Because imaginative thinking hones creativity and improves students’ social and emotional skills, it’s something that teachers and schools should fold into their planning. Ostroff identified several strategies teachers can adopt to encourage older students to activate their dormant imaginations.’
Blue Sky High – five things every secondary school should implement…now
‘I believe that implementing the following five things would be a relatively easy way for any school to evolve so as to ensure students are gaining the skills needed now (not 100 years ago) and in the future. Whether you refer to them as the infuriatingly named “21st century skills” such as collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking, or simply as a way of genuinely fostering what the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) refer to as key competencies, particularly relating to others, managing self and participating and contributing.’
Real Learning is a Creative Process
‘Real and meaningful learning is a creative process. Skills and knowledge cannot be downloaded like computer software, they must be acquired, constructed and mastered– through long-term application and effort.
Those who have studied successful skill mastery describe a common process that is followed, one that requires practice, effort, patience, experimentation and deep concentration.’
7 Reasons Why Differentiated Instruction Works
‘Differentiated instruction (DI) begins with an accurate understanding of what DI is—and is not. You may be surprised how easy it is to incorporate into your classrooms.’
The Man Who Will Save Math
Dan Meyer, the most famous math teacher in America, wants to radically change the way we learn math.
‘Imagine aliens have abducted you. They’re kind enough creatures, however: Theirs is the slow-motion torture of trying to make you understand them. They flash their strange alphabet at you and prompt you with esoteric questions: Are you allowed to put this symbol here? To rearrange this into that? At first you struggle. Soon enough, though, you start to see patterns; eventually you begin to answer correctly.
This, Dan Meyer says, is how too many students experience mathematics.’
From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:
Living at the Creative Edge: School transformation
An Australian school that caters for ‘disadvantaged students’
‘Education is difficult in disadvantaged situations where it is pretty obvious that the old ways are not working so it was great to read about a school that seems to be beating the odds. The approaches they have developed provide guidance for all schools but particularly middle and secondary schools. And it is not that the ideas are even claimed to be new – the school involved just had both the leadership and the courage to put them into practice. Their approach is in opposition to the market driven imposed reforms of the past decades.’
The Power of Biography!
‘Too often personalized learning is missing; lost in all the teacher imposed curriculum and assessment requirements; too much teacher ‘delivery’ of curriculums and not enough ‘designing’ personalised studies. One idea to remedy this situation is to study the significant and personal greatness of our student’s lives through biography. This could lead into, or emerge out of, a study of the biography of famous people, or the recording of the oral history of their parents, or of local people of interest.’