By Allan Alach
I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Writing is more beneficial for learning than typing, according to these scientists
‘”When the students were drawing the word we saw that the brain was active in larger areas and also in a very particular way that is indicative of being beneficial for learning,” said van der Weel. The researchers found that when your motor skills are involved, the way nerve cells communicated with each other was found to be better for processing information, he explained. Van der Meer added that using a pen in the process of writing or drawing is often slower than typing — forcing people to process what they’re hearing or seeing, compared with passively typing.’
Flogging Dead Horses
‘Our model of schooling is more than 100 years old and has barely changed in that time
The rest of society – our industrial practices, technology, the media we use, our leisure activities, the global scope of our world, communication systems – has undergone a revolution.’
‘The original purpose of school – designed to sort and sift; to separate sheep and goats – is now redundant. We need 100% of students to be skilled and capable citizens able to contribute positive agency to both their economic and social world.’
Teacher Quality: A Reader in 2017
‘“The continual dumbing-down of the preparation of teachers is not without consequences.”
I would argue that the “dumbing-down” is about the false attack on “bad” teachers as the primary or even single cause of low student achievement among, specifically, vulnerable students. And the ugly consequence of that assault has been increasing accountability over teacher certification and teacher evaluation (such as using value-added methods) and thus demonizing teachers without improving teaching or learning.’
Busting the attention span myth
‘You probably won’t get to the end of this article. Everyone knows our attention spans are getting shorter. It’s just obvious. Or is it?’
12 ways to really make Genius Hour work in your class
‘It’s a class unlike anything you’d see at almost any school. But at heart, it’s driven by the same thing that drives Genius Hour: helping kids pursue what’s important to them and what’s important to the people they serve. Genius Hour is the idea of giving students 20 percent of their class time to pursue projects related to their passions. The concept is broad and intentionally open-ended, and the results can be phenomenal.’
The changing skill set of the learning professional
‘It comes as a surprise to no-one that learning professionals are operating in a very different world to those of a generation ago. I’d like to highlight four changes in particular that impact heavily on the skill set of the learning professional.’
Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:
How Integrating Arts Into Other Subjects Makes Learning Come Alive
‘Art has long been recognized as an important part of a well-rounded education — but when it comes down to setting budget priorities, the arts rarely rise to the top. Many public schools saw their visual, performing and musical arts programs cut completely during the last recession. A few schools are taking the research to heart, weaving the arts into everything they do and finding that the approach not only boosts academic achievement but also promotes creativity, self-confidence and school pride.’
Brava Art Press, Visual Art for Children, Teachers and Parents
An Art site schools might like to join?
‘Children who participate in the Brava Art Visual Art Program express their thoughts, ideas, and feelings, and at the same time, they develop their own symbols and techniques to create their art works.As artists, children are encouraged to rely on the concept of personal freedom and expression – utilizing a variety of both new and old materials – to transform this Visual Art Program into a very creative adventure.’
Seeing Struggling Math Learners as ‘Sense Makers,’ Not ‘Mistake Makers’
The need to develop an activity based maths programme.
’In discussions of progressive and constructivist teaching practices, math is often the odd subject out. Teachers and schools that are capable of creating real-world, contextualized, project-based learning activities in every other area of school often struggle to do the same for mathematics, even as prospective employers and universities put more emphasis on its importance.’
Want to Raise Successful Boys? Science Says Do This (but their schools probably won’t)
‘This is a story about successful kids (especially boys), common sense, and research.
Most of us spend hours each day sitting at work. Science says it’s killing us, and we have developed all kinds of fads to combat it–from standing desks to smartphone alerts to get us up and moving. Armed with that knowledge, however, what do we force our kids to do each day at school? Sit still, for six or eight hours. Now researchers say that mistake leads us into a three-pronged, perfect storm of problems:’
From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:
Mathematics in education and ability grouping
Bruce Hammonds recently complied a recent blog with developing active maths programmes with links to practical resources for those interested.
‘Recently I had a discussion with some young teachers about the teaching of mathematics in schools – the teachers taught in the middle school area. It didn’t go to well! They have to do what’s expected of them – and that this was sadly influenced by what the secondary school maths teachers wanted students to have covered! Change requires leadership and a whole school approach.’
What do the learners think?
‘The people who know best about what attracts student’s curiosity, or things that worry them, are the students themselves. A visit to even the most child-centred classrooms will find very little reference to students’ questions, views and theories. All too often students are required to respond to what their teachers feel is important for them to learn.’