Friday, June 30, 2017

Creative Teachers / Teacher "burnout" /Sir Ken Robinson / Guy Claxton / digital learning and coding

Time to value creative teaches

Education Readings

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

Shifting Needs in a Digital World
Our kids need to learn the responsible and safe use of digital devices. They need to learn not only balance but also boundaries. And as parents and educators that means modeling limits and responsible use. What message do we send our kids when we ourselves are not present but instead distracted by the device in our hands, instead of focusing on them? Technology is a tool, and with it comes a means to powerful connectivity and knowledge, but in the end, it does not replace the importance of human interaction, face to face conversations and personal relationships.’

Thirty Minutes Tops
A nice little satire.
‘As a parent, I really cannot cover everything I want my kids to learn from me in the four hours I have them at home. I really like my kids teachers and I really appreciate all the work they do during the day, but due to the short amount of time I have my kids at home, I’m going to have to send some work back to school with my kids to complete during the seven hours they spend in the classroom. I apologize for the negative impact this work might have on the teachers and the rest of the class.’

Preaching the Value of Social Studies, in a Second Career
While spending anywhere from several weeks t o half a year on a topic might seem excessive, she said, students are really learning not just about that particular topic, but about how to study something. They’re learning that, when studying a culture, they need to look at a variety of features, like religious beliefs, economy and gender roles. When studying a system or an organization, they need to look, as Ms. Switzer often says, at “the tools, the rules, the consumers, and the workers.”’

Is it okay for children to count on their fingers?
‘Is it OK for children to count on their fingers? Generations of pupils have been discouraged by their teachers from using their hands when learning maths. But a new research article shows using fingers may be a much more important part of maths learning than previously thought.

7 reasons why 'marking' sucks
‘Inside the Black Box by Black &Wiliam, should be compulsory reading for all teachers, trainers and lecturer, so it was a delight to see him give a masterclass in assessment with solid, evidence-based advice that you can apply straight from the hip in teaching. Marking may do more damage than most educators realise. It is a summative assessment technique, all too often wrongly used in formative assessment.’

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

The need to place creativity central to all learning.
Bruce’s latest article.
‘Existing research has recognised that successful/creative people in any discipline use creativity to enhance their thinking but until now this has not been applied to exemplary teachers.  The study focussed on how exceptional teachers use creativity in the classroom and was based on in-depth interviews with highly accomplished teachers.’

Sir Ken Robinson: How to Create a Culture For Valuable Learning
‘“If you design a system to do something, don’t be surprised if it does it,” Robinson said at the annual Big Picture Learning conference called Big Bang. He went on to describe the two pillars of the current system — conformity and compliance — which undermine the sincere efforts of educators and parents to equip children with the confidence to enter the world on their own terms.’

How Silicon Valley Pushed Coding Into American Classrooms
Not just an American issue:
‘Last year, Microsoft and helped push for a career-education bill that, education researchers warned, could prioritize industry demands over students’ interests. Among other things, t
hey said, it could sway schools to teach specific computer programming languages that certain companies needed, rather than broader problem-solving approaches that students might use throughout their lives.“It gets very problematic when industry is deciding the content and direction of public education,” said Jane Margolis, a senior researcher at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.’

There's an essential skill not being taught enough in classrooms today
‘That skill is thinking. “Most teachers never really ask students to think very deeply…. Most of what is assigned and tested are things we ask students...“Most teachers never really ask students to think very deeply…. Most of what is assigned and tested are things we ask students to memorize,” ., a common underlying problem is this “dearth of critical thinking skills.”

Personalized Learning Is NOT Inclusion!
‘Personalized learning must not be mistaken for inclusion. The reality is that it’s student
An ability group of one
isolation!Inclusion is generally defined as the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. Doing schoolwork on a digital device by yourself is not inclusion. It’s ability grouping for one.’

Alarm raised over principals' burnout rate
I can really relate to this.
Rural school principals are struggling to cope with the demands of their job and the Educational Institute says it wants more help for them. The problem was highlighted at a recent meeting of principals who ran schools so small that they had to teach in the classroom as well as manage the school, the institute said.’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Guy Claxton - building learning power.
Great book
“We need, says Claxton, 'to provide our students with the emotional and cognitive resources to become the 'confident, connected, life long learners' ; the vision of the NZ Curriculum . To achieve this is all about powerful pedagogy.The important thing, he said, was to infuse the Key competencies into every thing that happens at school and not see them as a 'bolt on’.”
Write Now Read Later
‘These days reading, or better still the language arts ( now called by a more technocratic title 'literacy') seems to have been taken over by academics who are pushing a phonemic approach onto schools - 'P' Pushers! This is an approach that distorts the organic relationship between experience, oral language, writing and reading - all premised on a need to make meaning and to communicate.’

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