Friday, 13 May 2016

Grit/ Pasi Salberg/ Literacy/ Finland/Coding/Smart Schools

Education Readings
for creative teachers

By Allan Alach

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

The scientific case for doodling while taking notes
As I noted last week, Tony Buzan will be saying ‘I told you.’
“Using simple words and pictures helps us to see connections between pieces of information, get a better idea of what we understand and what we don’t, and remember what we’ve learned later on. Now I’m on a mission to get students to draw in every class and every subject—from kindergarten all the way up through college, and into their professional lives.

Rejecting Grit” While Embracing Effort, Engagement
“How does an educator reject the grit” movement but maintain an atmosphere in the classroom that encourages effort and engagement, especially for our most vulnerable students (black, brown, and poor)?
I think I have failed to address this important question fully so let me do so here.”

An interview with Pasi Sahlberg
I haven’t featured anything about Sahlberg for a while so….
“Quality learning for me is when you infuse curiosity, active engagement and meaning-making in the learning situation. From the teacher’s point of view understanding what the students are thinking and what they know about things to be learned are critical elements of good learning. In short, quality learning happens when students actively build links between their existing knowledge and what is to be learned. Teacher’s ability to really understand the minds of students is what constitutes good teaching and quality learning. Curiosity and genuine will to learn more about oneself, other people and the world around are the outcomes of quality learning for me.”

A Better Way to Read: In the era of attention deficits, the new text will not be black and white.
How can you adapt this in your classroom? I sure found the use of colour much easier to read on screen.“The mechanics of getting text into one’s brain require skill apart from that involved in processing the meaning in that text. As with something like swimming or skateboarding, it’s a skill where most people can become proficient, but everyone’s capacity for speed and precision is not equal. But there are ways to enhance our abilities.”

From Images to Words
“Pictures generate talk, a fact well appreciated by all teachers.This short post hopes to review some well known ideas as well as give you some new ones on using images to develop your students’ oral skills and foster communicative interaction in your lessons.”

Big data’ was supposed to fix education. It didn’t. It’s time for ‘small data.’
(Thanks to Tara Taylor-Jorgensen for this article.)
A post by Pasi Sahlberg and Jonathan Hasak:.
Beyond the big data - reality
“Big data has certainly proved useful for global education reform by informing us about correlations that occurred in the past. But to improve teaching and learning, it behooves reformers to pay more attention to small data – to the diversity and beauty that exists in every classroom – and the causation they reveal in the present.   If we don’t start leading through small data we might find out soon enough that we are being led by big data and spurious correlations.”

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

I have seen the school of tomorrow. It is here today, in Finland.’
Bruce’s comment: “More about Finland – could’ve been NZ if only!!
“As a public school dad and a university lecturer in rural Finland last semester, I found Finland’s school system to be an absolute inspiration, and a beacon of hope in a world that is struggling, and often failing, to figure out how to best educate our children.Over the past four decades,Finland has climbed to the top of the Western world in educational performance tests, and widely outpaced its fellow Nordic nations. Finland has also won recent #1 world rankings for most efficient education system, most stable nation, greenest country, freest press, women’s participation in the workforce, strongest property rights, least corrupt state, and most innovative economy.”

'Beebots' to teach coding in Nova Scotia classrooms
Bruce’s comment: “More about coding from Nova Scotia”

"Some of the skills that they will be getting through the use of technology are things like teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving and creativity," said Casey. She said coding will be applied across a range of subjects to help students prepare for post-secondary opportunities and an increasingly technical workforce.’

The Best Feedback is GATHERED, not GIVEN
Bill Ferriter:
“Ask yourself this: How often is the feedback process that you are using with students active and not passive?  How often does it turn your students into the main agents in a process of discovery, using their minds to create meaning and find sense in their own patterns of performance?”

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Cathy Wylie outlines new wave of change for New Zealand Schools!
Neo Liberal ideology and its impact on education in NZ...
Cathy Wylie
“In 1986 an ‘earthquake ‘hit education in the form of ‘Tomorrows Schools’ and self-managing schools were born.Now, almost three decades later, A  NZCER  chief researcher Cathy Wylie has written a definitive and compelling story of school self-management called ’Vital Connections: Why We Need More Than Self-managing Schools’.Cathy answers the questions: What was the real effect of ‘Tomorrows Schools’? Has the New Zealand Schools system improved as a result? And what changes are needed now to meet our expectations of schools?

Smart Schools
Smart Schools by David Perkins – a simple but powerful message.
David Perkins
“This book by David Perkins  is full of common sense about the art of teaching.‘Dreams are where the dilemma starts ’, he writes – dreams about great schools.‘We want our schools to deliver a great deal of knowledge and understanding to a great many people of differing talents with a great range of interests and a great variety of cultural and family backgrounds. Quite a challenge – and why aren’t we better at it.’
Some, he would say, is because ‘We don’t know enough.’Perkins, though, thinks they’re wrong, ‘We know enough now to do a much better job’. The problem comes down to this, ‘we are not putting to work what we know.’ 'We do not have a knowledge gap – we have a monumental use – of - knowledge gap’.Schools that use what we know he calls ‘smart schools’”

Observation - a basic learning skill
“Schools need to tap into student's curiosity and need to express ideas. It is this sensory resource of impressions that is called upon by learners when they come to read. Better still such experiences inspire students to talk, draw, write and then to read their own ideas. Before the word the experience is a simple enough idea - the more you notice the more words and ideas you will develop.”

from leading and learning

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