Friday, 1 July 2016

The power of inquiry/Star Trek/ Dyslexia/ Future Education and other educational readings for creative teachers.

Don't just keep doing what you are doing.

By Allan Alach

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

I Wonder" Questions: Harnessing the Power of Inquiry
What?Why? How?
‘Students always have questions. When's the homework due? How does Siri understand what I'm saying? Why is the sky blue? Student questions can be funny, insightful, and at times wildly off-topic. Rather than fielding these questions one-by-one when they come up, the teachers at Crellin Elementaryrecord student "I wonder" questions so that they can view them holistically, and use what they find to develop lessons and projects that will harness student curiosity.’

The Failure of Failure
Alfie Kohn:
‘A few years ago, two researchers in Singapore published a study that compared the effect of traditional and progressive instruction in middle-school math. The traditional approach consisted of having students listen to lectures and individually solve practice problems with clearly defined right answers. The progressive approach was defined by collaboration, discovery, and open-ended questions. If you’re surprised to learn that the latter turned out to be much more effective….

Global Shift In Education

Consequences of mass education

Education that trains people to be blind about the consequences of their actions is downright dangerous. Even worse, untold millions have no real clue, what their actions lead to, and lack the curiosity to develop it. It did work within the old context and order of the world. Needs and context however have changed so much, that we need to alter our course fast. The survival of our species is at stake, wars may be prevented, scarcity avoided, madness and maniacism overcome. It needs to step away from simple professional preparation to fulfill a job within a company. To do so education needs to level up.’

If you have dyslexia, this website can show your friends what reading is actually like.
This will test you
‘The letters within each word on the site are scrambled and moving around erratically, and although you might be able to read each sentence if you slow down and focus, it's no walk in the park. It's a glimpse into what someone who has dyslexia might have to deal with every day.’

Lessons from Star Trek: Forging a New Path in Our Schools
‘The Captain Kirks of education must stop doubling down on traditional academic instructional time and test preparation and instead devote instructional time to social-emotional and character development and its integration throughout the school day. The highest obligation of educators is to prepare students for the future life challenges they will face in college and in their careers, and to prepare them for a life of civic responsibility and participation.’

Hey, so-called Leaders. Ya want feedback or measurement?
‘Are our students also becoming good at "playing the game of school", such as studying for the short-term or the next test, rather than learning for deeper understanding and analysis, necessary
Are schools paying this game as well?
for higher level cognitive work such as problem-solving, creativity and critical thinking?  And guess what, when those students become employees, managers included, they may be good at showing what the boss wants to see and hear, rather than pursuing the path of real growth and excellence.’

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

Envisioning Future Education: 6 Exciting Predictions
Meet George Jetson!” My childhood Saturday mornings were spent imagining what the world would be like many years from then. Cities in the sky, automated rituals, robots working for us—it was the stuff of wonder. Countless humans have tried to predict what the future will be like. Some predictions have come true. Look at smartphones, web conferencing, and holograms, just to scratch the surface. As we move forward, the roads less traveled” will become well traveled. Shortcuts will be discovered, and more efficient and comprehensive vehicles” will take us there.’

The Mindful Classroom: Building a True Learning Haven
An extremely boring environment?
What is a mindful classroom? How does it work, and how does the concept fit into teaching and learning? Teaching in a mindful classroom can help students remain calm in stressful situations. It lets them think clearly when confronted with academic challenges. Helping them develop mindfulness early on will surely shape their demeanor in future situations, and may positively affect their character.’

Learning from Creative Teachers
‘Creativity in learning is often highlighted as a skill essential for success in the 21st century. Daniel Pink (2005) notes that creative thinking is increasingly necessary to accomplish goals in our complex, interconnected world.Despite this increased attention to creativity, we still have little
Hard to be creative in audit culture!
understanding of how to nurture and support creativity in current classroom contexts, particularly creative teaching. The U.S. climate of high-stakes testing and scripted curriculums makes it difficult for education stakeholders to infuse creativity into teaching practices (Giroux & Schmidt, 2004). Teachers and administrators face the question of how to successfully integrate creativity into teaching practice when teachers have many pressures and little leeway.’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Fundamentals in education
The creation of the mind
A self creating organ - it feels as well as thinks
‘In recent years education has become more and more cognitive or rational; learning that can be seen and measured so as to prove evidence of growth. In the process real fundamentals have been overlooked.The creation of the mind is more than simply cognitive. The mind is a unified, active, constructive, self creating, and symbol making organ; it feels as well as thinks – feelings and emotions are a kind of thought. Attitudes are created from feelings and emotions.’

Schools need Jesters
Bring back the Jesters!
‘The idea is worth spreading throughout all organizations to combat the blindness created by past success. It is one way to counteract the conformity which pervades top down management. Telling the truth is difficult in too many environments and as a result organizations fail to adapt to changing environments. As Oscar Wilde wrote, ‘Telling the truth makes you unpopular at the club’

Tapping into the student's world
‘The stance taken about how children learn is vital. Those who think they know more than the child work out prescribed curriculums and, as part of this, develop elaborate systems to see thing as are being learnt - including National testing. This is the 'jug and mug' theory of learning where the teacher is the full jug and the teachers job is to pour knowledge from the full jug to the empty mug

Explore the kids world - observe, inquire, express

.For others the aim is to do everything to keep alive those innate desire to learn - or to 'recover' it if it has been subverted by prior experiences.’

from leading and learning

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