Friday, 4 November 2016



Education Readings

By Allan Alach


I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at allanalach@inspire.net.nz


What are our students doing 400 minutes a day?
‘If you are a parent you may wonder every now and then what your kids are doing all day in school. But, as an educator, teacher, and administrator (oh yeah, and I’m a parent), I’ve wondered out loud what a typical day-in-the-life of our students looks like.
In an effort to make this as visually appropriate as possible, I’m sharing with you the 100 block theory of learning.

Children should be starting preschool at 3, Victoria University study says
Another link from Phil Cullen, who comments:
Paul Wildman describes this as the ‘end of childhood’. It also  gives testucators the opportunity to condition the very young to NAPLAN preparation as a cultural imperative. Its feral nature makes it easy.  Sandal-makers should welcome this move with open arms. Down the gurgler we continue to go………
"We think it could be manageable and we think that the long-term benefits of that investment mean that the returns absolutely outweigh the costs.
"It means children are much more ready when they start school, they start school on a much more equal footing, it has flow on impacts to their NAPLAN scores, to their rates of Year 12 graduation.”

Report debunks ‘earlier is better’ academic instruction for young children
On the other hand …
‘Katz writes that longitudinal studies of the effects of different kinds of preschool curriculum models debunk the seemingly common-sense notion that “earlier is better” in terms of academic instruction. While “formal instruction produces good test results in the short term,” she says,  preschool curriculum and teaching methods that emphasize children’s interactive roles and initiative may be “not so impressive in the short run” but “yield better school achievement in the long term.”’

Why Daydreaming is Critical to Effective Learning
‘Most kids have cellphones, use social media, play games, watch TV and are generally more “plugged in” than ever before. This cultural shift means that in addition to helping students gain the transferable skills and knowledge they’ll need later in life, teachers may have to start helping them
Time to daydream
tune out the constant buzz in order to get their message across. It’s never too early to learn smart strategies to focus in on priorities and tune out what’s not immediately necessary. Many people believe they are skilled multitaskers, but they’re wrong. Neuroscience has shown that multitasking — the process of doing more than one thing at the same time — doesn’t exist.’

The Culture of Childhood: We’ve Almost Destroyed It
Children are biologically designed to pay attention to the other children in their lives, to try to fit in with them, to be able to do what they do, to know what they know.  Through most of human history, that’s how children became educated, and that’s still largely how children become educated today, despite our misguided attempts to stop it and turn the educating job over to adults.’

The Role of Metacognition in Learning and Achievement
Thinking about thinking
‘Metacognition, simply put, is the process of thinking about thinking. It is important in every aspect of school and life, since it involves self-reflection on one’s current position, future goals, potential actions and strategies, and results. At its core, it is a basic survival strategy, and has been shown to be present even in rats. Perhaps the most important reason for developing metacognition is that it can improve the application of knowledge, skills, and character qualities in realms beyond the immediate context in which they were learned.

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

Great expectations: how to help your students fulfil their potential
When you believe in your pupils, they will believe in themselves. Here’s how to create a culture of positivity in your classes. In the 1960s, a pair of researchers ran an experiment that changed the way the world thinks about expectations. Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson told a group of teachers that some of their students had been identified as having the potential to become very high achievers and that these students would bloom over the course of the year. These pupils were, in fact, chosen completely at random. But when the researchers returned at the end of the year, they found that the chosen students had, on average, made significantly more progress than their peers.’

Getting Restless At The Head Of The Class
‘They read a book quietly under their desks, pester the teacher for extra credit, or, perhaps, they simply check out and act up. Every classroom has a few overachievers who perform above their grade level and don't feel challenged by the status quo. A new report suggests they are surprisingly common — in some cases, nearly half of all students in a given grade.’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Who dares wins!
Are you an innovative thinker?  If you fire off ad hoc answers, hate timetables and resent authority you are a potential winner according to research on potential innovative thinkers by Dr Fiona Patterson, an occupational psychologist at Nottingham University.’

The source of school failure
‘One in five Melbourne four-year-olds have difficulty using or understanding language, a new study has found, putting them at risk of long-term learning difficulties. The study of 1900 children, published today in the journal Pediatrics, found that social disadvantage played a major role in the language outcomes of four-year-olds - despite having little effect at age two.


Looking back
A look back to the days when New Zealand had a real visionary in charge of education.
‘Dr Beeby believed in a creative role for education. He reminded those present in 1983 that the most important thing realized about education in the previous decades had been the discovery of the individual child. It is not that individuality wasn't appreciated earlier but that the school system was based on a mass education vision which made realizing such an idea impossible. A system, developed in the 1870s, couldn't conceive of individualising learning.’

Power of print
The rebirth of education - a real Renaissance
‘There are some who say we are now entering a new age -'A Creative Age', or a 'Second Renaissance'.  Our current institutions, shaped by Industrial Age thinking, are no longer able to cope - they are all well past their 'use by date'. We now need new minds for the new millennium. New minds will be shaped by the new communication mediums - where ideas can from anyone, anywhere, any time. An age of inter connectivity and creativity - a new Renaissance.If we are to revitalize our schools so as to engage all our students, and ultimately save our planet, it will require the death of education and its rebirth.’



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