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Philosophy on Education

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Dan Pink: How Teachers Can Sell Love of Learning to Students. By Jennie Rose In his new book To Sell is Human, author Daniel Pink reports that education is one of the fastest growing job categories in the country. And with this growth comes the opportunity to change the way educators envision their roles and their classrooms.

Guided by findings in educational research and neuroscience, the emphasis on cognitive skills like computation and memorization is evolving to include less tangible, non-cognitive skills, like collaboration and improvisation. Jobs in education, Pink said in a recent interview, are all about moving other people, changing their behavior, like getting kids to pay attention in class; getting teens to understand they need to look at their future and to therefore study harder. At the center of all this persuasion is selling: educators are sellers of ideas. “We have a lot of learned behavior of compliance, and hunger for external rewards and no real engagement.” Why is it moving this way? “Here’s the thing,” he said. Related. 8 Things to Look For in Today’s Classroom. As I think that leaders should be able to describe what they are looking for in schools I have thought of eight things that I really want to see in today’s classroom.

I really believe that classrooms need to be learner focused. This is not simply that students are creating but that they are also having opportunities to follow their interests and explore passions.1 The teacher should embody learning as well. Will Richardson recently wrote this in a comment on one of my recent posts on what teachers need to be like in our current day and the focus that needs to be on learning: …we need teachers who are masters at developing kids as learners who are adept at sense making around their own goals. Teachers who are focused on helping students develop the dispositions and literacies required to succeed regardless of subject or content or curriculumThis moment is all about learners having an amazing new freedom to learn, not teachers having an amazing new freedom to teach. 1. What I have missed? Good Read: Highlighting Is a Waste of Time: The Best and Worst Learning Techniques. Manager or Leader: Which Are You? There has always been an on-going debate on the differences between a leader and a manager.

Many have asserted that leaders have followers, while managers have subordinates. Reading numerous articles on management and leadership styles had revealed to me several core differences between the two which would have probably resulted in such a portrayal. (Image Source: whatedsaid) That said, I’ve come to believe that such differences exist on a continuum, where on one extreme you can be a great manager and on the other extreme, you can be considered a true blue leader. Most of us will fall somewhere in the middle as both manager and leader, depending on the circumstances we face. So how can you tell if you are manager material or born to lead? 1. Leaders are more concerned about the direction or the overall strategy of the organization and then giving their followers the freedom to plan the details and meet goals and objectives. 2. 3. 4.

Hit the brakes! 5. 6. (Image Source: Fotolia) 7. 8. Elizabeth English: Why So Many Schools Remain Penitentiaries of Boredom. "It's harder to change a school than it is to move a graveyard. " Or, as it's also been said, "It's harder to change a history course than it is to change history. " I think we can all agree that our schools should be among our most dynamic and innovative institutions; but despite the endless talk about school reform, they remain among our most ossified.

Take a look at the typical American classroom, public or independent, urban or suburban, and what you will see looks very much like the classrooms of the 19th century. Yes, slates have been replaced (in most places) with digital tools, but the structure signals the musty past: teacher as authoritative source of knowledge, student as tabula rasa. Or take the structure of the school day itself, typically divided into seven 45 minute classes. Believe it or not, that schedule derives from Victorian factories where industrialist Frederick Taylor concluded that workers were most productive when they changed stations every 45 minutes.

Embedded Inquiry. You know how when you have an epiphany and then wonder how you could have ever not known that thing you just realized? That happened to me today while I was speaking with Chris Pedersen, a colleague at Rockridge. He had just told me about his lesson when it hit me: embedded inquiry – that’s what works. Dylan Wiliam published a book recently called Embedded Formative Assessment. As made obvious in the title, the premise is that assessment should permeate a lesson: love that. Why wouldn’t the same be true with inquiry? Let’s review: Inquiry means to ask questions and investigate those questions. All of this good stuff happened in Chris’ Social Studies 8 class today. “I just suddenly decided what I wanted the year to be about and telling them the answer would have been boring,” he told me. In Math 8, Kelly Spearman and Daphne Lambie’s students were outside using their phones to take pictures in response to the questions, “Where do I see math?”

Believing in Students: The Power to Make a Difference. After a morning Discipline With Dignity training, the high school principal and I walked to the cafeteria to eat lunch. He said, "I love your session, but it's not practical. " I responded with my view that it was practical because it works -- but it’s just not easy. He pointed to a girl sitting alone at a table and said, "Do you think it would work with her?” She looked like she was a character from the Mad Max movies. She had just been released from federal prison. So he again asked what I would do. I said, "I'm someone writing a book on teenage violence, and I think you know better about it than me. Her answer is one that I will never forget and has been one of the constants in my work ever since. Because she's stupid. Then she started crying.

I ain't going to college and I ain't getting a job. Later I put her name, Roxanne, in my book and tried to find her to give her a copy, but nobody knew where she was or how to find her. Sometime later, I traveled the country doing trainings. 1. 4 Ways to Increase Student Attention in the Age of Distraction. MIT professor Sherry Turkle tells a story of teaching a class on memoir, during which students talked openly about the intimate details of their lives, meanwhile their classmates texted under their desks. “We were losing the sense of this class as a conversation, and that is the value of what we’re there to do together,” she remembers.

Turkle, author of Alone Together, is not alone in her concern about where technology has the potential to take the classroom—and society—should we let it. On this blog, I’ve written about how when left to their own devices (quite literally), some students will check their phones excessively during class (18 times in 50 minutes, for example), but I’ve also written about how and why professors should teach with the very technologies that are distracting their students, like smartphones, Facebook and Twitter. Technology: An Attention Thief Technology, of course, is the future. Hardly anyone can dispute that. 4 Ways to Increase Student Attention. My “Top 3″ List for 2012 « December 27, 2012 by cultureofyes My “Top 3″ blog list is becoming a bit of a tradition with previous Top 3 lists for 2011 (here) and 2010 (here). This “top” list is an opportunity to review ideas that have become a big part or our learning over the past 12 months, which may have been missed in the “drinking from the firehose” approach (what has become social media and the Internet).

I continue to shuffle the categories, trying to take a different approach to these year-end lists. They are a great way to raise topics, discussion, debate, and perhaps shed some light onto areas deserving more attention (or topics missed) as the year went on. I look forward to others adding their thoughts on my “Top 3″ of 2012. Top 3 “Culture of Yes” Blog Posts which have Generated the most Traffic this Year: 1. 2. 3. Top 3 Used (and often overused) Terms in Education for the Year: 1. 2. 3. Top 3 Growing Trends I See Continuing in the Next Year: 1. 2. 3. 1. 3. 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 3. Why It's Time to Eliminate Class Schedules | Grades on GOOD. I spend a lot of time in a philosophical tug-of-war with students and parents over what grades mean, why we give them, and how they should be interpreted.

Parents want to know how their child is doing, students want to be left alone, and teachers just want everyone to think a bit more critically about the material. We end up with conflicting pressures, and a grading system that has overstepped its bounds with disastrous results for student psychology. Cheating, lying, extra credit for bringing in a box of Kleenex—it’s all the same disease. As I stare out across the ocean of students I teach everyday, I wonder if their obsession with grades comes from an unexpected source: the way we schedule their classes.

Perhaps clamoring for meaningless grades and inflated A’s is a side effect of the herd mentality present in schools and the schedules we use to create and maintain that mentality. Maybe my students are worried about grades because they know their time is short. How 17-Year-Old Nikhil Goyal Is Disrupting Education. At 17 years old, Nikhil Goyal is shaking up America’s education system.

Goyal is a senior at Syosset High School, a public school in New York. While most high school students focus on athletics, academics, and socializing, Goyal aims to transform the American education system. Goyal’s book, One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School ,describes the flaws within America’s education system and provides solutions to fix the present challenges. He explains the importance of finding progressive leaders to transform our nation’s education system. “Everybody is born with innate curiosities,” Goyal said. Goyal encourages students to get involved in the education movement by writing about their personal experiences within the classroom through creating a blog. “When I was documenting some of the work schools were doing, it was very pragmatic,” Goyal said. “When we allow students to have a voice, we can revolutionize the education system,” Goyal said. A Simple Guide To 4 Complex Learning Theories.

» Start with your strengths and focus on your bright spots I know this much is true. 21st Century Learning…blah blah blah. Cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by mrsdkrebs Right now you probably hear as many people talk about how annoyed they are with the term “21st Century Learning” as you will hear people talking about the importance of it. I will have to admit, I am in the “annoyed” camp.

We often talk about these ideals of what “21st Century Learning” will look like but I think we can start with something much simpler. We should start asking, “How do we ourselves best engage in our own learning?” I was reminded of this the other day while at a conference and the presenter started the session by saying, “I would like to start by asking everyone to put away their mobile devices.” The room was split down the middle with those who were offended by his statement, and those that knew he was joking.

Educators as learners would often be offended if we were told the tools or way that we are allowed to learn at any point, yet often many do not flinch at asking their kids to do the same. How do we like to learn? Mike McKay » Secondary School Transformation Continued. In a previous blog entry, I touched on some of the drivers for secondary school transformation. It is complex work and well underway in various places, but typically one piece at a time. For system change to provide maximum benefit for kids, we need to align our efforts, learn from each other and gain more familiarity and confidence with new ways to support learning.

Here are a few more of the pieces that help to put the puzzle together: Step away from the assembly line secondary timetable/class schedule and the “seat time” foundation of the old teaching/learning dynamic. Encourage and resource flexible learning time and space, including the expansion of “hybrid” courses. Connected Learning. We All Want Flexibility « April 9, 2012 by cultureofyes If asked, most people would agree they could do well with more flexibility in their life – this is also true in the education field, and almost all education reform movements include a call for greater flexibility. Of course, this can mean something very different from one person to the next. For me, flexibility is about giving more choice and ownership. I shared this slide (below) in a recent presentation giving an overview of what I think flexibility means in the education context.

Just as we talk about students owning their own learning as an optimal goal, the same is true for adults; the more we own our learning (and teaching), the more optimal and powerful a system we will have. As a leader in a school district, I want all levels of government to grant us the flexibility to allow districts to have their own flavour, or character within a larger framework. Granted, flexibility is only part of the equation.

Like this: Like Loading... Successful School Leaders Today Need to Harness Technology & Social Media. School leadership is complex. It’s often an enigma. It is simultaneously invigorating and exhausting. School and system leaders are pulled in hundreds of directions by hundreds of constituents every second of the day. Having the passion, skills, strategies, and with-it-ness to thrive in a position of school leadership requires, in part, taking the opportunity to learn from the experiences of other leaders. I had the opportunity to review William Sterrett’s recent publication, Insights into Action: Successful School Leaders Share What Works, published by ASCD. This book features the success stories of a number of school leaders, including Principal Baruti Kafele and Superintendent Pam Moran, both of whom I hold in high regard.

Connected learning & leadership Highlights from the book Insights into Action offers a general overview of key elements of school leadership, with examples of how successful school leaders have achieved success in these areas. About the author. I'm speaking at Red Deer College on April 4. Classroom without walls. To do whatever you tell me. Do you remember that scene from Forrest Gump when Gump joined the army and met his Drill Sergeant?

Drill Sergeant: Gump! What's your sole purpose in this army? Forrest Gump: To do whatever you tell me, drill sergeant! Drill Sergeant: God damn it, Gump! You're a god damn genius! This is the most outstanding answer I have ever heard. Sometimes I think this is precisely how school works. We've confused obedience with learning for too long. In his book Stop Stealing Dreams, Seth Godin breaks it down into two columns: AwareCaringCommittedCreativeGoal-settingHonestImprovisingIncisiveIndependentInformedInitiatingInnovatingInsightfulLeadingStrategicSupportive ----------------->or Obedient Which column would you want for your kids? Godin writes: Now that obedience is less important and learning matters more than ever, we have to be brave enough to separate them. To solve this problem, demanding more obedience and compliance will be at best unhelpful and at worst harmful.

Fun Failure: How to Make Learning Irresistible. Future of Teaching: Swedish School System Goes Classroom-Free. How To Start a Meditation Program in Your School. An Open Letter to Educators. Do Students Know Enough Smart Learning Strategies? My Top Ten in Ten Days – Celebrating my 100th Blog Post – 1/10. Everything you know about curriculum may be wrong. Really. Schools Are Prisons. Did You Attend a School Like This? | GYA today. Livebinders.

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21st Century Learning. What to Look for in a Classroom. “We Don’t Need No Stink’n Textbooks” #Beyondthetextbook. Videos to help you rethink education, learning, & school. The Best Ideas for Our Schools. Cooperative Catalyst. High Tech High. Stop Stealing Dreams – Seth Godin’s Manifesto on Transforming Education. Misguided Efforts in Educational Reform. Foundations: The Learning Landscape. Guest Blog: What's the Best Way to Teach "At-Risk" Students? Mike McKay » Means or Ends. Where’s our Focus? You can never replace the teacher. Or can you? 8 ways to learn without teachers. 21 Things That Will be Obsolete in 2020. Four game changers.

What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success - Anu Partanen - National.