background preloader


Facebook Twitter

Tariq Yusuf

If you want to change the way people respond to you, change the way you respond to people. If you want me to know who you are, know yourself first.

How to Spark Curiosity in Children Through Embracing Uncertainty. In the classroom, subjects are often presented as settled and complete.

How to Spark Curiosity in Children Through Embracing Uncertainty

Teachers lecture students on the causes of World War I, say, or the nature of matter, as if no further questioning is needed because all the answers have been found. In turn, students regurgitate what they’ve been told, confident they’ve learned all the facts and unaware of the mysteries that remain unexplored. Without insight into the holes in our knowledge, students mistakenly believe that some subjects are closed. They lose humility and curiosity in the face of this conceit. But our collective understanding of any given subject is never complete, according to Jamie Holmes, who has just written a book on the hidden benefits of uncertainty.

He wants students to grapple with uncertainty to spark their curiosity and better prepare them for the “real world,” where answers are seldom clear-cut or permanent. “We’re much more certain about facts than we should be,” Holmes said. Assign projects that provoke uncertainty. Could Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose Be the Keys to Motivating Students?

Daniel Pink has studied motivation in the business world for a long time and he’s come to the startling conclusion that traditional ways of motivating employees with financial incentives doesn’t work.

Could Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose Be the Keys to Motivating Students?

In study after study, social scientists have found that external rewards narrow the focus and restrict possibilities, making it difficult for people to come up with creative solutions to complex problems. The only time incentives worked, in fact, was when the problem was mechanical and the path to the solution was straightforward. Instead, companies around the world have shown that employee motivation increases when people have autonomy, a driving purpose and the desire to perfect their craft. While his TED talk is framed in the language of business, it’s easy to see the parallels in Pink’s argument to schools and learning.

Teachers are preparing students for a world in which the jobs increasingly require problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. Watch Dan Pink lay out his case. What if All they want to do is Play Video Games? “Easy for you to say unschooling works,” someone told me.

What if All they want to do is Play Video Games?

“Your kids are interested in academic things. You don’t know my kids. If I unschooled, all my kids would do is play video games all day.” To which I can only laugh. Because, you see, I could spin it two ways. Or I could tell you that all they want to do is play video games. Both versions of the story would be true. Because of the hours and hours and hours and hours, day after day after day after day, month after month after month, year after year after year of video game playing, they naturally became immersed in Japanese things because that’s where Nintendo headquarters is. Their games sometimes have historical or mythological creatures in them, which gets them curious, resulting in google searches and family conversations. Because of their love of Japan, I got them each a subscription to Japan crate for their birthdays, where they get a box of Japanese goodies each month. The symphonies I mentioned? ResearchSummary. The Joyful, Illiterate Kindergartners of Finland. “The changes to kindergarten make me sick,” a veteran teacher in Arkansas recently admitted to me.

The Joyful, Illiterate Kindergartners of Finland

“Think about what you did in first grade—that’s what my 5-year-old babies are expected to do.” The difference between first grade and kindergarten may not seem like much, but what I remember about my first-grade experience in the mid-90s doesn’t match the kindergarten she described in her email: three and a half hours of daily literacy instruction, an hour and a half of daily math instruction, 20 minutes of daily “physical activity time” (officially banned from being called “recess”) and two 56-question standardized tests in literacy and math—on the fourth week of school.

That American friend—who teaches 20 students without an aide—has fought to integrate 30 minutes of “station time” into the literacy block, which includes “blocks, science, magnetic letters, play dough with letter stamps to practice words, books, and storytelling.” A working paper, “Is Kindergarten the New First Grade? The 13 most innovative schools in the world.

Mathias Eis Schultz Ørestad Gymnasium is one giant classroom, where more than 1,100 high school students spend half their time learning in an expansive glass cube — a "gymnasium," as parts of Europe still call secondary schools — to avoid traditional instruction. By encouraging students to collaborate in wide-open settings, the school hopes kids will be equipped to think flexibly on diverse topics later in life. "We want to have teaching where the students make research and work together in solving real problems," headmaster Allan Kjær Andersen tells Tech Insider. "So we want to be an open school that is in connection with the outside world.

" The open spaces, which are adorned with equally spacious "drums" for a more relaxed learning environment, encourage students to assume an active role in their own education. "It's not enough to give them knowledge, you also have to give them a way of transforming knowledge into action," Andersen says.


Democratic schooling. Problem based learning.