background preloader

Stop, Start, Continue: Conceptual Understanding Meets Applied Problem Solving

Stop, Start, Continue: Conceptual Understanding Meets Applied Problem Solving
I recently became the Chief Academic Officer for the International Baccalaureate (IB) after more than two decades of working in and leading IB schools. In IB World Schools, we endeavor to create internationally-minded young people who, recognizing our common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help make a better and more peaceful world. Just prior to taking this position, I led the intense experiential living and learning of a United World College (UWC). I was part of an intimate and remotely-located community of 160 students who lived on the Vancouver Island site, along with faculty and their families, for two intensive pre-university years of transformational learning. Together, we pursued the UWC mission of making education a force to unite people, nations, and cultures for a sustainable future. Every year we built a community that modeled what all of us wished for in the wider world. What should we stop doing? How might we help to make that happen? Stop rushing.

Related:  jacquelinecodyCreativity and EmpathyInquiry/Project based learning

Your Innovation Team Shouldn’t Run Like a Well-Oiled Machine Most innovation teams inside large companies are set up to operate like well-oiled machines. They move in a specified direction at a predictable speed. Since the early 1900s, this model has been the prevailing paradigm for how organizations are designed and run. The problem is that while this approach enables large-scale production, it doesn’t seem to work for innovation. Over the past several years, we have compared successful and unsuccessful innovation teams in a dozen global organizations. One of our key findings was that teams functioning more like machines – blindly following highly defined processes and execution plans — were the least effective at achieving their goals and coming up with innovations.

Inquiry-Based Learning: From Teacher-Guided to Student-Driven Student: I opened it up, and there was a root inside. Anne: What's exciting about the inquiry models that we go far and above what the curriculum expectations are. Kids are invested in their learning, and they're able to transfer and apply what they're learning in school to the real world. Lindsay: Inquiry based learning allows the students to be the thinkers. Teachers begin their lesson with an idea of where they want to end in mind, but really give the students the opportunity to drive it to that point. Lindsay: So your job, keep working through your procedure, when you all agree, I'll come back and check in with you.

MacDonald Duck Re-Visited: Implications for Culture, Society and Education This article written by the founding father of our SIG puts ELT today into wider social, economic, political perspectives. It reminds me that my main aim as an educator is to encourage a critical, non-conformist stance in my students. Encourage them to shake off social conditioning, see the world around them with fresh eyes, question taken-for-granted assumptions, and find personal meaning in the Aristotle quotation: “Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation”.Margit Szesztay Introduction “If you put a frog in water and slowly heat it, the frog will eventually let itself be boiled to death.” (Handy 1990) This paper sets out to share some concerns about our own survival.

How To Use Twitter For Exit-Slip Teaching - 8 Reflective Questions To Help Any Student Think About Their Learning by TeachThought Staff For in-person professional development from TeachThought on reflection in learning or any other topic your school or district might need, contact us today. What’s the big deal about thinking about something that already happened? In our ’10 Characteristics Of A Highly-Effective Learning Environment‘, we suggested that learning habits–reflection, for example–were constantly present and modeled. 9. Zero Degrees of Empathy by Simon Baron-Cohen – review The word "empathy" has been in use for little more than 100 years – it was coined in 1909, a translation of a German psychologist's neologism whose literal meaning is "feeling into" – but the concept is an ancient one. A capacity to feel what others feel, to delight and suffer with them, has been long associated with higher modes of consciousness ("The man who can see all creatures in himself, himself in all creatures," declares the millenniums-old Isha Upanishad, "knows no fear"). Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of developmental psychopathology at Cambridge University, has a particular interest in the nature and functioning of empathy. He has written two previous books on the subject, Mindblindness and The Essential Difference (in which he put forward the intriguing theory that autism is an extreme form of the less emotionally literate "male" brain).

Does your classroom make learning visible? – EDUWELLS I had a fantastic planning day with the leaders in my school yesterday where we evaluated how conscious and engaged our students were in their own learning. The consensus was that our overall system was still very teacher driven and much work had to be done to encourage teachers to involve the students in, and make them more aware of the process of learning they were experiencing. Why IS a Math test like a clay elephant? I know it is absurdly early in the year to be choosing the top book of the year, but here goes. I recommend Empathy by Roman Krznaric for both the quality of the content and its importance. Empathy, he tells us, is ‘the art of stepping imaginatively into the shoes of another person, understanding their feelings and perspectives, and using that understanding to guide your actions.’ Krznaric rejects the self-interested individualism that has been promoted for over 300 years by thinkers such as Thomas Hobbes, Adam Smith, Sigmund Freud and Richard Dawkins. Instead he draws on the latest understanding of psychology, evolutionary biology and neuroscience to demonstrate that we are naturally empathetic.

When Kids Have Structure for Thinking, Better Learning Emerges Amidst the discussions about content standards, curriculum and teaching strategies, it’s easy to lose sight of the big goals behind education, like giving students tools to deepen their quantitative and qualitative understanding of the world. Teaching for understanding has always been a challenge, which is why Harvard’s Project Zero has been trying to figure out how great teachers do it. Some teachers discuss metacognition with students, but they often simplify the concept by describing only one of its parts — thinking about thinking. Teachers are trying to get students to slow down and take note of how and why they are thinking and to see thinking as an action they are taking.

Empathy in Action: How Teachers Prepare Future Citizens How do children learn to care enough about others that they reap the personal rewards associated with giving? When young people develop empathy, they not only thrive in school and life, but they also impact their communities in positive, often extraordinary ways. Individual and societal success depends on raising and educating children who care about others. But we have misled today's children to believe that success is achieved through test scores, material wealth, and personal gain. In turn, there has been a measurable shift toward self-centeredness at a time when society depends more, not less, on people who give of themselves.

24 Questions to Enhance Students Reflective and Critical Thinking Skills August 31, 2014 Reflection is a fundamental skill from which is branched out all other thinking skills. Reflection is a form of meta-thinking, a process of deep contemplation and pondering. It is also the basis of critical thinking for we can not raise critical thinkers if we do not have good 'reflectors'. When students are taught the art of reflecting, they become independent learners who are engaged in a constant process of assessment and re-assessment of their learning needs and strategies. Reflection is all about questioning. To cultivate a reflective culture within your class, students need to be encouraged to pose challenging questions as to the way they learn and think.

Let creativity into the language class Creativity is not an optional extra for a language teacher, something off the wall to do on a Friday afternoon perhaps. Rather, creativity should be the teacher's best friend. For too long English language teachers have worried about finding the best method, the quickest, most efficient way to teach languages. But this quest for a pedagogic holy grail, however noble, is destined to fail, and for many reasons, not least because there are far too many variables flying around. 10 Tips For Launching An Inquiry-Based Classroom Transforming teaching practices is a long, slow road. But increasingly schools and teachers experiencing success are sharing their ideas online and in-person. Science Leadership Academy opened as a public magnet school almost ten years ago in Philadelphia. The educators that make up the school community have spent nearly half that time sharing best practices through a school-run conference each year and more recently by opening a second school in Philadelphia.