background preloader

Angela Lee Duckworth: Grit: The power of passion and perseverance


The Three-Step System For Getting Students to Do the Talking I remember the first time I heard the phrase “student-centered classroom” and I almost chuckled. I had always believed my classroom was about the students, they were the reason we taught and my focus was always on their learning. This new terminology sounded like another buzzword and I didn’t pay much attention to the presentation until I heard this: Whoever is doing the talking is doing the majority of the learning. In your classroom what is the ratio of teacher-talk to student-talk? I had never thought about this balance between teacher-talk to student-talk before. Whether it was a discussion, a project, or an activity–they were more engaged and empowered than when I was doing the entertaining. I set off that year to give my students more of an opportunity to lead classroom discussions, have a choice in their projects, and ultimately make my classroom a student-centered space to learn and grow. The idea of a student-centered classroom is great. But she missed the real issue. **Crickets**

Inside Outside Circles Discussion Activity Do you sometimes set up discussion activities, only to watch as students either gawk at each other uncomfortably, allow 1 or 2 individuals to dominate or end up talking about something completely off-topic? This activity is a great way to generate lots of focused talk. Because the discussions are short and have a specific prompt to guide them, there is no option to not speak, and not enough time to exhaust the points that could be made. Here's how it goes: Divide the class into 2 equal groups.One group forms an outer circle, and the other an inner circle.Students are given a question to discuss a timer is set (the number of minutes depends on the focus of the discussion but usually around 1-3 minutes is enough).When the time has expired, one of the circles moves clockwise or anticlockwise while the other remains stationary. Watch more on this, and see it in action below. This activity is so adaptable, it can be used in any subject where a discussion is beneficial to the learning.

How to Help Teenagers Keep Track of Their Stuff After a meeting at my twins’ high school, I encountered a mountain of water bottles, sweatshirts, jackets, lunch totes and more in that lost and found pile. Every year, families outfit kids with new back-to-school clothes and gear. How can we help make sure our kids bring it all back from school? “It is important for educators and parents to understand that the areas of the brain related to executive functioning do not mature until a person is in their mid-20s,” said Dr. Mark Bertin, a developmental behavioral pediatrician in Pleasantville, N.Y. Adults tend to expect high school students to show a certain level of responsibility that demands executive functioning skills such as planning, organization and memory, which may be developmentally challenging for some. Dr. “Often there is a perception that teens need to figure things out completely on their own, but executive functioning is like other skills, and sometimes adults need to help teens learn that skill,” Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Ms. Dr.

Secondary Traumatic Stress for Educators: Understanding and Mitigating the Effects Roughly half of American school children have experienced at least some form of trauma — from neglect, to abuse, to violence. In response, educators often find themselves having to take on the role of counselors, supporting the emotional healing of their students, not just their academic growth. With this evolving role comes an increasing need to understand and address the ways in which student trauma affects our education professionals. In a growing number of professions, including firefighters, law enforcement, trauma doctors and nurses, child welfare workers, and therapists and case managers, it is now understood that working with people in trauma — hearing their stories of hardship and supporting their recovery — has far-reaching emotional effect on the provider. The condition has numerous names: secondary traumatic stress (STS), vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue.

Inequality in school discipline rates Elementary school discipline policies that rely on expulsions or suspensions as punishment may be fostering childhood inequality, a new study shows. These policies are not rare but can unfairly impact African-American children, says University of Michigan researcher Garrett Pace, who along with colleagues at the University of Maryland and Pennsylvania State University collaborated on the study. The higher rate of black children suspended or expelled from (USA) schools appears largely due to differences in their school characteristics rather than to differences in behaviour problems, the researchers say. “More disadvantaged schools should be provided resources and training to use more inclusive disciplinary practices,” said Pace, a U-M sociology and social work doctoral student. Previous research has documented racial disparities for discipline in middle and high school but few studies focus on the risk in elementary schools nationwide. Racial disparities remained high.

Harvard Just Discovered that PowerPoint is Worse Than Useless You may not have known this, but there's such a thing as a World PowerPoint Championship. This year it had around 850,000 students from 119 countries, and has a state, national, and world competition. The prizes are pretty cool. The only US student to win in the world competitor, one Seth Maddox of Geraldine, Alabama (population: 900) won a $10,000 prize, a laptop, and, of course, a trophy. Way to go, Seth! When I first stumbled across this story in Slate, I assumed that the competition was to see who could make the most effective PowerPoint presentation. Well, I thought wrong. While that's a metric that can be easily measured, it's also Microsoft's tacit admission that it's not meaningful to measure the effectiveness of PowerPoint presentations, or else they'd measure that instead. Intuitively, we all know that PowerPoint is a horrible time-suck. At least two peer-reviewed studies buttress the anecdotes. Consider that for a second. And that estimate was made 23 years ago.

iPads in schools: a blessing or curse? At Ratoath College, a 1,000-pupil secondary school in Co Meath, hundreds of parents are locked into a bitter row with school management over its iPad-only policy for junior cycle students. On the one side of the divide is a large group of parents who say they are worried about too much screen time and fear the approach is harming their children’s education. On the other is the school, along with some less vocal parents, who say digital technology is crucial to preparing children for the modern world. Ratoath, however, is a microcosm of a debate raging across the country. Feelings run unusually high over the issue, with over 100 teachers, researchers, parents and students responding to an Irish Times tweet asking people for their views on digital technology: some of the rows became ugly enough for people to block each other online. The Department of Education takes a largely hands-off approach to how schools use digital technology. Digital natives Interactive content

Review: What’s your Teaching Identity? What’s your Teaching Identity? Helen WaldronAcademic Study Kit 2016 As Helen Waldron states in the Introduction, identity ‘is a very complex issue’ so I was curious about what she would add to the topic in a mere 26 pages. Teacher identity is very well covered in the academic literature and Crandall & Christison (2016: 11) acknowledge as central ‘the development of a teacher identity, identifying with language teaching as a profession, and, over time, becoming the type of teacher one desires to be’. However, Helen is candid that her contribution is not an academic paper. The anecdotal tone and grassroots application (at last, a book written by an actual teacher!) Helen sets out her own definition of identity: When Helen asked a sample of teachers to describe their teaching identity in one word, the responses all fell into the first two categories, leading Helen to the conclusion that teachers are primarily inward-looking. There is a portrayal of EFL teachers as not fitting the mould.

Optimising Learning Using Retrieval Practice References Butler AC (2010) Repeated testing produces superior transfer of learning relative to repeated studying. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 36: 1118–1133. Carpenter SK (2012) Testing enhances the transfer of learning. Current Directions in Psychological Science 21: 279–83. Hartwig MK and Dunlosky J (2012) Study strategies of college students: Are self-testing and scheduling related to achievement? Jensen JL, McDaniel MA, Woodard SM et al. (2014) Teaching to the test… or testing to teach: Exams requiring higher order thinking skills encourage greater conceptual understanding. Kang SHK, McDermott KB and Roediger HL (2007) Test format and corrective feedback modulate the effect of testing on memory retention. Kapler IV, Weston T and Wiseheart M (2015) Spacing in a simulated undergraduate classroom: Long-term benefits for factual and higher-level learning. Karpicke JD, Lehman M and Aue WR (2014) Retrieval-based learning: An episodic context account.

Michael Morpurgo on fighting Brexit: 'I've been spat at. It's almost civil war' | Books Michael Morpurgo has all the trappings befitting a prolific, bestselling and beloved children’s author. There is the National Theatre production (War Horse, still touring the globe) and its Spielberg movie adaptation; the stint as children’s laureate (a post he helped create); the gold Blue Peter badge and the knighthood. But as a vocal campaigner against Brexit, he is getting used to rather a different kind of reception. “I’ve been spat at,” Britain’s storyteller-in-chief says nonchalantly over lunch at his local pub in an idyllic Devon village. “Well, it had stars around it!” When not putting his head above the parapet with newspaper articles and an appearance in what Channel 4 News called “the most polite Brexit debate ever”, Morpurgo can be found at home in bed, writing prolifically in school exercise books while propped up on a pile of pillows (inspired by his hero, Robert Louis Stevenson). “It’s a difficult line to draw, but I think one must err on the side of upsetting people.

Teaching and Learning Research Summaries: A collection for easy access. There are several superb summaries of educational research that have been compiled into easily accessible websites and articles in pdf format that can be read online and shared with staff. Although they are easy to find via an internet search, I am pulling them together into one place for easy access. I’ll keep adding to it as I find things and when people make suggestions: John Dunlosky: Strengthening the Student Toolbox Barak Rosenshine: Principles of Instruction See also: Rosenshine Re-ordered. Rob Coe et al: What makes great teaching. Dylan Wiliam: 9 things every teacher should know- via tes The article is here: with a nice box inset about that researchers – many of whom are featured in the other summaries represented here. James Ko et al: Effective Teaching John Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory, summarised by Oliver Caviglioli for How2. Daniel Willingham’s Why don’t kids like school. Also, for quick reference:

Leading the use of research in schools source: @skeeze I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Dan Haesler on his podcast Habits of Leadership. You can listen to the 30 minute episode here. We talked about using research in schools and about the importance of considering our own biases, limitations, assumptions and blind spots. We talked about teachers being extremely busy with their daily work. We talked about data, which is ubiquitous in schools. Even those types of evidence considered top tier ‘best evidence’ (randomised control trials systematic reviews and quasi-experimental studies) can only show schools what has worked (somewhere, for someone), not what works or what might work. We talked about leadership, including ways of leading that privilege the development of the group, rather than the celebration of the individual. The artefacts of a school—such as policies and procedures—should align with the school’s purpose and beliefs. Like this: Like Loading...

Reflecting on my first year in the classroom • Chartered College of Teaching My motivations for becoming a teacher after a successful career in industry were numerous. Like most professionals entering the world of teaching, I wanted to make a difference to my students and inspire more of them to grow through my subject. However, once I got into the classroom during my first ITE placement, I remember thinking that teachers were like circus performers – they were seemingly able to juggle many things at once, all whilst walking through fire. I observed this and thought, ‘How am I ever going to manage to do all of this?’ Fast-forward three years and when I look back to where I started, the pace of progress I have experienced is staggering. When reflecting on that first year and what advice I would give to myself right at the start, a few experiences – from which I started to learn how to juggle and walk through the fire without getting (too badly) burnt – instantly leap to mind. 1. 2. 3. Key takeaways: Model everything. References

The Pedagogy Of John Dewey: A Summary The Pedagogy Of John Dewey: A Summary by Steve Wheeler, Associate Professor, Plymouth Institute of Education This is number 7 in my blog series on major learning theories. My plan is to work through the alphabet of psychologists and provide a brief overview of their theories, and how each can be applied in education. John Dewey is one of the giants in the history of educational theory, and it’s difficult to isolate one of his specific theories to discuss here. The theory and how it can be applied to education Even before the constructivist theories of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky were widely known, Dewey was talking about how children learn best when they interacted with their environments and were actively involved with the school curriculum. Dewey further argued that for education to be at its most effective, children should be given learning opportunities that enabled them to link present content to previous experiences and knowledge. Reference Dewey, J. (2011) Democracy and Education.