Critical and Creative Thinking. The Power of "I Don't Know" The role of teaching has evolved. No longer are we the carriers of knowledge, giving it to students and assessing if they can repeat facts successfully. We are, instead, tasked with teaching students how to find answers themselves. And it all starts with a simple three-word phrase: I don't know. Adopting a comfortable "I don't know" attitude is far more accurate for what we need to do as educators then pretending we know it all. It sounds counterintuitive, I know. After all, in many job interviews, "I don't know" stereotypically shows a lack of experience in the field, right? But in school where every client is a work in progress, we need to cultivate a certain excitement in not knowing something.
Changing Attitudes At the start of each year, I have to train students that I will not be feeding them answers. Rather, I will teach them how to develop questions. I will also teach them that when I ask them a question it's OK if they say, "I don't know. " In the Classroom 1. 2. 3. Vygotsky. The Maker Movement: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants to Own the Future. "Knowledge is a consequence of experience. " -- Piaget Many teachers know that children learn best by doing. Champions of project-based learning have decades of research to support this, including Edutopia’s own compendium. In recent years, the Maker movement has generated a new following in education with many teachers adding interesting new tools and materials like robots, 3D printing, e-textiles, and more. The idea that interesting materials and opportunities for students to work independently on in-depth projects dovetails nicely into what we know about creating optimal learning environments for children.
Should we worry that making in the classroom is just the new-new thing, soon to be replaced by some other newer new-new thing? Should we worry that lots of schools will run out and buy 3D printers without thinking about what they will do with them? I also think that "making" shouldn't be just making anything. Meaningful Learning This is much more than hands-on learning. Human Assets. SOLE Through Students' Eyes with Sugata Mitra - March 2014.
Fatal Attraction: America’s Suicidal Quest for Educational Excellence. [This is the introduction to my latest book Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World published by Jossey-Bass in September 2014. Also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.] In 2009 Dr. Beverly Hall, former superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools, was named America’s National Superintendent of the Year for “representing the ‘best of the best’ in public school leadership.” Hall was hosted in the White House by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. In 2010, the American Educational Research Association honored her with its Distinguished Community Service Award, which “recognizes exceptional contributions to advancing the use of education research and statistics.” Also in 2010, President Obama appointed Hall to the elite National Board for Education Sciences. What made Hall a national hero is precisely what brought about her downfall.
That virus is the rising tide of authoritarianism in the United States. References 1. 2. Five U.S. innovations that helped Finland’s schools improve but that American reformers now ignore. Originally published in Washington Post, 24 July 2014 An intriguing question whether innovation in education can be measured has an answer now. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development in its recent report “Measuring Innovation in Education: A New Perspective, Educational Research and Innovation” measures Innovation in Education in 22 countries and 6 jurisdictions, among them the U.S. states Indiana, Massachusetts and Minnesota. One conclusion of the OECD’s measurement of innovation between 2003 and 2011 is that “there have been large increases in innovative pedagogic practices across all countries … in areas such as relating lessons to real life, higher order skills, data and text interpretation and personalization of teaching.” The United States did not do very well when compared to other participating countries overall.
“Not surprising,” some commented, pointing to tougher accountability measures and an obsession with standardized testing in most parts of the country. The Ultimate Education Reform: Messy Learning & Problem Solving. Have you ever gone to the doctor with a rather vague problem? The kind of problem that has no obvious solution? “Doctor, my elbow hurts.” “Doctor, I have a runny nose.” “Doctor, look at this rash.” From that ambiguity, we expect our physicians to narrow down something that could have a thousand origins to the one specific cause, then make it all better with one specific treatment. It is not just physicians that we expect to have uber-problem solving skills either.
We tell the mechanic: “My car is making a funny noise, can you fix it?” A quarterback asks: “What’s the best play to run, coach?” We might ask a decorator: “I need help redoing this room. We might ask friends: “What do you think is the best car for me to buy?” Some of our ambiguous problems are mundane: “What toothpaste should I use?” From our first activity in the morning until the last thing we do before we visit dreamland each night, we are constantly engaged in a series of problems to solve — some easy, some hard. John Dewey on the True Purpose of Education and How to Harness the Power of Our Natural Curiosity.
By Maria Popova “While it is not the business of education … to teach every possible item of information, it is its business to cultivate deep-seated and effective habits of discriminating tested beliefs from mere assertions, guesses, and opinions.” “Do not feel absolutely certain of anything,” philosopher Bertrand Russell instructed in the first of his ten timeless commandments of teaching and learning in 1951. And yet formal education, today as much as then, is for the most part a toxic byproduct of industrialism based on the blind acquisition of certainty and the demolition of the “thoroughly conscious ignorance” that gives rise to real progress, both personal and cultural. To fuel the internal engine of learning is a lifelong journey we are left to steer on our own as the education system continues to flounder.
Teaching and learning are correlative or corresponding processes, as much so as selling and buying. He later adds: Illustration from 'My Teacher Is a Monster' by Peter Brown.