Friday, May 27, 2016

Personalized learning/ 21stC learning/ National testing/ maths, reading and tips for writing.

Creativity not compliance and conformity
Education Readings

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

Against Personalized Learning”
Annie Murphy Paul
Interesting article by Annie Murphy Paul:
…is that it runs afoul of our current understanding of cognition. Put simply, knowledge is cumulative. What a child is capable of learning depends upon what she already knows. When a child encounters new information, if she lacks the preexisting knowledge to put the information in context, she will quickly become frustrated. She won’t learn. So to the extent personalization seeks to devolve a greater degree of the responsibility of acquiring new knowledge to students, it relies on the mistaken assumption that many or most students are properly equipped to make sense of new information.”

Why 21st Century Learning” is No More Than Status Quo
‘So here’s something to consider. 21st century reformers are NOT new. They are NOT cutting-edge. They are nothing they propose to be. In a world dominated by digital services and programs, and in a time in which Silicon Valley is home to the new robber barons, how can selling our education system out to their corporate interests really be cutting edge”? It’s what we have always done.’

5 Reasons Why Origami Improves Students' Skills
‘While some of the oldest pieces of origami have been found in ancient China and its deepest roots are in ancient Japan, origami can make an impact in today's education too. This art form engages students and sneakily enhances their skills -- including improved spatial perception and logical and sequential thinking.’

The idea that strong teacher unions impede education quality is ludicrous
We need strong unions
Throughout history teacher organisations have been the main driver of improving education quality and educational opportunities. Is it a coincidence that the 23 best performing nations on the Programme for International Student Assessment scale have strong education unions? Of course not. Many successful education reforms in the industrial economies were initiated by teacher unions, while the most effective professional development programmes are organised by teacher unions.’

Rigor spagis
An article from the Cambridge Primary Review Trust in the UK that discusses the deadening effects of national tests on children’s writing.
‘Only one of the eight relates to the point of putting pen to paper in the first place. Aside from ‘the pupil can create atmosphere, and integrate dialogue to convey character and advance the action’, the writing criteria spring entirely from the Government’s obsession with grammar, punctuation and spelling. I fear it is only too easy to meet the ‘expected standard’ with writing that is as lifeless, uninspiring and rigorous as the criteria themselves.’

The power of reading aloud: not just for babies and little children
Not just for little people
‘There is something special about reading books together at school. A clever teacher can turn the reading experience into an almost theatrical event, and transform ‘the class’ into a keen and interactive audience. A shared story is communal; it is protective to those who are most struggling, who are learning about words, how they sound and what they do; they are helped by hearing others say them. It helps to bring about a shared class-consciousness, a shared memory that enriches and motivates. Reading a shared story every day is one of the most rewarding teaching experiences and one with highly productive outcomes.’

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

One to Grow On / Beyond Grades and “Gotchas"
‘My perspectives on looking at student work have been honed over many years of teaching. I don't pretend to have it all right yet, but I think I'm wiser about that aspect of teaching than I was in my early years. Over time, I've arrived at four conclusions. Although a part of me wishes someone had told me these things as a beginning teacher, I know there's a difference between being handed a list of do's and don'ts and developing an understanding of how learning works. As Linus once told Charlie Brown, "There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker." Here are four elements of my evolving philosophy about looking at student work.’

How A Strengths-Based Approach to Math Redefines Who Is ‘Smart’
‘The three main tenets of Complex Instruction are that learning should have multi-ability access points, norms and roles that support interdependency between students, and attention to status and accountability for learning. In most Complex Instruction classrooms the majority of class time is spent with students working in groups of four on a rich task that has multiple entry points and ways it could be solved. If one student can solve the problem in his or her head, it’s not a rich task.’

Reie Routman
10 Surefire Ideas to Remove Writing Roadblocks
An excellent article by Regie Routman
So you want to teach writing well. It’s not as hard as you think. Yes, it’s a challenge, but it can be exhilarating.I believe writing – more than anything we teach – has the power to change students’ lives, for them to see themselves, sometimes for the first time, as smart thinkers and writers across the curriculum.’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Tapping into the student's world
‘Every student brings with them memories and ideas gained from the experiences they have had. All too often this personal form of motivation is overlooked by teachers who seem to think they have better ideas to use - their own. It is as if students come to school as blank slates ( tabula rosa) when instead they come with a wealth of ideas to share but to do their ideas need to be valued.’

Importance of School Values
‘A vision gives an organization a sense of direction, a purpose, but only if it is ‘owned’ and translated into action by all involved but vision is not enough in itself. The values that any organization has are just as important or even more so because they determine the behaviours that people agree to live within. Alignment of people behind values is vital but too often both vision and values are just words hidden in folders are rarely referred to. What you do must reflect what you believe if there is to be integrity. And any alignment needs to include students and parents as well.’
'Superkids'; the hurried generation!
‘The latest metaphor for education , and one with unhealthy consequences, is that of the ‘super kid’. This has resulted in what Elkind calls the ‘hurried child’. Arising out of an ideology of individualism and competition, this metaphor puts pressure on parents to hurry their children through childhood to give them an advantage in the future. It is an outcome of the ‘dog eat dog’, ‘me decades’, or the ‘yuppie me first’ culture!.

Friday, May 20, 2016

UK Education/ Literacy and computers/Philosophy teaching/ Michael Fullan and Pearson/ Seymour Papert and are the the three Rs' obsolete?

Education Readings by Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

Sorry, Nicky, I’m out.
An English teacher writes an open letter of resignation to UK Secretary of Education Nicky Morgan. If you think your version of GERM is bad, I’d suggest that England possibly tops the scale.
“Please accept this as written notice of my resignation from my role as Assistant Head and class teacher. It is with a heavy heart that I write you this letter. I know you’ve struggled to listen to and understand teachers in the past so I’m going to try and make this as clear as possible. In the six short years I have been teaching your party has destroyed the Education system. Obliterated it. Ruined it. It is broken.

Reading on a Screen Rather Than Paper May Affect What You Learn, Study Shows
Here’s another article suggesting that we may need to be more careful about believing the hype about technology.
‘A new study suggests that it’s not only what you read, but how you read it that matters.
Reading on paper versus on a digital screen may impact what you end up absorbing from the text, according to a study by Dartmouth researchers. This research is being presented at the Association for Computing Machinery conference in San Jose, California, this week, and has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. In the study, people who used computer screens for learning did better when it came to understanding concrete details, but they had more difficulty understanding abstract concepts.

It’s the Environment, Stupid
Annie Murphy Paul
Read about Paul Toughs findings
Rather than consider noncognitive capacities as skills to be taught, I [have come] to conclude, it’s more accurate and useful to look at them as products of a child’s environment. There is certainly strong evidence that this is true in early childhood; we have in recent years learned a great deal about the effects that adverse environments have on children’s early development. And there is growing evidence that even in middle and high school, children’s noncognitive capacities are primarily a reflection of the environment in which they are embedded, including, centrally, their school environment.”

Inverse Relationship Between GPA and Innovative Orientation
The more students focus on test scores, the less creative they become.
Another article by Peter Gray.
Testing out creativity!
‘Our educational system was designed for a different age, a time when jobs required rote performance and unquestioning obedience, where innovative thinking was considered to be unnecessary or even a liability for the majority of people.  Ironically and tragically, rather than adapt our educational system to the needs of our modern times we have doubled down on the old system, so it is harder today than ever before for young people to retain and build upon their natural curiosity and creativity.’

Study: Teaching Students Philosophy Will Improve Their Academic Performance
An interesting study from England.

Socrates and philosophy 

‘The kids who were taking philosophy classes improved their math and reading skills by about two months of additional progress compared to the students who didn't take the classes. The actual aim of the classes was to improve student confidence in asking questions and constructing arguments, but the additional academic gains were undeniable.’

The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten
One of the most distressing characteristics of education reformers is that they are hyper-focused on how students perform, but they ignore how students learn. Nowhere is this misplaced emphasis more apparent, and more damaging, than in kindergarten.’

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

A chance to look around three classrooms 

Bruce’s comment: I found these three short u-tube videos and thought they were useful to give insights into English primary school classrooms. All to often we read or hear from experts well distanced from the reality of the classroom.  All classrooms reflect the ‘message system’ of the
teacher or school.  The small videos below do just this.  I believe strongly in the importance of classroom environments and found the viewing most interesting. The fact they are not professional presentations adds authenticity to the small videos. Note Literacy and Numeracy ‘learning walls’, the emphasis on current interdisciplinary  topic displays . What would a tour of your room show?

Michael Fullan believes in an educational transformation? Pearson's role in education: A Rich Seam: How Pedagogies Find Deep Learning.
Bruce’s latest article.
‘Pearson's version of 'personalized learning' relies on 'data driven analytics' and technology to ensure  learning. Some of the schools following a 'Pearson's approach' look more like
 Larry Rosenstock:Wise words from New Tech High
high powered 
traditional schools with students learning through digital technology. My preference is the New High Tech approach, which is also referenced in the 'Rich Seams' document - a real world activity based school making use of a wide range of technology from carpentry tools to computers.

Read about this great book.
With Educational Technology, We Don’t Know What We’re Doing
Another Annie Murphy Paul article.
‘A head-slappingly obvious (yet often overlooked) point: Why are we spending millions upon millions of dollars on unproven technologies, when there are so many empirically-proven techniques from cognitive science and psychology that are going virtually unused?

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Learning from bamboo
Resilience - the ability to bounce back!
Before there was ‘grit’ we had ‘resilience’.
Bamboos are a great symbol of resilience, bending in the wind and quickly growing if it comes to the worst. Going with the flow and knowing when to sidestep are important skills of learning. It is all about resilience.  Students at school need help develop to learn to stick at tasks and to persevere so as to gain the satisfaction of achieving something they didn’t know they could do. Naturally the task has to be meaningful and worthwhile to the individual.’

Seymour Papert : The obsolete 'Three Rs' - blocking real change in education
Bruce’s comment: The place of the ‘three Rs’ in an age of computers. Worth reading if you teach in a MLE.
‘All this  Victorian emphasis on the ‘three Rs’  according to people like Professor Seymour Papert, a highly respected MIT expert in learning and computers, ‘expresses the most obstinate block to change in education’.’ The role of the basics’, he writes, ‘is never discussed; it is considered obvious’. As a result other important educational developments are being ignored. Papert is not questioning the importance of ‘the Rs’- children cannot learn effectively in all curriculum areas without them but they need too be 'reframed' to be seen as foundation skills to allow students to learn rather than ends in themselves.’

The urge to collect- and display
How can you incorporate this in your classroom?
‘When you visit people’s homes what they collect and display indicates what is important to them. Nothing is displayed with out some thought behind the object – each object has its own story to tell to the collector and to a visitor. Collections reflect the personality and interests of the owners. The urge to collect starts young and for some people early interests become lifetime occupations often turning into careers.’

Monday, May 16, 2016

Michael Fullan believes in a an educational transformation? Pearson's role in education

A Rich Seam : How Pedagogies Find Deep Learning.

Mining a seam of educational insight.

 Disclaimer:Warning to readers

I have to admit to being unsure about Michael Fullan, the role of  the Pearson Publishing Company and Charter schools but their are times, perhaps , when one should put such biases to one side?

Having said that, and 'researched' Pearson, I worry about a company claiming to be the 'worlds leading learning organisation'  and that I have may have been somewhat captured by the 'Rich Seam' document. Pearson  make their money out of textbooks, testing and now technology. Making money is at the core - this education as a business.

(Check out John Oliver's show on standardized testing and Pearson's role in educational testing!!)
A corporate takeover of education?

Pearson's version of 'personalized learning' relies on 'data driven analytics' and technology to ensure  learning. Some of the schools following a 'Pearson's approach' look more like high powered traditional schools with students learning through digital technology. My preference is the New High Tech approach, which is also referenced in the 'Rich Seams' document - a real world activity based school making use of a wide range of technology from carpentry tools to computers.

The issue of the 'new' Modern School Environments

I recent times I have been thinking about  the movement towards the development of flexible  Modern School Environments (MLEs) and that the provision of such buildings , equipped with modern information technology,  are being seen as the latest 'silver bullet' to transform schools. 

Which brings me  the Pearson document 'A Rich Seam'  of which Michael Fullan is a co-author.
Michael Fullan

I have found it worth the read and was interested to note that it states ' in our view new'  (Modern Learning Environments) 'facilities are nice, but not a requirement for effective implementation of the new pedagogy model.'

The goal of this report is to outline a new vision of education to ensure all students develop the dispositions to be 'creative, connected, and collaborative  life long long problem solvers... able to contribute to the common good.'

Hard to argue with that.

The authors believe that several forces are converging that will result in a revolution transformation of educational provision as we know it ; an educational 'perfect storm'.

The reason  for the inevitability of  dramatic educational changes are multiple:

Our current model is based on the sorting of people  resulting  inevitably in  school failures . The challenge now  to ensure all students leave schooling able to thrive in the future.

Students, as they 'progress' through the system find school programmes irrelevant and are increasingly bored and alienated. As well students have  growing tendency to gain their knowledge elsewhere by means of digital technology.

Traditional schools  do not provide students with the outcomes students need to thrive  in an unpredictable future.The report  says ,that literacy and numeracy, vital as they are,  are insufficient. All students need the wider, less well-defined outcomes, such as 'problem solving, collaboration, creativity, thinking in different ways, and building effective relationships and teams.'

Makes me think of five things  that are relevant in the New Zealand environment:

One: the need for schools to really implement the intent of the New Zealand Curriculum and to move away from National Standards.  Two:The need base learning on real world active
To 'seek , use and create'.
problem solving  tasks'  Three: the need to 're-framing literacy and numeracy' to provide the skills to needed to undertake such tasks.  Four: The need to develop new ways of assessing student progress  moving away from the 'sorting' required by National Standards. 
The report identifies current assessment and accountability model as the major barriers to the new  'deep' learning. And Five: the use of information technology  to assist learners in their research and   in communicating their findings. The report states that so far digital technology has not fulfilled it promiseIf the ideas in the report are implemented technology 'will finally begin to realize its promise to transform teaching and learning.'

One phrase from the New Zealand Curriculum comes to mind, aligning the report with the intent of 'A Rich Seam', is that all students should become  'seekers, users and creators of their own knowledge'.

Dewey would see technology as tools - a means to an end.

The report  acknowledges that much that is described is not new and  reaches back to the writings of Dewey, Piaget and Vygotsky but strangely no mention of more recent educators who have been expressing similar thoughts. Perhaps Pearson ( and Fullan ) don't want to share their work with others?

Play  means more than computer play

The authors emphasizes that the 'new' pedagogy they articulate is emerging from the 'front line' in the classrooms they visited.

The Report describes three forces that are converging to break open learning possibilities.

The first force 'the new pedagogies'  springs from the new learning partnerships between teachers and students that will be amplified with the use of  digital technology.

The second is 'change  leadership'  which 'merges top down and bottom and sideways energies'.

The last is economics that ensures that the provision of the first two forces more affordable.

My worry is that learning could too easily become too dominated by digital technology  rather than activity based learning supported by technology. 

The  'new pedagogies' are premised  on partnerships between teachers and learners aiming towards 'deep learning' goals enabled  by technology. The authors freely admit that 'these ideas are not new but that the conditions for these idea to take hold and flourish did not exist'. 'Old' pedagogies were all about delivering and covering content  - the 'new' is about 'mutual discovery creation and use of knowledge'.

'Deep learning' requires 'deep learning tasks' and is not about 'flipped classrooms'  Teachers need to be seen as 'activators', rather than facilitators, enabling students 'to lead their own learning'. Teachers help their students achieve worthwhile results by providing  encouraging feedback and encouragement and by   negotiating  learning challenges with their students

Deep learning tasks must last long enough for students to plan and develop their work. Such tasks  encompasses the intent of  project  and inquiry based models of learning. Chosen tasks must be defined by student purpose and allow students to demonstrate their learning  giving  students 'choice and voice'.

The teachers role in developing the new pedagogies is about 'igniting learning, to kindle student creativity and to light up the students' mind.' This requires teachers developing genuine learning partnership with  their students  moving away from being facilitators to  work alongside their students to  ensure  all students achieve their personal best. Teachers need to help students  learn through mistakes  helping students to think about what they might do next time. This involves helping students define and refine chosen tasks and  to encourage continual improvement. Through such means students are able to present final quality products or performances. 

Sir Ken is talking about developing all students gifts and talents.
This is a good description of personalised learning.It is about helping students find, what Sir Ken Roberson calls, their passions: and it is something creative teachers have always done.;

This new pedagogy highly values such non academic dimensions such as  problem solving strategies and character elements such as  as grit, tenacity, facing up to difficult tasks, and learning through mistakes. 

Such an approach aims at the development of  students who are  self regulating able to develop their own learning goals , success criteria and  to  monitor their own progress.

The  above the report indicates, will require the development of new assessment measures. 

Not clear to me, however, is how traditional literacy and numeracy is to be embedded in such learning. I believe that powerful learning experiences provide the motivation to develop such skills from an early age. Current ability grouped basic skills teaching takes up far too much time and develops to develop negative attitudes  for far too many students.

Also not clear is how schools might be structured to develop such pedagogy - traditional subject teaching is no longer relevant.  Maybe this is where Modern Learning Environments,  based on collaborative  integrated teaching, may solve the problem.  
Teachers then digital ctechnlogy

After reading, and agreeing with, the pages about deep pedagogy I am still left wondering why the authors made no  effort to identify educationalists that have been expressing similar ideas for decades?

Nothing much, as they say, is really new. 

I would have also liked to have seen examples of how schools have organised themselves to develop cross curricula interdependent tasks. As mentioned I  particularly like the approach developed by Larry Rosenstock's  New Tech High Schools -  where technology  is used to support learning in very creative way and where public exhibitions of student  project work have become part of the school culture.
Larry  Rosenstock - New High Teach Schools. Active learning making use of technology

What is the New Change Leadership?

The leadership section might well be the most important aspect of the report  if the required deep pedagogy is take hold in our schools. Their role is mirrors teachers releasing the potential of their students.
Leadership about direction and trust

'These new change leaders will have to operate under conditions of dynamic change We see the process as consisting of directional vision, letting go and reining in across iterative cycles. Such leaders will need to open up possibilities with directional ideas but not necessarily concrete plans'. The need to be 'open to  new explorations while supporting people under conditions of ambiguity'. 'As the process unfolds leaders will need to help others identify, refine and spread what is working.'

This is a model of organic change and with the right conditions ideas will become 'contagious'.
Good ideas are contageous

Change leadership is about developing culture and capacity

Changes , 'as new pedagogy takes hold  it is neither top down nor bottom up change. It is both. The role of leaders is to simultaneously help the organisation "let go" and "rein in"'. 'It  is about creating a  'risk taking' culture of yes' About 'creating a collaborative culture breaking down teacher isolation' by  'building up a common language' and by 'developing an 'inquiry based approach' to professional development.

It also requires developing new ways of assessing progress.that primarily focused on to supporting learning.

 'Change leadership represents a huge challenge - one that is as attractive as it is daunting'An ideal agenda for Communities of Schools?

What is the New System Economics.

This recognizes  that as the  cost of new technology is decreasing schools will able to deliver  'twice the  learning for the same level of investment - 'technology that can dramatically expand the new pedagogies'. 

 Implementing the  'A Rich Seam is all about developing 'Rich Futures'.

The report concludes by reinforcing the need for a new model of education one based on new partnerships between teachers and students.

The authors believe 'we are at the early stages of a learning revolution to develop 'the citizen of the future as a knowing, doing person who can function productively in a complex world.'

Specific action lists are provided for students, teachers and school leaders to ensure school change.
Creating conditions to risk things and share ideas

'History shows us that what we can imagine we can make possible'. The new pedagogy, new change leadership and  the economic availability of digital technology. 'The time has come to take advantage of this once in a generation opportunity. Whole System change has never been more achievable'.

'The ultimate goal is interdependent learners who have the abilities, dispositions and experiences to truly make the this  most of the extraordinary world of information, ideas, creativity and connection that digital access opens up'.

At this point I  still have this worry that it is possibly all too much about computers and not real world challenges making use of digital technology.
Technology as a tool

'Young people and adults alike have the natural instinct to learn and to create. This is what the new pedagogies can unleash'. 'The pedagogies model promises to drive out of our schools the boredom and alienation of students and teachers.' 

'The next decade could be the most transformation of any since the creation of factory model schools 150 years ago'. 

'Imagine a future where students and teacher can't wait to get to the learning'.

Sound like what was in the air in the 60s - let's hope that we will do it better this time - and ensure digital technology plays a supportive role.


I finish as I began worried about Pearson's agenda and Michael Fullan's role in it.  Education is big business. The document is  essentially all about spreading Pearson's digital  learning agenda.

I  did like the 'new pedagogy ( which isn't new) and the 'change leadership'  model, and the need for new assessment models ( but not digital data mining ). 

I remained  concerned with an educational approach that might well replace reality with clever vicarious learning.

 I am  reminded of what Clifford Still ( himself a computer expert) said, in his book 'Silicon Valley Snake Oil', that for every hour facing a screen a person needs an hour siting under a tree to compensate.

I still believe that real world challenges are the  basis of learning - supported by technology. A  quote  by Max Frisch is more relevant than ever . He wrote  that technology is the 'knack of so arranging the world that we don't have to experience it'. ( Max Frisch 63) 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Grit/ Pasi Salberg/ Literacy/ Finland/Coding/Smart Schools

Education Readings for creative teachers

By Allan Alach

I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

The scientific case for doodling while taking notes
As I noted last week, Tony Buzan will be saying ‘I told you.’
“Using simple words and pictures helps us to see connections between pieces of information, get a better idea of what we understand and what we don’t, and remember what we’ve learned later on. Now I’m on a mission to get students to draw in every class and every subject—from kindergarten all the way up through college, and into their professional lives.

Rejecting Grit” While Embracing Effort, Engagement
“How does an educator reject the grit” movement but maintain an atmosphere in the classroom that encourages effort and engagement, especially for our most vulnerable students (black, brown, and poor)?
I think I have failed to address this important question fully so let me do so here.”

An interview with Pasi Sahlberg
I haven’t featured anything about Sahlberg for a while so….
“Quality learning for me is when you infuse curiosity, active engagement and meaning-making in the learning situation. From the teacher’s point of view understanding what the students are thinking and what they know about things to be learned are critical elements of good learning. In short, quality learning happens when students actively build links between their existing knowledge and what is to be learned. Teacher’s ability to really understand the minds of students is what constitutes good teaching and quality learning. Curiosity and genuine will to learn more about oneself, other people and the world around are the outcomes of quality learning for me.”

A Better Way to Read: In the era of attention deficits, the new text will not be black and white.
How can you adapt this in your classroom? I sure found the use of colour much easier to read on screen.“The mechanics of getting text into one’s brain require skill apart from that involved in processing the meaning in that text. As with something like swimming or skateboarding, it’s a skill where most people can become proficient, but everyone’s capacity for speed and precision is not equal. But there are ways to enhance our abilities.”

From Images to Words
“Pictures generate talk, a fact well appreciated by all teachers. This short post hopes to review some well known ideas as well as give you some new ones on using images to develop your students’ oral skills and foster communicative interaction in your lessons.”

Big data’ was supposed to fix education. It didn’t. It’s time for ‘small data.’
(Thanks to Tara Taylor-Jorgensen for this article.)
A post by Pasi Sahlberg and Jonathan Hasak:.
Beyond the big data - reality
“Big data has certainly proved useful for global education reform by informing us about correlations that occurred in the past. But to improve teaching and learning, it behooves reformers to pay more attention to small data – to the diversity and beauty that exists in every classroom – and the causation they reveal in the present.   If we don’t start leading through small data we might find out soon enough that we are being led by big data and spurious correlations.”

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

I have seen the school of tomorrow. It is here today, in Finland.’
Bruce’s comment: “More about Finland – could’ve been NZ if only!!
“As a public school dad and a university lecturer in rural Finland last semester, I found Finland’s school system to be an absolute inspiration, and a beacon of hope in a world that is struggling, and often failing, to figure out how to best educate our children.Over the past four decades,Finland has climbed to the top of the Western world in educational performance tests, and widely outpaced its fellow Nordic nations. Finland has also won recent #1 world rankings for most efficient education system, most stable nation, greenest country, freest press, women’s participation in the workforce, strongest property rights, least corrupt state, and most innovative economy.”

'Beebots' to teach coding in Nova Scotia classrooms
Bruce’s comment: “More about coding from Nova Scotia”

"Some of the skills that they will be getting through the use of technology are things like teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving and creativity," said Casey. She said coding will be applied across a range of subjects to help students prepare for post-secondary opportunities and an increasingly technical workforce.’

The Best Feedback is GATHERED, not GIVEN
Bill Ferriter:
“Ask yourself this: How often is the feedback process that you are using with students active and not passive?  How often does it turn your students into the main agents in a process of discovery, using their minds to create meaning and find sense in their own patterns of performance?”

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Cathy Wylie outlines new wave of change for New Zealand Schools!
Neo Liberal ideology and its impact on education in NZ...
Cathy Wylie
“In 1986 an ‘earthquake ‘hit education in the form of ‘Tomorrows Schools’ and self-managing schools were born.Now, almost three decades later, A  NZCER  chief researcher Cathy Wylie has written a definitive and compelling story of school self-management called ’Vital Connections: Why We Need More Than Self-managing Schools’.Cathy answers the questions: What was the real effect of ‘Tomorrows Schools’? Has the New Zealand Schools system improved as a result? And what changes are needed now to meet our expectations of schools?

Smart Schools
Smart Schools by David Perkins – a simple but powerful message.
David Perkins
“This book by David Perkins  is full of common sense about the art of teaching.‘Dreams are where the dilemma starts ’, he writes – dreams about great schools.‘We want our schools to deliver a great deal of knowledge and understanding to a great many people of differing talents with a great range of interests and a great variety of cultural and family backgrounds. Quite a challenge – and why aren’t we better at it.’
Some, he would say, is because ‘We don’t know enough.’Perkins, though, thinks they’re wrong, ‘We know enough now to do a much better job’. The problem comes down to this, ‘we are not putting to work what we know.’ 'We do not have a knowledge gap – we have a monumental use – of - knowledge gap’.Schools that use what we know he calls ‘smart schools’”

Observation - a basic learning skill
“Schools need to tap into student's curiosity and need to express ideas. It is this sensory resource of impressions that is called upon by learners when they come to read. Better still such experiences inspire students to talk, draw, write and then to read their own ideas. Before the word the experience is a simple enough idea - the more you notice the more words and ideas you will develop.”