Friday, August 23, 2013

Educational Readings -Creativity and Project Based Learning

By Allan Alach
I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at
This week’s homework!
In Praise of CREATIVITY Parts 1 & 2 (via Tony Gurr)
Tony Gurr
‘Today, we have guest posts from Chaz Pugliese, a teacher-trainer and musician (he plays a mean blues tune or two) based in Paris. Chaz and I met in Istanbul a few months ago and when I learned his “passion” was allthingsCREATIVITY – I just had to ask how he felt about allthingsBLOGGING! I’m glad I did. Take a read – feel free to contact him at’

What is Education For? Looking for Answers in the Montessori Movement
‘Montessori was a vehicle for seeing what is possible. It showed me that children can learn what they most need by following their own passions. It taught me that the role of adults should be a supportive one that allows children to develop what is already beginning within themselves.’
Nah, let’s have top down standardised education to prepare children to participate in the workforce.
Why are we teaching like it’s 1992?
The schools we have inherited were designed for standardisation and industrialisation. Their aim was to turn farmers into factory workers and, on a different social level, to show shopkeepers how to be corporate employees. We have inherited this Industrial Age system of specialised, field-driven, silo-ed, top-down, standardised education. We measure achievement in “bubble tests” where you find the best answer from five possible ones. How does that kind of thinking prepare our students for a world where they can upload or download any thoughts or pictures or movies or music they want?’

What We Know Now and An Alternative to Accountability-Based Education Reform
Well into the second decade of the twenty-first century, then, education reform continues a failed tradition of honoring messaging over evidence. Neither the claims made about educational failures, nor the solutions for education reform policy today are supported by large bodies of compelling research.’

Deck Chairs on the Titanic Failure of American Education
‘Actual children, as opposed to the abstraction of children as seen in policy debate, are not "standard." Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of child development knows that children learn in different ways and different times.
Learners are not like sardines!

While this article is about the USA, it’s very relevant to any GERM infected country.


Start funding college [university] like high school
‘Yet, even though the 21st century economy is clearly telling us that “the college degree is becoming the new high school diploma,” we do not have the same funding model or outlook for college. Instead, we still predicate access to higher education on a student’s wealth and/or their willingness to go into crushing debt.’

Why All Students Should Write: A Neurological Explanation For Literacy
Writing promotes the brain’s attentive focus to class work and homework, promotes long-term memory, illuminates patterns (possibly even “aha” moment insight!), includes all students as participants, gives the brain time for reflection, and when well-guided, is a source of conceptual development and stimulus of the brain’s highest cognition.’

Bruce Hammonds is an enthusiast for inquiry learning.
Here’s a selection of links from Bruce that expand on this process:

How to Trigger Students’ Inquiry Through Projects
Research on paper making
When students engage in quality projects, they develop knowledge, skills, and dispositions that serve them in the moment and in the long term. Unfortunately, not all projects live up to their potential. Sometimes the problem lies in the design process. It’s easy to jump directly into planning the activities students will engage in without addressing important elements that will affect the overall quality of the project.’
Creating Classrooms We Need: 8 Ways Into Inquiry Learning
‘If kids can access information from sources other than school, and if school is no longer the only place where information lives, what, then happens to the role of this institution?’
Exhibition of study of Ernest Shakelton
Basing education around student inquiry.
‘PBL is a far more evolved method of instruction. Well-executed PBL begins with the recognition that, as in the real world, it’s often difficult to distinguish between acquiring information and using it. Students learn knowledge and elements of the core curriculum, but also apply what they know to solve authentic problems and produce results that matter. Students focus on a problem or challenge, work in teams to find a solution to the problem, and often exhibit their work to an adult audience at the end of the project.’

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