Friday, August 30, 2013

Educational Readings -education or schooling!

By Allan Alach

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

This week’s homework!

Mind-Mapping And The Digitization Of Learning
I’ve used mind mapping (pen & paper, and also software) in both work and study, and found it to be a very valuable tool.
‘The efficacy of mind-mapping is well-understood and tested yearly in worldwide studies. For students and educators, the real question is: How can mind mapping make the academic world more efficient and more productive? How can the education world leverage mind-mapping software to ‘hack’ the retention, organization and distribution of knowledge?’

The Real Problem With Multiple-Choice Questions
‘So let us look at multiple-choice questions in this light. More than anything else, when a multiple-choice question is given to a student in hopes of measuring how well he or she understands something, it manufacturers the illusion of right and wrong, a binary condition that ignores the endlessly fluid nature of information.’

Where The Smart Kids Are
-  a review of the book “The Smartest Kids In The World: And How They Got That Way’ by Amanda Ripley.
‘Yes, she travels to Finland to observe the “Nordic robots” who achieve such remarkably high scores on international tests — and to South Korea and Poland, two other nations where students handily surpass Americans’ mediocre performance. In the best tradition of travel writing, however, she gets well beneath the glossy surfaces of these foreign cultures, and manages to make our own culture look newly strange.’

Grappling With the Question: Why Isn't America Number 1?
Another article based around ‘The Smartest Kids In The World: And How They Got That Way.’
‘...Ripley allows us to follow her as she goes to experts in South Korea, Poland, Finland and the United States to get answers about teacher preparation, national standards and assessment that raise yet more questions about what the purpose of education is, what national policies are most effective and what obligations schools have to kids and kids have to schools.’
Let's bring on a real education revolution
‘Australia should follow the lead of Canada where there is no federal apparatus in education and no need for a minister.’
An idea which needs to considered all over? Agree? Disagree?

Right Brain, Left Brain? Scientists Debunk Popular Theory
Oh dear, there goes a number of cherished classroom programmes…
‘Maybe you're "right-brained": creative, artistic, an open-minded thinker who perceives things in subjective terms. Or perhaps you're more of a "left-brained" person, where you're, good at tasks that require attention to detail, and more logically minded. It turns out, though, that this idea of "brained-ness" might be more of a figure of speech than anything, as researchers have found that these personality traits may not have anything to do with which side of the brain you use more.’

A Christmas Carol, 1843 – Education Today
‘In 1843 Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol which speaks to an identical issue we face today.
“This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want (Poverty). Beware them both… but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”
Lack of education and poverty. Doom for an entire society and the wealthy who control it.’

School is a prison — and damaging our kids
Standardised education!
‘Longer school years aren't the answer. The problem is school itself. Compulsory teach-and-test simply doesn't work.’
This is a ‘must read article’ by US psychologist Peter Gray.

Cuba: RevoluciĆ³n Educativa?
Seems Cuba is up there with Finland:
‘For me this was probably the most interesting aspect given that without a hysterical rush to adopt “21st century” platforms and capitulating to PISA league tables Cuba has achieved, according to the instruments and indicators applied by international organisations such as OECD and UNESCO, one of the world’s best educational systems. An education system that is free to all students from primary to higher education and has achieved almost 100% literacy amongst its population.’

1 comment:

Teacher as Transformer said...

I live and I taught in one of the Canadian provinces. It is no panacea and I would argue it is very provincial in the way education is done with heavy bureaucracy.