Friday, September 12, 2014

Educational Readings - boys v girls/ slow educ / NZ elections.....

By Allan Alach

Staying in Croatia

New Zealand readers - Ive voted from Croatia. Whats your excuse for not voting in New Zealand?

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

This week’s homework!

STEM is incredibly valuable, but if we want the best innovators we must teach the arts

Education or testing?
A foundation in STEM education is exceptional at making us more efficient or increasing speed all within set processes, but its not so good at growing our curiosity or imagination. Its focus is poor at sparking our creativity. It doesnt teach us empathy or what it means to relate to others on a deep emotional level.

The Fatal Flaw Of Education Reform

Nevertheless, I believe that this movement (to whatever degree you can characterize it in those terms) may be doomed to stall out in the long run, not because their ideas are all bad, and certainly not because they lack the political skills and resources to get their policies enacted. Rather, they risk failure for a simple reason: They too often make promises that they cannot keep.

Boys Learn to Interrupt. Girls Learn to Shut Up.

He who speaks first slides first!
When boys and girls play together, boys interrupt more. A lot more.

The more boys there are in the group, the less often girls in the group interrupt.

When girls play together without boys, they interrupt more. A lot more.

Why replacing teachers with automated education lacks imagination

Early testing machine.
The corporates behind GERM have this fantasy of classroom where computers do the teaching with adults available purely as backup. All to make money, of course, and nothing to with actual education.

The belief that technology can automate education and replace teachers is pervasive. Framed in calls for greater efficiency, this belief is present in todays educational innovations, reform endeavours, and technology products. We can do better than adopting this insipid perspective and aspire instead for a better future where innovations imagine creative new ways to organise education.

Are You Ready to Join the Slow Education Movement?

Education must be personalized responsive to the real needs of each student. This could mean the abolition of grade levels based on age. When education is personalized, it emphasizes student interests, teaches skills using worthwhile content and most important shows kids how to tap into their own innate motivation to learn. It puts the onus of learning on those who have the most at stake in school: students.

Beyond Caricatures: On Dewey, Freire, And Direct Instruction (Again)

This weeks heavy dutyarticle but dont let that stop you from reading it! This is important.

The empowered student necessarily requires the classroom offered by the empowered teacher. Any who teaches must first work through the philosophical evolution that Dewey and Freire representas well as continuing beyond the possibilities offered by Deweys progressivism and Freires critical pedagogy.

Dispelling the Myth of Deferred Gratification:What waiting for a marshmallow doesn't prove

By Alfie Kohn:

Underlying self-discipline and grit is the idea of deferring gratificationfor example, by
putting off doing what you enjoy until you finish your "work." The appeal to many educators of transforming kids from lazy grasshoppers to hardworking ants explains the fresh wave of interest in a series of experiments conducted back in the 1960s known as the marshmallow studies.

Gifted primary school children need more than special classes

Many gifted boys and girls find the gifted label stigmatising, and go out of their way to dodge the dreaded nerd status. Would these children be better off in specialised school environment? The gifted education community is sharply divided about this issue with some educators perceiving that the specialised school environment is the ideal setting for gifted children, whereas others believe that they would be better off in the regular school milieu.

This weeks contributions

Common Core's Five Big Half-Truths

Bruces comment:The US has a Common Core Standards that are neither  common nor core (Sir Ken Robinson calls them a race to the bottom) New Zealand has National Standards that are neither national or standard. Both are political and populist. Both narrow the curriculum, encourage teaching the tests and side-lining of creativity and  the arts. Both are the equivalent to the McDonaldisation of education.

School is back in session, and debate over the Common Core is boiling in key states. As governors and legislators debate the fate of the Common Core, they hear Core advocates repeatedly stress five impressive claims: that their handiwork is "internationally benchmarked," "evidence-based," "college- and career-ready," and "rigorous," and that the nations that perform best on international tests all have national standards. In making these claims, advocates go on to dismiss skeptics as ignorant extremists who are happy to settle for mediocrity. The thing is, once examined, these claims are far less compelling than they appear at first glance.

4 Big Things Transformational Teachers Do

Bruces comment: Are you a transformational teacher read this then decide.

Transformational teachers don't react. They anticipate and prepare. Lee Shulman, as reported by Marge Scherer, suggests that expert teachers demonstrate the following, despite enormous challenges:

Planting the Seeds of Innovation in Education

Bruces comment: An innovative high school class/teacher.

Don Wettrick is on a mission: revolutionizing the world of education by training the next generation of innovators. A reformed teacher (he taught to middle and high school students for 17 years), Don started planting the seeds of innovation at the Franklin, IN High School 3-and-a-half years ago, having found inspiration in Daniel Pinks book Drive.

Leading the Shift to Digital: School, System & City

Were living through the most significant shift in how human beings learnits bigger deal than the printing press and happening a lot faster. Almost everyone has a stake in the quality and speed of transition from the old model organized around birthdays and books to personal digital learning. In the near future, in cities and across networks that lead the shift, we could see a significant improvement in career readiness and economic participation.

From Bruce’s oldies but goodies file…

The corporate takeover of society and education.

Since the early 90s society has been reshaped by a neo liberal corporate ideology. An emphasis on private enterprise and self-centred individualism has replaced an earlier concern for collective good of all members of society.   As a result of this ideological shift a wider gap has been created between the rich and poor causing a number of social concerns. Schools as part of this shift have been transformed from a community orientation to being part of a competitive cut throat ideology.

Creativity – its place in education

Wayne Morriss essay on education for creativity. Brilliant  - from one of Bruces closest associates.

Creative students lead richer lives and, in the longer term, make a valuable contribution to society. Surely those are reasons enough to bother. Creativity in the classroom what does it look like?

Howard Gardner on creativity – are schools encouraging creativity? The challenge of creativity.

By definition all life is creative and schools ought to be the best place to develop the creativity of all their students but this is currently not the case.

For New Zealand readers about to vote in the general election - heres some political postings from Bruce:

New Zealand Elections – are we missing the big picture?

That we had the lowest voter turnout last election indicates that many citizens no longer feel motivated to vote. Many seem to feel it makes little difference and, unfortunately, those with most to gain in change seems the most indifferent.

Max Rashbrooke:  NZ  A Paradise Lost –now a land only fit for the rich. Inequality in NZ

Gods own country –  once supposedly the best place to bring up kids in the world, seems no longer to be the case. A country originally founded to escape the worst of the class structure of England seems to have given up on the idea of giving a fair go to all citizens. The view of many well off people now is that the poor are the authors of their own misfortune and only need to set about and pull up their socks and all will be well; there seems little empathy for those in difficult situations.

Nigel Latta: The new ‘Haves and Have Nots’ – time for Moral Leadership in New Zealand

Hugh Fletcher
Hugh Fletcher (one of New Zealands richest men) states bluntly the trickle-down theory doesnt work.’ ‘All the fruits of the economy has gone to the top and the average income hasnt gone anywhere in the last 30 years. Fletcher is concerned about the inequality because of its effect on social cohesion; extreme poverty does not bring about cohesion.

1 comment:

Padma Rudraksh said...

Hi.. your blog is very intersting. Nice to read. Hope it will help for all.Thanks for sharing this . i have a blog in Industrial Automation Training Bangalore

PLC & SCADA Training in Bangalore