Friday, August 14, 2015

Educational Readings - ideas for creative teachers

By Allan Alach

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

Choice Stifles Learning for Educators
What is it about a mandated, contractually obligated, professional development conference that inspires some teachers and completely turns off many others? Why do some teachers glow with excitement at conferences and many others complain as they go through the motions? Is it the conference itself, or the attitude of the educators attending, or a combination of both?

Read what Tara says
Nothing you learn at university has any relevance in a classroom
This article doesnt reflect the title.
But teacher education in Australia has become a zombie discipline. Its brains are being eaten by expertsthat hold no proficiency in teaching and learning, but are offering a view because they attended school at some point. These expertsare instructing universities holders of self accrediting authority about the necessity to return to the basics.

Why Dyslexia Is No Bar To F1 Champions
This isn't strictly educational but then again it shows how people can succeed at the highest level in spite of their reading disability.
Vancouver neurotherapist Mari Swingle insisted theres scientific basis for Stewarts theory, saying that dyslexicsbrains have an affinity for things like racing.
Theres a different form of spacial perception that dyslexics have, so its almost fundamentally what hurts them in their learning to read actually helps them on courses and tracks,said Swingle.

7 things that doodling does for you that will probably make you want to start doodling again
Seems we should allow to doodle in classcan you cope with that?
Shelley Paul and Jill Gough, two learning design educators, have taken the call to doodle into their
A meaningful doodle
classrooms. Armed with research and some colored pencils, they've come out with some hands-on experience that really illustrates why doodling is the jam.
So here are seven things doodling can do for you.

Too young to test - not in the UK
Too much too soon? What should we be teaching four-year-olds
Young children with oral language deficiencies are becoming a very common problem in New Zealand schools and this article suggests that the first schooling experiences should focus heavily on redressing this.
We need to develop childrens oral language skills early and leave formal classroom instruction until children have the foundation skills they need to achieve. This should raise the attainments, and esteem, of all children.

Climbing a tree can improve cognitive skills, researchers say
Get children outside as much as possible!
The study, led by Drs. Ross Alloway, a research associate, and Tracy Alloway, an associate
professor, is the first to show that proprioceptively dynamic activities, like climbing a tree, done over a short period of time have dramatic working memory benefits. Working Memory, the active processing of information, is linked to performance in a wide variety of contexts from grades to sports.

Signing off: Finnish schools phase out handwriting classes
Im in two minds about this. I can see the logic but then again theres evidence to support the value of handwriting to childrens learning.
Is handwriting out?
While purists mourn the loss of personality and the human touch, some neuroscientists stress the importance of cursive handwriting for improving brain development, motor skills, self-control and even dyslexia. French education officials took heed of these findings and reintroduced cursive writing classes in 2000 after a brief hiatus but in Finland, theres been little response to the proposed scrapping.

How the Arts Prepare for a Life's Work in any Discipline
Here is an outstanding keynote by Dr. Root-Bernstein, who after researching over 200 biographies of outstanding scientists found a correlation between their sustained art and craft avocations to their achievement in other disciplines, especially the sciences.  His talk begins with a quick display of childrens' art which quickly reveals a playful and powerful connection to some great minds.  In other words, this is not a passive Art Appreciation class here, folks, but a case for active and continuous making, doing, tinkering (especially in high school).

This weeks contributions from Bruce Hammonds:

Seeing Struggling Math Learners as Sense Makers,Not Mistake Makers
I recommend you all read this.
Teachers and schools that are capable of creating real-world, contextualized, project-based learning activities in every other area of school often struggle to do the same for mathematics, even as prospective employers and universities put more emphasis on its importance. This struggle may come from a fundamental misunderstanding about the discipline and how it should be taught.

Valuing students ideas
New Zealands all but forgotten science research about valuing the both the views students hold and the process of learning to clarify their thinking The Learning in Science Project.
Science teaching in primary classrooms cannot be ignored or forgotten. Primary schools need to provide worthwhile challenges to stimulate and challenge childrenspresent ideas as well as providing  opportunities to 'learn how to learn'. Primary science, above all else, needs to encourage children to take an interest in their environment and their own learning, explore ideas, and seek and develop understandings about their world.

My Longstanding Beef With Instructional Leaders
Principals as instructional leaders yeah right!
Two articles by Bill Ferriter:
But the truth is that despite working for some remarkable principals over the past 22 years, Ive never turned to them for help with my instruction and they never volunteered any instructional strategies that challenged my practice in a positive way.  Instead, I have always turned to my peers for that kind of professional challenge because I know that my peers are wrestling with instruction on a daily basis.  The expertise that I need to change my teaching rests in the hearts and minds of other practitioners not my principals.

From Bruces goldie oldiesfile:

The Geranium on the Window Sill Just Died
The Geranium on the Windowsill just died but Teacher you went straight on.
A book to encourage teachers to listen to the variety of voices of their students and reminded them of what it was like to be small, penned up, bossed around; and for students retain a sense of resiliency and joy during the time they are at school.

Schools - so last Century
Schools so last century still
At the end of the nineteenth century schools were developed to meet the needs of an industrial age to transfer knowledge to often reluctant students and, in many ways, they have changed little since those
beginnings. In contrast almost every other aspect of our lives has been changed through technological advances. Roland Barth, from the Harvard Leadership Centre has written, many of our schools seem en-route to becoming a hybrid of a nineteenth century factory, a twentieth century minimum security penal colony and a twenty-first century Education Testing Service.
All to true!!!

Whose learning is it?
Without meaning to many teachers not only diminish their students authentic sense of self but miss out in inspiration to develop engaging personalized programmes. As DH Lawrence wrote, you have to know yourself to be yourself. At school students learn to fit into a world designed by teachers and not all students will thrive in such an artificial environment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish my English teacher read this post when I was his student. He had zero creativity which made his classes boring. I know that many of my classmates used online essay writing help service because they could not stand his classes. I remember I would always be exhausted after his classes, that boring they were. But I think you need to be at least a little creative if you want to work as a teacher. Hopefully this article is going to help many modern teachers.