Friday, February 19, 2016

Creative Education Readings - keeping up with innovative thinking about teaching and learning . Music education. School choice doesn't work


By Allan Alach

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

Why Social and Emotional Learning Is Essential for Students
“Research shows that SEL not only improves achievement by an average of 11 percentile points, but it also increases prosocial behaviors (such as kindness, sharing, and empathy), improves student attitudes toward school, and reduces depression and stress among students.”

How Music Education Can Lighten Kids’ Lives And Improve Learning Outcomes
Not at all surprised by this. I’ve observed the benefits to children from learning to play the drums.
“The symphony pays for professional musician-educators to teach a focused curriculum throughout the year, from music fundamentals to individual and group cello and violin.
So far it has paid off: Participants are testing higher in math and reading than students who aren’t in the program. But Sound Minds, its creators say, also promotes music’s intrinsic power to uplift, inspire and challenge.”

Good Vibrations: The Role Of Music In Einstein’s Thinking
Following on
“Looking at the role of music in Einstein’s thinking sheds some light on how he shaped his most profound scientific ideas. His example suggests that in being intimately involved with the scientific  complexity of music, he was able to bring a uniquely aesthetic qualities to his theories.

Teaching: Just Like Performing Magic
Penn and Teller magicians
Interesting observations from a magician…
“Education, at its most engaging, is performance art. From the moment a teacher steps into the classroom, students look to him or her to set the tone and course of study for everyone, from the most enthusiastic to the most apathetic students. Even teachers who have moved away from the traditional lecture format, toward more learner autonomy-supportive approaches such as project-based and peer-to-peer learning, still need to engage students in the process, and serve as a vital conduit between learner and subject matter.

School Choice Fails to Make a Difference

“This outcome flies in the face of the predictions of many economists, who often tout school choice
as a way to improve the U.S. educational system while also increasing equality of opportunity. Economists typically assume that people are rational and well-informed, and will make decisions that benefit them. If giving students and their parents more school choice hurts the students academically, then something is seriously wrong with the theory.”

David Perkins
The Global Search for Education: What’s Really Worth Learning?
“I watched David Perkins’ presentation on this timely topic at the IB Heads World Conference this year and I am delighted to welcome him today to The Global Search for Education. David is interested in how we ought to adapt our curriculums in light of an ever-changing world. He asserts that what is conventionally taught in our schools is not necessarily meant to produce the kinds of community members we want and need. Perkins believes that only by reimagining what we teach our children can we lead students down the road to learning that results in a flourishing life.”

The problem with evidence based practice
So, what is the problem with evidence? After all, evidence is proof, confirmation, verification, substantiation, corroboration, affirmation, authentication, attestation, documentation; support for, backing for, reinforcement for, grounds for. Nothing wrong with that. Or is there? Actually, in education, there is.”

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

For creativity over conformity in classrooms
“Do schools kill creativity, asks Ken Robinson in the much-watched TED talk. I am inclined to say, they do. Of course, educational systems do notwork in a vacuum, but are a reflection of the society they function in.”

How To Kill Creativity (And How To Rebuild It)
“Many of our organisations, without realising it, act as inhibitors of innovation.Rules and protocols are put in place — often for very good reasons — that preserve the status quo. Over time, organisations develop a set of social norms — ‘the way we do things around here’ designed to protect the business from failure.One of the biggest inhibitors of innovation is part of human nature itself — the fear of losing what we’ve got.”

Where Did The Joy Of Learning Go?
“Help your child regain the kindergarten passion of embracing learning with joy. When school stops being fun, all too frequently, learning stops. Help your child retain that kindergarten enthusiasm of embracing each day with the joy of learning. Connect your children to what they learn at school through their interests and past positive experiences so they will WANT to learn …”

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Asking questions is my business
Keeping alive the laser like curiosity of the young
“Curiosity and creativity are the basis of all learning. If they are lost education soon turns into 'schooling' and students in begin to ‘turn off’ and they wish they were elsewhere. Their ‘voice’, their identity as a learner, their questions, their queries and their theories, it seems, are no longer required.Lively curiosity is turned into dull compliance.”

Back to the future?
Good pedagogy is nothing new it seems“Mark Twain once said that he could live for a month on one compliment so it was great to receive a
e-mail, from a student teacher from Glasgow University who said, after reading a newsletter I wrote on Teaching and Learning Strategies in 2002, that it 'completely changed my view of education and teaching'.I couldn't resist re-reading what I had written in 2002 and was pleasantly surprised to see how relevant what I had written is to today's challenges.”
And now it is 2016!

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