Friday, March 03, 2017

Educational transformation : Finland/ education thru the arts / stress release / fostering creativity....

Education Readings

By Allan Alach

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

What Australia can learn from Finland's forested classrooms
Children's brains work better when they are moving, the master teacher explains. Not only do they concentrate better in class, but they are more successful at "negotiating, socialising, building teams and friendships together".
Finland leads the world in its discovery that play is the most fundamental engine and efficiency-booster of children's learning.’

Mainstream schools need to take back responsibility for educating disengaged students
Thanks to Phil Cullen for this article.
‘Exclusion from school places makes vulnerable young people at greater risk of long term unemployment, dependence on welfare, mental health issues and social isolation.
Young people unable to attend mainstream education then need to look for an educational alternative that addresses the complexity of their lives and needs.’

Our crisis of democracy is a crisis of education
‘I think the challenge is that we have an education system, globally, and very much so in the western world, which is geared towards things that we can measure: particularly 'academic subjects’ – maths, science, and English. Because these are taught and tested in a way that is eminently measurable. The problem with standardisation is that you end up narrowing the curriculum and narrowing the tuition, so that we can measure success through a quite restrictive testing regime.’

Rescuing Education Reform from Decades of Post-Truth
‘For those of us involved in education and the education reform movement, however, the negative consequences of post-truth discourse have been around for more than a century—and during the past three decades, a harbinger of what the Trump phenomenon has brought to the U.S.’

A High School Math Teacher’s First Experience Teaching Elementary School
‘At a workshop in Alameda County last month, I made my standard request for classroom teachers to help me make good on my New Year’s resolution. I assumed all the teachers there taught middle- or high-school so I said yes to every teacher who invited me. Later, I’d find out that one of them taught fourth grade.
As a former high school math teacher, this was NIGHTMARE MATERIAL, Y’ALL.’

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

The way we teach our children is truly crazy
Education in Australia is crazy - a parent’s view
‘Now I can say it.  With my youngest child having safely fled the school system, I can finally say, without fear of jinx or reprisal, that how we educate our kids is insane. It's not the teachers, who show the normal human range from fine to feeble. Not the particular schools, which included public and private, selective and non-selective. What's insane is the system and – feeding it, as fear feeds war – an intensifying cultural madness. Not theirs. Ours.’

Want to be a great parent? Let your children be bored
‘From books, arts and sports classes to iPads and television, many parents do everything in their power to entertain and educate their children. But what would happen if children were just left to be bored from time to time? How would it affect their development?’

'An education in the arts is limited to the economically privileged. It is an unjust waste of national talent’
The author
‘A good education should be a preparation for life. It requires the development of the whole child, not merely their intellect. It necessitates students becoming intrinsic learners with self-discipline and a genuine thirst for knowledge, rather than being goaded or corralled, which is what students may become with a single-minded focus on exam results.’

Stress Literally Shrinks Your Brain (7 Ways To Reverse The Damage)
Here’s an article for teachers:
It's not impossible to reduce your stress levels; you just need to make managing stress a higher priority if you want to reverse this effect. The sooner you start managing your stress effectively, the easier it will be to keep unexpected stress from causing damage in the future.’

Teacher: A one-size-fits-all approach to instruction is stifling our classrooms
Everyone has an opinion about what’s wrong with American education. Classrooms are overcrowded. Funding is misallocated. Segregation persists. Politicians, principals, and academics have rancorous debates over how to best fix our schools. On at least one issue, however, everyone agrees: Students deserve great teachers. But how can we attract — let alone retain — them?’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Don't touch the bananas!!!!
What monkeys and bananas can teach us
It is always amazing to see how exposure to an environment, or culture, can change how we think without us even knowing – I guess this is called conditioning. New ideas always rely on those individuals who can see reality without the blinkers.The truth however is not always welcome and it is always easier to go along. As Oscar Wilde once said, ‘The truth makes you very unpopular at the club.’”

Tapping into the student's world
‘Every student brings with them memories and ideas gained from the experiences they have had. All too often this personal form of motivation is overlooked by teachers who seem to think they have better ideas to use - their own. It is as if students come to school as blank slates (tabula rosa) when instead they come with a wealth of ideas to share but to do their ideas need to be valued.’

Teachers' key role in fostering creativity.
It is is worth thinking about the dispositions and pedagogical skills that make a creative teacher.The key attitude is a desire to help every individual student develop his ,or her, own particular set of interests and talents rather than simply 'delivering' the curriculum in an innovative way. The curriculum need to 'emerge' from the students' felt concerns.’

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