Friday, March 13, 2015

Education Readings - technology/ boys educ/ 'growth mindsets' and creative teaching.

By Allan Alach

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

How Technology is Changing the Way Children Think and Focus
There is also little doubt that all of the new technologies, led by the Internet, are shaping the way we think in ways obvious and subtle, deliberate and unintentional, and advantageous and
detrimental The uncertain reality is that, with this new technological frontier in its infancy and developments emerging at a rapid pace, we have neither the benefit of historical hindsight nor the time to ponder or examine the value and cost of these advancements in terms of how it influences our childrens ability to think.

Thomas Markham
Redefining Teachers with a 21st Century Education Story
At a time of great transformation in the world, there are no shortages of themes to pick from. But teachers have special opportunities to tell a magnificent story about themselves and their profession:” Thomas Markham

Schools of the future must adjust to technology needs
Professor Stephen Heppell - if you ever get the chance to attend one of his presentations, take it!
Teachers – and increasingly students – are realising that schools need to be places in which difficult, exciting, challenging, engaging, complex learning happens, rather than being where
Big challenge for schools to adapt to!
uniform education is delivered.
And they need spaces that encourage that learning and help develop the sorts of skills demanded by employers. Spaces for concentration and collaboration, spaces to make and to mash-up, spaces to celebrate and exhibit, spaces to excel and spaces to share.

Noam Chomsky on the Dangers of Standardized Testing
The assessment itself is completely artificial. Its not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who will reach their potential, explore their creative interests. Those things youre not testing.. its a rank thats mostly meaningless. And the very ranking itself is harmful. Its turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank. Not into doing things that are valuable and important.

Children Educate Themselves IV: Lessons from Sudbury Valley
The Sudbury Valley model of education is not a variation of standard education. It is not a progressive version of traditional schooling. It is not a Montessori school or a Dewey school or a Piagetian constructivist school. It is something entirely different.

Why reading and writing on paper can be better for your brain
Add to this the help that the physical geography of a printed page or the heft of a book can provide to memory, and youve got a conclusion neatly matching our embodied natures: the varied, demanding, motor-skill-activating physicality of objects tends to light up our brains brighter than the placeless, weightless scrolling of words on screens.

No wonder boys struggle!
Why schools are failing our boys
Boys today arent fundamentally different than the boys of 150 years ago. Yet today, theyre confined to classrooms, expected to remain still for the majority of the day, and barely allowed to tackle meaningful labor or the real world until they reach the magical age of 18. Is it any wonder our boys are struggling?

Why Preschool Shouldnt Be Like School
Schools should be like pre-school.
Adults often assume that most learning is the result of teaching and that exploratory, spontaneous learning is unusual. But actually, spontaneous learning is more fundamental. It's this kind of learning, in fact, that allows kids to learn from teachers in the first place.

How to spot if you or colleagues are stressed: tell-tale signs for teachers
It goes without saying that there is a direct correlation between teacher workload and stress levels, and both are currently unprecedentedly high. Its also no coincidence that over the past few years hundreds of good teachers have been signed off with long-term sickness or quit altogether.

This weeks contributions from Bruce Hammonds:

Back to basics - quality creative learning
The power of art
Bruces latest article is a must read for all creative and innovative child centred teachers.
All the above ideas point out the vital role of a teacher to assist all students work towards their potential - to ensure that all students have the ability to 'seek, use and create their own knowledge' as it wisely says in the 2007 New Zealand Curriculum.

8 Signs You Should Become a Teacher
Whats your take on this list? What changes would you make?
Are you thinking about becoming an elementary school teacher? If you possess all or most of these personal qualities, I think you could contribute a lot to children, the community, and the field of Education. While there is no static formula for what makes an excellent educator, these personality traits form the essential foundation for succeeding in the classroom as an instructor and as a leader.

Developing a Growth Mindset in Teachers and Staff
However, in my work, I have found that the notion of developing a growth mindset is as equally applicable to staff and teacher performance as it is to students. This article begins with a brief discussion about the difference between the two mindsets, what that means for education, and concludes with some ideas for how school leaders might seek to develop a growth mindset amongst their staff.

Playtime Isnt Just for PreschoolersTeenagers Need It, Too
Bruces comment: The importance of play at all levels of learning seems blindingly obvious.
Giving students occasions to learn through play not only fosters creative thinking, problem solving, independence, and perseverance, but also addresses teenagersdevelopmental needs for greater independence and ownership in their learning, opportunities for physical activity and creative expression, and the ability to demonstrate competence.

Project-based program innovates at Springs' Parkside Elementary
Maybe someone gets it!
Bruces comment: And to continue the obvious the power of integrated project based learning. Some day someone in the USA will discover John Dewey!!!
"What we teach fits into the curriculum, but we try to make it as interesting as possible for the kids. The focus is on helping them acquire real-world skills and become problem solvers. Nobody works in isolation these days. You need to learn how to work with others.

A New Approach to Designing Educational Technology: Is the biggest learning disability an emotional one? 
Bruces comment: Valuing the emotions in learning well it seems obvious to me. Engaging students who no longer engage in learning by using ICT wisely.
And now, Rose and his team have concluded that the most pervasive learning disability in schools, and the No. 1 challenge for UDL, isnt physical or cognitive, its emotionalturning around kids
Positive attitudes or' mindsets' are everything!
who are turned off by school.
Weve seen that technology can do a lot of stuff to support students, but the real driver is: Do they actually want to learn something?says Rose. If they do, kids will go through a lot of barriers to learn it. Creating the conditions that turn on that drive has become the major function of our work.”’

From Bruces oldies but goodies file

Back to the future.
Bruces comment: An oldie but goodie.
 The very with it views of a long retired  innovative principal teacher. Good reading to learn about quality creative teaching might be useful even for those in a modern learning environment (MLE). The teacher taught before the introduction of computers now in his 80s
Bill - a very creative teachers from the 70s - now in his 80s.
he is a whizz on his Apple (computer). One wonders what wisdom we have lost.
As a group we were disillusioned with the traditional pre-packaged approach ...largely adult conceived....including ability grouping. Attributes such as co-operation, understanding and sharing were largely given lip service. We believed that learning should stem from the natural but vital curiosity of children and it should centre around real experiences.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another great set of readings - thanks Alan ( and Bruce)