Friday, March 11, 2016

Education Readings : poverty/creativity/inquiry learning and John Hattie ( doubtful data)


By Allan Alach

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

What Is a Large Effect Size?
Misleading data???
Anyone familiar with John Hattie’s ‘research’ will have come across the phrase ‘effect size.’ This article explains what this means and in the process fires a few shots at Hattie’s ‘research.’
“Ever since Gene Glass popularized the effect size in the 1970s, readers of research have wanted to know how large an effect size has to be in order to be considered important. Well, stop the presses and sound the trumpet. I am about to tell you.”

Don't stop the music at school
“What some primary teachers are saying is that schools are putting such an emphasis on the publicly "important" subjects of numeracy and literacy (PC words for reading, writing and arithmetic) that artsy subjects like music are being ignored. If music is being marginalised then that's a pity. Music exercises parts of the brain that other subjects don’t.”

Debunking the Myth of the 10,000-Hours Rule: What It Actually Takes to Reach Genius-Level Excellence
It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.
“Instead, the factor Ericsson and other psychologists have identified as the main predictor of success is deliberate practice persistent training to which you give your full concentration rather than just your time, often guided by a skilled expert, coach, or mentor. It’s a qualitative difference in how you pay attention, not a quantitative measure of clocking in the hours.”

Stop Innovating in Schools. Please.
A powerful article by Will Richardson:
“Innovation in schools of any type needs to start with the idea that the goal is not to force kids to abandon their passions and interests for our curriculum when they come to school, which is what we currently do. Instead, as Sarason says, we must start with their questions and curiosities, and bring our world to them. If we are to develop and sustain the types of learner-citizens that we need in the future, we need to meld the worlds of school and of children, but we start with the children.”

Why I don’t believe that school is a child’s most important job
This is what I think!
“My feelings have changed over the years. Slowly I have come to believe that kids have a right to their own time outside of school, and that we as teachers have no more right to control their evenings and weekends than our bosses should have to control ours. Kids need time to be kids and enjoy their childhood. Now I believe that a child’s most important job is not school, but learning. And these two things are not one and the same.”

The Slavery of the Mind
Here’s a provocative article for you - what do you think?
“The assault on education (public, private and charter alike) is a calculated attempt by very wealthy people, some hiding behind a Corporate name or Foundation, aligned with very powerful politicians working together to take over the root of all individual power… knowledge. The education of the young. Adults need to be convinced that something is the way they are told it is, children inherently take it as fact, no questions asked. And so, our schools are being subjected to a hostile, quasi-corporate/federal takeover.

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

Restacking the Deck: How Teachers Can Counteract the Effects of Poverty on the Developing Mind
In a more equitable world there wouldn’t be any poverty.
“In the field of education, teachers and administrators work hard to address the opportunity gap—
or at least its outward symptoms. But what about the effects that we can't see as easily? The role of poverty in shaping the developing brain leads to measurable neurological differences. Understanding those differences can affect how teachers structure their classrooms to better meet the needs of learners.”

Can you spot a good teacher from their characteristics?
“While there is something special about the idea of passing on knowledge, teaching is no more mystical than other professions. Research has shown that some teachers are routinely more successful than others and science can predict who is likely to be the most effective.”

Why creativity needs skeptics
“Its not always easy being the one who asks the tough questions. To be the one scratching your chin and saying why doesnt this work for me?whilst everyone
around you high fives. But questioning, constructive criticism and scepticism are key to improving both creative productivity and creative quality.”

How To Kill Creativity (And How To Rebuild It)
Does this apply to your school? To your classroom?
“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 heredesigned 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.

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Myths of Inquiry Based Classrooms
“Canadian educator Sharon Friesen outlines myths of inquiry based classrooms in Canada in her video presentation. Her ideas about how 'knowledge is created' are worth sharing.”

Developing an Inquiry Approach across the curriculum
“All learning is based on curiosity - a need to make personal meaning.It would be a great idea for schools to develop a inquiry approach across the curriculum that all teachers and students are able to articulate. Not that there needs to be cut and tried approach (all Learning Areas have their particular emphasis) but more that the spirit of inquiry should underpin all actions.”

Current education kills creativity

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