Friday, May 06, 2016

Emotions in learning/ value of making things/ Modern Learning Environment(s ( MLEs) / and creativity

Education Readings

By Allan Alach
Time for out of the box thinking
I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

Sometimes Misbehavior Is Not What It Seems

“When Sigmund Freud reportedly said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," the key word was "sometimes," because sometimes a cigar is more than a cigar. So it is with understanding misbehavior. Sometimes the reason for misbehavior is very different than the obvious and requires a totally different intervention than the usual consequences. It is never easy to determine why children do the things they do.”

Emotions Help Steer Students' Learning, Studies Find
So if children are bored to tears by the formalised instruction, how much learning is taking place? The converse is equally true.
“In a new book, Emotions, Learning, and the Brain, Immordino-Yang and her colleagues at USC's Brain Creativity Institute found that as students learn new rules during a task, such as the most efficient way to answer a math problem or the best deck to choose in a card game, they show emotional and physical responses long before they became consciously aware of the rules or are able to articulate them.”

What Does Making” Have To Do With Learning?
“Making is not just the simple act of you being the difference between raw materials and finished product, as in I made dinner” or even I made a robot.” I don’t think we always need to ascribe learning to the act of making — but the act of making allows the maker, and maybe an outsider (a teacher, perhaps) to have a window into the thinking of the maker.

Are We Making Space For Imagination?
“I want my kids to retain this sense of wonder. I want them to remain imaginative. I want them to follow curiosity and see where it leads. I want them to design and build and create and invent. I want them to play with ideas. I realize that imagination changes over time. But it shouldn't be something that shrinks or diminishes. It should be something that expands and evolves. Maybe it gets more realistic. Maybe it grows more rooted in reality. But the imagination should always remain.

Education is being hijacked by profiteers
“Education reformers like to say they are doing it for the kids. That the reforms will improve the education system. Mountains of evidence shows this is poppycock and that education reforms overwhelmingly lead to profits being more important than the children’s education.

The Dystopian Future of Schools
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the original concept of developing greater student agency — a complex task — is being lost in attempts by well-intentioned schools to provide this opportunity in a manageable manner which is, in turn, being capitalized upon by the education reform” industry. These canned approaches move us further and further away from the objective of making learning personal.”

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

Modern Learning Environments (MLEs) / Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs) and what it means for use of space, time and grouping of students in schools
Traditional Learning Environment
Bruce has written another article in his sequence on this latest trend in classroom design.
“Today we now have have the concept of 'innovative learning environments'  linked with the development of 'modern learning environments'. Not that the practices actually 'new',  more that they have failed to be implemented in the past, or only to be found in a few creative classrooms. And certainly such innovative learning environments are rare  in schools 'educating' adolescent students.”

Creativity: A Choice, a Gift, and a Mission
“When we define and embrace our own creativity, we thrive. And when their teachers thrive, students will learn to thrive as well. We can take responsibility for thriving by giving ourselves the powerful gift of being creative.”

Need to Remember Something? Try Drawing It
Are you able to make use of this in your classroom? I suspect Tony Buzan (Mind Maps) will be saying ‘I told you so.’
“Researchers at the University of Waterloo have found that drawing pictures of information that needs to be remembered is a strong and reliable strategy to enhance memory.”

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

The science of teaching – or the teaching of science
“It would seem that students’ experience of school science has not helped them see science as an exciting way of thinking about fascinating areas of learning. Problem solving, finding out how things work, exploring ideas, learning through enlightened trial and error are all innate way of human learning – the default mode inherited from birth. All life is a search for meaning. It is not that children are young scientists but that scientists still see the world with the passionate curiosity of a child.”

Accountability or ‘Accountabalism'
‘Weinberger says we have been, 'lured by the myth of precision'. Accountabalism 'suggests there is a right or wrong answer to every question' and that we can measure all results exactly. 'Accountabalism' has well and truly spread to schools where compliance and the need to measure selected achievement targets to prove success is the name of the game.’

Making a real difference!
What 'counts' is the culture of the students, their life experiences and their existing knowledge; what 'counts' is involving students and their parents in the learning process; what 'counts' are the relationships between teachers and their students; what 'counts' are the teaching strategies teachers use in their classrooms and what 'counts' is the total culture of the school.”

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