Friday, June 01, 2018

Modern Learning Environments / quality observation / engaging students in learning /emotional intelligence.

Check out Austin's butterfly drawing lesson - the secret of excellence

Education Readings

By Allan Alach

Every week Bruce Hammonds and I collect articles to share with teachers to encourage a creative approach to teaching and learning. I welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

Bad PD is Sometimes Your Own Fault

‘Professional Development/Learning is to teachers what school is for many students. Ask a random group of students what they think of school and you’re sure to get answers related to boring or worse. it’s almost cliche. It’s also kinda cool to say school sucks.'

Contributed by Bruce Hammonds:

The Architecture of Ideal Learning Environments

Think this would be worth sharing. Although I am critical of aspects of it, it shows what's coming, ready or not.

Wiring the entire school—including the outdoors—is necessary, architects agree, and projectors,
screens, and sound systems are migrating out of classrooms and into hallways, common spaces, cafeterias, and even stairwells. Students can access the network anywhere on campus, and view and share work on digital displays throughout the building. The effects can be subversive in all the right ways, reducing students’ dependence on the teacher, promoting peer-to-peer collaboration, and widening the sphere of learning from the confines of the classroom to the whole school grounds.’

How We Can Make Research Matter to Kids

Angie Miller
Reckon this is spot on.
‘Instead, we want assignments where students do something with their facts. I don’t mean put them in a brochure or on a website—no matter how beautiful you make it, regurgitating information is still regurgitating information. What I mean is research should always build to something greater in either an organized classroom conversation, writing, or presenting.’

Why misbehaviour isn’t just a free choice

'Cast-iron' behaviour policies are alluring in their simplicity, but do they result in long-lasting behavioural change?

In fact, he suggests, rewards-and-sanctions-based behaviour policies may actually be failing our most vulnerable students. The numbers for both permanent and fixed-term exclusions are rising year on year. If current behaviour policies were working, whywould the statistics tell a different story?'

Empowering Kids to Make Decisions

‘Where do people acquire the kinds of information that will be useful to them for decision-making purposes? How can we help children learn to make good decisions? How do decision-makers prioritize things? Here are some answers to these questions, along with suggestions to share with kids.’

Emotional intelligence: What it is and why you need it

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. Emotional intelligence is made up of four core skills that pair up under two primary competencies: personal competence and social competence.’

Researcher challenges the way schools
Alison Gopnik

‘Gopnik believes the long period children spend dependent on caregivers is evolution’s way of freeing them to exercise brains with an immense capacity for learning and creativity. Adults tend to instead make priorities of planning, executing and exerting executive control.’

What's Going On In Your Child's Brain When You Read Them A Story?

‘A newly published study gives some insight into what may be happening inside young children's
brains in each of those situations. And, says lead author Dr. John Hutton, there is an apparent "Goldilocks effect" — some kinds of storytelling may be "too cold" for children, while others are "too hot." And, of course, some are "just right.”'

Austin's Butterfly:Building excellence in student work.

Very much the process we used to use in Taranaki. Shows the importance of observation, peer support and feedback. All about slowing the pace and encouraging thinking. Please watch

‘In this six-minute video, Models of Excellence curator Ron Berger shares a student project with elementary school students to illuminate the power of critique and multiple drafts. Ron shows students six drafts of this drawing, and elicits their kind, specific and helpful critique to consider how each draft could improve. The progress of the drawing from a primitive first draft to an impressive final draft is a powerful message for educators: we often settle for low-quality work because we underestimate the capacity of students to create great work. With time, clarity, critique and support, students are capable of much more than we imagine

Preserving the Early Excitement of STEAM

An educator argues for keeping the creative spark of primary school STEAM education as
students move into middle school.

'When someone walks into a classroom in the 21st century, it should be unclear exactly what subject the students are engaged in—the lines between subjects should be blurry, or removed, and the only thing that should be clear is that students are engaged and learning.’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Self managing learners

‘If students are to become 'active seekers, users and creators of their own knowledge' then self-managing skills need to be 'taught' deliberately as an important goal of any classroom. The best way to see if students are self-managing is when the teacher leaves the room what intelligent behaviours would you hope to see on return?’

Fundamentals in education

In recent years education has become more and more cognitive or rational; learning that can be seen and measured so as to prove evidence of growth. In the
process real fundamentals have been overlooked. The creation of the mind is more than simply cognitive. The mind is a unified, active, constructive, self-creating, and symbol making organ; it feels as well as thinks- feelings and emotions are a kind of thought. Attitudes are created from feelings and emotions.’

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