Friday, July 20, 2018

100 things to demonstrate mastery / how to improve maths for all / student centred teaching / and John Hattie's 'best practices'..

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

The Difference Between Being Busy and Being Productive
When I was a new teacher, I believed I had to give 110% in everything I did. I thought that the best teachers were the ones who arrived first and left last. I was a busy teacher, taking on all kinds of committee work and saying yes to every project. But then I had a moment when I decided to “break up with busy.”’

In the Classroom: Let Students’ Minds Wander (But Not Too Far)
‘How long can you stay focused? According to researchers, nobody is immune to the occasional
daydream. In fact, many of us know all too well how difficult it can be to rein in our imaginations and pay attention to the task at hand. It may come as a surprise that these moments of “zoning out” actually help us think and work more efficiently. Although daydreaming may feel like a break or even a waste of time, it really plays an important function in our cognition and problem-solving.'  

100 Things Students Can Create To Demonstrate What They Know
‘Below is a diverse list adapted from resources found at of potential student products or activities learners can use to demonstrate their mastery of lesson content. The list also offers several digital tools for students to consider using in a technology-enriched learning environment.’

The Teacher-Powered Schools Movement: Transforming Teachers From Industrial Workers To Professionals
‘In contrast, educators at teacher-powered schools take on truly professional roles, controlling the decisions that directly affect school operations and student learning. These schools are modeled after the partnerships common among most white-collar professions—where a group of professionals own and operate a firm or practice and are accountable for its success or failure.’

E-learning will not revolutionise the education sector
‘It is becoming increasingly obvious that online education is not likely to revolutionise the
education sector and pose any imminent or future threat to mainstream conventional education. The possibility of it emerging as a substitute to formal education appears bleak, even though the revolution in the information communication technology presented a potent tool for promoting access, equity and quality in education, with ease and at affordable cost.’

When math teachers change mindset, student grades go up
‘Student achievement increased when teachers changed their mindset from believing only some
Jo Boaler
students could learn math well to believing that all students could succeed
, says coauthor Jo Boaler, a professor at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education. The increase was particularly significant for girls, English language learners, and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.'

Four Inquiry Qualities At The Heart of Student-Centered Teaching
‘Whether it be project-based learning, design thinking or genius hour, it's easy to get confused by the many education buzzwords floating about. But at their heart these pedagogies are all student-centered and there are commonalities across them that are the key to their success and far more critical than keeping the jargon straight.’

Even When Research Supports Changing Traditional Teaching, Parents Make It Hard
A familiar story…
Ghana  teacher
And at first the experimental training program was remarkably effective. But then the effort ran into a wall. The very people who are most desperate for Ghana's kids to succeed — the moms and the dads — started getting in the way.’

The Tech Industry’s War on Kids: How psychology is being used as a weapon against children
A bit of a long read but a speed read through is enough to get the scary message.
‘These parents have no idea that lurking behind their kids’ screens and phones are a multitude of psychologists, neuroscientists, and social science experts who use their knowledge of psychological vulnerabilities to devise products that capture kids’ attention for the sake of industry profit. What these parents and most of the world have yet to grasp is that psychology — a discipline that we associate with healing — is now being used as a weapon against children.

How Social Studies Can Help Young Kids Make Sense of the World
‘Experts say that requires regular and high-quality social studies lessons, starting in kindergarten, to teach kids to be critical thinkers and communicators who know how to take meaningful action. Yet, as teachers scramble to meet math and reading standards, social studies lessons have been pushed far back on the list of academic priorities, especially in the early grades.’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Five Minds for the Future- Howard Gardner
Howard Gardner
‘Based on the premise that students are entering an accelerating world of change in every area of life Gardner believes that such changes call for new ways of learning and thinking in schools if students are to thrive in the world during the eras to come. The directions our society is taking and the future of our planet demands such 'new minds' able to explore creative alternatives for problems that cannot be anticipated.’

The killing of creativity by the technocrats - Kelvin Smythe reflects on John Hattie
“As I visit classrooms I have become increasingly concerned about the use
John Hattie
of a number of strategies as defined by John Hattie and promulgated by the contracted advisers spreading the word about his 'best practices’
. Somehow, just because Hattie has amalgamated every piece of 'school effectiveness' research available ( mainly it seems from the USA) his findings, it seems, ought to be taken for read. The opposite ought to be the case - we need to be very wary of such so called 'meta research.’”

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