Friday, July 27, 2018

Creativity's role in education / digital education / students choice / personalized education / and modern flexible classrooms ..

Education Readings

Time for creative thinking
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

10 Characteristics of an Innovative Classroom
‘If your goal is to engage and educate students to the greatest extent possible, you need to consider the benefits of an innovative classroom. An innovative classroom will possess several key traits, including:’

Flexible Classrooms: Research Is Scarce, But Promising
‘An ambitious study of 153 classrooms in the United Kingdom provides the best evidence that flexible spaces can boost academic performance.

Te Akau ki Papamoa School Cultural Inclusiveness
‘Te Akau ki Papamoa School is a mainstream contributing school in Tauranga. It has a thriving sustainable eLearning programme and has been recognised as NZ’s first Apple Distinguished Primary School. Culture, identity, and te reo Māori are reinforced everyday to 680 students through the innovative use of ICTs, expertise, and collaboration.
Principal Bruce Jepson shares his kura’s vision and journey in becoming one of New Zealand's leading mainstream schools in normalising the delivery of te reo Māori and cultural competencies and the positive impacts on student achievement, school, and community culture.’

Real world maths

7 Real-World Math Strategies
‘Math used to be all rote memorization and pencil-to-paper equations disconnected from the real world, but more and more teachers are realizing the importance of making practical, relevant connections in math. We asked our audience of educators: How do you use the real world to teach math? We’ve collected some of the most interesting answers, ways teachers are connecting math to the everyday lives of their students.’

Five Ways to Succeed with Personalized Learning
Thanks to Tony Gurr for bringing this to our attention.
‘Educational leaders want their staff to embrace and routinely practice personalized learning. But what’s the best way to make that happen?'

Pearson Education: Should this big global company be part of a billion-dollar NZ research fund?
No! No! No! No!
‘The central concern for both of these issues is to do with Pearson Education’s profit motive. In countries with public education systems, Pearson’s success has involved privatising components of the sector. A reporter for the New York Times once wrote that an “American child could go to a public school run by Pearson, studying from books produced by Pearson, while his or her progress is evaluated by Pearson standardized tests. The only public participant in the show would be the taxpayer.”’

Habitually barefoot kids have better motor skills
NZ kids should have a big advantage then!
‘A new study, published in the journal, Frontiers in Pediatrics, discovered that being barefoot as a child positively impacts motor movements. Children that always wear shoes (are shod) displayed worse jumping and balancing skills compared to those who are perpetually barefoot.’

Student Choice
‘During the last three weeks of Term 2, I was given the opportunity to spend an hour and a half each
week engaged in professional development around a topic of my choosing. In my application for this internal release time I stated that the focus of my work would be to: “Understand  the concept of Student choice and identify ways to practically apply it in an early years classroom.”

Consequences Of The New Digital Childhood
‘The 21st century childhood is different. A 2010 Kaiser Foundation Study found that the average
elementary school aged child spent 7.5 hours daily using entertainment technology, and 75 percent of these children had a television in their bedrooms. Of course, the widespread use of technology is only increasing, and new forms of digital entertainment are introduced regularly.
So how does the new digital childhood impact our kids? Let’s take a look.’

Are you teaching ‘zombie’ lessons?
‘How many times have you been gathered together with your fellow teachers, exhausted after five
hours of teaching, only to have someone excitedly reveal the next "big thing" that you all need to start doing the next day?
Now take another moment. How many of those things have you ever directly been told to stop doing? How many times has the person come back to say “Sorry, we got that wrong…Please stop”? I’m willing to bet that this list is a lot shorter than the first one.’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Observations of an imaginary creative classroom
‘Imagine a learning environment dedicated to ensuring that the diverse creativity that lies within every learner is realised. One of my overriding thoughts has aways been what if we were to capture the innovative ideas that I have seen that are spread across school and, from them, developed a really creative school?’

Creativity – its place in education - Wayne Morris
‘The sheer volume of facts to be digested by the students of today leaves little time for a deeper interrogation of their moral worth. The result has been a generation of technicians rather than visionaries, each one taking a career
rather than an idea seriously. The answer must be reform in our educational methods so that students are encouraged to ask about “know-why” as well as “know-how”. Once the arts are restored to a more central role in educational institutions, there could be a tremendous unleashing of creative energy in other disciplines too.”’

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