Friday, August 10, 2018

Personalized learning / school culture / Finland / and NZ's pioneer creative teacher

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

Why Are We Still Personalizing Learning If It’s Not Personal?
‘As an ideal, personalized learning aims to provide instructional experiences tailored to each learner’s preferences and interests, and at a pace appropriate to their needs.But despite our good intentions, personalized learning in practice often falls short of those ideals. And that’s due to a number of misconceptions that persist around personalization.’

These Educators Are Using Personalized Learning to Think Differently About Teaching
‘Students have more agency in their education and are becoming creators and contributors in the learning process. The goals aim to ensure that learning is still focused on rigor and hitting the standards, but that students are also learning soft skills and advocating for their own education and needs as learners.’

The Role of Advisory in Personalizing the Secondary Experience
‘The goal of an advisory is to help students figure out who they are, where they’re headed and how
they’re going to get there. Through an advisory system, each student has an adult who knows them and helps them navigate high school so that they leave with a meaningful, personalized plan and are prepared for post-secondary options.’

3 Challenges for the Future of Education
Thanks to Michael Fawcett for this article.
‘I was recently sent an email and asked to identify some of the challenges I see for the future of
learning in education. These are things that I have noticed through my travels and after countless conversations with educators, and things that I have seen in my work. Although I am providing challenges, I am not necessarily giving solutions but am using this space to work out some of my ideas.’
 What Makes a Good School Culture?

Thanks to Tony Gurr for this one.
‘As she explains, researchers who have studied culture have tracked and demonstrated a strong and

significant correlation between organizational culture and an organization’s performance. Once principals understand what constitutes culture — once they learn to see it not as a hazy mass of intangibles, but as something that can be pinpointed and designed — they can start to execute a cultural vision.’

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern: Why I want arts and culture integrated into all areas of NZ society.
Maybe she needs to have a quiet chat to Minister of Education Chris Hipkins…
‘Art and wellbeing, the idea that creativity and joy should never be just the domain of the privileged few, but accessible to all, isn't new, but hopefully it's coming of age. Peter Fraser was onto it back in the 1940s when he was Prime Minister. He knew that creating a foundation to allow the seeds of art and culture to take root was a key ingredient in establishing a sense of identity.’

Beyond Recess: How to Explore the Forest as a Kindergarten Class
'American kids are spending less time outside. Even in kindergarten, recess is being cut back. But in
one small town in Vermont, a teacher is doing something different: one day a week, she takes her students outside - for the entire school day.
It’s called Forest Monday.’

Sis key principals that Finnish schools excellent.

‘So, what makes Finnish schools consistently excellent? A curriculum reform adopted by the Finnish National Agency for Education in 2016 set key goals that I think are clear reflections of the Finnish approach to education.’

LISTEN: Dylan Wiliam on the role of research in your classroom
‘The acclaimed academic offers his thoughts on growth mindset, cognitive load and how research can be used in schools.

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Elwyn S Richardson 1925 -2012 Creative teacher
Elwyn’s educational philosophy was based on the belief that all real learning must be anchored in
personal experience. It was this conviction that provided the foundation for his developmental approach to education. Central to this was his theory of integration, a personalised process whereby children moved from one expressive medium to another, between all subject areas.’

Experience and Education -John Dewey 1938
‘John Dewey's ideas have all but been lost in our current system particularly as students reach higher levels and, because of this, we now have such worrying problem of dis-engagement of learners.’

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