Friday, October 12, 2018

Handling student trauma / the artistry of teaching / embrace uncertainty / vision and values /

Escaping traditional thinking
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

Secondary Traumatic Stress for Educators: Understanding and Mitigating the Effects
An article that examines the effect of student trauma on their teachers - a vital read.
‘With this evolving role comes an increasing need to understand and address the ways in which student trauma affects our education professionals.
In a growing number of professions, including firefighters, law enforcement, trauma doctors and nurses, child welfare workers, and therapists and case managers, it is now understood that working with people in trauma — hearing their stories of hardship and supporting their recovery — has far-reaching emotional effect on the provider.’

Problems with Evidence-based Education: Side Effects in Education
Introduction to Zong Zhao’s latest book:
‘Educational research typically has focused exclusively on collecting evidence to prove or disprove the benefits or intended effects of products, programs, policies, and practices. The recent movement toward evidence-based educational practices and policies is only about gathering and verifying evidence for effects. It shows no concern for negative side effects.
Does this mean that educational products are immune to adverse side effects? Does it mean that all educational products have no negative impact on students?’

Oracy: The Literacy of the Spoken Word
‘School 21 believes oracy is as important as reading and writing, and the research supports it. From Harkness discussions to talk-rich assemblies, learn how you can integrate oracy at your school.’

How to Teach an Inductive Learning Lesson
‘Inductive learning takes the traditional sequence of a lesson and reverses things. Instead of saying, “Here is the knowledge; now go practice it,” inductive learning says, “Here are some objects, some data, some artifacts, some experiences…what knowledge can we gain from them?”’

'Embrace uncertainty: leave students grappling'
‘Certainty isn't desirable It’s always assumed that the responsibility for questioning lies with the teacher, but wouldn’t it be great if we trained our students to use questions more effectively?’

The Artistry of Teaching
There is one goal [of education] that, if not achieved, makes the
achievement of all other goals very unlikely. That goal is to create those conditions that make students want to learn; not have to learn but want to learn more about self, others, and the world. The overarching purpose of schooling and its governance is to support that goal, i.e., to create and sustain contexts of productive learning supportive of the natural curiosity and wonder with which children start schooling’.

Big Picture Learning
In the schools that Big Picture Learning envisioned, students
would be at the center their own education. They would spend considerable time in the community under the tutelage of mentors and they would not be evaluated solely on the basis of standardized tests. Instead, students would be assessed on exhibitions and demonstrations of achievement, on motivation, and on the habits of mind, hand, and heart reflecting the real world evaluations and assessments that all of us face in our everyday lives.’

How Should Teachers be Professional With Social Media?
‘In this compulsive age of one-click logins, left and right ‘swipes’ and selfie auto-sharing, it can be easy to let our guard down and cross the line between what is appropriate and what is inappropriate when using social media.

The Danger of Teacher Nostalgia
This is the worst group we’ve ever had.”When I hear a teacher say this, I know those students are in trouble: The person in charge of their well-being, the tone of their classroom, and their opportunities to grow has decided they are beyond saving.’

Tear Down Your Behavior Chart!
'Behavior charts and similar public shaming methods don’t teach self-regulation. They mainly harm vulnerable learners.’

5 Ways to Decrease Disciplinary Issues in the Classroom
‘Many educators indicate that mastering classroom management is one of the most difficult parts
of the profession. Teachers who struggle with poor classroom management skills will never get their students to learn at their highest potential. Their students are seen off task, talking to their friends, defiant, and disrespectful The goal  is to change the behavior, not to continuously battle for power with a child in the classroom. Sending them out of the classroom only gives in to what some of them ultimately want.Here are five ways to decrease disciplinary issues in the classroom.'

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

There is no master plan
‘In this fast changing world there is no grand plan held by the technocrats in Wellington, as much individuals
as they would like to think so! All this certainty was put to rest by Darwin and his theory of evolution. Life evolves and it is impossible to predict what will eventuate. This applies to the universe as much as it own lives. This provides real challenges for individuals and schools.

Importance of School Values
‘A vision gives an organization a sense of direction, a purpose, but only if it is ‘owned’ and translated into action by all involved.But vision is not enough in itself. The values that any organization has are just as important or even more so because they determine the behaviors that people agree to live within. Alignment of people behind values is vital but too often both vision and values are just words hidden in folders are rarely referred to. What you do must reflect what you believe if there is to be integrity. And any alignment needs to include students and parents as well.’