Friday, October 05, 2018

Personalized learning / importance of the arts / engaging students / beyond the 3Rs / and time for principals to fight back

Time to refresh your energy.

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

Arriving at a Definition of Learning
'Personalized and blended learning and differentiated instruction should be viewed as interrelated supports for deep learning.’

Play based learning
However, the play environment is only one part of the puzzle in supporting and observing how children learn through play.  Much
of the critical work is unseen to the 'naked eye' by visitors intent on seeing how schools 'do' play in their environment.’

Why an education in visual arts is the key to arming students for the future
'Visual skills are essential for a sophisticated workforce, yet we offer so little education in the vital skills of learning to see and developing the ability to interpret and critique our image-saturated world.’

Does Teacher Diversity Matter in Student Learning? Relevant
for NZ teachers?
Research shows that students, especially boys, benefit when teachers share their race or gender. Yet most teachers are white women.’

How to Ensure Students Are Actively Engaged and Not Just Compliant
'Engagement is a crucial part of learning, but ensuring students are actively engaged is more complex than whether a student is paying attention or not. As technology has made its way into the classroom many educators describe how attentive students are when on devices, but a quiet, outwardly behaved student is not the same thing as one that is truly engaged.’

Where have all the Powerful Ideas Gone?
‘I’m talking about the educators and educational leaders who are still timid and tentative about the use of computers in their schools.  I’m talking about the low bar ideas that are all about sustaining existing practice. And I’m talking about the dumbing down of every idea so that it’s ‘simple’ and easy’, as if teachers are not capable of rigor or higher-order thinking.’

WASO Crescendo program lifts NAPLAN results as schools see the benefits of music in class
  A music program that pairs children from disadvantaged areas with classical musicians from the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (WASO) has been shown to have a profound effect on their learning.’

Alan Watts: 'Why modern education is a hoax’
"Let's take education. What a hoaxYou get a little child, you see, and you suck it into a trap and
you send it to nursery school. And in nursery school you tell the child 'You are getting ready to go on to kindergarten. And then wow-wee, first grade is coming up, and second grade, and third grade.' You are gradually climbing the ladder towards, towards, going on towards progress. And then when it gets to end of grade school, you say 'high school, now you're really getting going.' Wrong."

Dr. Wayne Ross: The Fear Created by Precarious Existence in The Neoliberal World Discourages Critical Thinking
Can we have a school of knowledge under a neoliberal policy? Simply, can we have an education
under the neoliberal yoke? Are neoliberalism and education compatible?

Accountability and the Tyranny of Metrics
For educators, that draws a focus to assessment, where maybe it's time we asked if high-stakes standardized testing has finally reached its use by date? I mean what do you think it will take before we see public acknowledgment that the damage such ill-conceived tests have done to our kids and their learning, far outweighs any real or perceived benefits?

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Seymour Papert : The obsolete 'Three Rs' - blocking real change in education
'Schools are still identified by the old turn of phrase ‘the three Rs’- reading ‘riting and ‘rithmetic', Seymour Papert. The 'three Rs' still reign supreme – more than ever in New Zealand  particularly since the introduction of governments National Standards in literacy and numeracy. As one English educational commentator has written ‘the evil twins of literacy and numeracy have all but eaten up the entire curriculum.’

Time for principals to fight back!
‘Principals have been too passive the past decades busying themselves with complying with demands placed on them from those on high. In this process they have become stressed out, not sure what is expected, and this is exacerbated by the Ministry continually adding new requirements

.It is time they added their collective voices to the debate and this is easiest done by groups of courageous principals, defining what is important, and sharing it with others.’

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