Friday, November 30, 2018

What makes a teacher great ? Read what Sir Ken Robinson says

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
This edition will be the last one for 2018. We appreciate it a busy time with political action, end of term activities, and school reports but suggest you save readings to cherry pick mid January

Sir Ken Robinson: What makes a teacher great?
‘Education innovator Sir Ken Robinson, School News deliberated over misconceptions about great teaching. “It’s assumed, I think, that to be a good teacher essentially all you need is to have a good degree in whatever it is you’re being paid to teach,” Sir Ken noted. “It’s simply not true, it was never true.’

Rewards Are Still Bad News (25 Years Later)
By A
lfie Kohn
‘It’s not just that these two are different but that the first tends to undermine the second. Intrinsic motivation (loving what you do) is also the best predictor of high-quality achievement, which is why — brace yourself for another counterintuitive discovery — people promised a reward for doing something often end up doing it more poorly than people who weren’t.

How Schools Thwart Passions
‘Pursuit of passions requires time for play and self-directed education. Play, almost by definition, IS following your passions.  But we’ve pretty much removed play from young people’s lives.

The habits of highly effective teachers
Teachers who have high levels of self-efficacy, or those who believe in their own abilities, have the biggest impact on student learning, a new University of Melbourne review shows.'

Every Kid Can Do Amazing Things
‘Potential identified, at a very early age; then nurtured,
rehearsed, practiced until potential becomes a passion. Isn’t that the perfect mix?  Or is it that his passion showed his potential? What comes first? Either way, helping him to navigate where his passion might take him becomes the main game.’

 War on Boys 
‘What ever happened to letting "boys be boys?" Take these two cases: In one, a seven-year-old boy
was sent home for nibbling a Pop Tart into a gun. In another, a teacher was so alarmed by a picture drawn by a student (of a sword fight), that the boy's parents were summoned in for a conference. In short, boys in America's schools are routinely punished for being active, competitive, and restless. In other words, boys can no longer be boys. Christina Hoff Sommers, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, explains how we can change this.’

Finland’s digital-based curriculum impedes learning, researcher finds
'The more that digital tools were used in lessons, the worse learning outcomes were. This was
found in all areas of the Pisa measurements," she said, noting that it was not a question of students being unable to use the devices. Instead, she said students can easily be distracted by the devices themselves - like laptops or tablets - and often start using them for something besides schoolwork. Saarinen said the results surprised her, but only to a certain degree.’

Why Pedagogy First, Tech Second Stance is Key to the Future
While I am a huge advocate for the purposeful integration of technology in schools, we must resist the temptation to think that this is the solution to solve all the ills in our current education system.
What concerns me most is how many districts and schools are going all in with one-on-one or bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives with no real plan for implementation and evaluation of effectiveness. This lack of planning and support will likely result in devices never achieving the outcomes that they were designed to achieve. It’s foolish to think that students will learn just by putting a device in their hands.

If People Talked To Other Professional The Way They Talk To
I am sure you will all relate to this!

Cursive: the reason it is still relevant today and the science behind it.
Fine motor skills are the building blocks our brains need to connect and make sense of the world
around us. Cursive is a great example of many specializations taking place at once.’

Student Writing in the Digital Age
‘Essays filled with “LOL” and emojis? College student writing today actually is longer and contains no more errors than it did in 1917.’

Grouping students in mathematics... more than just mixed ability
Sue Pine
‘In recent years many teachers have moved away from the use of ability groups in mathematics towards a more flexible approach using mixed ability groups.When students are given the opportunity to work in mixed ability groups on carefully designed tasks they begin to see themselves as being able to do mathematics, which builds a positive mathematical mindset and identity.’

A Grading Strategy That Puts the Focus On Learning From Mistakes
'Teachers know that students learn a tremendous amount from scrutinizing their mistakes, but getting them to take the time to stop and reflect is a challenge.’

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

A short story : Why isn't Sione in the dance group.
‘This short story was sent to me by a 'teachers' friend' from the North. It poetically illustrates the
dangers of imposing a narrow standards based approach to learning. Schools need to tap into the interests, culture and motivations that students bring with them and not try to fit them into middle class boxes.’

Creativity – its place in education
‘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.’

Quality learning: William Glasser - 'Schools without Failure' ; and Jerome Bruner - solving 'learning blocks'.
‘A number of years ago many schools implemented the ideas of Dr William Glasser . Glasser had written a number of books all with a focus on achieving quality work.’

Time to throw out formulaic teaching - be creative

1 comment:

Luis / New Zealand said...

Thank you Allan