While policy makers focus on grading teachers by their abilities to teach subject content and raise test scores, there are many other measurements slipping through the cracks. Among them is a teacher's ability to change lives because of who they are as human beings -- how well they listen, encourage, and inspire children to be active participants in civil society. These vital abilities cannot be measured quantitatively yet they have immense capacity to change the world. In a recent qualitative study, Civic Learning at the Edge: Transformative Stories of Highly Engaged Youth, college students recalled the powerful influence of educators in their lives.
This post reviews existing literature on Open Educational Resources, introducing five critiques: 1) An under-theorisation of ‘openness’, in which the concepts of positive and negative liberty will be used to suggest a neglect of coherent theorisation concerning the practice of self-directed learning. 2) The simultaneous privileging and rejection of institutional authority, where OER literature will be shown to endorse the reputations of established institutions while claiming liberation from them. 3) The diminishing of the role of pedagogy, in which OER will be aligned with an untheorised learner-centred model of education. 4) Humanistic assumptions of unproblematic self-direction and autonomy, and 5) an alignment with the needs of capital, in which a Foucauldian interpretation of subjectivity will offer alternative perspectives on the notions of power and emancipation in OER discourse. It is suggested that these critiques may provide a framework for OER to develop a theoretically rigorous area of scholarship.
Peter Wilby: Through academies, Gove has destroyed the power structure that governed English education for more than a century ('That is the big story.Schools are being privatised, but also nationalised')
In the adolescent and teen brain, the rate of change exceeds that of even the body. The highest cognitive brain networks in the prefrontal cortex undergo their most profound maturation during the school years. What has neuroscience research revealed about the very unique adolescent brain that has important correlations to planning instruction and teaching strategies?
From seeking immediate gratification and risk, to developing and achieving long-term goals, educators are critical caretakers of these executive function circuits and the social, emotional, and cognitive tools students take with them into adulthood.
Should schools teach philosophy? When literacy and numeracy levels have not improved in 55 years, shouldn’t teachers be concentrating on improving the three Rs rather than introducing a fourth? Peter Worley, co-founder and CEO of The Philosophy Foundation, talks with Michael Hand from the Institute of Education and Stephen Boulter from Oxford Brookes University about whether children can do philosophy, and if schools should teach it, how should it be done?
Connected Learning, a new research-driven initiative, was introduced at the Digital Media and Learning Conference 2012. We see a growing gap between the learning mediums with which young people engage in-school and out-of-school. New social media enables young people to have greater choice and autonomy in pursuing their interests—whether academic, creative, or social—in domains outside of formal learning institutions...
A short introduction to the life and times of John Pounds of Portsmouth, inspirer of the Ragged Schools Movement, which provided free education for the poor across the UK - a milestone in the development of Universal Free Education in the form of a State Education.
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