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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Keeping it Real: 4 Points to be Flexible in Teaching, Jane Elliot's Famous Experiment

Keeping it Real:  4 Points to be Flexible in Teaching, Jane Elliot's Famous Experiment | Agile Learning |

How to make it clear, satisfying, concrete, and real - including Jane Elliot's Famous Experiment and the impact it still has today in the third point, #3.  It's worth a re-read every so often to remember.

1) Make it clear

When I was a journalist, [I used] the inverted pyramid structure....the upper part …. represents the most important facts, ….and the lower part ...represents additional information …in order of diminishing importance. The pyramid [has] three sections: the “lead”, “body”, and “tail."  ...frame your...“lead” around a problem to be solved or an enquiry to be investigated...  [C]oncentrate on writing questions...  [W]rite a “big question” which forms the basis for the lesson. 


2) Make it satisfying


…Once I’ve opened a gap in my knowledge I must fill it; once a problem has been brought to my attention, I must solve it. This explains why I watched Disaster Movie through to the bitter end. Piquing curiosity … is also key to effective teaching. ….start by highlighting the knowledge they are missing. Another technique is to start a lesson by asking students to make a prediction.


3)  Make it concrete   [The Experiment]


…ensure your ideas “stick” by making them tangible. ...Take, for example, Jane Elliott’s famous “blue-eyed/brown-eyed” experiment with third grade students the day after Martin Luther King had been assassinated in 1968. 


....Most of Elliott’s students were, like her, born and raised in a small town in Iowa, and were not normally exposed to Black people. ....she divided the class into the brown-eyed and the blue-eyed children. She said the blue-eyed children were the superior group, provided brown fabric collars and asked the blue-eyed students to wrap them around the necks of their brown-eyed peers as a method of easily identifying the minority group. She gave the blue-eyed children extra privileges, such as second helpings at lunch, access to the new jungle gym, and five extra minutes at recess.   


….eventually those who were deemed “superior” became arrogant, bossy and otherwise unpleasant to their “inferior” classmates. Their grades also improved, doing mathematical and reading tasks that had seemed outside their ability before. The “inferior” classmates also transformed into timid and subservient children who even during recess isolated themselves, including those who had previously been dominant in the class. These children’s academic performance suffered, even with tasks that had been simple before. 


Once she had concluded the experiment, she asked the children to reflect by writing down what they had learned and it became clear that her students had come to deeply understand racism because Elliot had made it feel real, she had grounded an abstract concept in sensory reality and thus engaged her students’ emotions.


(DN:  See my comment below for a link to the impact of this experiment decades later on the children who were in the original class.)

4) Make it real


...Metaphor is good at making ideas stick because it brings ideas to life, it draws connections between new knowledge and existing knowledge.  For example, if you are trying to describe how electricity flows through a material, you’ll need to explain the structure of atoms. You might first use a metaphor which describes atoms as “nature’s building blocks” to help your students understand an atom’s function.


As always in REVELN ScoopIt news, click on the photo to see the full post.

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The standout here is the controversial and visceral story of Jane Elliot's controversial blue-eye, brown-eyed experiment.  A paper that described the lasting effects of this experience is here, quoting the students in the original classroom some 40+ years later.  So as for concrete (and real) we have Ray Hansen,
…now 43 and an attorney in Rochester, Minnesota, says that because of Jane, “I go out of my way to offer a kind word to people of color. I don’t think I would do that if not for Jane. What Jane taught is woven into the fabric of my being. You cannot underestimate the impact that such an experience has had on us.


I don’t know how anyone who went through the experience can say that they have not been changed. Jane must get the credit she deserves for making the world a better place, and making us better human beings.”

Concrete and real, indeed.  ~  Deb 

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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

10 Ways to Learn From Twitter: Informal, Fast and Current

10 Ways to Learn From Twitter: Informal, Fast and Current | Agile Learning |

Twitter is a powerful platform for personal and professional learning, enrichment and growth. Use Twitter for informal learning.Post from: The eLearning Coach.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Social media has world-wide, instant read tools for informal learning.  A post like this, by an e-learning coach, absolutely has a place in Agile Learning.  (There's more on the Social Media Learning Lab curation stream as well.)  ~ Deb

Robin Martin's comment, July 31, 2013 9:25 PM
Very, very cool Deb!
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, July 31, 2013 11:49 PM
Thanks for the comment Robin!
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, July 31, 2013 11:50 PM

First shared on Agile Learning, this post also belongs here in the Social Media Learning Lab.  ~  Deb

Rescooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN from Change Management Resources!

Strategic Agility? FLIP & use Smart Mobs to thrive in our VUCA world: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous

Strategic Agility?  FLIP & use Smart Mobs to thrive in our VUCA world:  Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous | Agile Learning |

"If you stand still, you’ll fall behind in today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. Movement alone, however, doesn’t guarantee success." ~ Liz Guthridge

Great post by Liz!  On her blog, I commented that Liz speaks to a practical tool for VUCA preparedness so well, especially in cultivating a state of strategic agility, a big interest of mine this past year in assisting clients.

Liz is also doing some great things of interest to peer learners via her focus on smart mobs and crowdsourcing.  I've dipped my toe in the water in a parallel way to these practices via my experiences facilitating Open Space and Appreciative Inquiry and soon, my first UnConference.  All of these practices could be considered VUCA-friendly.



By committing to FLIP (focus, listen, involve and personalize), you’re leading from wherever you are. And you’re serving as a role model to encourage others to be active, not passive, about your responsibilities.


With #3, INVOLVE, Liz talks about smart-mob organizing, bringing together groups of people for a common business challenge or social change.  This can easily include social media or other technology.

  • Liz is conducting a Best Practice Institute webinar on Change Through Crowdsourcing: How to Use Peer-by-Peer Practices to Transform Organizations on June 19 at 2 pm


With smart mobs, you can collaborate and cooperate in new, clever ways faster and more effective than ever before.


Rather than be content living with uncertainty and ambiguity in a VUCA world, you’re switching them around. You’re showing “agility” instead of “ambiguity” by seeking “understanding” instead of floundering in uncertainty.

Full post here.

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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

17 Steps To Acquiring A New Skill Faster Than You Thought Possible

17 Steps To Acquiring A New Skill Faster Than You Thought Possible | Agile Learning |

Excited about learning a new skill?  17 strategies including approaches from a noted, rapid learning expert.

Excerpted, a curated, top level list 7 of the 17 strategies listed:

1. Deconstruct & Reverse Engineer

Break it down into little pieces and master an isolated portion. Ex: learning guitar, learn how to press down a chord pattern with your fingers first without even trying to strum the chord. Once you are able to change between a couple of chord patterns, then add the strumming.

2. Pareto Principle

20% work that will give you 80% of the results. Learning a language?  Do a quick search for “most commonly used French words” & learn these first.

5. Join a Group

You’ll learn from others [and] make progress together. 

8. F.O.C.U.S.

Follow one course until success! Simply focus on the one new skill at hand until you get it done.

10. Find a Mentor

Success leaves clues. …find an expert …to avoid…making the mistakes that they have made….the expert will fast-track your learning …have them personally walk you through what needs to be done. Reach out and send an email to them.

11. Sleep On It

Practice your new skill within 4 hours of going to sleep. Josh Kaufman is a noted rapid learning expert and tells us that any practice done within this time frame causes your brain to embed the learning more rapidly into its neural pathways. Your memory and motor-mechanics needed are ingrained at a quicker level.

12. The 20 Hour Rule

Along with that tip, Kaufman also suggests 20 as the magical number of hours to dedicate to learning the new skill. His reasoning is that everyone will hit a wall early on in the rapid learning stage and that “pre-committing” to 20 hours is a sure-fire way to push through that wall and acquire your new skill.


15. Ditch the Distractions  Ditch social media, and the temptation to check any email.   Before you ...practice, make sure whatever potential distractions are far from sight.


Related tools & posts by Deb:


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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

It's a robust list with strategies that resonate.  Consider using learning strategies that you've used in the past successfully, adding perhaps 1-2 others to ramp up your learning speed & agility.   ~  D

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Rescooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN from blended learning!

How to Blend Face-to-Face Delivery with Online Learning

How to Blend Face-to-Face Delivery with Online Learning | Agile Learning |
  • Social media can be a powerful pedagogical tool in the classroom, but the key to its success lies in building a dynamic and sustainable 'online teacher presence'.

The 10 strategies listed offer insight into effective online tutoring techniques that complement traditional face-to-face delivery.

Here's an excerpt:

  1. Building a safe online environment, in which everyone feels comfortable and confident to contribute
  2. Allowing for social connection should come before content-oriented goals. Work on building trust before launching into lessons that warrant more complex cognitive online demands.
  3. Teacher and student commitment to encourage the growth of their 'pop-up cyber society'.
  4. Actively refer to the online forum environment whilst delivering lessons
  5. Embed positive psychology into the online educational forum.

Related articles from Deb:

Via Nik Peachey, Lukas Palecek, Juan Alberto L Uribe, Susan, Ricard Garcia, michel verstrepen
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Insights on the magic of the blend.  ~  Deb

Monicaaparicio's curator insight, March 25, 2013 9:59 PM


Clare O'Connor's curator insight, April 2, 2013 2:54 AM

This article has a useful list of 10 strategies for making online learning work alongside face to face, or 'blended' learning.

Mike Smith's curator insight, March 10, 2015 3:04 AM