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Teaching and learning through dialogue

Teaching and learning through dialogue | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
A few months ago, I wrote a blog post entitled 'Learning as dialogue' which was essentially about how students can learn through conversation and by discussing their ideas with each other. This theme is echoed in my new book Learning with 'e's which was published this week. An extract from the book relates one of my own student experiences:

"The teachers who have inspired me most are those who have been accessible rather than remote, personable instead of stand-offish, and knowledgeable without being arrogant. Most importantly, they conversed with me rather than lectured. One of the lecturers in the first year of my undergraduate degree inspired me to learn more and to push myself to my limits to become more knowledgeable in my subject area.

"Dr Ken Gale did this using nothing more than a whiteboard and pen, along with constant discussion and questioning. Ken has since become one of my valued colleagues. This kind of simple Socratic discourse was deceptively powerful, did wonders for my self esteem and piqued my appetite for more knowledge. There was no need for him to use any other visual aids or learning resources. Ken simply pointed us in the direction of relevant reading, and strategically slipped the names of key theorists into his discussions with us.

"For me this was a skillful, but relaxed and unobtrusive kind of pedagogy, involving every student in the room, debating, deliberating and generally exploring together the nuances and intricacies of our subject. There was no lecturing, and there were no absolutes. Just the inspiration of the discussion and the joy of knowing that you were going to leave the classroom with more questions than when you came in.

"It seems clear to me that to encourage open and frank dialogue in a formal learning environment, the power differential between teacher and student must be removed. When teachers wish to promote democratic learning, students are given license to challenge and encouraged to discuss, debate, argue. Passive consumption of delivered knowledge is then replaced by full engagement with the subject matter through conversation. The conversation around the topic becomes the new curriculum, enabling each student to act as an open minded, independent thinker who can defend his or her position without resorting to dogmatic assertions based on partial understanding or incomplete knowledge.

"The best teachers encourage all students to participate and value all contributions, incorporating as many as possible into an extended conversation around the topic."
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WeAreTeachers: 20 Things New Teachers Really, Really Need to Know (According to The Vets)

WeAreTeachers: 20 Things New Teachers Really, Really Need to Know (According to The Vets) | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Are your knees knocking at the thought of walking into a classroom for the very first time this fall? Have no fear! We asked our friends on Facebook to share their best pearls of wisdom for new teachers, and they generously sent their inspiration, advice and need-to-know strategies. Think of them as your virtual mentors—like all teachers, we’re here to help one another succeed!

 

 


Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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The Power of "I Don't Know"

The Power of "I Don't Know" | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

At the start of each year, I have to train students that I will not be feeding them answers. I will not be having them copy notes from the board. I will not hand out copies of words and definitions for them to study. I will not hand them fill-in-the-blank paragraphs that we will all fill in together.

Rather, I will teach them how to develop questions. And when they ask me for answers, I will happily and without embarrassment, reply with, "I don't know."

I will also teach them that when I ask them a question it's OK if they say, "I don't know." I won't make them feel bad for not knowing the answer. Instead, I will spend vital time teaching them that when "I don't know" pops into one's head, it is the trigger to find out. For me, the guide in the room, that means making sure that my own attitude does not reflect our society's assumption that "I don't know" is a weakness.

"I don't know" has been so negatively ingrained that it can make a student feel powerless enough that just the mere inkling of it tickling their brain can shut down learning. But to make "I don't know" a more positive phrase takes targeted lessons in empowering students to conquer their own confusion. It's important to permit them confusion, to permit them to admit that the pathway before them is blocked with overgrown foliage and weeds. Then you hand them a mental machete to clear the way themselves.

One way to give power to an "I don't know" attitude is to teach internet literacy early and often, giving students the power to seek out answers themselves.

Today, I'm going to share the first three lessons I do to teach online literacy, and those that focus the most on harnessing the power of the search bar so that "I don't know" can really mean, "Wait! Let me find out!"

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A limitation of direct instruction and what we can do about it - matbury.com

A limitation of direct instruction and what we can do about it - matbury.com | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Teachers in professional development sessions, discussion forums, and informal conversations often recognise that there are issues affecting their learners’ attention and learning, despite their best efforts to design and plan clear, concise, interesting, engaging, purposeful, and meaningful lessons. I’ve frequently heard teachers, novice and experienced alike, searching for ways to make their classes more engaging and for more of their learners to make sense of more of the concepts presented to them at a time. Personally, I think that most teachers are very good at directing, instructing, describing, demonstrating, and explaining, and they’re often skilled, likeable, and entertaining presenters. I don’t think that teachers’ presenting abilities are the problem…Does this mean we should never use direct instruction?

Certainly not. I prefer to think of direct instruction as just one of many tools available to teachers, and all tools have their appropriate uses and limitations. There are times when teacher-led, direct instruction to a cohort of learners is an appropriate choice and some amount of direct instruction can improve group cohesion, and be motivating and even inspiring to learners. However, I think problems arise when it’s the dominant or only method that teachers and faculty use and it’s the combined responsibility of teachers, faculty, curriculum developers, and academic management to work together to ensure that courses and programmes are using the most appropriate methods and approaches to meet learners’ needs in achieving their learning objectives. Although the proportion can vary from discipline to discipline and subject to subject, if you’re spending more than 20% of classroom time on direct instruction, I recommend reviewing what other methods could be more appropriate for your courses’ and/or programmes’ learning objectives.

 

 

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How Teaching Is Changing: 15 Examples

How Teaching Is Changing: 15 Examples | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

"It’s tempting to say that no matter how much technology pushes on education, every teacher will always need to know iconic teacher practices like assessment, curriculum design, classroom management, and cognitive coaching.

 

This may end up being true...Below are 15 tasks that are less skill-based. and a bit more conceptual, collectively representing how teaching is changing."


Via Beth Dichter
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Beth Dichter's curator insight, May 5, 2014 9:50 PM

I suspect that every teacher has seen major change over the last few years. This post provides a look at changes that have happened, or are in the process. The first seven provide the change and a look at the old, the new, the difference and a short summary. One example from the post is quoted below.

Personalization

The Old: Administer assessment, evaluate performance, report performance, then–maybe–make crude adjustments the best you can

The New: Identifying, prioritizing, and evaluating data for each student individually–in real time

The Difference: Precision

For more information click through to the post.

Rudy Azcuy's curator insight, May 6, 2014 8:38 AM

How do you see education changing? How prepared are our schools for these changes?

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From Questions to Concepts, Dr. Eric Mazur - YouTube

Over the years, Dr. Mazur discovered that students in his introductory physics course were passing exams without having understood the fundamental concepts he was trying to teach. In response to this problem, Dr. Mazur developed a variety of interactive techniques linked to each other in ways that help his students learn basic concepts far better than before. He developed a strategy that incorporates "just-in-time" teaching with short lectures punctuated by conceptual questions posed to students, better known as Peer Instruction. The Peer Instruction method engages students through activities that require each learner to apply the concepts being presented. Students then explain those concepts to fellow learners, involving the entire group. Questions are asked, discussed and then displayed using classroom response technology. Peer Instruction provides continuous assessment and feedback, forcing students to learn from each other while in the classroom. You can forget facts, but you cannot forget understanding! Dr. Mazur's ultimate goal is not for students to memorize material for tests, but to create lifelong understanding.

 

 

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Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from Quality assurance of eLearning
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EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - EU high level group: train the professors to teach

EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - EU high level group: train the professors to teach | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

The EU high-level group on modernisation of higher education publishes its first report today on improving the quality of teaching and learning in universities. The group, chaired by former President of Ireland Mary McAleese, makes 16 recommendations (see Annex 1) which include a call for mandatory certified training for professors and other higher education teaching staff, more focus on helping students to develop entrepreneurial and innovative skills, and the creation of a European Academy of Teaching and Learning.

 

Next steps

The high level group will now begin work on the second part of its mission, focused on how to maximise the impact of new methods of delivering quality higher education, such as massive open online courses ('MOOCs'), which enable people to access higher education from their homes. Partners in 11 countries recently launched the first pan-European MOOCs with the support of the European Commission (IP/13/349). The high-level group's next report is due to be published in June 2014.


Via Harvey Mellar
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Recommendation 4

All staff teaching in higher education institutions in 2020 should have received certified pedagogical training. Continuous professional education as teachers should become a requirement for teachers in the higher education sector.

 

Recommendation 5

Academic staff entrance, progression and promotion decisions should take account of an assessment of teaching competence alongside other factors.

 

Recommendation 11

Higher education institutions – facilitated by public administrations and the EU – should support their teachers so they develop the skills for online and other forms of teaching and learning opened up by the digital era,, and should exploit the opportunities presented by technology to improve the quality of teaching and learning

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The Best Curation Tools for Education and Learning

The Best Curation Tools for Education and Learning | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Curation tools and web services designed to create learning paths, curriculums, thematic collections and PKM portfolios

Via Robin Good
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Blanca Stella Mejia's comment, June 11, 2013 8:32 AM
Good one!
Blanca Stella Mejia's comment, June 11, 2013 8:32 AM
Good one!
Nick Mortel's curator insight, June 21, 2013 7:34 AM

add your insight...

Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from An Eye on New Media
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Brainstorm in Progress: Effective Online Teaching Techniques

Brainstorm in Progress: Effective Online Teaching Techniques | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

KEN'S KEY TAKEAWAY:

This is a wonderful resource.  Please forgive the bad outline slide.  This is a solid presentation based on Arthur W. Chickering and Stephen C. Ehrmann's important ideas for conducting quality online learning environments.

 

In fact, here is the original study:  http://www.tltgroup.org/programs/seven.html ; (I am happy to see that it now has a Creative Commons license.

Ken


Via Ana Cristina Pratas, Ken Morrison
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Ken Morrison's comment, November 5, 2012 10:15 AM
Thank you for the rescoops!
Met Kous's comment, November 5, 2012 3:18 PM
Thank you, too!
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The Growing Chasm in the Online Higher Education Market (1 of 2)

The Growing Chasm in the Online Higher Education Market (1 of 2) | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
A chasm is beginning to appear between institutions of higher education that offer online programs. The divide is the result of the different strategies taken for designing, sourcing and managing online education programs.

A small number of institutions in the U.S. have adopted methods for producing and supporting online courses that have the potential, if not the likelihood, to improve learning outcomes, increase the speed with the institution improves the quality of teaching and learning, increase value (quality/cost). If present trends continue, these institutions could reconfigure the deeply embedded hierarchy that organizes higher education.
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32 Characteristics Of High-Performing Classrooms

32 Characteristics Of High-Performing Classrooms | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
32 Characteristics Of High-Performing Classrooms

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
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Teacher Wars and Teaching Machines

Teacher Wars and Teaching Machines | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
The Teacher Wars and Teaching Machines

To frame education this way — around teachers and by extension, around labor — has important implications for ed-tech. What happens if we examine the history of teaching alongside the history of teaching machines? As I’ve argued before, the history of public education in the US, particularly in the 20th century, is deeply intertwined with various education technologies – film, TV, radio, computers, the Internet – devices that are often promoted as improving access or as making an outmoded system more “modern.” But ed-tech is frequently touted too as “labor-saving” and as a corrective to teachers’ inadequacies and inefficiencies.

It’s hardly surprising, in this light, that teachers have long looked with suspicion at new education technologies. With their profession constantly under attack, many teacher are worried no doubt that new tools are poised to replace them. Much is said to quiet these fears, with education reformers and technologists insisting again and again that replacing teachers with tech is not the intention.

And yet the sentiment of science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke probably does resonate with a lot of people, as a line from his 1980 Omni Magazine article on computer-assisted instruction is echoed by all sorts of pundits and politicians: “Any teacher who can be replaced by a machine should be.”
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Rescooped by Miloš Bajčetić from E-Learning and Online Teaching
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Is lecture really the thing that needs fixing?

Is lecture really the thing that needs fixing? | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Image: Automated Blackboard eraser...

 

Based on the headline and framing of the article, you might be tempted to think that the problem is that lecture is ineffective and that data might be able to fix it. But that’s not really it. (Nor is the problem that students are stupid and lazy, which you might get from the comment section.) Actually I think Samson himself nails the problem:

He is not shy about admitting where teaching falls on the list of priorities for most of his peers: a distant third, after publishing articles and landing research grants. “Instructors want to do the right thing,” he says. “They’re just busy guys, and they don’t sense that the bean-counting is heavily weighted toward the teaching.”

In that one quote, you get everything you need to know about why traditional instructor-centered teaching still reigns supreme on many university campuses, despite mountains of evidence, not to mention anecdotes, that interactive-engagement methods are far more effective. It all boils down to that one word:Priorities.

 


Via Dennis T OConnor
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Michelle Allwright's curator insight, August 20, 2014 5:11 PM

Interactive, engaging and the learning around core skills is where it is heading. It's about ensuring that the students are industry ready; not just theory ready.

Jim Goldsmith's curator insight, August 20, 2014 8:18 PM

A number of good points made about priorities in higher education; also, some intelligent disussion in the comment sections from (mostly) learning peers.

Ulrike Grabe's curator insight, August 22, 2014 5:13 AM

" If you really want something to happen, you make it a priority and make the time. I have to conclude that I think many universities, and sadly many faculty, say that they want effective teaching and high student performance, but they don’t want it badly enough to make sacrifices for it."

 

He has point there. :-)

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Compiling a Teaching Portfolio: An Introduction | Inside Higher Ed

Compiling a Teaching Portfolio: An Introduction | Inside Higher Ed | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Much like teaching journals, however, teaching portfolios warrant our ongoing attention as graduate students. The earlier you start compiling relevant teaching materials and thinking critically about your teaching experience, the better both the portfolio and your prospects on the job market. The latest higher-ed reports point to an increase in part-time and community college employment. In both cases, a strong teaching sensibility carries a lot of weight. A curated collection of teaching-related information will only strengthen your prospects in a job climate tailored towards teaching-heavy positions.

 

With that in mind, what should we be putting into these teaching portfolios? The main ingredients should reflect both your teaching philosophy and experience in the classroom. According to Laura T. Border’s “Outline for a Socratic or Professional Academic Portfolio,” key components include:


- A philosophy of teaching and learning- A teaching biography- Assessment and evaluation of student learning- Assessment and evaluation of your teaching
Miloš Bajčetić's insight:

Outline for Teaching Portfolio for Certificate in College Teaching - http://www.colorado.edu/gtp/sites/default/files/attached-files/CCT%20Teaching%20Portfolio%20Outline%202013.pdf

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20 Signs You've Made a Difference as an Educator

20 Signs You've Made a Difference as an Educator | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

Remember that professor you had in college who took you under his wing and made you feel like you had something unique to contribute to the world? You know how valuable his guidance was to you, but does he? Unless you expressed your appreciation, chances are he’s like every other educator—like you, now—who runs on one type of fuel: faith.

There is no shortage of instructional literature on how to make a difference in our students’ lives, but how do we know when we’ve succeeded?

 

A recent Harvard study found that students are significantly more likely to attend college and earn more money later in life if they had a good teacher in school.

 

 


Via Beth Dichter
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The Rice Process's curator insight, March 2, 2014 8:44 AM

This post highlights the many ways educators make a difference in the lives of their students.  The difference takes root in the present and lives on in the future.

Rosemary Tyrrell's curator insight, March 2, 2014 4:22 PM

There are some wonderful signals here. Something we should always be looking for. 

Mary Cunningham's curator insight, March 16, 2014 12:50 PM

This is a great list for thinking about monitoring our work in school and board improvement.

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Why new technologies could never replace great teaching

Why new technologies could never replace great teaching | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it
Technology in education gets plenty of hype, but let's not forget the importance of teaching and learning, says Pamela Wright

 

At a recent British Council debate, Is teaching obsolete?, executive headteacher Pamela Wright, called for caution around technology in teaching. Here is a transcript of her argument.

 

I am a passionate believer in the teaching profession.

 

Teachers do not simply impart information and knowledge; teaching is not merely about systems, facts, figures and certainly does not exist to promote insularity and lack of social interaction.

If any of these elements were true, then my argument would fall down immediately. It is because the teaching profession is the complete antithesis to all of these ideas, that my argument is strong and compelling.

....

Our goal as teachers fundamentally is to encourage independent thought, independent enquiry and ultimately independent learning. It has been argued that new means of learning will be the way to facilitate this in the future. I say resoundingly no.

 

Aristotle said "man is a political animal" – central to that idea was mankind's innate desire to interact with one another and learn from one another, socialise with one another. Some may say that social media does this – but does it really?

 

Put at its simplest, if future models of learning means encouraging young people to spend prolonged periods in front of faceless computer screens, exposed to largely unregulated material in an inherently unsafe environment, then that is clearly not the way forward.

 

Education is much more complex than that. It is about the trust and bond between a teacher and young person (and parents) that creates the environment where learning can occur and grow. Virtual learning simply cannot do that. I would argue that in a world now where young people are retreating more and more into virtual unreality, the teaching profession is more important than it ever was. It is teaching that keeps it real – teaching that keeps young people alive. In short, teachers and the profession will never die.

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Curation for Teachers [Infographic]

Curation for Teachers [Infographic] | Learning & Mind & Brain | Scoop.it

In Professional Learning in the Digital Age: The Educator's Guide to User-Generated Learning, Kristen Swanson shows educators how to enhance their professional learning using practical tools, strategies, and online resources. This infographic focuses on curation and identifies ways educators can start curating content in order to harness information and become lifelong learners in the digital age.


Via Robin Good
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Rosie Peel's curator insight, June 8, 2013 3:07 AM

This is very insightful when creating an effective, authentic and reliable curation collection.  It is resources like this one that I feel will benefit others in their teaching and learning journey.

Dorothy Minor's curator insight, July 8, 2013 3:29 PM

This infographic provides insight into showing how to enhance learning. Critical thinking is an important skill in today's world. Students need encouragement in taking ownership of their own learning. We can find ways to encourage students from this link.

Daniel Jimenez Zulic's curator insight, August 3, 2013 12:04 PM

Ya en el esquema se ve como ir mejorando la practica, seleccion y calificacion de los sitios y contenidos.