Now, as 1:1 and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are taking over our schools, its becoming even easier to formatively assess what our students know and for our students to leave feedback as to what they need.
Clive Hilton's insight:
Some quite simple and easy to execute ideas for engaging with students in a process of pro-active and non-threatening feedback that could benefit both students and teacher.
A three-year, $45 million study of 3,000 teachers turns up answers to a central question.
Clive Hilton's insight:
On the face of it, the findings seem compelling. I especially warmed to the idea that students themselves recognise a good teacher when they find themselves being taught by one. The key to the technique appears to be a mult-pronged approach to understanding the value of the teaching under scrutiny.
Data King Nate Silver Isn't Sold on Evaluating Teachers With Test Scores
Over the past few years one of the most controversial topics in education reform has been measuring teacher effectiveness with standardized tests. Well, on Tuesday, the Jon Stewart-dubbed "Lord and God of the Algorithm," Nate Silver, participated in a Reddit AMAand the top question tackled the issue head-on.
Indeed, user GrEvTh asked Silver, "What are your thoughts on data-driven metrics for teacher evaluation? Do you think a system that accurately reflects teacher value could ever be created, or will it always be plagued by perverse incentives (teaching to the test, neglecting certain types of students, etc)?"
Silver's response indicates that he's not a fan of the practice...
Clive Hilton's insight:
In the words of the man himself, "There are certainly cases where applying objective measures badly is worse than not applying them at all, and education may well be one of those."
Why is China’s economy growing so much faster than its ‘intellectual footprint’? Shouldn’t the success of the world’s second largest economy be built as much on its ideas as its exports?
Many diagnose this problem by pointing to creativity. But after having spent some time looking at this issue through a few different lenses, it’s increasingly apparent that Chinese entrepreneurs aren’t lacking in creativity and resourcefulness. Instead, many signs seem to suggest that it’s two broad areas that stifle or act as a disincentive for innovation:
1) the burden of having gone through the Chinese school system, and
2) the many systemic barriers to business innovation inherent in the Chinese economy.
Fortunately, the former is not insurmountable.
Education and teachers in general have an immense impact on our lives. They can either encourage our innate curiosity and equip us with the tools to grow and adapt in a dynamic world or they can harm our self confidence and burden us with reticence and inadequacy.
An unfortunate reality of modern China is its education system, particularly K-12. I never cease to be amazed by how deleterious an affect that its test-focused, high pressure methodology has on the development of student’s intellectual curiosity—a foundation for critical thought and adaptability.
There is very little room for practicum, there is very little tolerance for divergent thinking and incisive inquiry, and there is absolute focus on quantity, memorization, and competition. The needs of the individual student are lost—almost intentionally—in a rat race of exams, pressure, and weekend tutoring.
Problem-based learning (PBL) is one of the student centered approaches and has been considered by a number of higher educational institutions in many parts of the world as a method of delivery. This paper presents a creative thinking approach for implementing Problem-based Learning in Mechanics of Structure within a Malaysian Polytechnics environment. In the learning process, students learn how to analyze the problem given among the students and sharing classroom knowledge into practice. Further, through this course’s emphasis on problem-based learning, students acquire creative thinking skills and professional skills as they tackle complex, interdisciplinary and real-situation problems. Once the creative ideas are generated, there are useful additional techniques for tender ideas that will grow into a productive concept or solution.
The combination of creative skills and technical abilities will enable the students to be ready to “hit-the-ground-running” and produce in industry when they graduate.
Keywords—Creative Thinking Skills, Problem-based Learnin Problem Solving.
Thus, Sparklab is a worthy response to Sir Ken Robinson's challenge to "rethink the fundamental principles on which we're educating our children" by elevating creativity to the same status as literacy as a foundation of education. Speaking of TED, Robinson's imminently quotable 2006 Talk is a must-see call-to-arms about education reform.
An interesting take on the mess that online learning represents to some students and teachers.
Most research done for K12 learners show “no significant difference in student achievement” using technology and ‘traditional classroom instruction’ - dropping enrollment and use has followed each kind of technology use - there is a lack of research into the causes of that failure
will online learning follow this pattern? - how can we prevent it?
Our study, to be published in the peer-reviewed journal Economics of Education Review, builds on two decades of research from a variety of school systems and confirms a consistent finding: external teacher credentials tell us next to nothing about how well a teacher will perform in the classroom. Such research has not, however, yet had a substantial effect on the practices of U.S. public schools. Today’s public school system continues to rely on external teacher credentials to decide who gets to teach and how much a teacher is paid. Though the debate over how most accurately to use statistical measures to identify teacher quality is far from completed, the general finding that there is a vast difference between the system’s best and worst teachers is no longer in serious dispute. The large body of research on teacher quality suggests that a new method of identifying the best teachers is needed—one that focuses on measuring the contributions that teachers actually make in the classroom.
The UK has long had an impressive track record of producing successful designers and engineers. Many credit that success to a focus on design within the education system. Significant investments were made in the second half of the 20th Century on design and engineering programs at the University level but more importantly for the last 20 years design and technology has been mandated as part of the core curriculum in high schools. Apparently this is now under threat as the government in the UK reduces spending and alters priorities. A number of influential designers, engineers and business folks, including James Dyson, Paul Smith, Dick Powell and Ian Callum make the argument in this video as to why this is a huge mistake.
First, traditional teaching methodologies like reading, lecturing, testing, and memorization are worse than useless. They are actually the counter-productive way in which boxes get built. Most education focuses on providing answers in a linear step by step way. Mobley realized that asking radically different questions in a non-linear way is the key to creativity.
In the world of design, the portfolio is paramount, often more central than one's credentials or awards. As a designer myself, I'm more concerned with the work someone has done and is capable of. Some designers I know have found great success without a master's degree, and others with master's degrees still struggle. The reverse is true as well, of course.
I recently stumbled on a blog post from Annie Murphy Paul asking if apprenticeships might be an alternative to college. Here's what Robert Lerman, a professor at American University, had to say:
An apprenticeship is a structured program of work-based learning and classroom-based instruction that leads to certification in an occupation, and it involves a high level of skill demands and it covers many occupations, depending on the country. In our country, we focus more on the skilled trades in construction and in manufacturing, but it can work in many other fields.
Could that include design?
Clive Hilton's insight:
Coincidentally, I was discussing this very issue with some colleagues earlier today. Clearly, something in the air.
With the changes taking place for many EU universities internationalisation has become the top priority on their agendas and they are interested in finding opportunities how to achieve their internationalisation goals and make use of the possibilities internationalisation has to offer. To achieve these goals universities often set their focus on emerging markets in Asia and in particular China. Universities see great potential in the Chinese education market because of its size and the growth potential.
Perhaps the biggest roadblock facing the development of generation-two social games is the addiction to metrics.
Clive Hilton's insight:
An intelligently considered article - here focussed on the gaming industry - but in my view equally applicable to the evaluation of teaching. In a world in which education administrators are looking more and more to metrics to guide strategic decisions this is accompanied by a fear of trusting teachers to do what they are good at.
It's time to step back and think deeply about the purpose of education.
Clive Hilton's insight:
As a pedagogue myself, I've long harboured a suspicion that assembly-line learning - and worse, assembly-line learning measurement - may be doing significant harm. Just like assembly-line mass production, it's cheap, it can be dumbed down, and the end result is standardised, common denominator conformity. Free thinkers need not apply.
An exploration of how creativty is restrained by inherited values from both family and the education system.
Blog post, Adam Webster. Synopsis:
From an early age our creativity is restrained by conformity. It is our responsibility to help those around us break free from this 'cage' and think more freely.
Once we go to school, or perhaps long before that, we are coerced into putting all of our thoughts and ideas into a cage which is then labelled ‘preconceptions and limitations’ or ‘reality check.’
We are not born with, or in a cage; the cage is more a sort of family heirloom, passed down by previous generations of children, parents and, crucially, educators. Some cages are bigger than others and some cages even grow, or at least stretch, as time goes by.
Sadly though, what is more common, is for the cage to shrink. Ultimately of course, the cage represents our creativity, or at least it measures our ability to think creatively. What too few people realise, is that creativity was never supposed to live in a cage.
When it is first put in there, it struggles and fights against the bars that have surrounded it and sometimes it might even slip through the bars and briefly escape, but it is quickly told ‘no’ and is scooped up and put back in the cage.
Eventually, the creativity stops trying to escape and simply resorts to bouncing off the walls of the cage, constantly retreating back over ground that has been covered before. Finally, the creativity stops moving; the cage has won and begins to close in around it.
The point is that engineering education, and for that matter, most education in the university, has become deeper and deeper, and as a result narrower and narrower. This means we teach and train specialties and specialists. There are lots of reasons why this is desirable, and the rapid advances being made in science and engineering result from the depth of knowledge. But this has its downside.
Practical applications require tying together the knowledge of the many specialties. They require generalists, people who have broad, integrated understanding of the world. Moreover, the specialties are mostly about science and engineering, but our new technologies impact people, lives, cultures, and societies.
Until we figure out how to best use technology in the classroom, the bells and whistles are often a distraction...
The experience to date is less grandiose and more worrisome considering the billions that have been spent on technology in schools in the past few decades. Interactive whiteboards have been around since the early 1990s and done little to transform how teachers teach, and computers are often unaligned with classroom instruction, even though 90% of classrooms around the country have them. Still, according to Department of Education data from 2009, just 61% of students use computers to prepare texts “sometimes or often” and just 45% do more complicated tasks, for instance to “solve problems, analyze data, or perform calculations” on a regular basis.
Futurelab aims to inspire, challenge and engage all young people in rich and rewarding learning experiences that will equip them with the essential skills and attitudes for life, learning and work in the 21st Century.
We do this by making the most of new approaches to learning and through the innovative use of technology.
We take evidence of what works and turn it into practical tools and services to help teachers, schools and policy makers provide the best possible learning for young people.
So what should design schools teach? Or, more important, what should design students make sure they learn? Trends in the design field shift and evolve with incredible speed, and while schools have an obligation to stay current, they do their students a disservice when they completely overhaul their program to reflect the current vogue. The best prepared students still have a few basic skills, but use them with familiarity and fluency: