Treating mind and body as separate is an old and powerful idea in Western culture, dating to Descartes and before. But this venerable trope is facing down a challenge from a generation of researchers—in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, even philosophy—who claim that we think with and through our bodies. Even the most abstract mathematical or literary concepts, they maintain, are understood in terms of the experience of our senses and of moving ourselves through space.
Guest bloggers Hunter Maats and Katie O'Brien, teachers and authors, discuss the value of making mistakes and helping students adopt the mindset to view their mistakes as healthy challenges rather than crushing defeats.
The terms 'critical' and 'reflection' are sorely misunderstood in education. Being critical is often misinterpreted as being negative. 'Reflection' is also frequently distorted to mean "reflect on what you are doing wrong". Too often the students that we teach give negative feedback when asked to be critical. So to counter act this, educators initiate strategies such as '2 stars and a wish' and SWNI (strengths, weaknesses, new ideas). These strategies are designed to make reflective practices a more positive experience for students. It teaches them that being critically reflective is not just a negative activity, that it is important to be positive and give feedback to help improve or make something better. Learn more: - http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-learning-and-teaching/?tag=Criticism
The “open loop” university. I mentioned this idea, which imagines the college experience as a series of “loops” over a lifetime, in my column last week. This plan would admit students at 18 but give them six years of access to residential learning opportunities, to use anytime in their life. It would allow alumni to return mid-career for professional development and new students to get real-life work experience.
Paced education. This abolishes the class year and replaces it with adaptive, personalized learning that allows students to move through phases of learning at their own pace. The goal is to help students make better choices about what they want to study and understand their own learning style.
Axis flip. Rather than traditional academic disciplines, the curriculum would be organized around common and transferable skills that could be used over the course of a lifetime. Schools and departments would be reorganized around “competency hubs” so that there would be deans of scientific analysis, quantitative reasoning, moral and ethical reasoning, communication effectiveness, among others.
Purpose learning. Instead of majors, students would declare a “mission” to help them find meaning and purpose behind their studies.
My Two favorites here are the Purpose Learning and the Open Loop ideas. Wow, how empoering would it be for students to feel a self driven purpose for being in school beyong 'getting a job' or because it's the middle class thing to do after high school?
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