Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish -- and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational "death valley" we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.
A new study on the academic effects of homework offers not only some intriguing results but also a lesson on how to read a study -- and a reminder of the importance of doing just that: reading studies (carefully) rather than relying on summaries by journalists or even by the researchers themselves. Alfie Kohn explains.
Founded in 1943, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is an educational leadership organization dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner. Our 175,000 members in 119 countries are professional educators from all levels and subject areas––superintendents, supervisors, principals, teachers, professors of education, and school board members.
Educational leaders, I have an important announcement for you! (You’ll get the joke later). We are always pressed for time. Many of us do not have collaborative planning time, or if we do, it is limited. There is never enough time, and so we have to be creative, both in creating space for work and in changing how we would normally spend our time. The staff meeting is one place where we can be creative with time and refine it to meet our professional learning goals. Here are some things you might do to restructure and “flip” the staff meeting. Quit the Announcements - You know what gets old at a staff meeting? Announcements. At every staff meeting, I was always frustrated when we spent 15–20 minutes going over logistics and making announcements. You can record these announcements, create a document, or send an e-mail and spend the time asking clarifying questions instead. This way, you can save time for better work; work that teachers will find more meaningful. Teacher Led PD – Based on needs assessments of teachers, we create targeted professional learning activities. Frankly, we don’t need to do this creation ourselves. Our teachers have great ideas, and we can ask them to share these ideas that are aligned to faculty and staff needs. We can co-create professional learning sessions. Build your teacher leaders and have them model great instruction by leading focused professional learning. Ongoing Protocols – Discussions can sometimes get out of hand. We are educators, and often we love to talk…and talk…and talk. I’m guilty of this as much as the next teacher. Let’s honor the talk, but also focus it. Choose professional learning protocols to use in staff meetings. Perhaps it's a critique protocol or looking at student work protocol. Regardless, your staff meeting can now become a time where revision and reflection occur, and student learning is the focus of the time. These are just three ideas you might use to start flipping your staff meeting. It can be a valuable time for professional learning, but only if we are creative with that time and shed some of the “traditional” ways they have been used. How do you foresee flipping your classroom for the upcoming year? Andrew K. Miller (@betamiller on Twitter) is on the National Faculty for the Buck Institute for Education, an organization specializing in 21st century project-based learning, and faculty for ASCD, providing expertise in a variety of professional development needs. He is also a regular blogger for Edutopia.
"The long-term output of any school should be not just proficient students, but enabled learners. An “enabled” learner can grasp macro views, uncover micro details, ask questions, plan for new knowledge and transfer thinking across divergent circumstances. This doesn’t happen by content “knowledge holding,” or even by the fire of enthusiasm, but by setting a tone for learning that suggests possibility, and by creating a culture of can."
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