Edutopia blogger Mark Phillips examines eight myths that drive education policy, including the value of homework for students and merit pay for teachers, the irrelevance of funding and class size, and the fairness of college admissions.
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:
The latest thinking on teachers, homework, class size, test scores, and merit pay.
I've recently been drawn to a slew of impassioned posts from several strong voices in education, each managing more than the last to confirm we're headed towards a defining moment in the history of our schools: a shift from an exploration of more effective models of teaching and learning, to an ethical imperative to implement them in our schools. (more)
This Visual Learning activity will get your students thinking about what it would be like to live in a remote area and between two worlds—the past of their ancestors and the present of American mainstream culture.
The World We Explore-- Sir Ken Robinson, Educator. Curiosity encourages us to push boundaries into uncharted territories. Where can our hunger for discovery take us - both outside and inside ourselves?
If you could offer one big idea to improve education in America, what would it be?
Music educator, performer, and motivational speaker Jay Berckley is delivering a TEDx talk on reforming education. Jay will deliver his talk on November 3 at TEDx Houston, on the topic of education reform. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized speeches modeled after TED talks (see the video below for more). Jay will focus his talk on how educators can go a better job of inspiring, motivating, and sparking creativity in students. We're excited to announce that he has agreed to consider, and potentially include in his talk, the most Mic'd idea in the comments below. (more)
Ed tech should be a means, not an end, to improving our education system.
"All too often, technology is treated as a silver bullet for perceived problems in education. This sometimes leads to knee-jerk investments, using scarce resources to invest in software or hardware without a clear notion of how either might actually empower learning. Instead of having more technology as a goal, we should have more human interaction, personalization, access, and content mastery as the goals, and then think about what tools can get us there. (more)
As chancellor of the UNC School of the Arts, the Journal invited me to describe the challenges that face my institution. After 25 years in the private sector, I joined the school last August at a turning point in its storied history: a 50th anniversary that calls on us to reflect on our past and re-imagine our future as the nation’s first public arts conservatory.
How do you go about getting students invested in the planning of the future? The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has teamed up with educators, scientists and authors to bring learners and teachers a free, four week festival of disruption.
Robert Hawkins, a strong advocate for integrating Information Communication Technology into education, shares his ideas with Creative Times about the development of a pedagogical model that combines ICT with learning to produce a 21st century work force. Hawkins is the Executive Producer of an online gaming program, EVOKE (www.urgentevoke.com), that is pushing and inventing boundaries for improved learning.
Set in 2020, EVOKE is an online crash course that challenges students to address future world crises, such as food and water shortages. Launched March 3, 2010, the ten week course enabled 20,000 players around the world to participate and develop innovative approaches to solving real global challenges using 21st century skills.
“The assumption that we’re making is that more time on task translates into more knowledge and skill acquisition,” said Hawkins who is also a Senior Education Specialist at the World Bank which developed EVOKE. “The evaluation shows that players spent quite a bit of time engaging with the content. We think this is partially due to the incentives inherent in playing a game and receiving rewards. If this mode of engagement develops the type of motivation in students to stick with a subject, then we think there is some positive learning and skill acquisition taking place as a result. Beyond the motivational factors that contributed to more time with the content, we also saw a great deal of peer learning and interaction through the mechanics of the social aspects of the game. In many instances, students learn and understand concepts better from their peers.
I think part of the success of EVOKE was that it was driven by a very compelling story. The narrative gave students the space to imagine alternative possibilities. I think that provoking students to think 10 to 20 years into the future cultivates the imagination and is critical to thinking about the possible, about students thinking of things outside of their day-to-day lives, being exposed to new perspectives. I think that the ability to imagine is the first step in doing and actually following through and creating something.”
"The process of combining more primitive pieces of information to create something more meaningful is a crucial aspect both of learning and of consciousness and is one of the defining features of human experience. Once we have reached adulthood, we have decades of intensive learning behind us, where the discovery of thousands of useful combinations of features, as well as combinations of combinations and so on, has collectively generated an amazingly rich, hierarchical model of the world. Inside us is also written a multitude of mini strategies about how to direct our attention in order to maximize further learning. We can allow our attention to roam anywhere around us and glean interesting new clues about any facet of our local environment, to compare and potentially add to our extensive internal model."
"TED and The Huffington Post are excited to bring you TEDWeekends, a curated weekend program that introduces a powerful "idea worth spreading" every Friday, anchored in an exceptional TEDTalk. This week's TEDTalk is accompanied by an original blog post from the featured speaker, along with new op-eds, thoughts and responses from the HuffPost community. Watch the talk above, read the blog post and tell us your thoughts below. Become part of the conversation"
Video of Bill Moyer's interview with Isaac Asimov. "Asimov shares invaluable insights on science, computing, religion, population growth and the universe, and echoes some of own beliefs in the power of curiosity-driven self-directed learning and the need to implement creativity in education from the onset...For more of Asimov’s cunning insight on the role of science and creativity in education, we highly recommend The Roving Mind."
Chicago Public Schools would elevate the arts to the level of a “core subject” — with 120 minutes of dedicated weekly instruction for elementary students and “at least one certified, full-time employee” at every school, under a mayoral plan unveiled Monday.
For the first time, the number of art forms offered by CPS would be expanded to include visual art, music, dance and drama at all grade levels. High school graduation requirements would be modified to include all four. (more)
Yo-Yo Ma, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's creative consultant, was beaming throughout the news conference. “You can't have a future that you can't imagine."
A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government's 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and ...
....“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.” (James Allen, As a Man Thinketh)
The design of learning spaces that has been my focus helps afford the gardener with useful tools perhaps creating fences to keep things out or in, utensils to plant more effectively and efficiently, however, ultimately each teacher or gardener of the student mind has responsibility for the mind garden harvest.
The mind garden does have one advantage over the garden of soil in that the mind garden owner can help decide the growth. “My mind is a garden. My thoughts are the seeds. My harvest will be either flower or weeds.” (Mel Weldon) Don’t we all have a mind garden needing assistance to grow and responsibility to help others grow a prosperous mind garden?
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