Your new post is loading...
"Looking at the Corruption Perceptions Index 2012, it's clear that corruption is a major threat facing humanity. Corruption destroys lives and communities, and undermines countries and institutions. It generates popular anger that threatens to further destabilise societies and exacerbate violent conflicts.
"The Corruption Perceptions Index scores countries on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). While no country has a perfect score, two-thirds of countries score below 50, indicating a serious corruption problem."
by Pasi Sahlberg
"One thing that has struck me is how similar education systems are. Curricula are standardized to fit to international student tests; and students around the world study learning materials from global providers. Education reforms in different countries also follow similar patterns. So visible is this common way of improvement that I call it the Global Educational Reform Movement or GERM. It is like an epidemic that spreads and infects education systems through a virus. It travels with pundits, media and politicians. Education systems borrow policies from others and get infected. As a consequence, schools get ill, teachers don’t feel well, and kids learn less.
"GERM infections have various symptoms. The first symptom is more competition within education systems. Many reformers believe that the quality of education improves when schools compete against one another. In order to compete, schools need more autonomy, and with that autonomy comes the demand for accountability. School inspections, standardized testing of students, and evaluating teacher effectiveness are consequences of market-like competition in many school reforms today. Yet when schools compete against one another, they cooperate less."
To read more of this fascinating analysis, click here.
Jim Lerman's insight:
Originally published on June 19, 2012 in the Washington Post, I discovered this piece while dipping into the flow of reaction to the release of the newest PISA results on Dec. 3, 2013. I had not encountered the term "GERM" before (Global Education Reform Movement), but its view of the components that make it up is certainly familiar to many: Competition, School Choice, and Accountability.
Sahlberg elaborates on GERM more fully in an April 2012 post. He lists 5 characteristics common to GERM infection: Standardization, Focus on Core Subjects, Search for Low-Risk Ways to Reach Learning Goals, Use of Corporate Management Models, Test-Based Accountability Policies.
Sahlberg's 2011 book, Finnish Lessons, which tells the story of Finland's remarkable ascent to the top of the testing charts, received widespread critical and popular acclaim both internationally and in his native country.
It comes as no surprise, he is not a proponent of the GERM approach to educational improvement.
"Healthy online reading habits require constant gardening. Every Internet company provides us a little plot to tend for, and that’s how they keep our attention where they want it. But the soil is pretty gross in most of them, and the seeds are tightly regulated. If we want to read healthily, we have to build our own info gardens.
The most important gardening task is deciding what to plant — that is, what sources to read — and that’s a personal choice. The topics, tone, and perspective of your information sources are for you to determine. But the bulk of the work is in building and tending the garden, and this guide will suggest some tools and methods to help. And with the gardening work out of the way, you’ll spend most of your time cooking, eating, and sharing. That’s the delicious part, and this guide will offer my best recipes."
Howard Rheingold's insight:
Succinct, relevant, practical tips on online literacy skills from a skilled infotention practitioner.
Via Howard Rheingold, Jim Lerman
by Stephen Downes
"...while we may agree that these are weaknesses of the current model, the fact is that the advantages of MOOCs make it more desirable to press forward with the concept, rather than abandoning it and returning to traditional online and classroom-based courses and programs.
"And this is what points to the most important element in the future of MOOCs. Today MOOCs are hosted by Coursera or Udacity are based at universities. But over time, they will develop their own presence and their own existence. Take, for example, the Stanford AI course, or the Introduction to Complexity course offered by Melanie Mitchell. While at the moment they are strongly associated with an individual university, over time on sites like Complexity Explorer they will forge their own identity, separating themselves from their university origin.
"In any case, over time the importance of credentials and certificates will decline. What MOOCs offer is a place and a mechanism whereby individual students can participate in activities and events related to a discipline, work through challenges posed by the course with other members of the community in an online environment accessible worldwide (much like the way open source software works today). These activities leave digital traces, and future employers will not look so much at credentials as they will depend on intelligent software which harvests these traces and constructs a digital profile of prospective employees.
"When we view MOOCs as a means of obtaining an education, and establishing a track record, rather than as courses leading to credentials, our original hesitation about the perceived weaknesses of MOOCs can be overcome. The democratization of learning will lead to large and small online courses provided by a range or providers - from major universities to governments to oil companies - but it will be students themselves who decide whether to participate, and whether these courses are worth their time."
Jim Lerman's insight:
Downes, one of the very earliest of MOOC designers and implementers, continues his leadership role in analyzing where they are headed and where their lasting impact may well lie.
Students Need Professional Learning Networks, Too
Learning to create, manage and promote a professional learning network (PLN) will soon become, if it’s not already, one of the most necessary and sought after skills for a global citizen, and as such, must become a prominent feature of any school curriculum.
Via Gust MEES, Jimun Gimm
Beth Dichter's insight:
This chart looks at the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset by looking at eight areas:
* Evaluation of situations
* Dealing with setbacks
* Success of others
You may want to share this with students or other teachers at your school.
Via Beth Dichter
Ken Robinson interviewed by Emmanuel Davidenkoff
You say that the child has to find, as early as possible, his calling, a purpose... How may school contribute to that ?
You can find your Element at any age, not only when you’re young. And we’re not confined to one Element for life. It’s perfectly usual for passions and talents to evolve as we mature and discover more about ourselves and the world around us. Formal education often gets in the way because it is typically focussed on a very narrow idea of talent and doesn’t encourage us to explore our personal interests. One way that schools could help is by providing a broad curriculum in the early years, so that children have more opportunities to discover their talents, and by allowing them in later years to specialise more in areas they especially enjoy.
"New research from the Netherlands finds that young people who play games that require fast-paced strategic thinking and planning may improve learning, health and social skills, and strengthen cognitive abilities including problem solving, reasoning, memory and perception. Researchers say that these benefits can occur even when a game contains violent content. The research from the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands was recently published in the journal, American Psychologist."
by Benedict Carey
"Grading college students on quizzes given at the beginning of every class, rather than on midterms or a final exam, increases both attendance and overall performance, scientists reported Wednesday.
"The findings — from an experiment in which 901 students in a popular introduction to psychology course at the University of Texas took their laptops to class and were quizzed online — demonstrate that the computers can act as an aid to teaching, not just a distraction.
"Moreover, the study is the latest to show how tests can be used to enhance learning as well as measure it. The report, appearing in the journal PLoS One, found that this “testing effect” was particularly strong in students from lower-income households."
by Harold Goldberg
"While filming a documentary about divisive oil refinery ventures in the subzero cold of Fort McMurray, Alberta, the director David Dufresne said he wasn’t considering only pollution in that Canadian boomtown or the vast tar sands beneath its frozen ground. He was also thinking deeply about technology, about making a new kind of hybrid media, a docugame.
"Interactive documentaries have been widely available since the CD-ROM boom of the 1990s. Yet while they have become a genre unto themselves, few have included a game component. With “Fort McMoney,” a free program released online this week, Mr. Dufresne has tried to change that."