Some folks in education, the “hipsters” of theory are constantly looking for new buzzwords, or deriding the ones already in place as cliche. There have been many attempts to try to solidify the new educational model: 21st century education, millennial education, unlearning, education reform, disruptive education, and so many more. I think the one that sticks the most it 21st century education. The critics and snarcatics out there will be quick to quip that it’s an outdated term, since we are well over a decade into this century, and dismiss it, looking for a better, flashier word. Whatever the term, there is a movement in education, based in positive research and philosophical thinking, that criticizes the educational system and suggests obvious changes.
articles by alfie kohn...You can tell a lot about a teacher’s values and personality just by asking how he or she feels about giving grades. Some defend the practice, claiming that grades are necessary to “motivate” students. Many of these teachers actually seem to enjoy keeping intricate records of students’ marks. Such teachers periodically warn students that they’re “going to have to know this for the test” as a way of compelling them to pay attention or do the assigned readings – and they may even use surprise quizzes for that purpose, keeping their grade books at the ready.
“If you’re not feeling uncomfortable about the state of education right now, then you’re not paying attention to the pressures and challenges of technology,” said Will Richardson, a veteran educator author and consultant, at a talk at ISTE 2012. “We need to acknowledge that this is a very interesting moment, and even though in a lot of ways this isn’t what we signed up for when we went into teaching… as educators, it’s our job to figure it out.”
Whenever I think of a teacher, I also think of a scholar. It has always been apparent to me that if one is to be an effective teacher, one must continually learn. Of course that is not always a path that individuals are able follow as a straight line. Often things, or situations get in the way over the course of a lifetime and many stray from that path for the sake of time, money, or most often family.
"Checking curriculum or lessons for rigor includes lessons for all students; rigor is not limited to gifted or college bound programs. Look for different ways that content can be presented and analyzed. Ask questions about the activities such as:
Are the activities inquiry or project based, requiring students to form their own answers?
Do students use the results of their answers to explore ways they can make a difference in the world around them?
Do lessons contain elements from different disciplines, encouraging students to make connections with previous knowledge?
Are students asked to examine their own emotions concerning dilemmas or to take a position on a controversial topic?"
In his new book To Sell is Human, author Daniel Pink reports that education is one of the fastest growing job categories in the country. And with this growth comes the opportunity to change the way educators envision their roles and their classrooms. Guided by findings in educational research and neuroscience, the emphasis on cognitive skills like computation and memorization is evolving to include less tangible, non-cognitive skills, like collaboration and improvisation.
The enemy of innovation and growth is routine. These auspicious weeks before the school year commences are the perfect time to create a new routine that will ensure innovation in your instruction and growth as an instructor. Here are some idea for those who want to take advantage of these next few weeks to guarantee the best year they’ve ever had. By Ben Stern, EdSurge
Clancy Blair’s discusses the negative effects of chronic psychological stress on student success in his article “Treating A Toxin To Learning” in the September/October issue of Scientific American Mind. Blair’s research supports the contention that chronic psychological stress due to financial worries, the inability to provide adequate child care, the crowded conditions and noise that accompany low income affects the thinking skills and brain development of very young children.
Curator's note: The other day I was thinking about Bloom's "other domains" The affective and psychomotor domain are rarely mentioned in current articles. I think we need to pay attention to these domains, particularly the affective.
"There is more than one type of learning. A committee of colleges, led by Benjamin Bloom (1956), identified three domains of educational activities:
Cognitive: mental skills (Knowledge) Affective: growth in feelings or emotional areas (Attitude) Psychomotor: manual or physical skills (Skills)"
"Whether adapting an existing lesson or creating a new one, keep in mind Bloom’s taxonomy. While examining the lesson, ask questions such as, “Are students asked to apply their knowledge to solve a similar situation,” “Are students asked to relate this information to something else,” “Are students asked how they would improve something,” or “Can they explain why they made certain choices.” Also consider how student centered the work will be and look for ways for students to interact with each other while learning.
"Once teachers understand what rigor is, they may find that it is already present in some of their activities. The challenge then becomes identifying where, tweaking it to be more effective and finding more places in the curriculum to use it. Bloom's taxonomy, especially the cognitive and affective domains, gives a starting place for understanding rigor using a familiar set of categories."