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Conversations with Jessica Howard of the Hiland Hall School on Vimeo
"Hiland Hall is a small progressive school of about 28 students on the border of Shaftsbury and Bennington in Vermont.

The Hiland Hall School creates a learning environment where students of different ages can interact with each other. They support what's known as an "emergent curriculum"; the curriculum emerges from the thoughts, interests and needs of the students. An overall framework guides them through the year.

The methods are founded upon practice developed over the last thirty years by other progressive institutions such as the Prospect School and Bank Street School.

Principal and founder Jessica Howard has been a teacher for more than three decades. After graduating from Bennington College, she went on to graduate studies at Bank Street College. She taught at the Prospect School from 1965-1991, where she was Coordinator of Curriculum, and was responsible for staff development and supervision of classroom practice. She is regularly asked to speak at seminars and conferences for adults and other teaching professionals, and has served as consultant to several university projects. Jessica is an enthusiastic gardener and is keenly interested in the teaching of math, science and literature."
education  progressive  progressiveeducation  schools  learning  children  parenting  sfsh  tcsnmy  jessicahoward  howwelearn  howweteach  teaching  pedagogy  curriculum  emergentcurriculum  canon  hilandhall  vermont 
february 2017 by robertogreco
The hundred languages of childhood know no age bounds | IOE LONDON BLOG
"Loris Malaguzzi (1920-94) was one of the great educationalists of the 20th century. He was a thinker, but also a doer, a council employee who played a leading role in the evolution of a network of municipal schools in the Italian city of Reggio Emilia, 70 kilometres west of Bologna. Today, the schools and Malaguzzi are an inspiration to those who resist the spread of neoliberal and neoconservative education policies.

Most educationalists won’t have heard of Reggio Emilia or Malaguzzi. This is in part because both are Italian, and most of his work is in Italian. A newly published book – ‘Loris Malaguzzi and the Schools of Reggio Emilia’ – edited by myself and colleagues in Reggio Emilia, aims to rectify this, with English translations of a selection of his writings and speeches, starting in 1945 (when, as he wrote ‘everything seemed possible’). But there’s another reason. Malaguzzi and Reggio Emilia are world famous for early childhood education, a field largely untrodden by the rest of education. Yet Malaguzzi was convinced that he was engaged in a project of educational renewal, which knew no age bounds.

What lessons does Malaguzzi have for all education? He insists that education is, first and foremost, a political practice, always about making choices between conflicting alternatives. One of the most important choices concerns our understanding or image of the child – who do we think the child is? Answer that question, Malaguzzi argued, and all else – policy, provision, practice – follows. Of course every educational policy and service is based on a particular image, but one that is invariably implicit and unacknowledged; policy documents typically neither ask nor answer the question. But Reggio Emilia does.

Malaguzzi insisted that ‘a declaration [about the image of the child] is…the necessary premise for any pedagogical theory, and any pedagogical project’. And he was clear about his image: ‘We say all children are rich, there are no poor children. All children whatever their culture, whatever their lives are rich, better equipped, more talented, stronger and more intelligent than we can suppose’.

Rich children are born with a ‘hundred languages’, the term he used to suggest the many and diverse ways children can express themselves and relate to the world – ranging from manifold forms of art to maths, sciences and technologies. Malaguzzi was damning about the damage usually done to these languages by education: ‘Children have a hundred languages: they rob them of ninety nine, school and culture.’ Instead, he strove to nurture languages, for example through ateliers and atelieristas – art workshops and artist-educators found in most Reggio schools. Atelieristas were also there to confront traditional and narrow pedagogy, to ‘provoke some less convenient directions capable of breaking with the professional and cultural routine.’

For Malaguzzi, education was about constructing new knowledge and thought. He valued wonder and surprise, the unpredicted and the unexpected, making connections and inter-disciplinarity. The strength of Reggio, Malaguzzi believed, was that all the time ‘something unexpected, something that surprised us or made us marvel, something that disappointed us, something that humiliated us, would burst out in a child or in the children.’ While he despised what he termed ‘testology’ – ‘which is nothing but a ridiculous simplification of knowledge and a robbing of meaning from individual histories’ – and its partner ‘prophetic pedagogy’, which knows everything [that will happen], does not have one uncertainty, is absolutely imperturbable… [It] prophesies everything, to the point that it is capable of giving you recipes for little bits of actions, minute by minute, hour by hour, objective by objective, five minutes by five minutes. This is something so coarse, so cowardly, so humiliating of teachers’ ingenuity, a complete humiliation for children’s ingenuity and potential.

If making choices about understandings was an important part of education’s political practice, making choices about values was another. Malaguzzi’s choice included uncertainty and subjectivity, solidarity and cooperation and, perhaps most important of all, participation and democracy. As a ‘living centre of open and democratic culture’, opening out not only to families but also to its local neighbourhood, the school should be capable of ‘living out processes and issues of partici­pation and democracy.’ Democracy, for Malaguzzi, was not just a matter of participant social management and participatory accountability, important as both were; it should suffuse all relationships and practices – democracy in a Deweyan sense of ‘a mode of associated living’.

If Malaguzzi placed political practice first, this did not mean he ignored technical practice. He thought organisation was vital, though always serving politics and ethics, and was constantly asking under what conditions can innovation work. Indeed, it was this attention to organisational detail and technical practice that has enabled the municipal schools of Reggio Emilia to become the most extensive and sustained example of radical, democratic, public education in the world. Faced by a hidebound education system, Loris Malaguzzi showed that there are alternatives, that another world is possible.

A final point needs emphasising at a time when local authorities in England are being squeezed out of any role in the provision of schools. Reggio Emilia’s schools are municipal schools; this innovative experience was initiated and nurtured by the city council. Malaguzzi himself was a council employee, putting me in mind of equally inspired heads of local education authorities in England. As a believer in public, democratic education, embedded in its local community, Malaguzzi thought that the democratic expression of that community, the commune or local authority, should be a main protagonist in the provision of schools for young children (and other services). Academisation may make all the running at present, but Malaguzzi and the schools of Reggio Emilia remind us that there are alternatives."
lorismalaguzzi  reggioemilia  2016  education  pedagogy  emergentcurriculum  politics  italy  children  howwelearn  howweteach  lcproject  openstudioproject  tcsnmy  expression  ethics  organization  innovation  schools  democratic  democracy  alternative  publicschools  community  academization  uncertainty  knowledge  culture  languages  art  policy  solidarity  cooperation  participation  participatory  sfsh 
march 2016 by robertogreco
The Reading Wars: Why Natural Learning Fails in Classrooms | Psychology Today
"Researchers have conducted systematic case studies of precocious readers, through interviews of parents, and have compared them with other children to see if they are unique in any ways other than their early reading. The results of such studies, overall, support the following conclusions:[1,2]

• Precocious reading does not depend on unusually high IQ or any particular personality trait. Although some precocious readers have IQ scores in the gifted range, many others score about average. Personality tests likewise reveal no consistent differences between precocious readers and other children.

• Precocious reading is not strongly linked to social class. Some studies have found it to be as frequent in blue-collar as in white-collar families. However, it does seem to depend on growing up in a family where reading is a common and valued activity.

• Parents of precocious readers report that they or an older sibling often read to the child, but did not in any systematic way attempt to teach reading. In the typical case, the parents at some point discovered, to their surprise, that their child was reading, at least in a preliminary way, and then they fostered that reading by providing appropriate reading materials, answering the child’s questions about words, and in some cases pointing out the relationship between letters and sounds to help with unfamiliar words. In essentially no cases, however, did they provide anything like the systematic training in either phonics or word recognition that might occur in school.

In sum, precocious readers appear to be children who grow up in a literate home and, for some unknown reason (unlike even their siblings in the same home), develop an intense early interest in reading. Interest, not unusual brain development, is what distinguishes them from others. Because they are interested and strongly motivated, they use whatever cues are available to figure out the meanings of printed words and sentences, and, along the way, with or without help, consciously or unconsciously, they eventually infer the underlying phonetic code and use it to read new words. For them, reading for meaning comes first, before phonics. In the words of one set of researchers, “[The precocious readers] were not taught the prerequisite skills of reading such as phoneme-grapheme correspondence or letter-naming skills but, instead, learned to read familiar, meaningful sight vocabulary; the rules of reading were not explicitly taught but apparently inferred over time.”[1]

The fact that precocious readers learn to read relatively quickly, before they are four years old, with no evidence of stress and much evidence of pleasure, suggests that learning to read in this way is not very difficult when a person really wants to do it. Learning to read, for them, quite literally, is child's play.

How unschoolers and children in democratic or free schools learn to read

In a previous report (here), I presented a qualitative analysis of case histories of learning to read by children in unschooling families (who don’t send their children to school or teach a curriculum at home) and by children at the Sudbury Valley School (where students are in charge of their own education and there is no imposed curriculum or instruction). I won’t repeat that work in detail here, but, in brief, some of the main conclusions were these: (1) Children in these settings learn to read at a wide variety of ages; (2) at whatever age they learn, they learn quite quickly when they are truly motivated to do so; (3) attempts by parents to teach reading to unmotivated children generally fail and often seem to delay the child's interest in reading; and (4) being read to and engaging in meaningful ways with literary material with skilled readers (older children or adults) facilitates learning.

In sum, these children seem to learn to read in essentially the same ways that precocious readers learn, but at a wide variety of ages. They learn when and because they are interested in reading, and they use whatever information is available to help them, including information provided by people who already know how to read. They are not systematically taught, and the people who help them generally have no training or expertise in the teaching of reading.

The reading wars, and the failure of progressive methods of reading instruction in schools

We turn now from self-motivated children learning to read out of school to children who are taught in school, where the assumption is that they must learn to read at a certain age and in a certain way, whether they want to or not. In school, learning to read appears to be unnatural and difficult. It occurs at a snail’s pace, incrementally over several years, Even after three or four years of training many children are not fluent readers.

Progressive educators have always argued that learning to read should not be slow and tedious. They have argued for “whole-word” and “whole-language” methods of teaching reading, which, they claim, are more natural and pleasurable than phonics-first methods. Although the progressive educators commonly think of themselves as proposing something new, contrasted with “traditional education,” the progressive arguments actually go back at least to the origin of compulsory state schooling in America. Horace Mann, the first secretary of education in any state in the union, who oversaw the passage of the first state compulsory education law (in Massachusetts, in 1852), fought for the whole-word approach and railed against phonics. In the early 20th century John Dewey and progressive educators inspired by him were champions of holistic, reading-for-meaning approaches. Later, in the 1970s and ‘80s, Kenneth Goodman and Frank Smith took up the torch and promoted what they called the whole-language approach.

On the other side are those who have long argued that phonics is the key to reading and should be taught early and directly. Noah Webster, sometimes referred to as the “Father of American Scholarship and Education,” was an early warrior in the phonics camp. In the late 18th century, he created the first series of books designed to teach reading and spelling in secular schools, and they were founded on phonics. In the mid 20th century, Rudolph Flesch turned the tide back toward phonics with his bestselling book, Why Johnny Can’t Read (1955). He argued convincingly that the progressive movement had produced a serious decline in reading ability in American schoolchildren because it ignored phonics. In the most recent two decades, the leading proponents of phonics include educational researchers who base their argument on experiments and data more than theory. Many carefully controlled experiments have by now been conducted to compare the reading scores of children taught by different methods in different classrooms, and the results of the great majority of them favor phonics.[3]

Because of their intensity and presumed importance, these debates about how to teach reading have long been dubbed “the Reading Wars.” Today, the majority (though not all) of the experts who have examined the data have declared that the wars are over—phonics has won. The data seem clear. Overall, children who are taught phonics from the beginning become better readers, sooner, than those who are taught by whole-word or whole-language methods. The learning is still slow and tedious, but not as slow and tedious for phonics learners as for those taught by other methods.

Why natural learning fails in classrooms

So, we have this puzzle. Out of school, children learn to read by what appear to be whole-word, whole-language methods. They read right off for meaning and they learn to recognize whole words and read whole passages before they pay much attention to individual letters or sounds. Phonics comes later, based on inferences that may be conscious or unconscious. Learning to read out of school is in some ways like learning oral language; you learn it, including the rules, with little awareness that you are learning it and little awareness of the rules that underlie it. But that doesn’t work well for learning to read in school. Learning there is better if you master the rules (the rules relating letters to sounds) before attending much to meaning. 

The mistake of the progressive educators, I think, has been to assume that the classroom is or can be a natural learning environment.  It isn’t, and (except in unusual circumstances) it can’t be. The classroom is a setting where you have a rather large group of children, all about the same age, and a teacher whose primary tasks are to keep order and impart a curriculum—the same curriculum for everyone. In that setting, the teacher decides what to do, not the students. If students decided, they would all decide on different things and there would be chaos. No matter how liberal-minded the teacher is, real, prolonged self-direction and self-motivation is not possible in the classroom. In this setting, children must suppress their own interests, not follow them. While children out of school learn what and because they want to, children in school must learn or go through the motions of learning what the teacher wants them to learn in the way the teacher wants them to do it. The result is slow, tedious, shallow learning that is about procedure, not meaning, regardless of the teacher’s intent.

The classroom is all about training. Training is the process of getting reluctant organisms to do or learn what the trainer wants them to do or learn. Under those conditions, methods that focus on the mechanical processes underlying reading—the conversion of sights to sounds—work better than methods that attempt to promote reading through meaning, which requires that students care about the meaning, which requires that they be able to follow their own interests, which is not possible in the classroom… [more]
education  reading  literacy  progressive  2016  petergray  children  teaching  learning  naturallearning  unschooling  schools  training  coercion  interests  emergentcurriculum  phonics  rules  wholelanguage  noahwebster  precociousreaders  precociousreading 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Millennium School
"We believe in a broader definition of success.

Middle school can be more than a place to gain knowledge. It's also a place to build the skills and mindsets for a happy, purposeful life. We're designing a new model, based on developmental science, to realize the personal and academic potential of middle school in San Francisco.

Millennium School is an independent middle school, opening in San Francisco with a 6th grade class in September 2016. Our premise is that middle school should have both stronger academics - using Socratic seminars and project-based, real-world learning - and a stronger focus on developing the habits and mindsets that lead to happy, meaningful, purposeful lives as adults. We're working with leading educators, adolescent development experts, and parents and students to design a school model that can realize the potential of the middle school years.

Purpose

Millennium School is designed specifically for early adolescents, based on developmental science.

A Developmental Approach

Developmental science points to three essential elements for a healthy passage through middle school. These are powerful for two reasons: they support healthy personal development, and they create the platform for advanced academics.

1. Safe Social Environment. Middle school is the most socially-influenced time of our lives. Peers become more influential than parents. A positive, safe social environment at school is essential for healthy development.

2. Connection to the Real World. As students begin adolescence, they want greater autonomy and are highly curious about real-world applications of school learning. Their academic motivation depends on a sense of relevance.

3. Tools to Understand Yourself. At this age, students' inner lives are becoming rich and complex, with new emotions and self-awareness. If these capacities are actively developed, students build the "non-cognitive skills" - mindfulness, emotional intelligence, resilience, and others – that research shows correlate with long-term success more than any other factor.

To say it more simply: it's a time when adolescents are answering three key questions. Who am I? How do I relate to others? What will I contribute to the world? Our educational model supports adolescents in developing compelling, unique answers to these three questions.

How

The foundation for success in middle school is a safe, compassionate social environment. Millennium will have a total enrollment of 100 students in grades 6-8, based on research defining this as a group large enough to be dynamic, but small enough that each student knows every other, and can feel safe and trusted as they figure out answers to their core questions.

Academically, middle school students are ready for advanced and challenging studies. The right environment and coaching, with methods that make academics more engaging and connected to the real world, are essential. We focus on three core methods:

• Socratic seminars in groups of 12 offer an intensive academic experience, with a layer of social and emotional learning as students discover how to carry on an authentic, intellectual discussion.

• Project-based learning engages students in a team and in work with real-world applications, whether in a "maker" project to build a robot, or a service project designed to change a dangerous intersection in the community through organizing and advocacy.

• Apprenticeships connect students to the dynamic workplaces of the Bay Area, where they see knowledge applied and generated, and learn entrepreneurship and other skills.

Throughout, themes of mindfulness and emotional intelligence are embedded, developing the core skills that students will apply to find a successful path in high school and beyond."



"Why: Our Academic Philosophy

Middle school is a time of immense potential, when students have the opportunity to discover their gifts, develop social and emotional intelligence, evolve intellectually and physically, and form an authentic sense of self. To tap into this potential, we believe the academic program must be based in developmental science – understanding what middle schoolers are ready for psychologically and neurologically – then working with those motivations.

This developmental approach points to three core motivators for middle school students. Students at this age engage with learning when it is personal – teaching them about themselves, challenging them where they are – social – offering interaction with peers and building social intelligence – and relevant – connected to real-life problems and applications where the value of their work is clear. When learning is presented in this way, middle school students are ready for advanced academic study, and will often surprise adults with their depth of engagement in projects, seminars, and other courses.

What does this look like in practice?

Imagine a project where students address a real-life issue: the historic drought in California. They could explore what this means in terms of their own lifestyle and preferences – how much water do they use, how much do they really need? A team of students designs a project to investigate why California uses so much water, the science of the drought, and the way it affects people differently. This group of students interviews Bay Area farmers one day, and adults in downtown San Francisco the next, learning how to connect with adults from many backgrounds, asking them about their experience of the drought. They then craft science-based recommendations for how to reduce water usage, and draft letters explaining them in ways that each group will find compelling.

In forming our curriculum, we believe in three pillars of progressive education: academics that are interdisciplinary, emergent, and focused on deeper learning.

Interdisciplinary Learning
At the heart of our curriculum is a commitment to interdisciplinary learning. Traditional academics often creates “silos” in which students experience content in a way that does not reflect reality: math only in this period, communication skills only in this period, etc. At Millennium, our measure of academic success is not only an excellent set of skills and content knowledge, but the ability to apply those skills in complex, real-world situations. To do that, learning must be interdisciplinary. A project might focus on earthquakes, for example – students read stories of real-life experiences in earthquakes, developing empathy and insight, and then use their math and science skills to design seismically resilient buildings.

Emergent
The more “choice and voice” students have in their projects, the greater their motivation and engagement. During middle school in particular, if learning is overly controlled by a detailed, purely adult-set agenda, many students will disengage and lose their intellectual curiosity and inner motivation to learn. Instead, we believe in the principle of emergent learning, in which our faculty watch closely for emerging interests from students, designing projects and courses as much as possible around these interests, and providing ample opportunity for students to propose projects. This work depends on real mastery in teaching, as faculty balance meeting our academic goals while offering learning pathways that draw upon students’ personal interests.

Deeper Learning
Deeper Learning refers to the skills, habits of mind, and development of multiple types of intelligence – social, emotional, creative, and others – which together form our capacity to learn, grow, and succeed in the world. This includes areas ranging from mindfulness and social-emotional intelligence to concentration skills and time management. These skills and capacities are the most important learning we can offer our students, and correlate far more with long-term success and happiness in life than traditional academic content knowledge alone."

[See also: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Kids-have-their-say-in-design-of-new-SoMa-middle-6459849.php#photo-8508549 ]
schools  sanfrancisco  education  teaching  learning  emergentcurriculum  curriculum  interdisciplinary  projectbasedlearning  apprenticeships 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Not-yetness | the red pincushion
"I have done several talks lately about the idea of not-yetness. It’s an idea that Jen Ross (University of Edinburgh) and I first wrote about in our chapter, Complexity, mess, and not-yetness: Teaching online with emerging technologies, to be published in the forthcoming second edition of Emerging Technologies in Distance Education. In the first edition of the book, our esteemed editor, George Veletsianos, wrote about defining emerging technologies. He wrote that emerging technologies can be both old and new technologies and they are constantly-evolving organisms that experience hype cycles. George also noted that emerging technologies satisfy two “not yet” conditions: they are not fully understood, and not fully researched.

These not-yet conditions hit home for Jen and me. Writing from a complexity theory lens, we thought of not-yetness as being related to emergence. Noel Gough (2012) defines emergence as a key attribute of most human environments and systems, and what occurs when “a system of richly connected interacting agents produces a new pattern of organization that feeds back into the system.”

In our context, emergence is allowing new ideas, new methodologies, new findings, new ways of learning, new ways of doing, and new synergies to emerge and to have those things continue to feed back into more emergence. Emergence is a good thing. For us, not-yetness is the space that allows for emergence. Not-yetness is not satisfying every condition, not fully understanding something, not check-listing everything, not tidying everything, not trying to solve every problem…but creating space for emergence to take us to new and unpredictable places, to help us better understand the problems we are trying to solve (to use Mike Caulfield’s wisdom).

This is becoming increasingly important in education, where the rhetoric surrounding educational technology pushes simplification, ease, efficiency, and measurable-everything. This rhetoric goes hand-in-hand with the accountability movements (many call it “evidence-based practice”) at play in educational contexts. Randy Bass wrote that “these pressures for accountability are making us simultaneously more thoughtful and more limited in what we count as learning.” We hear a lot about “best practices” and “what works,” which Jen and others (Sian Bayne, Hamish Macleod, and Clara O’Shea) have argued is a “totalising notion.” There are lots of ways of understanding what our students experience, lots of ways to do things “right,” lots of definitions of right.

Davis and Sumara (2008) argue that “an education that is understood in complexity terms cannot be conceived in terms of preparation for the future. Rather, it must be construed in terms of participation in the creation of possible futures” (p. 43). And yet the push for simplicity and accountability defines a pretty narrow set of possible outcomes for students. Gardner Campbell cautions us to be careful with learning outcomes statements: “Yet these {learning outcomes} are still behaviors, specified with a set of what I can only describe as jawohl! statements, all rewarding the bon eleves and marching toward compliance and away from more elusive and disruptive concepts like curiosity or wonder.” Simplification and an over-pursuit of accountability run counter to our view that education is complex, messy, creative, unpredictable, multi-faceted, social, and part of larger systems.

We argue that not-yetness helps us to make space for critical discussions and experiments with emerging technologies in a way that recognizes the beautiful complexity of teaching and learning. As Jen said in our ET4Online plenary talk, which focused on messiness and not-yetness in digital learning, “We can use it to tell new stories about what teachers, students, developers, designers and researchers are doing in our digital practices, and why it is hard, and why it matters. We can take better account of issues of power, responsibility, sustainability, reach and contact in digital education. We can be more open about the work of education.”
To that end, Jen and I write in our forthcoming chapter, “We need practices that acknowledge and work with complexity to help us stay open to what may be genuinely surprising about what happens when online learning and teaching meets emerging technologies. In this sense, our focus as educators should be on emergent situations, where complexity gives rise to ‘new properties and behaviours… that are not contained in the essence of the constituent elements, or able to be predicted from a knowledge of initial conditions’ (Mason 2008, p.2).”

So what does all of this mean for educators? Here are some ideas. Embracing not-yetness means making space for learning opportunities that:

• promote creativity, play, exploration, awe

• allow for more, not fewer, connections, more personalization (true personalization, not necessarily what has been offered to us by adaptive learning companies)

• transcend bounds of time, space, location, course, and curriculum

• encourage students to exceed our expectations, beyond our wildest outcomes, pushes back on “data science of learning” focus

• do not hand over essential university functions and important complexities over to private industry

In my talks, I shared examples of projects that I think embody or embrace not-yetness. I’ll share those examples in my follow-on post.

As I was looking at these projects, trying to better understand them, I started thinking about Legos. I love Legos. I was talking to my friend Mike Caulfield, who is at Washington State University-Vancouver about this idea and he said, “do you remember when Legos used to just be free-range Legos? Now, they are these sets that have instructions and tell you how to build exactly what they want you to build. They were trying to eliminate the problem of kids not knowing how to build Legos, but instead they also eliminated the opportunities for creative expression.”

This really hit home for me, because I was really into Legos as a kid and my son is really into Legos. I decided to run a little experiment—mostly for my own curiosity. I decided to see what would happen if I gave him the same Lego set twice and had him build it once with the instructions and once without. First, this is what happened when Vaughn had the Lego instructions (fyi–the videos have no audio):

[video]

I thought that, when I gave him the set without the instructions, he would try to copy what he had done when he had the instructions. But instead, after suspiciously confirming that he could build whatever he wanted, here is what happened…

[video]

Note that throughout the time he was building without the instructions, he was also playing. Note that he is making sounds (though there is no audio, you can clearly see he’s making the requisite “boom” and “fffffsssshhhhh” sounds a six year old makes), talking more, smiling. He’s exploring. He’s enjoying himself.

Building Legos without instructions may have seemed harder or daunting at first, but instead it opened up space for his creativity. Not-yetness—not specifying outcomes, not predicting what he would or should do, not outlining each step—opened up space for play and for the three really cool ships he built.

I know that my highly scientific experiment may not work for everyone, but what you see in these videos is one reason why we argue for not-yetness. Because of the play, the fun, the opportunity in complexity and not-yetness. The ill-defined, the un-prescribed, the messy can lead to the unexpected, the joyful. Noel Gough (2012) writes, “complexity invites us to understand that many of the processes and activities that shape the worlds we inhabit are open, recursive, organic, nonlinear and emergent. It also invites us to be skeptical of mechanistic and reductionist explanations, which assume that these processes and activities are linear, deterministic and/or predictable and, therefore, that they can be controlled (at least in principle).”

Open, recursive, organic, nonlinear…these things say to me that we can have learning that is unpredictable, fun, emergent, organic, freeing, co-developed, co-experienced, complex, deep, meaningful.

So as I looked for projects that embodied not-yetness, I kept these concepts, and my son’s Lego adventure, in mind. In my next blog post, I’ll share those examples. Stay tuned!"

[Follow-up post: http://redpincushion.us/blog/professional-development/mess-not-yetness-at-et4online/ ]
amycollier  via:steelemaley  messiness  unschooling  learning  emergent  emergence  emergentcurriculum  2015  lego  not-yetness  gardnercampbell  edtech  noelgough  pedagogy  instructions  directinstruction  mikecaulfield  brentdavis  dennissumara  complexity  curriculum  tcsnmy  howwelearn  howweteach  online  web  georgeveletsianos  emergenttechnologies  technology  simplification  efficiency  quantification  measurement  cv  hamishmacleod  clarao'shea  sianbayne  randybass  open  openness  jenross  criticalpedagogy  recursion  spiraling  rhizomaticlearning  nonlinear  deschooling  meaningmaking  understanding  depth  unpredictability  unfinished  behavior  power  responsibility  sustainability  reach  contact  lcproject  openstudioproject  teaching  education  schools  cocreation  non-linear  alinear  linearity 
december 2015 by robertogreco
I keep coming back to this, and I question everything. | The Reason I Do This
"Audrey Watters @audreywatters: “I think this is one of our major challenges, right? Because it shouldn't be "is this part of the curriculum"...”
4:55 PM - 8 Oct 2015

Will Richardson @willrich45: “The "curriculum" should be discovered (not delivered) based on events and questions that are relevant to "our world." @audreywatters”
4:58 PM - 8 Oct 2015

"This morning my class and I began our day on the carpet, chatting about issues currently presenting themselves in the Canadian election campaign. This was a continuation of yesterday’s conversation and debate, as the kids wanted it to continue. Over the two days we covered the niqab fiasco, marijuana legalization, and the role of Canada’s military. We’re not done, either, as the students have requested that we keep this going. They have a vote coming up, as part of the Student Vote initiative, and they are taking these issues to heart as they try to make a decision on who they want to vote for. They have so many questions, even though they don’t get to vote for “real,” and it’s hard for me to keep up.

I left school feeling sad today, though, because when moments like these happen in my classroom I am reminded of how little autonomy students really have over their own learning. And I start thinking — for the millionth time, I’m sure — about what I wish school actually was: a place where students could come and learn about whatever they want.

Will Richardson says it perfectly in the tweet above. I’ve seen him speak, and I’ve been in email contact with him, and he’s dead serious about this. He — and many others out there, myself included — argues that by definition a curriculum is outdated, due to the fact that it’s being written by adults whose grade school or high school days are long behind them. Sir Ken Robinson adds to that argument that the jobs today’s students will have when they are adults likely haven’t been conceived of yet. And this begs the question: Are we truly preparing them well for the world they will inherit? By basically telling them what they need to learn? It’s an old question, but I keep coming back to it. I can’t help it.

For now, though, I need a work around, and for that I have my friend and colleague Stacey to thank. I’m going to have my students start a passion project, which means that essentially they can learn about whatever they want. The only catch is (because I have to address curriculum) that it must relate to government in Canada in some fashion. Stacey’s students have already begun this venture, and she’s been thrilled with the results so far, especially in the realm of engagement.

Is this enough? No. Richardson would say that I’m still putting limitations on my students, and I agree with him completely. I will never think it fair that, in the information age, kids should be told what to learn about. Fortunately, this mandated government unit relates directly to the current events in their world at the moment, so in that respect it meets Richardson’s criteria. But there’s so much else that doesn’t.

I think I will always keep coming back to this question, because it is at the heart of any change — either big or small — that we teachers make in our classrooms. We’re all teaching because we want what’s best for kids. But what’s best for them now isn’t necessarily what was best for them 10 years ago. Or five. Or even last year. The world is changing quickly. My students tell me that, through their words and actions, almost every day. And they expect me to keep up. They expect us all to."
tomfuke  2015  autonomy  education  teaching  emergentcurriculum  curriculum  relevance  kenrobinson  willrichardson  audreywatters  learning  howwelearn  howweteach  canada 
october 2015 by robertogreco
The Back-to-School-Night Speech We'd Like to Hear* | Psychology Today
"Our top priority here -- and I mean a real, honest-to-goodness commitment, not just a slogan on the website or in a mission statement -- is to learn about and support each student's interests. What questions do they have about the world? How can we help them build on and find answers to those questions? When we meet as a staff, it's usually to think together about how best to do that, how to create a school that's not just academic but intellectual.

We don't want to write a detailed curriculum or devise a bunch of rules in advance and then spend the year demanding that kids conform to them. Our main concern is that what students are learning, and how they're helped to learn it, make sense for the particular kids in a given room. That's why our teachers spend a lot more time asking than telling -- and even more time listening to what the kids wonder about. The plan for learning is created with your kids, not just for them.

Take Ms. _______ and Mr. ________, who are both standing in the back of the room, over there near the fire alarm. (Say hello!) They teach the same grade and the same subjects, but do they have the same curriculum -- the same topics in the same order with the same reading list and assignments? Well, of course not! They teach different kids! And I happen to know that much of what each of them is teaching this year is different from what they were teaching last year. For the same reason.

A good way to tell how successful we are is how excited the students are about figuring stuff out and playing with ideas. Nurturing their desire to learn is more important to us than cramming them full of definitions and dates and details that they're likely to forget anyway. Plus, in my experience, when that excitement is there, academic excellence tends to follow – assuming they've been given the support and resources they need.

So if your children ever seem reluctant to come to school, if you get a sense that they see what they're doing here as a chore, please let us know! Hating school isn't a fact of life; it's a problem to be solved. We're not going to talk about "how to motivate them" or just expect them to "improve their attitude"; it's our responsibility to improve what happens in school. And if it turns out that the curiosity of our students is being smothered by practices that we've come to take for granted, well, we're not going to say, "Too bad. That's life." We're going to rethink those practices.

You want a couple of examples? Well, I think I can safely say -- and feel free, teachers, to contradict me here -- that all of us on the staff used to assume that things like grades, tests, homework, and textbooks were just part of the educational package. So we focused on the details of how we did them -- what seem to us now like piddly little questions. We would solemnly ask: Should grades be posted online -- and what's the best way to do that? Or: Exactly how many minutes of homework should be assigned? Should students be permitted to retake tests? Should textbooks be available digitally? (Boy, that's "innovation" for you, huh? The same collection of predigested facts from a giant publishing conglomerate but, hey, now it's on an iPad!)

Anyway, we gradually realized that because we were so busy asking how to implement x, y, and z, we had let ourselves off the hook by failing to ask whether x, y, or z should be done at all. For instance, a lot of studies have shown that when you give kids grades, they tend to lose interest in what they're learning – and also become less thoughtful in the way they learn it. So if we can offer kids (and also you parents) much more meaningful feedback about how they're doing in school – through written observations and, better yet, in-person conversations -- then why would we risk smothering their excitement about learning by slapping a letter or number on them? We were doing real damage by training kids to think that the point of going to school is to get A's. The solution wasn't to implement “standards-based grading,” or to change “A” to “greatly exceeds expectations,” or ramp up the use of rubrics (which basically take all that's wrong with grades and intensify it). No. The solution was to get rid of grading entirely and replace it with something better. So that's just what we've done. And the results have been nothing short of amazing.

The same thing is true with other old-fashioned practices. Homework creates frustration, anxiety, boredom, exhaustion -- and it's no fun for the kids either! (Ba-dum-bum). So we really paid attention when we discovered teachers -- some in our school, some in other schools -- who had completely stopped assigning homework and found real improvement in the way kids felt about school, about learning, about themselves, and about their teachers -- all without detracting from the quality of their learning. True, kids end up doing less drill and practice when they're free to do what they enjoy after school, but our teachers have gone way beyond the old drill-and-practice approach anyway!

We've seen similar benefits after educating ourselves about how to evaluate kids' understanding of ideas without using tests. And about how textbooks can be left on the shelves, to be consulted occasionally like reference sources, rather than dictating course content. What?? A school without tests or textbooks?? Yes. It's not only possible; it opens new possibilities for learning -- to the point that we wondered why we hadn't ditched these relics years ago.

Well, let's be honest. Some of us wondered that. Others of us are still a little, um, uneasy about completely getting rid of these traditional practices. Some of us understandably need help teaching with primary sources instead of textbooks. Or getting better at knowing how well students are doing (or how we're doing) without giving kids tests and quizzes. Or doing what needs to be done during class instead of saddling kids with more schoolwork after the school day is over.

So we're still struggling with some of this. But we're pretty sure at least we're asking the right questions now. And I'm happy to report that this shift is taking place in all the schools in our district -- elementary, middle, and high schools, since everything I'm talking about tonight is relevant to all grade levels. In fact, at the risk of making your head explode, I could mention that the same is true of a bunch of other features of Old Style education that we're also starting to look at skeptically now: segregating kids by age, or teaching different subjects separately, or even making kids raise their hands so that the teacher alone decides who gets to talk when. If there are solid reasons to keep doing these things, fine. If not, well, "that's the way things have always been done" is a pretty lame justification for not making a change, isn't it?"



"We talk a lot about the importance of creating a caring community of learners. Actually, I guess lots of schools use phrases like that, but one way we prove we really mean it is by making sure we don't do anything that disrupts a feeling of community -- like setting kids against each other in a contest for awards or recognition. The day we start publicly singling out one child as better than everyone else is the day we've given up on the ideal of community. This doesn't mean we don't care about excellence. Just the opposite! Real excellence comes from helping students to see one another as potential collaborators. Sorting them into winners and losers leads each kid to see everyone else as a rival. That undermines achievement (as well as caring and trust) for winners and losers alike. So instead of awards assemblies, you can expect to be invited to student-designed celebrations of what all of us have accomplished together. These ceremonies can be amazingly moving, by the way. If you're used to those rituals where a few kids are called up to the stage to be applauded for having triumphed over their peers, well, you're in for a real treat.

Because we take kids -- all kids -- so seriously here at _________, and because we treat them, and their ideas, with respect, we tend to have remarkably few discipline problems. Few, not none. When there is a problem, we don't talk about it in terms of a kid's "behavior" that needs to be changed; we ask what's going on beneath the behavior. Sometimes what's going on is that something about the school isn't working for that child. That's not a signal to fix the child, to lean on him until he does what he's told. You're sending us your children, not your pets, so we don't use rewards and consequences. We don't bribe or threaten them to make them behave. Hey, we don't like to be treated that way, so why would we treat our students that way? We don't use point systems, or dangle prizes in front of them, or use other strategies of control. Those gimmicks don't really work in the long run, and they're an awfully disrespectful way to treat people of any age. Besides, we find that when the learning is engaging, when our requests are reasonable, when we view students as people to be consulted rather than as bundles of behaviors to be reinforced, most of the time they live up to our expectations. Or even go beyond them.

As the year unfolds, we'll send you occasional letters and e-mails -- and update our website -- about how all this is playing out, about how your child is doing and, more important, what your child is doing. Some teachers host their own blogs or send out periodic newsletters. But don't be worried if sometimes they write things like, "We had a conflict in class that made some kids unhappy so we called a class meeting to work it out" or "Hey, I tried a new way to introduce an unfamiliar concept today, and it bombed so I'm not likely to do that again." If we sent you updates that were always upbeat, implying that every kid loved - and succeeded at - every activity, we'd quickly lose all credibility and you'd discount everything you heard from us. So we'll be tactful but honest in sharing … [more]
alfiekohn  emergentcurriculum  education  unschooling  deschooling  learning  children  schools  priorities  tcsnmy  agency  choice  homework  grades  grading  howwelearn  howweteach  teaching  curriculum  reggioemilia  anxiety  boredom  exhaustion  play  democracy  textbooks  caring  progressive  discipline  behavior  competition  awards 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Design tutorials: the basics | SB129
Within design education, there’s little shared wisdom about how to conduct a tutorial. The tutorial is the bread and butter of design learning; the main pedagogic object of interaction. But we, the design community, rarely share the nuts and bolts of how to navigate and steer a student through a successful project; how to encourage, provoke, inspire and lead a designer into new and fascinating territories.

In this post, I’d like to outline a few basics. It’s me, stating the obvious, in what I consider good pedagogic practice; how best to support, guide and get the most out of students and their work.

I believe the things I’ve learnt over the last ten or so years are applicable to other disciplines and within the professional context of design. Whether as a Creative Director or a Design Manager, the following points are a good place to start when it comes to directing creativity;

Listening is Key

At the heart of a good tutor is their ability to listen. Understanding ideas, position and intent allows for more connected, meaningful feedback. Asking questions to clarify is key to aiding your understanding. Sometimes students take a long time to get to the salient point, they can skirt around the topic due to a lack of confidence, confusion or perception of expectation, so be patient, let them ‘talk out’, only respond when you understand what’s in front of you. Wait until nerves die down to get to the heart of the matter, then you’ll be in the best position to advise.

Ownership and embodiment

It’s all to common for design tutors to try to design vicariously – to direct a student in a way that they would do the project. This, in my opinion, is a flawed approach. It has a history in the master/apprentice model of education; watch, copy, admire, repeat (where learning is a happy side effect). However, it rarely allows the student to feel ownership over the content and learning experience.

Within Art and Design, intellectual ownership is a tricky subject to navigate. The messy and complex network of ideas become distributed across a number of different references, conversations and people, the genesis of an idea is difficult to locate. Tutors that have a ‘that was my idea’ attitude rarely survive or remain happy and motivated. Intellectual generosity is an essential quality of a good educator. Having the humility to understand and value that the adoption of ideas ‘as their own’ is an important part of learning – it allows for the embodiment of the ideas into the identity of the designer.

Mutual exploration

However, in the age of the Internet, the tutor as gateway to all knowledge is long gone. The ability (or illusion) of a Professor having read ‘everything’ in their discipline is a distant memory. When knowledge is acquired and disseminated in such a radically different manner, it calls for educational revolution. Sadly, the rise of the MOOC isn’t the revolution I was hoping for.

The abolishment of levels and the flattening of hierarchies are at the heart of how I believe education needs to change. Breaking the often fictitious boundaries between teaching and research to allow for the mutual exploration of ideas is a fundamentally different model of education. Sadly, due to financial scalability, this remains relevant only to an elite. But as a tutor, see your conversations with students as a space to explore ideas, be the learner as much as the teacher. Reframe higher education away from the hierarchies of expertise towards mutual exploration of the distant boundaries of your discipline.

Expanding possibility space

It’s important to remember that a tutorial should be expanding the cone of possibility for the student. They should leave, not with answers, but with an expanded notion, a greater ambition of what they were trying to achieve. It’s important to be ambitious and set tough challenges for your students, otherwise boredom or (heavens forbid) laziness can take over. Most student’s I’ve met love being thrown difficult challenges, most rise to the occasion, all learn a great deal. In order to move towards the goal of a self determined learner, the student should control the decisions of the design process. If you’re telling them what to design, not opening up possibilities and highlighting potential problems, you’re probably missing something.

Understand motivation, vulnerability and ‘learning style’

Every student we teach, learn in a different way, have different hopes and desires, react to feedback in a different way. Navigating and ‘differentiating’ these differences is really difficult. Some tutors take a distanced intellectual approach, where the content in front of them is a puzzle that needs to be solved, this is the classic personae of the academic, distanced, emotionally arid, intellectually rigorous. But this doesn’t alway mean a good learning experience. Other tutors operate on a more psychological level; the try to understand the emotional context of the situation and adapt their advise accordingly. Whatever happens, understand you have a individual in front of you, they have lives outside of the studio, they are going through all manner of personal shit that will effect their attention and engagement. They come from different cultures, different educational backgrounds, so their response to your advice is going to shift like the wind, be adaptive, read body language and don’t go in like a bulldozer (I have definitely done this in the past!).

In terms of learning style, without this becoming a paper on pedagogy, understand that your advice need to be tailored to different students. Some (a lot) need to learn through a physical engagement with their material, others needs to have an intellectual structure in place in order to progress. Throughout a project, course or programme, try to understand this and direct your advice accordingly.

Agreed direction

Tutorials shouldn’t just be general ‘chats’ about the project or world, they should give direction, tasks and a course of action. I have a rule: Don’t end the tutorial until you’ve both agreed a direction. This can be pretty tough to manage in terms of time, as I get more experienced, I get better at reaching an agreement within my tutorial time allocation, but I still often can overrun by hours. The important thing to work towards is the idea that you both understand the project, and you both understand how it could move. End the tutorial when this been reached.

Read and respond

It’s really important, in design, to respond to what is in front of you. To actual STUFF. It’s far too easy to let students talk without showing evidence of their work. This is a dangerous game. Words can deceive, hide and misrepresent action. Dig into sketchbooks, ask to see work they’ve done. If they haven’t done anything, ask them to go away and do something to represent their ideas and thoughts. Production is key to having a productive tutorial. Only through responding to actual material evidence of action can a project move forward. At its worst, students can develop the skill to talk about stuff, making it exciting in your mind, but fail to produce the project in the end. But this isn’t the main reason for this section, it’s more about the ideas of design residing in the material production, not just the explication. You can tell me what you believe something does or means, but it’s only when it’s in front of me that I can fully grasp this.

The art of misinterpretation

Another reason why it’s important to dig into sketchbooks and look at work, is that looking at something and trying to work out what it means – the space of interpretation – is an important space of learning. By interpreting and indeed misinterpreting work, you and your student can find out things about the project. If the student intended one thing and you understand something else by it, you’ve at least learnt that it was poorly (visually and materially) communicated. But the exciting stuff happens when misinterpretation acts as a bridge between your internal mental processes (with all references etc) and your students. Your reading of a drawing acts as a way to generate a new idea or direction. This is when there is genuine creative collaboration.

References

One of the roles of a tutor is to point students towards relevant and inspiring resources. In the age of the internet, when student’s roam the halls of tumblr and are constantly fed inspiration by their favourite design blogs, the use, meaning and impact of tutor driven references has changed. Be focussed with reading, ensure students know why they are looking at a particular reference and make sure that you contextualise the work within the ideas that they have."
mattward  2013  teaching  pedagogy  cv  howweteach  howwelearn  design  art  tutotials  canon  listening  ownership  understanding  interpretation  misinterpretation  embodiment  making  exploration  apprenticeships  hierarchy  hierarchies  possibilityspace  motivation  vulnerability  feedback  constructivecriticism  context  empathy  conversation  audiencesofone  differentiation  contextualization  process  documentation  reflection  reggioemilia  emergentcurriculum  evidence  assessment  critique  communication  collaboration  mentoring  mentorship  mentors  response  action  direction  mutualaid 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom | DML Hub
"This volume highlights compelling firsthand counter-narratives from educators engaged in solving an array of challenges in today’s classrooms. It draws together narratives from an inspiring group of educators within the National Writing Project—a collaborative network of instructors dedicated to enhancing student learning and effecting positive change—that contributes to our understanding of what “Digital Is” (DI). DI is a web community for practitioners with high levels of expertise and a deep commitment to engaging today's youth by fostering connections between their in- and out-of-school digital literacy practices. Furthermore, DI is about sharing experiences that offer visibility into the complexity of the everyday classroom, as well as the intelligence that the teaching profession demands.

The chapters in this volume represent a bold re-envisioning of what education can look like, as well as illustrate what it means to open the doors to youth culture and the promise that this work holds. While there are certainly similarities across these diverse narratives, the key is that they have taken a common set of design principles and applied them to their particular educational context. The examples aren't your typical approaches to the classroom; these educators are talking about integrating design principles into their living practice derived from cutting-edge research. We know from this research that forging learning opportunities between academic pursuits, youth’s digital interests, and peer culture is not only possible, but positions youth to adapt and thrive under the ever-shifting demands of the twenty-first century. We refer to this approach as the theory and practice of “connected learning,” which offers a set of design principles—further articulated by this group of educators—for how to meet the needs of students seeking coherence across the boundaries of school, out-of-school, and today’s workplace. Taken together, these narratives can be considered “working examples” that serve as models for how educators can leverage connected learning principles in making context-dependent decisions to better support their learners."

[From within: ]

“…Typically, publications about or for teachers highlight “best practices.” The buzzword-driven form of highlighting a superior approach, to me, ignores the cultural contexts in which teacher practices are developed. The best practice for my classroom is going to be different both from a classroom anywhere else and from my classroom a year down the road. Context drives practice. As such, this is not a how-to guide for connected learning or a collection of lesson plans. The pages that follow are, instead, meant to spur dialogue about how classroom practice can change and inspire educators to seek new pedagogical pathways forward…”

and

“…I remember distinctly thinking “those students are doing it wrong.” … I didn’t understand that I was naturally ascribing my own rules of use on a cultural practice that was not my own…As such “doing it wrong” is culturally constructed and important to remember when we think about how we will roll out sustained connected learning support for teachers nationally and globally.”

[See also: http://dmlcentral.net/blog/antero-garcia/teaching-connected-learning-classroom-new-report ]

[A Summary (source of those quotes): http://bwatwood.edublogs.org/2014/03/05/connected-learning/ ]

[PDF: http://dmlhub.net/sites/default/files/teaching-in-the-CL-classroom.pdf ]
anterogarcia  mimiito  connectedlearning  2014  bestpractices  teaching  pedagogy  emergentcurriculum  christinacantrill  daniellefilipiak  budhunt  cliffordlee  nicolemirra  cindyodonnell-allen  kyliepeppler  classideas  openstudioproject  tcsnmy  lcproject  interest-drivenlearning  learning  peer-supportedlearning  sharedpurpose  networking  production-centeredclassrooms  interest-basedlearning 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Blue Man Group @ CNN's The Next List - YouTube
"Matt Goldman, Chris Wink, and Phil Stanton are best known for originating the international entertainment phenomenon, Blue Man Group. They founded Blue School with their wives as a parent-run playgroup in 2006 in answer to their struggles of finding an institution that celebrated curiosity, creativity, and a sense of adventure for their own children.

Since then, the founders have grown the concept exponentially, engaging a number of respected professionals on their advisory board including Sir Ken Robinson, an educational reform advocate, David Rockwell, a renowned architect who built the Imagination Playground, and Dan Siegel, a neuroscientist, among others.

Blue School's foundation is based in part on utilizing a "co-constructive approach" to learning in which the students have a hand in directing and developing their own curriculum through inquiry and exploration.

As a lab school, Blue School is blazing a trail in education and plans to encourage further innovation through…"
experimentation  divergentthinking  children  constructivism  co-construction  play  dansiegal  interdisciplinary  student-centered  emergentcurriculum  curriculum  teaching  philstanton  chriswink  mattgoldman  curiosity  learning  inquiry  2012  creativity  innovation  kenrobinson  progressive  nyc  blueschool  education  schools  failure  risk 
april 2012 by robertogreco
雨の日の宝物 (Rainy day treasures) Print Pamphlet - a set on Flickr
""......These safe and slow pathways are perfect for tiny feet and their larger commute-weary companions. Dense greens and colourful scented collages reside at the height and scale of little eyes and noses. Irrepressible hands thrive on the mixture of gravel, sand, grass, rocks, sticks and fallen fruit that compose Tokyo carpets. In summer developing ears drink in crickets, cicadas and neighbourhood rustlings...."

A small study on the child's perception of the street.

This document traces the everyday treasures of a rainy day walk to the local sento in suburban Tokyo. It is part of a broader and slightly wonky research and practice agenda on the hand made, everyday creativity, play, and usable environments."
tokyo  education  emergentlearning  emergentcurriculum  mapping  maps  informallearning  deschooling  unschooling  books  2012  slow  creativity  play  discovery  learning  urbanism  urban  children  chrisberthelsen 
march 2012 by robertogreco
Between the By-Road and the Main Road: Curriculum as Complicated Conversation
"This is why curriculum is a complicated conversation, not a rote recitation of someone else's words. Curriculum gets made, not transported. To occasion such excellence requires expertise and planning. The plans learners make need to be thoughtful expressions of intention, not actuality."
conversation  learning  education  maryannreilly  2011  curriculumisdead  teaching  pedagogy  emergentcurriculum  unschooling  deschooling  williampinar  purpose 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Between the By-Road and the Main Road: Rhizomatic Learning: Maps as Lived Performance, not as Artifact
"Folks, there are no made roads worth traveling at the cost of your freedom. The entryways and exits have all been preplanned and the attractions delineated. Alongside that made map is a calendar to keep you and your young charges from dreaming, dallying, racing, reversing, erring, collapsing space, making a detour. 

No musing allowed/aloud.  

And there you are motoring about and you get an itch to go left and you just can't do it. The road you are on is an accident. So what's a body to do? 

Live wide awake lives and let's call that "the content". Dwell in the imagination and we might consider that akin to process. A little of each of these, along with consistent learner agency and we would find that would be enough."
maryannreilly  2011  rhizomaticlearning  learning  maps  mapping  deleuze  guattari  athousandplateaus  commoncore  curriculum  curriculumisdead  conversation  unschooling  deschooling  teaching  life  living  freedom  curiosity  emergentcurriculum  deleuze&guattari  gillesdeleuze  félixguattari 
november 2011 by robertogreco
leading and learning: Let's celebrate those few creative teachers -and even fewer creative schools. They are the future.
"If teachers have in their minds the need to develop their class as a learning community of scientists and artists then during the year, as skills develop, greater responsibility can be passed over to students…

The success of any class will depend on the expectations, attitudes and skills the students bring with them ; what they are able to do with minimal assistance.

If the school has a clear vision of the attributes they would like their students to achieve then there will be a continual growth  of  independent learning  competencies from year to year.   Schools that achieve such growth in quality learning usually have spent considerable time developing a set of shared teaching and learning beliefs  that all teachers agree with and see purpose in. Underpinning such beliefs are assumptions about how students learn and the need to create the conditions for every learner to grow towards their innate potential."
tcsnmy  teaching  leadership  administration  toshare  schools  schoolculture  newzealand  progressive  art  science  learning  emergentcurriculum  relationships  growth  unschooling  deschooling  sharedvalues  sharedbeliefs  howchildrenlearn  discussion  management  whatmatters  customization  control  bestpractices 
august 2011 by robertogreco
The Learning Generalist: Social Media in Learning and Social Learning are just not the same thing
"…true social learning has a few important characteristics…this is where the 'new' social learning is different from old…non-negotiable criteria to dub any learning as social:

1. Democratic: To me the classic example of social interaction is gossip at a watercooler. Gossip emerges from the ground up…doesn't need someone to lead…crowd decides the agenda…the conversation…Learning is truly social when individuals can decide what they want to learn & how they wish to collaborate on it.

2. Autonomous: …it moves by itself & is not controlled by a facilitator…facilitator can help make the flow of the interaction smoother, but in no way does the facilitator become responsible for the direction of these interactions…

3. Embedded: …it's about life in general…not a separate exercise…'just in time' learning.

4. Emergent: …structure emerges from the natural interactions of a participating group. A big problem w/ enterprise social learning is the desire to structure before you start…"
education  sociallearning  networkedlearning  tcsnmy  lcproject  cv  learning  learningnetworks  deschooling  unschooling  emergent  emergentcurriculum  autonomy  hierarchy  wirearchy  social  democratic  democraticschools  grassroots  embedded  reallife  meaningmaking  engagement  justintime  justinintimelearning  2011  sumeetmoghe  structure 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Study raises questions about full-day kindergarten
"Full-day kindergarten may be having a negative effect on the learning and personal development of some children, according to new research.

Early results from a pilot study focusing on two classrooms in southwestern Ontario revealed that teachers in a regular school setting were often caught in the tension that exists between meeting curriculum expectations and teaching to student interests.

The researchers argue that academic goals, centered on results and preparation for standardized tests in later years, are taking away from play-based learning that builds upon what the child already knows."
play  curriculum  emergentcurriculum  kindergarten  pedagogy  teaching  learning  longterm  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  lcproject  schools  schooliness  standardizedtesting  testing  conflict  results  2011 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Valence Theory of Organization / FrontPage
"In a nutshell, my research finds that [Bureaucratic, Administratively controlled, & Hierarchical] organizations…replace the complexity of human dynamics in social systems with the complication of machine-analogous procedures that enable individual independence, responsibility, and accountability. In contrast, [Ubiquitously Connected & Pervasively Proximate] organizations encourage and enable processes of continual emergence by valuing and promoting complex interactions even though doing so necessitates ceding legitimated control in an environment of individual autonomy and agency, collective responsibility, and mutual accountability. The consequential differences in how each type of organization operates day-to-day are like comparing the societies of Ancient Greece, the medieval Church, the Industrial Age, and today's contemporary reality of Ubiquitous Connectivity and Pervasive Proximity."

[via: https://twitter.com/bopuc/status/71130524705492992 ]
complexity  hierarchy  bureaucracy  organizations  tcsnmy  leadership  management  administration  lcproject  learning  networkedlearning  networkculture  autonomy  agency  howwework  howwelearn  organization  accountability  innovation  valencetheory  toread  markfederman  emergentcurriculum  emergent  society  industrial  ubiquitousconnectivity  ubiquitouslearning  relationships  responsibility  independence  freedom 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education on Vimeo
"this video illustrates (literally!) the concept of Hip Hop Genius. these ideas are explored more fully in my book, Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education (hiphopgenius.org)

the drawings were done by Mike McCarthy, a student at College Unbound (collegeunbound.org), a school that exemplifies many of the values espoused in the film. the entire video was shot in College Unbound's seminar space, where Mike has built a studio for his company Drawn Along (drawnalong.com)."
education  learning  politics  economics  creativity  hiphop  meaning  meaningmaking  dialogue  pedagogy  classideas  conversation  commonality  engagement  culture  love  identity  meaningfulness  ingenuity  instinct  confidence  remixculture  art  music  streetart  graffiti  resourcefulness  genius  sampling  individualization  projectbasedlearning  collegeunbound  change  gamechanging  flux  flow  freshness  emergentcurriculum  contentcreation  schools  unschooling  deschooling  mindset  dialog  pbl  remixing 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Jane Goodall, Illustrated - Video Library - The New York Times
"Two new children's books explore the life of Jane Goodall, the chimpanzee expert and prominent conservationist. The Times spoke with Dr. Goodall about living out her childhood dream"
children  science  books  janegoodall  tcsnmy  women  childhood  inquiry  curiosity  emergentcurriculum  experimentation  risktaking  failure  patience  booklists  tarzan  drdolittle  outdoors  nature  naturedeficitdisorder  naturedeficitsyndrome  unstructuredtime  freedom  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  parenting  openendedtime  time  observation  noticing  howwelearn  teaching  learning  girls  video  interviews  gender 
may 2011 by robertogreco
melaniemcbride.net » Melanie McBride
"Toronto-based early adopter, educator & digital culture specialist who writes, teaches & researches emergent literacies & learning. In 2010, Melanie joined Ryerson University’s Experiential Design & Gaming Environments (EDGE) lab team, where she is currently researching & writing about children’s learning in gaming environments and virtual social spaces. Melanie is also at work on a book about digital literacies and the hidden curriculum of emergent learning & education. Melanie has taught secondary, post-secondary, industry, alternative, at-risk & adult education. When she is not writing and researching she can be found raiding in World of Warcraft or tending her crops in Minecraft."

"Research Interests: Social justice, situated informal learning, gaming/game culture, MMOs and multiplayer games, virtual and persistent worlds, transmedia, remix and maker culture, Open technology, Open education, critical pedagogy, critical theory, hidden and null curriculum, privacy"
games  education  melaniemcbride  toronto  teaching  learning  gaming  play  situationist  situatedlearning  criticalpedagogy  criticaleducation  open  opentechnology  informallearning  transmedia  mmo  wow  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  tcsnmy  situatedinformallearning  socialjustice  criticaltheory  privacy  simulations  digitalliteracy  emergentcurriculum  emergentlearning  hiddencurriculum  minecraft 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Let Kids Rule the School - NYTimes.com
"Schools everywhere could initiate an Independent Project. All it takes are serious, committed students and a supportive faculty. These projects might not be exactly alike: students might apportion their time differently, or add another discipline to the mix. But if the Independent Project students are any indication, participants will end up more accomplished, more engaged and more knowledgeable than they would have been taking regular courses.

We have tried making the school day longer and blanketing students with standardized tests. But perhaps children don’t need another reform imposed on them. Instead, they need to be the authors of their own education."

[See also: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/independence-day-developing-self-directed-learning-projects/ AND http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTmH1wS2NJY ]
education  innovation  change  tcsnmy  lcproject  democratic  schools  unschooling  deschooling  howwework  choice  collaboration  curriculum  emergentcurriculum  studentdirected  cv  democraticschools  freeschools  independentproject  plp  inquiry-basedlearning  learning  freedom  independence  responsibility  theindependentproject  self-directed  self-directedlearning  autodidacts  autodidactism  student-led  autodidacticism 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Kids aged 3-6 pretty much the same for last 85 years « Computing Education Blog
[See also: http://www.hepg.org/hel/article/479 ]

"Isn’t it great that somebody is doing studies like these? The Gesell Institute for Human Development has assessed 3-6 year olds since 1925, and finds that kids in 2010 behave pretty the same — despite the intensity of new kindergarten curriculum. The article really argues that all the training in new kindergartens, on numbers and letters, leads to more memorization but no more learning. The bottomline is that play-based curriculum seems to still work the best for these ages."
children  play  learning  kindergarten  schools  schooling  curriculum  wastedenergy  reggioemilia  tcsnmy  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  education  memorization  emergentcurriculum  toshare 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Steve Hargadon: Free Copy of "Lifelike Pedagogy"
"A few weeks ago I interviewed Marcelo Rodrigues, the author of Lifelike Pedagogy and education director of Escola do Max in Brazil, about his philosophy of "real life" education. Links to his interview are available at FutureofEducation.com.

Marcelo was taken by the fact that another interviewee, David Wood, offered free copies of his book in electronic form during that session, and felt that he would like to do the same for Lifelike Pedagogy. If fact, Marcelo has created a special page and video for the book in order to help spread the word about the educational model they have built and the work that they are doing.

For those interested in how to run a school based on students choosing real problems and ideas to work on, this is a book that will interest you a great deal. http://www.lifelikepedagogy.com/book/ "
pedagogy  escoladomax  sãopaulo  brasil  emergentcurriculum  student-led  student-centered  lifelikelearning  lifelikeprojects  tcsnmy  bilingual  marcelorodrigues  lifelikepedagogy  schools  teaching  learning  unschooling  deschooling  stevehargadon  lcproject  via:hrheingold  projectbasedlearning  brazil  pbl 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Escola do Max - English
"The methodology applied at Escola do Max motivates the students and brings along some meaning with the knowledge. The child needs to want to learn and to understand why the activity is being done. For this reason, the methodology follows some steps:

1. The children democratically choose what they want to learn.

2. Children raise questions and hypothesis towards the theme they’ve chosen

3. Together with the teacher, the children start searching about their project.

4. They decide a conclusion activity, which is the main point of the project. It can be a trip, an event, whatever they decide.

5. The children develop several activities in order to reach their goal.

6. The children achieve their conclusion.

In order to understand the development of the Project according to these steps, let’s analyze a practical situation that happened at Escola do Max."
pedagogy  escoladomax  sãopaulo  brasil  emergentcurriculum  student-led  student-centered  lifelikelearning  lifelikeprojects  tcsnmy  bilingual  marcelorodrigues  lifelikepedagogy  schools  teaching  learning  unschooling  deschooling  stevehargadon  lcproject  projectbasedlearning  brazil  pbl 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Think Thank Thunk » Surprise! My Wife is the Good Teacher, I Just Plagiarize
"He didn’t have the ingrained sense of fear and respect most kids have for teachers. He did not have the false urgency that we create in our students. He wasn’t worried about whether I was going to test him, because in preschool, you don’t have tests, just really sweet experiences."
relationships  teaching  preschool  tcsnmy  emergentcurriculum  emergent  constructivism  topost  shawncornally 
july 2010 by robertogreco
What is “progressive education”? « Re-educate
"There isn’t one right way, one mass answer. There are a million different ways & a mass of answers...I asked a friend, who teaches four-year-olds, how she defines “progressive” education. Progressive educators, she said, believe schools should be community-based. That means learning happens collaboratively, not competitively. When kids sit in individual desks all facing the teacher, the message is clear: it’s every man for himself. Progressive schools recognize the inherent wisdom of students. Kids have life experiences that have given them ideas & knowledge. That shouldn’t be ignored. Progressive schools use an emergent curriculum. They leave room for things that deviate from the script. To do this, of course, means letting go. It means giving up the command-&-control system we have now. It means trusting kids, which is just not something our society is comfortable doing."
education  lcproject  tcsnmy  progressive  learning  children  parenting  emergentcurriculum  control  trust  society  childhood  policy  reform  change  onesizefitsall  commandandcontrol 
november 2009 by robertogreco

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