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The Perils of PBL’s Popularity | Blog | Project Based Learning | BIE
"As readers of this blog well know, Project Based Learning is a hot topic in education these days. The progressive teaching method is being touted as one of the best ways to engage 21st-century students and develop a deeper understanding of content as well as build success skills such as critical thinking/problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and self-management.

At the Buck Institute for Education, we think PBL is even more than that; it can be absolutely transformative for students who experience enough high-quality PBL in their K-12 years. They gain not only understanding and success skills but also confidence in their ability as independent learners and a greater sense of their own efficacy and power.

PBL is transformative for teachers and schools, too, as they create real-world connections to learning, change school culture, and guide students to successfully complete high-quality projects. And teachers who use PBL regularly can experience “the joy of teaching,” which they may not – make that likely will not – in a test-prep, drill-and-kill environment.

You’ll notice I use the term “high-quality” twice in the above, which points to a real concern we have at BIE. We don’t want PBL to become yesterday’s news, another education fad for which much is promised and little delivered. This is why BIE developed and promotes the Gold Standard PBL model: to help ensure PBL’s place as a permanent, regular feature of 21st century education for all students.

If it’s not done well, I see PBL facing three dangers:

1. Unprepared Teachers & Lack of Support
Teachers who are not prepared to design and implement projects effectively will see lackluster student performance and face daunting classroom management challenges. Shifting from traditional practice to PBL is not a simple matter of adding another tool to a teacher’s toolbox. PBL is not just another way to “cover standards” that’s a little more engaging for students. PBL represents a different philosophy about what and how students should learn in school, and many teachers and school leaders do not yet realize its implications. It was born in the progressive education movement associated with John Dewey, with more recent ties to constructivism and the work of Jean Piaget. Adding to this situation is the fact that most teachers teach the way they were taught, and did not experience PBL when they were students – so they don’t have a vision for what it can be.

Schools and districts need to provide teachers with opportunites for extensive and ongoing professional development, from workshops provided by experts (like BIE’s) to follow-up coaching, to work in their professional learning communities. Policies around grading, pacing guides, benchmark assessments, and more will need to be re-examined. It also means having longer class periods or blocks of time for project work, and rearranging how students are assigned to classrooms to allow for shared students for secondary-level multi-subject projects. And – I can’t stress this enough – teachers will need LOTS of time to plan projects and reflect on their practice. This means changing school schedules to create collaborative planning time, re-purposing staff meetings, perhaps providing (paid) time in the summer, and finding other creative solutions. All of this is a tall order, I realize, but these are the kinds of changes it will take for PBL to stick.

2. PBL-Lite
Many teachers and schools will create (or purchase from commercial vendors) lessons or activities that are called “project-based” and think they’re checking the box that says “we do PBL” – but find little change in student engagement or achievement, and certainly not a transformation. I’ve been seeing curriculum materials offered online and in catalogs that tout “inquiry” and “hands-on learning” that, while better than many traditional materials, are not really authentic and do not go very deep; they do not have the power of Gold Standard PBL. (For example, I've seen social studies "projects" from publishers that have kids writing pretend letters to government officials - instead of actually taking action to address a real-world issue - and math "projects" where students go through a set of worksheets to imagine themselves running a small business, instead of actually creating a business or at least an authentic proposal for one.)

With materials that are PBL-lite, we might see some gains in student engagement, and perhaps to some extent deeper learning; many of these materials are in fact better than the traditional alternatives for teaching the content. But the effects will be limited.

3. PBL Only for Special Occasions or Some Students
PBL might be relegated to special niches, instead of being used as a primary vehicle for teaching the curriculum - or being provided equitably for all students. I’ve heard about really cool projects that were done in “genius hours” or “maker spaces” or Gifted and Talented programs, or by A.P. students in May after the exams are over… but most students in the “regular program” did not experience PBL. Or schools might do powerful school-wide projects that do involve all students once a year or so, but the teaching of traditional academic subject matter remains unchanged. If this happens, the promise of PBL to build deeper understanding, build 21st century success skills, and transform the lives of all students, especially those furthest from educational opportunity, will remain unfulfilled."
projectbasedlearning  via:lukeneff  2016  johnlarmer  sfsh  progressive  education  learning  howwelearn  schools  teaching  collaboration  communication  self-management  efficacy  power  confidence  constructivism  johndewey  jeanpiaget 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Harvard EdCast: Lifelong Kindergarten | Harvard Graduate School of Education
"The concept of kindergarten — as a place for young children to learn by interacting with materials and people around them — has existed for over 200 years, but never has the approach been so suited to the way the world works as it is today, says Mitchel Resnick, the LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab.

“That approach to kindergarten is really aligned with the needs of today’s society," says Resnick, citing the need to adapt to the speed at which things change in the world. "As kids in the traditional kindergarten were playfully designing and creating things, they were developing as creative thinkers…. That’s exactly what we need.”

Being given the room to explore, experiment, and express oneself is vital to becoming a creative thinker — and to the learning process as a whole — says Resnick, author of Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play. If people aren't encouraged in their creativity at an early age, and if this isn't nutured throughout their schooling, then they aren't as prepared to deal with the unexpected when it arises.

“We’re trying to spread that approach to learners of all ages," says Resnick, who also leads the Lifelong Kindergarten research group at MIT. "We want to take what’s worked best in kindergarten and here at the Media Lab and provide opportunities for all kids of all ages to be able to explore and experiment and express themselves in that same spirit.”

In this edition of the Harvard EdCast, Resnick talks about the importance of nurturing creativity in learning and explains why kindergarten is the greatest invention of the last millennium."

[See also:
"Mitchel Resnick - MIT Media Lab: Lifelong Kindergarten" (2014)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRxD-pe3PN0

"Helping Kids Develop as Creative Thinkers" (2017)
https://vimeo.com/244986026 ]
mitchresnick  lifelongkindergarten  mitmedialab  2017  interviews  kindergarten  play  projects  projectbasedlearning  passion  collaboration  experimentation  creativity  medialab  scratch  making  pbl  teaching  sfsh  learning  howweteach  howwelearn  risks  risktaking  education  schools  lcproject  openstudioproject  curiosity  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  mindstorms  writing  coding  programming  leaning  creating  lego  reasoning 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Mindset Marketing, Behaviorism, and Deficit Ideology | Ryan Boren
"The marketing of mindsets is everywhere. Grit, growth mindset, project-based mindset, entrepreneurial mindset, innovator’s mindset, and a raft of canned social-emotional skills programs are vying for public money. These notions jump straight from psychology departments to aphoristic word images shared on social media and marketing festooned on school walls.

Growth mindset and Positive Behavior Support marketing have joined Leader in Me marketing at our elementary school. Instead of being peppered with synergy and Franklin Covey’s trademarks and proprietary jargon, we’re now peppered with LiM and growth mindset and PBS. Like every marketed mindset going back to the self-esteem movement, these campaigns are veneers on the deficit model that ignore long-standing structural problems like poverty, racism, sexism, ableism, and childism. The practice and implementation of these mindsets are always suborned by deficit ideology, bootstrap ideology, meritocracy myths, and greed.

“Money Doesn’t Have to Be an Obstacle,” “Race Doesn’t Matter,” “Just Work Harder,” “Everyone Can Go to College,” and “If You Believe, Your Dreams Will Come True.” These notions have helped fueled inequity in the U.S. public education system. Mindset marketing without structural ideology, restorative practices, and inclusion is more harmful than helpful. This marketing shifts responsibility for change from our systems to children. We define kids’ identities through the deficit and medical models, gloss over the structural problems they face, and then tell them to get some grit and growth mindset. This is a gaslighting. It is abusive.

Canned social-emotional skills programs, behaviorism, and the marketing of mindsets have serious side effects. They reinforce the cult of compliance and encourage submission to authoritarian rule. They line the pockets of charlatans and profiteers. They encourage surveillance and avaricious data collection. Deficit model capitalism’s data-based obsession proliferates hucksterism and turn kids into someone’s business model. The behaviorism of PBS is of the mindset of abusers and manipulators. It is ideological and intellectual kin with ABA, which autistic people have roundly rejected as abusive, coercive, and manipulative torture. We call it autistic conversion therapy. The misbehavior of behaviorism is an ongoing harm.

Instead, acknowledge pipeline problems and the meritocracy myth, stop bikeshedding the structural problems of the deficit model, and stop blaming kids and families. Develop a school culture based not on deficit ideologies and cargo cult shrink wrap, but on diversity & inclusion, neurodiversity, the social model of disability, structural ideology, and indie ed-tech. Get rid of extrinsics, and adopt instead the intrinsic motivation of autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Provide fresh air, sunlight, and plenty of time for major muscle movement instead of mindset bandages for the pathologies caused by the lack of these three critical things.

“Self-esteem that’s based on external sources has mental health consequences.” Stop propagating the latest deficit/bootstrap/behaviorism fads. Develop the critical capacity to see beyond the marketing. Look beyond deficit model compliance to social model inclusion. The social model and structural ideology are the way forward. Growth mindset and behaviorism, as usually implemented, are just more bootstrap metaphors that excuse systems from changing and learning.

Deficit ideology, surveillance capitalism, mindset marketing, and behaviorism are an unholy alliance. Fix injustice, not kids. “It essentially boils down to whether one chooses to do damage to the system or to the student.”"
ryanboren2017  mindset  marketing  behavior  behaviorism  deficitideology  disabilities  disability  race  education  learning  grit  growthmindset  projectbasedlearning  entrepreneurship  innovation  psychology  racism  poverty  sexism  bootstrapping  meritocracy  greed  childism  ableism  socialemotional  surveillance  surveillancecapitalism  capitalism  health  intrinsicmotivation  extrinsicmotivation  diversity  inclusion  neurodiversity  edtech  autonomy  mastery  purpose  self-esteem  compliance  socialemotionallearning 
december 2017 by robertogreco
I'm Nowhere In-between: Why we need 'seriously uncool' criticism in education - Long View on Education
"You know those t-charts that divide approaches to education into the old and the new? Of course you do. And I bet that were we both to take five minutes to reproduce one from memory, we would come up with roughly the same list. All we’d need to do then is choose a side. Or perhaps stake out a position somewhere in the middle, a blend of the two. Nothing too extreme.

Let me show you one from nearly 100 years ago. In 1925, May R. Pringle experimented with ‘the project method’, which we would now call ‘Project Based Learning’.1

[image]

I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about how we need to be critical of the list of ‘the new and modern’ because it’s always backed by a corporate push. But that’s not why progressive educators find the list seductive. The very terms themselves act as a siren call to anyone who wants a more humane education for children: creative, student-centered, open, flexible, collaboration, choice. We are told that these are the qualities that schools kill and that CEOs would kill for.

But here is the problem. What if CEOs started to call for qualities that ran against our progressive values? In a report by The Economist (and sponsored by Google), Emiliana Vega, “chief of the Education Division, Inter- American Development Bank”, describes the kind of skills that he wishes schools would instill:
“In Latin America, socio- emotional skills are a big part of the gap between what employers need and what young people have. For example, tourism companies need people who will smile and be polite to guests, and often graduates just don’t possess those public- facing techniques.”

Think about that for a minute.

But opposing this new ‘skills agenda’ doesn’t mean that I’m a traditionalist or trying to cut a middle ground. My teaching is most certainly not some kind of ‘back to basics’ or mindless self-medicating prescribed by the ‘what works’ gurus.

The ‘what works’ agenda holds it’s own kind of seduction for self-fashioned rationalists in the vein of Richard Dawkins or Daniel Dennett, who somehow manage to hold onto the Modern faith in science as if most of the 20th century never happened. Geert Lovink sums up that limited critical terrain by looking at the work of Nick Carr, who often criticizes technology because of the effect it has on our cognition:
“Carr and others cleverly exploit the Anglo-American obsession with anything related to the mind, brain and consciousness – mainstream science reporting cannot get enough of it. A thorough economic (let alone Marxist) analysis of Google and the free and open complex is seriously uncool. It seems that the cultural critics will have to sing along with the Daniel Dennetts of this world (loosely gathered on edge.org) in order to communicate their concerns.”

Most of the ‘seriously uncool’ criticism of the project of Modernity has exploded the dichotomies that the destructive myth of ‘rational’ and ‘objective’ scientific ‘progress’ rested on. While we might lament that teachers do not read enough research, we can’t mistake that research for a neutral, apolitical body of knowledge.

Allow me to use a famous study to illustrate my point. Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer’s ‘The Pen Is Mightier than the Keyboard’ (2014) seems to show that writing notes with pen and paper boosts retention and understanding of information compared to typing notes on a computer. In their study, the participants watched TED talks and took notes, completed distractor tasks, and about 30 minutes later answered questions. In one condition, the test was delayed by a week and some participants were allowed to study their notes for 10 minutes before taking the test. The TED talks were intentionally disconnected from any larger project they were learning about.

So rationally and scientifically speaking, we should have students take notes with pen and paper, right?

Yet, the study itself is not neutral with respect to pedagogy since it contains many in-built assumptions about how we should teach: we can say that the pen is mightier than the keyboard under the controlled conditions when students watch a short lecture once, about a topic they are not in the course of studying, when they are not permitted to take the notes home and perform more work with them, and when the assessment of knowledge uses short answer questions divorced from a meaningful purpose or complex project.

Is that how we want to teach? Would a democratic conversation about schools endorse that pedagogy?

In the lab, scientists try to reduce the complexity and heterogeneity in networks – to purify them – so as to create controlled conditions. Subjects and treatments are standardized so they become comparable. Drawing on systems theory, Gert Biesta argues that schools – like all institutions and our social life more broadly – engage in a kind of complexity reduction. We group children into grades and classes, start and end the day at the same time, in order to reduce “the number of available options for action for the elements of a system” which can “make a quick and smooth operation possible”.

Reducing options for action is neither good nor bad in itself, but it is always an issue of politics and power. So, cognitive science is no more a neutral guide than CEOs. As Biesta writes, “The issue, after all is, who has the power to reduce options for action for whom.”

Reliance on only ‘what works’ is a kind of complexity reduction that would eliminate the need for professional judgement. Biesta worries about the “democratic deficit” that results from “the uptake of the idea of evidence-based practice in education”. It’s a conversation stopper, much like relying on CEOs to provide us with the ‘skills of the future’ also raises the issue of a ‘democratic deficit’ and questions about who has power.

I’m not writing this because I feel like what I have to say is completely new, but because I feel like I need to affirm a commitment to the project of critical pedagogy, which does not rest somewhere in the middle of a t-chart. Critical pedagogy embraces hybridity over purification. Our classrooms should emphasize the very heterogeneity in networks in all their variation and glory that experiments – and corporations – seek to eliminate.2

If I’m nowhere in-between, I’m certainly not the first nor alone.

In Teaching to Transgress (1994), bell hooks tells us that “talking about pedagogy, thinking about it critically, is not the intellectual work that most folks think is hip and cool.” Yes, we still need more of that ‘seriously uncool’ critical work if education is to work in the service of freedom. hooks writes, “Ideally, education should be a place where the need for diverse teaching methods and styles would be valued, encouraged, seen as essential to learning.”

There’s lots of reason to think that the social media discussion of education is not a kind of paradise. But as hooks reminds us,
“…learning is a place where paradise can be created. The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom.”3
"
benjamindoxtdator  2017  dichotomies  dichotomy  spectrums  projectbasedlearning  bellhooks  criticalpedagogy  education  lcproject  openstudioproject  sfsh  hybridity  purity  teaching  leaning  unschooling  deschooling  progressive  schools  freedom  homogeneity  heterogeneity  mayrpringle  history  modernity  emilianavega  richarddawkins  danieldennett  faith  geertlovink  criticism  criticalthinking  technology  pammueller  danieloppenheimer  tedtalks  democracy  democratic  gertbiesta  systemstheory  diversity  complexity  simplicity  agesegregation  efficiency  politics  power  authority  networks  possibility  nicholascarr 
july 2017 by robertogreco
The Art of Teaching
[via: "The slide deck for the workshop is superb. Such a great experience, so grateful to @tchoi8 & the other participants." https://twitter.com/dphiffer/status/879465006449909760

referencing also: "How I learn to build things. Something I created for @tchoi8’s Art of Learning workshop at @eyeofestival."
https://twitter.com/dphiffer/status/879366496354488322 ]

[video: "Absence is Presence with Distance"
https://vimeo.com/234330230

"As an artist, I work with technology and narrative – formal and relational projects. As an activist, I examine personal and political – practice and praxis. As an educator, I create feedback between plastic and elastic – learning and unlearning. My talk is set at the dawn. We are waiting for the sun to rise and we are full of questions. What’s the role of an artist as an activist now? How can we critique oppressive systems that create the sense of ‘others’ based on ability and legal status? What’s kind of pedagogy can we experiment through alternative schools? How can we create a community among those who have nothing in common? By creating art, we can give form to our intentions, contribute to making the world we want to live in.

( For a companion posting to this talk visit:

https://medium.com/@tchoi8/absence-is-presence-with-distance-c0712aada56c )]
taeyoonchoi  education  teaching  purpose  routine  ritual  silence  flow  conflict  communication  structure  nurture  authority  kojinkaratani  jean-lucnancy  community  howweteach  pedagogy  learning  howwelearn  eyeo2017  unlearning  curriculum  syllabus  sfpc  schoolforpoeticcomputation  art  craft  beauty  utility  generosity  sfsh  tcsnmy  lcproject  openstudioproject  classideas  cv  reciprocity  gifts  kant  discretion  instruction  discipline  johndewey  bmc  blackmountaincollege  justice  annialbers  stndardization  weaving  textiles  making  projectbasedlearning  materials  progress  progressive  unschooling  deschooling  control  experimentation  knowledge  fabrication  buckminsterfuller  constructivism  constructionism  georgehein  habit  freedom  democracy  paulofreire  judithbutler  sunaurataylor  walking  christinesunkim  uncertainty  representation  intervention  speculation  simulation  christopheralexander  objectives  outcomes  learningoutcomes  learningobjectives  remembering  creativity  evaluation  application  analysis  understanding  emancipation  allankaprow  judychicago  s 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Somerville STEAM Academy
"The Somerville STEAM Academy (SSA) is a collaboration between sprout & co. and the Somerville Public Schools. The SSA will be a vocational lab school emphasizing computational immersion and targeting struggling students offering an intimate, small school setting where learners will explore project-based curricula integrating the arts & sciences. The SSA will feature tight community integration via internships & mentorships and will rely on tie-in volunteer effort throughout Somerville."
alecresnick  education  schools  stem  steam  projectbasedlearning  internships  mentoring  mentorships  powderhousestudios 
june 2017 by robertogreco
Real Maker – Ira David Socol – Medium
"I’m not much of a fan of what folks call “Project-Based Learning.” What is sold by places like the Buck Institute is, yes — OK, a step away from school-as-totally-boring, but it is not a step toward student-centered learning, nor toward student agency, nor toward the target of intrinsically motivated children.

So, if work on “Project-Based Learning” comes with a warning sticker that says, “CAUTION: This program does not provide a destination, but only a baby steps toward making your school less miserable” — go for it. But understand that “less miserable for kids” should not be your School Improvement Goal.

Where I work we see this continuum. “Project-Based” adds context to content and helps, yes, but it remains entirely teacher determined education. “Problem-Based” adds critical thinking and perhaps creativity, and begins to break down teacher absolutism. “Passion-Based” puts kids and their interests at the center and changes “teachers” into “educators” who are resourcers, advisors, and supporters.

When we reach Passion-Based Learning we are adding content to context, taking the natural curiosity and interests of kids and making education conform to those individual dreams.

Then we offer the next step — Maker Learning. Maker Learning assumes that children create most of the ecosystem around them. They determine not just curricular context but time and space. High school girls see engineering education as taking place in a bridge building project where a stream interrupts a walking trail. Middle school kids see natural science education happening via a high altitude balloon project. A second grader rejects classroom math instruction and designs both a video game and the physical controller for it.

“I look for whatever the ‘spark’ is,” one of our Learning Technology Integrators said last week. “Whatever the kid says, “this interests me — excites me,” and then we’ll build around that. This year he has rural kids deep into stream rainwater analysis via Arduino- controlled sensors; high school kids, elementary school kids, all working together.

“What I want,” the principal of our largest elementary school told me last week, “is for everyone on my faculty to be the expert on something. Our kids would have homeroom teachers as advisors and supporters, but then they’d spend most of the day going to wherever they needed to work on their projects.” And that would be a true maker school — a school developing truly successful, happy humans in adulthood.

Real Maker doesn’t come from kits or recipes. It isn’t learned by attending a one day lecture. You can’t buy it on Amazon.

Real Maker is an attitude toward children — an attitude toward childhood and adolescence. It begins with trust in kids, requires giving up control, requires that we stop saying “but…” and making excuses, requires that we understand that learning is messy and inefficient, requires that we learn to say, “ I don’t know” a lot — and add the phrase, “how can I help you find out?” to that.

Real Maker requires that you challenge yourself and your understandings of time, of space, of behavior, even-yes, of what student safety means.

Can you actually embrace Maker Education? Will you?"
children  education  learning  unschooling  deschooling  irasocol  2017  making  projectbasedlearning  passion-basedlearning  technology  makers  pedagogy  howweteach  howwelearn  curiosity  sfsh  goals  intrinsicmotivation  student-centeredlearning  agency  cv  tcsnmy 
april 2017 by robertogreco
Are we robbing students of tomorrow? - Long View on Education
[Cf. "The High School of the Future (in 1917)" on David Snedden
https://daily.jstor.org/the-high-school-of-the-future-in-1917/ ]

"Is our present educational system ripe to be disrupted by Deweyan thought from a century ago? Are we robbing students of tomorrow?

While it might seem like John Dewey is back in fashion, and on the side of those who argue that schools need to be ‘future proofed’ to keep pace with the changing economy, Dewey never actually said the above. As Tryggvi Thayer points out, “it doesn’t sound like something that Dewey would say in his writings; neither the sentiment nor diction.”

As an example of the ‘future proofing’ trend, Charles Kivunja presses Dewey into a narrative about how America’s “obsolete” schools need to do a better job of “training the work force”, making the argument that the current agenda is “really not new.” Thus, Bill Gates and Thomas Friedman are just the Dewey’s of today, worried that we are robbing children (and the American GDP) of tomorrow. In reaction to the restrictive nature of standardized testing, project-based learning and student-centered approaches have emerged as the favored pedagogy to help prepare students for the workplace of tomorrow.

Ironically, Dewey criticized both the main future proofer of his day, David Snedden, and the leading proponent of the ‘child-centered’ project-method, James Heard Kilpatrick. Rather than a resurgence of people reading Dewey, we are witnessing the rise of Sneddedism and Kilpatrickianism passed off as the thoughts of everyone’s progressive hero."

David Snedden – Future Proofing and Social Efficiency

I imagine that a Dewey redivivus would be sadden but not surprised to see that Snedden’s ‘social efficiency’ won out over the brand of progressive thought that Dewey argued for. Snedden was a member of what David Tyack and Larry Cuban (1997, p.17) have termed the ‘administrative progressives:
These white men – few women and almost no people of color were admitted to the inner circle of movers and shakers – carved out lifelong careers in education as city superintendents, education professors, state or federal officers, leaders in professional organizations such as the National Education Association (NEA), and foundation officials. They shared a common faith in “educational science” and in lifting education “above politics” so that experts could make the crucial decisions.

The administrative progressives didn’t lack any vision:
They thought that schooling should be both more differentiated and more standardized: differentiated in curriculum to fit the backgrounds and future destinies of students; and standardized with respect to buildings and equipment, professional qualifications of staff, administrative procedures, social and health services and regulations, and other educational practices.

“The terms have changed over the years, but not the impulse to emulate business and impress business elites,” (112), and so the current future proofing agenda is really just Snedden’s ‘social efficiency’ wrapped in the buzzwords of the so-called Knowledge Economy. For Will Richardson, PBW justifies PBL: “If you want a justification for Problem/Project Based Learning, there probably isn’t any better than this: increasingly our students are going to be doing problem/project based work in their professional lives.”

Dewey opposed the administrative progressives’ attempt to construe education so narrowly as training. David F. Labaree recounts the history in How Dewey Lost, which is well worth the read. In The New Republic (1915, republished in Curriculum Inquiry in 1977), Dewey put his criticism this way:
“Apart from light on such specific questions, I am regretfully forced to the conclusion that the difference between us is not so much narrowly educational as it is profoundly political and social. The kind of vocational education in which I am interested is not one which will ‘adapt’ workers to the existing industrial regime; I am not sufficiently in love with the regime for that. It seems to me that the business of all who would not be educational time-servers is to resist every move in this direction, and to strive for a kind of vocational education which will first alter the existing industrial regime, and ultimately transform it.” (38-9)

Labaree pulls many lessons from his study of history. Snedden emerged at the right time to argue that schools needed to be reformed to keep up with the changing economy. Among the other points Labaree makes, I find these three particularly compelling and relevant:
The ideas sounded authoritative and gave the impression that they were building into arguments, but they were largely a collection of numbered lists and bullet points. He was a man who would have warmly embraced PowerPoint. In his work, portentousness abounded; it was all about riding the wave of the future and avoiding the undertow of the past.

However, Snedden’s ideas lacked substance:
He was a self-styled scientist who never did anything that remotely resembled scientific study, an educational sociologist who drew on the cliches of the field – social Darwinism and social control – without ever making an original contribution. In his written work, he never used data, and he never cited sources, which made sense, since he rarely drew on sources anyway. His books and journal articles took the form of proclamations, scientific pronouncements without the science; they all read like speeches, and that was likely the source of most of them.

And lacked subtlety:
But one of the lessons of social change in general and educational reform in particular is that every doctrine needs its doctrinaire. Nuance is dysfunctional for the cause of educational reform, especially early in the process, when the main task is to clear the field of the accumulated institutional underbrush and make the case for a radical new order. Every reformer needs to slash and burn the remnants of the old way of doing things, portraying the past as all weeds and decay, and clearing space tor the new institutions to take root. This is something that a literal minded, hyperkinetic, and monomaniacal figure like Snedden could do superbly. As Diane Ravitch {2000) noted, “Snedden’s caricature of the traditional school became a staple of progressive attacks tor years to come: it was ‘repressive,’ ‘monarchical,’ ‘barren and repellent,’ founded entirely on classics and completely out of touch with American democracy” (p. 82).

I’ll let you do your own compare and contrast with current educational thought leaders.

William Heard Kilpatrick – The Child-Centered Project-Method

"David Snedden’s social efficiency agenda does not entail any particular pedagogy. Maybe schools need to have rigorous standards and teachers need to impose upon students a disposition to defer to authority to prepare them for factory and corporate jobs.

We are witnessing a swing away from this pedagogy, and a return to child-centered classrooms (which constructivists have argued for since the 1980s). William Heard Kilpatrick’s ‘project method’, popular during the progressive era, is now re-born as Project-Based Learning, which casts teachers as ‘facilitators’ (again, much like constructivism). Gert Biesta has noted that ‘teaching’ and ‘education’ have virtually disappeared from our discourse that now raises ‘learning’ and ‘student-centered’ approaches above all else. The learnification of educational discourse makes it increasingly difficult to raise questions about the purpose of education, which has largely been settled in favor of preparing students for work.

Our present obsession with being ‘student-centered’ owes its heritage not to John Dewey, but to William Heard Kilpatrick, the popularizer of ‘the project method’ Michael Knoll writes:
In his concept, there was no proper place for traditional educational features such as teacher, curriculum, and instruction. Project learning, Kilpatrick wrote, was always individual and situative, and could neither be planned nor fixed. “If the purpose dies and the teacher still requires the completion of what was begun, then it becomes a task” – merely wearisome and laborious (Kilpatrick 1925, 348). “Freedom for practice” and “practice with satisfaction” were the slogans with which he effectively staged his “revolt” against drill, discpline, and compulsion (ibd., 348, 311, 56ff.).

Kilpatrick’s emphasis on the interests of the students can easily slide into an embrace of one side of the curriculum / student dichotomy. After all, we don’t need kids completing more meaningless tasks, but embracing their passions. Will Richardson argues we should “let kids bring their kale to school,” in reference to his daughter’s passion, “and make that the focus of developing them as learners.” (15:00)

Dewey abhorred the dichotomies that plague contemporary educational discourse. In The Child and the Curriculum (Chicago, 1902), Dewey writes:
“Just as, upon the whole, it was the weakness of the ‘old education’ that it made invidious comparisons between the immaturity of the child and the maturity of the adult, regarding the former as something to be got away from as soon as possible and as much as possible; so it is the danger of the ‘new education’ that it regard the child’s present powers and interests as something finally significant in themselves.”

It’s not that we should not nurture the interests of children, but to elevate the child and their present interests over the knowledge that adults have accumulated makes little sense. In his Experience and Education, Dewey argued for experiences as a “moving force”, and teachers are a wealth of such experience which they ought to use to structure… [more]
benjamindoxtdator  johndewey  davidsnedden  williamheardkilpatrick  2017  education  sfsh  economics  work  labor  purpose  progressive  efficiency  democracy  projectbasedlearning  michaelknoll  pedagogy  learning  howwelearn  policy  constructivism  gertbiesta  student-centered  schools  davidlabaree  history  willrichardson  davidtyack  larrycuban  billgates  thomasfriedman  tryggvithayer  society  capitalism 
february 2017 by robertogreco
How to Make Your Questions Essential - Google Docs
[locked out, but saw this via Luke…]

"3. Is the question merely engaging? Or will pursuing it lead to the topic's big ideas?
4. Is the question general enough to use across other units? Or is it bound too narrowly to just this topic or text?
5. Does the question get at what's odd, counterintuitive, or easily misunderstood? Or is it a predictable question with mundane and relatively superficial answers?"
teaching  unitplanning  projectbasedlearning  howweteach  essentialquestions  sfsh  via:lukeneff 
november 2016 by robertogreco
Somerville hits $10M jackpot in national high school innovation competition - The Boston Globe
[See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CVyQY7MUMc ]

"A local nonprofit working with the Somerville Public Schools came up with a proposal that might seem off the wall: a year-round high school that feels more like a research and design studio where students pursue long-term projects in areas of interest to them.

There would be no grade levels or a set sequence of courses in math, science, and English. Instead, students would learn material in theme-based symposiums, internships, and hands-on projects that could delve into biomechanics or computational art.

This unconventional thinking of what a high school could look like in the 21st century landed Somerville and the nonprofit Sprout & Co. a $10 million grant Wednesday in a much-hyped national competition that drew hundreds of proposals from around the country.

The new high school, which is expected to open in the next year or two, will be called Somerville Powderhouse Studios and could serve as a national model for Boston and other school systems looking to redesign their high schools.

Somerville’s proposal was one of 10 winning bids in the Super School Project, sponsored by XQ, an education nonprofit in Oakland, Calif., which is giving $10 million to each recipient.

“We are thrilled they saw something in Somerville Powderhouse that spoke to them,” Somerville Superintendent Mary Skipper said. “I hope we can incubate some really great ideas.”

XQ launched last year with the goal of transforming high schools. The organization likes to say that over the last 100 years high schools have remained frozen in time in an ever-changing society in which “we’ve gone from the Model T to the Tesla, from the typewriter to the touchscreen, from the switchboard to the smartphone.”

That sentiment builds upon a long-held belief among many education policy makers and politicians that high schools need a makeover. In Boston, Mayor Martin J. Walsh last year kicked off an effort to overhaul the city’s high schools, soliciting ideas on how to make programs more interesting so that fewer students drop out.

“Generally, high schools have been hard to change,” said Russlynn Ali, chief executive officer at XQ. “Virtually every high school in the country looks the same. . . . Systems have been entrenched.”

Ali said she hopes the winning proposals can show what is possible when school systems dream big. She said XQ liked how Somerville was “busting through the notions of traditional grades and classes,” and how it plans to meet students where they are and take them where they need to be.

Super School Project winners hailed from across the country. Furr High School in Houston is focusing on hands-on projects in environmental and nutritional sciences, while also establishing a culture committed to restorative justice practices. New Harmony High School in Venice, La., will take to a barge to explore coastal erosion in a “floating classroom.” And Grand Rapids Public Museum High School in Michigan will tap 250,000 cultural and historical artifacts for a river restoration project.

Powderhouse Studio, which has produced an introductory video, will enroll about 200 students and use a shuttered school building on Broadway, which will also house small businesses and artist space.

Each team of students will be equipped with a project manager, a curriculum developer, and a social worker.

The idea for Powderhouse Studios began several years ago. Sprout & Co. had been working on special programs with Somerville schools that encouraged students to dive deeply in big topics.

Impressed, Mayor Joseph Curtatone approached the nonprofit about starting up its own high school, believing it could be an ideal setting for students who didn’t fit the traditional high school.

“They were just inspiring by the learning environment they were cultivating,” Curtatone said. “I think the demand will be overwhelming.”

Officials stressed the new school would not take resources away from Somerville High School.

Designers of the school acknowledge the idea is unusual. After talking to parents about the proposal over the past year, they decided the high school would start enrolling students who would be entering the eighth grade.

“People feel more open to experimenting during the middle school years because they often consider middle school to be a wash,” said Alec Resnick, cofounder and future principal of Powderhouse Studios.

He added that “the school is a bigger sandbox of what we had been doing” at Sprout & Co.

Skipper said many folks can be initially skeptical about new approaches. When she opened TechBoston Academy nearly 15 years ago, she said, she received pushback on giving every student a laptop, arguing the students would lose or misuse the equipment.

But she said that students embraced the laptops, and that the devices have become a standard in many classrooms nationwide.

“Sometimes it takes innovation to give people a glimpse of what education can be,” she said."
alecresnick  somerville  education  schools  highschool  powderhousestudios  community  unschooling  deschooling  studioclassrooms  lcproject  openstudioproject  learning  doing  making  projectbasedlearning 
september 2016 by robertogreco
Maker Education: Pedagogy, Andragogy, Heutagogy | User Generated Education
"Maker education is currently a major trend in education. But just saying that one is doing Maker Education really doesn’t define the teaching practices that an educator is using to facilitate it. Maker education takes on many forms. This post provides an overview of how maker education is being implemented based on the teaching practices as defined by the Pedagogy, Andragogy, Heutagogy (PAH) continuum.

[chart]

Traditionally, Pedagogy was defined as the art of teaching children and Andragogy as teaching adults. These definitions have evolved to reflect teacher practices. As such, andragogical and heutagogical practices can be used with children and youth.

PAH within a Maker Education Framework

The following chart distinguishes and describes maker education within the PAH framework. All teaching styles have a place in Maker Education. For example, pedagogical practices may be needed to teach learners some basic making skills. It helps to scaffold learning, so learners have a foundation for making more complex projects. I do, though, believe that maker education projects and programs should go beyond pedagogical oriented teaching as the overriding goal of maker education is for learners to create something, anything that they haven’t before.

Driving Questions

• Pedagogy – How well can you create this particular maker education project?
• Andragogy – How can this prescribed maker project by adapted and modified?
• Heutagogy – What do you want to make?

Overall Purpose or Goal

• Pedagogy – To teach basic skills as a foundation for future projects – scaffolding.
• Andragogy – To provide some structure so learners can be self-directed.
• Heutogogy – To establish an environment where learners can determine their own goals, learning paths, processes, and products for making.

Role of the Educator

• Pedagogy – To teach, demonstrate, help learners do the maker education project correctly.
• Andragogy – To facilitate, assist learners, mentor
• Heutagogy – To coach, mentor, be a sounding board, be a guide very much on the side.

Making Process

• Pedagogy – Use of prescribed kits, templates; step-by-step directions and tutorials.
• Andragogy – Use of some templates; learners add their own designs and embellishments.
• Heutagogy -Open ended; determined by the learner.

Finish Products

• Pedagogy – A maker project that looks and acts like the original model.
• Andragogy – A maker project that has some attributes of the original model but that includes the learner’s original ideas.
• Heutagogy – A maker project that is unique to the learner (& to the learning community)."
pedagogy  andragogy  heutagogy  education  teaching  learning  making  makers  projectbasedlearning  constructivism  constructionism  emergent  emergentpedagogy  self-directed  self-directedlearning  howweteach  howwelearn  unschooling  deschooling  community  individualization  personalization  differentiation  mentors  mentoring  sfsh  jackiegerstein  tcsnmy 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Kurt Hahn - Wikipedia
"Six Declines of Modern Youth

1. Decline of Fitness due to modern methods of locomotion [moving about];
2. Decline of Initiative and Enterprise due to the widespread disease of spectatoritis;
3. Decline of Memory and Imagination due to the confused restlessness of modern life;
4. Decline of Skill and Care due to the weakened tradition of craftsmanship;
5. Decline of Self-discipline due to the ever-present availability of stimulants and tranquilizers;
6. Decline of Compassion due to the unseemly haste with which modern life is conducted or as William Temple called "spiritual death".

Hahn not only pointed out the decline of modern youth, he also came up with four antidotes to fix the problem.

1. Fitness Training (e.g., to compete with one's self in physical fitness; in so doing, train the discipline and determination of the mind through the body)
2. Expeditions (e.g., via sea or land, to engage in long, challenging endurance tasks)
3. Projects (e.g., involving crafts and manual skills)
4. Rescue Service (e.g., surf lifesaving, fire fighting, first aid)

Ten Expeditionary Learning Principles
These 10 principles, which seek to describe a caring, adventurous school culture and approach to learning, were drawn[by whom?] from the ideas of Kurt Hahn and other education leaders[which?] for use in Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound (ELOB) schools.

1. The primacy of self-discovery
Learning happens best with emotion, challenge and the requisite support. People discover their abilities, values, passions, and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure and the unexpected. In Expeditionary Learning schools, students undertake tasks that require perseverance, fitness, craftsmanship, imagination, self-discipline, and significant achievement. A teacher’s primary task is to help students overcome their fears and discover they can do more than they think they can.

2. The having of wonderful ideas
Teaching in Expeditionary Learning schools fosters curiosity about the world by creating learning situations that provide something important to think about, time to experiment, and time to make sense of what is observed.

4. The responsibility for learning
Learning is both a personal process of discovery and a social activity. Everyone learns both individually and as part of a group. Every aspect of an Expeditionary Learning school encourages both children and adults to become increasingly responsible for directing their own personal and collective learning.

4. Empathy and caring
Learning is fostered best in communities where students’ and teachers’ ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust. Learning groups are small in Expeditionary Learning schools, with a caring adult looking after the progress and acting as an advocate for each child. Older students mentor younger ones, and students feel physically and emotionally safe.

5. Success and failure
All students need to be successful if they are to build the confidence and capacity to take risks and meet increasingly difficult challenges. But it is also important for students to learn from their failures, to persevere when things are hard, and to learn to turn disabilities into opportunities.

6. Collaboration and competition
Individual development and group development are integrated so that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear. Students are encouraged to compete not against each other but with their own personal best and with rigorous standards of excellence.

7. Diversity and inclusion
Both diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas, creative power, problem-solving ability, respect for others. In Expeditionary Learning schools, students investigate value their different histories talents as well as those of other communities cultures. Schools learning groups heterogeneous.

8. The natural world
Direct respectful relationship with the natural world refreshes the human spirit teaches[clarification needed] the important ideas of recurring cycles and cause and effect. Students learn to become stewards of the earth and of future generations.

9. Solitude and reflection
Students and teachers need time alone to explore their own thoughts, make their own connections, and create their own ideas. They also need time to exchange their reflections with others.

10. Service and compassion
We are crew, not passengers. Students and teachers are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others, and one of an Expeditionary Learning school's primary functions is to prepare students with the attitudes and skills to learn from and be of service to others."
kurthahn  learning  youth  fitness  health  skill  care  self-discipline  memory  imagination  consumerism  spectatoritis  locomotion  williamtemple  stimulation  expeditions  projects  projectbasedlearning  self-discovery  howwelearn  outwardbound  unitedworldcolleges  collaboration  competition  nature  outdoors  solitude  reflection  compassion  service  servicelearning  howweteach  education  pedagogy  experientiallearning  experience  success  failure  empathy  caring  responsibility 
april 2016 by robertogreco
The Marco Rubio Disaster, rote learning and getting the answer right – Dave's Educational Blog
"I believe that our education system is a society building machine. I believe that the way we build it, the practices we foster, the underlying concepts in it make citizens a certain way. I totally understand that people want our schools to be accountable, but the choices we have made for accountability have created a society where people believe that repetition is true. We believe that there are correct answers to all questions. That’s how tests work isn’t it? Don’t we represent power in our classrooms through teachers who present and test for correct answers?

It is MUCH easier to check and see if a teacher is doing their work if ‘doing their work’ is the same as getting students to deliver the right answer. We’ve always recognized this. We turn to ‘project based learning’ to give people a chance to do explore, to deal with uncertainty, to make their own answers. Super inconvenient though, PBL. I mean, the students have 6 hours to get something done so… it’s much easier to provide some structure so that they can get there in that time. Teachers change, people start to realize that that structure is way easier to measure than the random things that students think… and then we start to measure the structure.

I’ve come to realize that rhizomatic learning (and many other, similar projects – see connectivism, heutagogy etc…) is about creating a different kind of citizen in our little society building machine. I’m hoping to encourage citizens who can, among other things, see what Rubio is doing not just when he so majestically did it in a five minute span, but when he repeats for truth over the course of a campaign. I would love to be part of encouraging citizens who get MORE suspicious as things are repeated rather than less. To destabilize the brand message so that it was less effective. To make it so that we did not look for TRUTH but rather negotiated truths that included more people.

I think certainty in schools is a key battleground. We need to stop getting the answer right."
davecormier  marcorubio  education  rhizomaticlearning  howwelearn  howweteach  measurement  assessment  certainty  learning  schools  connectivism  heutagogycitizenship  society  democracy  memorization  rote  rorelearning  projectbasedlearning  structure  unschooling  deschooling  progressive  progressiveeducation  uncertainty  teachers  pedagogy 
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
New Technology High School - Napa, CA
"How it All Began

The city of Napa is best known as the southern tip of California’s most famous wine-making region, but is now becoming famous as the birthplace of an educational revolution. When several local businesspeople and community educational leaders first tossed around the idea of a school in which students would learn the skills necessary to succeed in the new economy, they were not looking to start an educational revolution. They were looking for a way to support better skills for the pool of local employees. Students were looking for a way to come out of school better prepared for jobs in a technologically advanced marketplace. The community as a whole was concerned with getting quality of public education in general. Out of these concerns came inspiration, and New Technology High School was born.

Since opening its doors in 1996, New Technology High School has graduated 1091 students, sending them to an impressive list of top colleges and internships with nearby Silicon Valley companies. The students themselves helped design its elegant modern facade and also assist in maintaining its interior landscape, the NTHS website. The classrooms are visions of modern industriousness; with each student having his or her own personal computer. Students use the latest software to do everything from accessing daily bulletins to completing math assignments. Some students have been computer junkies all their lives. Some have never touched a mouse before arriving at NTHS.

The most exciting aspect of education at NTHS is directly connected to this access to technology. It’s called “project-based learning”, and it very nearly comprises a revolution in itself. Instead of plugging their knowledge into fill-in bubbles on scantron sheets at finals time, students present tech-based projects about the subject at hand. You won’t find simple book reports at New Tech High – you’re more likely to see a detailed website with original graphics and links to related sites, or a beautifully designed Power-Point presentation combining digital photography and original text.

Parents should not fear that all this technology overshadows core academics. Students fulfill all district requirements and some extra ones specific to NTHS. They will also complete college credits at local Napa Valley College. They need not sit behind a computer screen all day – extracurricular organizations include clubs, dances, and off-campus trips. Students can enroll in music and sports at nearby Napa or Vintage High Schools. In addition, students learn self-sufficiency and time management and participate in what the school’s founders call “A Community of Trust.” Small class sizes and personal relationships with instructors create an environment in which students are responsible for their own learning. There are no bells telling them when classes begin and end and no hall passes required to go to the bathroom. It’s more like college, or even a workplace, than a high school. In addition, the atmosphere of trust and respect makes students feel comfortable leaving their backpacks behind in a classroom. A seemingly insignificant privilege, it comes at a time when too many students across the country fear that the locker next to theirs may hold a weapon.

The enormous success of the NTHS experiment brings some inevitable questions, including how to keep up with the latest technological developments. The NT Foundation was created to support the school and effectively channel grant money. In addition, the NT Foundation assisted other communities to replicate a New Technology High of their own.

A Unique Learning Environment

Even from the outside, NTHS looks different. It’s cleaner. It’s more colorful. It’s sleek and elegant. Enter its doors, and you’ll see bright classrooms with windows on all sides. Roomy computer work stations line all classrooms, alongside tables and chairs used for group work fill the room. Workshops and student presentations are presented at the front of the room aided by a smart board. Besides classrooms, there’s a cybercafe, and clean bathrooms. A single instance of graffiti is enough to unite the students in anger against the unknown perpetrator, inspiring them to write articles in the school newspaper and make impassioned speeches. It’s impossible to imagine such outrage at any other public high school.

But the physical differences are only the beginning. Unique teaching methods and an independent learning environment enhance the technology. This is no cold, hard school of uniformly competent robots. Individualism and communication are encouraged, primarily through the revolutionary teaching technique known as Project-Based Learning.

Project-Based Learning

The backbone of NTHS’s unique learning environment is Project-Based Learning. Instead of handing out daily assignments, teachers assign periodic projects with different components. Components may include a written essay and a digital project such as a website, PowerPoint presentation, or photo essay. Finally, students are asked to present their work orally to their classmates. Students work on these projects either individually, with a partner, or in a group."
napa  education  schools  projectbasedlearning  newtechnologyhighschool  learning 
january 2016 by robertogreco
New Tech Network | We support districts, teachers, administrators and students to create dynamic learning environments where students succeed.
"New Tech Network is a nonprofit organization that transforms schools into innovative learning environments. Our project-based learning approach engages students with dynamic, rigorous curriculum. Through extensive professional development and hands-on coaching, our teachers evolve from keepers of knowledge to facilitators of rich, relevant learning. New Tech Network is re-imagining education and the student accomplishments speak volumes."
education  schools  projectbasedlearning  edtech  newtech  newtechnetwork  professionaldevelopment 
january 2016 by robertogreco
GRITLab
"What is it?

GRITLab is a project-based educational program that’s been distilled from my work as a physics and engineering teacher at High Tech High. While currently integrated into the classroom experience of my students, recent support is helping me build this program into something greater.

Why Project-Based?

Project-based curriculum isn’t just a part of my program, it is my program. People learn best by doing and creating so I provide the guidance, the healthy environment, and an authentic context for their learning.

What does the “Where skillset meets mindset” mean?

The slogan “Where skillset meets mindset” stems from two passions of mine. First, I believe that our society is developing a shortage of individuals that can produce and meaningfully contribute to our global community. In this program, students develop a wide range of concrete skillsets that not only prepare them for their future but also develop a capacity for hands-on learning and a the confidence that stems from saying “I made that!”. Skillsets range from year to year but commonly include: carpentry, electronic design and fabrication, programming, technical writing, project planning, and many others.

However, skills are worthless in a vacuum so to compliment their skillset – students also develop positive mindsets. The development of these mindsets is focused on developing GRIT which, using definitions based on the work of Paul Stoltz, requires a spectrum of specific character traits – each of which can be deliberately developed in the classroom.

Where did GRITLab come from?

Most of all, GRITLab is a manifestation of my lifelong passion for human competence and my persistent desire to play. For a background of why I entered teaching, I recomend checking out this brief story which served as my cover letter in my initial High Tech High application. After being in the classroom a few years, and with the help of existing pioneers in the field (i.e. Paul Stoltz and Angela Duckworth), I started to distill my practices until eventually drawing support from the Paul Allen Foundation as an inaugural member of the Paul Allen Distinguished Educators."

[See also: https://www.youtube.com/user/sswaaleyhth/videos ]
hightechhigh  scottswaaley  education  lcproject  openstudioproject  making  projectbasedlearning  constructivism 
january 2016 by robertogreco
A venture capitalist searches for the purpose of school. Here’s what he found. - The Washington Post
[Alt URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/11/03/a-venture-capitalist-searches-for-the-purpose-of-school-heres-what-he-found/ ]

"I was now fully consumed with this cause. I stepped up my pace, criss-crossing the country to visit schools and gain perspective. I was in hot pursuit of the right answer to the question: “What is the purpose of school?” Everywhere I looked — mission statements, meetings with school leaders, websites — I’d find sensible, even inspiring, purposes:

• teach students cognitive and social skills
• teach students to think
• build character and soul
• help students in a process of self-discovery
• prepare students to be responsible, contributing citizens
• inspire students through the study of humanity’s great works
• prepare students for productive careers

I probed educators on these alternatives, trying to determine the purpose of school, as though answering an SAT question. But I gradually came to realize that this choice was poorly framed. For starters, each of these goals have merit. If some classrooms prepare students for productive careers, and others prioritize on character development, that’s a good thing. And shouldn’t we celebrate an educator who accomplishes one of these goals — not snipe over whether an alternative purpose is superior?

But what came across loud and clear in my journeys is that schools don’t have the luxury of striving for any meaningful purpose. We’ve somehow imposed a system on our educators that requires them to:

• cover volumes of bureaucratically-prescribed content
• boost scores on increasingly-pervasive standardized tests
• get kids through this year’s vacuous hoops to prepare for next year’s vacuous hoops
• produce acceptable graduation rates and college placements
• deal with parents who are either obsessive micro-managers or missing in action.

How did we get here? A deep dive into the history of education helped me appreciate that our school model was brilliantly designed. Over a century ago. In 1893, Charles Eliot of Harvard and the Committee of Ten anticipated a surge of manufacturing jobs as our country moved beyond agriculture. They re-imagined the U.S. education model, ushering in a factory school model to replace the one-room school house. This path-breaking system of universal public education trained students to perform rote tasks rapidly without errors or creative variation — perfect for assembly-line jobs. The system worked spectacularly, a robust middle class emerged, and America became the world’s most powerful country.

Somewhat incredibly, we still utilize this covered-wagon-era education model. Warning signs about its faltering effectiveness go back for decades. In 1983, the blue-ribbon report titled “A Nation At Risk” concluded that if our education system had been imposed on us by a foreign country, we’d declare it an act of war. Yet instead of reinventing the model (as the Committee of Ten did in 1893), we chose to muddle along with short-term, often counter-productive, tweaks. Teachers and students described to me endless additions to content, baffling new standards, and relentless high-stakes standardized tests of low-level cognitive skills. Our nation is hellbent on catching Singapore and South Korea on test scores — a goal those very countries have concluded is nonsensical. We’re betting millions of futures on No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top — our twin orbiting black holes of education — with annual reports on par with the season run-down for the Washington Generals.

And how much are our kids really learning? If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that they’re not learning. Practically anything.

In my travels, I visited the Lawrenceville School, rated as one of the very best high schools in the United States. To its credit, Lawrenceville conducted a fascinating experiment a decade ago. After summer vacation, returning students retook the final exams they had completed in June for their science courses. Actually, they retook simplified versions of these exams, after faculty removed low-level “forgettable” questions The results were stunning. The average grade in June was a B+ (87 percent). When the simplified test was taken in September, the average grade plummeted to an F (58 percent). Not one student retained mastery of all key concepts they appear to have learned in June. The obvious question: if what was “learned” vanishes so quickly, was anything learned in the first place?

The holy grail in our high schools is the Advanced Placement (AP) track. Pioneered 50 years ago by elite private schools to demonstrate the superior student progress, AP courses now pervade mainstream public schools. Over and over, well-intentioned people call for improving U.S. education by getting more of our kids — especially in poor communities — into AP courses. But do our kids learn in AP courses? In an experiment conducted by Dartmouth College, entering students with a 5 on their AP Psychology exam took the final exam from the college’s introductory Psych course. A pitiful 10 percent passed. Worse, when the AP superstars did enroll in intro Psych, they performed no better than classmates with no prior coursework in the subject area. It’s as though the AP students had learned nothing about psychology. And that’s the point.

Along the way, I met Eric Mazur, Area Dean for Applied Physics at Harvard University, and was surprised to discover that many of our country’s most innovative ideas about education come from this one physics professor. Over a decade ago, Eric realized that even his top students (800 on SAT’s, 5 on AP Physics, A in first-year Physics at Harvard) were learning almost no real science. When asked simple questions about how the world works (e.g., what’s the flight path of a pallet of bricks dropped from the cargo hatch of a plane flying overhead?), their responses were little better than guessing. He abandoned his traditional course format (centered on memorizing formulas and definitions), and re-invented his classroom experience. His students debate each other in engaged Socratic discussion, collaborate and critique, and develop real insights into their physical universe. While his results are superb, almost all other U.S. high-school and college science classes, even at top-rated institutions, remain locked into a broken pedagogy whose main purpose is weeding kids out of these career paths..

Systematic studies, such as the findings of Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa’s groundbreaking book “Academically Adrift,” reach similar conclusions about how little our students are learning, even at the college level. They report that “gains in student performance are disturbingly low; a pattern of limited learning is prevalent on contemporary college campuses.” Richard Keeling and Richard Hersh, in “We’re Losing Our Minds,” conclude that far too many college graduates can’t “think critically and creatively, speak and write cogently and clearly, solve problems, comprehend complex issues, accept responsibility and accountability, take the perspective of others, or meet the expectations of employers.”

The debate about the purpose of education ignores the elephant in the classroom. We have wrapped up our schools in rote memorization, low-level testing, and misguided accountability — preventing them from achieving any real purpose. It’s a fool’s errand to debate whether students are better off memorizing and forgetting Plato’s categorization of the three parts of a human’s soul, the quadratic equation, or the definition of the Cost of Goods Sold. If classroom “learning” is a mirage, it doesn’t matter whether it’s based on “The Odyssey,” a biology textbook, AP History flashcards, or a phone book.

At this point, a part of me felt like declaring education to be our domestic equivalent of Iraq. Maybe I’d be better off going back to my original travel-and-bad-golf plan. But, actually, I was inspired. Why? I was finding the most amazing rays of hope — schools offering powerful learning experiences. I realized moving our schools forward can happen, since we know what to do. Greatness is happening daily across our country, often in schools with scant financial resources. Our challenge is that these innovations are isolated, when they need to be ubiquitous.

The United States now has more than 500 “Deeper Learning” schools, most in our nation’s poorest communities. Clustered into a dozen networks, these schools aren’t “cookie-cutter” replicas of each other. But in their own creative ways, they deliver exceptional learning based on shared principles:

• self-directed learning
• a sense of purpose and authenticity in student experiences
• trust in teachers to teach to their passions and expertise
• a focus on essential skills (collaboration, communication, creativity, critical analysis)
• teachers as coaches, mentors, and advisers, not as lecturers
• lots of project-based challenges and learning
• public display of meaningful student work

Many focus on project-based learning (PBL), a bland phrase for a powerful approach to learning. One PBL leader, High Tech High in San Diego, now includes a dozen schools spanning K through 12, and offers its own graduate school of education. Curiously, out of 1,400 schools of education in our country training our next generation of K12 teachers, only two are integral to a K=12 school. In walking the halls of HTH (and they get more than 3,000 visitors each year), I observed a school experience that doesn’t look anything like what’s taking place today in most U.S. grade 7-16 classrooms. I felt real urgency in helping more people see the power of this pedagogy.

When it comes to PBL, two school networks are scaling rapidly with exceptional results — the New Tech Network and Expeditionary Learning. Both provide training for teachers along with a vetted curriculum, and cost-effectively … [more]
unschooling  deschooling  education  pedagogy  schools  us  2015  projectbasedlearning  learning  howwelearn  internships  apprenticeships  collaboration  communication  creativity  criticalthinking  tcsnmy  thefutureproject  bigpicturelearning  hightechhigh  mostlikelytosucceed  success  teaching  trust  mentoring  mentors  self-directed  self-directedlearning  richardarum  josiparoksa  ericmazur  bureaucracy  teddintersmith  purpose  schooling  schooliness  howweteach  curriculum  anationatrisk  williamderesiewicz 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Beyond Measure: The Revolution Starts Now | Edutopia
[See also: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:909f3451110a
http://beyondmeasurefilm.com/beyond-measure-book/ ]

"When we meet Matt Whalen, we hear how he was put on Ritalin in fifth grade and secretly spit the pills out. By ninth grade, he seriously considered dropping out of school. Later, he joined his high school's new Independent Project in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and we watch him describe how this changed his life. As Vicki Abeles' outstanding film, Beyond Measure, draws to a close, Matt notes, "My involvement with the Independent Project taught me how to focus on what was important to me and the ways in which I can be important in the world."

Matt is one of the heroes in the most powerful film that I've seen in many years about what's needed -- and possible -- in American education. Beyond Measure stands as an insightful and provocative response to the monumental failure of top-down and testing-driven initiatives. This is reinforced throughout the film but isn't the central theme.

Powerful, Instructive, Engaging
Beyond Measure rises above the other recent films about American education for two reasons. First, while it captures the problems, it focuses on five schools that solve them. These schools are both instructive and inspiring in how they implement alternative educational approaches. Secondly, it's emotionally impactful and cinematically superb, with great directing, editing, and photography. Like the best fictional films, it focuses on heroes with whom we resonate emotionally, and features engaging dramatic action in the changes that these heroes help initiate. And unlike so many films on American education, it leaves us hopeful and inspired.

You couldn't write a fictional script with more affecting characters or lead actors whose dedication, courage, wisdom, and openness stay with you hours after you've left the theater. And the camerawork establishes an intimacy that leads us to love these people for what they are doing and for restoring our hope.

As director/producer Abeles notes, "We set out to challenge the assumptions of our current education story." Her film does just that by taking us into schools where personal growth is valued over test scores, where passion matters more than rankings, and where change comes, not from the top down, but from parents, teachers, administrators, and students working together. And all of this is done without sacrificing high academic quality.

We watch what could be the beginning of a revolution brewing in schools from rural Kentucky and Seattle to El Paso, the Berkshires of Massachusetts, and New York City -- schools that are shaping a new vision for our classrooms. These schools see critical thinking, exploration, project-based learning, experimentation, collaboration, flexible scheduling, personalized learning, and creativity as the keys to good education. They are schools that are dramatically improving outcomes for children of all backgrounds. Each school is characterized by individuals with vision, commitment to change, and courage. In this post, I'll focus on just two.

Student Initiative
Sam Levin is a precocious student who started the Independent Project in Great Barrington's Monument Mountain Regional High School. Sam exemplifies the value of including student voice in the process of educational change.

"I liked school," he says. "I did well. I got good grades. I liked most of my teachers. I never struggled. What happened was I began to struggle with what I saw around me, and that was mostly that I felt my friends weren't engaged, that they weren't learning, that they weren't happy, and that started to wear on me." With the encouragement of his mom, he decides to start his own school-within-a-school and begins by speaking with his guidance counselor, Mike Powell.

Powell, who already has great respect for Sam as a young man combining vision with action, agrees to help. With the support and leadership assistance of Principal Marianne Young, they help make Sam's vision a reality.

The program blossoms and, as Sam notes, "You see kids who were doing OK before or even really well . . . but then they come into the Independent Project, and they realize that they had never really challenged themselves, never really pushed themselves to their limits."

Principal Young concludes, "Colleges and universities . . . want to see . . . really strong people, people of conviction, people with minds, people with interests. So if our part is to create this idea that they can find their individuality, they can be role models and inspirations to others . . . they'll be the group of students who walked out of here with this sense of self that carries them a long way."

Yearning for Transformation
Travis Hamby is another hero that we meet. He's Superintendent of Schools in Trigg County, an economically depressed region of Kentucky. The film lets us truly get to know this wonderful man, see him with his family, experience the depth of his feeling for children, and share his intuitive sense that something is wrong with his schools. He begins a journey to look for schools that are "doing some really great things for kids."

This leads him to High Tech High In San Diego, a wonderland of alternative education, a national leader in project-based learning and in demonstrating the best new approaches to education. Hamby's intensive experience at High Tech transforms his vision of education. He asks, "Why can't we do this? Why can't a public school in Western Kentucky do this for our kids? I want my kids to come home with that enthusiasm every single day because they've been engaged, because someone's cared about them."

Back home, Hamby introduces fifth-, eighth-, and ninth-grade problem-based learning and begins dramatically transforming his county's schools. He also describes the obstacles to change in an existing school and expresses a long-term view of the process they have begun.

A Call to Action and a Guide to Revolution
The talking heads in this film are some of the most effective and articulate proponents of effective educational change, Sir Ken Robinson, Linda Darling-Hammond, and Tony Wagner among them. Their comments are on point and brief. For example, Robinson tells us: "If you're a teacher and you change what you do in your classroom, you are, for those students, the education system; and if you change your practice, you have changed the education system for your students; and if enough people change, that becomes a movement. When enough people do it, that's a revolution -- and that's what we want." And that's what Vicki Abeles wants.

The book that accompanies the film, Beyond Measure: Rescuing An Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation, provides stories of additional schools and is a helpful guide for initiating change. It complements the film in providing greater breadth and depth on the subject.

The film closes with a call to action for communities to transform their schools. Abeles wants parents, educators, and students to see the film and initiate change on a grassroots level. The film, book, and educational community screenings all around the country are part of a larger and exciting movement. There's still a long way to go, but I'm happy knowing that people are initiating important positive changes in education across this country, and that with the help of this film there will be more. I've put aside my depression about our policy makers and become part of what could be the beginning of a low-key, nationwide revolution.

Watching Beyond Measure, I felt hope and excitement at the possibilities of renewing our educational system. Administrators, teachers, and students are enacting changes that are an inspiration and guide for educators everywhere."
education  film  documentary  2015  towatch  markphillips  howweteach  howwelearn  lcproject  openstudioproject  schools  teaching  pedagogy  learning  children  projectbasedlearning  inquiry  initiative  motivation 
november 2015 by robertogreco
The Big Picture Program Focuses on Real-World Skills and Projects to Help Teenagers Who Struggle in Traditional Classrooms - The Atlantic
"Nothing in particular stands out about the two adjoining rooms at South Burlington High School, one littered with desks, the other lined with simple grey cubicles. Yet the 30 students working inside are taking part in a uniquely personalized curriculum unlike anything their peers—or most U.S. high-school students—ever get to experience.

Big Picture, a program with a chapter at South Burlington, bucks the traditional model of high-school learning. There are no tests, no grades, and, for some students, no traditional classes to sit through.

That’s because the program is centered around the concept and execution of self-directed learning. With input from advisors, working professionals, parents, and peers, each teen participant creates his or her own curriculum, tailored to fit personal interests.

Big Picture’s model is now used in more than 60 schools across the U.S. And in Vermont, it’s also a precursor to a new statewide mandate meant to take effect over the next three years: Public-school students in grades seven through 12 will soon be required to create their own personalized learning plans.

Within South Burlington’s larger student population of around 900, Big Picture accounts for just a small portion of students. The program is broken into two sections: Big Picture 101 for new participants, and a 201 level for upperclassmen and experienced participants. Students aren’t required to take classes like English or biology—though they can if they so choose.

Each Big Picture student comes up with a big idea, or hypothesis, for their year-long independent project, such as 17-year-old Joey Mount’s plan to design a clothing line and launch an accompanying website. Teens tap into their pre-existing interests, then come up with creative ways for the topic to be reimagined to gain proficiency in subject areas like science and math.

The goal is for students to stay motivated and learn while gaining real-world experiences—and honing the tricky art of time management. Four staff members help guide, coach, and hold students accountable: two advisors, one Americorps Vista volunteer, and one program director.

“Most students who find us, find us for a reason: School isn’t working for them.”
Over the course of each semester, projects are carefully vetted and executed according to reporting standards, which are also predetermined by students. It’s a process that the advisor Jim Shields said evolved over the program’s seven years at South Burlington.

“Most students who find us, find us for a reason: School isn’t working for them,” Shields said. “If you think of high school as having a ceiling and a floor, there’s the students who are struggling because they’re falling through the cracks in the floor. Then there’s the students who just wanna take the roof off, who are held back by high school.”

This year’s crop of Big Picture projects covers a diverse range of topics. Shields’s students are gaining the academic proficiencies required for them to graduate by studying artistic endeavors like blacksmithing, clothing design, e-games, and pinhole photography. One is conceptualizing and designing a card game meant to increase face-to-face interaction among participants; another is producing a film examining how depression and anxiety manifest in high-school environments.

To earn their proficiency-based diploma, which results in a non-traditional transcript, the program requires that students achieve “a minimum level of proficiency and competence when it comes to mastering the essential knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college, work, and life.” At South Burlington, those lofty concepts are measured with the help of a rubric.

Kids are also required to seek out mentors related to their topic of study—a professional photographer for a project exploring pinhole photography, or perhaps a coder for another tackling e-game design. Second-year students also spend two full days a week working at internships, putting in 80 hours each 12-week semester.

Furthering that community involvement, the introductory students are also immersed in planning a group project, which the entire Big Picture group executes together. This year, they’re trying to open a café in South Burlington.

Although Big Picture is self-selective and small by design, Shields said he doesn’t turn many interested students away. “We look at a lot of things,” he said, “grades being an indicator but not the most important indicator. They may have no good grades, but started their own rock band, and they tour.”

After filling out a paper application, potential program participants are invited in to interview. The applicants and their parents are both required to submit essays, in which they explain why they think the program will work for the student. The process culminates in a test of sorts. Applicants are given a choice of two prompts to answer, both of which require the teen to consider how, exactly, they might complete a structured project over the course of the semester.

Sam Caron, 16, said he had trouble staying focused in a traditional classroom. He’s a first-year participant, and this year, his project is the creation of a cider press.

Comparing a traditional high-school schedule with a self-designed Big Picture curriculum is like comparing “apples and oranges,” Caron said. “Here, what I put into it is what I get out of it. It’s just that with this, I want to be putting more into it, because it’s stuff that I’m interested in.”

So how does making a cider press earn the equivalent of an A in, say, chemistry or world history?

To fulfill science proficiency requirements, each participant enters Vermont’s annual state science fair. Their entry has to have an angle related to their independent project, forcing them to think creatively in order to come up with a scientific hypothesis that can be executed and tested.

Caron will be testing and designing a contraption to demonstrate how best to extract the most juice from a single apple for this year’s science fair.

A panel of judges consisting of scientists and science teachers review each experiment according to a rubric. For other students, science fair feedback is just constructive criticism. For the Big Picture kids, it effectively replaces their grades, proving or disproving their science proficiency.

Shields said Caron’s cider press project would fall under the Big Picture “reasoning and problem solving domain.” The 16-year-old will learn through research, gaining hands-on experience while using the scientific method.

Throughout the year, students assesses their own work to measure what they’ve learned and to make sure they’ve identified, mapped out, and realized plans toward achievable goals. They also participate in exercises like weekly “Socratics,” where they read, analyze, and discuss a news article or piece of literature chosen by advisors or peers. Reflection and self-assessment are key.

At the end of the semester, instead of grades, feedback for each independent project comes after an “exhibition of learning.” Students give presentations to their peers, parents, and the public on their topics.

On a recent Monday, Shields stood in the Big Picture 101 room, moving from teen to teen as they worked through the day’s plans on laptops. As the bell sounded marking the end of the two o’clock session, his seven students put on their jackets, grabbed clipboards, and walked outside into the crisp Vermont air.

Their destination? Three local supermarkets two miles up the road: Hannaford’s, a New England chain; Trader Joe’s; and Healthy Living, a pricier health-food store. The students were on a fact-finding mission to help build toward opening their café, the program’s collective community project. On this particular outing, their goal was to figure out which menu items would be the most affordable.

As the group distanced itself from the old brick school, Shields walked along the sidewalk, in the middle of the pack.

The teens led the way."
curriclulum  education  schools  lcproject  openstudioproject  2015  erinsiegalmcintyre  southburlingtonhighschool  projectbasedlearning  teaching  pedagogy  agency  unschooling  deschooling  curriculum  tcsnmy  bigpictureschools  testing  tests  standardizedtesting  grading  grades 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Kurt Hahn - Wikipedia
"Six Declines of Modern Youth

1. Decline of Fitness due to modern methods of locomotion [moving about];
2. Decline of Initiative and Enterprise due to the widespread disease of spectatoritis;
3. Decline of Memory and Imagination due to the confused restlessness of modern life;
4. Decline of Skill and Care due to the weakened tradition of craftsmanship;
5. Decline of Self-discipline due to the ever-present availability of stimulants and tranquilizers;
6. Decline of Compassion due to the unseemly haste with which modern life is conducted or as William Temple called "spiritual death".

Hahn not only pointed out the decline of modern youth, he also came up with four antidotes to fix the problem.

1. Fitness Training (e.g., to compete with one's self in physical fitness; in so doing, train the discipline and determination of the mind through the body)
2. Expeditions (e.g., via sea or land, to engage in long, challenging endurance tasks)
3. Projects (e.g., involving crafts and manual skills)
4. Rescue Service (e.g., surf lifesaving, fire fighting, first aid)

*****

Ten Expeditionary Learning Principles
These 10 principles, which seek to describe a caring, adventurous school culture and approach to learning, were drawn[by whom?] from the ideas of Kurt Hahn and other education leaders[which?] for use in Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound (ELOB) schools.[citation needed]

1. The primacy of self-discovery
Learning happens best with emotion, challenge and the requisite support. People discover their abilities, values, passions, and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure and the unexpected. In Expeditionary Learning schools, students undertake tasks that require perseverance, fitness, craftsmanship, imagination, self-discipline, and significant achievement. A teacher’s primary task is to help students overcome their fears and discover they can do more than they think they can.

2. The having of wonderful ideas
Teaching in Expeditionary Learning schools fosters curiosity about the world by creating learning situations that provide something important to think about, time to experiment, and time to make sense of what is observed.

3. The responsibility for learning
Learning is both a personal process of discovery and a social activity. Everyone learns both individually and as part of a group. Every aspect of an Expeditionary Learning school encourages both children and adults to become increasingly responsible for directing their own personal and collective learning.

4. Empathy and caring
Learning is fostered best in communities where students’ and teachers’ ideas are respected and where there is mutual trust. Learning groups are small in Expeditionary Learning schools, with a caring adult looking after the progress and acting as an advocate for each child. Older students mentor younger ones, and students feel physically and emotionally safe.

5. Success and failure
All students need to be successful if they are to build the confidence and capacity to take risks and meet increasingly difficult challenges. But it is also important for students to learn from their failures, to persevere when things are hard, and to learn to turn disabilities into opportunities.

6. Collaboration and competition
Individual development and group development are integrated so that the value of friendship, trust, and group action is clear. Students are encouraged to compete not against each other but with their own personal best and with rigorous standards of excellence.

7. Diversity and inclusion
Both diversity and inclusion increase the richness of ideas, creative power, problem-solving ability, respect for others. In Expeditionary Learning schools, students investigate value their different histories talents as well as those of other communities cultures. Schools learning groups heterogeneous.

8. The natural world
Direct respectful relationship with the natural world refreshes the human spirit teaches[clarification needed] the important ideas of recurring cycles and cause and effect. Students learn to become stewards of the earth and of future generations.

9. Solitude and reflection
Students and teachers need time alone to explore their own thoughts, make their own connections, and create their own ideas. They also need time to exchange their reflections with others.

10. Service and compassion
We are crew, not passengers. Students and teachers are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others, and one of an Expeditionary Learning school's primary functions is to prepare students with the attitudes and skills to learn from and be of service to others."
kurthahn  outwardbound  education  experience  experientialeducation  youth  self-discovery  service  compassion  solitude  reflection  nature  diversity  inclusion  collaboration  competition  success  failure  empathy  caring  responsibility  learning  howwelearn  thinking  criticalthinking  fitness  initiative  motivation  skills  care  projectbasedlearning  inlcusivity  inclusivity  experientiallearning 
september 2015 by robertogreco
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED Takes In-Depth Look at Outdated US Education - YouTube
"Published on Feb 15, 2015

Education is a persistent topic in national and local politics – with all parties proposing their own solutions to fix the problems in the traditional U.S. education system. This topic is considered in great detail in the Sundance documentary MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED, with an examination of how many American educational methods have remained in place for far too long, as well as how the problems in the system are having a profound impact on the U.S. economy. The documentary is discussed with director Greg Whiteley and executive producer Ted Dintersmith in a special BYOD episode direct from Sundance with host Ondi Timoner.

FILM INFO & GUEST BIO:
Where a college diploma once meant a guaranteed job, now more than half of America's new college graduates are unable to find employment. Director Greg Whiteley (Mitt, 2014 Sundance Film Festival) locates the source of the problem not in the economy but in our educational system, which was developed at the dawn of the Industrial Age to train obedient workers and has changed little since, despite radical changes in the marketplace wrought by technology and the outsourcing of labor. With a world of information available a click away, and the modern workplace valuing skills like collaboration and critical thinking, our rote-based system of learning has become outdated and ineffective.

Charter schools like San Diego's High Tech High, which replaces standardized tests and compartmentalized subjects with project-based learning and a student-focused curriculum, offer an alternative. Whiteley follows students, teachers, and parents to see if this different model can reawaken the love of learning and offer the potential for a paradigmatic shift in education.

Greg Whiteley is a director and producer - known for RESOLVED, MITT and NEW YORK DOLL – who founded his own production company One Potato Productions.

ADD’L LINKS:
http://www.sundance.org/projects/most-likely-to-succeed-8946863c-f3ce-4161-91cf-1a2bb625d8f1
https://www.facebook.com/pages/One-Potato-Productions-Greg-Whiteley/245816065351
https://twitter.com/dintersmith
http://thelip.tv/show/byod-bring-your-own-doc/
http://thelip.tv/

[…]

EPISODE BREAKDOWN:
00:44 Introducing Greg Whiteley and the film's subject
00:59 Clip from MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED
03:22 How the filmmakers embedded in a San Diego tech high school
03:55 Qualcomm executive's role in starting the tech high school
04:53 Clip from MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED
08:05 Ted Dintersmith on the importance of innovative education
10:33 How Whiteley was given the freedom to tell his own story
11:56 Discovering successful schools across the country
13:55 Clip from MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED
16:46 Problems with the traditional classroom learning environment
19:22 Results of education experiences compared
22:44 The problem of high number of unemployed college graduates
23:33 Clip from MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED
25:05 Conclusion and goodbye"
education  hightechhigh  film  documentary  projectbasedlearning  gregwhiteley  teddintersmith  qualcomm  howweteach  howwelearn  learning  deschooling  progressive  criticalthinking  sandiego  schools  schooling 
september 2015 by robertogreco
The Problem With Grit - Learning Deeply - Education Week
"In recent years, Angela Duckworth's work around "grit" has been widely taken up in school reform circles as a way of thinking about building students "non-cognitive skills," which are presumably critical for later life success.

As with any concept that gains popularity, there have been detractors. The most prominent critique is that an emphasis on grit is a way of "blaming the victim"--rather than take up larger questions of social, economic, and racial justice, if only the most disadvantaged kids were a little "grittier" they could make it in life. I am sympathetic to this critique, but I also understand why schools and parents would want to focus on the variables they can control, and thus see building students' abilities to persevere and respond to adversity as critical in their success.

Today I want to raise a different sort of critique, one which has actionable consequences for schools that are interested in work around grit. And that is that a focus on grit is taking a heavily impoverished view of human motivation; in the long run, most people do not persevere at things because they are good at persevering, they persevere because they find things that are worth investing in. The implication for schools is that they should spend less time trying to boost students' grit, and more time trying to think about how their offerings could help students develop purpose and passion.

One good starting point for this discussion is Benjamin Bloom's 1985 book, Developing Talent in Young People. Bloom retrospectively studied people who by their early twenties had achieved considerable success in their fields--Carnegie Hall pianists, Olympic swimmers, among other fields. In a recent talk at Harvard, Duckworth cited this study as an example of the role of grit in producing exceptional practice. But the book actually tells a much more ecological story of how these people developed: the swimmers, for example, began by playing in the pool when they were little, then they became part of local swim clubs and swim teams, then somewhere between 8 and 12 their identities shifted from "I'm someone who swims" to "I'm a swimmer," then there was a long period of deliberate practice, a shift from local coaches to regional and eventual national coaches, and finally another period of play, this time at a much more sophisticated level.

You can see in this trajectory a mix of formal and informal learning, individual fortitude, and becoming part of a community of practice. And, for most of these folks, as is true for many who have become real experts in a domain, intrinsic motivation and identity as someone who cares about the domain is more important than sheer stick-to-it-iveness; and success and increasing mastery provides its own reward which in turn motivates more effort and engagement. Boiling that down to "grit" seems certainly reductionist and potentially highly misleading, in that the implications of the grit argument would be more about boosting perseverance, whereas the more holistic view would show how institutional environments can and should be shaped to create opportunities for growth and mastery.

Relatedly, if you spend a lot of time in classrooms, you will see why national surveys continue to report that 70 percent of high school students see themselves as bored or disengaged. Many classes are terribly unengaging places, with lots of worksheets and little connection to an authentic purpose. The places where many of these schools seem most alive are actually in their extracurriculars--in plays, musical performances, student newspapers--where students have the opportunity to connect to a real domain, where there are opportunities for repetition and practice, but where it is linked to an adult world that students want to emulate and join. The best disciplinary classes have the same characteristics--students are learning how to be historians, thinking like mathematicians, doing real world projects--but these are relatively few and far between. There are two ways to see this situation: 1) that students in most contemporary classes should increase their grit and perseverance; or 2) that many classes need to be made more interesting and engaging places that are more connected to authentic purposes. While some might subscribe to the eat-your-broccoli theory of school reform, I tend to think that, in the long run, schools will be more successful if they are places that students would actually want to attend.

While grit gets all the play in school reform circles, it is not actually the leading theory of motivation among psychologists. The most well-known scholarship on motivation is actually Edward Deci and Richard Ryan's "self-determination theory," which synthesized decades of research to argue that people are fundamentally seeking autonomy, competence, and relatedness, and that they thrive in environments that enable them to maximize these qualities. Research on (and experience with) adolescents also suggests that they are particularly developmentally primed to explore their individual identities (autonomy), take on roles where they can assume responsibility (competence), and have opportunities to connect and work with others (relatedness).

Most high schools are organized in ways that run directly against these needs: students are expected to sit passively, assimilate the thinking of others, work individually, and are rarely given opportunities to take significant responsibility either for others or for their own learning. Not surprisingly, some of the schools that are most known for "deeper learning" in the Hewlett Foundation networks and elsewhere feature heavy doses of project- or problem-based methods, stances that create opportunities for students to exercise autonomy, develop competence, and work within communities of practice.

One interesting wrinkle of self-determination theory is that it does not rely exclusively on intrinsic motivation. The theory acknowledges that as people set goals they are seeking to pursue, or work in fields in which they are developing competence and capacity, there will frequently be tasks that are not intrinsically enjoyable but are necessary as part of the larger goal. Thus to say that schooling needs to create more opportunities for authentic engagement and opportunities for students to grow towards mastery is not to deny the reality that there are some basic things to be learned and some portion of this learning will be tedious and dull. But the key, as was true for the practice of the Olympic swimmers or Carnegie Hall pianists, is that the learner is willing to accept this tradeoff as necessary for a larger objective which s/he does feel is worth achieving.

Pushing grit is the easy way out. It not only enables us to bypass harder conversations about structural inequalities, it also frees us from thinking harder about whether basic elements of the "grammar" of schooling need to be rethought. Young people show grit all the time - they pick themselves up after losses on the playing field, retake the stage after flubbing their lines, continue to search for love after having their hearts broken. What these experiences have in common is that there is something they are seeking, something that they are hoping to attain. Our goal should be to organize schooling in ways that similarly promote the kind of purpose and meaning that will sustain students' commitment when the going gets tough."
grit  jalmehta  2015  education  schools  angeladuckworth  benjaminbloom  perseverance  curriculum  fortitude  practice  motivation  psychology  mastery  growth  edwarddeci  richardryan  self-determination  self-determinationtheory  autonomy  competence  relatedness  responsibility  deschooling  unschooling  projectbasedlearning 
september 2015 by robertogreco
STEAMstudio | Projects
"STEAMstudio is an experimental, project-based course designed and taught collaboratively by students and faculty at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. This course explores strategies for creating blended learning communities where residential students and online students learn and collaborate together."

[via: http://www.cd-cf.org/gallery/steamstudio-fictional-tech-project/

"This past summer, high school student from across the world, and undergraduate students from Brown and RISD, embarked on an experiment in blended + flipped online/residential learning through the Summer@Brown program. The result is STEAMstudio, a course that introduces students to design principles, presented in the context of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).

Our "Fictional Tech" project not only provided a foundation in digital fabrication techniques and iterative prototyping, incorporating skill sets such as 3D printing, CAD, Illustrator, Photoshop, sketching, and "looks like" sketch models, it also gave us the opportunity to imagine the contexts for which we were designing. Students were asked to iteratively develop a prototype for a device that did not exist... but could. They were asked to document their process and product (using the STEAMstudio site, Facebook, and Tumblr, integrating native social media into the blended + flipped classroom). Their project deliverables were a final "looks like" prototype and a means of "telling the story", which took a variety of forms ranging from advertisements, to videos, to performances." ]
risd  brownuniversity  steam  stem  projectbasedlearning  highschool  blendedlearning  design  prototyping  designthinking  lcproject  openstudioproject 
may 2015 by robertogreco
These schools graduate English learners at a rate nearly 75 percent higher than other schools. What are they doing right? - The Hechinger Report
"Students at the International Network for Public Schools come from 119 countries and speak 93 different languages. About 90 percent of them live in low-income households, 70 percent have been separated from a parent during the immigration process, and 30 percent have significantly interrupted or limited formal education.

And yet, they are performing remarkably well. At the network’s 15 New York City schools, about 64 percent of the students graduate in four years. That compares with 37 percent of English learners in other city high schools. The six-year graduation rate is 74 percent, versus 50 percent for English learners in the rest of New York.

The Hechinger Report sat down with Claire Sylvan, who began teaching at the first International school in Queens in 1991 and is now executive director of the 19-school network, with campuses in New York, California, Virginia and Washington, DC. She tells us what works for her students — and what doesn’t.

Question: How do you set up your schools to accommodate such a diverse group of students?

Answer: You have to set winnable goals. If you were to say, ‘I’m going to run a marathon’ and you’ve never run, and you say, ‘Well, your problem is you don’t know how to run 26 miles,’ that wouldn’t work very well. You have to start from what you can do and keep expanding that. We assume that diversity is going to exist, we assume it’s a strength, and we figure out how to leverage it.

Q: How is diversity a strength?

A: English language learners arrive in school, and even the definition of them is, ‘You don’t know English yet.’ … What we’re saying is, ‘Wow, you know a whole lot of things about the world.’ Some of our kids come in and don’t know a word of English, they may not know how to read, but they know three languages fluently.

Q: So how does that translate into how you teach?

A: You create diverse groups and hands-on projects for kids who have different levels at entry to work on so that all the strengths they can bring come into play, and they begin to develop the areas that need development. So for a teacher the job is really hard, because they have to create these projects, they have to think about multiple levels, they have to think about how to group the kids. That is a huge thing in this operation.

Q: How do the kids learn English?

A: We don’t have them sit in a room to learn English in isolation from their academic work. They’re learning English while they’re learning social studies, and they’re also using their native languages.

You don’t learn to ride a bicycle watching someone else to ride that bicycle. Our kids need to be actively using the language so they can become adept at that, and so that’s why they work in small groups, too.

Q: What other kinds of support do International schools provide?

A: Nontraditional family structures are the norm in our school. Students may not be living with a family member or may be living with a mother they haven’t seen in 15 years. So what we need to do is create a structure where somebody is in charge of the whole kid, not just how they did on the math test. We care how they did on the math test, but we know that if we don’t organize ourselves in such a way that we are dealing with the whole child, we’re not going to be able to move forward on any particular part. We’re not going to know what the kid’s strengths are, because we may only see what isn’t working.

Q: What does that mean for teachers?

A: High schools tend to be organized in a way that there’s no one group of teachers who see the same group of kids. And so they can’t really talk about all of the kids.

In our schools, all the teachers — a math, an English, a science and a social studies teacher — all share the same group of kids. So everyone knows what each other is teaching, they can align the instruction so it supports each other, but they can also talk about how the kids are doing: ‘Johnny’s doing nothing in my class.’ ‘Really? In my class I have him sitting next to the following five kids and he’s off the charts.’

Q: The majority of your principals have been International teachers. Why do you put such an emphasis on internal leadership development?

A: If people are involved in making a decision, they’re actually going to carry it out. The teachers are the people closest to the kids, and who knows them better than the people who see them everyday? So they’re likely to be able to say, ‘This idea has no chance of flying with kids,’ or ‘Here’s the way to modify it.’

It’s also how you sustain schools over time, because the other issue is that [if] a school’s great because of a great leader [and the] leader leaves, whoops, [the] school goes down. That’s a not long-term strategy for success."
language  ell  education  diversity  pedagogy  schools  english  nyc  projectbasedlearning  highschool  interdisciplinary  international  teaching  howweteach  howwelearn  clairesylvan  meredithkolodner 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Education on Air - YouTube
[“How to empowerment students” discussion begins at 4:51:10, includes Jason Markey (Principal at East Leyden High https://twitter.com/jasonmmarkey) and student Samantha, Esther Wojcicki (journalism teacher at Palo Alto High School http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esther_Wojcicki https://twitter.com/EstherWojcicki ) and student Claire, and Melissa Agudelo (Dean of Students at High Tech High Media Arts http://gse.hightechhigh.org/people/?Melissa_Agudelo) students Max and .

“Teenagers have two imperatives: one is to resist authority and the other is to create community.” —Melissa Agudelo citing Rob Riordan at 5:51:02 ]
hightechhigh  melissaagudelo  estherwojcicki  jasonmarkey  education  teaching  howweteach  empowerment  howwelearn  community  authority  teens  youth  2015  schools  projectbasedlearning  robriordan  learning  edtech  pedagogy  tcsnmy  lcproject  openstudioproject  studentvoice  agency 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Seven Pathways
"Our pathways are two things: Commitments for our professional learning - how will we learn to be contemporary educators - and promises to our students - what kind of educational environment are we building.

The Seven Pathways

Choice and Comfort

It is our responsibility to provide every learner with real learning space choices based on task-based and physical comfort-based needs, which not only allow their cognitive energy to be focused on learning but helps students to develop the contemporary skills needed to alter and use spaces to initiate and accomplish collaborative and individual work. This includes the availability of multiple communication tools and contemporary technologies as well as assisting students in understanding and creating a variety of learning products which demonstrate student choices in curriculum, task, technologies, and media.

Instructional Tolerance

We will all support student learning environments where active, engaged learners routinely choose from a variety of learning spaces, collaborative and individual activities, and technology tools, including their own personal devices. Our environments will create student opportunities to learn best practices essential to entering contemporary learning and work environments and which enable students to sustain an open mindset and skillset in the use of evolving technology tools. These environments, pre-K through 12, will allow negotiated environmental rules which include and improve student individual and community decision-making.

Universal Design for Learning/Individualization of Learning

No child within the Albemarle County Public Schools should need a label or prescription in order to access the tools of learning or environments they need. Within the constraints of other laws (in particular, copyright) we will offer alternative representations of information, multiple tools, and a variety of instructional strategies to provide access for all learners to acquire lifelong learning competencies and the knowledge and skills specified in curricular standards. We will create classroom cultures that fully embrace differentiation of instruction, student work, and assessment based upon individual learners’ needs and capabilities. We will apply contemporary learning science to create accessible entry points for all students in our learning environments; and which support students in learning how to make technology choices to overcome disabilities and inabilities, and to leverage preferences and capabilities.

Maker-Infused Curriculum

Across our School Division we are committed to student construction of knowledge and skills through the processes of imagining, creating, designing, building, engineering, evaluating and communicating learning. We believe that it is essential that our students learn how to be "Makers" in all phases of their lives, rather than just consumers. We are committed to "Making" as "how we learn," and not as an "extra," and we understand that both "Learning to Make" and "Making to Learn" are essential in every day classroom practice.

Project/Problem/Passion-Based Learning

All Albemarle County Public School students will have consistent learning opportunities across the curriculum to construct knowledge and understanding through responses to authentic problems; to create projects that demonstrate higher order thinking and knowledge acquisition, and to pursue personal interests by making real choices in project forms and media, even when those choices might lie beyond pre-determined expectations. Students will always be encouraged in the use of differentiated pathways as ways to both learn and demonstrate lifelong learning competencies.

Interactive Technologies

In every classroom, every day, we strive to create open learning environments in which students make individual choices as they use technologies to develop classroom work and assignments, and to provide opportunities for our students to actively make tech-based product investigation and choice as part of their study of curriculum. Our students will, regularly during instructional time, use those contemporary technologies (both school provided and individually owned) interact with external experts and students in other communities in order to build learner competencies in the use of the technologies of this century for information access and communication.

Connectivity

We will continuously develop and use activities that engage students in learning networks, including asynchronous and synchronous communication with external experts, access to digital content including primary sources, and interaction with other learners locally and globally who represent a variety of demographically diverse communities. We will, every day, promote and value collaborative projects and knowledge development representative of principles of global and digital literacy and effective, and which demonstrate appropriate global, national, community, and digital citizenship."
albermarleschooldistrict  irasocol  pammoran  technology  connectivity  projectbasedlearning  passionbasedlearning  making  mekers  curriculum  pathways  interaction  universldesign  learning  individualization  howweteach  howwelearn  teaching  education  schools  tolerance  instruction  choice  comfort  toolbelttheory  schooldesign  communication  pbl 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Not All Students Want To Change the World | Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension
"“But I don’t want a voice to the world…” he stands with a determined look on his face, expecting me to challenge his decision. “They don’t need to see what I write or what I have to say,” he continues, “It’s none of their business…” And with that, my students have once again challenged my assumptions and I need to change the way I teach.  Again.

So what else have my students proved me wrong in, well quite a bit, but here are the biggest.

Not all students want a voice. From 4th to 7th grade I always have students that don’t want their private thoughts, work, or writing published to the world. Never assume that every child wants their work published or shared, ask first, we would expect the same thing if it were us.

Not all students want to make. I thought when I started doing more hands-on learning that all students would jump for joy, and while some certainly do, there are also students who go into absolute terrified mode when presented with anything abstract. Those kids need to fit into our innovative classrooms as well, so offer choices in how they learn, don’t just assume they want to create something from nothing or do their own version.

Not all students want choice. Some kids just want to be told what to do, not always, not on everything, but some kids need more structure or support through some things.  If we only cater to the creative child who relishes freedom then we are not teaching all of the students in front of us.

Not all students want to change the world. While we may shout about empowered students and how they are going to change the world, not every child wants to change the world, they just want to be kids.

I have learned that while I may love to change the way education is done in classrooms around the world, I need to make sure I don’t disenfranchise students more by assuming they all want to learn like I do. So make room for all of the learners in your world, support them all as they grow, and don’t judge. Push them forward but be gentle in your approach and ask the students first."
teaching  howweteach  pedagogy  children  small  voice  change  making  makers  projectbasedlearning  choice  2015  pernilleripp  education  schools  howwelearn  diversity  scale  imperatives  allsorts  worldchanging  empowerment  agency  pbl 
march 2015 by robertogreco
That Study Never Happened | ThinkThankThunk
"What I question is for how long we in education will continue on without control data. How long will a status quo, that was never studied, continue? Show me the study that proves an 8-period day of personality-disorder inducing frenzy is more effective than a fundamentally different approach to time, space, and assessment?

Don’t compare to a block schedule, don’t compare to 7-period days, or long lunches, those aren’t fundamentally different variable states. Those studies weren’t ever done, and it has to do with the trickle-down college modeling that has now permeated the social inertia of the American public school.

That said, you can’t ask a teenager what they like. That’s another data analysis error. I value student voice, but I also recognize that someone who has only been thinking abstractly for a time span on the order of months may not have the data set necessary to legitimately claim what will and won’t work for their education.

That said, they can, with reasonably veracity, report really valuable metrics.

Efficacy.

Joy.

Interest.

Curiosity.

The ever-present effervescent teenage blurted comment shows a lot about mental connections in a very Rorschach-ian way.

If you asked this student whether she likes attending physics class or her Iowa BIG project better, she’ll report that she loves her project. I could tout this as a glorious victory, but, given the previous argument, I don’t think that kind of data is actually meaningful or those claims are even possible.

Test scores then, right? Nope. In general, those are only a measure of the poorly understood genetic rate of the brain’s ability to abstract concepts. There are some fantastically written exams, but they’re few and far between in usual practice.

My thesis is that you have to define the metrics that you believe matter. I got this idea from a fantastic conference I attended in Ohio a few years ago, and it has never left me.

If we’ve let the fickleness of history and public policy describe the bizarre set of standards (looking at you, Math) and therefore the metrics that we’ll measure all students against, you’ll end up with a system designed for those metrics.

Instead, if you define your own measures, and actually study longitudinally their validity, we’ll end up in a place where perhaps we’ll value the emotional-intelligence development of a teenager above their ability to comply with outdated curricula. Maybe we’ll come to value the nuance of entrepreneurial thought opposed to attempting to cram a line of reasoning they stole wholesale from Reddit into five paragraphs 20 minutes before the paper is due.

I love working at Iowa BIG."
shawncornally  2015  learning  metrics  comparison  control  education  meaning  values  measurement  curriculum  projectbasedlearning  purpose  socialemotional  emotionalintelligence  teens  youth  policy  teaching  howwelearn  legitimacy  pbl  socialemotionallearning 
february 2015 by robertogreco
Mozilla Web Literacy — Andrew Sliwinski has recently joined Mozilla as a...
"Andrew has a background in learning, as well as engineering and design. He thinks digital literacy is a ‘huge and valuable thing’ that has shaped is life. The first thing we discussed was that the Web Literacy Map presupposes that the user sees value in the web / technical domain being described. People in Bangladesh or under-served communities in the US don’t necessarily see this straight away. Job One is getting them to care.

Web Literacy is about empowerment, says Andrew - not trying to turn users into anything other than more empowered versions of themselves. This is tricky, as this empowerment is not something you understand before (or even during) the process. Only afterwards do you realise the power of the skills you now have. Also, contextualisation only happens after the learning has taken place. That’s why learning pathways are interesting - but “as a reflection tool rather than an efficacy tool”. Pledging for a pathway is aspirational and has motivational benefits, but these aren’t necessary to learning itself.

Andrew thinks that the ‘creamy nougat centre’ of the Web Literacy Map is great. The Exploring / Building / Connecting structure works and there’s ‘no giant gaping holes’. However, we should tie it more closely to the Mozilla mission and get people to care about it. Overwhelm them with how amazing the web is. One way of doing this is by teaching problem-solving. Get them to list the things they’re struggling with, and then give them the mental models to help them solve their problems.

Getting over the first hurdle can be difficult, so Andrew explained how at DIY.org they used personas. The skills on the site are aspirational titles - e.g. ‘Rocketeer’ - which draws the user into something that gives them “enough modeling to start momentum.” Andrew did add a disclaimer about research showing that over-specificity of roles is not so motivational.

We need a feedback loop for the Web Literacy Map. How is it being used? How can we make it better? Andrew also thinks we should use personas across Webmaker to represent particular constituencies. We could liaise with particular organisations (e.g. NWP) which would inform the design process and elevate their input in the discussion. They would be experts in a particular use case.

We discussed long-term learning results and how subject matter plays into the way that various approaches either work or don’t. For example, Khan Academy is linear, almost rote-based learning, but that suits the subject matter (Maths). It does efficacy really well. Everyone points to DuoLingo as a the poster child for non-linear learning pathways, but there’s no proof it works really well.

Andrew’s got a theory that “the way to get people to build life-changing, amazing, relevant things is to have fun and be creative”. We should build tools to facilitate that. Yes, we can model endpoints, but ensure the onboarding experience is about whimsy and creating environments where the user is comfortable and feels accepted. It’s only after the fact that they realise they’ve learned stuff.

We should start from ‘this is awesome!’ and then weave the messaging on the web into it. Webmaker as a platform/enabler for cool stuff. What are the parts that we all see at the same time that makes the web special, Andrew asked? He thinks one of these things is the incredibly long tail of content, from which comes incredible diversity. This is the differentiator, making the web different from Facebook or the App Store. We don’t see this from an individual user perspective, though. Although we love looking at network maps, we don’t really get it because we visit the same 20 websites every day.

Part of web literacy is about building ‘cultural empathy’, says Andrew - and showing how it helps on an everyday basis. We should focus on meaning and value first, and then show how skills are a means of getting there. What’s our trajectory for the learner?

Andrew believes that we should approach the Web Literacy Map from a ‘personas’ point of view - perhaps building on the recent UX Personas work. These are very different from the Mobile Webmaker personas that Andrew’s team have put together. We should focus on a compelling user experience from start to finish for users to navigate literacies and to create their own learning pathways. For Andrew, the Web Literacy Map is the glue to hold everything together."
andrewsliwinski  2014  interviews  webliteracy  web  online  problemsolving  learning  fun  projectbasedlearning  webliteracymap  mozilla  personas  motivation  duolingo  howwelearn  modeling  culturalempathy  inclusivity  webmaker  roles  contextualization  khanacademy  rotelearning  linearity  efficacy  dougbelshaw  beginners  making  care  lcproject  openstudioproject  onboarding  experience  userexperience  ux  whimsy  sandboxes  pathways  howweteach  momentum  remixing  enabling  platforms  messiness  diversity  internet  open  openweb  complexity  empowerment  teaching  mentoring  mentorship  canon  facilitation  tcsnmy  frameworks  understanding  context  unschooling  deschooling  education  linear  literacy  multiliteracies  badges  mapping  reflection  retrospect  inclusion  pbl  remixculture  rote  inlcusivity 
september 2014 by robertogreco
This is Our Moment - YouTube
[See also: http://www.inventtolearn.com/moment/

"Abstract - In this plenary address, the speaker will share three societal trends that validate and vindicate decades of leadership by the constructionism community. The growing acceptance of learning-by-making represented by the maker movement, a newfound advocacy for children learning computer programming, and even the global education crisis, real or imagined, are evidence of predictions and efforts made by constructionists being realized. This conference offers a brief opportunity for celebration before returning to the “hard fun” required to harness the momentum of these trends and improve the learning ecology." ]
constructionism  math  mathematics  education  programming  making  2014  garystager  howweteach  cv  tcsmnmy  teachablemoments  turtleart  art  children  schools  learning  learningbydoing  projectbasedlearning  pedagogy  schoolreform  seymourpapert  policy  politics  via:audreywatters  makermovement  makerfaires  coding  pbl 
august 2014 by robertogreco
A Community of Artists: Radical Pedagogy at CalArts, 1969-72 (East of Borneo)
"In (and Out of) the Classroom

The academic program instituted in the first two years after the institute opened in 1970 responded actively to the radical critique of education, at the same time evincing a Romantic belief in the liberating and equalizing powers of art and artists. Early promotional literature explicitly redefined the notion of “school” or steered clear of the word altogether. As Judith Adler notes in her 1979 ethnography of CalArts, Artists in Offices, “reference to the new organization as an institute (with its connotations of scientific and scholarly prestige) and as a community implicitly distinguished CalArts from other schools where artists teach students.” 6 The CalArts concept statement explicitly stated that “students [were] accepted as artists […] and encouraged in the independence this implies,” while elsewhere faculty and students were described as “collaborators.” 7

The first admissions bulletin similarly highlighted the fact that there was to be no fixed curriculum at CalArts. Provost and dean of theater Blau advocated “no information in advance of need,” and dean of music Mel Powell called for “as many curricula as students.” The vision for critical studies outlined by dean Maurice Stein argued for doing away with courses altogether, because “courses really get nobody anywhere.” Powell’s vision for the music school was similarly anarchic and personality-driven: “We must know by now that curricula, or especially descriptions of curricula, are almost always humbug. What counts is the people involved. Expansion of musical sensibility, adroitness, knowledge, experience—that has to be operative, not catalog blather.”

Many of the radical pedagogical impulses expressed in these early admissions materials came to pass once the institute was up and running—in its first year, on a temporary campus at the Villa Cabrini, a former Catholic girls’ school in Burbank, and in its second year, on the permanent CalArts campus in Valencia. Although the school of critical studies did end up offering courses, the options might better be described as “anti-courses”—i.e., non-academic classes parodying academic classes or academic classes in subject areas considered unworthy of study by the academy, such as Advanced Drug Research, Chinese Sutra Meditation, Sex in Human Experience and Society or Superwoman: A Feminist Workshop. Across the institute, schedules were intentionally loose and attendance voluntary. 9 One of the course schedule bulletins that were mimeographed weekly and distributed on campus lists a range of classes and events, some of which repeat, others that do not: a lecture on “Epistemology of Design” is offered “at instructor’s home,” while Peter Van Riper is scheduled to lecture on “Art History or Whatever He’s Into”; a meeting with the dean of students is open to “all persons interested in discussing and working on untraditional ways of providing psychological services (Counseling, Group Therapy, Encounter Groups, etc.)”; the Ewe Ensemble (Music of Ghana) meets in parking lot W, at the same time that Kaprow offers Advanced Happenings; in the evening, a concert by Ravi Shankar."



"The Fluxus artists’ interest in a more open-ended, experienced-based pedagogy and their experiments with temporality and alternative uses of space dovetailed nicely with the administration’s desire to buck the bureaucratic conventions of schooling. 13 As the associate dean of the art school, Kaprow in particular had a powerful influence on the direction of the early institute. “Kaprow was the thinking behind the school as far as I’m concerned,” Knowles argues. “[He] had the vision of a school based on what artists wanted to do rather than what the school wanted them to do.”"



"Corrigan and Blau fought their dismissal, insisting that they couldn’t be fired by the Disney Corporation, only by the board of trustees—who to begin with refused to support the decision. Roy Disney modified his position to allow Corrigan to stay on until the end of the year, though he remained firm in his firing of Blau as provost. Blau rejected an offer to stay on as dean of theater and dance, and by the end of 1972, both Corrigan and Blau had been ousted, three years after they’d begun planning the new school and two years after it opened. The faculty was downsized, and numerous hires they had made were canceled or let go.

Notes from a faculty retreat convened in Idyllwild, California after the institute’s first year reveal that many of the original faculty and administrators themselves favored reforming the structure and curriculum of the institute, and one wonders how the school might have developed had Corrigan and Blau been allowed to stay and build on their experience. Blau, for instance, argued that “the faculty must be better structured to reflect more of a distinction between student and faculty” and “a better definition of competence, eligibility, and progress must be established” for students. He also suggested that “separate programs […] be introduced for students who are capable of directing themselves and those students who need more specific guidance.” Other faculty members cited “great dissatisfaction with the chaotic situation of the past year,” “a need for more pragmatism,” and a need to clarify “programs and degrees—their content and what they represent.”

Although by that time the Disneys had donated more than $30 million to the school, much of it had gone to fund the building, which was lavishly equipped for art making, and the institute soon found itself in financial trouble. After a brief interlude with Walt Disney’s son-in-law Bill Lund at the helm, CalArts got a new president in 1975, Robert Fitzpatrick, whose charge was to assure fiscal solvency to the institute and make “all the divisions separate, to give each dean complete autonomy in his field, and to make the intermingling available to the students who could profit by it as a resource, not an obsession.” 28 Fitzpatrick had little reverence for the institute’s founding vision—either Walt’s version or Blau and Corrigan’s: “The trouble with utopia is that it doesn’t exist,” he said in a 1983 interview. “And then there was this dream of the perfect place for the arts, with all the disciplines beautifully mingling, every filmmaker composing symphonies, every actor a perfect graphic artist. Sure, it’s a great idea as far as it goes. But nobody noticed that each of the arts has its own pace, its own rhythm, and its own demands.”

What is missing from Fitzpatrick’s own vision is any reference to the more Marcusian conception of the institute not just as the “perfect place for the arts,” but as an ideal community fashioned through the arts. As Faith Wilding reflects on her experience in the Feminist Art Program and the community that developed out of it:
What remains of primary importance to me […] is the sense that we were connecting to a much larger enterprise than trying to advance our artistic careers, or to make art for art’s sake. It was precisely our commitment to the activist politics of women’s liberation, to a burgeoning theory and practice of feminism, and to a larger conversation about community, collectivity and radical history, which has given me lasting connections to people and a continuing sense of being part of a cultural and political resistance, however fragmentary the expression of this may be in my life today.

Despite his own conflicts with the institute, Blau holds a similar perspective: “During the time I was there (I cannot speak for it now), it was—like the Bauhaus or Black Mountain—not only a school but very much what Disney wanted, a community of the arts, in which students and teachers trained together, performed together, constructed ‘environments’ together and even somehow managed—where the particular work was not of a communal nature—to leave each other alone.”

CalArts today is a school rather than an anti-school, with grades (low pass/pass/high pass), a timetable for graduation, and for the first time in its history, a syllabus in every classroom. Yet an investment in radical pedagogy persists, with a loose consensus that the educational situations that work best often involve field trips and social outreach, project-based learning, and “mentoring” as opposed to “teaching.” The notion that faculty are to treat students as artists and colleagues prevails, with its attendant benefits and difficulties. The question of what form the delivery of content should take is a live one. Time and space are continually contested, and an openness to what might be places constant pressure on what is.

Just last year, the institute carved out a “commons” time from the heavily scheduled individual school curricula in which students can come together across disciplines to collaborate—in some sense, a return to its origins. Although, to paraphrase Marcuse, an art school can only be truly free in a free society—i.e., art becomes life only when life is also opened up to creative change—the promise of this commingling endures. Indeed, the Gesamtkunstwerk that preserves a vision of emancipated social life in times of political conservatism holds even greater possibilities in our own era of renewed resistance and collective action."
calarts  cv  history  education  1960s  1970s  robertfitzpatrick  roydisney  waltdisney  robertcorrigan  mariosalvo  herbertblau  fluxus  judithadler  melpowell  janetsarbanes  mauricestein  feminism  freedom  tcsnmy  lcproject  openstudioproject  alisonknowles  petervanriper  allankaprow  dickhiggins  emmettwilliams  jamestenney  namjunepaik  owensmith  judychicagomiriamschapiro  johnbaldessari  herbertmarcuse  art  arteducation  radicalism  communes  communalism  interdisciplinary  crosspollination  crossdisciplinary  transdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  experimentation  blackmountaincollege  bmc  pedagogy  teaching  howweteach  deschooling  capitalism  unschooling  power  control  democracy  anti-teaching  anti-schools  artschools  altgdp  activism  community  relationships  bauhaus  collectivism  society  grades  grading  schedules  timelines  syllabus  projectbasedlearning  2014  1969  1970  1971  1972  pbl  radicalpedagogy  artschool  syllabi 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The Overflowing Froth of Realness: Iowa BIG | ThinkThankThunk
"It’s been slow, especially because I’m used to running my own little kingdom of a classroom, but Iowa BIG is bearing the fruit of a community-focused, project-based model.

The dream was to create a schooling experience with a seamless connection and sometimes blurred difference between who’s doing the learning and who’s doing the supporting of that learning. As I watch my students move out into the community to pitch their projects and seek support from local experts and interested parties, I can’t help but beam with pride.

I woke up this morning to an inbox full of reports and evidence of community building that I had no direct control of: students telling me that they met with local counselors and psychologists that have steered a project on mental health in a totally new direction; I didn’t do that. 300 people gathering to support a student’s long-term study of gender equality this Friday. I had such a small role in that.

Community Building, Inc.

It all comes down to the view of community building as a profession. I was brought into that fold by a local media company; their constant drum beat being that a built community, a connected network where the central node becomes less and less so, is vital to the success of schools, businesses, and the ability for residents to thrive.

I have to admit I didn’t get it at first… So, we should, um, have hang-outs at coffee shops? Sure, but what should the conversation be? You don’t get to plan that, but you do get to support it and help drive it. But don’t these Luddites have a complete lack of understanding of my beautiful vision for education? No/Yes, but they’re integral in creating a vision for education that’s more doable and effective than your “beautiful vision.”

At Iowa BIG, students, faculty, and, most importantly, the community at large pitch projects into our pool. The students then pull from that pool know already that the project matters to someone. The teaching and learning of the students overflows beyond any individual teacher so quickly, it’s almost amazing that we’ve intentionally left the community out of education for so long. Sure, parents support sporting events, and some donate money to the schools, but actual involvement in the educational process has been becoming more and more divorced.

Why else would we have such complicated conversations about grading? I know I’ve spilled some serious digital ink on the subject. If Wormeli is right, that grades are supposed to be communicative over time, instead of summative of a time, then why wouldn’t we carry that naturally beyond the preposterously reductionist practice of grading directly into instruction and mentoring?

As a teacher, my only real talent is the experience I have of working with young people. I can take the smallest tell and imagine what misconception or hang-up may be preventing that project/student from moving forward. That’s my profession. I am not so good at generating a thousand project ideas for every student and having all those ideas hit the mark. Many teachers suffer needlessly over this ineffable hubris that has been placed on the teaching profession: somehow, student interest and buy-in must stem from the teacher or else, I must be a bad teacher.

That’s impossible! For every student!? Impossible!

Yet, I see burned out teachers every May wishing for a break. I then see those same idealists stand up with a firmed chin in August to try it again. You know what they say about repetition…

Without creating a network of interconnected communicative nodes, all dedicated to the education of the network’s students, bringing them into how the community gets work done and needs work done, you’ll never achieve the individualized instruction that everyone claims to want. You’ll never attain the quandrant-D-OMG-engaging-real-world-real-real-World lessons everyone’s trying to design. The school budgets aren’t big enough, but a symbiotic, intentionally-built relationship between education, business, nonprofit, government, and so on?

That’ll do it.

Schools that are Just Killing It:

Blue Valley CAPS [http://www.bvcaps.org/s/1403/start.aspx ]
Northland CAPS [http://www.nkcschools.org/northland-caps ]
Makerspace@Lakewood City Schools [http://www.makerspacelcs.com/ ]
Eagle Rock, CO [http://www.eaglerockschool.org/ ]
Iowa BIG (obvi) [http://iowabig.org/ ]"
shawncornally  iowa  community  mentors  mentorships  generalists  teaching  education  openstudioproject  lcproject  learning  relationships  networks  explodingschool  iowabig  bluevalleycaps  nortlandcaps  eaglerockschool  control  connections  2014  interconnectedness  realworld  projectbasedlearning  pbl  interconnected  interconnectivity 
may 2014 by robertogreco
[Tyranny of the Curriculum] What is Extra in Education? | ThinkThankThunk
"You wanna know what keeps me up at night? Not climate change. Not the fact that Ke$ha makes more in a minute than I make in a decade. Not the fact that Iowa is slowly but surely wasting the prairie’s soil and everyone’s fresh water so it can produce Pepsi, ethanol, and beef.

No, it’s the tyranny of the curriculum, because without that oppression, we would actually have an entire population who could solve those aforementioned problems.

Disclaimer; super pissed right now.

“Tyranny”? Too harsh?

I once had a student develop a computational model that predicted the behavior of Alzheimer afflicted networks using a software neural net that she and I wrote together. When I asked if she’d like to pursue her research for math and science credit, she came back the next day, espousing the rhetoric of the oppressed:

“No, well, I have to get my required credits done in class, so I won’t have time.”

She, and almost every other student believes that “interesting” is extra. They believe in the monopoly on credits, learning, and schedules that schools have packaged and sold, despite also claiming to be “bored.”

That’s tyranny folks. I have more stories exactly like this, but my blood pressure can’t handle typing them.

That’s why I’m super pumped that BIG is growing, and fast. Thank God, because I’m actually super scared of Ke$ha."
shawncornally  2014  curriculum  openstudioproject  lcproject  interestedness  interested  projectbasedlearning  extra  tcsnmy  credits  learning  schedules  highschool  unschooling  deschooling  schooliness  pbl 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Break Down the Walls, Blow Up the Schedule - Learning Deeply - Education Week
"At High Tech High we aspire to create deeper learning experiences of lasting value for our students, ones where students have the opportunity to contribute in meaningful and authentic ways to problems facing their local and global communities. Walking the halls of our schools, you might see students designing children's toys for an orphanage in Mexico, filming a documentary on gun violence, or interviewing Vietnam vets to capture and portray their stories for a public event. When we are at our best, students are engaged in work that matters, both to them and the world beyond school, and have multiple opportunities to critique and revise their work so that the final products are beautifully crafted and worth sharing.

Like any organization, we have much room for improvement. Still, visitors from all over the world, struck by our diverse students' engagement and ownership of the learning, want to know how we've done "it," and how they might do the same. As a founding director of one of our high schools, I like to focus on two pieces of advice: break down the walls, and blow up the schedule.

Break Down the Walls

When I first started teaching math and physics at High Tech High, I was inspired to hone my craft because I saw students in my colleagues' classrooms building underwater submarines and creating video games that modeled the laws of motion. Faculty met for an hour before school every day to tune project ideas, examine student work and share dilemmas in our practice. We were all trying to figure out what it meant to be project-based teachers and knew that we worked in an environment where it was safe to take risks and learn from our mistakes. I would have never grown in my teaching nor would we have evolved as a school focused on deeper learning, if we were all trying to figure it out alone in our classrooms.

We also knew that for learning to be authentic, we needed to break down the four walls of our classrooms and connect students to the adult world of work. When my students invented and marketed new electronic products, my teaching partner and I had engineers visit our classroom and critique their work along the way. Later, students presented their final business plans to a panel of venture capitalists from the community. These authentic audiences from beyond the walls fostered students' engagement and drive to create beautiful work.

Blow Up the Schedule

Ted Sizer believed you could learn a lot about the values of a school by the way resources and time were allocated. In this vein, we knew from the beginning that the HTH schedule needed to reflect two of our core values: progressive pedagogy and social class integration.

While bringing professionals into the classroom was important, we also knew that we needed to push our students out. Our entire course schedule was designed in the 11th and 12th grades to create opportunities for our students to go out on internship or take college courses. Over time we learned that giving students substantial time to fully immerse themselves in the world of work--learning through apprenticeship alongside a trusted mentor--was, in short, transformative. In particular, internships and college classes brought first generation students from disadvantaged backgrounds closer to a world that opened up possibilities for their future. After working at a local lab on underwater robots, students had not only a better understanding of the interesting career opportunities available when you have a degree in computer science, but how intellectually rewarding it feels to tackle challenging problems alongside inspired colleagues.

We also wanted to avoid the obvious pitfalls of traditional schedules: students shuffling between eight teachers throughout the day at the ring of a bell while teachers tried to build relationships and personalize learning for 200+ students and prep for three or more classes. Instead, small teams of two to three teachers shared the same students, taught more than one subject for longer blocks of time and backwards designed projects together blurring the notion of traditional "disciplines." When one of our students struggled because her father was in jail or his parents were going through a divorce, it was nearly impossible for the small team of teachers in our small school not to notice and intervene.

Finally, we were well aware that the form of the schedule had the power to undo the very purpose of the school--social class integration. Our blind zip-code lottery was designed to integrate students across socioeconomic backgrounds and we knew that offering various tracks, including honors and AP courses, would perpetuate predictable patterns and outcomes for our low-income and first generation students. Each design decision in a school comes with compromises, and we embraced the challenge of differentiating instruction in heterogeneous classrooms over the pernicious effect of in-school segregation. While some parents fear that their child will be less competitive than their neighbor's child taking six AP courses, we have found the opposite to be true. Students have the opportunity to explore fewer topics in depth, develop critical and creative thinking skills, and engage in authentic work, all of which historically has served them well in college admissions and beyond.

Break down the walls and blow up the schedule. Then build your program according to your values--and be ready to change the structure to suit your needs."
cityasclassroom  explodingschool  schools  education  hightechhigh  hightechschools  2014  kellywilson  projectbasedlearning  schedules  scheduling  learning  teaching  howweteach  tcsnmy  purpose  engagement  internships  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  transdisciplinary  class  integration  depth  unschooling  deschooling  context  progressive  pedagogy  critique  criticism  tedsizer  pbl 
may 2014 by robertogreco
No Courses, No Classrooms, No Grades — Just Learning | MindShift
"NuVu is the brainchild of Saeed Arida, a former PhD student from MIT who believes that young people should be taught to solve real-world problems, like using new materials to design higher-quality prosthetics.

“Studios are not subjects in the traditional sense, as they involve finding a solution for a very real human problem,” said Arida. “What students do here is a very different kind of educational experience.”

Here’s How NuVu describes the program:
NuVu is a full-time magnet innovation center for middle and high school students. NuVu’s pedagogy is based on the architectural Studio model and geared around multi-disciplinary, collaborative projects. We basically teach students how to navigate the messiness of the creative process, from inception to completion.

No Courses: Instead, we have studios. Around 12 kids work closely with their 2 coaches on solving big (and small) open-ended problems.

No Subjects: Instead, everything is fused together. Students find themselves moving between a studio that requires them to design a telepresence robot to another that requires them to re-imagine Boston with a cable car system.

No Classrooms: Instead, we have an open space that changes all the time to adapt to the needs of every studio.

No One-Hour Schedule: Instead, students spend two weeks from 9-3 solving one problem.

No Grades: Instead, we have portfolios that document students’ design decisions and show their final products.

But can anyone visualize this happening in today’s public schools? Project-based learning programs like NuVu are not particularly common throughout the U.S., with notable exceptions like High Tech High and New Tech Network. Most K-12 classrooms in America are fairly new to project-based learning, or don’t offer it at all. Typically speaking, only the most elite schools in the wealthiest neighborhoods can afford to experiment with PBL.

NuVu got its start by partnering with Beaver County Day School in Brookline, Mass., an elite independent school attended by the sons and daughters of Harvard and MIT graduates, which is positioning itself as digitally-savvy and progressive institution. Notably, it was the first U.S. school to make it a requirement for students to take computer programming lessons.

NuVu’s program doesn’t come cheap. It costs $8,000 per student per trimester. The company offers scholarships, and to Arida’s credit, he’s looking for ways to involve students from public schools in the area by forging partnerships with neighboring public schools to make NuVu available as an elective.

But for most entrepreneurs, selling schools (particularly budget-strapped public schools) on incorporating PBL programs into their core curriculum is an ongoing challenge.

“We haven’t seen many of these project-based learning programs scale rapidly,” said Michael Staton, an investor at education-focused venture firm Learn Capital. “Partnering with schools is fine if you can figure out how to do that efficiently,” Staton added. “But most entrepreneurs have no idea.”

The crux of the problem, according to Staton, is that most schools are sticking to core subjects and the bell system, which doesn’t leave much time for exploratory projects. Outside of school, most students can only access project-based programs online and in their own time. The best known services are DIY.org, an instructional guide for budding makers, and the various project-based learn-to-code courses from Code.org, General Assembly, and Khan Academy. But most high schoolers would tell you that they’re already overwhelmed with juggling college admissions, after-school, clubs, volunteering and homework. Good luck adding another project to their plate."

The Tide Is Turning

To make PBL more mainstream, the change may need to come from within. There’s a movement afoot to make project-based learning an integral part of every child’s education. Organizations like P21 (Partnership for 21st Century Skills) and Buck Institute are helping to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs, businesses, teachers and state superintendents. P21 partners with representatives in 18 states, including Arizona, California, and Massachusetts, and provides teachers with tools and resources for project-based learning. In addition, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation habitually provides funding to PBL schools, particularly those that foster digital skills. These organizations’ aim is bring PBL programs into classrooms, rather than expecting students to participate in their free time.

Schools don’t need to follow NuVu’s model to the tee. In fact, this approach may seem radical, as students do not receive grades or formal examinations and the learning doesn’t happen in physical classrooms. But teachers can take inspiration from NuVu and the various interactive online courses. For instance, Muscatine High School in Iowa has found success with its G2 Global Generation Exponential Learning initiative. High schoolers learn math and engineering in classrooms and by making water purification systems, or building statistical models for new bus routes. Younger students at middle school research trash statistics, and participate in oral history projects.
Arida hopes that NuVu’s program will pave the way for ed-tech entrepreneurs to launch similar ventures in other states.

“We’re presenting a different way to think about education, he said. “Students are empowered to be creative, and actually execute on their ideas. Isn’t that the lesson we should be teaching our kids?”"
nuvu  nuvustudio  openstudiproject  lcproject  saeedarida  grades  grading  projectbasedlearning  schedules  scheduling  studioclassrooms  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  transdisciplinary  design  designthinking  2014  learning  education  unschooling  deschooling  schools  pbl 
april 2014 by robertogreco
::: Meridian Academy :::
"Meridian Academy is an urban, independent, college preparatory school. Our school, located in the Coolidge Corner neighborhood of Brookline, serves students in grades six through twelve from throughout Boston and the surrounding communities. Meridian is for students who want to become experienced problem-solvers with leadership skills; who want to propose and carry out original projects; and who want to understand the connections between the different ideas that they study and the world in which they live. Please contact us to receive news updates by email."
via:steelemaley  education  schools  independentschools  progressive  progressiveschools  massetchussets  brookline  projectbasedlearning  pbl 
january 2014 by robertogreco
The Quanta of Design Thinking | ThinkThankThunk
"When I say “nucleator” I mean an object, idea, or task that gives students an opportunity to enter into the process of design in a way that isn’t an explicit discussion about “learning design” like so much that gets co-opted from Stanford’s D School.

Kids dig the idea of take-this-bracket-and-make-a-chair. The design process is inherent in the challenge, and for some reason the Wikiseat bracket works. Kids like it.

We toyed around with social studies. What if you asked students to design an eating utensil optimized for a specific food? Like miso soup, or pulled pork. What would it be like to 3D print that object and then live with it for a week or a even a day? What could you say about culture, history, and agriculture? What would the documentary, “Living with the Snork,” be like?

What about math? What if you asked students to redesign RISK? How much math and design would that take? Let’s be honest, we all wish RISK weren’t so boring towards the end.

What if you asked students to redesign the human body? For the first century? for the 16th? The 21st? How much biology would that take? What kind of explanations and communications skills/objects would you have to foster to communicate such a strange idea?

Maybe I’m just in the stream of being with such awesome people right now, and I’m not communicating the nuance that the Wikiseat bracket represents, but I’m digging the idea of fundamental design quanta right now."
shawncornally  projectbasedlearning  projectideas  openstudioproject  teaching  learning  tcsnmy  designthinking  design  criticalthinking  projectsnotclasses  process  education  pedagogy  2013  pbl 
october 2013 by robertogreco
cityofsound: Sketchbook: Fabrica 2013 Informal Annual Review: from departments to studios
The studio model I had in mind was drawn from long experience—the multidisciplinary teams I had created, or tried to create, at the BBC and Arup—and recent experience, in Helsinki, with the Strategic Design Unit model pursued with my ertswhile colleages, Bryan Boyer, Justin Cook and Marco Steinberg, and documented well here. And of course, the studio as the forum for design practice generally.

I had also drawn a lot from Alex Coles' useful book The Transdisciplinary Studio—not necessarily in any direct sense (I haven't implemented any details of the various studio practices described therein: Jorge Pardo Sculpture, Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design, Studio Olafur Eliasson & Åbäke) but more in terms of concept, of not simply mixing disciplines, but going beyond them. Given the sense that Fabrica could be a new kind of factory, helping invent and construct the future ("Fabrica" is drawn from faber, to make, and also suggests the Italian word for factory, fabbrica), I was particularly interested in the hybrid products that much emerge from the synthesis of disciplines into something new. As Piaget has it, going beyond the displines.
"Transdisciplinary: between the disciplines, across the different disciplines, and beyond each individual discipline." [Jean Piaget, referenced in Coles]

Fabrica was essentially organised into discipline-based departments—film, music, product design, graphic design and so on. Although some areas, like Design, or Interactive, had the beginnings of a multidisciplinary mix, the structure was something I wanted to address. (I suggested this in something I wrote called "The New Vision", which was an internal discussion document/book—more soon—to gauge peoples' opinions.)

Fabrica, in terms of the structure of its "engine" was not a million miles from many other studios and schools. elsewhere.

Given the rest of our world—institutional or otherwise—is largely organised into such disciplinary structures, which organisations turn into silos (disciplines need not be silos; it's organisations that do that) then what would be the point of Fabrica doing that too?

Following my colleague Marco Steinberg's thought that "we have 18th century institutions facing 21st century problems", can we create a 21st century organisation? Something that faces the 21st century, in all its hybridity and complexity, on its own terms? Something that might address 21st century issues with a more appropriate, flexible and complex creative toolkit?

If we look at a city council organisational structure, you see that it is largely in a 19th century mode, and so ill-equipped to deal with a complex, interdependent challenge like climate change? All of the following departments—and more—are implicated in solving the problem. In my experience, even getting a meeting to discuss a citizen-centred project like Brickstarter can be an issue with this form of organisation.

If you look at the departments and divisions of Oxford University, say, can we really say it has moved far from the organisation of the medieval university?

So why, for instance, should Fabrica have a music department? There are a million places to go and study or practice music. Probably many better. Juillard, for instance. Yet there are few places that sit a musician or sound designer next to a coder, next to a filmmaker, next to an industrial designer. (The same applies to other departments, obviously.)

Given our size, agility, mission and the fact that we are not interested in formal academic certification (that is another "trap" that reinforces silos) this environment is something that Fabrica can uniquely forge. This is the possibilty behind the idea of Fabrica.

Ten months in we have moved to a new studio-based model of organisation, addressing thematic areas via a transdisciplinary mode.

• Each studio has a mix of disciplines; for example, code, graphic design, film making, writing, industrial design, sound, art, and so on.
• Each studio has a range of projects addressing the theme, from big to small, slow to quick, client-led to self-directed.
• Each is led by a studio lead, or leads.
• Each has a dedicated studio space at Fabrica.
• These are the studios we have now (overlapping to indicate the possibility of fluid movement between them, and shared projects.) …

[Read on.]
[Rest saved here too: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:7b2f1be990dc ]
transdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  studioclassroom  danhill  fabrica  cityofsound  2013  organization  disciplines  crossdisciplinary  openstudioproject  tcsnmy  schooldesign  education  projectbasedlearning  innovation  creativity  thematiclearning  fluidity  projectorientedorganizations  pbl 
october 2013 by robertogreco
The Workshop School | Teaching students to change the world.
"The mission of the Sustainability Workshop is to create schools that unleash the creative and intellectual potential of young people to solve the world’s toughest problems."

"The Workshop opened in September 2011, serving 27 high school seniors from West and South Philadelphia. On June 9, 2012 all 27 students graduated. They made remarkable academic progress and developed a culture of collaboration, inquiry and respect unlike anything we have ever experienced as educators. Building on this success, the Workshop School is adding sixty ninth-graders at our new location in West Philadelphia for the 2013-14 school year."
schools  lcproject  theworkshopschool  education  projectbasedlearning  philadelphia  pbl 
september 2013 by robertogreco
What I Learned in my First Week of Running a School | ThinkThankThunk
[Highlighting 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 12, and 13]

"1. Competency-based education is really attractive to a certain group of parents and students; those that know their kid needs a real CV to compete coming out of the gate.

2. No one has any idea what a project is.

3. If you start a project without an external audience in mind, it’s probably going to be sucky.

4. If you start a project with a genuinely interesting question, it’s probably going to be legit. (How different are the proteins in blue, green, & brown eyes? vs. the much crappier: How does DNA make proteins?)

5. Middle school students can’t drive.

6. There’s an astonishingly small number of students who gravitate towards (and are properly served by) book-first learning. BIG is operating at 10% of students really flourishing this way. <implications implied implicitly>

7. Blurred Lines is a fun tune, but wildly inappropriate.

8. Ripping off Piet Mondrian for your logo makes you look like a fop, and minimizes time in Illustrator.

9. Writing competencies should be individualized to the student and needs to map back to at least 3 curriculum standards, or you’re just never going to stay at a good pace (just below Grueling/Meager Rations.)

10. No one talks about grades at BIG. It just doesn’t come up.

11. Keep a Google Doc for every student that has all of the crazy good ideas that pop up. You won’t remember everything, and the kids won’t either.

12. The context upon which you can hang content has a surprisingly wide latitude for most students.

13. Symposium time is necessary. (When 5-10 students get together to share progress, failures, successes, and ideas with each other)

14. We really need a mascot and colors. Currently we’re The Fighting Whalephants."
competency  competency-basededucation  middleschool  projects  projectbasedlearning  teaching  education  learning  schools  bigideasgroup  bigideasschool  shawncornally  2013  audience  parents  context  content  reflection  sharing  standards  pbl 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Art Teaching for a New Age - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
[NB: Tagging this one Black Mountain College and BMC, not because it is references in the text, but that it reminds me of BMC.]

[Also related, in my mind: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/15046238819/our-middle-school-is-an-art-school and http://www.graphpaper.com/2007/10-17_what-i-learned-in-art-school-is-it-design-thinking ]

"The technological changes we are witnessing will not threaten conceptual rigor or craft, nor will the ease of expression and communication make art obsolete. But these shifts are changing what we mean by art making and what counts as meaningful, crafted expression. To say so is not to judge the quality of that expression or to lament the rise of vulgarity or the lowering of standards. It is simply to observe that this democratization of expression will alter fundamentally how students—aspiring artists—think about art, its meaning and purpose, and the ways in which it is made.

These shifts will also change the professions for which educational institutions like mine prepare students. After all, if technology becomes smart enough to make design decisions, then designers could increasingly become technicians, operators of machines instead of creative professionals. But the more profound—and less visible—impact will be on how students think about their creative pursuits.

We cannot say with certainty what that impact will be. The first generation of so-called digital natives is reaching college only now; the environment they grew up in—which seemed so radical and new to many of us just a decade and a half ago—is already a punchline. Soon it will be an antiquated joke that doesn't even make sense anymore. Remember AOL? Remember plugging in to access the Net? Today's students don't.

They arrive at college having shot and edited video, manipulated photographs, recorded music—or at least sampled and remixed someone else's—designed or assembled animated characters and even virtual environments, and "painted" digital images—all using technologies readily available at home or even in their pocket. The next generation of students will have designed and printed three-dimensional images, customized consumer products, perhaps "rapid-prototyped" new products—I can't imagine what else.

Students today are not simply bombarded by images, consuming them in great gulps, as previous generations did; they are making the environments they inhabit, and making meaningful connections among images, stories, mythologies, and value systems. They are creative and creating.

But their notion of what it means to create is different from ours. It's something one does to communicate with others, to participate in social networks, to entertain oneself. Making things—images, objects, stories—is mundane for these students, not sacred. It's a component of everyday experience, woven tightly into the fabric of daily life.

So what is the task of arts educators? Is it to disabuse these young people of what we think are their misconceptions? Is it to inculcate in them an understanding of the "proper" way to create, to make art or entertainment? Is it to sort out the truly artistic from the great mass of creative chatterers—and to initiate them into some sacred tradition?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Or maybe the task of the educator is to help them develop judgment, to help them to see that creating, which they do instinctively, almost unconsciously, is a way of learning, of knowing, of making arguments and observations, of affecting and transforming their environment. And perhaps that's not so very different from what we do now.

We do it now, though, in the context of a curriculum and institutional histories oriented toward specific professional training and preparation. We seek to develop in students the critical faculties needed to thrive in clearly defined professions. But in the future, we may have to rethink our purpose and objectives. We may have to reimagine our curricula, recast the bachelor-of-fine-arts degree as a generalist—not professional—degree.

In a media-saturated culture in which everyone is both maker and consumer of images, products, sounds, and immersive experiences like games, and in which professional opportunities are more likely to be invented or discovered than pursued, maybe the B.F.A. is the most appropriate general-education experience, not just for aspiring artists and designers but for everyone.

That poses challenges for arts educators. We are good at equipping students who are already interested in careers in art and design with the skills and judgment necessary to succeed in artistic fields and creative professions that are still reasonably well defined. We are less good at educating them broadly, at equipping them to use their visual acuity, design sensibility, and experience as makers to solve the problems—alone or in collaboration with others—that the next generation of creative professionals may be called on to solve. These will be complex problems that cross the boundaries of traditional disciplines, methodologies, and skill sets—ranging from new fields like data visualization, which draws on graphic design, statistical analysis, and interaction design, to traditional challenges like brand development, which increasingly reaches beyond logos on letterhead to products and environments.

To do that, arts colleges would have to reorganize their curricula and their pedagogy. Teaching might come to look a lot more like what we now call mentorship or advising. Rather than assume that young people know what they want to do and that we know how to prepare them to do it, we would have to help them to explore their interests and aspirations and work with them to create an educational experience that meets their needs.

Curricula would not be configured as linear, progressive pathways of traditional semester-long courses, but would consist of components, such as short workshops, online courses, intensive tutorials, and so forth. Students would pick and choose among components, arranging and rearranging them according to what they need at a particular moment. Have a problem that requires that you use a particular software program? Go learn it, to solve that problem or complete that project. Want to pursue a traditional illustration-training program? Take multiple drawing and painting studios.

Linking all of this together would not be a traditional liberal-arts curriculum but what one faculty member at the University of the Arts has called a liberal art curriculum—one focused on design as problem solving, on artistic expression as the articulation and interrogation of ideas. Instead of an arts-and-sciences core curriculum separate and disconnected from studio instruction, we would build a new core that integrates the studio and the seminar room, that envisions making and thinking not as distinct approaches but as a dynamic conversation.

This fantasy of an alternative arts education—which resembles experiments that other educators have attempted in the past—begins to veer into utopianism, though, and a vague utopianism at that. It would be impossible to administer and to offer to students cost-effectively. And most students would probably find it more perplexing than liberating.

But I see an urgent need for new models that respond to the changing conditions affecting higher education—models that can adapt to conditions that are in constant flux and to an emerging sensibility among young people that is more entrepreneurial, flexible, and alert to change than our curricula are designed to accommodate.

We need an educational structure that takes instability and unpredictability as its starting point, its fundamental assumption. If a university is not made up of stable, enduring structures arranged linearly or hierarchically—schools, departments, majors, minors—but rather is made up of components that can be used or deployed according to demand and need, then invention instead of convention becomes the governing institutional dynamic."
arteducation  art  education  expression  artisticexpression  internet  web  making  unpredictability  uncertainty  liberalarts  generalists  specialists  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  multimedia  lcproject  tcsnmy  tcsnmy8  ncmideas  openstudioproject  2013  seanbuffington  teaching  learning  criticalthinking  problemsolving  communication  bfa  mfa  highered  highereducation  generaleducation  curriculum  altgdp  design  craft  internetage  medialiteracy  media  newmedia  rapidprototyping  projectbasedlearning  bmc  blackmountaincollege  pbl 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Hogwarts for Hackers: Inside the Science and Tech School of Tomorrow | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
"“I had to learn what the programming language was, learn what a compiler was,” he remembers. “I found books on it and talked to upperclassmen. But basically had to learn it on my own.”

The IMSA Wednesdays are like Google’s “20 percent time” — only better. “At Google, 20 percent time is actually tacked on to the rest of your job. ” says Daniel Kador, another former IMSA student. “At IMSA, it really is built into your schedule.” And though Kador and other students admit that they spent more than a few Wednesdays just goofing off — as high school students so often do — they say the environment at IMSA ends up pushing many of them towards truly creative work. And it pays off."



"That’s IMSA in a nutshell. IMSA students help each other learn, and they continue to help each other, even after they graduate. Alums are invited back to teach mini-courses during the first week of the winter semester, and this has become of one of the highlights of the year — for everyone involved. “As a student, it was the most fun thing,” says Wild, “and as an alum, it’s even more fun.”"
imsa  illinois  education  schooldesign  schools  learning  google20%  technology  robotics  stem  collaboration  projectbasedlearning  cv  tcsnmy  tcsnmy8  openstudioproject  lcproject  pbl 
june 2013 by robertogreco
DreamYard Project
"Dreamyard uses project-based arts learning to ignite the transformative spirit in youth, public schools and communities.

MISSION
DreamYard uses the arts to inspire youth, public schools and communities. DreamYard programs develop artistic voice, nurture young peoples’ desire to make change and cultivate the skills necessary to reach positive goals. By committing to sustained learning opportunities along an educational pathway, DreamYard supports young people as they work toward higher learning, meaningful careers and social action. We believe that young people in the Bronx need a continuous set of supports to help them towards positive outcomes as they navigate their educational pathway. We have every expectation that through offering sustained and meaningful supports our youth will develop the tools to become creative and engaged citizens, life-long learners and the leaders and innovators of the 21st century."
dreamyard  nyc  bronx  openstudiproject  lcproject  projectbasedlearning  creativity  art  arts  youth  socialaction  community  pbl 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Dalton School ~ The Dalton Plan in the High School
"Through the Dalton Plan, High School students learn to make educated choices, employ their free time constructively, and appreciate the unique worth of each individual. House, Assignment, and Lab provide the underpinnings for the High School's focus on courage and empathy, creativity and scholarship, and independence and collaboration.

House is the daily gathering of sixteen to twenty-two students with either one or two faculty advisors. Each House consists of students from all four grades who serve as resources for each other. The relationship between House Advisor and advisee is generally a four year relationship. The House Advisor gets to know the student advisee well and is an academic advisor, an advocate, and a confidant.

The Assignment structures the classroom experience. Individual Assignments generally take four to six weeks to complete and serve as guides to student learning. Often, Assignments offer opportunities for students to pursue a topic in a unique way and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of forms. Ideally, an Assignment is a starting point for learning and, through Lab, students may individualize and extend their learning. The one-to-one or small group format of Lab fosters close relationships between students and teachers."

[See also:
Middle School Plan: http://www.dalton.org/program/middle/dalton_plan
Primary School Plan: http://www.dalton.org/program/first_program/the_dalton_plan ]
dalton  daltonschool  nyc  schools  schooldesign  teaching  learning  advising  projectbasedlearning  projects  attention  via:steelemaley  lcproject  howweteach  education  pbl 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Tupperwolf - Lichen names
"Yesterday I happened across that Eames promotion for the SX-70 for the first time. It reminded me, among many things, of an old friend, now dead – Bob Rodieck.

My high school was my mother (a qualified teacher), our neighbor R., and me. One of the classes was to make a book on our island’s natural history. When we were planning it, we visited Bob on an extremely gray spring day to talk about desktop publishing, because he’d been talking about how he was writing a book himself. (I may have the timeline slightly wrong here. Please consider this an As I Remember It story.)

We explained what we wanted to do. Bob, who was a freshly emeritus professor, scratched his stubble and leaned forward, then leaned back. He asked if we knew the difference between vector and raster graphics. I started explaining how they’re actually fairly isomorphic, since pixels can be represented as squares and, conversely, control points are in a discrete space, and from then on we were friends. It was Bob who turned me on to Tufte, and I turned him on to Bringhurst.



The natural history book was a well chosen project. We interviewed a lot of the oldest and most eccentric people on the island. They had records, written or in memory, about when flowers used to bloom, where the clams used to live before they were depleted, how many eagles used to nest on the point, how the old Samish woman had treated leather, when the last puffin was seen, what time of year the beaver showed up, and so on. There was the mystery of the flying squirrel.

We got a lot of very guarded mushroom knowledge from Dorothy H., who was in her eighties and roughly three times as vigorous and alert as I was. It’s really hard to come by good mushroom knowledge, because the people careful enough to understand mushrooms tend to be careful about risking other people on possibly poisonous food. Dorothy played her cards close to her chest.



Bob eventually finished his book, which was called The First Steps in Seeing. It was very well received, but as far as I can tell never sold well – Amazon has only four reviews, though they’re all five-star. I think it’s because he wasn’t around to promote it. He’d told me this wonderful story about graphic design and experimental design once: He went to get a check-up. He was given a form to fill out that included dietary habits. He said that he was about to check “1 serving of green vegetables/day” when he noticed that the checkbox itself was red! He figured that, being of northern European stock, he was adapted to fewer greens, and checked the first box that wasn’t red, 3 servings, and called it good. Not long after finishing the book, he was diagnosed with gut cancer.

Towards the end, he was on the island resting when he started having an unusual type of trouble moving his eyes. He said it was clearly a certain potassium channel failing, and it was time to go back to Seattle and die.

I think that, had he been around to promote it and put out a second edition, his book would be a classic now. It’s in the details and how they’re subordinated to the big-picture view. He drew all the illustrations himself. He chose the spot colors. He thought very hard about what path through the material he could provide that would be easiest for the beginner but pass the best trailheads for those who went further. He threw a lot of textbook conventions out the window and never missed them. He gave a crap but didn’t give a fuck.

Dorothy’s reluctance to tell us which mushrooms we could eat drove us to the classic texts, David Arora’s books. We could use him as a lever on her – “Arora says …; is that really true?”. In other fields we found other guidebooks: Pojar & MacKinnon on plants, Love’s Probably More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast.

If you don’t spend a lot of time with natural history guidebooks, you might not know that the best ones have voice – authorial voice. It’s necessary, I think, to make a book that’s basically a huge list of details interesting enough to pay attention to. And I suspect you’re unlikely to excell in mycology, botany, or marine biology unless you have a sense of perspective. If you are humorless, it’s a lot easier to be a businessperson than to spend three weeks in a tent, looking at little tufts of fungus–alga symbionts.

It’s the big picture and the little picture. It’s Philip Morrison’s speech at the end of that Polaroid film. It’s the SX-70 letting you be more inside experience, less concerned with problems of representation, in something more than a tree or a net. It’s an idea of technology that seems a little dangerous and very good to me. It reminds me of Twitter a little. Lately there I appreciated a map of surf conditions from Bob’s son, and reconnected with my fellow student R.’s cousin."
charlieloyd  highschool  projects  projectbasedlearning  pbl  naturalhistory  lichen  names  naming  2013  memory  learning  education  books  writing  teaching  sx-70  philipmorrison  polaroid  mushrooms  bobrodieck  unschooling  deschooling  sight  seeing  memories  imaging  photography  publishing  promotion  fun  play  words  wordplay  design  davidarora  trevorgoward  brucemccune  delmeidinger  science  interestedness  interestingness  interested 
march 2013 by robertogreco
LEARNING BY DOING / MUSHON ZER-AVIV | Open Design Now
"Mushon Zer-Aviv describes his efforts to teach open source design as an attempt to investigate why collaborative work combined with individual autonomy has not been common practice in design, as it is in open source software development. He discusses whether what worked for code might just as easily be transferred to design: the physical object as binary structure."
designeducation  projectbasedlearning  pbl  learningbydoing  deschooling  unschooling  peer-to-peer  github  revolution  standards  blueprints  teaching  hacking  knowledge  cocreation  danphiffer  shiftspace  collaboration  collaborative  collaborativeworks  design  learning  education  autonomy  opensource  opendesign  open  mushonzer-aviv 
january 2013 by robertogreco
Innovation in Education | Fast Company
"Nikhil Goyal, student and author of One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student's Assessment of School:

1. Make cities our classrooms. … projects, apprenticeships, working with mentors, and traveling … community should be our curriculum …

2. Swap pedagogy for andragogy. We need to switch from pedagogy (teacher-focused) to andragogy (adult-leading). In this model of education, children have control, they are motivated intrinsically, and the curriculum is problem- rather than content-orientated. We need to have young people become the captains of their learning. …

3. Hike teacher pay and end market-based rewards. …

Gever Tulley, founder, Brightworks and the Tinkering School:

1. Focus on microschools: Schools don't have to be big. The hyper-local micro-school can compete on a financial basis while delivering a more engaging learning experience.

2. Make room for alternative schools. …

3. Treat education as a regular practice like exercise, not as a phase. …"
pbl  projectbasedlearning  projects  making  tinkering  tinkeringschool  brightworks  pedagogy  process  practice  practices  howwelearn  mentorship  mentorships  mentors  mentoring  apprenticeships  urbanism  urban  cities  cityasclassroom  andragogy  alted  alternative  deschooling  unschooling  2012  teaching  georgeparker  michellerhee  gevertulley  cv  schools  education  learning  openstudioproject  lcproject  nikhilgoyal 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Outstanding Video About Modern Knowledge Construction
"I shot this amateur video at the Constructionism 2012 Conference in Athens, Greece. It is a recording of Dr. Mike Eisenberg‘s remarkable plenary address based on his paper, “Constructionism: New Technologies, New Purposes.”

Anyone interested in learning, emerging technology, creativity, the arts, science or craft would be wise to watch this terrific presentation."

[Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/49891132 ]
anthropology  bedrooms  economics  displays  hangouts  traditions  rituals  interest  passion  misfits  weirdos  schooldesign  design  settings  setting  popularity  uptonsinclair  vannevarbush  arts  art  craft  doing  making  deschooling  unschooling  science  projectbasedlearning  arduino  3dprinting  spaces  meaningmaking  purpose  agency  networks  activities  openstudioproject  lcproject  environment  srg  edg  glvo  education  technology  learning  children  constructionist  constructionism  2012  mikeeisenberg  pbl  ritual 
september 2012 by robertogreco
San Francisco School Takes Experiential Learning to the Next Level - Education - GOOD
"Imagine receiving an electric drill to use at school—and the freedom to learn and explore while building things with it. That’s what happens at Brightworks, a year-old nonprofit private alternative school located in San Francisco’s Mission District.

The school is tiny—just 20 students between 6 and 13 years old—but it's building quite the reputation for its innovative learning philosophy. Brightworks takes its cues from the maker and tinkering movements, which do away with formal classroom instruction in favor of project-based experiential learning.

Students aren’t divided into traditional grade levels, either: The school allows kids to interact naturally across age groups—older students work on more sophisticated projects while younger ones learn primarily through play. And, instead of relying on tests to measure learning, the school's students create portfolios. …"

[Video embedded]
hybridskills  behavior  social  kidcity  learning  confidence  radicalschooling  alternative  radical  projectbasedlearning  mixed-age  smallschools  lcproject  video  sanfrancisco  make  making  learningbydoing  democraticlearning  democraticschools  democraticeducation  deschooling  unschooling  collaboration  schooldesign  schools  cv  education  lizdwyer  assessment  self-directedlearning  2012  brightworks  gevertulley  pbl 
july 2012 by robertogreco
dy/dan » Blog Archive » Kate On Khan
"BTW. As long as we're here: Khan Academy frequently asserts itself as interested in more than lectures and procedures. Whenever a blogger points out that, "No, there's not a whole lot of evidence for that," a Khan Academy proponent named Jay Patel (who comments under various pseudonyms on this blog and others) will often link to this page in the Khan Academy customer portal, which cites as its project-based bonafides an activity called Simpsons Sunblocker. No problem there, except that Simpsons Sunblocker was developed by my team at Stanford — here's the activity; have fun! — not Khan Academy, whose representatives tried to convince us we should do the activity only after the students watched a lecture about proportions and practiced those procedures. (Playing a game of basketball only after shooting hours of foul shots, essentially.)"
khanacademy  pbl  projectbasedlearning  danmeyer  2012  katenowak  via:tom.hoffman 
july 2012 by robertogreco
PBL and Buck Institute for Education Day 2
[Gary Stager:]
I didn’t say that Reggio Emilia is a model that can be transported to the US, although you could study and learn from what their teachers do for the rest of your life. In fact, the educators from Reggio Emilia are explicit in their refusal to be perceived of as a model. They prefer approach.

[See the comments, especially. Bookmark points to them. Gary Stager quoted here.]

"I was struck by how much time and emphasis was spent on assessment when the subject was supposed to be project-based learning.

With all due respect to Dean, there is no such thing as assessment for learning. Assessment is always for teaching or the system. As I have said in other venues, “assessment in any form always interrupts learning.” It is up to the educator to determine the tolerable level of interruption. In any case, it has zero to do with learning.

Assessment is about ranking, sorting, labeling, ass-covering, etc… To the extent that it must exist at all, it is the teacher’s problem and should be kept as far away from the learner as possible!

I see a lot of professional development advertised as learner-centered, PBL or progressive where the agenda is really about assessment. This is false advertising.

From a practical standpoint alone, if we need teachers who understand how to teach better in more authentic, learner-centered, PBL-like ways, then why isn’t the PD focused on improved teaching.

Spending time instead of assessment (or backward design) seems like the tail wagging the dog.

Gary

PS: Rubrics are just a sneaky form of grades that constrain the power of project-based learning, not enrich it. But of course, I may be wrong."

[someone else’s response here, followed by more Stager, worth reading in the context of the conversation, but some more quotes to follow]

"Deep-fried baloney!

I think you’ve had too much Texas Education Agency bug juice. Assessment has nothing to do with learning. Without a school system, the term assessment would never be used. It would have no meaning.

Indeed, assessment is something done to others. Learners learn, think – perhaps even reflect, but they don’t assess themselves UNLESS coerced to do so. Learning is a natural act. Assessment is not.

Assessment is a tool the powerful uses to assert their will upon the less powerful (as per your employer example).

By the way, why are you justifying the argument that learning is assessment by citing a workplace example? Are you suggesting that students are workers? Employees?

Is your view of the workplace too narrow? In other words, are there jobs where work product is not measured in the same crummy ways used by school? I don’t share your resignation about parents and assessment. I’m a parent. I don’t give an armadillo’s ass about it.

I did not say that PBL is about assessment. I did share an observation that lots of PD ABOUT PBL seems disproportionately focused on assessment.

I think teachers learn about PBL by learning in a setting that supports such learning. I share resources and examples here – http://constructingmodernknowledge.com/cmk08/?p=1263

I was trying to make a point regarding truth in advertising. If a workshops is sold as being about learning or teaching, then how come so much time is spent on assessment? There is much about good teaching that can be taught.

I describe the elements of a productive context for learning here – http://constructingmodernknowledge.com/cmk08/?p=1110 (I think this is one of my most important piece of writing in years. It has been largely ignored.)

Rubrics are particularly dishonest and flawed. Read: http://bit.ly/vmKkyy & http://bit.ly/aevK10

I’ll come back to my original point. Assessment always disrupts the learning process. The acceptable level of disruption is between each teacher and her conscience."

"Two things I forgot to say:

1) I agree with the educators of Reggio Emilia. It is the job of a teacher to be a researcher capable of understanding a child’s thinking and making it visible.

2) Much of what is sold as project-based learning is barely richer or more relevant than traditional school assignments. The desire to “design” a project is fraught with peril and may extinguish serendipitous learning.

Less us, more them!"

"One more thing…

If teachers are required to engage in assessment schemes, they should be kept as far away from the learner as possible.

Assessment is the teacher’s busywork, not the students’."

"I don’t know Scott. You seem awfully pessimistic to me.

I didn’t say that Reggio Emilia is a model that can be transported to the US, although you could study and learn from what their teachers do for the rest of your life. In fact, the educators from Reggio Emilia are explicit in their refusal to be perceived of as a model. They prefer approach.

That said, LOTS of people and organizations, say Buck, are quick to provide models right here at home.

I actually think that the result of project-based learning should be a terrific product. Otherwise, you’re just playing along to someone else’s “problem.” It is through the construction of something shareable that the richest learning occurs (constructionism) AND kids are capable of doing extraordinary work. We just don’t provide many opportunities for them to do so; nor do we help them develop the fluencies necessary to achieve mastery.

I stated clearly that assessment interrupts learning, but it is up to each educator to determine an acceptable level of interruption. Why do you find this offensive?

If my definition of assessment is too narrow, yours and Dean’s is certainly way to broad. All human communication is not assessment. Assessment is not reflection. Assessment is something DONE TO someone else.

Definition of ASSESS (Merriam-Webster)
transitive verb
1: to determine the rate or amount of (as a tax)
2a : to impose (as a tax) according to an established rate
2b: to subject to a tax, charge, or levy
3: to make an official valuation of (property) for the purposes of taxation
4: to determine the importance, size, or value of
5: to charge (a player or team) with a foul or penalty

Synonyms: impose, charge, exact, fine, lay, levy, put

We can go around and around over this, but your use of the term isn’t even consistent with the dictionary definition."
reggioemilia  education  assessment  learning  garystager  deanshareski  scottsfloyd  tcsnmy  pbl  projectbasedlearning 
may 2012 by robertogreco
Valve: Handbook for New Employees: A fearless adventure in knowing what to do when no one’s there telling you what to do [.pdf]
"There is no organizational structure keeping you from being in close proximity to the people who you’d help or be helped by most."

"Since Valve is flat, people don’t join projects because they’re told to. Instead, you’ll decide what to work on after asking yourself the right questions."

"What’s interesting? What’s rewarding? What leverages my individual strengths the most?"

"…our lack of a traditional structure comes with an important responsibility. It’s up to all of us to spend effort focusing on what we think the long-term goals of the company should be."

"Nobody expects you to devote time to every opportunity that comes your way. Instead, we want you to learn how to choose the most important work to do."

"We should hire people more capable than ourselves, not less."

"We value “T-shaped” people…who are both generalists (…the top of the T) and also experts (…the vertical leg of the T). This recipe is important for success at Valve."
agency  initiaive  motivation  tcsnmy  administration  management  hiring  t-shapedpeople  responsibility  creativity  videogames  projectbasedlearning  pbl  community  leadership  lcproject  flatness  flat  hierarchy  specialists  generalists  work  culutre  valve  specialization  horizontality  horizontalidad 
april 2012 by robertogreco
PARALLEL SCHOOL: Students as Designers (Norman Potter)
[Wayback: https://web.archive.org/web/20100419063957/http://www.parallel-school.com:80/2010/02/students-as-designers-norman-potter.html ]

"Parallel school of art is a virtual and international school where those who want to self-educate themselves can share what they are doing and thinking about, as well as their interests and projects.

Parallel school wants to generate and spread work emulation through the development of self-initiated projects such as publications, meetings, lectures, workshops, etc.

Parallel school would like to bring together the knowledge, experiences and energy from students all over the world.

Parallel School is an umbrella that is free to use by anyone interested in doing so."
workshops  networkedlearning  sharing  lcproject  projectbasedlearning  via:litherland  parallelschool  design  learning  autodidacts  autodidactism  self-education  education  autodidacticism  pbl 
january 2012 by robertogreco
AU 2011: Otherlab's Saul Griffith, Part 1 - Pneubotics Yields Soft Robots on Vimeo
"At Autodesk University 2011, Saul Griffith, founder of Otherlab, discusses his pioneering work in Pneubotics. Otherlab is working on soft, fabric-based robots that are actuated by compressed air."

"At Autodesk University 2011, Saul Griffith, founder of Otherlab, talks about inventing and the type of follow-up required to see that invention go out into the world." [ http://vimeo.com/33131553 ]

"Part 3 of our video chat with Saul Griffith, co-founder of Otherlab, at Autodesk University 2011. Griffith answers questions about Theory vs. Making Stuff in education, advice for design students, and how to enable yourself to make truly unique things." [ http://vimeo.com/33131913 ]

[Later: "Solve for X: Saul Griffith on inflatable robots" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqP3IpEqkk4# ]
design  tools  toolmaking  saulgriffith  education  projectbasedlearning  2011  core77  glvo  making  doing  learning  learningbydoing  advice  robots  invention  failure  howwework  howwelearn  pneubotics  otherlab  pbl 
december 2011 by robertogreco
The Workshop School
"Typically, high school is viewed as preparation for future education, which in turn is seen as preparation for future work. Students accumulate credits representing discrete subject matter, such as biology or world history. But there is little room in school to connect what students are learning to real world questions or problems, and therefore no avenue for students to contribute to addressing those problems.

We believe that students can do meaningful work on real, important problems right now. To do that, they need concrete skills. At the Workshop, school is about equipping students with the skills they need to change the world. Science, mathematics, history, language, and communication are understood as a necessary means to achieving this end, rather than as ends in themselves."

[Via: http://vimeo.com/31437235 ]
theworkshopschool  lcproject  projectbasedlearning  learning  education  simonhauger  philadelphia  schools  pbl 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Mitchel Resnick 2011 Prize Winner - YouTube
"Mitchel Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab, develops new technologies and activities to engage people (especially children) in creative learning experiences, helping them learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. His Lifelong Kindergarten research group developed ideas and technologies underlying the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kits and the Scratch programming environment and online community, used by millions of young people around the world. He also co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, an international network of more than 100 after-school learning centers where youth from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies."
mit  mitmedialab  mitchresnick  2011  lifelongkindergarten  scratch  education  learning  constructivism  projectbasedlearning  tcsnmy  schools  design  mindstorms  lego  legonxt  wedo  electronics  coding  programming  children  lcproject  teaching  pbl  medialab 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Teacher Education in the Digital Age - playDUcation
"Teachers themselves need to learn a new way of learning, and in addition to new ways of helping others learn. This also means a massive shift in the role of the teacher and in all structural aspects of the school system…

…Nobody really knows how to do that. In a way all of us need to go on an expedition. And that makes a lot of people feel helpless, clueless, even ängstlich. Teachers and other educators particularly don’t like being clueless, as their traditional role is to be in the know and to impart knowledge…

Teachers are hardly ever asked what they already know and can do, what experiences they bring, which problems they woud like to tackle…

If I were to change one thing in teacher education, I’d shift the main learning style to self-directed, project-based learning with experiments and expeditions."
sebastianhirsch  lisarosa  germany  education  teaching  learning  self-directedlearning  schools  schooliness  technology  byod  iwb  interactivewhiteboards  2011  experimentation  exploration  unschooling  deschooling  change  gamechanging  projectbasedlearning  openstudioproject  lcproject  pbl 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Geoff Mulgan: A short intro to the Studio School | Video on TED.com
"Some kids learn by listening; others learn by doing. Geoff Mulgan gives a short introduction to the Studio School, a new kind of school in the UK where small teams of kids learn by working on projects that are, as Mulgan puts it, "for real.""
geoffmulgan  studioschool  studioclassroom  lcproject  tcsnmy  learning  education  uk  2011  wordofmouth  learningbydoing  collaboration  howwework  cv  schools  schooldesign  projectbasedlearning  resilience  employability  teens  motivation  non-cognitiveskills  pbl 
october 2011 by robertogreco
Ewan McIntosh #TEDxLondon: The Problem Finders - Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Learning
"Currently, the world’s education systems are crazy about problem-based learning, but they’re obsessed with the wrong bit of it. While everyone looks at how we could help young people become better problem-solvers, we’re not thinking how we could create a generation of problem finders…

Teachers, for too long, have actually been doing the richest work of learning for their students. Teachers find problems, frame them and the resources young people can use to solve them. Young people get a sliver of learning from coming up with ideas, based on some basic principles upon which the teacher has briefed them, and the teacher then comes back on the scene to run the whole feedback procedure."
questioning  learning  problemsolving  problemfinding  projectbasedlearning  criticalthinking  ewanmcintosh  2011  teaching  education  unschooling  design  deschooling  schools  tcsnmy  lcproject  pbl 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Please, NO Grades Teachers :: NuVu studio
"For our NuVu Studio, we wanted to create a space where students could learn how to learn in a way that nurtured their creative process and inspired them to innovate. In such an environment, we wanted our kids to work together, come up with many ideas – not just one answer or idea, freely discuss their ideas, look at things from multiple perspectives, defer all judgments, challenge assumptions, take as many risks and try out new moves, make tons and tons of mistakes AND learn from these mistakes, all as part of the process of discovery and innovation. And this meant very clearly for us, removing grading from our studio. But without grading, how would students be motivated to work? The motivation to do/create is a key aspect of the design studio. If you ask our students, the motivation to create comes from an intrinsic feeling based on the fact that they are working on real projects that they themselves feel are meaningful and matter. The students come up with the project idea…"
nuvustudio  education  learning  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  grades  grading  assessment  projectbasedlearning  problemsolving  studioclassroom  motivation  émilechartier  beavercountryday  reflection  self-reflection  2011  nuvu  pbl 
september 2011 by robertogreco
What Schools Can Learn From Google, IDEO, and Pixar | Co. Design
"What would it mean for schools to have a culture centered on design thinking and interdisciplinary projects instead of siloed subjects? What if the process of education were as intentionally crafted as the products of education (i.e., we always think about the book report or the final project, but not the path to get there). What if teachers were treated as designers?"
education  learning  design  creativity  innovation  google  schooldesign  ideo  pixar  hightechhigh  larryrosenstock  crossdisciplinary  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  projectbasedlearning  missedopportunities  tcsnmy  lcproject  2011  pbl 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Boulder Digital Works at CU
"Our 60 Weeks Program is an integrated projects-driven graduate program in media and business design.<br />
In today's age, learning digital isn't recommended, it's imperative. And while understanding this ever-evolving medium won't happen overnight, you can be sure that over the course of 60 weeks, you'll learn to think globally, design innovatively, and look past perceived barriers.<br />
No matter where you are on your career path, BDW will take your digital skills to a new level. Whether your background is in business, technology, or creative, you'll learn to move comfortably between all three fields. When your 60 weeks are up, not only will you be able to think big, you'll have the skills and experience to be big.<br />
Because digital is always evolving, no day at BDW is ever the same. While our program is fluid, we remain focused on pushing students to explore, refine, and apply the possibilities in digital spaces."
education  design  creativity  altgdp  bdw  boulderdigitalworks  lcproject  digital  projectbasedlearning  mediadesign  boulder  colorado  pbl 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Teaching Social Innovation | Austin Center for Design
"“We [need to] teach decidedly unglamorous, small scale tools that allow people to make meaning in as significant ways possible, not only in terms of outcomes, but in terms of process.” That’s precisely the right message for design educators – to emphasize significance in process, rather than object, and focus on small-scale, deep impact. It’s a rejection of an exhausted focus on metrics, scale, and artifacts, and for many of us, it means ignoring the hype of design tourism. I’m positioning the program at AC4D on creating founders who have a sensitive, passionate, and intellectual approach to their work. And I’m thrilled to see more and more programs embracing social innovation, and re-evaluating – and in many cases, massively overhauling – tired design curricula."
jonkolko  design  education  learning  socialinnovation  designeducation  projectbasedlearning  2011  metrics  measurement  success  humanitariandesign  depthoverbreadth  timelines  time  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  ac4d  meaning  meaningfulness  eziomazini  commitment  relationships  tcsnmy  communityengagement  krissdeiglmeier  socialimpact  assessment  tracking  accreditation  credentials  convenience  responsibility  designtourism  entrepreneurship  helenwalters  shrequest1  pbl 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Business Innovation Factory | Participatory Design Studio
"What if we put students in the driver's seat of a new kind of R&D to transform education? One that provided a platform for engaging students more fully in a real world effort that also involves faculty, education administrators and other system players? Could we improve a student's education experience? Yes. Could we take it a step further and transform education itself? Yes.

The Business Innovation Factory's participatory design studio gives students the opportunity to use real-world research and design methodologies to transform their student experience. Framed within the context of a real problem, the lab leads students through the design process, ultimately landing on a set of solutions to improve their experience."

[See also: http://businessinnovationfactory.com/projects/sxl ]
businessinnovationfactory  via:monikahardy  lcproject  learning  innovation  education  transformation  realworld  research  design  problemsolving  apprenticeships  student-centered  studentdirected  tcsnmy  bigpictureschools  projectbasedlearning  unschooling  deschooling  pbl 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Brightworks: A School that Rethinks School | MindShift
"At Brightworks, a K-12 private school set to open in San Francisco this fall, there will be no tests, grades, or transcripts.

Instead, students will participate in activities and interact with professionals in various fields, design a project that they bring to fruition themselves, and produce a multimedia portfolio that they’ll share with the school, the community, and – via the Brightworks website – the world…

…curriculum with three phases: 1) exploration, 2) expression, & 3) exposition.

…year’s theme is “wind” for instance…

Sure, there are only 30 students aged 6 through 12 starting in September (though there are a few slots still open for 12-year-old girls) and the teacher-to-student ratio at Brightworks is a minimum of 1 to 6. The program is resource and labor-intensive. “We don’t scale well at all,” says Welch."
lcproject  scale  gevertulley  2011  brightworks  schools  schooldesign  inquiry-basedlearning  projectbasedlearning  passion-based  exploration  student-centered  unschooling  deschooling  grades  grading  thematicunites  tcsnmy  teaching  learning  constructivism  pedagogy  sanfrancisco  making  doing  tinkering  tinkeringschool  curiosity  curriculum  creativity  pbl 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Customized Learning - The Slideshow | Education Rethink
Great set of slides from John T Spencer. Notes are forthcoming, but the slides should speak for themselves. These were for his Reform Symposium presentation in 2011. (I missed it, so I'm glad it put them online.)
johnspencer  teaching  learning  tcsnmy  differentiatedlearning  customization  self-directedlearning  student-centered  studentdirected  pedagogy  unschooling  deschooling  standards  mastery  presentations  classideas  networking  hierarchy  freedom  autonomy  projectbasedlearning  science  socialstudies  reading  writing  flexibility  choice  dialogue  relationships  conversation  assessment  metaphor  ownership  empowerment  fear  dialog  pbl 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Matching learning to the real world: Forget the box! | Education Futures
"I met up with Ali Hos­saini in Am­s­ter­dam and No­ord­wijk ear­lier this month. In this short in­ter­view we made, Ali states that “to think out of the box, you have to start out of the box, and we’re not let­ting peo­ple leave it right now in the cur­rent ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions.” He ad­vo­cates for ap­proaches to learn­ing that are col­lab­o­ra­tive and re­flec­tive of real world prob­lem solv­ing that al­low peo­ple to be­come ex­perts on the fly (and not just in busi­ness, but also in art, acad­e­mia, etc.). The de­vel­op­ment of cre­ative think­ing, he ar­gues, is one thing that West­ern ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions could de­velop as their com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage."
alihossaini  johnmoravec  thinking  criticalthinking  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  learninglab  problemsolving  montessori  tcsnmy  projectbasedlearning  studioclassroom  2011  self-management  self-discipline  learning  unschooling  deschooling  maturity  toshare  openstudioproject  lcproject  art  pbl 
july 2011 by robertogreco
NYU Prof Vows Never to Probe Cheating Again—and Faces a Backlash - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"The professor’s blog post described how crusading against cheating poisoned the class environment & therefore dragged down his teaching evaluations. They fell to a below-average range of 5.3 out of 7.0, when he used to score in the realm of 6.0 to 6.5. Mr. Ipeirotis “paid a significant financial penalty for ‘doing the right thing,’” he wrote. “The Dean’s office & my chair ‘expressed their appreciation’ for me chasing such cases (in December), but six months later, when I received my annual evaluation, my yearly salary increase was the lowest ever, & significantly lower than inflation, as my ‘teaching evaluations took a hit this year.’”<br />
<br />
Worse, Mr. Ipeirotis’ campaign aroused mistrust. Students were anxious, discussions contentious. He found teaching to be exhausting rather than refreshing. Dealing w/ the 22 cheating cases sucked up more than 45 hours “in completely unproductive discussions,” forcing him to focus attention on the least-deserving students, Mr. Ipeirotis said."
cheating  plagiarism  2011  education  teaching  academia  ethics  panagiotisipeirotis  highereducation  highered  motivation  grades  grading  learning  trust  projectbasedlearning  writing  pbl 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Teachable Moment - "The Plagiarism Perplex", by Alan Shapiro ["First, we need to abandon the mania, imposed on students, for collecting and displaying within pretty covers what Alfred North Whitehead dismissed as "inert ideas.""]
"Second, we need to teach inquiry. [defined]…

Let's assume you have engaged students in worthwhile class work and it is time for them to involve themselves in an inquiry related to it and of interest to them. Forget about "research," forget about "the term paper,î abandon the often calcified list of "subjects." Here is a proposed series of steps and assignments for the process.

1. Explain to the class the purposes of the coming inquiry: [outlined]…

2. Engage the class in a close examination of a sampling of student questions. Consider such questions as: [listed]…

3. Meet with each student to discuss and ultimately to approve his or her question and to consider how the question will be answered. [described]…

4. Examine and approve each student's list and possibly discuss further with each student. [described]…

5. Examine each student's outline or draft and written response and possibly discuss further with students. [described]…"
alanshapiro  inquiry  research  plagiarism  via:irasocol  education  teaching  pedagogy  inquiry-basedlearning  howto  cheating  meaning  projectbasedlearning  tcsnmy  questioning  questions  alfrednorthwhitehead  pbl 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Wood Tape ["I decide to keep my involvement to a minimum, partly for entertainment, mostly as a learning experience for Guy."]
"THAT'S what this has been about the whole time! He had all of this planned from the beginning. The tape, the table, its purpose, its placement, the paint, the colors, everything. Delight, pride, gratitude, disbelief, shock, and more and more pride, all swelling and swirling together. I can't think, I can't focus. My four-year-old wasn't showing me pictures, he was showing me blueprints. He certainly was not impulse shopping, he knew exactly what he needed, every step of the way. He had been looking for the blue masking tape we had used when painting his room. I had thought he wanted the tape to hold the pieces of the table together, but he knew to use screws for that. He wanted to tape the wood to mask the squares for painting. There is not an adult who could have planned it better or more thoroughly. Now I'm fighting back tears of pride, and my heart is about to burst."
children  unschooling  parenting  deschooling  learning  tape  planning  making  doing  tables  projectbasedlearning  appliedlearning  interestdriven  2004  pbl 
july 2011 by robertogreco
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