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robertogreco : self-assessment   6

Self-Directed Learning: Lessons from the Maker Movement in Education
"Learning through the making of things is a concept as old as education. As psychologist Jean Piaget argued, knowledge is a consequence of experience. But somehow, with the exception of a small number of schools and vocational education programs dedicated to experiential inquiry-based learning, our nation’s schools strayed from this hands-on approach to education, spending much of the past 50 years focusing intensely on the memorization of information. Information matters, of course, but a growing number of schools and educators are reclaiming our educational roots, aiming to help kids learn by making stuff — but this time with a technological twist.

This new “maker movement” in education is an offspring of a broad cultural maker movement, spurred over the past decade in large part by Internet connectivity and affordable computer software and hardware. Guided by the shared philosophy that, if it can be imagined, it can be made, makers are popping up everywhere. They are do-it-yourself global entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, craftspeople, and inventors. In 2006, the first Maker Faires (yes, they use the Middle English “e” to give it that geeky panache; it’s also the French word for “to do” or “to make”) were organized so people could demonstrate their inventions, prototypes, and other creations, whimsical or practical, and otherwise learn from each other and delight in human inventiveness. The faires have been described as “the world’s greatest show (and tell)” — attracting hundreds of thousands of people annually. In 2013, there were 60 Maker Faires worldwide. Meanwhile, an increasing number of successful websites are dedicated to the movement. Etsy (, for instance, has more than a million artisans selling their wares to the world. Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter also make it possible to get funding for larger self-starter projects. A recent article in The Economist described the movement as the “third industrial revolution,” focusing particularly on the rise of customized, small-batch manufacturing.

In education, the maker movement owes much of its impetus to the professionals at MIT’s Fab Lab, Stanford’s FabLab@School program, Make Media, The Maker Education Initiative, and other educational institutions with fabrication labs on their campuses. A fab lab is a low-cost digital workshop equipped with 3D scanners, computer controlled laser cutters, milling machines, and other equipment that allow users to build most anything. These labs, previously only found at elite engineering schools, are now popping up in urban settings as membership-supported maker spaces, as well as in innovative public libraries and a fast growing number of public and private schools — including Marymount School (New York), Castilleja School (California), and Hillbrook School (California) where I work.

Other schools are undertaking similar efforts, focusing on the infusion of design thinking and, more generally, problem solving and experiential learning into the curriculum.

“Making,” in education, refers to any form of construction that allows students to exercise their creative license to invent things. The making can involve analog and/or digital tools. It can be done in art, science, humanities, math, or any other subject, given the correct supplies. By its very nature, it employs the constructionist approach to learning, allowing each child the opportunity to construct new knowledge and skills while literally designing and building a physical object or digital entity.

The movement is predicated on the belief that students learn best when the learning is self-directed, when it arises from genuine interests, concerns, and questions. Educator Gary Stager sums up the maker philosophy succinctly: “Less us, more them.”

For students who learn through the making of things, the reward shifts from the successful demonstration of learned facts (i.e., tests, essays, lab reports) to the joy and earned wisdom experienced through exploration and discovery. Growing evidence indicates that this process provides students with a deeper understanding of the way things work, as well as a stronger sense of purpose and autonomy. It builds confidence, fosters creativity, and sparks a deep interest in learning."
christaflores  2014  making  education  democracy  learning  howwelearn  divergentthinking  convergentthinking  passfail  self-assessment  assessment  self-directed  self-directedlearning  empowerment  optimism  garystager  sylviamartinez 
november 2014 by robertogreco
What works in education – Hattie’s list of the greatest effects and why it matters | Granted, and...
"As in Visible Learning, the (updated) rank order of those factors that have the greatest effect size in student achievement will be of interest to every teacher, administrator, and education professor.

Here is the rank-ordered list of the top effect sizes, with a half-dozen removed by me because they either refer to programs unknown outside of Australia & New Zealand – Hattie’s home base – or they refer to sub-sets of students (e.g. the learning disabled). And I am going to provide a bit of suspense with this list. I want you to guess which two factors come next after what is listed below; you’ll see why I wanted to add a bit of intrigue by the end. (I have also starred the factors that have an effect size of .7 or greater since these are significant gains):

Student self-assessment/self-grading*
Response to intervention*
Teacher credibility*
Providing formative assessments*
Classroom discussion*
Teacher clarity*
Reciprocal teaching*
Teacher-student relationships fostered*
Spaced vs. mass practice*
Meta-cognitive strategies taught and used
Classroom behavioral techniques
Vocabulary programs
Repeated reading programs
Creativity programs
Student prior achievement
Self-questioning by students
Study skills
Problem-solving teaching
Not labeling students
Concept mapping
Cooperative vs individualistic learning
Direct instruction
Tactile stimulation programs
Mastery learning
Worked examples
Visual-perception programs
Peer tutoring
Cooperative vs competitive learning
Phonics instruction
Student-centered teaching
Classroom cohesion
Pre-term birth weight
Peer influences
Classroom management techniques
Outdoor-adventure programs
Can you guess the next two items on the rank order list?

“Home environment” and “socio-economic status.”

In other words, everything on the list has a greater effect on student achievement than the student’s background – despite the endless fatalism of so many teachers on this point (especially in the upper grades)."
grantwiggins  johnhattie  2012  teaching  education  self-assessment  credibility  feedback  howweteach  learning 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Yong Zhao Interview: Will the Common Core Create World-Class Learners? - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher
"This is getting silly. The world is not filled with heartless, cruel, cold individuals, and the world actually needs individuals who understand emotions and feelings. If they had read any recent studies about creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial talents or books related to multiple intelligences, they would understand the importance of emotional intelligence and the value of empathy."

"I have tackled this issue in my upcoming book World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students, to be released by Corwin Press in mid August. My basic suggestion is that excellence comes from the individual--individual students, individual teachers, individual schools, and individual communities. A true high expectation comes from the students themselves when are allowed autonomy and rewarded for genuine contribution to the society using their talents, passion, time, and efforts."
self-assessment  autonomy  teaching  empathy  well-being  children  learning  policy  standards  standardizedtesting  standardization  2012  education  yongzhao  commoncore 
may 2012 by robertogreco» Blog Archive » Cheating vs. Learning
"Teaching from a textbook is almost always crappy teaching, so the whole system is flawed. It seems to me that cheating is the almost inevitable consequence of test-giving and test-taking. It doesn’t have to be this way. The best method for assessing learning progress is self-assessment, with the input of someone passionate and knowledgeable about the subject. This would require a lot of trust in the student, but also more work on the part of the teacher — who would not really be a teacher at all, in the traditional sense, but a person in love with a certain topic, probably a practitioner of the subject in question, maybe retired, maybe active.

Here’s my idea of what an ideal school would be like, borrowed from David Albert’s book And the Skylark Sings with Me a book about a family’s experience in home and community based education. It’s how I’ve envisioned, but never articulated, my own perfect school. "
caterinafake  education  unschooling  deschooling  learning  schools  schooling  teasting  testtaking  textbooks  self-assessment  selfeducated  self-evaluation  davidalbert  andtheskylarksingswithme  lcproject  tcsnmy  apprenticeships  cheating 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Education Week: Expert Issues Warning on Formative-Assessment Uses
"While summative tests can provide valuable information for decisions about programs or curriculum, she said, the most valuable assessment for instruction is the continuous, deeply engaged feedback loop of formative assessment. Channeling money into building teachers’ skills in that technique is a better investment in student achievement, she said, than paying for more test design."

"Mastering formative assessment carries profound implications for changing teaching from a top-down process to a more collaborative one, said Caroline Wylie, a research scientist with the Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Service who also appeared on the panel.

“This is not a follow-the-pacing-guide sort of teaching,”…“I used to do a lot of explaining, but now I do a lot of questioning,” said the teacher. “I used to do a lot of talking, but now I do a lot of listening. I used to think about teaching the curriculum, but now I think about teaching the student.”"
formativeassessment  testing  standardizedtesting  socraticmethod  teacherascollaborator  peer-assessment  self-assessment  cv  tcsnmy  learning  pedagogy  commoncore  instruction  feedback  questioning  curriculum  student-centered 
november 2010 by robertogreco

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