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robertogreco : sylviamartinez   9

Moment(us) teaching — Medium
"At Constructing Modern Knowledge 2016, Carla Rinaldi, president of Reggio Children, gave an impassioned talk to the gathered educators about the lessons of the Reggio Emilia pre-school approach.

She spoke about love, beauty, and respect for children (of all ages) and their learning process. She showed some photos and videos of children learning together and how teachers have the opportunity to make small decisions in this process. To watch or intervene; to ask a question or remain quiet; to suggest an expansion of the complexity of the children’s investigation or to help them simplify their ideas.

What struck me is how quietly these moments happen. These momentous moments are the heart and art of teaching. Not only is this skill too often devalued and disrespected, but the time it takes to listen is dismissed as “wasted.”

Momentous is a word that is usually associated with BIG EVENTS, but the heart of the word is moment — a fleeting second of time where teachers make decisions that are not simple or fleeting.

Too often overlooked and underestimated, the moment occurs only when listening is valued, when respect exists between all the participants, and there is time to slow down and think hard about what to do in that moment."
carlarinaldi  reggioemilia  listening  love  beauty  respect  children  learning  howwelearn  2016  sylviamartinez  observation  intervention  decisionmaking 
july 2016 by robertogreco
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
Suspension is an adult choice with disastrous consequences « Generation YES Blog
"This study is staggering, and not just for its documentation of the “prison pipeline” that suspension policies create. Not even for the finding that when students are suspended or expelled, the likelihood that they will repeat a grade, not graduate, and/or become involved in the juvenile justice system increases significantly. Or even that African-American students and children with particular educational disabilities who qualify for special education were suspended and expelled at especially high rates.

All those sobering facts pale in comparison to the finding that as the Washington Post story says, “Here’s one myth of school debunked: Harsh discipline is not always a reflection of the students in a particular school. It can be driven by those in charge. In a study of nearly a million Texas children described as an unprecedented look at discipline, **researchers found that nearly identical schools suspended and expelled students at very different rates.**“"
prisonpipeline  suspension  discipline  texas  race  learningdisabilities  sylviamartinez  delinquency  2011  justice  juvenilejustice 
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Wrath Against Khan: Why Some Educators Are Questioning Khan Academy | Hack Education [Contains links to other critiques of Khan Academy]
[Necessary response to the Clive Thompson article: ]

"Khan Academy has stirred up a lot of passion—both positive & negative—in part because it’s at the center of so many major trends: the “gamification of everything”; the potential for widespread distribution of educational materials online; YouTube-created stars bypassing the sanctioning of older institutions (Rebecca Black, Justin Bieber, Salman Khan); an anti-teacher climate (Waiting for Superman, Wisconsin, etc); a reliance on standardized testing to gauge students’ learning; & various education reform movements.

Some of these reformers do see Khan Academy as “revolutionizing” education, while others, including lots of educators, contend that Khan Academy is actually far from that. As the title of Clive Thompson’s Wired article observes correctly: the rules of education are changing. But is Khan Academy the cause? Or the symptom?"

[via: ]
education  teaching  pedagogy  salkhan  khanacademy  billgates  gamification  learning  constructivism  clivethompson  reform  2011  garystager  sylviamartinez  audreywatters  salmankhan 
july 2011 by robertogreco
8 Big Ideas of the Constructionist Learning Lab « Generation YES Blog
"learning by doing…We all learn better when learning is part of doing something we find really interesting…

technology as building material…If you can use technology to make things you can make a lot more interesting things…

hard fun…We learn best & work best if we enjoy what we are doing…doesn’t mean “easy”…

learning to learn…Many students get the idea that “the only way to learn is by being taught.” This is what makes them fail in school & life…

taking time…students at school get used to being told every 5 minutes or every hour: do this, then do that…If someone isn’t telling them what to do they get bored. Life is not like that. To do anything important you have to learn to manage time for yourself…

you can’t get it right without getting it wrong…To succeed you need the freedom to goof on the way…

do unto ourselves what we do unto our students…

we are entering a digital world…where knowing about digital technology is as important as reading and writing…"
education  learning  technology  teaching  curriculum  tcsnmy  sylviamartinez  garystager  seymourpapert  constructionism  1999  howwework  howwelearn  cv  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  learningbydoing  projects  projectbasedlearning  openstudio  time  persistence  interestdriven  failure  timemanagement  freedom  modeling  schools  digital  making  constructing  pbl 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Khan Academy and the mythical math cure « Generation YES Blog
"There is no doubt that Khan Academy fills a perceived need that something needs to be fixed about math instruction. But at some point, when you talk about learning math, you have to define your terms. If you are a strict instructionist – you are going to love Khan Academy. If you are a constructivist, you are going to find fault with a solution that is all about instruction. So any discussion of Khan Academy in the classroom has to start with the question, how do YOU believe people learn?

I have more to say about Khan Academy and math education in the US — this post turned into 4 parts!

Part 1 – Khan Academy and the mythical math cure (this post)
Part 2 – Khan Academy – algorithms and autonomy
Part 3 – Don’t we need balance? and other questions
Part 4 – Monday… Someday"
math  learning  khanacademy  education  constructivism  instruction  memorization  algorithms  schools  teaching  sylviamartinez  2011  instructionism  mathematics  tcsnmy 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Tinkering and the grades question « Generation YES Blog
"Because often when we talk about doing something different in schools, we hear, “but how will that fit into the current classroom?” And that means everything from 42 minute periods to test prep to grades. But tinkering is one of those things that doesn’t fit in neatly. It takes time, doesn’t result in neat projects that work with canned rubrics, and might not have any impact on test scores. But should that matter? Can’t we help kids at least a little by making things more like tinkering and less contrived and pre-planned? ...Maybe we are asking the wrong questions. Maybe implementing “some tinkering” where kids are eventually graded, no matter how authentically, is a contradiction. Maybe even counterproductive if it confuses kids. Is it even worth doing?"
education  research  tinkering  grading  grades  assessment  alfiekohn  sylviamartinez  learning  schools  tcsnmy  innovation  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject 
february 2010 by robertogreco
running to stand still « Higher Edison
"Sylvia’s session was built around the notion of bricolage—playful experimentation, conversation with materials at hand, hands-on improv, fondness for the found, passion, tinkering with intent, what-have-you with what-you-have—as an alternate lens on knowledge construction. It’s remix culture in full flower, and it stands in direct counterpoint to traditional analytical problem-solving. Given generous amounts of space, time, at-hand materials, and low or no evaluation pressure, learners will figure things out and make meaning.

Is “curriculum” a restrictive construct that inhibits natural passion-based learning, a lockstep model demanding rigid adherence?

Or do the constructed boundaries of a curriculum serve as a guide-path for learning, a constraint [2] that, by focusing attention, sparks a creative response?

In other words, does curriculum keep us on track, or keep us from the constructive, creative process of getting lost?"
sylviamartinez  curriculum  learning  constructivism  shellyblake-pock  education  unschooling  deschooling  leaning  tcsnmy  tinkering  iteration  curiosity  play  experimentation  make  do  passion  knowledge  remixculture  remix  culture  improvisation  remixing 
february 2010 by robertogreco

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