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John Evans

How to Teach STEM Without Being an Engineer - Getting Smart - 3 views

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    "Does STEM scare you? I know it scared me. When I was a kid, I watched my brother take apart an entire computer and put it back together without a manual or guide. Me, I could barely change a lightbulb. And no matter how hard I tried, I always seemed to put IKEA furniture together backward. You should see my bookcase. Very embarrassing. It was with this same trepidation and insecurity that I approached STEM. What could I teach kids? I'm not an engineer! I'm not a scientist! I'm not a mathematician! It wasn't until I reluctantly volunteered to help out with a robotics after school program that I started gaining confidence. I put together my first robot (with a lot of help, TLC from the co-instructor, and even guidance from some eight-year-old kids) and its been downhill from there. I soon realized that leading successful STEM experiences has less to do with your actual knowledge as an instructor (though it helps), and more to do with the MINDSET you take with kids. Here are the five MAKER mindsets and how YOU can develop them starting tomorrow."
Nigel Coutts

Why we fear data and how our perception can change. - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Data occupies a somewhat curious place within education. Mention it to teachers and you tend to get one of two responses. One group will roll their eyes and with great sarcasm how data is "so exciting". The other group responds with something akin to "actually I quite like data" indicating that experience has shown them that they are members of a small group. The question is why do some people find data to be a useful and fascinating tool while others see it as a good method for inducing sleep? 
John Evans

The Seven Habits of Highly Affective Teachers - Educational Leadership - 2 views

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    "Anxious, overconfident, curious, indifferent, angry, amused, lonely, hopeful, embarrassed, empowered, afraid, excited, diminished-teachers have seen all these emotions emerge from students as they engage with classroom content. Emotional responses to lessons often go through students' minds before they even begin to think about the material: This stuff is stupid/awesome/beyond me. I'm not comfortable with this. Finally, something I'm good at. Maybe somebody will notice I can't read. Let's see her find a mistake in that one-it's perfect. Does the teacher know I didn't study this last night? Some of us deny this reality and claim we aren't trained to guide children's emotional health. We think our purpose is to teach content and skills only, not to deal with the touchy-feely stuff. This attitude turns a blind eye to the developmental nature of the students we serve, and it runs afoul of how minds learn. Unless we're the most severe of sociopaths, we all have emotional responses that affect what we do. Adding to the messiness, our individual perspectives and experiences may put us out of sync with others' emotional states, even as the institutional nature of schools demands emotional synchronicity. The resulting miscommunication, blame, anxiety, and frustration are not the best ingredients for a good day at school. Teachers who deny the emotional elements of teaching and learning can become exhausted from ceaseless confrontations with students' emotional states, often blaming their personal stress and students' failure to learn on students' lack of motivation or maturity. They grow disconnected from students, creating an almost adversarial relationship with them: I need to get them to shape up. It's them or me. These students are hopeless; why should I bother? It's the parents who created this situation. This attitude can bleed into daily interactions with students and colleagues. It doesn't have to be this way. We can develop constructive responses to our own
John Evans

Edutopia | Resources for Teaching Growth Mindset - 1 views

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    "Find information about growth mindset, discover how learning mindsets can affect student performance, and explore strategies that support student confidence."
Nigel Coutts

Towards a pedagogy for life-worthy learning - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    In the contemporary classroom, there is much greater consideration of what the learner does in partnership with their teacher so that they develop the capacity to learn. Classroom routines and structures are designed to engage the learner in a rich process of dialogical learning. 
Nigel Coutts

How might we confront the challenges of time and "the system"? - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    Two forces seem to present the most significant obstacle to educators hoping to achieve these illustrious goals for and with their learners. The first is time, the second is "the system". Together these two factors act as a bulwark to change; the constraints within which progress is able to occur but only to the point that it strikes against the seemingly immutable obstacles. 
Nigel Coutts

The messages we send about learning - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    We send our students many messages about learning, growth, ability, potential. . . Sometimes we are sending these messages deliberately, such as when we talk about growth mindset and the rewards of effort, persistence and risk taking. At other times the messages we send are accidental, incidental and unplanned; these are often the strongest messages we send. 
Nigel Coutts

The power of powerful ideas shared simply - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    Some statements stand out in your memory for the power with which they resonate through you mind. I recall the first time I encountered the question posed by Alan November "Who owns the learning?" on the cover of his book of the same name. In four words, Alan poses a question that strikes at the heart of education and encourages us to re-think our approach. If we believe that the learner should own the learning, what are the implications of this for our teaching? Like a stone dropped on the surface of a calm pond, the ripples from a powerful idea spread, expand and gain strength. 
Nigel Coutts

Enhancing the power of our reflective practice - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    "We do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience." ― John Dewey These words by John Dewey point to a truth about learning that is often forgotten. Experience alone is not sufficient for true learning to occur; reflection is an essential part of the process and our failure to include time for this is why our learning often does not stick.
John Evans

Data Doesn't Have to be a Dirty Word - Work in Progress - Education Week Teacher - 0 views

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    "It's all about perspective.  Too often when we hear the word "data" we assume that the person speaking is talking solely about summative test results and the plethora of possibilities for learning we can take away from those numbers.  But this is NOT the only kind of data that exists, it is just the kind that gets the brunt of our ire and frustration as it is a solitary indicator of teaching and learning. And that's what I struggle with. Test data is one single area for determining what kids know and can do and there are often many challenges with these standardized tests that skew the data on top of that. However, most classroom teachers and leaders are gathering data like masterful musicians in their classrooms every day and just don't realize that is what they are doing."
John Evans

The STEM Zombie Apocalypse | Edutopia - 0 views

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    "So many adults, including teachers, joke about not being able to do simple math or not being a "science person" that many students enter STEM classrooms with negative views. This creates a fixed mindset as students believe they need certain natural abilities to be successful in math and science. As educators, we need to create opportunities for students to overcome these deeply planted negative views. Using images or ideas from popular culture gives students an entry point to explore science-they're already experts, and they can use the confidence they have in that area to become more open to learning and experiencing how math and science are rooted in creativity and imagination."
Nigel Coutts

Schools are made of People - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    Schools are made of people. Schools are all about people. Schools are made from the connections between people. Schools exist to serve people and make the lives of all people better.
Nigel Coutts

The challenge and promise of learning organisations - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    There is a great deal that I like about this description of humanity at its best from Ryan & Deci. It is both a goal to be achieved and an indicator of conditions which are required for us to fulfil our potential. While the focus of this statement is on the actions of the individual we can see how society might act to deny individuals the opportunities to lead such an inspired and agentic life. I like to imagine what a school might be like if every individual who plays a part in its functioning strove to extend themselves, master new skills and apply their talents responsibly.  Maybe schools would be like the 'learning organisations' described by Peter Senge. 
Nigel Coutts

How might we develop self-regulated learners? - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    A common question is how do we facilitate the development of independent, self-regulating learners. With an increased focus on the development of dispositional models for learning where the skills and mindset of the learner are crucial, how do we ensure that our learners move from requiring external regulation to a model of internal regulation?  
John Evans

How do we teach students to identify fake news? | EdCan Network - 4 views

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    "In a "post-truth" era where people are increasingly influenced by their emotions and beliefs over factual information, fact and fiction can be difficult to distinguish, and fake news can spread rapidly through mainstream media sources and social networks. Moreover, fake news is often meant to do harm, by tricking us into believing a lie or unfairly discrediting a person or political movement. Given this malicious intent, students must learn to approach news and information with a critical eye in order to identify intentionally misleading sources (although recent studies confirm that this is an uphill battle for both adults and young people). Teachers therefore play a crucial role in ensuring that their students develop the skills to decipher the many streams of information available to them."
Nigel Coutts

The Trouble with Change Management in Schools - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Taken simplistically there could be a feeling that due to the complexity of large systems change becomes an uncontrollable beast with a mind of its own. 
Nigel Coutts

Confronting the fear and challenge of a new curriculum - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    Our learners will never now a world where Digital Technologies are not the norm. Using solutions developed within this space and with this mindset is already their normal. Unless they are to be slaves to this technology we must also empower them to be creators of digital solutions. To do this we must begin with recognising the challenges that a curriculum built around mastery of Digital Technologies brings to our teachers and seek to understand the supports they require.
Nigel Coutts

Debating false dichotomies: a new front in the education wars - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    Sometimes, it seems everyone who ever went to school is an expert on education and has a plan to make it better. Actual teaching experience, years of professional learning and formal training are all easily swept aside. The result is an ongoing dialog around what schools should do, what teachers need to do more of or less of and how the academic success of the nation is linked to strategy x or y.
Nigel Coutts

Bringing Computational Thinking into the Primary Classroom - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    Primary teachers in New South Wales (NSW) are this year and next integrating a new Science & Technology Curriculum. It brings with it a number of challenges and opportunities and while it has much in common with the existing curriculum, it will require some significant changes.
Nigel Coutts

The learner's role in their search for learning - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Rather than expecting to be immersed in learning that shines a light on the path forward the notion of searching for driftwood that suits the learner's needs is very empowering. It requires an imagining of learning as a very active process where the learner is aware of their context, their current understanding and what they might need to move forward. It demands a conscious practice of reflection and a disposition towards taking charge of one's learning. It is a very agentic view where learning is something that you do, not something that happens to you. 
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