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Marianne Hart

The Creativity Crisis - Newsweek - 48 views

  • there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect—each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling.
  • “Creativity can be taught,”
  • it’s left to the luck of the draw who becomes creative: there’s no concerted effort to nurture the creativity of all children
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      Students are labeled as "creative" if they display a knack for art or music, and sometimes in writing, however, they are rarely recognized as creative in math or science where a lot of creativity is not only needed, but excellent for learning within those very two disciplines.
    • Bill Genereux
       
      This is precisely why creativity education is important. It is needed everywhere, not just in the arts. Those teaching outside of arts education need to start recognizing the importance of creative thinking as well.
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  • When faculty of a major Chinese university asked Plucker to identify trends in American education, he described our focus on standardized curriculum, rote memorization, and nationalized testing. “After my answer was translated, they just started laughing out loud,” Plucker says. “They said, ‘You’re racing toward our old model. But we’re racing toward your model, as fast as we can.’ ”
  • The argument that we can’t teach creativity because kids already have too much to learn is a false trade-off. Creativity isn’t about freedom from concrete facts. Rather, fact-finding and deep research are vital stages in the creative process.
  • When you try to solve a problem, you begin by concentrating on obvious facts and familiar solutions, to see if the answer lies there. This is a mostly left-brain stage of attack. If the answer doesn’t come, the right and left hemispheres of the brain activate together. Neural networks on the right side scan remote memories that could be vaguely relevant. A wide range of distant information that is normally tuned out becomes available to the left hemisphere, which searches for unseen patterns, alternative meanings, and high-level abstractions. Having glimpsed such a connection, the left brain must quickly lock in on it before it escapes. The attention system must radically reverse gears, going from defocused attention to extremely focused attention. In a flash, the brain pulls together these disparate shreds of thought and binds them into a new single idea that enters consciousness. This is the “aha!” moment of insight, often followed by a spark of pleasure as the brain recognizes the novelty of what it’s come up with. Now the brain must evaluate the idea it just generated. Is it worth pursuing? Creativity requires constant shifting, blender pulses of both divergent thinking and convergent thinking, to combine new information with old and forgotten ideas. Highly creative people are very good at marshaling their brains into bilateral mode, and the more creative they are, the more they dual-activate.
  • those who diligently practice creative activities learn to recruit their brains’ creative networks quicker and better
    • Ed Webb
       
      Surely, "more quickly"?
  • Creativity has always been prized in American society, but it’s never really been understood. While our creativity scores decline unchecked, the current national strategy for creativity consists of little more than praying for a Greek muse to drop by our houses. The problems we face now, and in the future, simply demand that we do more than just hope for inspiration to strike. Fortunately, the science can help: we know the steps to lead that elusive muse right to our doors.
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      Likely because it was out of necessity and the hardships of life. Not that we don't have hardships and necessities, but innovation has solved a lot of problems and automation has made skills and tasks easy.
  • What’s common about successful programs is they alternate maximum divergent thinking with bouts of intense convergent thinking, through several stages. Real improvement doesn’t happen in a weekend workshop. But when applied to the everyday process of work or school, brain function improves.
    • Brian C. Smith
       
      Everyday process of work or school... over time, consistent and non-prescriptive.
  • kids demonstrated the very definition of creativity: alternating between divergent and convergent thinking, they arrived at original and useful ideas. And they’d unwittingly mastered Ohio’s required fifth-grade curriculum—from understanding sound waves to per-unit cost calculations to the art of persuasive writing. “You never see our kids saying, ‘I’ll never use this so I don’t need to learn it,’ ” says school administrator Maryann Wolowiec. “Instead, kids ask, ‘Do we have to leave school now?’ ” Two weeks ago, when the school received its results on the state’s achievement test, principal Traci Buckner was moved to tears. The raw scores indicate that, in its first year, the school has already become one of the top three schools in Akron, despite having open enrollment by lottery and 42 percent of its students living in poverty.
  • project-based learning
  • highly creative adults frequently grew up with hardship. Hardship by itself doesn’t lead to creativity, but it does force kids to become more flexible—and flexibility helps with creativity.
  • When creative children have a supportive teacher—someone tolerant of unconventional answers, occasional disruptions, or detours of curiosity—they tend to excel. When they don’t, they tend to underperform and drop out of high school or don’t finish college at high rates. They’re quitting because they’re discouraged and bored, not because they’re dark, depressed, anxious, or neurotic. It’s a myth that creative people have these traits. (Those traits actually shut down creativity; they make people less open to experience and less interested in novelty.) Rather, creative people, for the most part, exhibit active moods and positive affect. They’re not particularly happy—contentment is a kind of complacency creative people rarely have. But they’re engaged, motivated, and open to the world.
  • solutions emerge from a healthy marketplace of ideas, sustained by a populace constantly contributing original ideas and receptive to the ideas of others
  • The age-old belief that the arts have a special claim to creativity is unfounded.
  • When scholars gave creativity tasks to both engineering majors and music majors, their scores laid down on an identical spectrum, with the same high averages and standard deviations. Inside their brains, the same thing was happening—ideas were being generated and evaluated on the fly.
  • The lore of pop psychology is that creativity occurs on the right side of the brain. But we now know that if you tried to be creative using only the right side of your brain, it’d be like living with ideas perpetually at the tip of your tongue, just beyond reach
  • those who diligently practice creative activities learn to recruit their brains’ creative networks quicker and better. A lifetime of consistent habits gradually changes the neurological pattern.
  • The home-game version of this means no longer encouraging kids to spring straight ahead to the right answer
  • The new view is that creativity is part of normal brain function.
  • “As a child, I never had an identity as a ‘creative person,’ ” Schwarzrock recalls. “But now that I know, it helps explain a lot of what I felt and went through.”
  • In China there has been widespread education reform to extinguish the drill-and-kill teaching style. Instead, Chinese schools are also adopting a problem-based learning approach.
  • fact-finding
  • problem-finding
  • Next, idea-finding
  • there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect—each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling.
  •  
    For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong-and how we can fix it.
Bill Kuykendall

Digital Domain - Computers at Home - Educational Hope vs. Teenage Reality - NYTimes.com - 32 views

  • Economists are trying to measure a home computer’s educational impact on schoolchildren in low-income households.
  • little or no educational benefit is found. Worse, computers seem to have further separated children in low-income households, whose test scores often decline after the machine arrives, from their more privileged counterparts.
  • few children whose families obtained computers said they used the machines for homework. What they were used for — daily — was playing games.
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  • “Scaling the Digital Divide,” published last month, looks at the arrival of broadband service in North Carolina between 2000 and 2005 and its effect on middle school test scores during that period. Students posted significantly lower math test scores after the first broadband service provider showed up in their neighborhood, and significantly lower reading scores as well when the number of broadband providers passed four.
  • The expansion of broadband service was associated with a pronounced drop in test scores for black students in both reading and math, but no effect on the math scores and little on the reading scores of other students.
  • THE one area where the students from lower-income families in the immersion program closed the gap with higher-income students was the same one identified in the Romanian study: computer skills.
  • How disappointing to read in the Texas study that “there was no evidence linking technology immersion with student self-directed learning or their general satisfaction with schoolwork.”
Roland Gesthuizen

In Brooklyn, Hard-Working Teachers, Sabotaged When Student Test Scores Slip - NYTimes.com - 2 views

  • If city officials were trying to demoralize and humiliate the workforce, they’ve done a terrific job. News organizations get an assist for publishing the scores,
  •  
    A teacher's rating depends on how much progress her students make on state tests in a year's time, and is known as the value-added score. Ms. Allanbrook, the principal, has another name for what's going on. She calls the scores the "invalid value-addeds."
Roland Gesthuizen

New Study Shows Irrelevance of Gains on State Tests. UPDATE! « Diane Ravitch's blog - 40 views

  • When students are prepped and prepped and prepped to pass the state tests, they aren’t necessarily better educated, just prepared to take a specific test. Too much prepping distorts the value of the test.
  • aren’t
  •  
    "An important new study  by Professors Adam Maltese of Indiana University and Craig Hochbein of the University of Louisville sheds new light on the validity of state scores. This study found that rising scores on the state tests did not correlate with improved performance on the ACT. In fact, students at "declining" schools did just as well and sometimes better than students where the scores were going up."
Randolph Hollingsworth

National Center for Education Statistics, The Nation's Report Card: Writing 2011 - 2 views

  •  
    Asa Spencer of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute writes in the Education Gadfly Weekly: "Traditionalists cringe, tech buffs rejoice: This latest NAEP writing assessment for grades eight and twelve marks the first computer-based appraisal (by the "nation's report card") of student proficiency in this subject. It evaluates students' writing skills (what NAEP calls both academic and workplace writing) based on three criteria: idea development, organization, and language facility and conventions. Results were predictably bad: Just twenty-four percent of eighth graders and 27 percent of twelfth graders scored proficient or above. Boys performed particularly poorly; half as many eighth-grade males reached proficiency as their female counterparts. The use of computers adds a level of complexity to these analyses: The software allows those being tested to use a thesaurus (which 29 percent of eighth graders exploited), text-to-speech software (71 percent of eighth graders used), spell check (three-quarters of twelfth graders), and kindred functions. It is unclear whether use of these crutches affected a student's "language facility" scores, though it sure seems likely. While this new mechanism for assessing kids' writing prowess makes it impossible to track trend data, one can make (disheartening) comparisons across subjects. About a third of eighth graders hit the NAEP proficiency benchmark in the latest science, math, and reading assessments, compared to a quarter for writing. So where to go from here? The report also notes that twelfth-grade students who write four to five pages a week score ten points higher than those who write just one page a week. Encouraging students to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) is a start."
Glenn Hervieux

My View of the PISA Scores | Diane Ravitch's blog - 42 views

  •  
    "The news reports say that the test scores of American students on the latest PISA test are "stagnant," "lagging," "flat," etc. The U.S. Department of Education would have us believe-yet again-that we are in an unprecedented crisis and that we must double down on the test-and-punish strategies of the past dozen years. The myth persists that once our nation led the world on international tests, but we have fallen from that exalted position in recent years." BUT....is what we're being told really the whole story? This blog post will help you see that our nation's creativity and innovation has NOTHING to do with our place nationally & internationally with test scores. So...how should that influence our approach to education?
Lisa C. Hurst

Inside the School Silicon Valley Thinks Will Save Education | WIRED - 9 views

  •  
    "AUTHOR: ISSIE LAPOWSKY. ISSIE LAPOWSKY DATE OF PUBLICATION: 05.04.15. 05.04.15 TIME OF PUBLICATION: 7:00 AM. 7:00 AM INSIDE THE SCHOOL SILICON VALLEY THINKS WILL SAVE EDUCATION Click to Open Overlay Gallery Students in the youngest class at the Fort Mason AltSchool help their teacher, Jennifer Aguilar, compile a list of what they know and what they want to know about butterflies. CHRISTIE HEMM KLOK/WIRED SO YOU'RE A parent, thinking about sending your 7-year-old to this rogue startup of a school you heard about from your friend's neighbor's sister. It's prospective parent information day, and you make the trek to San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood. You walk up to the second floor of the school, file into a glass-walled conference room overlooking a classroom, and take a seat alongside dozens of other parents who, like you, feel that public schools-with their endless bubble-filled tests, 38-kid classrooms, and antiquated approach to learning-just aren't cutting it. At the same time, you're thinking: this school is kind of weird. On one side of the glass is a cheery little scene, with two teachers leading two different middle school lessons on opposite ends of the room. But on the other side is something altogether unusual: an airy and open office with vaulted ceilings, sunlight streaming onto low-slung couches, and rows of hoodie-wearing employees typing away on their computers while munching on free snacks from the kitchen. And while you can't quite be sure, you think that might be a robot on wheels roaming about. Then there's the guy who's standing at the front of the conference room, the school's founder. Dressed in the San Francisco standard issue t-shirt and jeans, he's unlike any school administrator you've ever met. But the more he talks about how this school uses technology to enhance and individualize education, the more you start to like what he has to say. And so, if you are truly fed up with the school stat
Steve Ransom

NCTE Position Statement on Machine Scoring - 9 views

  • Conclusions that computers can score as well as humans are the result of humans being trained to score like the computers (for example, being told not to make judgments on the accuracy of information). 
  • Computer scoring systems can be "gamed" because they are poor at working with human language, further weakening the validity of their assessments and separating students not on the basis of writing ability but on whether they know and can use machine-tricking strategies.
  •  
    Important and well written
Steve Ransom

The Klout Myth and Living Above The Influence | South Florida Filmmaker - 31 views

  • hat’s your Klout score with your spouse?
  • Blog Featured
  • “Stop spending so much time on the computer.” Translation? Start spending some more time with us.
  • ...4 more annotations...
  • “Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.”
  • hat’s your Klout score with your spouse?
  • What’s your Klout score with your kids?
  • What’s your Klout score in your community?
  •  
    Everyone should read this and reflect deeply. I have also ordered Sherry Turkle's new book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
Benjamin Light

The Costs of Overemphasizing Achievement - 83 views

  • First, students tend to lose interest in whatever they’re learning. As motivation to get good grades goes up, motivation to explore ideas tends to go down. Second, students try to avoid challenging tasks whenever possible. More difficult assignments, after all, would be seen as an impediment to getting a top grade. Finally, the quality of students’ thinking is less impressive. One study after another shows that creativity and even long-term recall of facts are adversely affected by the use of traditional grades.
    • Deb White Groebner
       
      SO true!
    • Terie Engelbrecht
       
      Very true; especially the "avoiding challenging tasks" part.
  • Unhappily, assessment is sometimes driven by entirely different objectives--for example, to motivate students (with grades used as carrots and sticks to coerce them into working harder) or to sort students (the point being not to help everyone learn but to figure out who is better than whom)
  • Standardized tests often have the additional disadvantages of being (a) produced and scored far away from the classroom, (b) multiple choice in design (so students can’t generate answers or explain their thinking), (c) timed (so speed matters more than thoughtfulness) and (d) administered on a one-shot, high-anxiety basis.
  • ...36 more annotations...
  • The test designers will probably toss out an item that most students manage to answer correctly.
  • the evidence suggests that five disturbing consequences are likely to accompany an obsession with standards and achievement:
  • 1. Students come to regard learning as a chore.
  • intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation tend to be inversely related: The more people are rewarded for doing something, the more they tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to get the reward.
  • 2. Students try to avoid challenging tasks.
  • they’re just being rational. They have adapted to an environment where results, not intellectual exploration, are what count. When school systems use traditional grading systems--or, worse, when they add honor rolls and other incentives to enhance the significance of grades--they are unwittingly discouraging students from stretching themselves to see what they’re capable of doing.
  • 3. Students tend to think less deeply.
  • 4. Students may fall apart when they fail.
  • 5. Students value ability more than effort
    • Deb White Groebner
       
      This is the reinforcement of a "fixed mindset" (vs. (growth mindset) as described by Carol Dweck.
  • They seem to be fine as long as they are succeeding, but as soon as they hit a bump they may regard themselves as failures and act as though they’re helpless to do anything about it.
  • When the point isn’t to figure things out but to prove how good you are, it’s often hard to cope with being less than good.
  • It may be the systemic demand for high achievement that led him to become debilitated when he failed, even if the failure is only relative.
  • But even when better forms of assessment are used, perceptive observers realize that a student’s score is less important than why she thinks she got that score.
  • just smart
  • luck:
  • tried hard
  • task difficulty
  • It bodes well for the future
  • the punch line: When students are led to focus on how well they are performing in school, they tend to explain their performance not by how hard they tried but by how smart they are.
  • In their study of academically advanced students, for example, the more that teachers emphasized getting good grades, avoiding mistakes and keeping up with everyone else, the more the students tended to attribute poor performance to factors they thought were outside their control, such as a lack of ability.
  • When students are made to think constantly about how well they are doing, they are apt to explain the outcome in terms of who they are rather than how hard they tried.
  • And if children are encouraged to think of themselves as "smart" when they succeed, doing poorly on a subsequent task will bring down their achievement even though it doesn’t have that effect on other kids.
  • The upshot of all this is that beliefs about intelligence and about the causes of one’s own success and failure matter a lot. They often make more of a difference than how confident students are or what they’re truly capable of doing or how they did on last week’s exam. If, like the cheerleaders for tougher standards, we look only at the bottom line, only at the test scores and grades, we’ll end up overlooking the ways that students make sense of those results.
  • the problem with tests is not limited to their content.
  • if too big a deal is made about how students did, thus leading them (and their teachers) to think less about learning and more about test outcomes.
  • As Martin Maehr and Carol Midgley at the University of Michigan have concluded, "An overemphasis on assessment can actually undermine the pursuit of excellence."
  • Only now and then does it make sense for the teacher to help them attend to how successful they’ve been and how they can improve. On those occasions, the assessment can and should be done without the use of traditional grades and standardized tests. But most of the time, students should be immersed in learning.
  • the findings of the Colorado experiment make perfect sense: The more teachers are thinking about test results and "raising the bar," the less well the students actually perform--to say nothing of how their enthusiasm for learning is apt to wane.
  • The underlying problem concerns a fundamental distinction that has been at the center of some work in educational psychology for a couple of decades now. It is the difference between focusing on how well you’re doing something and focusing on what you’re doing.
  • The two orientations aren’t mutually exclusive, of course, but in practice they feel different and lead to different behaviors.
  • But when we get carried away with results, we wind up, paradoxically, with results that are less than ideal.
  • Unfortunately, common sense is in short supply today because assessment has come to dominate the whole educational process. Worse, the purposes and design of the most common forms of assessment--both within classrooms and across schools--often lead to disastrous consequences.
  • grades, which by their very nature undermine learning. The proper occasion for outrage is not that too many students are getting A’s, but that too many students have been led to believe that getting A’s is the point of going to school.
  • research indicates that the use of traditional letter or number grades is reliably associated with three consequences.
  • Iowa and Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills,
    • Benjamin Light
       
      I wonder how the MAP test is set?
  •  
    The message of Daniel Pinks book "Drive" applies here. Paying someone more, i.e. good grades, does not make them better thinkers, problems solvers, or general more motivated in what they are doing. thanks for sharing.
  •  
    Excellent summary!
Randolph Hollingsworth

U.S. History 2010 - NAEP report card for grades 4, 8, 12 - 0 views

  •  
    Nationally representative samples of more than 7,000 4th graders, 11,000 8th graders, 12,000 12th graders participated in the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in U.S. History. Summary: Lowest performing 4th graders make greatest gain from 1994 + scores incr since 2006 for male as well as for Black and Hispanic 8th graders Avg scores for 8th & 12 graders increase from 1994 Less than 1/4 of students perform at or above Proficient level in 2010
Steve Ransom

Bloomberg Ties Test Scores to Teacher Tenure - NYTimes.com - 14 views

  •  
    NY teacher tenure to be tied to student test performance/scores
Roland Gesthuizen

Education in the Age of Globalization » Blog Archive » Doublethink: The Creativity-Testing Conflict - 1 views

  •  
    "test scores are not measures of entrepreneurship or creativity. Not even scores on the intensely watched and universally worshiped Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, are good indicators of a nation's capacity for entrepreneurship and creativity."
Mark Gleeson

Getting to know the child behind the test score - 1 views

  •  
    Standardised testing and the resultant scores are good indicators for potential learning difficulties or strengths. But they're no substitute for face to face interactions. And sometimes that one on one interaction needs an experienced hand to really pinpoint the need. I'm committed to working with Gloria as much as I can this year. If our chance meeting didn't occur, she could have spent the year only working with a teacher aide group with students with learning difficulties. We can't let the push for standardised testing, even at the diagnostic rather than school comparison level, blind us form the fact we need to get to know our students more intimately. We owe it to the Glorias in our classrooms.
Sydney Lacey

Times-Union Reporters On The Publication Of Individual State Teacher Scores | WJCT NEWS - 21 views

  •  
    Jacksonville newspaper The Florida Times-Union wins the battle with FLDOE over the release of state's teacher evaluation scores which use the value-added model (VAM) to determine teacher effectiveness. Link to an approx. 12 minute radio broadcast of a public radio show - First Coast Connect - on WJCT Stereo 90.
Martin Burrett

Internet use in class tied to lower test scores - 31 views

  •  
    "Warning: Surfing the internet in class is now linked to poorer test scores, even among the most intelligent and motivated of students. Michigan State University researchers studied laptop use in an introductory psychology course and found the average time spent browsing the web for non-class-related purposes was 37 minutes. Students spent the most time on social media, reading email, shopping for items such as clothes and watching videos."
Linda Lyster

What is your Privacy Score? - 52 views

  •  
    See what your facebook account looks like to non-friends and get your online privacy score. Great tool for teaching digital citizenship.
Brianna Crowley

Teachers Can Do Harm | transformED - 51 views

  • Teaching is a professional craft. Thinking that any high-scoring college student could come in and excel demeans it as a profession. No one would consider letting smart English majors perform surgery on low-income patients, or allowing cum laude math majors to do legal work for poor clients.
  • Stuffing under-prepared rookies’ ears with confidence and sending them into the fray doesn’t have a net neutral impact on our students or our national conversation on education.
  •  
    Teaching is a professional craft. Thinking that any high-scoring college student could come in and excel demeans it as a profession. No one would consider letting smart English majors perform surgery on low-income patients, or allowing cum laude math majors to do legal work for poor clients.
Kate Pok

In Which We Discover Stanines - 33 views

  • when we think of scoring a rubric, we intuitively think that each of the possible scores as being equally likely.  This is a subtle systemic bias that happens because each column in the rubric’s grid is the same width.  So what?  Well, we’ve just seen that it makes just as much sense for intervals to vary in size as it does for them all to be the same size.  In other words: you cannot interpret a rubric element’s scores unless you know what kind of distribution has been assumed by the author of the rubric!
  •  
    a poorly organized site with some VERY useful information about rubrics
Kate Pok

Converting Rubric Scores to Percentages and Grades - 110 views

  • There are a lot of posts on the internet about how to convert rubric scores to a percentage or to a letter grade. Most of them are wrong. The short answer for how to do this is: use your professional judgement when you make up the grading table that goes with the rubric.
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