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Bo Adams

The Most Famous Nursery Schools in the World - And What They Can Teach Us - 0 views

  • “We have not correctly legitimized a culture of childhood,” says Lella Gandini, a longtime Reggio teacher, “and the consequences are seen in all our social, economic, and political choices and investments.”
  • To counter this, Reggio’s schools are relentlessly child-centered — not to achieve notable results in literacy and numeracy, but to achieve notable qualities of identity formation and to ensure that all children know how to belong to a community.
  • The teachers follow the children, not plans.”
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  • teachers (and there are two in every classroom) are not there to deliver content, but to activate the meaning-making competencies of all children.
  • Context, in other words, matters more than content. And the physical environment, after adults and peers, is the third teacher.
  • what I witnessed was a level of listening, attention, and care that came from an unwavering belief that all children, even the newest among us, are social beings, predisposed, and possessing from birth a readiness to make significant ties with others, to communicate, and to find one’s place in the world of others.
  • Either a school is capable of continually transforming itself in response to children, or the school becomes something that goes around and around, remaining in the same spot.”
Bo Adams

Designing for Learning - Modern Learners - 1 views

  • If we were really intent on improving learning inside the school walls, we would pay a lot more attention to how learning happens outside the school walls in the natural world and then build our practice based on that.
  • What do you want our children to be?” It is that question that needs to define everything about what a school is.
Bo Adams

What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team - The New York Times - 1 views

  • many of today’s most valuable firms have come to realize that analyzing and improving individual workers ­— a practice known as ‘‘employee performance optimization’’ — isn’t enough. As commerce becomes increasingly global and complex, the bulk of modern work is more and more team-based.
  • teams are now the fundamental unit of organization.
  • influence not only how people work but also how they work together.
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  • Google’s People Operations department
  • there was nothing showing that a mix of specific personality types or skills or backgrounds made any difference. The ‘who’ part of the equation didn’t seem to matter.’’
  • At Google, we’re good at finding patterns,’’
  • As they struggled to figure out what made a team successful, Rozovsky and her colleagues kept coming across research by psychologists and sociologists that focused on what are known as ‘‘group norms.’’
  • Norms are the traditions, behavioral standards and unwritten rules that govern how we function when we gather
  • Norms can be unspoken or openly acknowledged, but their influence is often profound.
  • looked for instances when team members described a particular behavior as an ‘‘unwritten rule’’ or when they explained certain things as part of the ‘‘team’s culture.’’
  • After looking at over a hundred groups for more than a year, Project Aristotle researchers concluded that understanding and influencing group norms were the keys to improving Google’s teams.
  • The researchers eventually concluded that what distinguished the ‘‘good’’ teams from the dysfunctional groups was how teammates treated one another. The right norms, in other words, could raise a group’s collective intelligence, whereas the wrong norms could hobble a team, even if, individually, all the members were exceptionally bright.
  • As the researchers studied the groups, however, they noticed two behaviors that all the good teams generally shared. First, on the good teams, members spoke in roughly the same proportion, a phenomenon the researchers referred to as ‘‘equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking.’’
  • Second, the good teams all had high ‘‘average social sensitivity’’ — a fancy way of saying they were skilled at intuiting how others felt based on their tone of voice, their expressions and other nonverbal cues.
  • psychological safety — a group culture that the Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson defines as a ‘‘shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.’’
  • Psychological safety is ‘‘a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up,’’
  • ‘‘It describes a team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves.’’
  • Rozovsky’s study group at Yale was draining because the norms — the fights over leadership, the tendency to critique — put her on guard. Whereas the norms of her case-competition team — enthusiasm for one another’s ideas, joking around and having fun — allowed everyone to feel relaxed and energized.
  • other behaviors that seemed important as well — like making sure teams had clear goals and creating a culture of dependability.
  • it made sense that psychological safety and emotional conversations were related.
  • The behaviors that create psychological safety — conversational turn-taking and empathy — are part of the same unwritten rules we often turn to, as individuals, when we need to establish a bond.
  • If I can’t be open and honest at work, then I’m not really living, am I?’’
  • to be fully present at work, to feel ‘‘psychologically safe,’’ we must know that we can be free enough, sometimes, to share the things that scare us without fear of recriminations. We must be able to talk about what is messy or sad, to have hard conversations with colleagues who are driving us crazy. We can’t be focused just on efficiency.
  • By adopting the data-driven approach of Silicon Valley, Project Aristotle has encouraged emotional conversations and discussions of norms among people who might otherwise be uncomfortable talking about how they feel.
  • In the best teams, members listen to one another and show sensitivity to feelings and needs.
  • ‘Just having data that proves to people that these things are worth paying attention to sometimes is the most important step in getting them to actually pay attention,’’ Rozovsky told me. ‘‘Don’t underestimate the power of giving people a common platform and operating language.’’
Bo Adams

Three-Lessons-from-Grant-Wiggins-1-2.pdf - 1 views

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    Fabulous article that all us educators should re-read regularly. HT @NicoleNMartin
Bo Adams

How Good Is Good Enough? - Educational Leadership - 0 views

  • Mastery is effective transfer of learning in authentic and worthy performance. Students have mastered a subject when they are fluent, even creative, in using their knowledge, skills, and understanding in key performance challenges and contexts at the heart of that subject, as measured against valid and high standards
  • Wooden described his overall method like this: "I tried to teach according to the whole–part method. I would show them the whole thing to begin with. Then I'm going to break it down into the parts and work on the individual parts and then eventually bring them together"
  • The constant process of bringing the parts back together in complex performance is what's routinely missing from many so-called mastery learning programs.
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  • Regardless of what particular solution we come up with for linking local grades to wider-world standards, this must be our motto: No surprises; complete transparency as to where the student stands in terms of performance.
  • This is the crux of the matter: how to set school-level standards (and give grades, scores, or judgments in relation to them) in terms of valid external standards. If local tests are less rigorous than state and national tests, and if teachers' scoring and grading of student work reflect only local norms and not wider-world standards, then the school is not standards-based.
Bo Adams

Design Thinking & PBL: Why Laura McBain is BIE's 2018 PBL Champion | Blog | Project Bas... - 0 views

  • defines design thinking as “a process for creative problem solving” with a “human-centered approach to innovation.”
Bo Adams

Elmo, We Need to Talk - Education Reimagined - Education Reimagined - 0 views

  • We can and should do more to make school more reflective of home values and more representative of a greater society in which identity and personal agency matter.
Bo Adams

The 10 Biggest Breakthroughs in the Science of Learning | Brainscape Blog - 3 views

  • The brain is equipped to tackle a pretty hefty load of information and sensory input, but there is a point at which the brain becomes overwhelmed, an effect scientists call cognitive overload. While our brains do appreciate new and novel information (as we’ll discuss later), when there is too much of it we become overwhelmed. Our minds simply can’t divide our attention between all the different elements.
  • the brain’s wiring can change at any age and it can grow new neurons and adapt to new situations — though the rate at which this happens does slow with age. This phenomenon is called neuroplasticity, and it has had major ramifications in our understanding of how the brain works and how we can use that understanding to improve learning outcomes.
  • The ability to learn, retain, and use information isn’t just based on our raw IQ. Over the past few decades it has become increasingly clear that how we feel — our overall emotional state — can have a major impact on how well we can learn new things.
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  • Research is revealing why, as the emotional part of the brain, the limbic system has the ability to open up or shut off access to learning and memory. When under stress or anxiety, the brain blocks access to higher processing and stops forming new connections, making it difficult or impossible to learn.
  • research shows that failure is essential.
  • Information in the brain that isn’t used is often lost, as neural pathways weaken over time.
  • Researchers have found that novelty causes the dopamine system in the brain to become activated, sending the chemical throughout the brain.
  • Neuroscience research suggests that the best way to learn something new isn’t to focus on mistakes, but instead to concentrate on how to do a task correctly. Focusing on the error only reinforces the existing incorrect neural pathway, and will increase the chance that the mistake will be made again. A new pathway has to be built, which means abandoning the old one and letting go of that mistake.
  • cater to the emotional and social needs of students and improves their ability to learn, is more important than styles
  • Students may have preferences for how they learn, but when put to the test, students were found to have equivalent levels of learning regardless of how information is presented.
  • students who don’t get intellectual stimulation over the summer are much more likely to forget important skills in reading and math when they return to class.
  • Peer collaboration offers students access to a diverse array of experiences and requires the use of nearly all the body’s senses, which in turn creates greater activation throughout the brain and enhances long-term memory. Group work, especially when it capitalizes on the strengths of its members, may be more beneficial than many realize.
  • Aside from being able to see and hear patterns, the human mind has a number of innate abilities (the ability to learn a language, for instance) that when capitalized on in the right way, can help make learning any concept, even one that is abstract, much easier. Combining these innate abilities with structured practice, repetition, and training can help make new ideas and concepts “stick” and make more sense.
  • Learning can change brain structure.
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    HT @MeghanCureton
Bo Adams

Everyone a Changemaker - The New York Times - 0 views

  • The central challenge of our time, Drayton says, is to make everyone a changemaker.
  • Once a kid has had an idea, built a team and changed her world, she’s a changemaker. She has the power. She’ll go on to organize more teams. She will always be needed.
  • Today, schools have to develop the curriculums and assessments to make the changemaking mentality universal.
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  • Social transformation flows from personal transformation.
  • Drayton wants to make universal a quality many people don’t even see: agency.
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    "Today, schools have to develop the curriculums and assessments to make the changemaking mentality universal. They have to understand this is their criteria for success."
Bo Adams

The Monthly Recharge - Risk Over Safety - 0 views

  • The learning classroom is active, collaborative, and full of real, thoughtful, academic-discipline-informed discussion with students working together to solve challenging problems
  • But when the teachers see it, really get it, there is no going back. It is what they are after for their students and classes: problem-based, project-based, inquiry-based, discussion-based-all student-centered deep learning.
  • And to pursue learning for their students, teachers must be pedagogical scientists. Every day, in every class, teachers must conduct research and experiments into the most compelling learning experiences for their students. In these experiments is unavoidably innovation.
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  • We can support teacherly innovation/experimentation a host of ways: Establish it as an expectation in posts for jobs and at the time of hiring new teachers. Discuss it in teacher evaluations and self-assessments. Feature examples of it in faculty meetings. Provide innovation grants for summer design work. Give time to teachers (through course loads, class enrollments, course reductions, and even sabbaticals) for innovation work.
Bo Adams

Creating an innovation culture | McKinsey & Company - 1 views

  • we’re also seeing a renaissance of something decidedly traditional: the corporate R&D department.
  • We all need mechanisms and a culture that encourage the embrace of new technologies, kindle the passion for knowledge, and ease barriers to creativity and serendipitous advances
  • Scientists should stick to two projects—having only one can be boring; having three can overextend you.
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  • Conventional wisdom holds that organizations die of starvation from a shortage of good ideas and projects. In reality, they are much more likely to die of indigestion. A surfeit of projects with inadequate staffing makes delivering on anything less likely.
  • R&D leaders need to hire people who are willing to join multiple projects and to move from one to another as needed. Call them ambidextrous; call them system thinkers. These are people who want to solve problems that matter and that take them from invention to final product
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    HT Christian Talbot
Meghan Cureton

5 Mindsets to Bring Positive Change Across Society - 1 views

  • Stimulating positive change at civilization level also requires certain mindsets and ways of thinking.
  • Here are five mindsets that will allow us to leave a positive mark on humanity. Curiosity and Critical Thinking
  • It is by channeling a child-like sense of awe about the world that we can truly imagine something even better. That can be coupled with questioning how we do things in today’s world instead of accepting them as they are.
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  • Asking questions—and asking good ones—is the foundation of critical thinking.
  • It takes powerful curiosity, critical thinking, and imagination to envision radical alternatives to how we do things in today’s world and then be inspired to execute them.
  • Intelligent Optimism
  • being optimistic about the future based on reason and evidence.
  • How can our youth grow up believing they can have a positive impact on the world if the news is suggesting otherwise?
  • Risk-taking
  • being a strategic risk-taker is a valuable lifelong skill of its own.
  • embracing uncertainty, stepping out of one’s comfort zone, and doing something that fulfills your life or company’s grand mission
  • embracing failure and re-defining failed attempts as temporary setbacks
  • Moonshot Thinking
  • Moonshot thinking allows for radical, daring, and disruptive ideas as opposed to incremental improvements
  • Cosmic Perspective
  • Having a cosmic perspective shifts the ambitions and priorities we set for ourselves to those that matter from a grand perspective. As a species, we become more purpose-driven.
  • It’s all about having a positive impact on the world
  • It’s not just about creating a product or generating profits, but also about solving a problem and having a positive impact on human lives.
  • It’s about asking the right questions, being intelligently optimistic about the future, taking a risk with a moonshot, and maintaining a cosmic perspective.
Bo Adams

Equipping Young Leaders to Take on the 32 Most Important Issues of Our Time - Vander Ar... - 0 views

  • If we take citizenship preparation seriously, we should be encouraging young people to engage with the world’s most important issues by helping them frame projects around these goals. Here are six reasons:
  • Extended and integrated challenges are the best way to promote deeper learning and develop readiness for the automation economy. The goals include interesting and timely causes that many young people will find motivating. Making a contribution toward a goal they care about may be the best way to develop student agency. Goal focused projects get kids into the community and connected with local resources (see #PlaceBasedEd) It’s also a chance to shift the paradigm from “prepare for a career 10 years from now” to “make a difference right here, right now.” Taking on real challenges will promote creative and effective uses of technology from collaboration to production.
  • Integrate projects into existing courses. The Global Goals site has useful project resources for 16 of these goals. Plan an integrated unit between two courses. Most of the goals combine science, sociology, research, problem-solving and writing. Capstone projects in the last two years of high school are a good place to start. Each academy at Reynoldsburg High School in Ohio and Chavez Schools in Washington, D.C., engage in a capstone project. Students at Singapore American School are required to conduct a capstone project.
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  • To engage millions of students in local projects connected to global goals, it would be helpful to have: More content associated with each goal (GlobalGoals.org is a start); Templates for local projects; A microcredential system that could help pack projects full of valuable learning (i.e, science, math, communication and collaboration); Access to data sources, data tools and project tools (mentors would be really helpful); and A project gallery for completed contributions.
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