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Jim Tiffin Jr

Maker Empowerment Revisited | Agency by Design - 2 views

  • The big idea behind the concept of maker empowerment is to describe a kind of disposition—a way of being in the world—that is characterized by seeing the designed world as malleable, and understanding oneself as a person of resourcefulness who can muster the wherewithal to change things through making.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Two huge ideas here: 1) Recognizing the world as malleable 2) Ability of the person(s) to change that world - aka agency.
  • The concept of maker empowerment is meant to be somewhat broader than the label of maker. It certainly includes maker-types—i.e., hackers, DIYers, and hobbyists—but it also includes people who may not define themselves as wholly as makers, yet take the initiative to engage in maker activities from time to time.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Maker empowerment is different from being labeled as a maker. Traditional makers are included in maker empowerment, but it is meant to also include the people that take the initiative to participate in maker activities from time to time.
  • We teach art, or history, or auto mechanics not solely to train practitioners of these crafts, but to help all students develop the capacity to engage with world through the lenses of these disciplines—even if not all students will become artists or historians or auto mechanics. The concept of maker empowerment aims for this same breadth.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Hugely big key idea right here!
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  • Maker Empowerment (v2): A sensitivity to the designed dimension of objects and systems, along with the inclination and capacity to shape one’s world through building, tinkering, re/designing, or hacking.
  • one of the main purposes of the Agency by Design project, which is to understand how maker activities can develop students’ sense of agency or self-efficacy.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      A good reminder.
  • maker empowerment is a dispositional concept. That is, rather than simply naming a set of technical skills, it aims to describe a mindset, along with a habitual way of engaging with the world.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Another hugely big idea right here!
  • the research I’ve just described wasn’t conducted with the disposition toward maker empowerment in mind. So we don’t know if the findings about sensitivity transfer.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      FYI...
  • People we label as open-minded tend to have a distinctive and dependable mindset that flavors their engagement with the world:
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      What follows is a good example of how dispositions "flavor" the way people interact with their world.
  • Through a series of rather elaborate experiments, we were able to show that the contribution of these three elements—ability, inclination, sensitivity—could indeed be individually distinguished in patterns of thinking and that a shortfall in any of the three elements would block cognitive performance.
  • It turns out that the biggest bottleneck in behavior—in other words, the shortfall that most frequently prevents inclination, ability, and sensitivity from coalescing into sustained cognitive activity—is a shortfall of sensitivity. In other words, at least in terms of critical and creative thinking, young people don’t follow through with these habits of mind not because they can’t (ability), and not because they don’t want to (inclination), but mainly because they don’t notice opportunities to do so.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      THIS MIGHT BE THE BIGGEST KEY POINT IN THE ENTIRE POST!!!!
  • This doesn’t mean that young people’s inner detection mechanisms are woefully flawed. Rather, sensitivity has everything to do with the saliency of cues in the environment. If an environment doesn’t have strong cues toward certain patterns of behavior—or actually contains counter-cues—it can be pretty hard for those patterns of behavior to be cued up.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      THEY JUST KEEP COMING!!! :-)
  • the maker movement can empower people to shift from being passive consumers of their world to being active producers or collaborators.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Again referring to a personal sense of agency.
  • As the maker movement continues to infiltrate mainstream education, a dispositional analysis of maker empowerment might serve as a similarly useful tool.
  •  
    "The big idea behind the concept of maker empowerment is to describe a kind of disposition-a way of being in the world-that is characterized by seeing the designed world as malleable, and understanding oneself as a person of resourcefulness who can muster the wherewithal to change things through making."
Jim Tiffin Jr

7 Questions to End Your Week With | Hack Life - 1 views

  •  
    A simple and rich collection of prompts intended to facilitate regular and purposeful reflection. This blog post explains the questions themselves, and the intention behind them. Each question, or step, can be summarize as follows: 1) Observe 2) Reflect 3) Focus 4) Be Productive 5) Have Courage 6) Cleanse 7) Begin Anew HT to @boadams1 for sharing this with me as part of an experiment with MVPS leaders to encourage shared reflection practices.
Jim Tiffin Jr

Let 'Em Out! The Many Benefits of Outdoor Play In Kindergarten | MindShift | KQED News - 0 views

  • With no explicit math or literacy taught until first grade, the Swiss have no set goals for kindergartners beyond a few measurements, like using scissors and writing one’s own name. They instead have chosen to focus on the social interaction and emotional well-being found in free play.
  • With many parents and educators overwhelmed by the amount of academics required for kindergartners — and the testing requirements at that age  — it’s no surprise that the forest kindergarten, and the passion for bringing more free play to young children during the school day, is catching on stateside.
  • “So much of what is going on and the kind of play they do, symbolic play, is really pre-reading,” Molomot said. “It’s a very important foundation for reading.
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  • Donnery notices that the gross motor skills of many of her kindergartners are underdeveloped, noting that usually means that fine motor skills are also lacking. “Developing those gross motor skills is just critical, can impact so much of later learning,” she said.
  • Scenes of rosy-faced children building forts in the snow are presented in sharp contrast to the academic (and mostly indoor) kindergarten in New Haven, Connecticut, where a normal day is packed full of orderly activities: morning meeting, readers’ workshop, writers’ workshop, a special activity (like art, gym, and music), lunch and recess, storytime, “choice” (a fancy word for play), math centers, then closing meeting.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      I would like to see this movie.
  • You’d be surprised at the importance of play.
  • lacking in the attention needed to learn, with more than 10 percent of the school population diagnosed with some kind of attention disorder.
  • occupational therapist Angela Hanscom opined in the Washington Post that there’s good reason our kids are so fidgety: more and more students come to class without having enough core strength and balance to hold their bodies still long enough to learn.
  • “In order for children to learn, they need to be able to pay attention. In order to pay attention, we need to let them move.”
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      But this has to be more than just a wiggle stool or yoga ball... HMW get greater movement into Kindergarten? (and it need not just be in the Kindergarten classroom)
  • A recent study by psychologists at the University of Colorado shows an even stronger reason for free play: children who experienced more undirected free play showed signs of stronger executive function, a strong predictor of success in school. “The more time that children spent in less-structured activities,” wrote researchers, “the better their self-directed executive functioning.”
  • Reading and recess are important enough that we need to do both.
  • While this kind of adult-led movement is a far cry from the nearly unstructured free play of a forest kindergarten, it does serve the school’s purpose of high academic standards for their kindergartners, in hopes this prepares them for future academic success.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Note that it says "hope"...
  •  
    Article contrasting two different approaches to Kindergarten - one outdoor-based and one indoor-based. Full of links to the research regarding the claims made in the article. Additionally, more language around executive function, and its importance for students, is used.
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