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Jim Tiffin Jr

Pedagogy of Play | Project Zero - 0 views

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    A new (2016) research project coming out of Harvard. With play a component of the motivation cycle for innovators, this growing body of work may be worth following.
  •  
    A new (2016) research project coming out of Harvard. With play a component of the motivation cycle for innovators, this growing body of work may be worth following.
Meghan Cureton

How to Design a School That Prioritizes Kindness and Caring | MindShift | KQED News - 1 views

  • You can’t just snap your fingers, and show a video, and it’s done,” she said. Rather, the school needed to adopt a philosophy of kindness that was “infused and woven through
  • initiatives had to seem to come from within, organically
  • They also do a “mix-it-up” exercise, borrowed from Borba’s book, that moves students around in advisory groups to blend grade levels. And to get teacher buy-in, select students attend occasional faculty meetings to share what excites them about their project and how their classmates are responding.
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  • Simple changes can have an outsized effect. Knowing the names of all the students in school, being generous with “hellos,” and encouraging teachers to greet every student by name in class, for example, are low-burden but powerful exercises,
  • “kindness strategies” are short and focused, rooted in relationships, carried out repeatedly, and related to actual events in school,
  • Two of the most fruitful exercises Carrollwood Day embraced, both borrowed from the Harvard project, were “Circle of Concern” and “Relationship Mapping.”
Meghan Cureton

What's Worth Learning in School? | Ed Magazine - 0 views

  • What’s worth learning in school?
  • “Conventional curriculum is chained to the bicycle rack,” he says. “It sits solidly in the minds of parents: ‘I learned that. Why aren’t my children learning it?’ The enormous investment in textbooks and the cost of revising them gives familiar elements of the curriculum a longer life span than they might perhaps deserve. Curriculum suffers from something of a crowded garage effect: It generally seems safer and easier to keep the old bicycle around than to throw it out.” As a result, “the lifeworthiness of the multitudinous facts and ideas in the typical curriculum is spotty,” he says. “It seems not to have been thought through very carefully.”
  • “Knowledge is for going somewhere,” Perkins says, not just for accumulating. But too often, we tend to focus on short-term successes — scoring well on a quiz, acing a spelling test. Unfortunately all of that test knowledge, all of that accumulated knowledge we thought was worth knowing, becomes useless if not used.
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  • The achievement gap asks if students are achieving X. Instead, it might be more useful to look at the relevance gap, which asks if X is going to matter to the lives students are likely to lead.
  • And then there’s what Perkins calls “the Holy Grail” of learning in school: becoming an expert. The typical math curriculum is a good example of how we want learners to move toward expertise in a subject, with little regard for usefulness. Arithmetic leads to algebra, including many “hardly used twists and turns” of advanced algebra, then to geometry and calculus, “an entire subject that hardly anyone ever uses,”
  • Perkins is very clear that expertise in a specific field is not bad; in fact, he encourages it and assumes it will happen at the college or university level. But he advocates that in today’s world, younger students need to first master the fundamentals of key learning and then decide where they want to specialize.
  • Instead, he does know that the encyclopedic approach to learning that happens in most schools that focuses primarily on achievement and expertise doesn’t make sense.
  • And to do that, Perkins says we need to rethink what’s worth learning and what’s worth letting go of — in a radical way.
  • “As the train started up and Gandhi tossed down his second sandal, he showed wisdom about what to keep and what to let go of,” Perkins says. “Those are both central questions for education as we choose for today’s learners the sandals they need for tomorrow’s journey.”
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.’’
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