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Meghan Cureton

Want to Assess Noncognitive Competencies? Examine Student Work | GOA - 1 views

  • we should deeply examine student work, and this must include robust student self-assessment.
  • Unfortunately, many transcripts or report cards simply give course titles and grades. We should have transcripts and final reporting mechanisms that show the whole child, beyond their grades and their work in typical cognitive domains.
  • Using noncognitive competencies as assessment tools in courses and student projects is often something that teachers don’t have much expertise in. Many teachers have been hired for their content expertise and they are much more invested in, and/or have been trained in, the assessment and reporting of cognitive competencies.
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  • Ensure competencies are written in student-friendly language.Use single point rubrics.Encourage student reflection about their own work.Explore school models which encourage public exhibitions of student work and deep examination of student work, with students heavily involved and perhaps leading the assessment process.
Bo Adams

Inside the School Silicon Valley Thinks Will Save Education | WIRED - 0 views

  • But what are they betting on? AltSchool is a decidedly Bay Area experiment with an educational philosophy known as student-centered learning. The approach, which many schools have adopted, holds that kids should pursue their own interests, at their own pace. To that, however, AltSchool mixes in loads of technology to manage the chaos, and tops it all off with a staff of forward-thinking teachers set free to custom-teach to each student. The result, they fervently say, is a superior educational experience.
  • heir own weekly “playlists,” queues of individual and group activities tailored to the specific strengths and weaknesses of each kid.
  • This puts AltSchool at the intersection of two rapidly growing movements in education. Along one axis are the dozens of edtech startups building apps for schools; along the other are the dozens of progressive schools rallying around the increasingly popular concept of personalized education. The difference is: AltSchool is not just building apps or building schools. It’s doing both. In that way, AltSchools are more than just schools. They’re mini-research and development labs, where both teachers and engineers are diligently developing the formula for a 21st century education, all in hopes of applying that formula not only to other AltSchools, but to private, public, and charter schools across the country.
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  • obsession with constant feedback
  • Ventilla likes to call AltSchool’s approach to teaching “Montessori 2.0.” The Montessori method emphasizes letting kids learn primarily through independent projects rather than direct instruction.
  • AltSchool has built a digital platform, called My.Altschool
  • “We think assessment can be much less invasive and much more accurate when you’re collecting data from many sources.”
  • The team is also working on a recommendation engine for teachers, not unlike those used by companies like Amazon and Netflix. This tool would take into account everything that My.Altschool knows about a student—from her playlist history to how she learns best to what her strengths and weaknesses are—to recommend activities. “It’d be great if the system could figure out that Johnny’s an auditory learner, who loves castles, and that he’s struggling with estimating,” Bhatia says, adding that an early version of that tool will likely be available this year.
  • Once these tools have been validated within the AltSchool environment, Ventilla’s goal is to bundle them up into what he calls an “operating system for a 21st century education” and license them to the education system at large.
  •  
    HT @MikeyCanup
Bo Adams

Education Experts Explain the Role Teachers Would Play for Students in Classrooms in a Perfect World - The Atlantic - 0 views

  • With so many different learning styles and students at different places in their learning within a grade and within subjects, students and schools will benefit greatly from co-teaching models.
  • Individual teachers will not be responsible for individual students as much as the team of teachers will be responsible for the learning outcomes of each student they touch within the school day.
  • The notion of “teacher” will change significantly in the future. The growing number of formal and informal learning options is causing an unbundling of the teacher role.
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  • In the future, we will see teachers choose among a variety of options, including:Content experts who focus on developing curriculum Small-group leaders who provide direct instruction Project designers to supplement online learning with hands-on application
 Mentors who provide wisdom, social capital, and guidance Evaluators to whom other educators can give the responsibility of grading assignments and, in some cases, designing futures Data experts
  •  
    HT @eijunkie
Meghan Cureton

Stop Teaching Classes And Start Teaching Children - 0 views

  • Too often bits and pieces are tacked onto curriculum as yet another perfectly-reasonable-sounding-thing to teach.
  • There is nothing wrong with changes in priority. In fact, this is a signal of awareness and reflection and vitality. But when education—as it tends to do—continues to take a content and skills-focused view of what to teach rather than how students learn, it’s always going to be a maddening game of what gets added in, and what gets taken out, with the loudest or most emotionally compelling voices usually winning.
  • Skills are things students can “do”—procedural knowledge that yields the ability to do something. This could be revising an essay, solving a math problem, or decoding words to read. Content can be thought of as a second kind of knowledge—a declarative knowledge that often makes up the face of a content area. In math, this might be the formula to calculate the area of a circle. In composition, it could be a writing strategy to form sound and compelling paragraphs. In history, it may refer to the geographic advantages of one country in a conflict versus another. Should schools focus on content and skills, or should they focus on habits and thinking?
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  • So then, hundreds of standards. Hundreds! This places extraordinary pressure on educators—those who develop standards, those who create curriculum from those standards, those who create lessons from that curriculum, and on and on—to make numerous—and critical—adjustments to curriculum, assessment, and instruction on the fly.
  • Why not try a different approach–one that not only decenters curriculum, but reimagines it completely?
  • Building A Curriculum Based On People
  • n the past, we’ve sought to add-to and revise. Add these classes and drop these. This isn’t as important as this. To make knowledge an index that reflects the latest thinking that reflects our most recent insecurities and collective misunderstandings. This doesn’t seem like the smartest path to sustainable innovation in learning.
  • Give me a curriculum based on people–based on their habits and thinking patterns in their native places. One that helps them see the utility of knowledge and the patterns of familial and social action. One that helps them ask, “What’s worth knowing, and what should I do with what I know?” Then let’s work backwards from that.
Meghan Cureton

7 Questions Principals Should Ask When Hiring Future-Ready Teachers | MindShift | KQED News - 0 views

  • seven questions that he thinks should become standard in the interviewing and hiring process
  • Question #1: How do you teach students to become problem designers?
  • Question #4: What does your global network look like?
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  • Question #3: What are your expectations for student to self-assess their work and publish it for a wider audience?
  • Question #2: How do you manage your own professional growth?
  • Question #5: How do you give students an opportunity to contribute purposeful work to others?
  • Question #6: How do you teach students to learn what you don’t know?
  • Question #7: How do you teach students to manage their own learning?
Trey Boden

The perils of "Growth Mindset" education: Why we're trying to fix our kids when we should be fixing the system - Salon.com - 0 views

  • The problem with sweeping, generic claims about the power of attitudes or beliefs isn’t just a risk of overstating the benefits but also a tendency to divert attention from the nature of the tasks themselves: How valuable are they, and who gets to decide whether they must be done?
  • Unfortunately, even some people who are educators would rather convince students they need to adopt a more positive attitude than address the quality of the curriculum (what the students are being taught) or the pedagogy (how they’re being taught it).
  • praise kids for their effort (“You tried really hard”) rather than for their ability (“You’re really smart”)
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  • But the first problem with this seductively simple script change is that praising children for their effort carries problems of its own, as several studies have confirmed: It can communicate that they’re really not very capable and therefore unlikely to succeed at future tasks.
  • what’s really problematic is praise itself
  • It’s a verbal reward, an extrinsic inducement, and, like other rewards, is often construed by the recipient as manipulation
  • Moreover, praise communicates that our acceptance of a child comes with strings attached: Our approval is conditional on the child’s continuing to impress us or do what we say.
  • We need to attend to deeper differences: between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and between “doing to” and “working with” strategies.
  • If students are preoccupied with how well they’re doing in school, then their interest in what they’re doing may suffer.
  • A 2010 study found that when students whose self-worth hinges on their performance face the prospect of failure, it doesn’t help for them to adopt a growth mindset.
  • Even when a growth mindset doesn’t make things worse, it can help only so much if students have been led — by things like grades, tests, and, worst of all, competition — to become more focused on achievement than on the learning itself.
  • And this brings us to the biggest blind spot of all — the whole idea of focusing on the mindsets of individuals.
  • Ironically, the more we occupy ourselves with getting kids to attribute outcomes to their own effort, the more we communicate that the conditions they face are, well, fixed.
  • But why have so many educators who don’t share that sensibility endorsed a focus on mindset (or grit) whose premises and implications they’d likely find troubling on reflection?
  • I’m not suggesting we go back to promoting an innate, fixed, “entity” theory of intelligence and talent, which, as Dweck points out, can leave people feeling helpless and inclined to give up.
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