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Bo Adams

The Marriage of Formal & Informal Learning - 1 views

  • important that integration of formal and informal learning have champions
  • Web 2.0 technology is a key enabler for this marriage
  • Technological tools and leadership support alone will not be enough to make the marriage of informal and formal learning work. The shared values, beliefs, mental models, habits, and behaviors of the workforce in an organization – its culture is key.
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  • How do people feel about knowledge – is it power to be hoarded, or a gift to be shared?
  • The two key advantages of informal learning are that it happens at the point of need and what is learned is usually applied right away.
  • In the cooperative model, the learning and development group can shift from being the producer of content to being the guide, initiator, facilitator, and coach.
  • Based on alignment with agreed upon organizational and learning goals, the learner takes responsibility for his or her own learning – with the support and guidance of the organization.
  • People who are not used to working in a learning organization culture, where cooperative learning within communities of practice is the norm, need the knowhow and a new mindset regarding learning to cooperatively in the workplace.
  • The positive is that this incidental learning doesn’t take people away from the work. The disadvantage is that when they are so caught up in doing, people often miss an important ingredient for learning: reflection.
  • The combination of structured and incidental learning can give us intentional learning.
  • The key to solidifying this learning is reflection.
  • David Kolb, wrote about a model of experiential learning consisting of the following cycle: action, observation, reflection, concept formation, and back to action.
  • Morgan McCall and George Hollenbeck asked managers to stop once a week and answer just two simple questions, “What did you do last week?” and “What did you learn from it?” They found that this simple process of reflection enabled the managers learn from their experiences and to change the way they managed.
  • integration of formal and informal learning can create a virtuous cycle that leads not only to increased productivity but to the real innovation that is necessary for long term success in a dynamic marketplace.
Meghan Cureton

Six Fixes for Proficiency-Based Learning « Competency Works - 0 views

  • Proficiency-based learning, at its core, is about redesigning the learning and teaching system of America. Instead of basing learning on how much time a student spends, it bases learning on what students can demonstrate—exactly the same as every other system students will encounter in the world outside of school.
  • In addition, schools should continue to share information pertaining to course grades and start to share information regarding student attainment of specific standards, including course-crossing skills such as problem solving, creativity, and analysis. While we would recommend that the course grades continue to use A-F or 0-100 scales, shifting to a 1-4 scale on the standards probably provides better insight for everyone involved. In this way, parents, students, and educators will know how students are doing within the structures of a class and how students are doing in regard to specific standards. This both/and approach will provide more information that can then be used to promote better learning.
  • Keep cohorts of kids together as they progress through their learning. Teachers can vary the learning strategies for various cohorts of students, supporting some students to dig deeper into various standards while others realize initial achievement—and then bringing everyone back together again to start the next unit of learning. Further, as research on learning has demonstrated, learning is a social endeavor, not meant to be undertaken alone. A cohort model supports this research.
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  • Hold students accountable to key and important standards, designating a small handful of “graduation standards” while using the other standards in the Common Core or various state standards to develop curriculum, guide instruction, and build classroom assessments. This strategy focuses learning on key and endurable concepts, skills, and themes; ensures that instructional support is targeted at the most important learning; and pushes students to think about and analyze ideas deeply rather than memorize an unwieldly number of discrete facts.
  • Educators need to clearly define top levels of performance and provide explicit expectations and opportunities for students to achieve these levels of learning. While we should not expect students to “exceed” standards in all cases, educators should require students to do so in areas of particular interest and aptitude for students.
  • Schools must establish both incentives and consequences for critical work habits such as time management and meeting deadlines. Rather than ignore these, they must teach, model, assess, and report them separately and eliminate the practice of controlling behavior by reducing grades. We have seen numerous effective strategies where late work requires coming in after school, not attending co-curricular activities, or mandatory guided study halls, to name a few examples.
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.
  •  
    HT @MeghanCureton
Meghan Cureton

transforming_teaching_learning_and_assessment.pdf - 1 views

  • T o make space for learner voice and to promote learner agency, teachers must set up learning environments that stimulate active learner engagement with meaningful and progressively challenging tasks that stimulate their thinking and enable them to develop competence over time. Unlike subject content, competence cannot be transmitted to learners. Rather, competence is progressively developed by learners through appropriate facilitation.
  • Table 1. The Role of Learners in Competence-Based Curricula
  • A “growth mindset” (Dweck, 2006). essential for developing intrinsic motivation.
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  • Deep learning
  • The extent of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral engagement influences the effectiveness of learning, and thus, the development of competence.
  • These modes of learning blur boundaries between teachers and learners, as learners progressively take responsibility for their own learning.
  • Success also rests on profound teacher understanding of curricula that should accrue during curriculum design and development stages. Such understanding is crucial for the teachers’ buy-in, conviction, ownership, and commitment to effective curricula implementation.
  • Within the curriculum continuum, assessment has significant potential to support and reinforce curriculum reform. However, it equally has enormous potential to distort the official/intended curriculum.
  • When appropriate strategies are used in assessment, they can support the implementation of the official curriculum, enhance learning, and lead to an enrichment effect. However, gaining these benefits of appropriate assessment demands a specialized knowledge of assessment by all concerned.
  • Another critical policy message is that competence-based assessment and examinations systems require significant investment in the professionalization of teachers as assessors of learning. Competence-based assessments also require trust in teachers’ ability to make reliable judgements and to utilize assessment as an inherent and important part of teaching and learning.
  • A key policy message is that education and learning systems cannot succeed at adopting competence-based approaches to curriculum without similarly transforming teaching, learning, as well as assessment and examination systems. All the three elements must be aligned. Transforming curricula to competence-based approaches and leaving teaching, learning, assessment, tests, and examinations subject-based is tantamount to not transforming curricula.
  • In competence-based approaches, teachers are not just co-designers and co-developers of curricula. They are also pivotal co-assessors, co-testers, and co-examiners.
  • Most importantly, competence-based curricula must lead quality assessment rather than be led by poor practice assessments, tests, and examinations.
  • What "developmental progression" means, in general terms, and an understanding that progressing is neither linear nor necessarily agerelated. Rather, it is iterative, interactive, and dependent on making connections to prior learning and to context;
  • it is best to base judgements on a number of different criterion referenced assessments.
  • Effective teacher professional development must include all 4 componen ts: • Knowledge – worthwhile research-informed theory, content, and expertise; • Integrated pedagogical and assessment skills and strategies; • Modelling, demonstrating, and engaging with approaches, ideally in settings that approximate to the workplace; • Practicing the approaches frequently over a substantial period of time between professional inputs; (2–6 months a minimum) with ongoing and follow up evaluation of impact and refinement; • Concurrent dialogue/coaching/peer collaboration in activities such as lesson planning, preparing related resources, peer observation, discussion, and reflection on impact
  • Table 4. Success of different methods of professional development Training Components Outcomes % of participants who demonstrate Kno wledge % of participants who demonstrate new Skills % of participants who transfer into Classroom Practice Theoretical Knowledge and Discussion 10%5%0% Demonstration in Training 30%20%0% Practice and Feedback in Training 60%60%5% Coaching in Classroom Settings 95%95%95%
  • Teaching still lacks core characteristics that define a profession, vis: (i) a profession-specific, systematized, scientific body of knowledge that informs the daily activities of practitioners; (ii) a lengthy period of higher education training and induction; (iii) engagement in continuous professional development; and (iv) autonomy to exercise professional judgement and decision-making in practice and in governance over the profession
Jim Tiffin Jr

When Grading Harms Student Learning | Edutopia - 0 views

  • Is grading the focus, or is learning the focus?
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Simple, straightforward reminder of what assessment is for.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      A simple, straightforward reminder of what assessment is for.
  • Zeros do not reflect student learning. They reflect compliance.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Exactly.
  • a deduction in points. Not only didn't this correct the behavior, but it also meant that behavioral issues were clouding the overall grade report. Instead of reflecting that students had learned, the grade served as an inaccurate reflection of the learning goal.
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  • Students should learn the responsibility of turning in work on time, but not at the cost of a grade that doesn't actually represent learning.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      I completely agree with this point. But admittedly, I still am not sure how it would work in practice... I totally realize that the grades we give as teachers are completely under the school's control - we can go back and change grades even after the course has ended if we need to. But at the core of my question is, "What is the leverage (if that is the right word) that we can use to help students learn that responsibility?" Sports and pulling privileges come to mind, but what else is there. I wonder what other teachers have used for this situation? 
  • Practice assignments and homework can be assessed, but they shouldn't be graded.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      An excellent distinction!
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      An excellent distinction!
  • Many of our assignments are "practice," assigned for students to build fluency and practice a content or skill. Students are often "coming to know" rather than truly knowing.
  • we should formatively assess our students and give everyone access to the "photo album" of learning rather than a single "snapshot."
  • Teaching and learning should take precedence over grading and entering grades into grade books. If educators are spending an inordinate amount of time grading rather than teaching and assessing students, then something needs to change.
  • We've all been in a situation where grading piles up, and so we put the class on a task to make time for grading.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Guilty :-(
  • Our work as educators is providing hope to our students. If I use zeros, points off for late work, and the like as tools for compliance, I don't create hope. Instead, I create fear of failure and anxiety in learning. If we truly want our classrooms to be places for hope, then our grading practices must align with that mission.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      +1!
Bo Adams

NAIS - The Learning Curve: How We Learn and Rethinking the Education Model - 0 views

  • Unlike Semmelweis, whose theory about the need for cleanliness was rejected because it lacked the scientific support that Louis Pasteur’s germ theory would eventually provide, today we have ample research that suggests a mismatch between learners and schools—a mismatch between how people learn and how educators think they learn.
  • emotion and cognition are intertwined and inseparable
  • “Emotion is the rudder for thought,”
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  • We think and learn about things that matter to us, that are emotionally relevant because we perceive them as important to our physical or social survival and well-being.
  • Motivation, engagement, perseverance, creativity, optimism, resilience—pretty much all the so-called “soft skills”—are rooted in emotion.
  • If students’ programs of study include significant, meaningful opportunities for them to follow their expanding and changing interests during their many years in school,  motivation and perseverance will spontaneously combust because, as some students told me, “my interest and involvement in my studies became personal. I felt like my school had meaning, like there was purpose.”
  • regression is essential to learning because each time the learner rebuilds the network, the more stable and automatic it becomes. Regression is not failure, although it is often treated as such.
  • natural process of learning—building, regression, rebuilding
  • So what matters to students? What are they learning in school that forces them to focus on what matters to adults?
  • Because emotional goals motivate and direct people’s thoughts and behavior, as Immordino-Yang suggests, understanding students’ goals can provide insight into what they are likely to learn and help educators understand how they might change their practices
  • Engagement in school does not always reflect engagement in the sort of deep, meaningful learning—developing intellectual skills and conceptual understanding—that educators value.
  • how to rethink school designs and create a new conceptual model for schools—a model that combines and finds an effective balance among the goals that adults have for students and the needs that students have for themselves, a balance between what matters to students and what matters to adults.
  • more effective model will offer real opportunities for students to pursue personally meaningful interests and questions
  • we don’t need to try to make all students masters of all disciplines.
  • Instead of insisting that all students collect identical promotion and graduation credits by meeting minimal standards to “pass” anywhere from five to seven courses each year in discrete, unrelated subjects, educators might be more successful ensuring that all students work each year on a body of specific essential skills—perhaps communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving, which are getting so much attention today—that can be learned while working in any subject area.
  • Some of the changes that make this new model possible involve significantly reducing the number of traditionally required courses, creating individualized rather than rigidly standardized courseloads, giving students more control of the subjects they study, and establishing graduation requirements based on skill development.
Meghan Cureton

Neuroscience Should Inform School Policies - Education Week - 1 views

  • key secondary school reform efforts need to emphasize learning activities involving metacognition, goal-setting, planning, working memory, reflection on one's learning, and frequent opportunities to make responsible choices.
  • What is essential for kids at this time of life is to be engaged in real-life learning experiences and peer-learning connections that put them under conditions of "hot cognition," where educators can help them along in the process of integrating their impulsiveness (positively viewed as excitement and motivation) with their reasoning abilities.
  • The implications for reform of secondary school are clear. Schools should provide more opportunities for students to be involved in apprenticeships, internships, service learning, community-based learning, small peer-learning groups, entrepreneur-based programs, and student-directed project-based learning
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  • key part of the secondary school curriculum should involve the teaching of stress-reduction methods, such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, and aerobic activity; exercise breaks during class; a strong physical education curriculum; and a broadly based extracurricular sports program for all students, not just the star athletes.
  • prefrontal cortex, which is the region controlling inhibition of impulses and the ability to plan, reflect, self-monitor, and make good decisions, doesn't fully develop until the early 20s. This means that while the limbic system or "emotional brain" is working at close to full capacity by early adolescence, the areas of the brain that could temper those feelings and impulses are still in the process of being constructed.
  • Neuroscience Should Inform School Policies
  • Consequently, key secondary school reform efforts need to emphasize learning activities involving metacognition, goal-setting, planning, working memory, reflection on one's learning, and frequent opportunities to make responsible choices.
  • Classroom teaching that focuses largely on delivering content through lectures and textbooks fails to engage the emotional brain and leaves unchanged those prefrontal regions that are important in metacognition.
  • Locking students into a set academic college-bound program of courses takes away their ability to make decisions about what most interests them (a process that integrates the limbic system's motivational verve with the prefrontal cortex's decisionmaking capacity).
  • Neuroscience research tells us that the teenage brain is exquisitely sensitive to environmental influences. This neuroplasticity makes it vulnerable to a wide range of societal dangers—traffic accidents, drug abuse, suicide, violence. But it also makes it acutely sensitive to the influence of teachers, for good or for ill.
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    "key secondary school reform efforts need to emphasize learning activities involving metacognition, goal-setting, planning, working memory, reflection on one's learning, and frequent opportunities to make responsible choices."
Meghan Cureton

The Case Against Grades (##) - Alfie Kohn - 2 views

  • Collecting information doesn’t require tests, and sharing that information doesn’t require grades.  In fact, students would be a lot better off without either of these relics from a less enlightened age.
  • As I’ve reported elsewhere (Kohn, 1999a, 1999b, 1999c), when students from elementary school to college who are led to focus on grades are compared with those who aren’t, the results support three robust conclusions:
  • Grades tend to diminish students’ interest in whatever they’re learning.
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  • Grades create a preference for the easiest possible task.
  • Grades tend to reduce the quality of students’ thinking. 
  • For example, a grade-oriented environment is associated with increased levels of cheating (Anderman and Murdock, 2007), grades (whether or not accompanied by comments) promote a fear of failure even in high-achieving students (Pulfrey et al., 2011), and the elimination of grades (in favor of a pass/fail system) produces substantial benefits with no apparent disadvantages in medical school (White and Fantone, 2010).
  • Extrinsic motivation, which includes a desire to get better grades, is not only different from, but often undermines, intrinsic motivation, a desire to learn for its own sake (Kohn 1999a). 
  • Achievement:  Two educational psychologists pointed out that “an overemphasis on assessment can actually undermine the pursuit of excellence” (Maehr and Midgley, 1996, p. 7). 
  • There is certainly value in assessing the quality of learning and teaching, but that doesn’t mean it’s always necessary, or even possible, to measure those things — that is, to turn them into numbers.  Indeed, “measurable outcomes may be the least significant results of learning” (McNeil, 1986, p. xviii)
  • Once we’re compelled to focus only on what can be reduced to numbers, such as how many grammatical errors are present in a composition or how many mathematical algorithms have been committed to memory, thinking has been severely compromised.  And that is exactly what happens when we try to fit learning into a four- or five- or (heaven help us) 100-point scale.
  • Portfolios, for example, can be constructive if they replace grades rather than being used to yield them.  They offer a way to thoughtfully gather a variety of meaningful examples of learning for the students to review.  But what’s the point, “if instruction is dominated by worksheets so that every portfolio looks the same”? (Neill et al. 1995, p. 4).
  • It’s not enough to replace letters or numbers with labels (“exceeds expectations,” “meets expectations,” and so on).  If you’re sorting students into four or five piles, you’re still grading them.  Rubrics typically include numbers as well as labels, which is only one of several reasons they merit our skepticism (Wilson, 2006; Kohn, 2006).
  • It’s not enough to disseminate grades more efficiently — for example, by posting them on-line.  There is a growing technology, as the late Gerald Bracey once remarked, “that permits us to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn’t be doing at all” (quoted in Mathews, 2006).  In fact, posting grades on-line is a significant step backward because it enhances the salience of those grades and therefore their destructive effects on learning.
  • It’s not enough to add narrative reports.  “When comments and grades coexist, the comments are written to justify the grade” (Wilson, 2009, p. 60).  Teachers report that students, for their part, often just turn to the grade and ignore the comment, but “when there’s only a comment, they read it,”
  • It’s not enough to use “standards-based” grading.
  • Sometimes it’s only after grading has ended that we realize just how harmful it’s been.
  • To address one common fear, the graduates of grade-free high schools are indeed accepted by selective private colleges and large public universities — on the basis of narrative reports and detailed descriptions of the curriculum (as well as recommendations, essays, and interviews), which collectively offer a fuller picture of the applicant than does a grade-point average.  Moreover, these schools point out that their students are often more motivated and proficient learners, thus better prepared for college, than their counterparts at traditional schools who have been preoccupied with grades.
  • Even when administrators aren’t ready to abandon traditional report cards, individual teachers can help to rescue learning in their own classrooms with a two-pronged strategy to “neuter grades,” as one teacher described it.  First, they can stop putting letter or number grades on individual assignments and instead offer only qualitative feedback.
  • Second, although teachers may be required to submit a final grade, there’s no requirement for them to decide unilaterally what that grade will be.  Thus, students can be invited to participate in that process either as a negotiation (such that the teacher has the final say) or by simply permitting students to grade themselves.
  • Without grades, “I think my relationships with students are better,” Drier says.  “Their writing improves more quickly and the things they learn stay with them longer.
  • Drier’s final grades are based on students’ written self-assessments, which, in turn, are based on their review of items in their portfolios. 
  • A key element of authentic assessment for these and other teachers is the opportunity for students to help design the assessment and reflect on its purposes — individually and as a class. 
  • Grades don’t prepare children for the “real world” — unless one has in mind a world where interest in learning and quality of thinking are unimportant.  Nor are grades a necessary part of schooling, any more than paddling or taking extended dictation could be described that way.  Still, it takes courage to do right by kids in an era when the quantitative matters more than the qualitative, when meeting (someone else’s) standards counts for more than exploring ideas, and when anything “rigorous” is automatically assumed to be valuable.  We have to be willing to challenge the conventional wisdom, which in this case means asking not how to improve grades but how to jettison them once and for all.
  •  
    HT @tedwards
Meghan Cureton

Following the lessons of learning science in schools isn't convenient - The Hechinger Report - 0 views

  • Following the lessons of learning science in schools isn’t convenient
  • “The mind is a sheet of paper for a professor to write on.” But that’s the wrong way to think about education, he said. The right way, he argued, is to think of a human as a plant to which educators offer fertilizer and water and sunlight when it needs it, or wants it, most. “This is a very different model,” Sarma said, “but it’s so inconvenient we ignore it.”
  • cognitive load theory posits that working memory is limited. Students who hear new information store it first in working memory, but this is short-term memory, and all short-term memories will be forgotten. There’s no way around it. The key, according to Sarma, is reinforcing that information and getting it into long-term memory, where it will last. Students can only focus on new information for eight to 14 minutes before their minds start to wander, Sarma said, so the best method of instruction is to offer such new information in bite-sized chunks.
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  • information is stored in memories created by a chemical connection between neurons in the brain, Sarma said. Over time, that chemical dries up and the memory disappears. But if reminded of that information before the original memory disappears, the brain creates a new connection and one that is long-term. The best way to retain knowledge, according to memory research, is to learn about it once, wait until you’re about to forget it, and then learn it again.
  • Also in contrast to standard scheduling patterns in schools is the idea of interleaved learning. Sarma said the brain looks for contrast. learning one thing and then jumping to another topic and back again is helpful for long-term retention,
  • Sarma sees the future of learning as blended, individuated, fluid and hands-on. learning science supports his vision. The question is whether schools can be reorganized to do the same.
Meghan Cureton

ChangeLeaders Community - 0 views

  • How often do you see learners being ‘blamed’ for not understanding a challenging idea or concept, rather than that being a reflection on the teaching? To what extent is the learning architecture of our schools, the grading, grouping, and scheduling really allowing our students to learn most deeply and powerfully?
  • The reality is that today’s schools were simply never designed to change proactively and deeply —they were built for discipline and efficiency, enforced through hierarchy and routinization.    
  • It comes down to reframing our understanding of schools as learning organizations.
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  • But how much evidence do you have that your colleagues also see themselves as learners, be they teachers, principals or superintendents? How open and transparent are they about their learning? About what and how they are learning? And what and how do they learn from their mistakes? Being vulnerable, transparent and open are now prerequisites for modern leaders who are true learners
  • And finally, what about you? What have you learned about your learning? How self-aware are you about how you learn? How do you learn best, and what are the conditions that make that possible for you?
Meghan Cureton

A More Complete Picture of Student Learning | Edutopia - 0 views

  • I’m really excited to see that educators are clear about the use of formative and summative assessment.
  • At the same time, by naming assessments, we may be falling into a trap of being too rigid.
  • Our current assessments are geared toward reporting on mastery—often what the grade measures—rather than learning. But we could create assessments that value the learning along the way. Such a system would record not just quizzes, tests, written work, and presentations, but also exit tickets, and even conversations between student and teacher.
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  • Instead of being rigid, we should be able to change the purpose and use of an assessment in order to meet the needs of our students.
  • It’s important to remember that assessments and their purpose can change.
  • student learning as a photo album or a body of evidence rather than as one or the other of two things, either formative or summative.
  • Assessment should be more like a photo album, capturing many moments of learning.
  • A photo album is celebratory and powerful, and assessment should be the same.
  • As the teachers I work with plan units, I encourage them to not be tied down to rigid structures of assessment.
  • Consider the idea of a body of evidence. When we focus on a body of evidence, we don’t have to limit ourselves to a set number of assessments.
  • So students might have different numbers of assessments.
  • Here are some questions to reflect upon as we consider this approach to assessment:How can students generate their own assessment tasks? Where can I be flexible in using assessments to report on student learning? Can I use a variety of types of assessment to create an album of student learning? Can I rely on a body of evidence rather than a set number of assessments? How can I report on the most current data of my students? How should I communicate this approach to parents and students?
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.”
T.J. Edwards

Competency based learning key characteristic: Outcomes-based - Blackboard Blog - 0 views

  • The old concepts of quizzes, mid-term exams and final exams change from methods of judgment to an assessment system designed to help learners construct knowledge through a learn-practice-assess pathway.
  • Achieve short-term and long-term academic performance improvements focused on outcomes rather than inputs
  • Student learning outcomes are generally at the same level of granularity as competencies, and sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. A competency is a specific skill, knowledge, or ability that is both observable and measurable
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  • Institutional outcomes
  • Program outcomes
  • Student learning outcomes
  • For example, a team project that requires analyzing the business impacts of population shifts demonstrates realistic problem solving, and the assessment could even be embedded in a work context. This type of assessment requires more thorough demonstration of competencies than an objective assessment, which is typically delivered as a test with pre-determined right and wrong answers. Authentic assessment also provides learner-centric benefits such as collaboration with peers and genuinely valuable evidence of learning that can be used in a professional profile.
  • For example, an assessment could be aligned to competencies, occupational skills, program outcomes, and accreditation standards. The same assessment can award a badge for mastery achievement, show students the occupational skills they’ve demonstrated, and also roll up into evidence collection for accreditation and program improvement purposes
  • can optionally be shown to students
  • Consistent use of rubrics enables learner choice, since learners could be working on different assessments to master the same competencies
  • And when competency based education programs differentiate instructional roles, such that faculty subject matter experts might not be evaluating assessments, specialized assessors can all apply the same definitions of competencies by using the same rubrics.
Meghan Cureton

3 Ways to Unlock the Wisdom of Colleagues | Edutopia - 0 views

  • when teachers have regular, structured opportunities to learn together, good ideas are more likely to travel from one classroom to the next.
  • Collaboration takes time and planning. If classroom observation becomes part of a school’s strategy, administrators have to make time during the regular school day for shared professional learning among the staff. School leaders should also have to have clear objectives for the program of observation, and protocols to keep discussion on track and to ensure that the time isn’t wasted.
  • A spirit of continuous learning permeates the school, which encourages all teachers
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  • “Sometimes the best things going on are happening in your own building, and you might miss them because you’re doing your own thing,”
  • teachers meet regularly outside of class time to examine their students’ coursework as a team.
  • “The reason we look at student work is to help teachers become better teachers,”
  • “are better able to guide and facilitate a deeper level of student learning.”
  • community of learners who use planned, peer-to-peer feedback to help raise student outcomes throughout the school.
  • Each three-hour teacher lab focuses on a specific instructional topic that teachers choose to explore together, such as student engagement strategies.
  • To encourage more teacher collaboration in your school, you’ll want to consider: Time: Where will you find time within the regular school day for teachers to step outside their own classrooms and learn together? Structure: How might a protocol or specific observation prompt help to focus the learning experience? Who will play a lead role in facilitating the teacher experience and encouraging reflection? How will you capture takeaways? The National School Reform Faculty publishes a number of protocols for professional learning, such as this one for looking at student work. Follow-up: How are teachers applying what they learn together? How do students benefit as a result of teacher collaboration?
Meghan Cureton

Do historians miss the ideals of assessment, as some have suggested? - 0 views

  • Grading Smarter, Not Harder
  • Their recent finding that many students don’t learn critical thinking in undergraduate history courses -- a challenge to history’s sales pitch that its graduates are finely tuned critical thinkers.
  • A panel of professors here urged a sizable crowd of colleagues to embrace not just grades but formative, ongoing assessment to gauge student learning or lack thereof in real(er) time.
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  • LASER, an acronym for Love history, Acquire and analyze information, Solve difficult problems, Envision new explanations, and Reveal what you know. Sourcing work, which Calder called a “threshold concept” in history, means asking students to evaluate the reliability of various historical texts. Who made it? When? Why? What value does it hold for historians, if any?
  • letter grades “do little to differentiate the level of student effort or the quality of student work or student growth over the course of a semester or program,”
  • to the idea of “transparency,” which they all agreed begins with articulating clear student learning goals -- for themselves and their classes.
  • Whatever the activity or assessment, Mintz said it needs to be aligned with a particular learning objective. Research suggests that the most effective activities and assessments when it comes to student learning are considered “authentic,” or those that mirror professional practice and address some meaningful question,
  • Project and performance-based assessments are much more likely to provide a “valid measure of student proficiencies and higher-order thinking skills than are multiple choice or short-answer questions,” Mintz continued. And evaluation needs to be based on a detailed rubric, he said, suggesting that students may help create these rubrics.
  • But “a paradigm shift is occurring in higher education,” Mintz said. “We all know this. We’re sifting from teaching to learning, shifting from a sink-or-swim mentality to a mentality where we have obligation to bring all students to minimum viable level of competency.” That is regardless of institution type, he said.
  • think of themselves as "learning architects" whose meaningful "forward-looking" assessment will be a "true learning opportunity" for students.
  •  
    HT @cmtbasecamp
Meghan Cureton

3 Principles to Follow for Competency-Based Education | GOA - 1 views

  • When it comes to competency-based learning (CBL), we must tend to our school cultures as deeply and thoughtfully as we tend to our classrooms.
  • Adopting CBL means more than a shift in pedagogy; it means committing to a mindset and system that prioritize learning over time, skills over content, and relevant, holistic assessment over high-stakes testing.
  • To build this culture, they focus on three essential elements.
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  • 1. Learning is a Positive, Inclusive Experience
  • Students set and pursue individualized learning goals and have in-person and online academic support options.
  • Reassessment is an academic norm.
  • Students pursue their passions.
  • Conflict resolution is built on restorative justice, not traditional disciplinary techniques.
  • 2. Students Lead Learning
  • A common thread: Culture and program should be deeply connected, specifically in how communities support student agency.
  • Every student and adult in the community creates, pursues, and updates a Learning Plan; every student has an advisor; and public exhibitions of Learning that involve school and community members are the standard summative assessments.
  • 3. Professional Culture is the Foundation of School Culture
Meghan Cureton

What the Heck Is Project-Based Learning? | Edutopia - 0 views

  • "PBL is the act of learning through identifying a real-world problem and developing its solution. Kids show what they learn as they journey through the unit, not just at the end."
  • Teaching with PBL is the difference between the atmosphere at Disneyland and the atmosphere at a Six Flags resort.
  • PBL doesn't ask you to replace your content. It asks that you create a vehicle in which to communicate your content.
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  • "PBL is the act of learning through identifying a real-world problem and developing its solution. Kids show what they learn as they journey through the unit, not just at the end."
  • PBL is the ongoing act of learning about different subjects simultaneously.
Nicole Martin

Why Curiosity Matters - 1 views

shared by Nicole Martin on 14 Sep 18 - No Cached
  • And socially curious employees are better than others at resolving conflicts with colleagues, more likely to receive social support, and more effective at building connections, trust, and commitment on their teams. People or groups high in both dimensions are more innovative and creative.
  • joyous exploration, deprivation sensitivity, stress tolerance, and social curiosity—improve work outcomes.
  • joyous exploration has the strongest link with the experience of intense positive emotions. Stress tolerance has the strongest link with satisfying the need to feel competent, autonomous, and that one belongs. Social curiosity has the strongest link with being a kind, generous, modest person.
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  • deprivation sensitivity—recognizing a gap in knowledge the filling of which offers relief. This type of curiosity doesn’t necessarily feel good, but people who experience it work relentlessly to solve problems.
  • joyous exploration—being consumed with wonder about the fascinating features of the world. This is a pleasurable state; people in it seem to possess a joie de vivre.
  • social curiosity—talking, listening, and observing others to learn what they are thinking and doing. Human beings are inherently social animals, and the most effective and efficient way to determine whether someone is friend or foe is to gain information. Some may even snoop, eavesdrop, or gossip to do so.
  • stress tolerance—a willingness to accept and even harness the anxiety associated with novelty. People lacking this ability see information gaps, experience wonder, and are interested in others but are unlikely to step forward and explore.
  • thrill seeking—being willing to take physical, social, and financial risks to acquire varied, complex, and intense experiences. For people with this capacity, the anxiety of confronting novelty is something to be amplified, not reduced.
  • we all seek the sweet spot between two deeply uncomfortable states: understimulation (coping with tasks, people, or situations that lack sufficient novelty, complexity, uncertainty, or conflict) and overstimulation.
  • people become curious upon realizing that they lack desired knowledge; this creates an aversive feeling of uncertainty, which compels them to uncover the missing information.
  • nstead of asking, “How curious are you?” we can ask, “How are you curious?”
  • But maintaining a sense of wonder is crucial to creativity and innovation. The most effective leaders look for ways to nurture their employees’ curiosity to fuel learning and discovery.
  • How can organizations help people make the leap from curious to competent?
  • by providing the right types of stretch assignments and job rotations.
  • complexity and breadth of the opportunities they’d been given,
  • It enhances intelligence
  • It increases perseverance, or grit
  • And curiosity propels us toward deeper engagement, superior performance, and more-meaningful goals
  • The ProblemLeaders say they value employees who question or explore things, but research shows that they largely suppress curiosity, out of fear that it will increase risk and undermine efficiency.Why This MattersCuriosity improves engagement and collaboration. Curious people make better choices, improve their company’s performance, and help their company adapt to uncertain market conditions and external pressures.The RemedyLeaders should encourage curiosity in themselves and others by making small changes to the design of their organization and the ways they manage their employees. Five strategies can guide them.
  • leaders can encourage curiosity
  • when our curiosity is triggered, we are less likely to fall prey to confirmation bias (looking for information that supports our beliefs rather than for evidence suggesting we are wrong) and to stereotyping people (making broad judgments, such as that women or minorities don’t make good leaders). Curiosity has these positive effects because it leads us to generate alternatives.
  • My own research confirms that encouraging people to be curious generates workplace improvements.
  • What is one topic or activity you are curious about today? What is one thing you usually take for granted that you want to ask about? Please make sure you ask a few ‘Why questions’ as you engage in your work throughout the day. Please set aside a few minutes to identify how you’ll approach your work today with these questions in mind.”
  • “What is one topic or activity you’ll engage in today? What is one thing you usually work on or do that you’ll also complete today? Please make sure you think about this as you engage in your work throughout the day. Please set aside a few minutes to identify how you’ll approach your work today with these questions in mind.”
  • When we are curious, we view tough situations more creatively. Studies have found that curiosity is associated with less defensive reactions to stress and less aggressive reactions to provocation.
  • curiosity encourages members of a group to put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in one another’s ideas rather than focus only on their own perspective. That causes them to work together more effectively and smoothly: Conflicts are less heated, and groups achieve better results.
  • he groups whose curiosity had been heightened performed better than the control groups because they shared information more openly and listened more carefully.
  • Hire for curiosity.
  • “Have you ever found yourself unable to stop learning something you’ve never encountered before? Why? What kept you persistent?”
  • most people perform at their best not because they’re specialists but because their deep skill is accompanied by an intellectual curiosity that leads them to ask questions, explore, and collaborate.
  • “What is the one thing I should do to make things better for you?”
  • hen we demonstrate curiosity about others by asking questions, people like us more and view us as more competent, and the heightened trust makes our relationships more interesting and intimate.
  • But focusing on learning is generally more beneficial to us and our organizations,
  • A body of research demonstrates that framing work around learning goals (developing competence, acquiring skills, mastering new situations, and so on) rather than performance goals (hitting targets, proving our competence, impressing others) boosts motivation. And when motivated by learning goals, we acquire more-diverse skills, do better at work, get higher grades in college, do better on problem-solving tasks, and receive higher ratings after training. Unfortunately, organizations often prioritize performance goals.
  • rewarding people not only for their performance but for the learning needed to get there.
  • Leaders can also stress the value of learning by reacting positively to ideas that may be mediocre in themselves but could be springboards to better ones.
  • Organizations can foster curiosity by giving employees time and resources to explore their interests.
  • Employees can also broaden their interests by broadening their networks. Curious people often end up being star performers thanks to their diverse networks,
  • Leaders can also boost employees’ curiosity by carefully designing their teams.
  • What if…?” and “How might we…?”
  • To encourage curiosity, leaders should also teach employees how to ask good questions.
  • Organizing “Why?” days, when employees are encouraged to ask that question if facing a challenge, can go a long way toward fostering curiosity.
  • 5 Whys
  •  
    HT Nicole Martin
Meghan Cureton

The Art of Reflection | Edutopia - 0 views

  • Portfolios allow students to regularly reflect on their learning process—deepening their connection to content.
  • For portfolios to be truly valuable to both students and teachers, they need to provide insight into not only what students created as a representation of their learning, but also how and why they created it. If the ultimate goal is to develop students as learners,  they need an opportunity to make connections to the content as well as the overarching learning objectives.
  • “By capturing student learning progress and performance in the moment… we can bring learning to life.”
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  • Progress and Performance Portfolios
  • students can curate a body of work that represents their progress as well as their performance to show their thinking throughout their learning experiences.
  • when we encourage students to capture their thinking on a daily basis, reflection is no longer merely a task at the end of a project.
  • Teachers can also leverage visible thinking routines to scaffold student reflection.
  • As educators, our challenge is ensuring that students have an opportunity to engage in reflection such that they create a meaningful product to actually visit (and learn from) again and again.
Meghan Cureton

NAIS - One School's Approach to Equitable Grading - 1 views

  • a student’s grade could be more reflective of the teacher’s approach to grading than the student’s academic performance.
  • because many of the teachers’ grading practices rewarded or punished students for every assignment, activity, and behavior in the classroom, students often were less willing to take risks and make mistakes, and cared less about learning
  • But Previna didn’t blame the teachers. After all, none of them—herself included—had ever received any training or support with how to grade
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  • She started by sharing a few articles about the weaknesses of common grading practices with the entire middle school faculty
  • Then she invited all faculty to research, examine, and imagine ways to align grading to their vision for progressive and equitable education
  • first learned how many common grading practices were created during the Industrial Revolution and are based on century-old beliefs about teaching, learning, and human potential that have long since been debunked. By continuing to use these practices, we contradict our current understanding about effective teaching and learning
  • After studying the research about grading and learning about research-supported grading practices that are more accurate, more bias-resistant, and develop intrinsic motivation in students, the pilot group of middle school faculty members was excited to start using them. These more equitable practices included using alternatives to the 0–100 scale, not including behavior in the grade, ending extra credit, using rubrics, and developing a culture of retakes and redos
  • Students were less stressed, and classroom environments felt more relaxed and supportive of learning.
  • Grade inflation decreased
  • Grades are more accurate and less biased
  • Students’ motivation increased
  • Changes to grading practices leverage other aspects of programmatic reimagining
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