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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
Bo Adams

Educational Leadership:The Constructivist Classroom:The Courage to Be Constructivist - 1 views

  • The search for understanding motivates students to learn. When students want to know more about an idea, a topic, or an entire discipline, they put more cognitive energy into classroom investigations and discussions and study more on their own.
  • First, constructivist teachers seek and value students' points of view. Knowing what students think about concepts helps teachers formulate classroom lessons and differentiate instruction on the basis of students' needs and interests
  • Second, constructivist teachers structure lessons to challenge students' suppositions. All students, whether they are 6 or 16 or 60, come to the classroom with life experiences that shape their views about how their worlds work. When educators permit students to construct knowledge that challenges their current suppositions, learning occurs. Only through asking students what they think they know and why they think they know it are we and they able to confront their suppositions
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  • Third, constructivist teachers recognize that students must attach relevance to the curriculum. As students see relevance in their daily activities, their interest in learning grows.
  • Fourth, constructivist teachers structure lessons around big ideas, not small bits of information. Exposing students to wholes first helps them determine the relevant parts as they refine their understandings of the wholes.
  • Finally, constructivist teachers assess student learning in the context of daily classroom investigations, not as separate events. Students demonstrate their knowledge every day in a variety of ways. Defining understanding as only that which is capable of being measured by paper-and-pencil assessments administered under strict security perpetuates false and counterproductive myths about academia, intelligence, creativity, accountability, and knowledge.
  • Organizing a constructivist classroom is difficult work for the teacher and requires the rigorous intellectual commitment and perseverance of students. Constructivist teachers recognize that students bring their prior experiences with them to each school activity and that it is crucial to connect lessons to their students' experiential repertoires. Initial relevance and interest are largely a function of the learner's experiences, not of the teacher's planning. Therefore, it is educationally counterproductive to ignore students' suppositions and points of view.
  • Constructivist classrooms demand far more from teachers and students than lockstep obeisance to prepackaged lessons.
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

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

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 assessments Data experts
  •  
    HT @eijunkie
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!
Jim Tiffin Jr

Project-Based Learning Through a Maker's Lens | Edutopia - 5 views

  • A Maker is an individual who communicates, collaborates, tinkers, fixes, breaks, rebuilds, and constructs projects for the world around him or her.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      A nice list-style definition of a Maker.
  • A Maker, re-cast into a classroom, has a name that we all love: a learner.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      True, but (sadly) the converse is not always the case in some classrooms: A maker may always be a learner, but a learner is not always a maker.
  • A Maker, just like a true learner, values the process of making as much as the product.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Equality of these two ideas, process and product, is a value held by a Maker.
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  • Making, especially to educators and administrators unfamiliar with it, can seem to lack the academic rigor needed for a full-fledged place in an educational ecosystem.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Only in educational settings where content knowledge is deemed the most important indicator of learning.
  • With practice, the students can frame the questions themselves.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Essential when you are trying to develop agency in students.
  • Once completed, the project becomes less of a daily race to fulfill lesson plans and more of a quest to document your students' growing capabilities.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      This reflective documentation process should be something that both teacher AND student are doing. The student point-of-view should be written for the benefit of the student, not the teacher. The teacher should coach this process for the student so that the monitoring of growth is seen as a value for the student. The teacher documentation should also inform the student as to their growth, but the information can be used for more "teacherly" purposes as well, such preparing for future activities or intentional pairings of students in the early phases of the PBL unit.
  • model it yourself first
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Always let your students see you, the teacher, as a learner - first and foremost!
  •  
    The messy, hands-on Maker classroom is perfect for a PBL unit when the teacher is willing to collaborate, tinker, fix, break, and rebuild alongside students. Some fundamental elements to consider in the designing of a maker-centered project, but not as absolutes. It is important to realize that any project taken on in a maker-centered classroom is, by definition, a PBL experience.
  •  
    Fabulous piece about the myriad connection among PBL and Maker. And your commentary is so helpful and provocative. Thank you!
Meghan Cureton

Paradigm shift: from solo-teacher to teaching team - anne knock - 1 views

  • My professional focus is the future of learning and learning environments. I see that the design of the spaces where learning occurs, plays a significant part in providing the context for the education our students need today. The innovative learning environment (ILE) enables an array of opportunities for student learning, supporting a variety of learning modes and pedagogical approaches.
  • Where there are multiple classes in shared spaces, maximising the opportunities afforded is dependent on the collective values held and the connectedness of the teachers co-located.
  • “The label, ‘team’, may hold a certain mystique but this mystique, we suggest, must first be earned. . . Teams need time and opportunity to mature; they are not simply created by the application of the label or by a managerial fiat” (Fisher, Hunter & Macrossan, 1997).
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  • There are benefits of social and interpersonal connection amongst teachers and teaching teams.
  • It takes time to reach optimum performance stage, as team development passes through defined phases: forming, storming, norming and performing, before they can really ‘hum’. It may feel easier for teachers to just stay on their own, the stages of team development can be difficult, but the advantages are worth it, for the teachers themselves, as well as their students.
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."
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

How Can Schools Prioritize For The Best Ways Kids Learn? | MindShift | KQED News - 0 views

  • if the changes to education are all in the service of doing the same thing better, they may be missing the point.
  • the current context demands a radically different vision of learning.
  • examples of schools and districts that are asking themselves difficult questions to propel change. The successful ones are letting the answer to the question, “How do kids learn best?” drive everything they do in schools.
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  • education that is student-initiated, interdisciplinary and co-planned by students and teachers together
  • “It’s about doing work that matters,” Richardson said. “It’s about connections. It’s about play. It’s about cultures where kids and teachers are learners.” When schools have a set of beliefs about learning and enact those beliefs through practice, but don’t anchor what they are doing in today’s context, they may be doing something progressive, but also a little irrelevant. Beliefs and contexts without practice leads to ineffective teaching. The sweet spot for a very different type of education system lies in the Venn diagram of all three: beliefs, context and practice.
  • It can be difficult to interrogate longstanding policies and choices, but if districts, schools and individual educators can’t reflect on what’s working and what isn’t, articulate a change, and begin doing it, the education system as a whole will become irrelevant.
Meghan Cureton

Can Micro-credentials Create More Meaningful Professional Development For Teachers? | MindShift | KQED News - 0 views

  • Learning science says people learn best when they apply new information to their own contexts.
  • The ability to try it right away in my classroom and to get feedback from my colleagues and the person running the micro-credential was really important
  • He likes that he can choose to earn micro-credentials in areas of his practice where he wants to improve and that he can complete them with flexibility, contributing when he has time.
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  • Kettle Moraine, a small suburban Wisconsin district about 30 miles west of Milwaukee, has taken the lead on micro-credentials.
  • In Kettle Moraine teachers can earn $200, $400 or $600 toward their base pay, depending on the type of micro-credential. The district allows teachers to take courses through outside nonprofits like Digital Promise, district-created micro-credentials or individually proposed credentials. The micro-credential must be pre-approved in order to count toward compensation, so that district leadership can keep an eye on costs.
  • San Lorenzo School District
  • Tennessee is currently piloting micro-credentials as a pathway toward relicensure with 60 teachers.
  • Seminole County Public Schools is also looking at how micro-credentials could shake up existing models of professional development
  • Leaders in this movement don’t want micro-credentials to be confused with digital badges, essentially a gold star without a lot behind it, or a rubber stamp. Instead, they hope the ecosystem will evolve so that states and districts will be able to identify high-quality courses from the rest and the micro-credential itself will be a form of currency for teachers to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.
Meghan Cureton

'Lesson Study' Technique: What Teachers Can Learn From One Another | MindShift | KQED News - 0 views

  • Next, the teachers do some research on why students struggle with adding fractions. They read the latest education literature and look at lessons other teachers have tried. Typically they have an “outside adviser.” This person is usually an expert or researcher who does not work at the school but who’s invited to advise the group and help them with things like identifying articles and studies to read.
  • he observers don’t focus on the teacher; they focus on the students
  • But the Japanese think about improving teaching.
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  • we need to shift from thinking about how to improve teachers to thinking about how to improve teaching.
  • it’s a long process, kind of the opposite of the one-day workshop
  • Lesson study helps you “get into new habits as a thinker, and as an instructor,”
  • “We are so addicted to quick fixes,” says Hiebert. “If it doesn’t fix things in two years, it’s not worth it.”
Meghan Cureton

Why I Don't Grade | Jesse Stommel - 2 views

  • grades are the biggest and most insidious obstacle to education.
  • Agency, dialogue, self-actualization, and social justice are not possible in a hierarchical system that pits teachers against students and encourages competition by ranking students against one another.
  • Certainly, metacognition, and the ability to self-assess, must be developed, but I see it as one of the most important skills we can teach in any educational environment.
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  • You should consider this course a “busy-work-free zone.” If an assignment does not feel productive, we can find ways to modify, remix, or repurpose the instructions.
  • I find it strange that teachers and institutions would pre-determine outcomes before students even arrive upon the scene.
  • As educators, we have helped build (or are complicit in) a system that creates a great deal of pressure around grades. We shouldn't blame (or worse, degrade) students for the failures of that system.
  • Authentic feedback (and evaluation) means honoring subjectivity and requires that we show up as our full selves, both teachers and learners, to the work of education. Grades can't be “normed” if we recognize the complexity of learners and learning contexts. Bias can't be accounted for unless we acknowledge it.
  • Because I put myself outside of the grading loop, I can focus all my efforts on feedback and encouragement — on teaching, not grading.” Which leads me to wonder whether “graded participation” is actually an oxymoron. We can't participate authentically, can't dialogue, without first disrupting the power dynamics of grading.
  • “Research shows three reliable effects when students are graded: They tend to think less deeply, avoid taking risks, and lose interest in the learning itself.”
  • “There is an extreme mismatch between what we value and how we count.”
  • a mixture of things assessed and a mixture of kinds of assessment, because the work of being a doctor (or engineer, sociologist, teacher, etc.) is sufficiently complex that any one system of measurement or indicator of supposed mastery will necessarily fail.
  • “When the how’s of assessment preoccupy us, they tend to chase the why’s back into the shadows.” Grades are not something we should have ever allowed to be naturalized. Assessment should be, by its nature, an open question.
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?
Bo Adams

In the Shoes of a Teacher: A Real-Time DEEP dive into Empathy for a School Leader | The Learning and Leading Life - 0 views

  •  
    A fabulous reflection from an inspired and inspiring educator who demonstrates profound perspective consciousness and empathy through walking in several different kinds of shoes. 
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
Bo Adams

The Future of Big Data and Analytics in K-12 Education - Education Week - 0 views

  • data scientists would then search the waters for patterns in each student's engagement level, moods, use of classroom resources, social habits, language and vocabulary use, attention span, academic performance, and more.
  • would be fed to teachers, parents, and students via AltSchool's digital learning platform and mobile app, which are currently being tested
  • AltSchool's 50-plus engineers, data scientists, and developers are designing tools that could be available to other schools by the 2018-19 school year.
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  • AltSchool is almost certain to provoke a backlash from parents and privacy advocates who see in its plans the potential for an Orwellian surveillance nightmare, as well as potentially unethical experimentation on children.
  • The term "big data" is generally used to describe data sets so large they must be analyzed by computers. Usually, the purpose is to find patterns and connections relating to human behavior and how complex systems function.
  • Analytics generally refers to the process of collecting such data, conducting those analyses, generating corresponding insights, and using that new information to make (what proponents hope will be) smarter decisions.
  • replacing the top-down, slow-moving bureaucratic structures that currently shape public education with a "networked model" in which students, teachers, and schools are connected directly by information and thus capable of learning and adapting more quickly.
  • 'Montessori 2.0': a kind of supercharged version of the progressive, project-based learning often found in elite private schools and privileged enclaves within traditional school systems.
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    Eventually, Ventilla envisions AltSchool technology facilitating an exponential increase in the amount of information collected on students in school, all in service of expanding the hands-on, project-based model of learning in place at the six private school campuses the company currently operates in Silicon Valley and New York City.
Meghan Cureton

Why Empathy Holds the Key to Transforming 21st Century Learning | MindShift | KQED News - 2 views

  • Empathy has the potential to open up students to deeper learning, drive clarity of thinking, and inspire engagement with the world—in other words, provide the emotional sustenance for outstanding human performance.
  • Empathy lies at the heart of 21st century skillfulness in teamwork, collaboration and communication in a diverse world.
  • The frontal lobes of the brain, at least as much as we know now, are the seat of planning, execution, problem solving and creativity—and when the frontal lobes are working well, so are we.
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  • Setting up a culture of care is very much an exercise in making empathy central to daily work.
  • Empathy is now identified as the first step in the design process, whether crafting new software for a user or creating form-factors that inherently please the consumer.
  • empathy is described as ‘step.’ But that easy designation belies a very deep process in which a designer must, for lack of a better term, ‘sink into the mind of another and take on their persona’. That is a deep descriptor of an ultimate form of empathy—and it may be a necessary component of an educational system increasingly tilted toward design and inquiry.
  • Ready or not, education is entering an age in which social learning is the new norm. Pure academics are giving way to increased opportunities for students to work together; teachers increasingly take on the role of co-learner and facilitator; listening, learning, and teaming are the new core skills. At the heart of this new skillfulness for everyone is the ability to forge deep connections lead to creative problem solving and positive pursuits. Taken all together, this makes empathy critical to schools. In fact, very soon we will need to invent a new taxonomy of learning that makes empathy the base of the learning pyramid.
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