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Bo Adams

What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team - The New York Times - 1 views

  • many of today’s most valuable firms have come to realize that analyzing and improving individual workers ­— a practice known as ‘‘employee performance optimization’’ — isn’t enough. As commerce becomes increasingly global and complex, the bulk of modern work is more and more team-based.
  • teams are now the fundamental unit of organization.
  • influence not only how people work but also how they work together.
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  • Google’s People Operations department
  • there was nothing showing that a mix of specific personality types or skills or backgrounds made any difference. The ‘who’ part of the equation didn’t seem to matter.’’
  • At Google, we’re good at finding patterns,’’
  • As they struggled to figure out what made a team successful, Rozovsky and her colleagues kept coming across research by psychologists and sociologists that focused on what are known as ‘‘group norms.’’
  • Norms are the traditions, behavioral standards and unwritten rules that govern how we function when we gather
  • Norms can be unspoken or openly acknowledged, but their influence is often profound.
  • looked for instances when team members described a particular behavior as an ‘‘unwritten rule’’ or when they explained certain things as part of the ‘‘team’s culture.’’
  • After looking at over a hundred groups for more than a year, Project Aristotle researchers concluded that understanding and influencing group norms were the keys to improving Google’s teams.
  • The researchers eventually concluded that what distinguished the ‘‘good’’ teams from the dysfunctional groups was how teammates treated one another. The right norms, in other words, could raise a group’s collective intelligence, whereas the wrong norms could hobble a team, even if, individually, all the members were exceptionally bright.
  • As the researchers studied the groups, however, they noticed two behaviors that all the good teams generally shared. First, on the good teams, members spoke in roughly the same proportion, a phenomenon the researchers referred to as ‘‘equality in distribution of conversational turn-taking.’’
  • Second, the good teams all had high ‘‘average social sensitivity’’ — a fancy way of saying they were skilled at intuiting how others felt based on their tone of voice, their expressions and other nonverbal cues.
  • psychological safety — a group culture that the Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson defines as a ‘‘shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.’’
  • Psychological safety is ‘‘a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up,’’
  • ‘‘It describes a team climate characterized by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves.’’
  • Rozovsky’s study group at Yale was draining because the norms — the fights over leadership, the tendency to critique — put her on guard. Whereas the norms of her case-competition team — enthusiasm for one another’s ideas, joking around and having fun — allowed everyone to feel relaxed and energized.
  • other behaviors that seemed important as well — like making sure teams had clear goals and creating a culture of dependability.
  • it made sense that psychological safety and emotional conversations were related.
  • The behaviors that create psychological safety — conversational turn-taking and empathy — are part of the same unwritten rules we often turn to, as individuals, when we need to establish a bond.
  • If I can’t be open and honest at work, then I’m not really living, am I?’’
  • to be fully present at work, to feel ‘‘psychologically safe,’’ we must know that we can be free enough, sometimes, to share the things that scare us without fear of recriminations. We must be able to talk about what is messy or sad, to have hard conversations with colleagues who are driving us crazy. We can’t be focused just on efficiency.
  • By adopting the data-driven approach of Silicon Valley, Project Aristotle has encouraged emotional conversations and discussions of norms among people who might otherwise be uncomfortable talking about how they feel.
  • In the best teams, members listen to one another and show sensitivity to feelings and needs.
  • ‘Just having data that proves to people that these things are worth paying attention to sometimes is the most important step in getting them to actually pay attention,’’ Rozovsky told me. ‘‘Don’t underestimate the power of giving people a common platform and operating language.’’
Jim Tiffin Jr

Pedagogy of Play | Project Zero - 0 views

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

Go play! It's the key to developing executive function - Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development - 0 views

  • “executive function,” the ability to self-regulate, the measurement of which turns out to be a better indicator of success in school than the results of an IQ test. Kids with good self-regulation skills are better able to control their emotions, resist impulsive behavior, and become self-disciplined and self-controlled.
  • how do we reconcile today’s anxious parents and the highly structured environment with our children’s need for unstructured, self-regulated play?
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Key part of this highlight: unstructured and self-regulated
  • The primary requirement for unsupervised play is uninterrupted stretches of time
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  • Even the youngest children are quite capable of entertaining, even educating, themselves.
  • encourage complex imaginative play by offering simple props and play ideas, but then withdraw so the children can plan their own scenarios and act them out.
  • your child is spending precious time at the activity that children need most and love best: playing independently and imaginatively
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    Though this post is written for parents, there are actions and ideas here that teachers can act upon.  The importance of play and its benefits are becoming more and more apparent - plus research is supporting it. Note to self: More research on executive function, and ways of building it in schools, needs to be done. HT: Jackie Gerstein
Meghan Cureton

Grades Suffer When Class Time Doesn't Match Students' Biological Clocks - Inside School Research - Education Week - 1 views

  • "An important piece of the story is that it's not just about making the life of a teenager easier by saying maybe we can make classes later," said Benjamin Smarr, a postdoctoral psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley who studies circadian rhythm disruptions and learning.
  • As it turned out, taking a class schedule mismatched to your biological clock took a toll on students' grades, as the chart below shows. 
  • Early-rising "larks" had a grade advantage in morning classes, they found. Night owls performed better in afternoon and early evening classes, but the researchers also found these students tended to struggle more than those with earlier circadian rhythms in general. The researchers believe this was because their schedules were the farthest off "normal" class schedules, and the actual class times often varied significantly from day to day, making it difficult for these students to develop any consistency.
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  • Most high schools don't really have the option to make multiple sessions of the same class at different times, but Smarr said for those who use software that can track the timing of students' activity, it may be worth getting a sense of when different groups of students are likely to be most alert when scheduling core classes. Other forms of technology may also help, he said, allowing students to access classes or rewatch lectures at different times of the day.
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.
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    HT @MeghanCureton
T.J. Edwards

35 Competency-Based Education Advocacy & Research Organizations - 0 views

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    Don't reinvent the CBE wheel. Resources from key researchers. ht @bdroke
Jim Tiffin Jr

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

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

Feedback In Lieu of Grades - LiveBinder HT @JoyKirr - 0 views

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    Joy Kirr's incredible collection of inquiry/research around feedback as a replacement for grades.
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
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    HT Nicole Martin
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
Meghan Cureton

What Babies Know About Physics and Foreign Languages - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    New research tells us scientifically what most preschool teachers have always known intuitively. If we want to encourage learning, innovation and creativity we should love our young children, take care of them, talk to them, let them play and let them watch what we do as we go about our everyday lives. We don't have to make children learn, we just have to let them learn.
T.J. Edwards

Homework is wrecking our kids: The research is clear, let's ban elementary homework - Salon.com - 0 views

  • For elementary-aged children, research suggests that studying in class gets superior learning results, while extra schoolwork at home is just . . . extra work
  • By the time kids reach high school, homework provides academic benefit, but only in moderation.
  • Homework supporters say homework teaches responsibility, reinforces lessons taught in school, and creates a home-school link with parents. However, involved parents can see what’s coming home in a child’s backpack and initiate sharing about school work–they don’t need to monitor their child’s progress with assigned homework.
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  • What works better than traditional homework at the elementary level is simply reading at home.
Trey Boden

9 Research-Backed Ways to Spark Your Creativity - Michael Hyatt - 0 views

  • Create distance. Usually, the more we work on a problem, the closer we get to it. But distance gives us an beneficial change in perspective.
  • Stay upbeat. No. 4 relates back to No. 3. It’s impossible to play in a bad mood, and it turns out researchers find people are better at solving problems when they’re upbeat and positive.
  • The right constraints can clear our heads and challenge us to work with our available resources.
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

How Do You Teach to the Standards When Doing Project-Based Learning? - 4 views

  • People often debate about whether we should be process-driven or product-driven in project-based learning. But I think there’s a third option. We can be learning-driven. In other words, we should start with the question, “What do we want students to learn?” and let that drive the process and the product.
  • PBL is not a license to ditch the standards or take a break from real learning.
  • #1: Inquiry-DrivenInquiry-driven PBL begins with a state of curiosity and wonder. It might be as simple as the sentence stem “I wonder why _________” or “I wonder how _________.” Students then have the opportunity to research, ideate, and create.
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  • #4: Problem-DrivenProblem-driven PBL begins with a specific problem or challenge that students must solve. An example is our maker challenges that present a specific scenario that leads students into research, problem-solving, ideation, and a final product that solves the initial challenge.
  • #3: Product-DrivenPBL experts often say, “Students should focus on the process and not the product.” But there’s also a time and a place for projects that challenge students to focus on developing a quality product. In these projects, the product has tighter parameters but the process is more flexible.
  • #2: Interest-DrivenAnother approach is the interest-driven PBL process.
  • #5: Empathy-Driven (Design Thinking)Empathy-driven PBL can have elements of the previous four PBL approaches.
Bo Adams

Students Design, Tinker, Create and Discover through Maker-based Learning | NextGen Learning - 1 views

  • The nature of maker-based learning actively engages students, nurtures their agency, improves efficacy, and develops a creator or producer identity instead of a (passive) consumer one.
  • In Thomas’ experience, too many people fail to reflect on WHY they’re choosing certain tools, and HOW those tools will be integrated into the curriculum and culture of school.
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    Sometimes the impetus for making is a practical problem. Other times, play, curiosity and imagination are the motivators. Regardless, researchers from Harvard's Project Zero agree, "maker experiences help students learn to pursue their own passions and become self-directed learners, proactively seeking out knowledge and resources on their own" (Agency by Design, p. 3). HT Parker Thomas
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