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Contents contributed and discussions participated by Deron Durflinger

Deron Durflinger

How Design Thinking Became a Buzzword at School - The Atlantic - 0 views

  • Ultimately, design thinking is not a curriculum, advocates like Stevenson say, but a process for problem-solving, a strategy to elicit creativity rooted in empathy and comfort with failure
  • Mindsets, grit, and design thinking are all victims of their own massive popularity, and in the rush to incorporate these concepts into existing lesson plans, have sometimes been reduced to checklist items on teachers’ overcrowded to-do lists. When treated as a classroom culture, however, rather than an action, design thinking (as well as mindset and grit) may revolutionize the way teachers and students think about failure, creative problem-solving, and teamwork.
Deron Durflinger

Educational Insights From Shanghai - Top Performers - Education Week - 0 views

  • he schools were joyous places.  This, he said, seemed to be the foundation for everything else he observed
  • ecause the lessons were beautifully crafted, clearly designed to be as engaging as possible. 
  • were lined with other teachers who were collaborating in the design of these lessons.
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  • worked together over months to build the most effective lessons they could, critiquing each version, adding new ideas, testing them out, until the whole group was satisfied that the lesson was as good as it could be.
  • ratio between prep time and teaching time in the Shanghai schools we visited.  In the U.S., she said, teachers typically have one hour to prepare for five classes.  In the Shanghai schools, they have four hours to prepare for two hours of teaching. This, she said, makes all the difference.  Teachers can use this time to collaborate with other teachers to craft great lessons, to talk with other teachers about particular students' learning needs and how they might work together to address them, or to do the research needed to get ready to do another improvement project. 
  • All teachers are expected to do it, and getting good at is it one of the criteria for moving up the career ladder
  • hat fascinated our team was the way teachers were expected to write short papers about the research they had done and to publish these research papers in a range of juried journals, some published by universities.
  • Of course they did not do well this way.  How could they do well in language and mathematics without a balanced curriculum, without a faculty that showed that they loved them, without music, art and PE?
  • his whole enormous system was on pretty much the same page for the same reasons, not because they had been told to do something in particular, but because the discussions they had been involved in had led them to the same conclusions about the goals and the most effective ways to achieve the
  • One was the clarity of the system's curriculum expectations.  There is a core curriculum that accounts for about 70 percent of the available time that is required for all students. The courses are spelled out and the system approves the textbooks that will be used. 
  • hat it had clearly been honed and then honed again to remove everything that was not essential and to give the connections in the logic of the instruction an air of inevitability that seemed, as he put it, simply elegant.
  • he common thread, he said, was the way teachers were treated, in every way, as professionals.
  • The Shanghai Municipal Education Commission clearly views its teachers, not university researchers, as the main drivers of improvements in student performance. 
  • teachers talked about the importance of constantly getting better, which meant improving their own skills and improving the curriculum and instruction and therefore improving student performance.  Like doctors, engineers and attorneys in the United States, they saw keeping up with the latest developments in their field and changing their practice in the light of those advancements as a core part of their responsibility.  That is why professional development and school improvement are thought of as synonymous by Shanghai officials. 
  • hey accepted the idea that they were not functioning autonomously in their classrooms, but accountable to their peers and colleagues for the quality of their own work and for their contribution to the common enterprise.   These are all hallmarks of a true profession. 
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