Wou er iets bij schrijven, maar kwam er nog niet toe… 😉
Stories, ideas, and beliefs that have been disproved through scientific studies litter the mind. Professionals across-the-board in medicine, law, architecture, engineering, and business take-for-granted stories that have little to no basis in evidence. Yet they persist.
In earlier posts, I have identified such “zombie” ideas that have scientific-crafted shafts buried in their heart yet arise again and again (see here and here). I offer another one that a viewer of this blog (Pedro De Bruyckere, a teacher educator in Ghent, Belgium) suggested in a recent comment . He and colleagues have written a book about common myths that educators hold and he reminded about the “Learning Pyramid.”
A cottage industry of debunkers have pointed out many times over the past quarter-century that the “Pyramid” has no scientific standing and comes from unattributed sources mushed together in the 1960s and 1970s (see here, here, and here)…
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Everyone likes data that back their prejudices. Academics call it “confirmation bias.” It runs rife among U.S. Presidents, state governors, legislators, school district policymakers, and Moms and Dads. I include myself in the crowd. People with beliefs on one or the other side of an issue lean heavily on examples and evidence that supports their view of, say, gun control, dieting, the worth of alternative medicine or the two-shooter theory in the Kennedy assassination. Resisting confirmation bias and being open-minded, a process that is closer to sandpaper rather than a soft pillow, requires awareness of one’s beliefs, values and positions on issues. It is hard work and requires attention in what one chooses to read, listen to, and think because it is far easier to screen out or avoid contrary information. Convenience often trumps thinking. All of this is also true for teachers. Consider the issue of data-driven…
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I absolutely love planning lessons from scratch. I just got a job teaching technology units for a summer camp for elementary age students. I can design and teach whatever I want – planning for a different theme each week. Some of the themes I am planning are: Expanding and Showing Your Personal Interests Through Blogging, Photos, and Videos; Coding and Creating Online Games; Tinkering and Making – Simple Robotics; Hacking Your Notebook; and Creating Online Comics, Newspapers, and Magazines. I have begun the process of planning these classes through reflecting on what the lessons will look like. Here are some questions I ask myself as I go through this process:
- Will the learning activities provide learners with opportunities to tap into their own personal interests and passions?
- Will the learning activities offer the learners the chance to put them “selves” into their work?
- Will the learning activities provide learners with opportunities…
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Okay, so maybe these three things aren’t so secret since they were featured in a popular New York Times article called “Why Some Teams are Smarter Than Others.” Still, I’ve read many similar leadership “lists” and none struck me quite like the research from this article. Perhaps it’s because the results of this study were so simple and straightforward. Three concrete, simple factors that proved to impact team success.
Based on this research, consider adopting a few new strategies or norms for team meetings:
- Play “Minute-to-Begin-It”: Start with a team check-in protocol that allows every person one minute to describe their emotional state. Is Jennifer exhausted or elated? Is Jose optimistic or deflated? This type of sharing helps each member learn to read the way their colleagues are feeling and to keep track of this as they interact in the meeting.
- Bring a Timer: Build in time for equal participation as part of your agenda. Discussing options for the fall fundraiser? Give team members 1-2 minutes to think silently (wait time works for adults, too!) and then leave 1-2 minutes per person for sharing and discussion. Time each person’s contribution to ensure equal attention is paid to each team member and his or her ideas.
- Make Everyone a Facilitator: Divide up the meeting agenda amongst team members at the start. Who can lead our discussion about student data? Who can lead 10 minutes on teacher recruitment? Giving each person a role in the meeting helps reluctant participants step forward and overeager participants step back.
- Stoplight Stickies: Give each group member a red, yellow, and green sticky note. At regular intervals, and particularly at decision points, stop for an emotional check in. Ask each participant to put their red sticky in front of them on the table if they have a negative emotional reaction (anger, fear, worry) to the discussion at that point, yellow if they feel neutral, and green if they feel a positive emotional response (excitement, satisfaction, pleasure). A visual reminder will help the “green” participants honor the different perspective of the “red” participants.
I love end of year “best of” lists. My own list is what I found to be the most powerful education related videos of 2014. They all, in some way, address the mind, heart, and spirit of education. Each touched me in some way to help illuminate the purpose and core of education. Let me know of any others that you found of value during 2014!
Malala Yousuf Nobel Prize Speech
So through my story I want to tell other children all around the world that they should stand up for their rights. They should not wait for someone else and their voices are more powerful. Their voices – it would seem that they are weak, but at the time when no one speak, your voice gets so loud that everyone has to listen to it. Everyone has to hear it. So it’s my message to children all around the…
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