From DSC:
1) To start out this posting, I want to pose some questions about “The Common Core” — in the form of a short video. <— NOTE:  Please be sure your speakers are on or you have some headphones with you — the signal is “hot” so you may need to turn down the volume a bit!  🙂

With a special thanks going out to
Mr. Bill Vriesema for sharing
some of his excellent gifts/work.

 .

DanielChristian-SomeQuestionsReTheCommonCore-June2013

 

.

Having asked those questions, I understand that there is great value in having students obtain a base level of knowledge — in reading, writing, and basic math.  (Should we add keyboarding? Programming? Other?  Perhaps my comments are therefore more appropriate for high school students…not sure.)

Anyway, I would be much more comfortable with moving forward with the Common Core IF:

* I walked into random schools and found out which teachers the students really enjoyed learning from and whom had a real impact on the learning of the students.  Once I identified that group of teachers, if 7-8 out of 10 of them gave the Common Core a thumbs up, so would I.

* The Common Core covered more areas — such as fine arts, music, drama, woodworking, videography, photography, etc.    (Just because STEM might drive the economic engines doesn’t mean everyone enjoys plugging into a STEM-related field — or is gifted in those areas.)

.

 


2) Secondly, here are just a few recent items re: the Common Core:


 

Good Read: Who’s Minding the Schools? — from blogs.kqed.org by Tina Barseghian

Excerpt: (emphasis DSC)

For those uninitiated to the Common Core State Standards, this New York Times article raises some important questions:

“By definition, America has never had a national education policy; this has indeed contributed to our country’s ambivalence on the subject… The anxiety that drives this criticism comes from the fact that a radical curriculum — one that has the potential to affect more than 50 million children and their parents — was introduced with hardly any public discussion. Americans know more about the events in Benghazi than they do about the Common Core.”

.

The Common Core Standards

 

.

Editorial: Make the Common Core standards work before making them count — from eschoolnews.com by Randi Weingarten
AFT President Randi Weingarten calls for a moratorium on the high-stakes implications of Common Core testing until the standards have been properly implemented.

.

How to train students’ brains for the Common Core — from ecampusnews.com by Meris Stansbury
Excerpt:

According to Margaret Glick, a neuroscience expert and educational consultant at the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), the Common Core State Standards and the accompanying assessments will cognitively require more than past standards. “They will require a deep understanding of content, complex performances, real-world application, habits of mind to persevere, higher levels of cognition and cognitive flexibility,” Glick said during “The Common Core State Standards and the Brain,” a webinar sponsored by the Learning Enhancement Corporation.

.

Common Core testing will require digital literacy skills — from ecampusnews.com by Dennis Pierce
Excerpt:

It also will require students to demonstrate certain digital literacy skills that go beyond the core curriculum, observers say. These include technology operational skills such as keyboarding and spreadsheets, as well as higher-order skills such as finding and evaluating information online. And many observers have serious concerns about whether students will be ready to take the online exams by the 2014-15 school year.

 

Minn. moves ahead with some Common Core education standards — from minnesota.publicradio.org by Tim Post

 

Carry the Common Core in Your Pocket! — from appolearning.com by Monica Burns

Excerpt:

Whether you are a parent or educator, you have likely heard the buzz around the Common Core Learning Standards. Here’s the deal.

Across the United States schools are adopting these national standards to prepare students for college and careers by introducing rigorous content to children in all subject areas. The standards cover students in Kindergarten through Grade 12 in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The Common Core Standards app by MasteryConnect organizes the CCLS for students, parents and teachers with mobile devices.

 

 

Addendum on 6/19/13:

Addendum on 6/27/13: 

 

Game changers + kids — from live.huffingtonpost.com

Excerpt:

What happens when you bring business innovators together with today’s youth? Choose2Matter is about to find out. We talk to the people behind Choose2Matter and leaders of the business world about the power of the idea that everyone matters.

 

Also see:

.

Choose2Matter-May2013

40percentfreelancersby2020-quartz-april2013

 

Also, from Steve Wheeler’s

Etienne Wenger recently declared: ‘If any institutions are going to help learners with the real challenges they face…(they) will have to shift their focus from imparting curriculum to supporting the negotiation of productive identities through landscapes of practice’ (Wenger, 2010).

We live in uncertain times, where we cannot be sure how the economy is going to perform today, let alone predict what kind of jobs there will be for students when they graduate in a few years time. How can we prepare students for a world of work that doesn’t yet exist? How can we help learners to ready themselves for employment that is shifting like the sand, and where many of the jobs they will be applying for when they leave university probably don’t exist yet? It’s a conundrum many faculty and lecturers are wrestling with, and one which many others are ignoring in the hope that the problem will simply go away. Whether we are meerkats, looking out and anticipating the challenges, or ostriches burying our heads in the sand, the challenge remains, and it is growing stronger.

.

Also see:

.

401kworld-friedman-may2013

 

Also see:

  • The Nature of the Future: The Socialstructed World — from nextberlin.eu by Marina Gorbis, Institute for the Future
    Marina Gorbis, Executive Director of the Institute for the Future (iftf.org) discussed the evolution of communication and its consequences at NEXT13. She analyzed the perks and challenges of the new relationship-driven or “socialstructed” economy, stating that “humans and technology will team up”. Her new book ‘The Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World’ was published in early 2013.  Watch her inspiring talk on April 23, 2013 at NEXT13.

.

From DSC:
My best take on this at this point:

  • Give students more choice, more control of their learning
  • Help them discover their gifts, abilities, talents, passions
  • Help them develop their gifts, abilities, talents, passions
  • Provide content in as many ways as possible — and let the students work with what they prefer to work with
  • Implement story, emotion, creativity, and play as much as possible (providing plenty of chances for them to create what they want to create)
  • Utilize cross-disciplinary assignments and teams
  • Integrate real-world assignments/projects into the mix
  • Help them develop their own businesses while they are still in school — coach them along, provide mentors, relevant blogs/websites, etc.
  • Guide them as they create/develop their own “textbooks” and/or streams of content

 

It’s a 401(k) world — from nytimes.com by Thomas Friedman

Excerpts:

Something really big happened in the world’s wiring in the last decade, but it was obscured by the financial crisis and post-9/11. We went from a connected world to a hyperconnected world.

…the combination of these tools of connectivity and creativity has created a global education, commercial, communication and innovation platform on which more people can start stuff, collaborate on stuff, learn stuff, make stuff (and destroy stuff) with more other people than ever before.

But this huge expansion in an individual’s ability to do all these things comes with one big difference: more now rests on you.

Government will do less for you. Companies will do less for you. Unions can do less for you. There will be fewer limits, but also fewer guarantees. Your specific contribution will define your specific benefits much more. Just showing up will not cut it.

 

From DSC:
Makes me reflect on if we’re preparing our youth for the world that they will encounter. Makes me wonder…how does all of this emphasis on standardized tests fit into this new/developing world?  Does the Common Core address these developing needs/requirements for survival? Are we preparing students to be able to think on their feet? To “pivot?”  To adapt/turn on a dime?  Or does K-20 need to be rethought and reinvented? 

It seems that creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and lifelong learning are becoming more important all the time.

What say ye teachers and professors? If your students could have a super job tomorrow, would they come back to your class/school/program? If not, what would make them come back — and w/ eagerness in their step?  That’s where we need to head towards — and I think part of the solution involves more choice, more control being given to the students.

The new term (at least to me) that is increasingly coming to my mind is:

Heutagogy — from Wikipedia (emphasis DSC)

In education, heutagogy, a term coined by Stewart Hase of Southern Cross University and Chris Kenyon in Australia, is the study of self-determined learning. The notion is an expansion and reinterpretation of andragogy, and it is possible to mistake it for the same. However, there are several differences between the two that mark one from the other.

Heutagogy places specific emphasis on learning how to learn, double loop learning, universal learning opportunities, a non-linear process, and true learner self-direction. So, for example, whereas andragogy focuses on the best ways for people to learn, heutagogy also requires that educational initiatives include the improvement of people’s actual learning skills themselves, learning how to learn as well as just learning a given subject itself. Similarly, whereas andragogy focuses on structured education, in heutagogy all learning contexts, both formal and informal, are considered.

 

 

Games grow up: Colleges recognize the power of gamification — from edtechmagazine.com by Jacquelyn Bengfort
Universities enliven education through the power of play.

.

MOOCluhan: Using McLuhan to understand MOOCs — from computinged.wordpress.com by Mark Guzdial

Excerpt:

“Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn’t know the first thing about either.” — Marshall McLuhan

 When I first heard this famous quote from McLuhan, I was insulted.  Surely, McLuhan must not appreciate high-quality education, that he considers it no better than mass-market education!  Now, I have a better appreciation for what that quote is saying, and I realize that what he’s saying is deep and important, and relates to what MOOCs are missing.

Tagged with:  

The single most important factor for iPad success in schools — from the Learning in Hand blog by Tony Vincent

Excerpts:

The researchers found that “personal ‘ownership’ of the device is seen as the single most important factor for successful use of this technology.” They found ownership is fundamental for increasing students levels of motivation, interest, and engagement. Personal ownership promotes greater student autonomy and self-efficacy. Best of all, ownership encourages students to take more responsibility for their learning.

The study also found that teachers using iPads changed their approach to teaching. Pedagogical shifts include:

  • more collaboration
  • more creative expression
  • a strong learning community
  • better support for students of all abilities
  • students take it upon themselves to teach and coach each other
  • higher quality of teaching perceived by students
  • teachers give better feedback to students about their learning

 

The first principle of blended learning — from innosightinstitute.org by Heather Clayton Staker

Excerpt:

As I talk to people who want to blend online learning into students’ curriculum, the most frequent question I get is what online content is best? I respect that question, and others that sound really good too, like what does a student-centric classroom look like? Or what should be the teacher’s role?

But I am convinced that the infinitely most important question to ask first is what will motivate students to love this? My observation is that once a student’s heart is in it, the learning happens naturally, elegantly, and quickly. Imagine a classroom filled with students who want to be there, are focused, engaged, even clamoring to learn. But getting students into that righteous flow*, where they learn something because they genuinely love learning it—that’s where 90 percent of the battle is won or lost.

From DSC:
I think Heather & Co. are onto something here. One of the most important bottom lines and gifts that we can give our young people is a love for learning. 

I ask myself, if  and when students graduate from high school, what are their views on learning? Do they love it?  Are they looking forward to continuing a journey of lifelong learning? Are they prepared for being employed on a constant basis in a world of constant change?

How much more could lifelong learning be served if students developed a love of learning. Then, like Heather mentioned, “…once a student’s heart is in it, the learning happens naturally, elegantly, and quickly.”

Borrowing from a sports-related analogy…it’s like in tennis; don’t worry about the score. Play the point, mentally be in the point/moment and enjoy what you’re doing. Then the score will take care of itself. But if you are so focused on the score, you probably won’t enjoy what you’re doing and the score, most likely, will not take care of itself.

 

From DSC:

People who have a great deal of power and/or money — no matter whether that be within an organization or simply out in society at large — have a responsibility to use such gifts and positions wisely.

Besides the word responsibility, other words come to my mind such as: Stewardship, accountability, service/serving, listening, and praying for the LORD’s counsel re: how best to use these positions and gifts to make positive contributions to society.

 

The Service Patch — from The New York Times, OP-ED piece by David Brooks

Let’s put it differently. Many people today find it easy to use the vocabulary of entrepreneurialism, whether they are in business or social entrepreneurs. This is a utilitarian vocabulary. How can I serve the greatest number? How can I most productively apply my talents to the problems of the world? It’s about resource allocation.

People are less good at using the vocabulary of moral evaluation, which is less about what sort of career path you choose than what sort of person you are.

In whatever field you go into, you will face greed, frustration and failure. You may find your life challenged by depression, alcoholism, infidelity, your own stupidity and self-indulgence. So how should you structure your soul to prepare for this? Simply working at Amnesty International instead of McKinsey is not necessarily going to help you with these primal character tests.

Furthermore, how do you achieve excellence? Around what ultimate purpose should your life revolve? Are you capable of heroic self-sacrifice or is life just a series of achievement hoops? These, too, are not analytic questions about what to do. They require literary distinctions and moral evaluations.

When I read the Stanford discussion thread, I saw young people with deep moral yearnings. But they tended to convert moral questions into resource allocation questions; questions about how to be into questions about what to do.

 

Also see:

Excerpt:
If you’re in college, or happen to be about to graduate, and you’ve been mocked for getting a liberal arts degree, here’s a piece of welcome news: You’re actually in more demand than those who are getting finance and accounting degrees. That’s one of the findings of a new survey of 225 employers issued today by Millennial Branding and Experience Inc.

 

From DSC:
My thanks to Mr. Will Katerberg, Dir. Mellema Program and Professor of History at Calvin College, for these resources

 

From DSC:
A friend of mine is in Nigeria and I wanted to post an excerpt of one of his updates:

We visited the Reformed Combined Secondary School project and met with the leadership to review progress at the school.  Over 150 students are at the school during its second year and many more are expected next year.  The school has unbelievable challenges but the students are eager to learn and the Alumni supporters and churches have been working so hard to build the school.  This is a boarding school and the conditions are very overcrowded.  There is no place for a cafeteria and yet the kids were so exuberant and enthusiastic about their school.  There are additional classrooms being built today and new dorms will be starting soon.  The staff and school board don’t know exactly how they will make it but they could only tell us how they saw God providing.  The kids had been going about 1/4 mile to get water for every need, there had just been a successful borehole drilled with plenty of water.  Within a few weeks a new water tank will be installed and the distribution system will be built.  They were so excited that after a year and a half they won’t have to spend the time walking for water and will be able to spend more time on studies.  To that end there was also a generator being hooked up so the children could study at night.  Again, they have been working for 18 months without any way to study after 7 pm other than a few candles.  Any one of these circumstances would seem impossible to work around, yet the kids think little of it.   The most encouraging part is that the leadership of the school consists of two tribes that have a history of fighting each other.  They have come together for the sake of this small Christian school and have committed themselves to making a go of it against the odds.  The project has been largely funded by local donations.  We are working as advisors and resource people for the school.
 
I wonder how this would affect children in the United States if they switched places/environments for a while with those children in Nigeria…?
Tagged with:  

Excerpt from ClassConnect > About Us (the quote I’m referencing in the title of this blog posting is in bold text below)

As a student I was your worst nightmare.

I couldn’t stay focused in school, I wasn’t interested in homework, and I wasn’t motivated by grades.

This dismayed my parents and frustrated my teachers. Then, during my junior year of high school (almost two years ago), my chemistry teacher pulled me aside and asked the question that changed the focus of my life: “What would make you interested in learning what I’m teaching?” I was stumped. She didn’t ask me to try harder, she didn’t ask me to stay after for help or study more – she asked me to figure out how she could grab my interest. No one had ever bothered to ask me that before. A few moments later I replied, “let’s get everyone working together on computers – I’ll even build the software for us to use”.

And that was the start of ClassConnect. For the next two years I designed, tested, and redesigned the software, getting teacher and peer input along the way. Suddenly, I couldn’t learn enough about how teachers teach and how students learn. Education, once my nemesis, became my passion. I became obsessed with trying to figure out how to share knowledge more efficiently. I realized as students we learned better when we worked together using videos and websites – and we even enjoyed it!

Tagged with:  

TEDxTC – Peter Benson – Sparks: How Youth Thrive. — my thanks to Mr. Joseph Byerwalter for this item
Peter L. Benson, president and CEO of Minneapolis-based Search Institute, is one of the world’s leading authorities on positive human development. Dr. Benson is the author or editor of more than a dozen books on child and adolescent development and social change, including, most recently, Sparks: How Parents Can Help Ignite the Hidden Strengths of Teenagers

Some thoughts/notes from this video:

  • Only 1/4 of our youth are on the path to thriving.
  • The human spark/the animating engine involves joy, energy, passion, connection, meaning, hope, direction, purpose, hope.
  • “Spark” is akin to the idea of spirit.
  • Three kinds of sparks:
    1. A skill or talent
    2. A commitment (ex: social justice, stewardship of Earth)
    3. A quality (ex: person of empathy)

Helping, serving, volunteering, learning a subject matter, service to the globe, athletics, and the creative life are key here. The winner is the creative life — art, music, drama, dance!

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged with:  

5 ways to inspire young adults in the classroom— from Edudemic.com by Alex Summers

Tagged with:  

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

© 2019 | Daniel Christian