From DSC:
Let’s put together a nationwide campaign that would provide a website — or a series of websites if an agreement can’t be reached amongst the individual states — about learning how to learn. In business, there’s a “direct-to-consumer” approach. Well, we could provide a “direct-to-learner” approach — from cradle to grave. Seeing as how everyone is now required to be a lifelong learner, such a campaign would have enormous benefits to all of the United States. This campaign would be located in airports, subway stations, train stations, on billboards along major highways, in libraries, and in many more locations.

We could focus on things such as:

  • Quizzing yourself / retrieval practice
  • Spaced retrieval
  • Interleaving
  • Elaboration
  • Chunking
  • Cognitive load
  • Learning by doing (active learning)
  • Journaling
  • The growth mindset
  • Metacognition (thinking about one’s thinking)
  • Highlighting doesn’t equal learning
  • There is deeper learning in the struggle
  • …and more.

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more


NOTE:
The URL I’m using above doesn’t exist, at least not at the time of this posting.
But I’m proposing that it should exist.


A group of institutions, organizations, and individuals could contribute to this. For example The Learning Scientists, Daniel Willingham, Donald Clark, James Lang, Derek Bruff, The Learning Agency Lab, Robert Talbert, Pooja Agarwal and Patrice Bain, Eva Keffenheim, Benedict Carey, Ken Bain, and many others.

Perhaps there could be:

  • discussion forums to provide for social interaction/learning
  • scheduled/upcoming webinars
  • how to apply the latest evidence-based research in the classroom
  • link(s) to learning-related platforms and/or resources
 

What Can We Learn from Barnes & Noble’s Surprising Turnaround? — from tedgioia.substack.com by Ted Gioia
Digital platforms are struggling, meanwhile a 136-year-old book retailer is growing again. But why?

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

Daunt refused to play this game. He wanted to put the best books in the window. He wanted to display the most exciting books by the front door. Even more amazing, he let the people working in the stores make these decisions.

This is James Daunt’s super power: He loves books.

But I almost hate to say it, because the lesson is so simple.

If you want to sell music, you must love those songs. If you want to succeed in journalism, you must love those newspapers. If you want to succeed in movies, you must love the cinema.

But this kind of love is rare nowadays. I often see record labels promote new artists for all sorts of gimmicky reasons—even labels I once trusted such as Deutsche Grammophon or Concord. I’ve come to doubt whether the people in charge really love the music.

 

From DSC:
For me, I wish politicians and legislators would stay out of the way and let public and private educators make the decisions. But if any politician is about to vote on significant education-related policies, laws, etc. — I would like to suggest that society require them to either:

  • teach a K12-based class for at least one month
    or
  • be in the classroom for the entire day to observe — and do this for at least one month 

Perhaps we would have far less standardized testing. Perhaps we would have far more joy and wonder — for the teachers as well as for the students. Perhaps lifelong learning — and the love of learning — would get the wind in its sails that it so desperately needs.
.


From DSC:
Along these lines of enjoyment in everyday things, could this type of thing happen more within education?

 

Also see:

Redbridge | The future of lifelong learning — from redbridgesf.org and with thanks to Michael Horn for this resource

Excerpts from their home page:

  • Red Bridge is a school that teaches students to set goals, work together, reflect, and own their learning.
  • For families who value lifelong learning and share a sense of responsibility for their community.
  • Our vision is for all students to graduate with a sense of ownership over their learning and their lives – so that no matter what the future looks like, they have the capacity to adapt and flourish.

 

 

Thriving education systems, thriving youth — from events.economist.com by Economist Impact

Some of the key topics to be discussed include:

  • What are the challenges in how we measure learning outcomes today, and how does this need to transform?
  •  What is a learning ecosystem? What does a successful learning ecosystem look like?  
  • What factors enable the development of thriving learning ecosystems?  
  • Who are the key stakeholders that make up the learning ecosystem? How do different stakeholders see their role in the learning ecosystem?
  • Which national policies need to be in place to support effective education ecosystems?
  • What information and data do we need to assess how well learning ecosystems are performing?
  • What data do we need to collect so that we don’t perpetuate traditional approaches to defining and measuring success? 

 

Homeschooling high school with interest-led learning — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

There is a misconception that interest-led learning is not appropriate for a high school education in your homeschool. The good news is that all the same benefits of interest-led learning still apply in the middle and high school years.

Think of an interest-led homeschool as one that functions more as a college than a high school. Just as a college student declares a major and the bulk of their study is in that topic area with supplemental general education, your interest-led high school can function the same way.

Allowing interests to guide the educational path you take in your high school has tremendous benefits including:

    • Less resistance
    • Less learner anxiety
    • Increased self-confidence in learning
    • More in-depth studies in topics of interest
    • Self-motivated learning that can be applied in later college and career settings
 

Homeschooling High School With Interest-Led Learning — from raisinglifelonglearners.com by Colleen Kessler

Excerpt:

Think of an interest-led homeschool as one that functions more as a college than a high school. Just as a college student declares a major and the bulk of their study is in that topic area with supplemental general education, your interest-led high school can function the same way.

Also relevant/see:

This approach allows you to help them develop their interests, communicate that you see their interests as valuable, and it gives your child the chance to follow their own paths of interest. It’s an outstanding way to facilitate a self-motivated, self-directed learner and thinker. 

 

Sparking Curiosity for Learning — from rdene915.com by Rachelle Dene Poth

Excerpt:

When students are curious about learning, they become more invested in the process. Sparking curiosity will lead students to become problem solvers and critical thinkers and shift from being simply consumers to becoming creators and innovators. To bring these opportunities to our classrooms, we must first engage students in learning. But how?

 

Why Now Is The Time To Overhaul K-12 Education — from forbes.com by Phyllis Lockett and Michael Horn

Excerpts:

If you take a team approach, then one adult works with students on their social-emotional learning and how they connect to their learning. And another leverages data to create small group opportunities based on the learning objective. And another connects learning to real world projects and helps students build social capital in the community, which also creates a more permeable classroom that’s open to the outside world. Or there could be other ways the teams are structured to best support the student.

For all the plans in the past to “reinvent” K-12 education, none have questioned the fundamentals of time-based instruction. It’s no surprise then that the system produces the outcomes it does. Not every child needs exactly 180 days to master the knowledge and skills required for a third grader. Conversely, some kids need more time. It’s an arbitrary system that cuts off learning for children based on a calendar, yet doesn’t provide a different pathway forward for them that’s productive. In our current system, time is fixed and learning is variable, then students are labeled and sorted accordingly.

Michael Horn


From DSC:
This quote…

The answer is for district leaders to create independent teams of educators in which they are shielded from traditional day to day pressures and have the explicit license to do things differently. They can give these new “schools within schools” the resources they need without encumbering them by the old ways of doing things.

…makes me think of a graphic I did a while back about the need for more Trim Tabs within our learning ecosystems:


 

Innova: A Revolution in Education? — from gettingsmart.com by Chris Terrill

Key Points

  • Innova Schools is designed to rapidly cut through the vast inequities that exist and be a lever for change in Latin America.
  • Innova has the potential to revolutionize education around the globe.

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

The initial school start-up was funded by Carlos Rodriguez Pastor, a Peruvian businessman. He saw an opportunity to provide high-quality schools in areas where the government struggled to supply essential education services (Peru and Colombia consistently rank near the bottom on the global education survey). He enlisted the famed US design firm IDEO to develop a comprehensive program that would eventually be utilized in multiple countries.

From DSC:
Stop the presses. I love that idea of using IDEO to be involved here. It seems like that is a positive step towards implementing Design Thinking within our learning ecosystems.

In the original model, the founders designed a rigorous, engaging, personalized curriculum, with a heavy emphasis on Project-Based Learning. I wanted to know if and how that is actualized, and how that is enacted across multiple countries in schools thousands of miles apart.

Finally, IDEO’s work included a design for the physical structure of schools to be quickly and economically replicated at each location; how was that design working? The vision for Innova may be one of the most ambitious educational undertakings today. What lessons can I, as an individual educational leader, and we, as a global education community, learn from their work?

The Maker Space and the Gaming Lab demonstrate clearly how digital competency is a central element of their curriculum. I saw highly engaging lessons that were perfectly synced with classroom projects, pursuing a bigger goal of equipping Colombian students to fill the digital labor gap. 

 

Digest #166: Perfectionism in Education — from learningscientists.org by Carolina Kuepper-Tetzel

“Perfection is the opposite of done!” I came across this statement recently and it made me think about how perfectionism really affects one’s work and studying. Growing up, I always thought of perfectionism as a good thing, as something to aspire to. However, more recently I am questioning this thought. It adds unnecessary pressure that it difficult to live up to and sustain. I see that many issues that my students are experiencing can be traced back to perfectionism. To incredibly high goals and standards that are impossible to achieve and that makes your work not being “good enough” – when it actually is. The consequences of high perfectionism can be manifold and in today’s digest, I’d like to offer an overview of resources on perfectionism in education.

From DSC:
Somewhere along the lines, I heard that if an interviewer asks you to state a negative characteristic, choose something like perfectionism — to turn something that could be a negative into a positive. And back in my earlier days, I thought that made sense.

But I have to agree with Carolina here. The older I get, the more my empathy levels would rise if someone gave me that answer today. I’m a perfectionist and I can truly say that perfectionism is a joy-robber! It can destroy a good day. It can destroy a good mood. It can destroy joy. I don’t recommend it.

 

Attention higher-ed leaders: Faculty and staff have something to say — from ecampusnews.com by Jen Landon; with thanks to Ray Schroeder for this resource
Higher-ed leaders can apply the same listening skills and level of investment put forth for students toward their workers

Excerpts:

An organization’s greatest asset is its people. In no other industry is that more true than in higher education. The importance of faculty and staff can’t be overstated; they are, in every way, core to carrying out the mission of higher education.

Institutions should put employee satisfaction at the top of their list from day one: investing in the growth and success of faculty and staff with as much determination as they invest in student success. This mindset should extend to job candidates as well.

From DSC:
I appreciate some attention being paid here to the career/skill development of faculty and staff, as well as to the attempts to create caring cultures. Higher ed has a lot to learn from the corporate world in terms of training its managers, supervisors, and leadership. Provosts, for example, move out of the academic ranks and I’d bet that most of them have never had any training in being a leader — especially re: the business side of higher ed. 

Staff members are key to all institutions of higher education, yet many of them are second-class citizens on many (most?) campuses. They have limited say and even more limited budgets. Even though they have transformed institutions — such as the case with providing online/blended/hyflex-learning — they aren’t lifted up.

For myself, if I didn’t feel like I was growing and learning, I felt stagnant. That’s why blogging has been so wonderful and important to me through the years. The budgets for training one’s staff are very important — as staff members need to stay marketable and relevant. As with most others in the workplace, staff and faculty members may need to reinvent themselves from time to time. Hopefully, this type of growth/reinvention is being supported by the institutions of traditional higher education out there.


Speaking of the workplace and higher education, you might be interested in The Job newsletter. This week’s edition was interesting indeed! 


 

Returning Joy to Teaching & Learning — from gettingsmart.com by Trace Pickering

Key Points

  • Too many school-based reform efforts continue to have educators implicitly standing with the standards against the students.
  • Pivot your perspective for a moment to the opposite.
  • What does a school where its educators stand with the students against the standards look like?

From DSC:
My hunch is that we need to cut — or significantly weaken the ties — between the state legislative bodies out there and our public school systems. We shouldn’t let people who know little to nothing about teaching and learning make decisions about how and what to teach students. Let those on the front lines — ie., the teachers and local school system leaders/staff — collaborate with the community on those items.

 

The Most STOP-Enabled Innovators of 2022 — from yassprize.org
MEET THE 32

Excerpt:

This year’s 32 semifinalists come from 23 different states and really prove that innovation is alive and well in education.  Micro schools, pods and hybrid learning environments almost unheard of two years ago are now being utilized by parents and educators across the nation.  Traditional public schools that operate more like a charter and charters that continue to flourish outside of traditional systems, private schools serving specialized populations that are often overlooked and leaders in the ed tech space who provide remarkable tools that can be integrated into any of the other full service models we are celebrating today.  Truly a remarkable group of visionaries that are transformational exemplars for all in this tumultuous 2022!

Also relevant/see:

 

Is Compliance Training Killing Your Learning Culture? — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Adam Weisblatt

Excerpt:

There is a disconnect in learning and development departments in most large companies: On one hand there is an obligation to meet regulatory requirements for compliance training. On the other, there is the drive to improve business outcomes by creating a culture of learning.

These two forces can clash when expectations are not well defined.

Somewhat relevant/see:

Branching Scenario Podcast with Mark Parry — from christytuckerlearning.com by Christy Tucker
Mark Parry recently interviewed me for his podcast about branching scenarios, including how feedback is used to help learners in scenarios.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian