“Exhausted majority” wants to rethink K-12 education— from axios.com by Stef W. Kight; via GSV

Excerpt:

Americans have drastically shifted some priorities on K-12 education since the start of COVID, a new study by Populace reveals.

Why it matters: There’s new pressure to change the existing model. Preparing students for college has fallen from 10th highest priority to 47th.

  • The study demonstrates what Populace co-founder Todd Rose called an “exhausted majority” who just wants kids to learn to think for themselves and find a career “with meaning and purpose.”

The big picture: Americans have a warped understanding of what the majority prioritizes in education.

  • U.S. adults overestimate the public’s desire for teachers to prepare kids for college, internships and only the highest-paying jobs. They also overestimate support for standardized processes and teaching social norms.
  • They underestimate preferences to allow students to learn at their own pace and according to their own interests and for kids to come away with more holistic, practical skills.

Also relevant/see:

New Survey: America’s Families are Rethinking K-12 Education — from schoolchoiceweek.com by the National School Choice Week Team

Excerpt:

K-12 education in America is experiencing a once-in-a-generation transformation, as tens of millions of parents rethink their children’s education and make crucial decisions about how and where their children learn. From exploring their school choice options to expressing interest in nontraditional learning models, parents are eager to find better or supplementary learning environments for their children. Parents don’t see this a dichotomous; a majority of them are open to change even as two thirds of all parents (67.9 percent) remain largely satisfied with the schools their children attend.

What do we mean by rethinking? Parents choosing new schools, parents considering options more frequently, and parents seeking to round out their children’s education by thinking outside the box and exploring new or nontraditional learning options.

On a related note see:

 

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

 

From DSC:
For those seeking a doctorate in education: Here’s a potential topic for your doctoral thesis.

Homelessness is a huge issue. It’s a complex issue, with many layers, variables, and causes to it. I once heard Oprah Winfrey say that we are all one to two steps away from being homeless, and I agree with that.

But as I was passing a homeless person asking for money on the exit ramp from a local highway the other day, I wondered what place, if any, education played (or didn’t play) in people’s lives. Was/is there any common denominator or set of experiences with their education that we can look at? If so, can we use design thinking to get at some of those root issues? For examples:

  • Was school easy for them? Hard for them?
  • A source of joy for them? A source of pain for them?
  • Were they engaged or disengaged?
  • Were they able to pursue their interests and passions?

It might turn out that education had little to do with things. It could have been health issues, broken relationships, systemic issues, the loss of a job, addictions, intergenerational “chains,” or many other things. 

But it’s worth someone researching this. Such studies and interviews could turn up some helpful directions and steps to take for our future.

#homelessness #society #education #passions #participation
#research #educationreform #K12 #lifelonglearning

 

Inspiring Goals: Educators Share Their Vision for the Classroom in 2023 — from blog.edmentum.com

Excerpt:

We asked educators on Facebook and Twitter to share with us what their goals for the classroom are for 2023. Here are a few of our favorite responses that we think will inspire you as you set your own goals for 2023:

MAKING THE BENEFITS OF PRE-K EDUCATION LAST — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Pre-K education has come to the forefront recently. Earlier, a kid’s first five years of education were essentially the family’s responsibility. However, research has revealed that these first five years establish the foundation for their further development.

It’s worth investing your time and effort in early education programs as they offer several benefits. Pre-K learning gets the children ready for academic success and empowers them for adulthood. Children who have attended early education programs are more likely to pursue higher education and receive higher salaries when they join the workforce, thus securing a better life for themselves.

9 Tech-Friendly Hobby Ideas for High School Students That Will Help Their Career Prospects — from emergingedtech.com by Lucy Manole

Excerpt:

Hobbies and interests are great additions to your resume. They provide potential employers with a fair idea about your personality and help them understand whether you’re the right fit for the position you are applying for.

Hobbies increase your chances of employability by demonstrating your passion and dedication. They help you become more adaptable and reduce stress thereby influencing your performance at school.

Finding a new hobby can be challenging as there are so many hobbies to choose from. A hobby is something that keeps you engaged and happy in your free time. Hence, you must choose a hobby that helps you relax your mind while, ideally, complementing your existing skills. This will give you a competitive edge over others when searching for a new job.

Here’s a list of top hobbies that will boost your resume and make you more employable.

9 Hobby Ideas You Can Add to Your Resume
#1. Blogging

The School That Calls the Police on Students Every Other Day — from propublica.org by Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, and Jodi S. Cohen, ProPublica

Excerpt:

On the last street before leaving Jacksonville, there’s a dark brick one-story building that the locals know as the school for “bad” kids. It’s actually a tiny public school for children with disabilities. It sits across the street from farmland and is 2 miles from the Illinois city’s police department, which makes for a short trip when the school calls 911.

Administrators at the Garrison School call the police to report student misbehavior every other school day, on average. And because staff members regularly press charges against the children — some as young as 9 — officers have arrested students more than 100 times in the last five school years, an investigation by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica found. That is an astounding number given that Garrison, the only school that is part of the Four Rivers Special Education District, has fewer than 65 students in most years.

This year, the Tribune and ProPublica have been exposing the consequences for students when their schools use police as disciplinarians. The investigation “The Price Kids Pay” uncovered the practice of Illinois schools working with local law enforcement to ticket students for minor misbehavior. Reporters documented nearly 12,000 tickets in dozens of school districts, and state officials moved quickly to denounce the practice.

Best YouTube Math Channels — from educatorstechnology.com by Med Kharbach, PhD

Excerpt:

The list below features some of the best Math YouTube channels to help your students and kids learn math in engaging ways.  I was so picky in my selection and I  handpicked only those math channels that I believe would provide real educational value to students.

Some solid math YouTube Channels

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How Inflation Is Squeezing Early Childhood Educators — from edsurge.com by Emily Tate Sullivan
Rationing heat, taking on extra jobs, dipping into savings, raising wages for staff — child care providers are using a mishmash of methods to manage rising prices and keep their doors open.

 
  • From DSC:
    I continue to think about the idea of wiping the slate completely clean. If we were to design a lifelong learning ecosystem, what would it look like? How could we apply Design Thinking to this new slate/canvas?

Perhaps we could start by purposefully creating more pathways to weave in and out of the various siloes — and then come back into the “silos” with new ideas, knowledge, and experiences:

  • PreK-12
  • Higher education
  • Vocational programs
  • Business and the corporate world
  • Government
  • Communities of practice
  • Other

Integrate apprenticeships, jobs, sabbaticals, rest, purpose, passions, intrinsic motivations, other into this lifelong learning ecosystem. Take one’s new learning back to one’s former silo(s) and improve things therein. Such a design would help keep curricula and learning/training environments up-to-date and relevant.

It would also allow people more pathways through their careers — and to keep learning while doing real-world projects. It would help people — and institutions— grow in many ways.

 

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:

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. 

 

The Impact of Storytelling on Learning — from campustechnology.com by Ruth Reynard
The benefits of storytelling in teaching and learning are well established — and digital tools can help make stories more interactive, boost engagement, and convey ideas more effectively. Here’s how to make the most of technology and sidestep common mistakes in the use of storytelling for learning.

Excerpts:

Research.com provides a lot of helpful information on digital storytelling, including a breakdown of the tools and media used to tell stories or present ideas: audio capture devices (e.g. microphones and voice recorders), image capture devices (such as digital cameras and scanners), computers (with multimedia capabilities and ample storage), and digital media software (for creating and editing image, video, and audio).

While digital tools evolve rapidly, there are several useful tools listed for teachers and students by Med Kharbach (2022). These include:

    • StoryboardThat – this storyboard design tool helps to support good design and planning for effective storytelling.
    • Canva – this provides already developed templates to use in any story design and development.
    • Adobe Spark – useful if you are already familiar with Adobe products.
 

A Brilliant MIT Professor Shared 10 Simple Rules That Will Teach You How to Give a Great Speech — from inc.com by Justin Bariso

Excerpts:

How much would your life change if people valued all of your ideas?

In a recorded lecture that’s been viewed over 13 million times, MIT professor Patrick Winston takes a deep dive into how to be a better speaker. He explains that your success in life depends on your ability to speak, your ability to write, and the quality of your ideas — in that order.

His point? No matter how amazing your ideas are, no one cares unless you can convey them in a clear, compelling manner — and with emotional intelligence.

Use an empowerment promise to explain to your listeners exactly what you can teach them, how they will benefit, and why it’s important.

 

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. 

 

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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.

 

Students Are Calling BS on High School and Opportunity Knocks — from gettingsmart.com by Trace Pickering

Excerpts:

Let’s be clear. These students are not wrong. The pandemic showed students that much of what they were required to do and endure during pre-pandemic high school was a lot of busywork and tasks that held little relevance or interest to them, and apparently didn’t really matter since they were able to be successful without all that extra work. When schools lost their ability to command and control a student’s time, it forced a different economy for schools and educators. It required the curriculum to be pared down to only the essential standards and information. It now had a very real and powerful competitor for the student’s time – a job, a hobby, sports, music, sleep…

Students are no longer a captive audience. They have more options and choices. To avoid obsolescence, perhaps schools should focus on making school a place where kids see value and want to come to each day.

This is a wonderful opportunity to put in place the things that really drive 21st-century skills and give students the keys to their own learning and growth. To truly personalize learning for students, and unlock teacher professionalism and creativity in the process. That extra time could allow students to pursue areas of passion and interest, to dive deep into a subject that interests them, pursue job shadows and internships, and earn and learn on a job.

 

Future of Learning Council on Statewide Grassroots Strategies & Pathways — from gettingsmart.com

Description of podcast:

On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast Shawnee Caruthers is joined by Dr. Dave Richards, the Executive Learning Strategist for Michigan Virtual and a key part of Future of Learning Council, a partner that we’ve loved working alongside over the last year.

We are also joined by two superintendents who are a part of this project – Dr. Christopher Timmis, Superintendent of Dexter Community Schools and Dr. John VanWagoner of Traverse City Area Public Schools.

 
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