This post is by Ron Berger, chief academic officer of Expeditionary Learning.
When a student is finished with school and moves into adult life, she will be judged not by her ability to perform on a test of basic skills, but by the quality of her work and character. This holds true regardless of what career or life role she chooses. Quality work and character are the keys to a successful life. So why are they not the primary focus of schools?
You may argue that schools do focus on these things. But consider this: to get passing grades, students must behave (at least much of the time) and turn in acceptable work (at least much of the time). This is a far cry from instilling in students an ethic of excellence for who they are and what they do. It is almost hard to imagine a lower bar.
Quality work and character have almost nothing to do with how students, teachers, and schools are judged in America. When is the last time you read a headline about a school being “high-achieving” that described the actual quality of work students produced or the quality of their actions? A “high-achieving” student or school means one thing today: good scores on basic skills tests in math and reading.
It’s not that basic skills in reading and math don’t matter. Of course they do. But success in this small realm is just a starting place. If students miss the opportunity to develop high standards for the complex skills they will need in life while they are still in school, how will they develop them?
Read the full article here…
A really stimulating insight into expansive leadership in the learning and skills sector undertaken by a partner of CRL, the 157 Group
The LOCIT process is an inclusive approach involving teachers and their learners in constructing a shared understanding of successful learning. The principles of the LOCIT process (Lesson Observation and Critical Incident Technique, Coyle and Wiesemes: 2008) start with an analysis of ‘lived though’ lessons by both learners and teachers, using ‘playback’ reflection and critical incident technique (CIT). For Tripp (1993:8) critical incidents are
…not ‘things’ which exist independently of an observer and are awaiting discovery like gold nuggets or desert islands, but like all data [..] are created. Incidents happen, but critical incidents are created by the way we look at a situation […..] an interpretation of the significance of an event. To take something as a critical incident is a value judgement we make, and the basis of that judgement is the significance we attach to the meaning of the incident.
– Ling-Ling School
– Visiting & Hosting
– Developing our Links
– Reflections on Malawi
– Teacher CPD
Download full Journal here: BHERJ International Edition
Three case studies reveal the growing use of action research, a process where teachers assess teaching and learning to improve both teacher and student learning, in this whole-school video for primary and secondary teachers.
Each of these case studies highlights the way in which action research projects can work within a school and provides a valuable insight into the problems that various schools have faced.
St George’s Primary School in Birmingham started an action research project due to the high level of newly arrived children at the school. Their research led to the development of a welcome pack that gave children a defined focus for action.
At Colmore Infant and Nursery School in south Birimingham, reading at KS1 had been identified as a development priority for teachers. Their research project led to the introduction of a succesful bookmark scheme that encouraged more reading at home.
At Douay Martyrs School in Middlesex, head of Year 11 Simon Cheale is engaged in action research as part of his school-based MA in education. His research is centred on a motivational scheme for improving boys’ performance at GCSE level.
http://www.teachersmedia.co.uk/videos/action-research – free login required to view
Think Like an Engineer: Use Systematic Thinking to Solve Everyday Challenges & Unlock the
Inherent Values in Them
by Mushtak Al-Atabi
Engineers conceive, design, implement, and operate (CDIO). ‘Think Like an Engineer’ presents CDIO and systematic thinking as a way to achieve the human potential. It explores how we think, feel and learn, and uses the latest brain research findings to help us unlock value and have a balanced life. The practical, easy to follow exercises given in the book can be used by individuals to improve their thinking and learning and by educators to empower their students to thrive for success.
Link to Amazon