The Three Dimensions of Student Achievement

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…

Abeerdeen University: The LOCIT process, critical incidents and learning moments

LOCIT-Diagram1

 

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.

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What would you like to learn today? Building a center for research into Self-Organized Learning

What would you like to learn today? Building a center for research into Self-Organized Learning

TED Blog

Students at a School in the Cloud lab in India investigate a big question on their own in a SOLE. At the newly-opened SOLE Center at Newcastle University, academics from many disciplines will  conduct research on this type of learning. Photo: School in the Cloud Students at a School in the Cloud lab in India investigate a big question on their own in a SOLE. At the newly-opened SOLE Central at Newcastle University, research will be conducted on this type of learning. Photo: School in the Cloud

Picture a classroom teacher without a lesson plan — a teacher who instead asks students an open-ended question to explore: Can animals think? Did dinosaurs exist? What is a soul?

With the opening of Newcastle University’s SOLE Central on Monday, this vision is coming to life, in a research center where the concept can be tweaked and improved as it rolls out to the wider world.

SOLE Central is the first global hub for research into self-organized learning environments (SOLEs) – the style of learning championed by TED Prize winner Sugata Mitra. In his 2013 prize-winning wish, Mitra offered up a vision of education that combines the resources of…

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