Over the past week, here are some of the new ideas about education that have been emerging.
We learned this week that some of what we used to think about gifted kids turned out to be wrong. This article reminds us that we have to start with where our kids are, not where the content is located in the curriculum. We need to challenge beliefs about the sequencing of learning in schools. We also learned that it’s depth, not speed, that is important in learning mathematics. And while we are at it, let’s challenge our ideas about mathematics even more, with math trails - combining mathematics with outdoor education. Mixed ability grouping (rather than grouping by similar abilities) can be a high-yield strategy if it is used in conjunction with a change in the way we approach teaching, away from lecture and repetition.
Harvard Graduate School of Education (@hgse on Twitter) released a study on the long term impact and importance of early childhood education. This is a fascinating read that emphasizes the need for quality learning for very young children.
Michael Caulfield’s free ebook on Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers is worth your time. Media Literacy continues to change exponentially, and our students are living in a world much different that the one we grew up in. Some of the links between depression and smartphone use may be a result of the time the smart phone takes away from the activities that are important for our mental health, such as exercise and daily time outdoors.
For our leaders, check out this great post on the importance of treating people well, and remembering why you do what you do! Northwestern Ontario educator, Stacey Wallwin, has provided a review of the book Indelible Leadership by Michael Fullan here on her blog. It’s always so helpful when educators can summarize the key ideas in books into a quick read for their busy colleagues.
And to sum up the week, we are asking you to think about how YOU would finish this sentence:
The purpose of school is: __________ .
Some examples of people already doing this include Seth Godin, Will Richardson, and Mark Guay.
We hope you will join us as we explore this question further this year.