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Mid-March Issue

B.I.T.S.

Best Information To Share
Helping educators make the most of their professional learning minutes.
(Go to the linked text for quick learning on-the-go.)

In this edition:

Focus on the Brain

How does what we know about the brain impact our work as educators?
jesse orrico
One of my favourite podcasts right now is NPR's Hidden Brain. This week, I listened to the 100th Anniversary Podcast, live with brilliant Nobel Prize Recipient Dr. Daniel Kahneman (Author of Thinking: Fast and Slow).

In the podcast, we learn about the role of luck in our lives, which is enhanced through our connections with others. We are reminded that people are very complicated, and that we can learn much through the use of simple questions.

As educators, where do questions fit into our work? Are we encouraged to ask questions? Do we invite questions? Do we teach the construction of good questions? How can questions contribute to the creating of "Thinking Classrooms"?

Dr. Kahneman helps us consider the problems our brains are, and are not, equipped to deal with.  Since evidence does not change minds, how might we better approach long-term adaptive challenges? As reflective educators, this podcast is a wonderful opportunity to explore his research quickly and consider how it might change our thinking about the structures we take for granted in schools.

Adolescent Mental Health

Modern Learners Podcast:

The Costs of High Expectations

Victoria Heath
 
As we consider the crisis of adolescent mental health, it's important for us to reflect on how we as an education system could be contributing to creating conditions in which young people are unable to thrive.  In Modern Learners Podcast #38, Will Richardson talks to Dr. David Gleason about how the competitive nature of schooling contributes to unreasonable pressure on young people.

"The only thing that kids know really well when they graduate from school, is school."                  Dr. David Gleason

We have learned so much about the adolescent brain in the last 15 years.  How has our approach to teaching young adults changed as a result?

We often ask our students to think, act and function like adults, when the prefrontal cortex, which controls their ability to inhibit impulses, organize time/space/materials, prioritize tasks and understand/express emotions appropriately, doesn't fully develop until their late 20's or early 30's.  It's not fair!

Our pressure on children to excel in a narrow pathway that we consider to be academic success contributes to their inability to cope.  
The Costs of High Expectations

Men 45 Women 0

 
We have unconscious gender bias in our thinking about how people should be expected to behave in different roles.  This podcast asks us to explore and interrupt our thinking about our expectations.  It's short (~20 minutes) and worth your time.


As we shift to an understanding of leadership as a collaborative endeavour, how will our entrenched stereotypical expectations need to change?
 

Owning Our Learning

Three Reflective Questions

The Reflective Educator

Brandon Wong
 
As we commit to owning our professional learning, good questions can guide our thinking.  Here are three suggestions:
  1. What educational practice have you changed your mind about recently?
  2. How are you leading learning by making your learning visible?
  3. How are you contributing to the learning of others?
(Thanks to Dr. Alec Couros for #2 and #3.)

 
The person doing the talking is doing the learning!  How much talking do you do in your classroom?

Thank you to our NLESD K-6 Program Specialist Patricia Edwards for sharing this piece that helps us reflect on who is talking, and how as educators we can reflect on giving that learning to our students.
Creating Classrooms Filled With Students' Voiced - Pernille Ripp
On our Home Plates
 
This week we have been thinking a lot about the importance of sleep for our adolescents, and how we might restructure school to better provide learning environments that respect the needs of young brains - and young brains need sleep!
Please click on the image for more information.

More learning for this week:
You might also like to subscribe to another newsletter:
Brain Pickings by Maria Popova (just wait for the popup to sign up).
Created by Donna Miller Fry @fryed

Shared under CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 2018 Learning About Learning, Some rights reserved.



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