Tagged “Creativity”

Elyssa Greenberg

Learning for the Long Run

Today's world is entirely different than the one in which I was born. For context, I'm only 20 years old. Among all the advances in science and technology occurring every day are incredible advances in education and child development. We know more now than ever before about how the brain works and how that translates to learning. The research is quite clear: there are many types of learners, and the most effective ways of teaching convey the information in a variety of formats. Lessons that are engaging, interactive, and creative are best for knowledge retention.

One of my most memorable learning experiences was an 8th grade World History unit in which we researched and took on roles in a mock trial for Joan of Arc. Instead of reading a chapter in a book and answering quiz questions, we each prepared a series of statements to reevaluate the court's sentence in a modern context. Cast as Joan herself, I was quite relieved to be found "not guilty," but the real takeaway is found in the overarching lessons from this activity.

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Sean Slade

Improving Schools: The “Real World” Fallacy

First, if you haven't read Tom Whitby's post "The Big Lie in Education," do so. This post is a follow-up from what Whitby has eloquently started.

While we are reflecting, refreshing, and recharging, lets reflect on what we are trying to teach our students and why. Take the premise uttered by many that education must prepare our students for the "Real World." What is this "Real World" that is often held up as a gold standard for anything educationally relevant in a time when everything is changing so quickly and dramatically around us?

Too often this "Real World" that people propose is an antiquated idea that bears little relevance to today, yet alone tomorrow. "Real World" cannot be an education system based on last century's framework. It cannot be a system based on last century's metrics nor last century's constrained concept of knowledge.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Profiles in Education: Ryan Twentey

Ryan Twentey of Parkville High School in Maryland is known as a dedicated teacher who fosters his students' artistic interests to develop the skills they need to be successful in school, in the community, and in preparation for college. His photography and multimedia students have earned a 100 percent pass rate on the AP exam.

Twentey also teaches interactive media production. He produces tutorials to help each student work at his own pace to reach understanding. He encourages his students to persevere, collaborate, and offer respectful critiques to help one another improve.

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Jason Flom

Winning Rap of Science Genius 2013

 

 

Connecting learners with curricular content so they take ownership of it and make it their own necessitates that design and delivery of learning experiences meets two requirements.

  1. It must be meaningful to learners.
  2. It must make sense to learners.

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Walter McKenzie

To Infini-Pie and Beyond!

We baby boomers grew up in an age of finite pie. There was only one pie and it could be divided into only so many slices. Even our pie graphs represent the totality of the resources we have to work with. There's only so much pie to go around. And the implications play out in how we think, act and define success. If you only have one finite pie, what flavor is it? How many people can it serve? How small can you make the slices? What does it mean if you simply don’t have enough?

All of this is a legacy of the Industrial Age, which was based on the availability of natural resources to feed growth. Empires were built by gaining access to raw materials that could fuel their economic engines. You could not sustain industrial success on finite resources, so you kept expanding the size of your pie. Of course, this works well as long as there are new lands to acquire and new resources to consume. But in the physical world, there are always limits. Be it foreign lands or fossil fuels, everything runs out eventually.

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Fred Zilian

The “BIG IDEAS BOX”

When teaching history, it is very easy to get caught up and lost in all the details of a particular lesson. I am especially drawn to political, diplomatic, and military history and have found myself spending far too much time in my Western Civilization courses on the fine points of the diplomatic maneuverings of the Congress of Vienna or the tactical skill of Hannibal during the Second Punic War. So, to ensure that my students have the big picture, I do the following:

  1. At the outset of the course, I ensure that they understand the critical overarching themes and questions of the course.
  2. At the start of each lesson, I indicate which of these are present in the day's lesson.
  3. And finally, I require each student to have a "BIG IDEAS BOX."

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Rich McKinney

Moving Beyond the Textbook: Closing the Book on the Textbook-Dependent Classroom

A few weeks ago I was watching my daughters as they were working through drills during their weekly tennis lessons. I observed a group of elementary kids dutifully take their places, hit the ball, and then move to the next station. It was simple, efficient, and monotonous. Though they were learning the basics of tennis, the kids simply weren't having much fun. Their coach must have noticed because he immediately changed pace and led all the kids to an adjoining field next to the courts for a lively game of freeze tag. All the kids were laughing and loving it, though I found that it bore little resemblance to anything even remotely related to tennis. I was wrong. What looked to me to be free play was really the development of skills such as acceleration, lateral speed, and footwork. This coach recognized that sometimes you can leave the court and have fun while accomplishing goals.

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Pam Allyn

Field Notes: Raising Learning Warriors

Moses was my student in Brooklyn, N.Y. He came from Guyana, was 10 years old, and deaf. His mother, who spoke no English and knew no one in New York, had made the treacherous journey to the United States to give him the opportunity to go to school. He was the skinniest boy I had ever seen, with longer-than-long legs that he sometimes tripped over when he ran. Moses was not getting enough to eat at home, so I started bringing him food. Some days, he did not eat from the time he left me until the next morning at school.

Moses and his mother lived in one tiny room where the heat sometimes did not work. His mother worked two jobs and was rarely home for more than an hour when Moses returned from school. Yet here he was, at long last, in a school for the deaf where he could finally thrive and learn.

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Paula Mirk

The Ethical Core of Common Core

Both the whole child approach and the Common Core State Standards "compel school instructional staff to develop and deliver effective, engaging instruction reflective of individual student needs and strengths." That's what we all want for our students, and we should expect nothing less. But the standards are undergirded by an "ethical core," and all educators should keep in mind that our ultimate purpose in teaching—indeed in creating schools in the first place—remains preparing the next generation to contribute to and improve our society. The Common Core State Standards are one dimension of reaching the goal of healthy students ready to be competent, thoughtful, and informed citizens.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Our Top 10 Blog Posts in 2012

In the past year, experts and practitioners in the field, whole child partners, and ASCD staff have shared their stories, ideas, and resources to help you ensure that each child, in each school, in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged and prepared for success in higher education, employment, and civic life. These are the top 10 posts you read in 2012.

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