Sir Ken Robinson suggests that education needs to be reformed and offers a new metaphor to help guide the change process. He taps into many of the things that educators have been noticing and “feeling” about schooling. As he often does, he clearly articulates these ideas and offers strategies for moving forward.
Take a listen to Sir Ken’s message (6 minutes) and share your reactions in the comments section.
I’ve continued to reflect on Alastair Parvin’s TEDtalk for several weeks. It is eminder about the importance and prevalence of design in today’s world. This quote, in particular, has stayed with me, so I used it to create this poster. Alastair’s presentation is an example of just how important it is for creativity to be fostered. Outside-the-box thinking like his may very well resolve some of the difficult issues that we’ll be facing in the coming decades.
America’s future teachers are invited to participate in the “Speak Up 2012 Survey for America’s Future Teachers” to share your ideas about teaching.
Speak Up, a national online research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow®, gives individuals the opportunity to share their viewpoints about key issues in K-12 education.
Any college student, who is participating in a degree or credential program that will prepare them for a career as a K-12 teacher, is eligible to take the survey, regardless of prior student teaching experience.
Speak Up for America’s Future Teachers is facilitated through online surveys and will be aggregated at the national and institution level. All of the data is 100% confidential and no specific institutional findings will be shared with anyone outside of the participating college or university.
Participate in “Speak Up 2012 Survey for America’s Future Teachers” and share your ideas about teaching.
One of the principles that is of major emphasis at Project Zero is teaching for understanding. The following video is loosely connected with this idea. I intend to go into greater depth about teaching for understanding in upcoming posts in this series.
“You can forget facts,
but you can not forget understanding.”
— Eric Mazur, Harvard University
“How can you engage your students and be sure they are learning the conceptual foundations of a lecture course? In From Questions to Concepts, Harvard University Professor Eric Mazur introduces Peer Instruction and Just-in-Time teaching — two innovative techniques for lectures that use in-class discussion and immediate feedback to improve student learning. Using these techniques in his innovative undergraduate physics course, Mazur demonstrates how lectures and active learning can be successfully combined” (Source).
NOTE: This video is also available as part of another DVD, Interactive Teaching, which contains advice on using peer instruction and just-in-time teaching to promote better learning.
The Floating University is a new educational media venture that creates and distributes online multimedia curricula, rich in text, video, animation and graphics, that feature today’s biggest thinkers, practitioners and leading scholars.
Their video lectures “are paired with related texts to introduce complex multidisciplinary subjects in an entertaining and engaging way. Whether you’re a life long learner or a current university student, [their] goal is to take you on a journey of discovery into myriad disciplines — to let you explore unfamiliar territory in a new light — and to pose questions that will encourage critical thinking and robust debate.
For schools, they “aim to invert the traditional lecture model of learning to focus valuable classroom time on interaction, exchange, and discussion, rather than on the passive consumption of live, in-person lectures” (Source).
The Floating University launched last fall with an online course offered at Harvard, Yale and Bard and delivered the key takeaways of an entire undergraduate education. Learn more in this short video.
Disrupting Education: There Are No Boundaries to Knowledge Anymore
This clip/commercial has really gotten in my head. I keep thinking about the juxtaposition of traditional education, innovation, reform, media and technology that this represents. I see this as a sort of a microcosm of what so many of us are talking about and involved in education. In this clip we see a disruptive innovation, online and/or hybrid learning, and some would argue that the classroom has been flipped. I see connections between this delivery platform and the notion that some have that failing schools would improve if they had access to the best teachers. In higher education reports indicate that more and more students are preferring the perceived flexibility of online courses and institutions are strategically planning how they intend to respond.
I’m also really curious to see how interactive and engaging the courses are and how effective they are at promoting creativity and critical thinking. These terms are used frequently on the site and in this video. I also noticed on the website that everything is optimized for use on the iPad which could open the door for interesting opportunities related to engagement. However, I often see teachers, schools, and institutions make similar claims under the pervasive but misguided notion that the very act of using technology makes instruction more effective and more engaging while automatically promoting higher levels of thinking. That just isn’t accurate. Given the reputations of the universities and lecturers involved as well as the feature-rich and content-rich Floating University and Big Think websites I’m going to speculate that they are doing at least a respectable job, and perhaps even better, in these areas. I would enjoy the opportunity to view and experience the Floating University’s courses for myself. The idea of “robust debate” in an online class sounds like fun to me!
Change is in the air. I wonder how all of this will play out over the next few years and subsequent decades. We’ll we resolve these matters or will they have to be solved by the next generation(s) of educators? Perhaps you’ll share your reactions to the the Floating University and to some of the thoughts I have shared.
Educator and comedian Bill Cosby spoke to the class of 2012 at Temple University’s 125th commencement. Dr. Cosby spoke about the troubles facing young people entering today’s work force and challenges the graduates to “wake up and not dream through” the next stage of life.
Program Director, Rosalynn Wade, describes the innovative network of schools dedicated to nurturing creativity in every learner. I was able to visit with Rosalynn and others from Oklahoma A+ Schools during the World Creativity Forum in Oklahoma City. My thanks to Rosalynn for participating in this impromptu interview.