Week five of a new weekly post, Quotes of the Week. (For more about QoTW, click here.)
Highly recommended for principals, school-heads, and other educational leaders: provide your own version of suggested readings/links with your team. Curate them: don’t give them too much, but choose the best three, four, or five (max).
I think we can and should have a very robust debate about the design and impact of Khan Academy, and it’s vital that educators and the public critique him as a lecturer—personal attacks on his motives or character are, to my mind, beyond the pale.
To all those who are getting their kids logged into the Khan Academy this September, to all those who are done with Khan forever, to all those out there trying to build something better (including the current KA crew), you all have my best wishes for a great start to the school year.
The role of teacher has never been more important to facilitating young people as they move into a post-Gutenberg mode to “search, connect, communicate and make” learning. The passivity of the old Gutenberg mode of “write, print, read, recall” demands far less of educators in terms of mindset changes than teaching for contemporary learning.
I believe, just as with our young people, we educators also are curious, passionate, and engaged in pursuing our own personal and professional interests. Our kids aren’t bored learners at heart and neither are we adult learners.
However, the Gutenberg mode of learning creates passivity in us all. To see beyond that model, I push myself to both listen to what kids are doing as learners and to try out new tools myself. After all, if I’m not willing to put the time in to find my own S-curve and take on personal learning challenges, why should I expect that from anyone else?
Some decisions are better made with a slow hand.
While framed within a deadline, most great decisions in history were made with care and foresight. As I look at my to-do list, I see a host of actions that require very little thought and others that I have literally tagged “Think” so that I will find time in my day or night to simply contemplate. Driving fast through your day may facilitate the quick actions or decisions, but there are some calls to be made with care. Perhaps I should tag every “Think” action with a second tag entitled “Breathe”.
Slowing Down, Bill Carozza
The way learning occurs is as important as the content of particular courses. Process is important for learning. Courses taught as lecture courses tend to induce passivity. Indoor classes create the illusion that learning only occurs inside four walls isolated from what students call without apparent irony the “real world.”
Dissecting frogs in biology classes teaches lessons about nature that no one would verbally profess. Campus architecture is crystallized pedagogy that often reinforces passivity, monologue, domination, and artificiality. My point is simply that students are being taught in various and subtle ways beyond the content of courses.
What is Education For? David Orr
In a single school, some teachers remain imprisoned by the familiar, while others are breaking loose to explore, discover, and innovate new practices. Doesn’t this separate a school house? Isn’t this another kind of educational achievement gap? Didn’t Abe Lincoln say that a house divided upon itself cannot stand?…
Many schools invest large sums of money in campus master plans. Many schools invest large sums of money in technology master plans. Many schools invest large sums of money in strategic master plans. How many schools are investing comparable sums of money in pedagogical and professional learning master plans? Are we designing the blueprints in such a way that our builders and sub-contractors all possess a common, collective understanding of what the overall house is designed to be?
If we don’t invest in such planning and purposeful construction, then why are we surprised that classrooms along a hallway can appear to be drastically different in architectural, foundational structure?
We need to talk more about what’s in our standards, and the curriculum choices we make, as much as how we teach. The Ed Reform movement needs to pivot on the recognition that knowledge comes from our connections, and that connected-knowledge literacy is the most important thing students should master.
What to Teach is What’s Usually Missing in Ed Reform Debate, Mike Gwaltney
Modeling of being a life-long learner, digital citizenship for parents, teachers and students. With each 140 character tweet, I’ve broadcasted my learning for others in and outside of my learning community to connect, offer ideas to push my thinking and become aware of what my school is all about. I’ve allowed others to possess the pulse of my school and my learning. By making this learning public, I’m simultaneously role-modeling appropriate digital citizenship, deepening relationships between home and school, as well as removing traditional barriers in the way of the best teaching and learning.
Becoming a connected principal has been the best decision I’ve made in my educational career. By being connected, the potential and reach of your school learning community becomes limitless. The more great minds you have working to support your students, the better the education you are providing for them.
Chief Learner, Denise Krebs
In design, interfaces exist in order to enable interaction between users, objects, and even themselves. Paying special attention to this design principle is great for educators, encouraging interaction and collaboration in your classroom.