To help encourage conversations and dialogue about traditions in our lives and learning, our topic/question for the dinner table is: What is one tradition in our schools that you believe we should re-examine? Please see link to Google Form to share your responses: Examining Traditions (Week of 10/9/16) (This is an anonymous Google Form)
The three day holiday weekend was certainly welcomed in our house, as we have enjoyed some time together with a relatively light schedule - it's a rarity in our house to not have too many commitments! On Sunday we had a nice time watching the Patriots while also celebrating my mother's 75th birthday. We enjoyed the 'extra day' together on Monday, getting pumpkins for the season and watching the Red Sox.
In an effort to really 'practice what I preach' and follow Katie's encouragement, I am going to keep it brief and share two posts that I believe connect to all of our day-to-day work with students and the initiatives we are currently working on as a Blake community. As we continue our work towards answering our essential question - 'How can we Cultivate and Curate the progression of student learning and growth?' - I think it is important that we encourage ourselves and each other to reflect on the perspectives of Whitby and Spencer.
Methods: Tradition vs. Relevance
by Tom Whitby (@tomwhitby)
I have shared this post before and it is one that I think is worth coming back to on a regular basis. Although the focus of the post may center around 'technology', the push towards assuring that educational practices are relevant is critical and can be applied to all aspects of learning.
The role of the lecturer in a digital age is far less of a need when given the plethora of alternatives available online. There is interaction and dialogue that can take place between authors and learners. The sources for learning today are much different from previous centuries when lectures ruled education.
If collaboration and discussion within problem-based learning is more relevant to today’s learners, why would educators insist on staying with less effective methods? The technology has changed the way learning happens. That is now a given. Technology by its nature will continue to advance and evolve. It is easier for us to change our methodology and to use the technology than it is to withhold the technology to maintain the outdated methodology. My personal belief is that at least in education relevance is more important than tradition when it comes to methodology.
Ten Vintage Ideas to Spark Innovation in Your Classroom
by John Spencer (@spencerideas)
In the ongoing discussion about improving our systems for education, Spencer provides a nice perspective on balancing that push for innovation with recognizing what has worked from the past. Orla Berry passed this one on to me earlier this week and I think it is worth thinking about in all contexts of our work.
Maybe it’s time we abandon the idea that certain education practices are outdated and realize that the best learning is timeless and sometimes some of the best ideas are buried under the industrial carpet of factory schools...Some of the most innovative ideas are not based upon boldly looking forward but on quietly looking back; to turn away from the collective gaze at all things novel and to look backwards at what we’ve lost.
I am not opposed to using computers. After all, my last blog series was all about the future of education. However, I am convinced that the future of learning is also vintage. Some of the best voices, ideas, and tools are the ones we overlooked in our search for the latest and greatest.
The questions that arise out of these posts lend themselves to further dialogue and communication, and it is this ongoing and shared reflective process that is at the heart of our work. I hope we can continue having these conversations.
The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them. - George Bernard Shaw
After you’ve done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over. - Alfred E. Perlman
I look forward to the work that lies ahead for all of us.
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