“I found myself darting around the room having to explain what the word “inevitable” meant. The question of inevitability in history is a fascinating one that middle schoolers of all levels can discuss. But it sure helps to understand what the word “inevitable” means in order to have it. As I heard from another teacher, “vocabulary is a tool of thought.” Without a rich vocabulary, student thought is simplistic.”
“When adults continue to learn at their jobs they are better at creating that experience for other people. She says if schools are going to be places where students consistently push against the edge of what they don’t know, testing new theories, and trying things out while learning from mistakes, those same qualities must be present for their teachers. It’s difficult for a teacher to facilitate that type of learning environment if they haven’t experienced it themselves.”
“Parents shouldn’t worry about peer pressure or peer influence… They should worry about who the peers are that their kids are hanging around with. When kids hang around with students who get better grades, their own grades go up over time. Teenagers can also pressure one another not to use drugs. Of course, the reverse is true as well.”
“Managers must ensure each employee knows what's expected of them at work and has the materials and equipment they need to do their work right. Managers must create a culture that values providing genuine recognition for work well done. Managers must care about their employees, encourage their personal and professional development, and respect their opinions. Managers must help employees understand how their work ties to the mission or purpose of the organization. Managers must foster a team environment where employees can develop real, lasting friendships with one another.”
“The Stanford Design Lab, a leading group in the design education field, breaks down design thinking into five steps: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. Each of these buzzwords represents a concept already broadly known in the field of teaching. Teachers of writing, for example, could find significant overlap with the basic tenets of effective writing instruction, which ask students to establish their intended audience's needs; define what needs to be communicated; seek evidence, examples, and new ideas to answer the given question; build a prototype (as in, write a paper); and, finally, edit based on feedback.”
“Many apps — weather apps or coupon apps, for instance — gather and record location data without users’ understanding what the code is up to. That data can then be sold to third party buyers including, apparently, the government.”
“Digital land knows no boundaries of space, time or geography. The effect on learning has been profound this past decade, though still not consistently so on learning in schools. When we apply the principles of digital development to physical learning spaces, we can imagine a totally different means of designing and constructing new schools, where the physical space takes on a role as vital as the technology itself in pushing on teaching and learning practice in schools by leaps and bounds.”
Every week I send out articles I encounter from around the web. Subject matter ranges from hard knowledge about teaching to research about creativity and cognitive science to stories from other industries that, by analogy, inform what we do as educators. This breadth helps us see our work in new ways.
Readers include teachers, school leaders, university overseers, conference organizers, think tank workers, startup founders, nonprofit leaders, and people who are simply interested in what’s happening in education. They say it helps them keep tabs on what matters most in the conversation surrounding schools, teaching, learning, and more.
– Peter Nilsson