Punctuated Equilibrium, Progress and Schools

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Punctuated Equilibrium is a theory in evolutionary biology that seems to fit well with progress in students’ learning. What is Punctuated Equilibrium Punctuated Equilibrium was first proposed in the 1970s by Nile’s Elderedge and Stephen Jay Gould. They argued that while most of us think that evolution happens gradually, the fossil record showed  evolution happens in spurts. Stasis (or equilibrium) … Read More

Good News, Bad News

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Via: OnlineEducation.net So, the good news is that Twitter can help students boost their grades. The bad news is that many students are device-o-holics. Or perhaps it’s all bad news. Perhaps it’s just that students without Twitter lose marks because the Delirium Tremens they are wrestling with after being told they can’t use their phones makes it harder for the … Read More

Fish climbing trees

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This is going up in my classroom. Thanks Joe! “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” -Albert Einstein

The Pedagogy of Oxford Tutorials

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It’s funny how blind one can be. This article, by Robert Beck, outlines the Pedagogy of the Oxford Tutorial system, the jewel in the University’s crown. Essentially the process is research (reading, writing, lectures, chatting with friends) – essay – presentation of essay – discussion with tutor. A couple of things caught my eye, now that I have a teacher’s … Read More

Taking student feedback seriously

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Here’s something any teacher (and probably by extension any school) should be thinking about: How useful are the views of public school students about their teachers? Quite useful, according to preliminary results released on Friday from a $45 million research project that is intended to find new ways of distinguishing good teachers from bad. Teachers whose students described them as … Read More

Quantity is quality (2)

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This post from Victoria made me think. She If we told students that we would give them ONE test a year and that their entire grade for the whole year rested on that ONE test, nothing else. What would we see? We would see parents yelling. We would see students crying. We would see legislators acting against those “horrible teachers” … Read More

On a scale of one to five

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One of the ways I have used in classes to get a quick snapshot of how well children are understanding things is the thumbs up thumbs down approach advocated by Assessment for Learning gurus like Dylan William. You ask the children to put their thumbs up to indicate how well they feel they are understanding things. Thumbs up means they … Read More

Danish pupils use web in exams

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On the morning of the exam, the exam room the floor is covered in cables. IT experts are busy helping the teenagers set up their laptops, making sure they all work. At five to nine, the room falls silent. CD-roms and exam papers are handed out together. This is the Danish language exam. One of the teachers stands in front … Read More

How Should Teacher Effectiveness Be Assessed?

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In a report titled "The Widget Effect," the nonprofit New Teacher Project found that in public schools nationwide, teacher effectiveness is not measured, recorded or used to inform decision-making in any meaningful way. The result, according to the study, is a system where teachers are treated as interchangeable parts. Source: here

Not teachers but ‘co-learners’

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From Will Richardson: “What if we assessed teachers in large part on their abilities to create and consume content effectively as co-learners and co-creators with their students, and to share that work in transparent ways?”