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

What Shaolin Monks Taught Me About Teaching

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The best teacher training I have ever had was from a 34th Generation Shaolin  Warrior Monk, Shi Yan Jun. Over the years, I have had in-school training such as INSETs, after-school twilight sessions, teacher observations (given and received). I have had off-site training run by battle-hardened professionals but sweetened with coffee, fancy biscuit and lecture notes. And I have followed … Read More

Navigating Education

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I almost never go back to the things I highlight on my Kindle. So a mini-holiday project was to stop me being quite such a knowledge tourist. I’ve built a little tool to make it easier to export, browse and actually think about my Kindle highlights.At the moment it’s set up to randomly send me a highlight by email every … Read More

Adjective Game for English Lessons

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I’ve had a very quick stab at hacking together a simple version of a game I used to play as a child. Whoever is playing chooses their adjectives and then these are dropped randomly into a famous story. I’ve grabbed the opening to Alice in Wonderland from Project Gutenberg as a first effort. Would love to hear some other possible … Read More

Careful Documentation

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This (thank you Cristina) is a great mini-documentary about the impact of documentation as used in the Reggio Emilia schools and with the Making Learning Visible project Documentation: Transforming Our Perspective from Melissa Rivard on Vimeo. Intuitively, I am wholeheartedly behind this sort of approach. Instinctively, too, I worry about the biases that come with collecting. A while ago, I … Read More

Mischief on the Moral High Ground

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Thoroughly enjoying Jonathan Smith’s “The Learning Game“. This anecdote is from his childhood. His Uncle Bert, a haemophiliac, always stayed with them. “Every Christmas Day for many years we all gathered in his room for our dinner. After dinner, in my early childhood, we always played cards. I looked forward to this as much as to the turkey because I … Read More

Bertrand Russell’s 10 Teaching Commandments

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I like these a lot (thanks Maria). They come from a 1951 article in the New York Times, titled “The Best Answer to Fanaticism: Liberalism”, which is well worth a read. Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten … Read More

Derek Cabrera and Teaching Thinking with DSRP

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Derek Cabrera  is an impressive character – superbright and does good social entrepreneur work.   He’s also decided that thinking can be taught with something called DSRP – Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, and Perspectives.  His new book “Thinking at Every Desk” looks interesting , especially in the knowledge that teachers like Jennifer Orr seem to be getting great results with it … Read More

Why should children have to collaborate?

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Collaboration, in more and more of what I read online, is a pre-requisite of good “21st century” learning environments. I can see why it is important, but as with a lot of online discussions, it seems needlessly binary. One has the sense you either subscribe to the “we should all be collaborating model” or you are a reactionary dolt who … Read More