Saturday, December 15, 2012

exploration over results

The address is already on the wall, the schools must stop to prepare students for living in the past (in factories), and focus on how to make learning relevant to life today and in the future (learning by finding solutions to real challenges)
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Sobhan’s new-look classroom, one that placed greater value in exploration instead of results, not only taught students real-world skills, but gave them the opportunity to be creative and confident problem solvers. Bornstein, in his search for social excellence, made another note of the payoffs earned when children are put in charge of their own learning, this time citing the work of Ashoka Fellow Anil Chitrakar:

The stacks of homework have continued to climb, by more than 50 percent since 1981, but the additional problem sets don’t seem to be helping much. A new research paper suggests that if you can do basic subtraction, you’re probably a better mathematician than the majority of U.S. community college students. That’s discouraging, especially in light of lagging education statistics. Perhaps more troubling is that the extra homework load we subject our students to—and the adolescent academic stress associated with it—not only puts a damper on the after-school fun factor, but may also hurt their intellectual average of 7,200 high schoolers drop out every day

It’s the teacher’s job to point young minds towards the right kinds of questions,” suggests Sugata Mitra, professor of educational technology at Newcastle University.
“The teacher doesn’t need to give any answers,
the answers are everywhere. And we know now from years of measurements, that learners who find the answers for themselves, retain it better than if they’re told the answer.”
This isn’t to say that teaching students to read, write and do arithmetic isn’t important—it is. But we ought to give children a little more credit for the things they bring to the classroom table, including genius-level divergent thinking.
great points.. perhaps however, we're missing a vital piece by hanging on to that prescribed curriculum. it's better/prettier/shinier/a bit freer - that we are letting some kids do the mandated assignments (ie: learn this math) on their own time in their own way.. but what if that's messing with all of us as well - and now a bit more hidden..?
what if there are no foundational learnings..? no basics. what if we trusted you? what if we trusted learning?
let's go back to the beginning.. let's go with exploration. period.
let's just give it a look see.. we might be blown away by the brilliance, the humanity, the human capital...we reap. no?
via Yong Zhao - perhaps we pay more attention to what's really going on..
let's be less afraid of things that matter. we have plenty of evidence, that the things we are doing , in the name of efficiency, success, proof, don't matter enough. 
via godin reference link in article:
We’re probably at the death of education, right now,” continues Stephen Heppell, a Professor at Bournemouth University, and regarded as one of the most influential academics in educational technology. “I think the structures and strictures of school, learning from 9 until 3, working on your own…not working with others…I think that’s dead or dying. And I think that learning is just beginning.
So…how is technology changing the process of learning, exactly? “There’s a very big difference between ‘access to information’, and ‘school’,” says Godin. “They used to be the same thing. Information is there online, to any one of the billion people who has access to the Internet. So what that means, is if we give access to a 4-year-old, or an 8-year-old or a 12-year-old, they will get the information if they want it.”This is the key point here – how the Internet has opened up information to everyone. And it’s this that some argue is leading to a fundamental shift in the role a teacher plays – it seems that they could become more like guides, rather than holders of information.

are we falling in love with the questions?

let's not wait.