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Posts Tagged ‘talk


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This might be the first time I have heard creativity defined as the “conspiracy of craziness”. 

How do we get this creative conspiracy? By having “ridiculous optimism”.

Tune in to this TEDx talk by Kermit to fill in the blanks. 


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Ben Ambridge debunked ten myths in psychology, at least four of which have plagued schooling and education for the longest time. These are:

  • Learning styles
  • Left and right-handedness of brains
  • We use only 10% of our brains
  • The Mozart effect of music

This 15-minute TED talk is worth every minute of dissonance or resonance it might create.


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People who do not live under a rock know who Malala Yousafzai is, what she does, and why she was the joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize last year.

Not many have heard from her father. He is an extraordinary educator who has a lesson and reminder for educators and parents alike:

People ask me, what special is in my mentorship which has made Malala so bold and so courageous and so vocal and poised? I tell them, don’t ask me what I did. Ask me what I did not do. I did not clip her wings, and that’s all.

Today I deliver my talk at Bett 2015 on righting the wrongs of flipping. Not all the wrongs because there are way too many.

I focus on just three and these are the themes I shared on Twitter before I left Singapore.

    The tweets were a shorter version of what I need to say in less than 15 minutes after a more than 15-hour flight.

  • There is no point in flipping if teachers do not change their mindsets and practices.
  • It is not fair or logical to push kids into a curricular race they are not prepared for or do not need to run AND insist that they sacrifice their own time to keep running in.
  • Requiring learners to consume videos outside of class might just be changing the nature of homework instead of asking if homework is necessary and well-designed in the first place.

If I was allocated more time, we could explore how some teachers make the mistake of equating flipping only with video-based instruction, not focusing on better classroom interactions, or not actually changing anything by not requiring learners to create and teach.

This TED talk goes beyond this juicy question.

The speaker, Carol Dweck, described a school where students were not given a fail grade if they did not not exhibit mastery. Instead, they were graded “not yet”.

This could lead to a deprogramming of wanting results, products, or grades now, and lead to a focus on resilience, effort, and self-motivation.

Dweck recommended a few strategies for promoting “yet” and dissuading “now”:

  • Praise processes, not products or innate traits
  • Reward effort, strategy, and progress
  • Show paths for learner progress
  • Talk to learners about growth mindsets

In this 2013 TED talk, this teacher shared three ways to initiate meaningful learning and to stop pseudo teaching.


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Number one: Let curiosity drive learning. Not curricular demands, not technology, not even flipping.

Number two: Embrace the messy processes of learning.

Number three: Practice intense reflection.

Those were the Cliff notes. Watch the video to fill in the blanks. More importantly, listen to his stories that explain why he believes in these three ways.

 
A headline or title like ‘Chalk and talk’ teaching might be the best way after all is designed to do a few things.

It attracts views.

It draws the conservative nay-sayers and entrenches them.

It ignores how the measures of learning and effectiveness often favour chalk and talk.

For some, the narrative is seductive because it sounds reasonable and even balanced towards the end (if you even read to that point).

But for me, the article sounds like fingernails slowly being drawn across a blackboard. One should never get used to that sound nor should one ignore it because it becomes common.

Such an article ignores developments in educational research and practice that reveal the inferiority of chalk and talk. They pull us back into the cocoon from which we have emerged and are supposed to develop away from.

Such an article places teaching above learning and the teacher above the learner. Even if an educator is not research literate, I wonder how s/he can look groups of students everyday in the face, see the obvious boredom or worry, and not want to do something about it.

Do something about it. At the very least, stop nodding in agreement with articles that support chalk and talk. Change. Step out of your comfort zone and into the learning zone.

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