robertogreco + mentoring   76

Sri Lankan Whale Researcher Calls for an End to ‘Parachute — Oceans Deeply
[via: https://twitter.com/ashadevos/status/1121574154367422464 ]

"Most of the planet’s coastlines are in the developing world. Western marine scientists and institutions could do better work by developing the scientific talents of the people who live there, says Asha de Vos, founder of Oceanswell."



"THERE’S NO HOPE to conserve the ocean’s biodiversity unless scientists look inward and improve diversity in their own ranks. That’s the message that Asha de Vos, a Sri Lankan marine biologist, delivered to an international meeting of marine mammalogists in Halifax, Canada, in October.

De Vos is founder of Oceanswell, an organization she launched this year to help students from underrepresented nations conduct and communicate marine science. She argues that the health of coastlines depends on local people, yet too often they are ignored or dismissed. The practice of “parachute science,” in which Western researchers drop into developing countries to collect data and leave without training or investing in the region, not only harms communities, it cripples conservation efforts, according to De Vos.

She has first-hand experience. From Sri Lanka, she made her research career by studying blue whales in the Indian Ocean, which she discovered to be the only population that stays in tropical waters year round. Few scientists had paid attention to the whales before.

Oceans Deeply spoke with De Vos about how marine research and conservation could be more effective by investing in scientists and communities around the world.

Oceans Deeply: You recently called on marine researchers to be better at sharing skills, knowledge and funding with people in developing countries. Can you describe what you meant by that?

Asha de Vos: Seventy percent of our planet is oceans. Seventy percent of our coastlines are in the developing world. But we have no representation at the global stage. I actually asked the audience to look at each other and look around the room, because there was hardly anybody from outside North America, some of the bigger European countries and Australia. We want to save the oceans. If that is what our drive is, then we need to have custodians on every coastline. We can’t save the oceans if all of the funds are being pumped into specific nations.

If you want to protect that coastline, you can’t have 10 people from one country going into different countries and trying to save entire coastlines. It doesn’t make any sense. Local people, they live on those coastlines. They speak the languages, and they see the problems every day. They may be part of the problem.

There is a community aspect to it – where they can communicate to the people who live next door to them better than people coming from outside and telling people what to do. That is really patronizing. As soon as you get people who come from within the system, who speak the same language and who are relatable, you will suddenly start to see change.

If we want to protect what is on all of these coastlines, we can’t have parachute science happening. We can’t have people from outside coming into our countries, doing work and leaving, because there is no sustainability in that model.

Oceans Deeply: In many Western countries, limited scientific funding often goes to a small number of people, largely based on experience and prestige. Are you also calling for a general reform of how science is done?

De Vos: Overall, I think that we do need general reform. Business as usual hasn’t worked, right? The oceans are not in a better state. They’re getting worse. We need to start thinking, “OK, how can we change what is happening? How can we invest in human capital in places that need it?”

Funding bodies should be more conscious about how they administer their funding. It is not just about having a local counterpart – you need to make that local counterpart a lead. You need to mentor them to write the grant. It is the big institutions and funding bodies that really control what happens in these fields. The reason people want to publish and publish is because their tenure track job depends on it. If institutions instead started saying, “Look, what is your actual impact? What are you actually doing on the ground? How does what you do translate?” Then people have an obligation to go beyond [publishing].

I can understand the plight of the scientist as well. I broke out of that system. I never believed in the system, so I couldn’t stay in academia because that just doesn’t work for me. I want to have impact.

Oceans Deeply: How did you end up in your career, and what challenges did you face because you’re from Sri Lanka?

De Vos: I was inspired by National Geographic as a kid. At 18, I told people that I wanted to be a marine biologist. I come from South Asia where the culture is: either you’re a doctor, lawyer, engineer, a business person or you’re wasting your time. Lucky for me I had parents who said, “Do what you love, you’ll do it well.”

I went to the University of St. Andrews, where I did my undergraduate. I needed field experience, but I couldn’t get it in Sri Lanka, so I saved a bunch of money – I dug potatoes in potato fields in Scotland. I managed to get myself to New Zealand, and while I was there I heard of a research vessel that was stopping in the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

I wrote to them every single day for three months – and this was back in the day of internet cafes. I was living in a tent, but I was using the little bit of money that I had to convince people to let me get on board. Eventually, I think that they got so tired of me that they said I could come on board for two weeks in the Maldives. They loved me, so they kept me on for six months in Sri Lanka as well.

I got this experience, and then I went off to do my master’s at Oxford. When I was working on the research vessel, the Odyssey, I had my eureka moment because I encountered an aggregation of blue whales. I realized that these whales were not like normal blue whales, as my textbooks and professors had [told me]. Blue whales usually go to cold waters to feed and warm waters to breed. The poo was evidence that they were actually feeding in these warm, tropical waters 5 degrees above the equator. I thought that was fascinating.

Oceans Deeply: How did these experiences help form your understanding of the need for diversity in marine science?

De Vos: It is a result of me being Sri Lankan and local that I have been able to pioneer blue whale research in the northern Indian Ocean. I launched the first long-term study of this population. Over 10 years we have unraveled all of these mysteries, because I am local and I am interested in engagement.

The more people that I can touch with the stories of these whales, the bigger the army [of conservationists] and that is what is going to make the difference. When I started working with these blue whales, People didn’t know that we had whales in our waters. Now, there are more [Sri Lankan] students than ever before wanting to become marine biologists. I just established Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organization, called Oceanswell.

Oceans Deeply: Have you seen progress in training and investing in local communities?

De Vos: Yes. After the Society of Marine Mammalogy talk, I had people lining up to give their cards. There are people who invest, and not just in the developing world. There are now Inuit communities who are able to run their own PCR machines because someone went in there and helped set up a lab, even if you don’t have all the right conditions.

There are people out there who are doing incredible work and that don’t get highlighted, which is unfortunate. Transfer of knowledge is not valued in our scientific system in the same way as research.

I have had people approach me and say, “Can you get me a research permit so that I can do research in your country?” and I say no. We have talent, so provide opportunity. You come and train our people and then have the confidence to leave and watch this project grow, and then this becomes your legacy because it continues to grow for generations. You are creating something that is sustainable rather than coming in and trying to drive your own agenda"
ashadevos  science  decolonization  parachutescience  academia  local  srilanka  2017  oceanswell  whales  bluewhales  research  marinebiology  maldives  oceans  indianocean  inclusivity  diversity  marineconservation  conservation  impact  training  access  accessibility  mentoring  mentorships 
11 weeks ago by robertogreco
Society for Marine Mammalogy plenary talk: Asha de Vos - YouTube
[via: https://twitter.com/ashadevos/status/1121574652801773569 ]

"Listen as Dr. Asha de Vos talks about the current marine conservation climate and the need for changing it to change the trajectory of marine conservation. She speaks from her experiences as a researcher from a developing country accessing a field that is largely developed country focused."
ashadevos  science  srilanka  whales  bluewhales  marinebiology  conservation  decolonization  srg  research  climate  paywalls  open  openaccess  journals  accessibility  access  inclusivity  inclusion  diversity  marineconservation  indianocean  impact  training  local  mentoring  mentorships 
11 weeks ago by robertogreco
Time for Self | Akilah S. Richards [Episode 61]
"In this episode, Atlanta-based SDE facilitator and education entrepreneur, ANTHONY GALLOWAY II, speaks on moving past the mental aspect of self-care over to the literal practice. You’ll also learn about two Atlanta events in support of Self-Directed Education, both of which Anthony is playing a major role in bringing to the city. Also, the Jamaican patois term “Dat nuh mek it” basically means “that isn’t nearly enough.” In other words, something needs leveling up, because in its current state, it just won’t do. You’re welcome! #POCinSDE"
akilahrichards  anthonygalloway  unschooling  deschooling  self-care  self-directed  self-directedlearning  creativity  art  howweteach  howwelearn  work  labor  focus  artleisure  leisurearts  play  teaching  mentoring  practice  criticism  advice  decisionmaking  schools  schooling  schooliness  decisions  skepticism  pedagogy  priorities  process  technology  2018 
july 2018 by robertogreco
[Easy Chair] | Abolish High School, by Rebecca Solnit | Harper's Magazine
"I didn’t go to high school. This I think of as one of my proudest accomplishments and one of my greatest escapes, because everyone who grows up in the United States goes to high school. It’s such an inevitable experience that people often mishear me and think I dropped out.

I was a withdrawn, bookish kid all through elementary school, but the difficulty of being a misfit intensified when I started seventh grade. As I left campus at the end of my first day, people shouted insults that ensured I knew my clothes didn’t cut it. Then there was P.E., where I had to don a horrendous turquoise-striped polyester garment that looked like a baby’s onesie and follow orders to run or jump or play ball — which is hard to do when you’re deeply withdrawn — after which I had to get naked, in all my late-bloomer puniness, and take showers in front of strangers. In science class we were graded on crafting notebooks with many colors of pen; in home economics, which was only for girls — boys had shop — we learned to make a new kind of cake by combining pudding mix with cake mix; even in English class I can remember reading only one book: Dickens’s flattest novel, Hard Times. At least the old history teacher in the plaid mohair sweaters let me doze in the front row, so long as I knew the answers when asked.

In junior high, everything became a little more dangerous. Most of my peers seemed to be learning the elaborate dance between the sexes, sometimes literally, at school dances I never dreamed of attending, or in the form of the routines through which girls with pompoms ritually celebrated boys whose own role in that rite consisted of slamming into one another on the field.

I skipped my last year of traditional junior high school, detouring for ninth and tenth grade into a newly created alternative junior high. (The existing alternative high school only took eleventh and twelfth graders.) The district used this new school as a dumping ground for its most insubordinate kids, so I shared two adjoining classrooms with hard-partying teenage girls who dated adult drug dealers, boys who reeked of pot smoke, and other misfits like me. The wild kids impressed me because, unlike the timorous high achievers I’d often been grouped with at the mainstream school, they seemed fearless and free, skeptical about the systems around them.

There were only a few dozen students, and the adults treated us like colleagues. There was friendship and mild scorn but little cruelty, nothing that pitted us against one another or humiliated us, no violence, no clearly inculcated hierarchy. I didn’t gain much conventional knowledge, but I read voraciously and had good conversations. You can learn a lot that way. Besides, I hadn’t been gaining much in regular school either.

I was ravenous to learn. I’d waited for years for a proper chance at it, and the high school in my town didn’t seem like a place where I was going to get it. I passed the G.E.D. test at fifteen, started community college the following fall, and transferred after two semesters to a four-year college, where I began, at last, to get an education commensurate with my appetite.

What was it, I sometimes wonder, that I was supposed to have learned in the years of high school that I avoided? High school is often considered a definitive American experience, in two senses: an experience that nearly everyone shares, and one that can define who you are, for better or worse, for the rest of your life. I’m grateful I escaped the particular definition that high school would have imposed on me, and I wish everyone else who suffered could have escaped it, too.

For a long time I’ve thought that high school should be abolished. I don’t mean that people in their teens should not be educated at public expense. The question is what they are educated in. An abolitionist proposal should begin by acknowledging all the excellent schools and teachers and educations out there; the people who have a pleasant, useful time in high school; and the changes being wrought in the nature of secondary education today. It should also recognize the tremendous variety of schools, including charter and magnet schools in the public system and the private schools — religious, single-sex, military, and prep — that about 10 percent of American students attend, in which the values and pedagogical systems may be radically different. But despite the caveats and anomalies, the good schools and the students who thrive (or at least survive), high school is hell for too many Americans. If this is so, I wonder why people should be automatically consigned to it.

In 2010, Dan Savage began the It Gets Better Project, which has gathered and posted video testimonials from gay and lesbian adults and queer-positive supporters (tens of thousands of them, eventually, including professional sports stars and the president) to address the rash of suicides by young queer people. The testimonials reassure teenagers that there is life after high school, that before long they’ll be able to be who they are without persecution — able to find love, able to live with dignity, and able to get through each day without facing intense harassment. It’s a worthy project, but it implicitly accepts that non-straight kids must spend their formative years passing through a homophobic gauntlet before arriving at a less hostile adult world. Why should they have to wait?

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for teens, responsible for some 4,600 deaths per year. Federal studies report that for every suicide there are at least a hundred attempts — nearly half a million a year. Eight percent of high school students have attempted to kill themselves, and 16 percent have considered trying. That’s a lot of people crying out for something to change.

We tend to think that adolescence is inherently ridden with angst, but much of the misery comes from the cruelty of one’s peers. Twenty-eight percent of public school students and 21 percent of private school students report being bullied, and though inner-city kids are routinely portrayed in the press as menaces, the highest levels of bullying are reported among white kids and in nonurban areas. Victims of bullying are, according to a Yale study, somewhere between two and nine times more likely to attempt suicide. Why should children be confined to institutions in which these experiences are so common?

Antibullying programs have proliferated to such an extent that even the Southern Poverty Law Center has gotten involved, as though high school had joined its list of hate groups. An educational video produced by the S.P.L.C. focuses on the case of Jamie Nabozny, who successfully sued the administrators of his small-town Wisconsin school district for doing nothing to stop — and sometimes even blaming him for — the years of persecution he had suffered, including an attack that ruptured his spleen. As Catherine A. Lugg, an education scholar specializing in public school issues, later wrote, “The Nabozny case clearly illustrates the public school’s historic power as the enforcer of expected norms regarding gender, heteronormativity, and homophobia.”

I once heard Helena Norberg-Hodge, an economic analyst and linguist who studies the impact of globalization on nonindustrialized societies, say that generational segregation was one of the worst kinds of segregation in the United States. The remark made a lasting impression: that segregation was what I escaped all those years ago. My first friends were much older than I was, and then a little older; these days they are all ages. We think it’s natural to sort children into single-year age cohorts and then process them like Fords on an assembly line, but that may be a reflection of the industrialization that long ago sent parents to work away from their children for several hours every day.

Since the 1970s, Norberg-Hodge has been visiting the northern Indian region of Ladakh. When she first arrived such age segregation was unknown there. “Now children are split into different age groups at school,” Norberg-Hodge has written. “This sort of leveling has a very destructive effect. By artificially creating social units in which everyone is the same age, the ability of children to help and to learn from each other is greatly reduced.” Such units automatically create the conditions for competition, pressuring children to be as good as their peers. “In a group of ten children of quite different ages,” Norberg-Hodge argues, “there will naturally be much more cooperation than in a group of ten twelve-year-olds.”

When you are a teenager, your peers judge you by exacting and narrow criteria. But those going through the same life experiences at the same time often have little to teach one another about life. Most of us are safer in our youth in mixed-age groups, and the more time we spend outside our age cohort, the broader our sense of self. It’s not just that adults and children are good for adolescents. The reverse is also true. The freshness, inquisitiveness, and fierce idealism of a wide-awake teenager can be exhilarating, just as the stony apathy of a shut-down teenager can be dismal.

A teenager can act very differently outside his or her peer group than inside it. A large majority of hate crimes and gang rapes are committed by groups of boys and young men, and studies suggest that the perpetrators are more concerned with impressing one another and conforming to their group’s codes than with actual hatred toward outsiders. Attempts to address this issue usually focus on changing the social values to which such groups adhere, but dispersing or diluting these groups seems worth consideration, too.

High school in America is too often a place where one learns to conform or take punishment — and conformity is itself a kind of punishment, one that can flatten out your soul or estrange you from it.

High school, particularly the suburban and small-town varieties, can … [more]
rebeccasolnit  2015  highschool  education  schools  schooling  adolescence  unschooling  deschooling  oppression  teens  youth  hierarchy  agesegregation  internships  apprenticeships  mentoring  mentors  popularity  jockocracies  sports  rapeculture  us  society  peers  hatecrime  conformity  values  helenanorberg-hodge  lcproject  openstudioproject  cooperation  competition  segregation  bullying  bullies  splc  persecution  gender  sexuality  heteronormativity  homophobia  angst  cruelty  suicide  dances  prom  misfits  friendship  learning  howwelearn  srg  glvo  edg 
june 2018 by robertogreco
Holding Patterns: On Academic Knowledge and Labor – Eugenia Zuroski – Medium
"One of white liberalism’s most cherished fantasies is the cultural capital of “color.” Only from a platform of quotidian white privilege could someone earnestly imagine racial difference as a kind of “value added.” I think white people really think this way.

It’s not just wrong; it’s a way of disavowing racial difference as a site of critical knowledge. This neoliberal fallacy is hardwired into the structure of institutional “diversity” schemes: it’s what allows their architects to celebrate the presence of nonwhite people until the moment those people share what they understand about how the institution operates.

In academia, many early career BIPOC scholars have been advised, according to the logic of diversity, that their nonwhiteness will open doors to interviews, fellowships, job offers. I understand that mentors are struggling to guide students through brutal competitions for opportunity, support, and stable employment. And there’s this myth in academia that while permanent, fairly compensated jobs in general are disappearing, BIPOC scholars are somehow in “high demand.” (They are not.) But telling nonwhite graduates that their race is the key to professional success contradicts what they know from years of experience: that structural disenfranchisement is not a form of power.

A tenet for better mentoring: Against the white mythology of racial cachet, we must justly represent the particularly full expertise these scholars have gathered by pursuing their work without the privilege of whiteness.

A tenet for revaluing the bonds of collegiality: If we want to build solidarity within hostile institutional conditions, we must do better at respecting all knowledge formed at particular distances from power, especially when it addresses us directly.

Dear colleague: here are some things I’ve learned from my position as a mixed-race she/her Asian American scholar who appears, in the eyes of the institution, promisingly racially ambiguous — a poster child, you might say, for corporate diversity schemes to bring a few of us in and keep us busy."
eugeniazuroski  academia  highered  highereducation  diversity  knowledge  labor  race  racism  difference  2018  institutions  whiteness  nonwhiteness  opportunity  bias  disenfranchisement  power  colonialism  mentoring  collegiality  solidarity  privilege  expertise  imperialism  patriarchy  transphobia  homophobia  alienation  class  ableism  sexism  rinaldowalcott  evetuck  decolonization 
april 2018 by robertogreco
What the Arete Project stands for
"1. We offer a higher vision for higher education. Current academic culture values achievement over learning, knowledge over wisdom, research over teaching, and frills over substance. The Arete Project provides an education in the liberal arts and sciences that helps students become thoughtful, responsible, and virtuous human beings. Students are invested with responsibilities that extend far beyond their GPAs; instructors are valued first as teachers and mentors and second as scholars; and education takes place as a communal enterprise in a setting of rustic simplicity.

2. We educate for service and leadership – with real stakes. Many leadership programs are little more than simulations. Many service-work programs are guilty of “voluntourism.” But at the Arete Project, students must create, sustain, and govern their own educational community, as well as work towards the wellbeing of the institution itself. Student self-governance is real. If the cow isn’t milked, she may sicken, leaving the kitchen without dairy products. If recruitment emails aren’t sent, we may have no applicants the next year. Students must take real responsibility for these critical and other functions of the organization.

3. We provide an educational antidote to social fragmentation. It is no secret that our world has fractured deeply along lines of income, identity, and ideology. Our programs require students to step outside of their comfort zones and to build and share an educational space with people from very different backgrounds. The intimacy of the community (including students, staff, and faculty) allows trust and real relationships to flourish; these relationships, in turn, enable the difficult conversations that our society so badly needs to have.

4. We train thoughtful stewards of the natural world. Though we are all ultimately dependent on the ecosystems around us, few of us feel that dependence in our daily lives. The Arete Project asks students to live for extended periods of time in rustic accommodations within rural and wilderness settings, and much work and recreation is out of doors. The labor program in particular – by having students grow their own food and build their own shelter – provides a chance to think deeply about humans' relationship to nature."
education  areteproject  lauramarcus  highered  highereducation  learning  knowledge  wisdom  teching  research  substance  frills  liberalarts  mentoring  responsibility  service  leadership  voluntourism  servicelearning  self-governance  governance  fragmentation  society  inequality  inclusivity  inclusion  lcproject  openstudioproject  relationships  conversation  stewardship  nature  ecosystems  ecology  sustainability  interdependence  labor  work  ideology  criticalthinking  pedagogy  academia  colleges  universities 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Somerville STEAM Academy
"The Somerville STEAM Academy (SSA) is a collaboration between sprout & co. and the Somerville Public Schools. The SSA will be a vocational lab school emphasizing computational immersion and targeting struggling students offering an intimate, small school setting where learners will explore project-based curricula integrating the arts & sciences. The SSA will feature tight community integration via internships & mentorships and will rely on tie-in volunteer effort throughout Somerville."
alecresnick  education  schools  stem  steam  projectbasedlearning  internships  mentoring  mentorships  powderhousestudios 
june 2017 by robertogreco
How I Visit a School: Talk to the Janitor First – Dr. Cesar A. Cruz – Medium
"They’re the ones with all the keys. Every school visit, for me, would begin with the janitor. Not the principal, or the instructional leader. The person who cleans up after everyone. Why? Because while school leaders will agree that their janitors are core members of staff, they rarely, if ever, get invited to staff meetings because most schools don’t know how to value the wisdom, mentorship and know-how that they bring. But when I listen to janitors, I quickly learn that they know where the kids go to cry, where they hide, who is in pain, which adults are struggling, and so much more. They check the pulse of a school every single day. Try it, and you’ll wonder why you’d never thought of it before.


If you do go to speak to the janitor, have your hands free and be ready to roll up your sleeves. They won’t have time to stop for our 100 questions about the school — they’re busy wiping tables, removing gum, sweeping the floor, or cleaning the toilets. So I start by asking permission to help, and if they agree, I introduce myself and I’m real with them. I thank them for their often-thankless work. I acknowledge that some people may feel so entitled that they trash their classrooms every day.

Here are some of the questions I generally ask the janitor as we work:

What’s it like for kids to go to school here?

Who’s getting served well at this school? Who isn’t?

Who helps the kids who struggle?

Tell me about the parents, the neighborhood.

What is beautiful about this neighborhood?

One question always gives them pause, because so few adults recognize the role they play: What about the mentoring that you do? Tell me about the kids who gravitate towards you. Tell me about those kids.

Most janitors mentor, and a lot. I’ve met janitors who’ve given art supplies to school taggers. They are the first to respond to a kid who got beat up and comfort them. They come to the aid of the kid crying in the bathroom. They see it all, and engage on a human level, every day. And it’s true that the janitor is probably someone who looks a lot like most of the students at the school, which might be one of the many reasons kids go to them when no one else is looking.

I also ask about the unseen hardships of their job, their role at this school: What is asked of you, and how are you treated here? Do you have health insurance? A living wage? Are you invited to staff meetings, to conversations with the leadership? Where do you live? How do you live? What are the habits of the teachers here?

Finally, I ask them: If these walls could talk, what would they say? In fact, what have they said already? You see, graffiti is not just vandalism — it’s a data point — and one that comes directly from the students. So before I leave the janitor and thank them for sharing their wisdom and insights, and their hard work, I ask them who tags, and what they tag.

Kids tag five types of graffiti:

1. Their name or nickname, because they want to matter and they want to be noticed. They say, Please see me, see my name. I am invisible here, and I want to be seen.

2. Their block or neighborhood name, because they are proud of where they’re from and want to share that.

3. A response to a rival, because they want to lay their claim, or cross out another’s name and say you’re in my territory — not unlike presidents who bomb countries. Kids follow that lead, and mark their territory as well.

4. RIP [insert name of a loved one here], because many kids are mourning the death of a friend, of family member, and the pain is too much to bear without expressing it.

5. Freedom for [insert name of a loved one here], because many kids have a friend or family member who is locked up and their greatest wish is for that other person to be free — and if there is no chance of that, these kids are in a kind of mourning, too.

Imagine, all that we can learn by reading the writings on the walls and listening to the one who “cleans” it all up?

If we take very careful mental notes, not necessarily on a note pad like an investigative reporter, or a piece of technology, or a distracting rubric — we might leave so informed by a single conversation that it will lead to a much deeper analysis and understanding of that school.

Step 2. Listen to the one who runs the school (and I don’t mean the principal).

This person has almost as many keys as the janitor does. No, not the principal, but the administrative person, or secretary, who typically knows everything, and if they don’t, they know how to find out. It’s worth noting that the secretary may look like most of the students, and if much of the student population is bilingual, usually the secretary is, too. They’re sometimes the face of the school, and sometimes they present a façade that the staff is diverse, but with a monolithic staff behind them. That secretary may have to play every role at that school including the translator for every meeting.

With the secretary, I don’t ask them for anything before humbly and sincerely thanking them for all they do to keep this school running. I ask them about their work — what’s on their plate on a daily basis? A tip: Unless you are a school secretary, it would be great if you didn’t say, “I know how that feels.” It is well-intentioned, but most likely inaccurate, and probably won’t help you much if you’re trying to connect with them.

It is a blessing to listen deeply and practice patient empathy as they vent or release. They deserve it. Secretaries are often the de facto administrator, disciplinarian, nurse, the one who knows where everything is, the person with whom every parent has a problem, etc. It is a lot to carry, and with no real opportunity for release. So I start by being that for them, and gratefully.

I ask the secretary the same questions I ask the janitor, above.

If they have the time, I ask for a tour (from the janitor, too). This tour will be undoubtedly different from one the instructional leader will give.

Step 3. Roam.

Then, if allowed, I roam the school. I make sure to wear my visitor sticker in a place where people can see it so they know I’m a safe person. Some visitors, from certain identities, fit in more with the school than others. If you are not that person, walk slowly and proceed with smiles and try not to scare anyone. (For some reason, schools struggle to allow a plus-size Mexican man with lots of tattoos to roam a school, as many adults struggle to believe that he might have a doctorate in education and is a professional. But I digress.)

I try to find the kids who are actively trying not to be found. I reassure them that they are not in trouble, share something about myself, keep it real. Mine might sound like this, “What’s up, my name is César, I’m a teacher, and I’m trying to create a bomb school for kids, I could really use your wisdom.” That seems to work most of the time, and then ask them what they really think of the school: Who are the cool teachers, and why? Who brings you down and why? You will be surprised to learn that there are many dream-crushers at schools — at least kids think so. If you were the principal of the school, how would they make this place awesome? At this point, listen, as if time had stood still, and see where these geniuses take you.

I ask them how the kids at the school deal with sadness. If they mention popping pills or smoking weed, I ask them what the school thinks about that. I ask them who connects with them, who understands them, who has their back. Ask them what brings them deep joy. Ask them about the janitor and the secretary.

If allowed, I have them show me their school. In particular, I ask them to show me what you see, that most others don’t. I ask them who feels like they belong at the school, and who is made to feel like an outsider.

I ask them what’s beautiful about their neighborhood and their school.

Step 4. Focus.

If the school will allow it, I get a focus group together with a diverse group of young people. I specifically ask the school to include some of the students who “hate” the school, too. Or if that seems like an alienating concept for the adults at the school, I’ll reframe it: “I would love to listen to the students who are both struggling, and may possibly be disengaged. It’s great to hear from the students who “push” the school’s buttons.”

I listen closely to how the adults in charge at a school describe the kids who “cause problems.” A lot of coded and not-so-coded language. A tip: Be prepared to say something when you hear the words “bad kids.” This is your moment, what you do with it will be very telling of your leadership skills. You may hear words like “trouble makers,” “those little gang bangers,” “bunch of truants,” you may even hear words like “crack babies,” and so on. The coded language of the poverty of expectations shows up in interesting ways. You may hear words like those “low SES kids” (socio-economic students), or the classic “free and reduced lunch” kids. When you do, you have an interesting opportunity to ask, how might those kids be described through an asset lens? Please pay close attention to what these leaders say and don’t say, and their body language. This single interaction can be incredibly telling. And you haven’t even gotten to the focus group yet.

By listening deeply to the janitor, secretary, and the students who are not “assigned” to speak with me on a school visit, I learn so much. Keeping it real and leading with humility goes a long way so people can feel safe enough to tell me what they really think. That insight is priceless.

It’s the wisdom that doesn’t always appear on the official tour, the pamphlet, or on the website, that we need to capture. This isn’t the only way to do it, but it’s how I do it.

Let’s hear from you: How do you approach a school visit? Have you ever … [more]
schools  sfsh  2017  cesarcruz  janitors  schoolclimate  whoknows  mentoring  mentors 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Learning Ecologies: Can the City Be Our Classroom? - Urban Planning and Design - architecture and design
"Over the past few months, Gensler San Francisco’s EDU 2.0 group, a cohort of emerging designers, strategists and leaders in the Education practice area, hosted a series of three roundtable discussions around the experiential learning trend and what it means for educational institutions and cities.

Project-based approaches to teaching have been disrupting the educational landscape for several years and many institutions have fully embraced experience-based curriculum; however, the built-environment has not kept up. This approach requires environments that encourage both self-guided and group learning, provide maker spaces and allow students to personalize their educational experience. Participants in the roundtable discussions included thought leaders and innovators from elementary education, high school, university and cultural institutions, as well as organizations involved in education for all ages. While our conversations varied due to the diverse participants, our question for all of the discussions was the same:

In a world where resources for learners are pervasive and abundant, where institutions may no longer play the role of primary purveyors of information, and abilities may be represented in ways different from the traditional diploma, what role will the institution of education play?

Commentary from some of our roundtable participants included:

• “We’re striving to build a university as it should be, not how it may have accidentally evolved over a hundred years.” –Mike Wang, Minerva Schools

• “I’m going out and using a series of experiences and apprenticeships to create a new form of higher education.” –Dane Johnson, Experience Institute

• “What could it look like if you designed a school rooted in equity and innovation and its goal was to bring disparate groups together?” –David Clifford, Design School X, Stanford d.School

• “At CCA we remake our physical environment…and our curriculum constantly in a way that is incredibly agile and it benefits the students.” –Mara Hancock, CCA

Through these conversations we identified the following trends on the horizon that not only apply to educational projects, but also retail, cultural and civic work:

• Curators of Experience: Learner-Centric Education
The goal of this kind of education is not to impart information nor to create experts, but to allow the students to learn how to identify questions, themes and problems.

• Community
For campus-less institutions and legacy institutions alike, place, identity and community remain important.

• Irresistible Places
Our most impactful memories of school often surround these special, irresistible places; a corner of a library or the place where you ate lunch with your friends. These places encourage and enable memorable learning experiences.

• Technology is a Tool, Not a Solution
Information delivered online in a vacuum, unrelated to real-world experience, is difficult to internalize and doesn’t feel relevant to the student.

• In Defense of the University
When we demand that learning be unencumbered by reaching a specific goal, a learner has the opportunity for free intellectual exploration.

• Tinkering
This educational practice includes the importance of play and prototyping within a context of experiential learning.

• Beyond the Report Card
Badging, sharing a digital portfolio, a deep network of collaborators and one’s ability to tell one’s story are more important to many employers than the conventional GPA.

• Intergenerational Learning
Age and experience level are not always the indicator of the role of educator.

• Scale It Up
Traditional educational systems can learn from innovative charter schools, cultural institutions and private schools to provide the best opportunities for all students.

The full list of trends explained in more details can be found here. [http://www.gensler.com/uploads/document/515/file/Learning-Ecologies_Gensler.pdf ]"
lindseyfeola  schooldesign  sfsh  cityasclassroom  schools  age  experience  education  tinkering  technology  community  learning  howwelearn  mikewang  danejohnson  davidclifford  marahancock  curriculum  lcproject  openstudioproject  apprenticeships  mentoring  cca  experientiallearning  experientialeducationcities  urban  urbanism 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Maker Education: Pedagogy, Andragogy, Heutagogy | User Generated Education
"Maker education is currently a major trend in education. But just saying that one is doing Maker Education really doesn’t define the teaching practices that an educator is using to facilitate it. Maker education takes on many forms. This post provides an overview of how maker education is being implemented based on the teaching practices as defined by the Pedagogy, Andragogy, Heutagogy (PAH) continuum.

[chart]

Traditionally, Pedagogy was defined as the art of teaching children and Andragogy as teaching adults. These definitions have evolved to reflect teacher practices. As such, andragogical and heutagogical practices can be used with children and youth.

PAH within a Maker Education Framework

The following chart distinguishes and describes maker education within the PAH framework. All teaching styles have a place in Maker Education. For example, pedagogical practices may be needed to teach learners some basic making skills. It helps to scaffold learning, so learners have a foundation for making more complex projects. I do, though, believe that maker education projects and programs should go beyond pedagogical oriented teaching as the overriding goal of maker education is for learners to create something, anything that they haven’t before.

Driving Questions

• Pedagogy – How well can you create this particular maker education project?
• Andragogy – How can this prescribed maker project by adapted and modified?
• Heutagogy – What do you want to make?

Overall Purpose or Goal

• Pedagogy – To teach basic skills as a foundation for future projects – scaffolding.
• Andragogy – To provide some structure so learners can be self-directed.
• Heutogogy – To establish an environment where learners can determine their own goals, learning paths, processes, and products for making.

Role of the Educator

• Pedagogy – To teach, demonstrate, help learners do the maker education project correctly.
• Andragogy – To facilitate, assist learners, mentor
• Heutagogy – To coach, mentor, be a sounding board, be a guide very much on the side.

Making Process

• Pedagogy – Use of prescribed kits, templates; step-by-step directions and tutorials.
• Andragogy – Use of some templates; learners add their own designs and embellishments.
• Heutagogy -Open ended; determined by the learner.

Finish Products

• Pedagogy – A maker project that looks and acts like the original model.
• Andragogy – A maker project that has some attributes of the original model but that includes the learner’s original ideas.
• Heutagogy – A maker project that is unique to the learner (& to the learning community)."
pedagogy  andragogy  heutagogy  education  teaching  learning  making  makers  projectbasedlearning  constructivism  constructionism  emergent  emergentpedagogy  self-directed  self-directedlearning  howweteach  howwelearn  unschooling  deschooling  community  individualization  personalization  differentiation  mentors  mentoring  sfsh  jackiegerstein  tcsnmy 
june 2016 by robertogreco
The Minecraft Generation - The New York Times
"Seth Frey, a postdoctoral fellow in computational social science at Dartmouth College, has studied the behavior of thousands of youths on Minecraft servers, and he argues that their interactions are, essentially, teaching civic literacy. “You’ve got these kids, and they’re creating these worlds, and they think they’re just playing a game, but they have to solve some of the hardest problems facing humanity,” Frey says. “They have to solve the tragedy of the commons.” What’s more, they’re often anonymous teenagers who, studies suggest, are almost 90 percent male (online play attracts far fewer girls and women than single-­player mode). That makes them “what I like to think of as possibly the worst human beings around,” Frey adds, only half-­jokingly. “So this shouldn’t work. And the fact that this works is astonishing.”

Frey is an admirer of Elinor Ostrom, the Nobel Prize-­winning political economist who analyzed the often-­unexpected ways that everyday people govern themselves and manage resources. He sees a reflection of her work in Minecraft: Running a server becomes a crash course in how to compromise, balance one another’s demands and resolve conflict.

Three years ago, the public library in Darien, Conn., decided to host its own Minecraft server. To play, kids must acquire a library card. More than 900 kids have signed up, according to John Blyberg, the library’s assistant director for innovation and user experience. “The kids are really a community,” he told me. To prevent conflict, the library installed plug-ins that give players a chunk of land in the game that only they can access, unless they explicitly allow someone else to do so. Even so, conflict arises. “I’ll get a call saying, ‘This is Dasher80, and someone has come in and destroyed my house,’ ” Blyberg says. Sometimes library administrators will step in to adjudicate the dispute. But this is increasingly rare, Blyberg says. “Generally, the self-­governing takes over. I’ll log in, and there’ll be 10 or 15 messages, and it’ll start with, ‘So-and-so stole this,’ and each message is more of this,” he says. “And at the end, it’ll be: ‘It’s O.K., we worked it out! Disregard this message!’ ”

Several parents and academics I interviewed think Minecraft servers offer children a crucial “third place” to mature, where they can gather together outside the scrutiny and authority at home and school. Kids have been using social networks like Instagram or Snapchat as a digital third place for some time, but Minecraft imposes different social demands, because kids have to figure out how to respect one another’s virtual space and how to collaborate on real projects.

“We’re increasingly constraining youth’s ability to move through the world around them,” says Barry Joseph, the associate director for digital learning at the American Museum of Natural History. Joseph is in his 40s. When he was young, he and his friends roamed the neighborhood unattended, where they learned to manage themselves socially. Today’s fearful parents often restrict their children’s wanderings, Joseph notes (himself included, he adds). Minecraft serves as a new free-­ranging realm.

Joseph’s son, Akiva, is 9, and before and after school he and his school friend Eliana will meet on a Minecraft server to talk and play. His son, Joseph says, is “at home but still getting to be with a friend using technology, going to a place where they get to use pickaxes and they get to use shovels and they get to do that kind of building. I wonder how much Minecraft is meeting that need — that need that all children have.” In some respects, Minecraft can be as much social network as game.

Just as Minecraft propels kids to master Photoshop or video-­editing, server life often requires kids to acquire complex technical skills. One 13-year-old girl I interviewed, Lea, was a regular on a server called Total Freedom but became annoyed that its administrators weren’t clamping down on griefing. So she asked if she could become an administrator, and the owners said yes.

For a few months, Lea worked as a kind of cop on that beat. A software tool called “command spy” let her observe records of what players had done in the game; she teleported miscreants to a sort of virtual “time out” zone. She was eventually promoted to the next rank — “telnet admin,” which allowed her to log directly into the server via telnet, a command-­line tool often used by professionals to manage servers. Being deeply involved in the social world of Minecraft turned Lea into something rather like a professional systems administrator. “I’m supposed to take charge of anybody who’s breaking the rules,” she told me at the time.

Not everyone has found the online world of Minecraft so hospitable. One afternoon while visiting the offices of Mouse, a nonprofit organization in Manhattan that runs high-tech programs for kids, I spoke with Tori. She’s a quiet, dry-­witted 17-year-old who has been playing Minecraft for two years, mostly in single-­player mode; a recent castle-­building competition with her younger sister prompted some bickering after Tori won. But when she decided to try an online server one day, other players — after discovering she was a girl — spelled out “BITCH” in blocks.

She hasn’t gone back. A group of friends sitting with her in the Mouse offices, all boys, shook their heads in sympathy; they’ve seen this behavior “everywhere,” one said. I have been unable to find solid statistics on how frequently harassment happens in Minecraft. In the broader world of online games, though, there is more evidence: An academic study of online players of Halo, a shoot-’em-up game, found that women were harassed twice as often as men, and in an unscientific poll of 874 self-­described online gamers, 63 percent of women reported “sex-­based taunting, harassment or threats.” Parents are sometimes more fretful than the players; a few told me they didn’t let their daughters play online. Not all girls experience harassment in Minecraft, of course — Lea, for one, told me it has never happened to her — and it is easy to play online without disclosing your gender, age or name. In-game avatars can even be animals.

How long will Minecraft’s popularity endure? It depends very much on Microsoft’s stewardship of the game. Company executives have thus far kept a reasonably light hand on the game; they have left major decisions about the game’s development to Mojang and let the team remain in Sweden. But you can imagine how the game’s rich grass-roots culture might fray. Microsoft could, for example, try to broaden the game’s appeal by making it more user-­friendly — which might attenuate its rich tradition of information-­sharing among fans, who enjoy the opacity and mystery. Or a future update could tilt the game in a direction kids don’t like. (The introduction of a new style of combat this spring led to lively debate on forums — some enjoyed the new layer of strategy; others thought it made Minecraft too much like a typical hack-and-slash game.) Or an altogether new game could emerge, out-­Minecrafting Minecraft.

But for now, its grip is strong. And some are trying to strengthen it further by making it more accessible to lower-­income children. Mimi Ito has found that the kids who acquire real-world skills from the game — learning logic, administering servers, making YouTube channels — tend to be upper middle class. Their parents and after-­school programs help them shift from playing with virtual blocks to, say, writing code. So educators have begun trying to do something similar, bringing Minecraft into the classroom to create lessons on everything from math to history. Many libraries are installing Minecraft on their computers."
2016  clivethompson  education  videogames  games  minecraft  digitalculture  gaming  mimiito  robinsloan  coding  computationalthinking  stem  programming  commandline  ianbogost  walterbenjamin  children  learning  resilience  colinfanning  toys  lego  wood  friedrichfroebel  johnlocke  rebeccamir  mariamontessori  montessori  carltheodorsorensen  guilds  mentoring  mentorship  sloyd  denmark  construction  building  woodcrafting  woodcraft  adventureplaygrounds  material  logic  basic  mojang  microsoft  markuspersson  notch  modding  photoshop  texturepacks  elinorostrom  collaboration  sethfrey  civics  youtube  networkedlearning  digitalliteracy  hacking  computers  screentime  creativity  howwelearn  computing  froebel 
april 2016 by robertogreco
LRNG
"LRNG redesigns learning for the 21st century so that all youth have an opportunity to succeed.

It begins with youth and where they are.
It connects their passions, people and paths.
It empowers them for success in the connected age.

We are partnering with schools, businesses, cities, and community institutions such as libraries and museums, nationwide and around the globe, to create a 21st century learning experience for learners everywhere.

What are you into? Follow your interests to uncover life-changing experiences. LRNG puts the power in your hands.

Educators are central to redesigning education for the connected age. Join the movement to make learning more powerful, relevant, and connected.

We believe mentors, like educators, are essential to a vibrant learning ecosystem. Join LRNG in innovating and inventing the learning experiences of the future."



"Redesigning Learning for the Connected Age

LRNG is a bold new endeavor to close the opportunity gap by transforming how young people access and experience learning, and the paths they can take to success. Working together with schools, city leaders, businesses, and community institutions such as libraries and museums, LRNG is redesigning learning for the connected age.

Using a technical platform as a connector, LRNG is building an ecosystem of learning that combines in-school, out-of-school, employer-based and online learning experiences into a seamless network that is open and inviting to all youth. The LRNG platform will debut in Spring 2016.

Major cities across the country are rich with opportunities to learn in many places. LRNG connects the dots, making it easy for any young person to find fun and engaging learning experiences and pursue learning pathways that cross traditional institutional silos. LRNG also creates opportunities for young people to learn together with peers and mentors who have shared interests, which research has shown deepens learning engagement.

LRNG holds the promise of delivering immediate, transformative change to the millions of youth who are locked out of traditional paths to success. LRNG will quickly scale up nationwide to ensure today’s young people have the opportunities they need to thrive in 21st century life and work.

LRNG is based on the principles of Connected Learning, a learning approach that emerged from more than 10 years of research supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to explore how digital media is changing the way young people learn and what they need to know."
learning  foundationlrng  openstudioproject  lcproject  urban  cities  unschooling  deschooling  networks  distributed  schoolwithoutwalls  community  mentoring 
january 2016 by robertogreco
A venture capitalist searches for the purpose of school. Here’s what he found. - The Washington Post
[Alt URL: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/11/03/a-venture-capitalist-searches-for-the-purpose-of-school-heres-what-he-found/ ]

"I was now fully consumed with this cause. I stepped up my pace, criss-crossing the country to visit schools and gain perspective. I was in hot pursuit of the right answer to the question: “What is the purpose of school?” Everywhere I looked — mission statements, meetings with school leaders, websites — I’d find sensible, even inspiring, purposes:

• teach students cognitive and social skills
• teach students to think
• build character and soul
• help students in a process of self-discovery
• prepare students to be responsible, contributing citizens
• inspire students through the study of humanity’s great works
• prepare students for productive careers

I probed educators on these alternatives, trying to determine the purpose of school, as though answering an SAT question. But I gradually came to realize that this choice was poorly framed. For starters, each of these goals have merit. If some classrooms prepare students for productive careers, and others prioritize on character development, that’s a good thing. And shouldn’t we celebrate an educator who accomplishes one of these goals — not snipe over whether an alternative purpose is superior?

But what came across loud and clear in my journeys is that schools don’t have the luxury of striving for any meaningful purpose. We’ve somehow imposed a system on our educators that requires them to:

• cover volumes of bureaucratically-prescribed content
• boost scores on increasingly-pervasive standardized tests
• get kids through this year’s vacuous hoops to prepare for next year’s vacuous hoops
• produce acceptable graduation rates and college placements
• deal with parents who are either obsessive micro-managers or missing in action.

How did we get here? A deep dive into the history of education helped me appreciate that our school model was brilliantly designed. Over a century ago. In 1893, Charles Eliot of Harvard and the Committee of Ten anticipated a surge of manufacturing jobs as our country moved beyond agriculture. They re-imagined the U.S. education model, ushering in a factory school model to replace the one-room school house. This path-breaking system of universal public education trained students to perform rote tasks rapidly without errors or creative variation — perfect for assembly-line jobs. The system worked spectacularly, a robust middle class emerged, and America became the world’s most powerful country.

Somewhat incredibly, we still utilize this covered-wagon-era education model. Warning signs about its faltering effectiveness go back for decades. In 1983, the blue-ribbon report titled “A Nation At Risk” concluded that if our education system had been imposed on us by a foreign country, we’d declare it an act of war. Yet instead of reinventing the model (as the Committee of Ten did in 1893), we chose to muddle along with short-term, often counter-productive, tweaks. Teachers and students described to me endless additions to content, baffling new standards, and relentless high-stakes standardized tests of low-level cognitive skills. Our nation is hellbent on catching Singapore and South Korea on test scores — a goal those very countries have concluded is nonsensical. We’re betting millions of futures on No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top — our twin orbiting black holes of education — with annual reports on par with the season run-down for the Washington Generals.

And how much are our kids really learning? If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that they’re not learning. Practically anything.

In my travels, I visited the Lawrenceville School, rated as one of the very best high schools in the United States. To its credit, Lawrenceville conducted a fascinating experiment a decade ago. After summer vacation, returning students retook the final exams they had completed in June for their science courses. Actually, they retook simplified versions of these exams, after faculty removed low-level “forgettable” questions The results were stunning. The average grade in June was a B+ (87 percent). When the simplified test was taken in September, the average grade plummeted to an F (58 percent). Not one student retained mastery of all key concepts they appear to have learned in June. The obvious question: if what was “learned” vanishes so quickly, was anything learned in the first place?

The holy grail in our high schools is the Advanced Placement (AP) track. Pioneered 50 years ago by elite private schools to demonstrate the superior student progress, AP courses now pervade mainstream public schools. Over and over, well-intentioned people call for improving U.S. education by getting more of our kids — especially in poor communities — into AP courses. But do our kids learn in AP courses? In an experiment conducted by Dartmouth College, entering students with a 5 on their AP Psychology exam took the final exam from the college’s introductory Psych course. A pitiful 10 percent passed. Worse, when the AP superstars did enroll in intro Psych, they performed no better than classmates with no prior coursework in the subject area. It’s as though the AP students had learned nothing about psychology. And that’s the point.

Along the way, I met Eric Mazur, Area Dean for Applied Physics at Harvard University, and was surprised to discover that many of our country’s most innovative ideas about education come from this one physics professor. Over a decade ago, Eric realized that even his top students (800 on SAT’s, 5 on AP Physics, A in first-year Physics at Harvard) were learning almost no real science. When asked simple questions about how the world works (e.g., what’s the flight path of a pallet of bricks dropped from the cargo hatch of a plane flying overhead?), their responses were little better than guessing. He abandoned his traditional course format (centered on memorizing formulas and definitions), and re-invented his classroom experience. His students debate each other in engaged Socratic discussion, collaborate and critique, and develop real insights into their physical universe. While his results are superb, almost all other U.S. high-school and college science classes, even at top-rated institutions, remain locked into a broken pedagogy whose main purpose is weeding kids out of these career paths..

Systematic studies, such as the findings of Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa’s groundbreaking book “Academically Adrift,” reach similar conclusions about how little our students are learning, even at the college level. They report that “gains in student performance are disturbingly low; a pattern of limited learning is prevalent on contemporary college campuses.” Richard Keeling and Richard Hersh, in “We’re Losing Our Minds,” conclude that far too many college graduates can’t “think critically and creatively, speak and write cogently and clearly, solve problems, comprehend complex issues, accept responsibility and accountability, take the perspective of others, or meet the expectations of employers.”

The debate about the purpose of education ignores the elephant in the classroom. We have wrapped up our schools in rote memorization, low-level testing, and misguided accountability — preventing them from achieving any real purpose. It’s a fool’s errand to debate whether students are better off memorizing and forgetting Plato’s categorization of the three parts of a human’s soul, the quadratic equation, or the definition of the Cost of Goods Sold. If classroom “learning” is a mirage, it doesn’t matter whether it’s based on “The Odyssey,” a biology textbook, AP History flashcards, or a phone book.

At this point, a part of me felt like declaring education to be our domestic equivalent of Iraq. Maybe I’d be better off going back to my original travel-and-bad-golf plan. But, actually, I was inspired. Why? I was finding the most amazing rays of hope — schools offering powerful learning experiences. I realized moving our schools forward can happen, since we know what to do. Greatness is happening daily across our country, often in schools with scant financial resources. Our challenge is that these innovations are isolated, when they need to be ubiquitous.

The United States now has more than 500 “Deeper Learning” schools, most in our nation’s poorest communities. Clustered into a dozen networks, these schools aren’t “cookie-cutter” replicas of each other. But in their own creative ways, they deliver exceptional learning based on shared principles:

• self-directed learning
• a sense of purpose and authenticity in student experiences
• trust in teachers to teach to their passions and expertise
• a focus on essential skills (collaboration, communication, creativity, critical analysis)
• teachers as coaches, mentors, and advisers, not as lecturers
• lots of project-based challenges and learning
• public display of meaningful student work

Many focus on project-based learning (PBL), a bland phrase for a powerful approach to learning. One PBL leader, High Tech High in San Diego, now includes a dozen schools spanning K through 12, and offers its own graduate school of education. Curiously, out of 1,400 schools of education in our country training our next generation of K12 teachers, only two are integral to a K=12 school. In walking the halls of HTH (and they get more than 3,000 visitors each year), I observed a school experience that doesn’t look anything like what’s taking place today in most U.S. grade 7-16 classrooms. I felt real urgency in helping more people see the power of this pedagogy.

When it comes to PBL, two school networks are scaling rapidly with exceptional results — the New Tech Network and Expeditionary Learning. Both provide training for teachers along with a vetted curriculum, and cost-effectively … [more]
unschooling  deschooling  education  pedagogy  schools  us  2015  projectbasedlearning  learning  howwelearn  internships  apprenticeships  collaboration  communication  creativity  criticalthinking  tcsnmy  thefutureproject  bigpicturelearning  hightechhigh  mostlikelytosucceed  success  teaching  trust  mentoring  mentors  self-directed  self-directedlearning  richardarum  josiparoksa  ericmazur  bureaucracy  teddintersmith  purpose  schooling  schooliness  howweteach  curriculum  anationatrisk  williamderesiewicz 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Education Outrage: Reading is no way to learn
"This is a column that attacks reading. No one attacks reading. Let’s just assume I am crazy and push on.

Reading is a pretty recent idea in human history. It hasn’t worked out. It has given us some pretty good things, like literature, for example, or the possibility of communicating with my audience right now. But these things will be going away soon, and good riddance.

For years, I was an advisor to the Chairman of The Board of Encyclopedia Britannica. My job was to eat dinner with him every few months. At each dinner he asked me if there would still be books in five years. I said that there would be except there wouldn’t be his book. “Encyclopedias will disappear” I asserted.

I was thinking about this on a business call the other day. The man I was speaking with was concerned with how training was done at his very large engineering firm. He was rightly worried about “death by Power Point.” He used as an example of what he wanted to build people who learn to change a tire by changing one and then went on to describe quite accurately how we learn in such situations (by practice was the point, something you can’t do in Power Point.) But, he started his explanation by saying the first step in tire changing would be to get out the instruction manual on how to change a tire and read it.

I said that I had never actually read an instruction manual and that they haven’t actually been around for very long in human history. When a young boy wanted to learn to hunt lions he didn’t read the instruction manual, nor did he take a class. Throughout human history we have learned by watching someone older than ourselves, trying to copy that person, trying to be part of the team, and then trying things for yourself, and asking for help when we have failed. It is not that complicated. This is what learning has always looked like. And then, someone invented instruction manuals and we all forgot what we knew about learning. We replaced human mentors by Power Point lectures and asking by reading.

Great. And we wonder why we have trouble teaching people to do complex skills. There is nothing difficult about it. When you need to try to accomplish something that you want to accomplish, you need to have someone who knows how to do those things watch over you and you need to have someone whose work you can observe and copy. You need to be able to try and fail and you need to be able to practice. Reading doesn’t come up.

When I say things like this it makes people nuts. The other day I had a conversation with a woman in which I asserted that no learning takes place without conversation. She objected and said that she could look up something in Wikipedia any time she wanted and learn something that way.

No I said. You can’t. She was flabbergasted.

First, let’s ask why Wikipedia exists. In part, it exists because Encyclopedia Britannica couldn’t keep up. But also, it exists because we live a in a world where we don’t know whom to ask. I get asked nearly every day what certain words mean or what certain ideas are about. I am asked because the people I am interacting with know I might know and know that I am always happy to teach. But mostly I am asked because people know that I give quick short answers to their questions. When you have someone to ask, you ask. Reading is the alternative when there is no one to ask.

Let’s assume you always had available at your disposal a panel of experts who could be asked any questions you needed to ask. Would you ever read? (That panel is coming soon.) This morning I had a medical question. There was no one to ask. So I started to read. But this is rarely anyone’s first alternative.

The second problem with the “I can always look it up” model is simply this: You won’t remember what you read. Now we have had a lot of practice at attempting to remember what we read. That practice is called school. We read. We study. We memorize. We take tests. And we are somehow all convinced that we have remembered what we read.

Every year I would ask my students on the first day of class at Yale and Northwestern if they could pass the tests they took last year, right now. No one ever thought they could. They studied. They listened. They memorized. And then they forgot. We don’t learn by reading nor do we learn by listening.

We do learn by talking. Assuming we are talking with someone who is more or less our equal and has ideas not identical to ours, we learn by challenging them and ourselves to think hard. We mull ideas. We try out ideas. Even after a good conversation, it is hard to remember what we were talking about. If we do remember it, it means we were changed by that conversation in some way. Something we believed we now have a different perspective on. And we have enabled practice. Practicing talking is like practicing any physical skill. You won’t learn to hit a baseball unless you repeatedly hit one over years of practice. The same true of ideas or facts. Students can temporarily memorize facts but if they don't use them again they will forget them. We need to practice what we know until we are barely aware that we know it, until what we know becomes instinct. We don’t know how we talk for example, but we can talk, because we learned how to talk and practice it every day.

Our world has gotten obsessed with reading. Every entrance exam is at least half about reading. People one up each other by citing what books they have read. If you haven’t read one they think is important they can look down on you. (But, it is actually unlikely they remember much from the actual book. They might remember what they were thinking or talking about after reading the book.) This is the modern era. Things have been like this since the invention of texts. Lecturing followed the invention of texts (so the text could be read to you). But this is all going away soon. Socrates noted this in discussing the invention of reading and writing:

“For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.” (Phaedrus 274c-275b)

Reading is going away. Books are going away. There are already better ways of disseminating knowledge. But the schools are difficult to change. Training is difficult to change. People who use the internet can’t imagine a life without the tools that are on there now. But there are new tools coming.

The main advantage of reading is that we can skip around. We skim rather than read. It is hard to skim when someone is talking. And then one day, maybe it won’t be."
via:willrichardson  reading  rogerschank  talking  mentoring  mentors  communication  howwelearn  learning  schools  education  thinking  2015  howweread 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Jean Rhodes - Effective Mentorship Through Shared Purpose and Interest | Connected Learning
"Dr. Jean Rhodes is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston where she serves as Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring. She has devoted her career to understanding the role of intergenerational relationships in the lives of disadvantaged youth. Her interests include mentoring relationships, risk and protective factors in adolescent development, emerging adulthood, preventive interventions, and the role of intergenerational relationships in digital media and learning. Dr. Rhodes is also Principal Investigator of the Connected Learning Research Network project, The Affinity Project, which draws on analysis of youth mentoring programs in order to explore the development of youth interests and the role of shared interest in forging close inter-generational relationships."



"(3:53) The reason that mentorship is so central to the connected learning model is because so much of learning occurs in context of relationships. And when kids are pursuing their interests and going deeper into a topic, having a more advanced thinker...to help them scaffold that interest can be key to whether they go deeper into it or move away from it."
mentoring  mentors  mentorship  teaching  learning  connectedlearning  howwelearn  howweteach  education  jeanrhodes  via:lizette  2015 
june 2015 by robertogreco
On Mentoring, by Diana Kimball · The Manual
"Mentoring relationships are complex and tenuous, but they work best when the needs they fulfill are clearly identified. And like any relationship, they require nothing less than mutual vulnerability."



"Not every mentor arrives at a willingness to help out of a desire to mend. Just as often, the ease and joy of mattering carries the day. Sometimes, the urge to be inspired by someone else’s aspirational energy comes into play. There are countless needs that mentoring can meet. The important thing is to make sure at least one need is alive in you, and to at least try to give it a name.

Looking back, the biggest problem with /mentoring was my assumption that what was true for me when I started the project would remain true forever. Simply adding the page to my website met my need to feel like someone with something to give. Encouraging others to do the same met my need to make a difference in the world at large. For a moment in time, everything lined up.

Yet as time went on, inbound mentoring requests rarely arrived when I was prepared to receive them. People poured their hearts out in letters, as I had asked them to. But since their letters arrived on their own time, I wasn’t always ready to reciprocate. And without the click of mutuality, most of those would-be relationships fizzled out before they began. If I agreed to speak with someone through the frame of /mentoring but couldn’t bring myself to be vulnerable in exactly the moment we spoke, the conversation went nowhere. One-way vulnerability—from them to me—became about power, not closeness.

Power dynamics are an unavoidable part of the idea of mentoring. One person is experienced, the other aspiring; one person is giving, the other seeking. But the best mentoring relationships subvert that power dynamic. In fact, all good relationships play with power dynamics. Status games are an important way of showing affection. In the book Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre,5 Keith Johnstone explains how this could be:
Many people will maintain that we don’t play status transactions with our friends, and yet every movement, every inflection of the voice implies a status. My answer is that acquaintances become friends when they agree to play status games together. If I take an acquaintance an early morning cup of tea I might say “Did you have a good night?” or something equally “neutral,” the status being established by voice and posture and eye contact and so on. If I take a cup of tea to a friend then I may say “Get up, you old cow,” or “Your Highness’s tea,” pretending to raise or lower status.


When we’re comfortable enough to shift between high and low at will, laughter and epiphanies erupt. Freed from the expectations of knowing everything or knowing nothing, we can get closer to the truth together. It’s why I asked my professor to introduce me to a student who was “perhaps a bit shy, but mischievous.” I wanted to meet someone who could hold her own. I wanted to help, but I didn’t want to be held to a rigid standard; I wanted to be myself.
To be acknowledged as a mentor in hindsight is meaningful because it is a form of thanks. To be asked upfront to be someone’s mentor is unnerving because it’s a boundless request, an inchoate please. The word has power both ways. But if we set aside the word and go back to basic needs, mentoring starts to look like something much simpler: friendship. Of all the possible outcomes of mentoring, the best one is ending up on the same level."
dianakimball  mentoring  relationships  friendship  tinaseelig  kathykram  judithlasater  ikelasater  keithjohnstone  power  vulnerability 
april 2015 by robertogreco
School For Tomorrow
"To effectively and efficiently prepare every student to thrive in college, the workplace, and life in the decades ahead."



"Research and educa­tional philos­ophy over the last half-​​century inform our under­standing of psychology, neural devel­op­ment, and the learning process. We use the most up-​​to-​​date research and best prac­tices from the field of educa­tion and beyond to ensure that our students master every­thing they need to succeed throughout their lives.

How we do it
Our Curriculum is:

• Integrated
We intertwine content, academic skills, and socio-emotional skills into each course, unit and lesson.

• Transdisciplinary
We integrate the natural and social sciences with the humanities to create a fuller, deeper understanding of the world.

• Targeted
We ensure that our course material and assessment methods are clearly linked to the academic and socio-emotional benchmarks of our SFT Outcome Curriculum Guide.

Our Classrooms are filled with:

Role Model Faculty

• Teachers model our core academic and soci0-emotional skills in their interactions with students, colleagues, and parents.

• Customization
Students co-create plans that include goals and pacing that makes sense for them and allows for meaningful tracking of accomplishments.

• Innovative ways to teach and learn
Classes use projects connected to real world problems to engage students in critical and creative thinking and innovative problem solving.

• Mentoring
Each student is assigned a faculty member who serves as his or her advisor and advocate. The teacher is the main conduit of information between the school and the parent and is the “expert” on the student’s growth.

All of this takes place within the context of:

• A Respectful and Caring School Community
We foster a culture that reflects the values and the skills we desire to impart to our students. We value each of our faculty members, parents, and students as human beings, and while we may not always agree, we treat each other with respect.

• Interaction with the Surrounding Community
We do not want to engender an “SFT bubble,” instead we want to share our knowledge, gifts, and talents with the world around us. As such, we incorporate community service and outreach into our learning and into our daily lives.

This yields a school that develops:

• Academic Skills and Abilities
Problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, conceptual linkages, writing, speaking, organization, numerical literacy

• Socio-emotional Skills and Abilities
Compassion, Confidence, Empathy, Growth mindset, Openmindedness, Kindness, Resilience, Respect for self and others, Social conscience

And, ultimately, allows us to fulfill our mission:

To efficiently and effectively prepare every student to thrive in college, the workplace, and life in the decades ahead."



"Inno­v­a­tive educa­tors concerned with improving student learning and achieve­ment are seeking ways to create rigorous, rele­vant, and engaging curriculum. One highly successful method is inte­grated curriculum. In its simplest concep­tion, inte­grated curriculum is about making connec­tions. SFT uses the trans­dis­ci­pli­nary approach of inte­grated curriculum.

The trans­dis­ci­pli­nary approach has many bene­fits and advan­tages over single-​​discipline learning. Among other things, it:

• Increases students’ moti­va­tion and engage­ment by providing impor­tant context, meaning, and value to their learning;
• Advances crit­ical thinking and cogni­tive development;
• Helps students to uncover precon­cep­tions or recog­nize bias;
• Helps students tolerate and embrace ambiguity;
• Teaches students to apply knowl­edge or skills learned in one context to other contexts in and out of school; and
• Makes the learning process more efficient.

All SFT students take TDP, a discussion-based transdisciplinary seminar with a focus on writing and presentational skills. This two hour course is the cornerstone of our curriculum. While each TDP is loosely focused on a particular topic, all TDPs integrate essential skills and content from, first, English Literature and Language and Social Sciences, and second, from Mathematics, Arts, and Natural Sciences.

Students round out their schedule with our rigorous, lab-based three-year Integrated Science (combination of chemistry, biology, physics, and earth/space science) sequence, individualized instruction in math to include Algebra II and Statistics (with encouragement to continue), foreign language, in-depth academic electives from any discipline, arts electives, and movement electives."
schools  education  schoolfortomorrow  reston  virginia  rockville  maryland  dc  washingtondc  privateschools  curriculum  mentoring  lcproject  openstudioproject  socialemotional  community  socialemotionallearning 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Fr. Greg Boyle — The Calling of Delight: Gangs, Service, and Kinship | On Being
"A Jesuit priest famous for his gang intervention programs in Los Angeles, Fr. Greg Boyle makes winsome connections between service and delight, and compassion and awe. He heads Homeboy Industries, which employs former gang members in a constellation of businesses. This is not work of helping, he says, but of finding kinship. The point of Christian service, as he lives it, is about “our common calling to delight in one another.”"

[On SoundCloud:
edited https://soundcloud.com/onbeing/greg-boyle-the-calling-of-delight-gangs-service-and-kinship
unedited https://soundcloud.com/onbeing/unedited-greg-boyle-with-krista-tippett ]
gregboyle  losangeles  homeboyindustry  interviews  2015  thewhy  compassion  service  religion  humanism  christianity  jesuits  kinship  kristatippett  scars  wounds  delight  burnout  salvation  mentoring  courage  mutualsupport  mutualaid  love  kindness  being  life  living  onbeing 
april 2015 by robertogreco
In praise of strategic complacency :
"My own feelings about mentoring – and the category of ECR – are at best ambivalent. Mentoring in the professional neoliberal workplace of is one of those classic words that can be used to invoke or simulate institutional benevolence when there is actually a waning of reciprocity in the employment relation. Whereas once academia resembled a vocation, with a clear model of apprenticeship that led to security and stability, this is no longer the reality we face. This is part of the post-Fordist shift in economic capital and employment that is moving from organizations to networks. The form of recognition encouraged by the current regime is less about accumulation and duration of service, and more about flexibility and productivity. Put simply: you are only as good as your last five years, or even, it seems, three years. You only need to look at what is happening at my own university to see how this can play out.

Mentoring also suggests an ongoing interest in the development of a career, the gradual realisation of your individual potential. It’s not enough to have gotten the job. No, landing the job is just the first step in a constant process of planning, assessing and maximizing “opportunities”. From now on, there will be little if any time to sit back and acknowledge your achievements, and yet part of what I want to suggest today is that you must fight for this time. And beware of people offering “opportunities”!

This is because the system is set up to make you feel that you are never doing enough, just as technology has accelerated the amount of things we are expected to be able to do. This results in us all feeling like we are constantly behind, always “catching up”. How many times do you hear yourself saying that to people: “we must catch up soon”. The “catch up” is one of the principal manifestations of our present ontological bearing. At work, it occurs in small and large ways, whether it is the sense of defeat you feel in “wasting” an hour deleting email or the failure you might feel at not seeing your colleagues regularly for coffee. But mostly it presents as a chronic low level internalized suspicion of incompetence, that there just isn’t enough time to do everything you need to do properly."
academia  grants  writing  mentoring  economics  neoliberalism  2015  service  internships  employment  relationships  fordism  post-fordism  networks  hierarchy  work  productivity  labor  via:mattthomas  melissagregg  complacency 
march 2015 by robertogreco
King David - The Atlantic
"Carr loved the technology of storytelling and those who wielded it. He was the only person I could sit with and hash over the technical wizardry of This American Life. If you mentioned a great narrative writer in their element—say Gary Smith profiling Pat Summitt—his eyes would perk up like he’d just seen Carl Lewis mid-sprint and he would say, “Oh, he can go.” He once saw an article on how one might incorporate the tools of poetry into nonfiction. He tore out the article and left it on my desk with a note saying something like, “Still waiting to see some of this in your writing.” Another time he left a copy of The New Yorker on my desk—knowing my interest in hip-hop—with instructions for me to read a deeply reported feature on Tupac’s death. He would bring in writers from Vanity Fair and enlist them to break-down our own stories and explain where we were going wrong and how we could make it right. David wanted us always moving faster, always getting stronger, always reaching higher.

Virtually the entire staff at Washington City Paper was liberal. That included David, but he was deeply skeptical of lefty activism concealed as journalism. David had no interest in objectivity, but he always believed that the truest arguments were reported and best bounded by narrative. Narrative was the elegant Trojan horse out of which the most daring and radical ideas could explode and storm a great city. An 800-word column demanding or rejecting reparations is easily repelled. Clyde Ross isn’t."



"David Carr convinced me that, through the constant and forceful application of principle, a young hopper, a fuck-up, a knucklehead, could bring the heavens, the vast heavens, to their knees. The principle was violent and incessant curiosity represented in the craft of narrative argument. That was the principle and craft I employed in writing The Case for Reparations. That is part of the reason why The George Polk Award, the one with my name on it, belongs to David. But that is not the most significant reason.

It has been said, repeatedly, that David was tireless advocate of writers of color, of writers who were women, and of young writers of all tribes. This is highly unusual. Journalism eats its young. Editors tell young writers that they aren’t good enough to cover their declared interest. Editors introduce errors into the copy of young writers and force them to take the fall. Editors pin young writers under other editors whom they know to be bad at their job. Editors order young writers to cover beats and then shop their jobs behind their backs. Editors decide to fire young writers, and lacking the moral courage to do the deed themselves, send in their underlings. Editors reject pitches from young writers by telling them that they like the idea, but don’t think their byline is famous enough. Editors allow older black editors to tell young black writers that they are not writing black enough. Some of these editors end up working in public relations. Some of them become voting-rights activists. Some of them are hired by universities to have their tenured years subsidized by aspiring young writers.

All of that happened to me. And I know that I am not alone, that I am just the tip of what happens to young writers out there. And I know that even I, who am no longer a young writer, do not always wear my best face for young writers. And among the many things I am taking from David’s death is to be better with young writers, and young people in general. Because every single time some editor shoved me down, David picked me back up. It was David who I called at his home out in Montclair, in 2007, with a story to pitch to this magazine. And I asked him who he knew. And he knew James Bennet. And this is my life. It was David I called after an editor-in-chief called me into his office to tell me I did not have “the fire” to cover housing policy and development, and instead ordered me to write a weekly column on “black men.” It was David who told me that the editor did not know what he was talking about, and it was David who confronted the editor directly.

The Case for Reparations is, before it is anything, a reported story about housing policy and development. It is the story that David was urging me to write 19 years ago. The award belongs to him because I would not be a journalist were it not for him. The award belongs to him because I would not be at The Atlantic if not for him. The award belongs to him because he urged me on for nearly my entire adult life—faster, stronger, higher—and his memory will urge me on for the rest of my natural life."
ta-nehisicoates  davidcarr  2015  storytelling  narrative  journalism  writing  mentoring  transformation  life  living  work  howwewrite  mentorship  relationships 
february 2015 by robertogreco
PAWA254 | ArtRising
"PAWA254 is Nairobi's unique social enterprise through which innovative professionals from diverse artistic fields exploit their creative genius to foster social change. Among the creatives who collaborate in this dynamic space are photographers, graphic artists, journalists, musicians and poets. Significantly, promising youths are invited, both to make their contribution in this informal powerhouse and to receive mentorship from the experts. The end result of the PAWA254 collaborative effort is work that is as inspiring as it is far-reaching simply, work of unparalleled social impact. The PAWA254 hub houses, fosters, and catalyzes creative and community-driven projects for social change across Kenya. It is the first of its kind in Africa.

The Message

Used together as PAWA254, the words convey the message Power Kenya, and symbolize national strength and unity in a context of devotion to Kenya, a once-peaceful nation that almost went to ruin with the post-2007 election-related violence. But there is an interesting twist to the PAWA254 story: usage of the slang term Pawa captures the colloquial, informal nature of the limited company PAWA254 which seeks innovation in a casual and relaxed creative office environment. Here, there is little room left for the usual, stiff formalities of a traditional office setting.

The two-wing PAWA254 hub facilitates use of visual and graphic arts, independent and citizen journalism, documentary film and photography, as well as digital and social media as means of civic expression and social action.

To meet its objectives, the hub facility brings together established and aspiring photographers, cartoonists, animators, creative designers, videographers and filmmakers, as well as entrepreneurs and activists, to work, learn, and share in an environment that inspires creativity and innovative effort, the ultimate aim being to facilitate social change.

How It Works

PAWA254′s community of like-minded and active professionals meets and works daily in its flexible co-working space. This space also serves as an open resource for a range of collaborative youth meetings and efforts, and as an exhibition centre for photography and journalism, among other artistic endeavours.

The space is a haven for investors and others seeking to support social change in Kenya. Regular programmes and training sessions foster skill-sharing and empower a new generation of young professionals and disadvantaged youth to effect social change through tangible, innovative projects.

Primary programmatic focus is on photography and visual arts, documentary and mixed media, traditional and citizen journalism, as well as community organizing. Regular training programmes, workshops, clinics, and photography salons at the space are free of charge and are open to the public. The space is also available for rental to entrepreneurial creatives who seek state-of-the-art conferencing facilities in an atmosphere that is easy and amazingly hospitable.

Pawa254 Programs and Events

A principal part of Pawa254’s mission has been to make the space and its resources accessible to persons at the grassroots level. Besides building a strong community in-house, PAWA254 has engaged more than 100,000 youths since its inception. This has been achieved through training sessions and diverse outreach programs. We continue to recruit, train, and equip a new generation of bold creative’s whose outlook will help reshape the media landscape in Kenya, the aim of impacting society positively through the arts. At the heart of the PAWA254 undertaking is improvement of the socioeconomic situation of youth from underprivileged backgrounds. Also, for self-motivated youths, participation in our training sessions and workshops leads to professional employment, and can be a spur to fruitful self-employment. Here is an inventory of the programs hosted at the PAWA254 hub:"

[See also: https://www.youtube.com/user/PAWA254TV/ ]
pawa254  kenya  nairobi  africa  socialchange  lcproject  openstudioproject  mentoring  collaboration  community  communities  creativity  art  arts  photography  journalism  bonifacemwangi  coworking 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The Future of Big-Box Schooling
"The fundamental flaw which is structurally embedded in our education system is the fallacy of social engineering – the false belief that it is possible to institute a top-down, mechanical structure, impose it on a complex living system, and expect predictable results. The entire superstructure of goals, objectives, state standards, curricula, and tests is fundamentally built on the assumption that learning is a mechanical process, in which the proper ingredients can be fed into the pipeline and the proper product will emerge at the other end. (Of course, the fact that this persistently does not happen, John Taylor Gatto argues, is no accident, but reflects the fact that it is not actually in the interests of the existing power structure to have a large population capable of exercising independent critical intelligence.)"



"Every culture is different, and as anthropologist Meredith Small points out, every culture makes trade-offs: it would be romantic to assume that there is some perfect balance to be found. But because a traditional culture embodies learning which takes place over many generations, in which thousands of years of observation and trial-and-error allow for a multi-generational wisdom about human nature to evolve, it is possible that nuanced and workable ways of relating to children may exist in traditional cultures from which modern societies can learn and benefit.

Aspects of learning in many (not all) traditional cultures include:

• Immersing young people in adult activity rather than segregating them by age.
• Immersing children in multi-age groups where they can learn from older children.
• Immersing young people in nature rather than confining them indoors for most of the day.
• A blurring of the boundaries between work and play.
• Allowing for physical movement and engagement with new tasks or knowledge rather than requiring a sedentary existence as the condition for learning.
• Allowing the time for freedom, experimentation, choice, fluidity, play.
• Learning through deeper personal relationships, mentorships, apprenticeships, rather than from teachers who are not known on a personal level.
• Control over the timing, form and content of learning which resides in the child and/or in adults who know the child as an individual, rather than control being located in distant “experts” and one-size-fits-all “standards.”
• Allowing for extended transformative experiences in which young people make independent choices to discover their unique gifts, rather than step-by-step controlled sequences which attempt to dictate the process as well as the outcome of learning.

These strategies can work for learning to identify medicinal plants in a rainforest, for learning to anticipate and respond to the moods and movements of wild caribou, for learning to build a sustainable house out of mud brick, and they can work for learning how to design software applications or conduct a biological field study or write an elegant and compelling essay.

So if modernized societies are beginning to discuss moving from 20th century “big-box” schooling to a more 21st century networked model of learning, one possibility is that we may see a convergence of learning styles between ancient and modern cultures. As Sugata Mitra has discovered, unlettered street children can teach themselves how to use computers when given free access to the technology. So does it make sense to remove indigenous children from their traditional cultures and put them into outdated factory-style schools? Or should traditional people consider skipping that step, and deciding for themselves how they may want to use, ignore, adapt, blend, or hybridize new technologies and information in an open-network self-regulating manner?

When a new form of knowledge is truly vital and desired by a population, and access to the necessary resources is available, there is no question of needing to make education compulsory — you couldn’t stop the spread of knowledge if you tried. Look at how computer technology and expertise spread through the developed world. Personal computers were not invented by people in schools, and the vast majority of the population did not learn how to use them in schools. It was an open-access / open-source process – an organically expanding, networking, self-correcting, self-regulating and incredibly effective process – just like the early spread of literacy in many parts of Europe before the institution of widespread schooling.

Whether this is always good, of course, is another question. New technologies always change our lives, and not always for the better. Television has burned a wide swath through many cultures, including our own, leaving obesity, isolation, and advertising-driven insecurity and depression in its wake. I’m uneasy about the aggressive marketing of cell phones and technology to remote areas like Ladakh: once people from a sustainable culture suddenly require cash to feed a technology habit, many negative consequences ensue. But ultimately, it’s still better to be in control of what you adopt and what you choose not to adopt –– to be able to take what you need and leave the rest, absorb new things at a rate of your own choosing, than to be forced into an obsolete model of schooling just as the developed world begins to seriously discuss moving beyond it."
carolblack  ellwoodcubberly  johntaylorgatto  kenrobinson  meredithsmall  culture  knowledge  diversity  local  education  learning  children  parenting  sugatamitra  society  indigeneity  indigenous  howweteach  howwelearn  pedagogy  unschooling  deschooling  colonization  standardization  standardizedtesting  standards  relationships  mentoring  apprenticeships  internships  agesegregation  work  play  control  authority  hierarchy  colonialism 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Mozilla Web Literacy — Andrew Sliwinski has recently joined Mozilla as a...
"Andrew has a background in learning, as well as engineering and design. He thinks digital literacy is a ‘huge and valuable thing’ that has shaped is life. The first thing we discussed was that the Web Literacy Map presupposes that the user sees value in the web / technical domain being described. People in Bangladesh or under-served communities in the US don’t necessarily see this straight away. Job One is getting them to care.

Web Literacy is about empowerment, says Andrew - not trying to turn users into anything other than more empowered versions of themselves. This is tricky, as this empowerment is not something you understand before (or even during) the process. Only afterwards do you realise the power of the skills you now have. Also, contextualisation only happens after the learning has taken place. That’s why learning pathways are interesting - but “as a reflection tool rather than an efficacy tool”. Pledging for a pathway is aspirational and has motivational benefits, but these aren’t necessary to learning itself.

Andrew thinks that the ‘creamy nougat centre’ of the Web Literacy Map is great. The Exploring / Building / Connecting structure works and there’s ‘no giant gaping holes’. However, we should tie it more closely to the Mozilla mission and get people to care about it. Overwhelm them with how amazing the web is. One way of doing this is by teaching problem-solving. Get them to list the things they’re struggling with, and then give them the mental models to help them solve their problems.

Getting over the first hurdle can be difficult, so Andrew explained how at DIY.org they used personas. The skills on the site are aspirational titles - e.g. ‘Rocketeer’ - which draws the user into something that gives them “enough modeling to start momentum.” Andrew did add a disclaimer about research showing that over-specificity of roles is not so motivational.

We need a feedback loop for the Web Literacy Map. How is it being used? How can we make it better? Andrew also thinks we should use personas across Webmaker to represent particular constituencies. We could liaise with particular organisations (e.g. NWP) which would inform the design process and elevate their input in the discussion. They would be experts in a particular use case.

We discussed long-term learning results and how subject matter plays into the way that various approaches either work or don’t. For example, Khan Academy is linear, almost rote-based learning, but that suits the subject matter (Maths). It does efficacy really well. Everyone points to DuoLingo as a the poster child for non-linear learning pathways, but there’s no proof it works really well.

Andrew’s got a theory that “the way to get people to build life-changing, amazing, relevant things is to have fun and be creative”. We should build tools to facilitate that. Yes, we can model endpoints, but ensure the onboarding experience is about whimsy and creating environments where the user is comfortable and feels accepted. It’s only after the fact that they realise they’ve learned stuff.

We should start from ‘this is awesome!’ and then weave the messaging on the web into it. Webmaker as a platform/enabler for cool stuff. What are the parts that we all see at the same time that makes the web special, Andrew asked? He thinks one of these things is the incredibly long tail of content, from which comes incredible diversity. This is the differentiator, making the web different from Facebook or the App Store. We don’t see this from an individual user perspective, though. Although we love looking at network maps, we don’t really get it because we visit the same 20 websites every day.

Part of web literacy is about building ‘cultural empathy’, says Andrew - and showing how it helps on an everyday basis. We should focus on meaning and value first, and then show how skills are a means of getting there. What’s our trajectory for the learner?

Andrew believes that we should approach the Web Literacy Map from a ‘personas’ point of view - perhaps building on the recent UX Personas work. These are very different from the Mobile Webmaker personas that Andrew’s team have put together. We should focus on a compelling user experience from start to finish for users to navigate literacies and to create their own learning pathways. For Andrew, the Web Literacy Map is the glue to hold everything together."
andrewsliwinski  2014  interviews  webliteracy  web  online  problemsolving  learning  fun  projectbasedlearning  webliteracymap  mozilla  personas  motivation  duolingo  howwelearn  modeling  culturalempathy  inclusivity  webmaker  roles  contextualization  khanacademy  rotelearning  linearity  efficacy  dougbelshaw  beginners  making  care  lcproject  openstudioproject  onboarding  experience  userexperience  ux  whimsy  sandboxes  pathways  howweteach  momentum  remixing  enabling  platforms  messiness  diversity  internet  open  openweb  complexity  empowerment  teaching  mentoring  mentorship  canon  facilitation  tcsnmy  frameworks  understanding  context  unschooling  deschooling  education  linear  literacy  multiliteracies  badges  mapping  reflection  retrospect  inclusion  pbl  remixculture  rote  inlcusivity 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Pay it forward — Medium
"For years I’ve maintained a personal credo that I’ll give pretty much any person starting out in our field 30 minutes of my time, if they have the wherewithal to come and ask for it. (Don’t all ask at once, now.)

Usually that means a phone call or an email exchange. Sometimes I’ll meet for coffee, given my schedule and availability. I certainly don’t feel compelled to help out every person who comes my way looking for advice, and I tailor my response to the query (a thoughtful email gets a better reply than a tweet) but I make a genuine effort to say “yes” to people who are just starting out.

A few years ago I described this policy to a colleague. I remember him saying “I would never do that, it doesn’t seem like it would be worth it.”

Not everything in our professional lives is a transaction, scrutinized and evaluated against how much it costs us, how much someone should pay. Not every teaching relationship must be formalized—a mentoring opportunity, a coach, an internship. Not every investment of time has to be “worth it.” Sometimes you just have a brief conversation with someone because—why not? You never know what will come of it.

I can’t thank the guy who took the time to meet me for coffee. But I can pay it forward by trying to help other people in a small, vanishingly insignificant way. And if some day, I help someone in a way that changes the very course of their life? I might never even know.

The payback I would want isn’t one billable hour or a free sandwich or even their grateful thanks. I don’t even care if they remember my name. I’d rather they pick up the phone and talk to some future 23-year-old when she asks."
karenmcgrane  2014  mentoring  mentors  kindness  payitforward  conversation  intangibles  audiencesofone 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Design tutorials: the basics | SB129
Within design education, there’s little shared wisdom about how to conduct a tutorial. The tutorial is the bread and butter of design learning; the main pedagogic object of interaction. But we, the design community, rarely share the nuts and bolts of how to navigate and steer a student through a successful project; how to encourage, provoke, inspire and lead a designer into new and fascinating territories.

In this post, I’d like to outline a few basics. It’s me, stating the obvious, in what I consider good pedagogic practice; how best to support, guide and get the most out of students and their work.

I believe the things I’ve learnt over the last ten or so years are applicable to other disciplines and within the professional context of design. Whether as a Creative Director or a Design Manager, the following points are a good place to start when it comes to directing creativity;

Listening is Key

At the heart of a good tutor is their ability to listen. Understanding ideas, position and intent allows for more connected, meaningful feedback. Asking questions to clarify is key to aiding your understanding. Sometimes students take a long time to get to the salient point, they can skirt around the topic due to a lack of confidence, confusion or perception of expectation, so be patient, let them ‘talk out’, only respond when you understand what’s in front of you. Wait until nerves die down to get to the heart of the matter, then you’ll be in the best position to advise.

Ownership and embodiment

It’s all to common for design tutors to try to design vicariously – to direct a student in a way that they would do the project. This, in my opinion, is a flawed approach. It has a history in the master/apprentice model of education; watch, copy, admire, repeat (where learning is a happy side effect). However, it rarely allows the student to feel ownership over the content and learning experience.

Within Art and Design, intellectual ownership is a tricky subject to navigate. The messy and complex network of ideas become distributed across a number of different references, conversations and people, the genesis of an idea is difficult to locate. Tutors that have a ‘that was my idea’ attitude rarely survive or remain happy and motivated. Intellectual generosity is an essential quality of a good educator. Having the humility to understand and value that the adoption of ideas ‘as their own’ is an important part of learning – it allows for the embodiment of the ideas into the identity of the designer.

Mutual exploration

However, in the age of the Internet, the tutor as gateway to all knowledge is long gone. The ability (or illusion) of a Professor having read ‘everything’ in their discipline is a distant memory. When knowledge is acquired and disseminated in such a radically different manner, it calls for educational revolution. Sadly, the rise of the MOOC isn’t the revolution I was hoping for.

The abolishment of levels and the flattening of hierarchies are at the heart of how I believe education needs to change. Breaking the often fictitious boundaries between teaching and research to allow for the mutual exploration of ideas is a fundamentally different model of education. Sadly, due to financial scalability, this remains relevant only to an elite. But as a tutor, see your conversations with students as a space to explore ideas, be the learner as much as the teacher. Reframe higher education away from the hierarchies of expertise towards mutual exploration of the distant boundaries of your discipline.

Expanding possibility space

It’s important to remember that a tutorial should be expanding the cone of possibility for the student. They should leave, not with answers, but with an expanded notion, a greater ambition of what they were trying to achieve. It’s important to be ambitious and set tough challenges for your students, otherwise boredom or (heavens forbid) laziness can take over. Most student’s I’ve met love being thrown difficult challenges, most rise to the occasion, all learn a great deal. In order to move towards the goal of a self determined learner, the student should control the decisions of the design process. If you’re telling them what to design, not opening up possibilities and highlighting potential problems, you’re probably missing something.

Understand motivation, vulnerability and ‘learning style’

Every student we teach, learn in a different way, have different hopes and desires, react to feedback in a different way. Navigating and ‘differentiating’ these differences is really difficult. Some tutors take a distanced intellectual approach, where the content in front of them is a puzzle that needs to be solved, this is the classic personae of the academic, distanced, emotionally arid, intellectually rigorous. But this doesn’t alway mean a good learning experience. Other tutors operate on a more psychological level; the try to understand the emotional context of the situation and adapt their advise accordingly. Whatever happens, understand you have a individual in front of you, they have lives outside of the studio, they are going through all manner of personal shit that will effect their attention and engagement. They come from different cultures, different educational backgrounds, so their response to your advice is going to shift like the wind, be adaptive, read body language and don’t go in like a bulldozer (I have definitely done this in the past!).

In terms of learning style, without this becoming a paper on pedagogy, understand that your advice need to be tailored to different students. Some (a lot) need to learn through a physical engagement with their material, others needs to have an intellectual structure in place in order to progress. Throughout a project, course or programme, try to understand this and direct your advice accordingly.

Agreed direction

Tutorials shouldn’t just be general ‘chats’ about the project or world, they should give direction, tasks and a course of action. I have a rule: Don’t end the tutorial until you’ve both agreed a direction. This can be pretty tough to manage in terms of time, as I get more experienced, I get better at reaching an agreement within my tutorial time allocation, but I still often can overrun by hours. The important thing to work towards is the idea that you both understand the project, and you both understand how it could move. End the tutorial when this been reached.

Read and respond

It’s really important, in design, to respond to what is in front of you. To actual STUFF. It’s far too easy to let students talk without showing evidence of their work. This is a dangerous game. Words can deceive, hide and misrepresent action. Dig into sketchbooks, ask to see work they’ve done. If they haven’t done anything, ask them to go away and do something to represent their ideas and thoughts. Production is key to having a productive tutorial. Only through responding to actual material evidence of action can a project move forward. At its worst, students can develop the skill to talk about stuff, making it exciting in your mind, but fail to produce the project in the end. But this isn’t the main reason for this section, it’s more about the ideas of design residing in the material production, not just the explication. You can tell me what you believe something does or means, but it’s only when it’s in front of me that I can fully grasp this.

The art of misinterpretation

Another reason why it’s important to dig into sketchbooks and look at work, is that looking at something and trying to work out what it means – the space of interpretation – is an important space of learning. By interpreting and indeed misinterpreting work, you and your student can find out things about the project. If the student intended one thing and you understand something else by it, you’ve at least learnt that it was poorly (visually and materially) communicated. But the exciting stuff happens when misinterpretation acts as a bridge between your internal mental processes (with all references etc) and your students. Your reading of a drawing acts as a way to generate a new idea or direction. This is when there is genuine creative collaboration.

References

One of the roles of a tutor is to point students towards relevant and inspiring resources. In the age of the internet, when student’s roam the halls of tumblr and are constantly fed inspiration by their favourite design blogs, the use, meaning and impact of tutor driven references has changed. Be focussed with reading, ensure students know why they are looking at a particular reference and make sure that you contextualise the work within the ideas that they have."
mattward  2013  teaching  pedagogy  cv  howweteach  howwelearn  design  art  tutotials  canon  listening  ownership  understanding  interpretation  misinterpretation  embodiment  making  exploration  apprenticeships  hierarchy  hierarchies  possibilityspace  motivation  vulnerability  feedback  constructivecriticism  context  empathy  conversation  audiencesofone  differentiation  contextualization  process  documentation  reflection  reggioemilia  emergentcurriculum  evidence  assessment  critique  communication  collaboration  mentoring  mentorship  mentors  response  action  direction  mutualaid 
april 2014 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: Grit Part 4: Abundance, Authenticity, and the Multi-Year Mentor
"A number of us in the school central office I work in share a common thread from childhood. Whatever the circumstances of our lives, whatever the challenges, we were afforded a key luxury: we had in our lives some adult who stuck with us for more than a single year. We had a multi-year mentor.

Industrial education has many destructive effects, but one rarely focused on is the refusal of our school design to allow adult support to stretch beyond a single school year. We have sixth grade teachers and tenth grade teachers. We have middle schools and high schools. We have programs, and thus teachers, who only work with certain age kids. We sometimes even have separate coaches for different age-defined sports. And this is disastrous. By doing this we create the ultimate scarcity of support."



"For me, it is essential that we first ask questions about our systems, that we first ask what we can do to stop damaging children. If we do not, as I've said in this series before, we create damaged children at a far faster rate than we can possibly help them. Whatever the merits of the interventions Tough's book champions, from poorly prepared principals and questionable chess coaches on one end of the spectrum to deeply caring, deeply involved support on the other, nothing he promotes will halt the damage going on daily. I think we must be better than that.

Focusing instead on those three essentials, abundance, authenticity, and adult long-term human support will change the damage equation. We know that. And since we know that, we need to do it."



"Laura Deisley wrote on Eric Juli's blog that kids, "are coming to us from different and very real contexts and yet equally yearning for relationship and purpose. What your kids learn outside of school, and we are associating with "grit," is driven by both relationships and purpose. It is not their choice, and God knows they should not have to be in that situation. And, you're right we cannot change their immediate condition. However, if we too narrowly define outcomes--academic "success" as you call it--then they aren't going to see a purpose that is worth expending any more effort."

Abundance offers opportunity. Authenticity offers that purpose. Relationship offers that support. And I do not care where we teach, or who we teach, I believe that we can alter our systems to provide more of those three things than we do today. And by doing that we can begin to change the equations which defeat our children."
2014  irasocol  grit  looping  tcsnmy  education  teaching  mentoring  systemsthinking  care  caring  abundance  authenticity  support  lcproject  scarcity  slack  relevance  relationships  trust  purpose  lauradeisley  ericjuli 
february 2014 by robertogreco
The empty chair: Education in an ethic of hospitality | Claudia Ruitenberg - Academia.edu
"The ethical frameworks of autonomy and virtue often include direct instruction and assessment. For example, students can be asked to explain their moral reasoning or to demonstrate particular virtues in their interactions with peers. The emphasis of the ethic of care is on modeling caring, “so we do not tell our students to care; we show them how to care by creating caring relations with them.”33

Likewise, hospitality is not instructed but modeled. The onus is on teachers to offer hospitality, and to show that their interventions are aimed at leaving open a place where the other may arrive. This is a demanding and impossible ethic, one that cannot be perfected or completed, but that demands a response nonetheless. In this way, the ethic of hospitality in education does justice to critiques of subjectivity; as Derrida asks rhetorically, “is not hospitality an interruption of the self?”"

[Direct link to PDF: http://ojs.ed.uiuc.edu/index.php/pes/article/viewFile/3247/1150 ]
claudiaruitenberg  2011  via:steelemaley  hospitality  teaching  modeling  care  caring  behavior  tcsnmy  lcproject  ethics  autonomy  interdependence  morality  virtues  howweteach  jacquesderrida  learning  apprenticeships  mentoring 
january 2014 by robertogreco
SCHOOLHAUS
"Schoolhaus is a design studio classroom inspired by our desire to remedy the growing divide between learning and education. While learning is a universal way of life, education is the institutionalization of that way of life— at times to the detriment of learning, and at excessive cost to the student. But there are aspects of both education and learning that are valuable, and not necessarily mutually exclusive. Schoolhaus is Aesthetic Apparatus’ attempt to combine what we consider the best of education (a social community, invested and informed guidance) with the best of learning (self-motivation, one-on-one mentorship) and embed them into a studio discipline (working-world applications with opportunities for invention and entrepreneurship.)

Schoolhaus works like a group-mentorship, held on-site during operating hours at Aesthetic Apparatus. Similar to a studio, each student submits an application or letter of intent for consideration. Enrollment is limited to 12 students at any one time — the size of a comfortable classroom. Schoolhaus can be used as a stand-alone design education or to supplement a previous design education. Anyone of any ability is welcome to apply; beginners, amateurs, even seasoned veterans. Once accepted, students may stay with the Schoolhaus as long as they and the studio feel is necessary. The curriculum begins with the student’s own self-initiated goals for learning. As the studio gains better understanding of the student’s strengths and weaknesses, learning is augmented with suggested and mentored study. Client-based or studio-based projects may be introduced, as well as inter-student mentorships or new creative ventures. The curriculum is amenable, the goal is to create a shared place for human-scale learning.

This program offers neither an earned degree or certification. We question the requirement of either in the working profession of graphic design. That said, higher education is essential for those who wish to pursue a deeply academic or pedagogical pursuit of graphic design. If this is the case, we suggest attending an undergraduate and graduate degree path at an accredited institution, as is required for future consideration of professorship. What Schoolhaus does offer is intimate, responsive, one-on-one creative guidance within the context of a close-knit group studio in preparation for a creative position in graphic design.

We are now accepting initial applications for an initial 2-month preliminary Schoolhaus starting August 1. The current tuition subscription for Schoolhaus is $500/month."

[Aesthetic Apparatus: http://aestheticapparatus.com/ ]
studiohaus  aestheticapparatus  openstudioproject  certification  design  learning  education  unschooling  deschooling  mentoring  mentorship  openstudio  studioclassroom  schooldesign  via:ethanbodanr  graphicdesign  minneapolis 
june 2013 by robertogreco
MINDDRIVE | Driven by the Future
"MINDDRIVE’S mission is to inspire students to learn, expand their vision of the future, and to have a positive impact on urban workforce development. The program is funded through the national sponsorships of Bridgestone, Hertz Corporation, SONIC®, America's Drive-In®, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), VML, and KCP&L as well as through local foundations and individual contributors.

MINDDRIVE serves 30 students from the urban core of Kansas City, currently working with 5 area schools; there are 21 students participating in Automotive Design Studio and 9 in Contemporary Communications. The students choose their course and also are given the freedom to align with the particular aspect of the project that gets them the most jazzed. Mentors play a huge role in finding what that spark is for each student, then figuring out a way to inspire them in that direction."

[via: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-05/22/electric-karmann-ghia-tweets ]
mentoring  cars  electriccars  kansascity  openstudioproject  lcproject  engineering  making  communication  socialmedia  design  automotivedesign  minddrive 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Factory School
Also http://factoryschool.com

"Factory School is a learning and production collective engaged in action research, publishing, media display, and community service. Concerned with public education as much as education in public, Factory School emphasizes the social and cultural reproductive function of the multiple media arts. As a network of audio and video presentations, books, artwork, web-based installations, posters and pamphlets, we encourage use of all distributed materials for purposes of education in the broadest sense: in or out of the classroom, as prompts or models, as means or ends. We also sponsor research and design studios, provide teaching resources, and offer community-based mentoring and consulting. Factory School seeks to engage with others operating in the areas of education, publication, distribution, and civic action. We consider today's artists, educators and activists to be the vanguard of a new generation of culture workers striving to transcend borders of nation, language, class, race, gender, institutional status, and other divides."
factoryschool  actionresearch  mediadisplay  communityservice  publiceducation  education  learning  publication  publishing  publsihers  art  activists  activism  cultureworkers  mediaarts  mentoring  counsulting  lcproject  openstudioproject 
february 2013 by robertogreco
The Heart Grows Smarter - NYTimes.com
"It’s not that the men who flourished had perfect childhoods. Rather, as Vaillant puts it, “What goes right is more important than what goes wrong.” The positive effect of one loving relative, mentor or friend can overwhelm the negative effects of the bad things that happen.

In case after case, the magic formula is capacity for intimacy combined with persistence, discipline, order and dependability. The men who could be affectionate about people and organized about things had very enjoyable lives."

"Over the past half-century or so, American culture has become more attuned to the power of relationships. Masculinity has changed, at least a bit.

The so-called Flynn Effect describes the rise in measured I.Q. scores over the decades. Perhaps we could invent something called the Grant Effect, on the improvement of mass emotional intelligence over the decades. This gradual change might be one of the greatest contributors to progress and well-being that we’ve experienced in our lifetimes."
dependability  order  discipline  persistence  whatmatters  leadership  happiness  life  aging  georgevaillant  grantstudy  change  psychology  culture  2012  emotions  success  responsiveclassroom  response  socialemotionallearning  socialemotional  intimacy  friendship  mentorship  mentoring  mentors  emotionalintelligence  tcsnmy  relationships  davidbrooks 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Innovation in Education | Fast Company
"Nikhil Goyal, student and author of One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student's Assessment of School:

1. Make cities our classrooms. … projects, apprenticeships, working with mentors, and traveling … community should be our curriculum …

2. Swap pedagogy for andragogy. We need to switch from pedagogy (teacher-focused) to andragogy (adult-leading). In this model of education, children have control, they are motivated intrinsically, and the curriculum is problem- rather than content-orientated. We need to have young people become the captains of their learning. …

3. Hike teacher pay and end market-based rewards. …

Gever Tulley, founder, Brightworks and the Tinkering School:

1. Focus on microschools: Schools don't have to be big. The hyper-local micro-school can compete on a financial basis while delivering a more engaging learning experience.

2. Make room for alternative schools. …

3. Treat education as a regular practice like exercise, not as a phase. …"
pbl  projectbasedlearning  projects  making  tinkering  tinkeringschool  brightworks  pedagogy  process  practice  practices  howwelearn  mentorship  mentorships  mentors  mentoring  apprenticeships  urbanism  urban  cities  cityasclassroom  andragogy  alted  alternative  deschooling  unschooling  2012  teaching  georgeparker  michellerhee  gevertulley  cv  schools  education  learning  openstudioproject  lcproject  nikhilgoyal  from delicious
november 2012 by robertogreco
Field Study | Don't Be Wise. Be Relentless.
"There are no tricks of any trade. There is volume and consistency. There is kindness. That’s it. There might be a few people out there that aren’t good and maybe were never meant to get good, no matter how much work they put in (and I’m not sure that’s true). But you’re not one of those people. You found something that you are pretty good at, and that you care a ton about. That gives you options to create any kind of career you want. Really. Honestly.

Start now by chasing opportunities. Be relentless. Write. Read. Make. Mimic (but credit your sources or course). Just don’t buy into any advice that tells you to be loyal, pay dues, bide your time. Those are truthy sounding old-time wisdom that has no real substance."

[Related: http://muledesign.com/2012/09/i-want-to-start-a-company-right-out-of-school/ and http://www.quora.com/David-Cole/Posts/Startups-and-Studios ]
cv  practice  experience  mikemonteiro  payingdues  hazing  consistency  volume  doing  making  learning  mentoring  mentors  mentorship  advice  careersm  startups  design  2012  kindnes  creativity 
september 2012 by robertogreco
I want to start a company right out of school! :: Mule Design Studio
"If you are serious about a career in design, the absolute best thing you can do right now is to get yourself a job at a studio working for experienced designers who are willing to teach you the parts of the trade you didn’t get in school. A good designer understands that part of their role is to teach the next generation."

[Two responses: http://www.quora.com/David-Cole/Posts/Startups-and-Studios and http://blog.keenancummings.com/post/31480548551/dont-be-wise ]
apprenticeships  design  trade  time  learning  teaching  mentorships  mentoring  mentorship  2012  mikemonteiro  advice  from delicious
september 2012 by robertogreco
What does it take to become an expert at anything? - Barking up the wrong tree
"It's quantity and quality. You need tons of time spent training but it has to be the right kind of practice. Just showing up is not enough, you need to continually challenge yourself with the right kind of effort. "Deliberate Practice" is a specifically defined term. It involves goal setting, quick feedback, and countless drills to improve skills with an eye on mastery. It is not "just showing up" and, plain and simple, it's not fun."

* You want practice to be as close to the real challenge as possible. Want to be a boxer? Hitting the bag is not enough. You need to be in a ring, against opponents, like a real match.

* Don't be passive. Testing yourself is far better than reviewing.

* Practice is not just repetition. Be ruthlessly critical and keep trying to improve on the constituent elements of the skill.

* Alone time. Top experts are more likely to be introverts…"

"Have Grit… Find a Great Mentor… Focus on the Negative… Focus on Improvement… Fast Feedback… It's Worth It"
persistence  experts  grit  correction  repetition  imitation  demonstration  explanation  mentors  mindset  mistakes  cv  perfectionism  mastery  skillbuilding  introverts  education  deschooling  unschooling  glvo  prototyping  howwelearn  feedback  learning  practice  via:tealtan  thisandthat  2012  expertise  mentoring  improvement  perseverence  makerstime  makertime  makersschedule  from delicious
august 2012 by robertogreco
/mentoring
"What is it, exactly?

Anyone can be a part of /mentoring. All it takes is a few lines of text on the internet, expressing your openness to mentoring and offering a specific invitation to get in touch. You might create a dedicated page at 'yourdomain.com/mentoring', write an individual blog post, or even just mention it in a sidebar. Beginning, not formatting, is what matters."

[See also: http://revolution.is/diana-kimball/ AND https://github.com/dianakimball/mentoring AND http://www.twitter.com/mentoring ]
github  gamechanging  distributed  distributedmentoring  templates  learning  education  learningwebs  learningnetworks  networkedlearning  deschooling  unschooling  dianakimball  mentoring 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Claire Warwick's Blog: Inaugural lecture
"One of the great assets of the digital, and what it encourages and enables is multiple voices entering into a dialogue and creating new knowledge out of conversation and discussion."

"I was lucky enough to be taught by some of the greatest international authorities yet it was never assumed that their voice in the conversation was necessarily more important than mine. Far more important than who was talking was the quality of thought expressed and the nature of knowledge that emerged from the dialogue, and I think that's quite right."

"DH is…a collaborative field. We have to learn to work together and understand the different languages that are spoken by different partners in the dialogue: geeks, humanities scholars, information professionals, technical support people & indeed the public. In that sense, therefore, the voice of the DH scholar is of use as an interpreter between different languages & cultures. But interpreters cannot, but the nature of their job, exist in isolation."
information  mediadiversity  communication  diversity  complexity  email  affordances  gender  curating  curations  digitaldiversity  publicengagement  blogging  blogs  mentorships  mentoring  community  collaboration  socialmedia  facebook  twitter  socialization  media  context  understanding  meaningmaking  meaning  makingmeaning  hierarchy  dialogue  dialog  knowledge  lectures  2012  digital  discussion  conversation  learning  digitalhumanities  ethnography  education  teaching  academia  clairewarwick  mentorship  from delicious
february 2012 by robertogreco
Will Dropouts Save America? - NYTimes.com
"Classroom skills may put you at an advantage in the formal market, but in the informal market, street-smart skills and real-world networking are infinitely more important.

Yet our children grow up amid an echo chamber of voices telling them to get good grades, do well on their SATs, and spend an average of $45,000 on tuition — after accounting for scholarships — while taking on $23,000 in debt to get a private four-year college education."
entrepreneurship  dropouts  2011  business  education  unschooling  deschooling  startups  psychology  careers  highered  highereducation  michaelellsberg  networking  mentoring  learning  schooliness  schooling  failure  risktaking  jobs  work  grades  grading  standardizedtesting  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
A History Of Violence Edge Master Class 2011 | Conversation | Edge
"There are studies showing that violence is more common when people are confined to one pecking order, and all of their social worth depends on where they are in that hierarchy, whereas if they belong to multiple overlapping groups, they can always seek affirmations of worth elsewhere. For example, if I do something stupid when I’m driving, and someone gives me the finger and calls me an asshole, it’s not the end of the world: I think to myself, I’m a tenured professor at Harvard. On the other hand, if status among men in the street was my only source of worth in life, I might have road rage and pull out a gun. Modernity comprises a lot of things, and it’s hard to tease them apart. But I suspect that when you’re not confined to a village or a clan, and you can seek your fortunes in a wide world, that is a pacifying force for exactly that reason."
history  violence  psychology  stevenpinker  hierarchy  humanities  philosophy  society  brain  mind  murder  crime  war  genocide  democracy  hatecrimes  race  class  time  scheduling  mentors  mentoring  doing  teamwork  from delicious
october 2011 by robertogreco
dianakimball/mentoring - GitHub
"the opportunity to offer guidance from experience is a gift…"We don't describe ourselves as 'bursting with pride' over our own success, but we do for others…" … reward requires commitment: "to generate the emotional reward of naches, we have to throw ourselves into the act of mentoring."

As we live and work on this electric frontier, it's important to build and renew our own traditions. My goal with /mentoring is to encourage people to believe in one another, and to make it the easiest, most natural thing in the world to express and welcome that belief."

Examples:
http://blog.dianakimball.com/mentoring
http://revolution.is/diana-kimball/
http://geemus.com/mentoring
http://nickd.org/mentoring/
http://www.michaelgalpert.com/mentoring
http://kvans.squarespace.com/mentoring/
http://adambrault.com/mentoring
http://trash.davidcole.me/mentoring
http://patrickewing.info/mentoring

[Twitter @mentoring and Wiki at: https://github.com/dianakimball/mentoring/wiki ]
mentoring  dianakimball  networkedlearning  networks  education  unschooling  deschooling  learning  pride  naches  gratification  gamechanging  generosity  growth  mentorship  from delicious
september 2011 by robertogreco
Austin Bat Cave
"Austin Bat Cave is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides children and teenagers (ages 6-18) with opportunities to develop their creative and expository writing skills. We connect a diverse population of young writers and learners with a vibrant community of adult volunteers in Austin. All of our programs are free.

At ABC, we understand that public school teachers are the hardest-working people in town. With all our programs, we strive to be a resource, mobilizing volunteers to help teachers accomplish what they might not be able to accomplish on their own."
writing  reading  kids  826  nonprofit  austin  texas  lcproject  austinbatcave  teaching  learning  mentoring  nonprofits  from delicious
august 2011 by robertogreco
The Disruption Department: More inspiration, this time at home.
"She [13 yo] listed four things that would help her be more creative and more helpful to those around her:

1. A public studio where she could go work on projects. The place would be stocked with all the necessary resources/equipment, as well as ample space for her to work. It would be open whenever, and she could use it whenever she wanted.

2. Essential: A private space. She needs a “room of her own” so to speak, where she can relax, chill-out, think, and be a kid.

3. Her own computer with continuous internet. To be creative, she says she needs access whenever she wants, not just when it’s available or by appointment.

4. A more stable and comfortable living space.

She notes these would all be extremely valuable to becoming the person she wants to be.

But you know what she said was more valuable?  Ears.

Listen to her!  A. said, “I’m tired of people in general looking down on the future.  It gets on my nerves when they look down on us and say we can’t do anything”…"
thedisruptiondepartment  education  children  adolescence  learning  listening  lcproject  openstudio  openstudioproject  mentoring  creativity  innovation  needs  teens  2011  schools  schooldesign  unschooling  deschooling  entrepreneurship  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Between the By-Road and the Main Road: An Alternative to High School: Humanities High School
"There are three concepts that frame the thinking in the development of Humanities High School (HHS): equity, leveraging learning everywhere, and rhizomatic learning…

At HHS, learners, teachers, and community-based mentors work collaboratively to provide students with the occasion to compose a cohesive liberal arts education that privileges the arts, humanities, problem solving and problem finding. HHS is committed to preparing students to be global citizens positioned for career and college choices."
maryannreilly  education  lcproject  alternativeeducation  teaching  learning  unschooling  deschooling  schools  schooldesign  2011  tcsnmy  globalcitizens  arts  humanities  community  mentoring  mentorships  problemsolving  rhizomaticlearning  learningeverywhere  humanitieshighschool  hhs  gillesdeleuze  guattari  deleuze  vygostgy  davecormier  mentorship  félixguattari  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
The Future Of College: Forget Lectures And Let The Students Lead | Co.Design
"The technological power of the "cloud" as an aggregator of global knowledge & social network capital combines w/ natural tendency to learn through sharing & playing to create a multidimensional, interconnected network that solves complex problems. Simply put: Purpose & play drive learning.

These students help us discern what is valuable about higher-ed learning & what needs to be shed to save it from complete ossification. The insular nature of academia could lead to its demise, but these students also see tremendous value in its ability to incubate. Unis become testing grounds where students can find mentors, receive funding, & iterate initiatives with real-world consequences. The design community can debate where innovation comes from, but we can no longer look to authoritarian, top-down dictation to drive societal change. If the blossoming of this pattern doesn’t point to a new trend in education, then it at least represents what these higher-ed institutions must become."
unschooling  deschooling  hierarchy  trungle  highereducation  highered  colleges  universities  organizations  education  learning  mentoring  mentorship  apprenticeships  problemsolving  criticalthinking  realworld  entrepreneurship  lcproject  johndewey  life  sugatamitra  peterthiel  via:lukeneff  play  purpose  academia  networkedlearning  networks  cloud  socialnetworks  authority  authoritarianism  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Children learning by themselves and progressive inquiry | FLOSSE Posse
"…children learn even better if they have a “granny figure” supporting them…

…good teachers is a bit like a granny: supports students, is interesting in their work and praise them. I think, however, even better teachers than a random granny is an expert of a domain acting the granny way. An excellent expert-teachers (can be a granny, too) is able to guide pupils in their inquiry by challenging their thinking and by providing new perspectives to the students inquiry. The point is to guide, not to instruct.

The progressive inquiry learning, a pedagogical model that has been widely studied, experimented and partly took in use in Finland, is close to Mitra’s way of teaching (I call it teaching, although there is very little teaching in a traditional sense). In my talk in Ankra I explained how progressive inquiry learning works and how pupils and students in all levels of education—from kindergartens to universities—can be guided to do research."

[Examples follow]

[via: http://www.downes.ca/post/55666/ ]
teemuleinonen  progressiveinquiry  tcsnmy  learning  education  pedagogy  teaching  student-centered  studentdirected  learner-centered  learner-ledcommunities  sugatamitra  grandmothers  guideontheside  2011  via:steelemaley  inquiry  inquiry-basedlearning  unschooling  deschooling  mentoring  modeling  instruction  guidance  lcproject  cv  howwelearn  howwework  informallearning  autodidacts  outdoctrination  research  toshare  unconferences  openstudio  openworkshops  prototyping  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Leigh Blackall: Our epistemology, and entrepreneurial learning
"The sway that the subject of technology has over discussions about education and learning, is giving me increasing cause for concern. Absent from the explanations of new understandings of knowledge and learning, and their arguments for change, is some balance to the largely utopian ideals. The sub headings in the 'entrepreneurial learning' article for example, read like evangelical slogans, without a single word for caution or circumspect (that I could see by scanning). What would one include to strike a balance? Most obvious would be Postman, in particular his warnings in Technonopoly, but their could and should be many others. Surely we agree that technology gives potential to all traits of humanity, not just the bits we'd like to pick out."
leighblackall  comments  technology  howardrheingold  johnseelybrown  maxsengles  technolopoly  google  goldmansachs  allwathedoverbymachinesoflovinggrace  adamcurtis  florianschneider  gatekeepers  mihalycsikszentmihalyi  darkmatter  gregorysholette  institutions  education  learning  power  neo-colonialism  networkedlearning  networkculture  internet  connectivism  society  socialmedia  2011  2008  informallearning  informal  mentoring  mentorship  pedagogy  self-organization  self-directedlearning  unschooling  deschooling  fachidioten  humanism  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Squishy Not Slick - Squishy Not Slick
"Squishy Teaching =

Spontaneous - Unique - Particular - Tailored - Entangled - Mixed together - Woven - Patched - Organic - Rebel Forces - Poetic - Ambiguous - Emotional - Non-linear - Non-sequenced - Inquisitive - Inextricably-linked - Constructivist - Experiential - Holistic - Democratizing - Authentic - Collaborative - Adaptive - Complicated - Contextual - Relational

Slick Teaching =

Mass produced - Psychologically manipulative - Planned years in advance - Manufactured - Imperial - Hegemonic - Afraid - Spreadsheeted - Shallow - Narcotizing - Cauterizing - Anti-intellectual - Uncritical - Uncreative - Emotionless - Scripted - Juking the stats - Dropout factories - Assembly-lined"
lukeneff  teaching  education  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  mentoring  squishy  slick  frankchimero  pedagogy  holisticapproach  holistic  constructivism  democratic  ambiguity  audiencesofone  individualization  emotions  empathy  authenticity  spontaneity  collaboration  collaborative  adaptability  adaptive  context  contextual  relationships  meaning  sensemaking  meaningmaking  meaningfulness  dialogue  discussion  dialog  from delicious
may 2011 by robertogreco
Am I willing to be that brave? « Re-educate Seattle
"This is why, when PSCS is recruiting volunteers, we’re not necessarily looking for people to teach a particular academic discipline. We’re looking for people to be role models for kids. We’re looking for people of high character who are excited about life. We want to surround kids with people who pursue things they love, who step outside their comfort zone, and who take their passion and DO something with it.

We want kids to look at our volunteers and think, Am I willing to be that brave?"
pscs  stevemiranda  andysmallman  tcsnmy  passion  learning  mentoring  teaching  pedagogy  modeling  pugetsoundcommunityschool  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
Factory School
"learning & production collective engaged in action research, publishing, media display & community service. Concerned w/ public education as much as education in public, Factory School emphasizes social & cultural reproductive function of multiple media arts. As a network of audio & video presentations, books, artwork, web-based installations, posters & pamphlets, we encourage use of all distributed materials for purposes of education in the broadest sense: in or out of the classroom, as prompts or models, as means or ends. We also sponsor research & design studios, provide teaching resources, & offer community-based mentoring & consulting. Factory School seeks to engage with others operating in the areas of education, publication, distribution, & civic action. We consider today's artists, educators & activists to be the vanguard of a new generation of culture workers striving to transcend borders of nation, language, class, race, gender, institutional status, & other divides."
art  community  education  activism  publishers  mentoring  mediaarts  factoryschool  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
New Caledonian Crows Owe Their Toolmaking Skills to a Nourishing Nest - NYTimes.com
"So how do the birds get so crafty at crafting? New reports in the journals Animal Behaviour and Learning and Behavior by researchers at the University of Auckland suggest that the formula for crow success may not be terribly different from the nostrums commonly served up to people: Let your offspring have an extended childhood in a stable and loving home; lead by example; offer positive reinforcement; be patient and persistent; indulge even a near-adult offspring by occasionally popping a fresh cockroach into its mouth; and realize that at any moment a goshawk might swoop down and put an end to the entire pedagogical program."
crows  corvids  parenting  criticalthinking  problemsolving  newcaledoniancrows  animals  birds  nature  nurture  teaching  patience  modeling  mentoring  mentorship  love  stability  from delicious
february 2011 by robertogreco
A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change by DOUGLAS THOMAS and JOHN SEELY BROWN
"The 21st century is a world in constant change. In A New Culture of Learning, Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown take up the challenge of understanding how the forces of change can not only be managed, but how they inspire and invite us to imagine a future of learning that is as powerful as it is optimistic. This is a book that looks at the challenges that our education and learning environment face in a fresh way.

By exploring play, innovation, and the cultivation of the imagination as cornerstones of learning, Thomas and Brown create a vision of learning for the future that is easily achievable and that grows along with the technology that fosters it and the people that engage with it. It is a guide book for arc of life learning that shows us why we neither need to fear nor resist change, but how we can learn to embrace change as a way to follow our passions and make sense of a world that is constantly growing, evolving and changing."
education  books  learning  johnseelybrown  douglasthomas  internet  informal  informallearning  play  innovation  creativity  future  unschooling  lcproject  tcsnmy  deschooling  connectivism  apprenticeships  mentoring  mentorship  change  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Caterina.net » Tinkering as Learning
"John Seely Brown…has a new book coming out soon, The New Culture of Learning…download first 3 chapters from the site.

He talks a lot about one of my pet subjects, Community Mentoring, the apprenticeship model of education:

"Where traditionally mentoring was a means of enculturating members into a community, mentoring in the collective relies more on the sense of learning and developing temporary, peer-to-peer relationships that are fluid and impermanent. Expertise is shared openly and willingly, without regard to an institutional mission. Instead, expertise is shared conditionally and situationally, as a way to enable the agency of other members of the collective."

as well as a dozen other favorite topics of mine: play as a means of learning, constraints as a stimulus for, rather than an inhibition of, creativity, and so on. I wish I could figure out how to get my hands on the whole book. There is a great page of resources on the site as well, for further exploration."
johnseelybrown  caterinafake  tinkering  learning  mentoring  mentorship  creativity  inhibition  education  books  toread  collective  collectivism  sharing  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  community  apprenticeships  newcultureoflearning  online  web  internet  change  peer-to-peer  peers  relationships  informallearning  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
p:ear
"p:ear builds positive relationships w/ homeless & transitional youth through education, art & recreation…

To truly exit homelessness, kids must develop the internal strength, skills & foresight to make healthy choices. p:ear provides a safe, non-judgmental environment in which youth are trusted to outgrow unproductive & harmful behaviors. We offer individualized mentoring & education programs in a safe, reliable setting designed to foster trust, build self-esteem & to teach…kids – who all too often are regarded by society as disposable, "hopeless cases" – that they are valuable individuals w/ a future who have something vital to contribute to this community.

p:ear staff & volunteers serve as mentors, friends, & role models, while p:ear's unique programs create opportunities for young people to grow intellectually, express themselves constructively, communicate in positive ways & engage in meaningful interactions w/ the larger community of Portland."

[via: http://www.theonepercent.org/Projects.htm?projid=167 ]
portland  oregon  education  lcproject  homeless  homelessness  mentoring  art  arts  learning  openstudio  community  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
About « Sesat Blog [Quote from David Albert's "And the Skylark Sings with Me"]
"Our vision of the perfect learning environment is a library, but like none we have ever encountered. The library would have books and videos and tapes and computers, but that would be just the beginning. There would be lots of librarians, or more accurately “docents” — guides to the trails of knowledge. Primary docents would provide instruction in the technologies necessary to utilize the available resources. … There would be a vast learning exchange of skills, from basic mathematics to auto mechanics. There would be lending libraries of tools and materials, from carpenter’s saws and hammers, to biologists’ microscopes, to astronomers’ telescopes. There would be organized classes, learning support groups, and lectures. Self-evaluation tools would be available for learners to measure their own progress.

There would be large gardens and orchards, staffed by botanists and farmers, where students would learn to grow fruits and vegetables, and home economists who would teach their preparation and storage. There would be apprenticeships for virtually everything kind of employment the community requires.

There would be rites of passage and celebration of subject or skill mastery. There would be storytellers and community historians, drawn from the community’s older members. Seniors would play a vital role in preparing young children to make use of all the library has to offer.

The library would be the community’s hub and its heart. It would be supported the usual ways we support schools, through public taxation, but all users, both children and adults, would be required to contribute time to the library’s success."
lcproject  davidalbert  andtheskylarksingswithme  learning  unschooling  education  deschooling  caterinafake  libraries  library  librarydesign  design  schooldesign  community  apprenticeships  gardens  gardening  parenting  farming  tools  storytelling  mentoring  agriculture  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Listen, Learn, Share: My Vision for Education [Another "vision of the future of education" that approximates what we've been up to at TCSNMY. Now to eliminate grade levels completely.]
"...implementation of apprenticeship model. Grade levels where EVERY student has to move up at end of 9-10 month cycle do not exist. Not to mention fact that if student isn't able to move up at end of cycle he has to wait another 12 months for opportunity to move up again. Instead of grade levels, students just move to next topic/skill.

The activities would center either on completion of a project or solving a problem that requires use of current & topics being studied. People, like parents, w/ real live jobs relating to these issues can serve as mentors, guest speakers, & knowledge resources. Students would be able to choose which problem or project they wish to complete based on their interests.

Gone also are the needs for standardized testing & various abuses of proficiency data relating to teacher & school evaluations. Are students growing? ...moving forward? If not, why?... Community is built into the school. Students help one another. Collaboration is encouraged..."
education  future  tcsnmy  lcproject  cv  schools  learning  projectbasedlearning  collaboration  community  progressive  teaching  customization  abritrary  gradelevels  standardizedtesting  proficiency  problemsolving  apprenticeships  mentoring  mentors  pbl 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Facebook and the Enterprise: Part 5: Knowledge Management – confused of calcutta
"Knowledge management is not really about content, it is about creating an environment where learning takes place. Maybe we spend too much time trying to create an environment where teaching takes place, rather than focus on learning."

[This + part 6 + http://bit.ly/b04OaH have me thinking about Tumblr and other online tools at TCSNMY, and how we use it to learn, model, and observe.]
knowledgemanagement  2007  jprangaswami  collaboration  learning  lifelonglearning  socialnetworking  facebook  knowledge  social  sharing  bookmarking  socialsoftware  tcsnmy  progressive  mentoring  time-shifted  place-shifted  searchability  archivability  retrievability  retrieval  search  transparency  mentorships  mentors  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  learningbydoing  letmeshowyou  modeling  lcproject  online  internet  web  hierarchy  experience  enterprise  business  organizations  leadership  management  administration  toshare  topost  mentorship 
july 2010 by robertogreco
SpeEdChange: Returning School to Humanity
"we expect students to be "on time" not because it is educationally important [NBIIEI]...but because we are training workers to be on time. We create "standards" for each grade level NBIIEI...but because we are teaching single-tasking & work conformity. We test individually, blocking collaboration (which we call "cheating") NBIIEI...but because we are manufacturing workers for assembly line.

While people worry about testing averages, about whether schools should be run as public goods or for corporate profit, about number of school days, about what topics to emphasize, the real question, as the 21st Century rolls on, needs to be the very designed structure of our schools. They were created by a certain kind of society for a certain kind of economic reality. Whether that was ever good or bad is a question for another time, but for today I believe we need to begin to return our schools back to the "natural humanity" of the time before the assembly line began to rule our lives."
irasocol  schools  prussia  us  history  industrialization  education  learning  tcsnmy  change  reform  unschooling  deschooling  policy  progressive  individualized  standards  standardizedtesting  cheating  collaboration  factoryschools  factories  apprenticeships  mentoring  mentorship  hiddencurriculum  curriculum  rules  grades  grading  gradelevels  purpose  taskoriented 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Weblogg-ed » No More High School–Play Along
Will Richardson needs to get out a little more: "So this might totally fall flat on its face, but I’m wondering how all you out there who are deeply invested in social learning spaces might respond to this unlikely but hopefully compelling scenario:

Imagine for a moment that high schools as educational places vanish from the earth. How would you go about educating the 14-18 year olds in your lives? What resources, programs, strategies, assessments would you use? Or what would we need to create in order for them to become “educated” in the current sense? What would that world look like?

Could it even be done?"
willrichardson  education  schools  schooling  parenting  mentoring  mentorship  teaching  unschooling  deschooling  lcproject  tcsnmy  2010  apprenticeships  explodingschool 
january 2010 by robertogreco
dy/dan » Blog Archive » A Fifth-Year Teacher’s Creed ["Be less helpful."]
"Because out there, in the world, no one will helpfully tell them what chapter of the book they're looking at, no one will helpfully reference the relevant sample problem.
teaching  criticalthinking  education  learning  tcsnmy  wisdom  simplicity  data  information  understanding  deschooling  unschooling  mentoring  danmeyer 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Bennington College: [Quantum Leap] Mentoring programs reconnect public school students to their education
"A Bennington College student's education has curiosity at its core. What are you passionate about? What do you want to know? How will you act on your ideas?
Ten years ago, two College faculty members—both professional mediators—began to think about the high school dropout rate in Vermont (at the time, twenty percent). They began to think about a different approach to truancy and dropout prevention. And they wondered what might happen if public school students were given the chance to connect with their education in the same way that Bennington College students do.

So began the experiment of Quantum Leap. ... The learning plan invites students to hone in on their interests in an academic way, making them active partners in their own education. Mentoring gives them one-on-one attention from someone who is passionate about education. Mediation bridges the gaps between students, schools, and families, while also giving them conflict resolution skills."
education  schools  interestdriven  studentdirected  projectbasedlearning  learning  change  reform  personallearning  tcsnmy  publicschools  mentoring  mentors  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  benniningtoncollege  pbl 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Transforming Student Learning in the After Hours | Edutopia
"The Citizen Schools after-school program turns educational basics into real-world purpose."
schools  education  mentoring  apprenticeships  tcsnmy  learning  communities 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Game Based Learning .:: alpha version ::. - Public Pedagogy through Video Games:
"informal learning, at least of the sort we see in today’s popular culture, does involve teaching in a major way. It is just that the teaching it involves is not like what we see in school. Teaching in informal learning, in much of today’s popular culture, involves three things: design, resources & what we will call “affinity spaces.”" ... "When a word is associated with a verbal definition, we say it has a verbal meaning. When it is associated with an image, action, goal, experience, or dialogue, we say it has a situated meaning. Situated meanings are crucial for understandings that lead to being able to apply one's knowledge to problem solving." ... "Affinity spaces are well-designed spaces that resource and mentor learners, old and new, beginners and masters alike. They are the "learning system" built around a popular culture practice." ... "We believe that learning how to produce and not just consume in popular culture, as Jade did, is one good way to start the critical process."

[via:http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=47493 ]
jamespaulgee  games  gaming  stevenjohnson  informallearning  learning  schools  gamedesign  videogames  play  unschooling  deschooling  formal  informal  alternative  authenticity  mentoring  teaching  tcsnmy  pedagogy  affinityspaces  design  yu-gi-oh  education 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Spotlight on DML | Lange and Ito: Literacy and Creative Production
"Online spaces and in-person gatherings also provided opportunities for youth to interact with adults as peers, moving out of the age-segregated contexts of school. Engagement in specialized domains enabled kids and youth to explore new creative genres, experiment with kid-adult peer relationships, and interrogate cultural forms rather than reproducing existing ones. Their engagement with creative production demonstrated how media literacies change as youth shift from being consumers to media producers in social contexts that encourage their individual voices, creativity, and agency."
intergeneration  learning  education  informallearning  mentoring  unschooling  deschooling  change  engagement  lcproject  tcsnmy  online  internet  mimiito 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Taking Back Teaching: A Forgotten History | Beyond School
"If Hartmann’s research is correct...bad smell of grading comes from rotten historical roots...invented by William Farish, lazy teacher...in order to increase class size, decrease necessity for teachers to have real relationships with students & fatten

[see also: http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=44909 ]
grading  assessment  evaluation  teaching  learning  comments  schools  history  relationships  schooling  homeschool  unschooling  deschooling  tutoring  mentoring  grades  williamfarish  lifelonglearning  education  culture  clayburell 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Conclusion: Interdisciplinarity is Dead
"has always been compelling, but terribly naive and awkward. Getting everyone together in one room...spend time together...a start. I think it’s absolutely vital — a requirement — that you practice the other disciplines that contribute to the projec
interdisciplinary  design  education  research  art  trends  julianbleecker  future  academia  gradschool  alternative  altgdp  learning  mentoring 
october 2007 by robertogreco
83 Master And Apprentices [from A Pattern Language]
[Wayback: http://web.archive.org/web/20080206192611/http://www.ahartman.com/apl/patterns/apl083.htm ]

"The fundamental learning situation is one in which a person learns by helping someone who really knows what he is doing."



"Arrange the work in every workgroup, industry, and office, in such a way that work and learning go forward hand in hand. Treat every piece of work as an opportunity for learning. To this end, organize work around a tradition of masters and apprentices: and support this form of social organization with a division of the workspace into spatial clusters - one for each master and his apprentices where they can work and meet together."
christopheralexander  learning  change  deschooling  apprenticeships  work  reform  schools  lcproject  networks  social  society  apatternlanguage  unschooling  mentoring  mentors  decentralization  education 
july 2007 by robertogreco
Back From the Future
"Suppose you had the revolution you are talking and dreaming about. Suppose your side won, and you had the kind of society you wanted. How would you live, you personally, in that society? Start living that way now! Whatever you would do then, do it now. When you run up against obstacles, people, or things that won’t let you live that way, then begin to think about how to get over or around or under that obstacle, or how to push it out of the way, and your politics will be concrete and practical (1970)." —Paul Goodman
sustainability  community  learning  ivanillich  latinamerica  paulgoodman  gustavoesteva  mexico  zapatistas  education  future  present  now  planning  philosophy  teaching  apprenticeships  mentoring  lcproject  uniterra  colleges  universities  systems  glvo 
july 2007 by robertogreco
elearnspace: Professional Development - George Siemens
"someone who is active in reading blogs, contributing to wikis, engaged in online communities, follows trends through Google Alerts, del.icio.us, Digg, etc. receives equivalent of any certificate program...with the side skills of critical thinking and pat
education  presentations  professionaldevelopment  online  web  internet  community  autodidacts  mentoring  learning  schools  software  networking  networks  socialsoftware  social  socialnetworks 
march 2007 by robertogreco

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