I also liked the concept of the 4 C’s of of creative teaching and the way they can mesh with the 4 P’s. I think that every society will always be striving to discover and create the “perfect” educational system, the "perfect setting in which children can thrive and learn. But none will ever achieve perfection. There are so many variables and they are all susceptible to human choice. Students and teachers, alike, will affect how the system plays out. We can only hope that all involved will grow and learn within the environment that has been constructed.
I absolutely agree. It is a great gift to give to young children.
Thank you very much for reading my post. I really like the way you understand school systems as a complexity of variables, and I agree that this is not a matter of perfection, but rather of giving opportunity to the development of human potential in a continuous search to better understand the educational process and of human development in a changing world.
Good teachers and good mentors move fluidly among the roles of catalyst, consultant, connector, and collaborator: This quote really stuck with me. As a librarian working daily with elementary kids, I see too many teachers who are stuck in the old mode of lecturing and students are just to sit and get. It is not a good way to teach most things and it hasn’t been for years. It is just taking so long to see change. But it is more than just being a coach or “guide on the side” so I really like this quote for stating the many roles an good teacher must be able to be at any given time for any given child. I think not stated in this quote but something that should be understood is that the roles are not necessarily ones you go between with a whole class but rather ones that you must be willing to jump between as needed for EACH CHILD!
I have chosen a quote from “Learning Webs” which says:
Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends on knowing that secret; that secrets can be known only in orderly successions; and that only teachers can properly reveal these secrets.
Today, I was talking to a fellow teacher about the “competencies basiques” (basic skills) which children need to be assessed against in Catalonia. Rather than children being assessed against concepts, such as addition, the government have moved the focus to how these concepts are applied and used by the students. I think that it shows a shift away from the way of teaching and assessment that the quote mentions. It enables the teacher to focus on problem solving, investigations and linking ideas within maths, as well as the basic concepts. However, how do we assess a child’s ability to solve a problem worked on in a group? Was it their ability or that of the other members of the group which enabled success?
Thanks for your comment!
Absolutely! I agree! Students love when teachers share their own opinion. we need to show ourselves at their same level.
When, in his Learning Webs, Ivan Illlich mentioned, nostalgically, that, “In the thirties any self-respecting boy knew how to repair an automobile…” (indeed, it was a rite of passage), it gave me pause. Was it, in fact, no longer the case in 1971 when Illich wrote the book? Why? What about now? Are teenagers looking under the “hoods” of their computers now the way they used to look under the hoods of cars in the 30’s? What does that say of the spirit of ingenuity? of the perception of the value of trades and skilled labor? of tinkering & the tinkerer? And, again, have computers replaced other avenues of makerdom? Are we experiencing a new Age of Invention? and how does it compare to the original Age of Invention? Personally, I take as much pleasure in building my own kitchen as in figuring out how to accomplish certain things on the computer. But it is a different kind of tinkering and a different kind of satisfaction.
Automobile shop in the high school has gone the way of woodworking shop and home economics. There seems to be a general degradation of the trades. The NY Times attributes this, in part, to the No Child Left Behind policy and emphasis on all students being college bound.
Only 6% of American high school students, as opposed to 42% UK, 59% German, 67% Netherlands and 25% Japanese are enrolled in vocational or technical training programs.
One of the participants said, “It’s a great experience [because] you’re treated like an adult.” This is one reason the “village green” appeals to me so much. So much of conventional schooling manifests itself in the imbalance of power in relationships. The village green sets the tone for more egalitarian relationships.
Lisa, This is so true. Flexibility and an open mind are essential.
I hear you. I teach 2 subjects across K to 6, with 15 classes (some I see for both subjects).
My room is a constant tide of chaos and order. I love my cloth grocery bags and my Ikea bags and have taken to organizing materials for different projects in those… Constant shuffle of bags… I also LOVE google docs for extended project work: we are not limited by class time and physical reality to access our work and my back is not broken from lugging home marking.
I have taught many years but recently shifted out of the gym as a PE teacher and into the Art room, science the constant between both. I love art and pursue it avidly on a personal basis, but I definitely feel my inexperience in my curriculum development. Over the years I was able to build a good PE program, but it took a lot of mistakes, reflection, pedagogical development and research to get there.
I keep reminding myself I will improve over time with research, experience and reflection.
For me the words “creativity and collaboration” are very important words as they are mentioned in the 21st century skills, since they are skills that we developed from childhood, but sometimes they are lost throughout life as a student. And I think that should not happen, because we are surrounded by a world where jobs, society, life, games and everything we know require these skills because we do not live in a completely autonomous way, we need others for minimum to achieve the desired objectives. It is a good example to continue with these skills from the classroom and develop other skills from here.
“thinking is integrated with doing: we think in the context of interacting with things, playing with things, creating things. And most thinking is done in the connection with other people: we share ideas. get reactions from other people, build upon one another’s ideas”. This stood out to me.
if think without practicing and think without sharing/communicating/getting feedback, then thinking probably would be biased or incomplete.
I feel so touched by the stories Eric shared in the TEDx “A Place to Be Yourself”. They very much tell the meaning of Scratch online community as a learning platform for expression, but not just a tool for learning programming skills.
When you teach a child something, you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself - Jean Piaget
Let them try, let them fail, let them win and make mistakes… that’s the best way to learn!
Let them be themselves!
Let the group do part (most) of the assessment.
It fits right in with all this role reversal and changing of the guard stuff.
I hope you’ll forgive me for quoting from a reading for the Launching Innovation in Schools MOOC which speaks to Dr. Resnick’s observations on inducting new Computer Clubhouse mentors.
Research evidence shows that teachers tend to report a greater sense of self-efficacy and more job satisfaction when they are given the opportunity to participate in decision making at school.
From an OECD report on What makes a school a learning organisation?
My question: what can we do to establish an environment of mutual respect and trust in which every learner – from novice through administrator – is actively working to improve their understanding and practice?
JoannaT, I think this goes beyond the classroom. I build and maintain the hardware for my desktop computer, but my tablet and laptop devices are not designed to be serviced. And my car is designed to be serviced by a technician with a diagnostic computer. There’s a trend toward designing objects that are disposable or serviceable only by experts.
On the other hand, new knitting techniques or recipes (and probably skateboarding and woodworking tips as well) are immediately available on the internet. For those things that a novice can do on their own, there’s more support available than ever.
The quote that stood out from the Lifelong Kindergarten reading was “A good day for me is just getting young people to help other young people,”
I love the idea of teachers as “connectors”. I think that kids love to help eachother (that they can be a teacher). I also use this strategy in my classroom. Students that have a problem need to ask another two students, and if they still dont know the anwser, they can ask me.
The quote from this week’s readings (Lifelong Kindergarten, excerpt from Chapter 4 )that intrigues me the following: “Clearly, there are big problems with the traditional teaching strategy of delivering instruction and information. So what’s the alternative?”
This quote, along with related ideas from the reading, critically describes, without disparaging, the issues common to many contemporary American public schools. I think innovating away from the problem is one alternative, but it feels risky because we still want to use the established systems we have built up to prepare students for life after and outside of school. I find that many students depend on the structure and support they receive in school.
So my question is: beyond what is discussed in the reading, where is the good middle ground between more traditional models of learning and innovative new ideas?
I really liked this quote from the end of the chapter excerpt: “Some people expect that new technologies will reduce the need for teachers, as learners gain access to computerized tutors that can provide advice whenever it’s needed. I expect the opposite: New technologies will greatly expand the number of teachers- if we think about teaching in the right way.”
This made me wonder… How can we shift and disrupt the role of “teacher” in all of our learning spaces (classrooms, business meetings, online communities, playgrounds, etc.)? How can we give the youth we work with the chance to teach us and teach one another? Scratch is such an authentic way to do this, and I want to know other ways to do so that involve other technologies (and some that involve no technologies at all).
“When you teach a child something, you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.”
This is similar to the advice I gave the parents of my students this week. I assigned 4 multi-step word problems for homework one night this week to my 4th graders. I emailed the parents the answers, and some talking points for the problems, such as the names of some strategies that might work…but I cautioned the parents to not “steal the struggle.” I advised them that they could tell their child if they had arrived at a correct answer, but not to tell them or show them how to do solve the problems.
One of my favorite quotes is from a gifted education specialist. Sylvia Rimm says, “The surest path to positive self-esteem is to succeed at something which one perceived would be difficult. Each time we steal a student’s struggle by insisting they do work too easy for them, we steal their opportunity to have an esteem-building experience.”
As an educator my challenge is to create an environment that allows failure, and rewords innovation and perseverance. Allowing children to work with peers makes these ideas less scary to children.