Sunday, February 5, 2012

Re-think School Relationships.

Who are your best Salespersons?
More New Relationships are Forming

Again referring to this article by Jayson Richardson can we be thinking about changing the relationships within the school community. 

"Your worst customer [student] is your best friend".
What if leaders of schools looked at those students who are performing worst and treated them as allies? These students know what is not working in the system and probably have lots of great ideas about what could be done to improve things.  On the flip side, Jarvis says that "Your best customer [student] is your partner" (p. 22). Ensuring that students are happy and getting the education they want / desire / deserve makes them happy customers. These customers / students are the best salespersons of the school. What we do now is say to students that we, as leaders, know what is best for all students' futures. This is despite the fact that we have no idea what the future holds or what specific skills they will need for jobs that simply do not exist yet. This has been discussed here,here, and here.

Does this idea of the "worst students are your best friends" link somehow to the Ross Greene reading Lost at School?  Your thoughts? 
Does it connect to the Mass Customized Learning model that the state is exploring?  

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Friday, January 27, 2012

The First Technology

Time for What?

The above link is an interesting read with thoughts about time and its impact on learning. Much of it high school focused but still worth the mention.

What if we weren't hemmed in, or were less hemmed in by the clock when it comes to learning?

Share any thoughts you have about time and education in the comments below.

"The thing we have become worst at in our schools is helping students get ready for anything except more secondary schooling. We usually do nothing to even prepare students for universities, much less anything else, and here, time is the key factor. How do you choose to "study?" Where do you choose to "study"? and of course, When do you choose to "study"? Those key questions which determine university success in many ways are completely blocked from the primary and secondary experience because we insist on running our students as if they were a (French, not American) train system, with every moment accounted for. How, with your clock training, will your students even know what to do with themselves if they get a job where some of the time-use decisions are theirs?"  Ira Socol

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A List of 10!

Think About It
         There are so many lists of things that students should be taught, what they should be learning, and what they should know and much of those lists have to do with "21 Century Skills". But are there truly new skills that trump some of our "Old School Skills"?

This list from Ian Jukes sets a broad, meaningful and, in my opinion, concise look at what we could all use as skills for living in this day and age. A great foundation that seems to include both traditional and more contemporary skills.

Looking at this list after a meeting last night about the Next Generation Science Standards that will be appearing next year makes me see some close connections between the "science standards" and this basic top ten list. Encouraging that we might be able to find some common ground with a meaningful, manageable set of core needs for our students and society.

What are your thoughts?

  1. Read
  2. Type
  3. Write
  4. Communicate effectively, and with respect
  5. Question
  6. Be resourceful
  7. Be accountable
  8. Know how to learn
  9. Think critically
  10. Be happy

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Give People Control

I was trying to find a way for us to have discussions online about issues we need to share.
Please add to the discussion with your ideas and comments below. Here is some food for thought. Choose one or all the questions and share your thoughts and ideas.

New Relationships are Forming
"Give the people control and we will use it. Don't and you will lose it". 
Are school leaders losing students (i.e., as physical, emotional, or intellectual dropouts) simply because they are trying to control the system?
What would happen if students and teachers had more control over the learning process?
What if these stakeholders controlled what they learn, when they learn, how they learn, and why they learn it?
Co-collaboration / co-learning / co-construction could be the norm. 

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