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August 29 2012

Disrupting the discourse of school

"• Questions about…fundamental purpose of education are often misconstrued as indictments of the system… they don’t have to be. • There exists deep suspicion about using schools to achieve a social end or greater purpose, despite the fact that economic development through increased human capital is itself such a purpose. This purpose of school has been significantly “naturalized” & is difficult to uproot. • We may need to get comfortable w/ a world where broad-based social institutions like school exist for multiple purposes simultaneously & a priori reform efforts are impossible. • There is a significant yearning for policy-makers to acknowledge the social dimension of school rather than simply increase the abilities of individual students… remembering school’s social essence may be the key to both the future of school &…of school reform. • If we imagine schools as serving purposes like increasing civic engagement or building a more just society, reforming them in isolation may…"

La Educación Prohibida | Un proyecto audiovisual para transformar la educación…

"La Educación Prohibida es una película documental que se propone cuestionar las lógicas de la escolarización moderna y la forma de entender la educación, visibilizando experiencias educativas diferentes, no convencionales que plantean la necesidad de un nuevo paradigma educativo. La Educación Prohibida es un proyecto realizado por jóvenes que partieron desde la visión del quienes aprenden y se embarcaron en una investigación que cubre 8 países realizando entrevistas a más de 90 educadores de propuestas educativas alternativas. La película fue financiada colectivamente gracias a cientos de coproductores y tiene licencias libres que permiten y alientan su copia y reproducción. La Educación Prohibida se propone alimentar y disparar un debate reflexión social acerca de las bases que sostienen la escuela, promoviendo el desarrollo de una educación integral centrada en el amor, el respeto, la libertad y el aprendizaje." [Direct link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1Y9OqSJKCc ]
Reposted by02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

August 24 2012

Fighting Crime With Architecture in Medellín, Colombia - NYTimes.com

"city’s transformation established roots before…Fajardo took office, in thoughtful planning guidelines, amnesties & antiterrorism programs, community-based initiatives by Germany & UN &…Colombian national policy mandating architectural interventions as a means to attack poverty & crime. …every mayor here has to have enormous architectural & infrastructural plans, or risk coming across as small-minded or an outsider. …Empresas Públicas de Medellín…constitutionally mandated to provide clean water & electricity even to houses in the city’s illegal slums, so that unlike in Bogotá, where the worst barrios lack basic amenities, in Medellín there’s a safety net. E.P.M.’s profits…go directly to building new schools, public plazas, the metro & parks. “We took a view that everything is interconnected — education, culture, libraries, safety, public spaces,” …goal of government should be providing rich and poor with the same quality education, transportation and public architecture…"
Reposted by02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01

August 22 2012

The Prison-Educational Complex – The New Inquiry

"After carefully examining the school occurrence reports for the year, Nolan found that the majority of arrests and summons were, ultimately, the result of “insubordination” or “disrespect”; in other words, students ignored or resisted officers who told them to take off their hat, hurry up, or show their ID, and the situation escalated from there. These confrontations, which often stem from legitimate frustration at capricious and unaccountable authorities, routinely lead to arrest. (As Nolan shows, some officers appear to publicly humiliate and antagonize students for sport, yet students are expected to react like saints to provocation from their superiors. Taking umbrage is a punishable offense). The “crime” of breaking a school rule — not the law — lands students in court, which, in turn, further derails their academic progress, since they must miss school to appear before a judge."

August 17 2012

Mapping The Future Of Education Technology | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation

"Gamification is not "achievements and badges" but the use of participant engagement, storytelling, challenge, instant feedback, collaboration and emotion (among others). Badges and achievements are simply the means by which some of those things are recorded. Sadly, people who think just giving a badge for an achievement is "gamification" are diminishing the power of the concept." [Quote from a comment (link points there)] [Found the article via: http://branch.com/b/what-s-broken-in-education ]

July 31 2012

Steven Berlin Johnson: Instead of building cathedrals in learning, we need to learn to build cathedrals | Creativity, Imagination, and Innovation in Education Symposium

"“Collaboration between different intelligences is the hallmark of innovative spaces,” he remarked. But it wasn’t always easy for Johnson, who has an undergraduate degree in semiotics from Brown University and a graduate degree in English Literature from Columbia, to see how science and the humanities could be entwined. It wasn’t until he was exposed to the work of former Columbia Professor Franco Moretti that he realized bridges could be built joining the two. Moretti gained fame for controversially applying quantitative scientific methods to the humanities. Johnson mentioned reading Moretti’s Signs Taken for Wonders, and the mind-blowing impact the professor’s use of Darwinian techniques to analyze literature had on him. It was the first time he saw scientific procedures being employed to evaluate literature. From that moment on, Johnson began researching iconic innovators."

July 17 2012

Astoria Middle School in the mist (I can't seem to avoid middle schools.)

February 11 2012

Better Test Scores Lead to Better Lives and Strong Economy: Fact or Hunch? | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

"To say “tread carefully” and “proceed with care” after three decades of steel-toed boots stomping of public schools, not to mention, the transfer of an audit culture soaked in high tech from the corporate sector to national educational policy is, well, almost funny. It is, at the least, a disappointing end to such a clear laying out of the assumptions embedded in the reigning “tough love” reform ideology in which Mike Petrilli has been a card-carrying member."

February 05 2012

Play fullscreen
Noam Chomsky - The Purpose of Education - YouTube
"Noam Chomsky discusses the purpose of education, impact of technology, whether education should be perceived as a cost or an investment and the value of standardised assessment."

January 29 2012

You Want Smarter, More Collaborative Students? First, Fix The Tables | Co.Design: business + innovation + design

"Everyone lauds the benefits of collaboration, and yet students usually sit apart from one another, stuck behind their individual desks. The Dutch designers Rianne Makkink & Jurgen Bey have updated the classic trestle table into a flexible system that stretches to accommodate group projects. One or two trestle desks can be combined with a larger tabletop to form an elongated work surface. The longest table can also be used as a vertical or horizontal easel, with the metal ridge used for joining the tables together doubling as a utensil holder. The extension pieces, made from high-pressure laminate, can be folded and stacked into a colourful display when not in use. Brilliant--and just the thing to help foster early collaboration--but sadly not yet a reality."

January 23 2012

PhDs as K12 teachers | The Paper Graders

"There is nothing more effective in education than a passionate, well-trained classroom teacher. We do not need more administrators, especially administrators who have maybe never had K12 classroom teaching experience. But getting more of the most talented teachers IN classrooms would be powerful. Why not call for PhDs to enter K12 practice and work on the teaching of science from the inside? Why not call out the academy and ask it to start encouraging PhDs to choose this path? Certainly not all who complete a PhD program are cut out for K12 teaching, but I would venture that many of them could be awesome at it. And many of them don’t even consider it because the academy doesn’t encourage them to."

January 21 2012

An Education, Over the Border and Under the Radar - Slide Show - NYTimes.com

"Dozens of students — all American citizens living in Tijuana — cross the border daily to attend a public high school 11 miles away in Chula Vista, Calif., where they were born and where they still claim to live. These teenagers stand for hours in a human chain of 16,000 at the world’s busiest international land border."
Play fullscreen
Small School in The Big Apple - YouTube
"Urban Academy has just 150 students and is one of six small schools in the Julia Richmond complex, New York. Ann Cook, co-director, explains how it operates and what they do to appeal to young people."

Matthew Battles: It doesn’t take Cupertino to make textbooks interactive » Nieman Journalism Lab

"Schiller made a sentimental play to this constituency, opening his presentation with a series of excerpted interviews in which teachers sang the sad litany of challenges they face: cratering budgets, overcrowded classrooms, unprepared, disengaged students. The argument that Apple — founded by dropouts and autodidacts — is fundamentally motivated to change this set of conditions is as ludicrous as the notion that the company could ever hope actually to do any such thing… We can never count Apple out — the company’s visions have an implacable way of turning into givens — but the future is undoubtedly more complex. There will still be overcrowded classrooms, overworked teachers, and shrinking budgets in an education world animated by Apple. But I prefer to think of teachers and students finding ways to hack knowledge and make their own beautiful stories to envisioning ranks of studens spellbound by magical tablets."

January 17 2012

January 12 2012

Unhappy childhoods afflict one in 10 youngsters, finds Children's Society | UK news | The Guardian

"The prime minister has already made a commitment to broadening the nation's understanding of quality of life, saying memorably that it was time "we admitted that there's more to life than money, & it's time we focused not just on GDP but on GWB – general wellbeing". However, material wealth does appear to affect a child's happiness, a finding that echoes a recent Unicef report that claimed British children were caught in a "materialistic trap". …as young as 8 were "aware of the financial issues their families face"…"Children who do not have clothes to 'fit in' with peers are more than three times likely to have low well-being than those that do. Around a quarter say they often worry about the way they look. Unhappiness with appearance increases with age & is greater among girls." School also brings many children down. One in 10 children…are unhappy about their relationships with teachers, & one in six are unhappy about the amount they feel they are being listened to at school."

Iceland never had any bookshops between the... - more than 95 theses

"Iceland never had any bookshops between the sixteenth century and the mid-nineteenth. It also had no schools. Yet by the end of the eighteenth century the population was almost entirely literate. Families in farms scattered over an enormous area taught their own children to read—and the Icelanders read a great deal, especially during the long winter months. Aside from religious works, their reading matter consisted primarily of Nordic sagas, copied and recopied over many generations in manuscript books, thousands of them, which now form the principal collections in Iceland’s archives. Iceland therefore provides an example of a society that contradicts everything in my diagram. For three and a half centuries, it had a highly literate population given to reading books, yet it had virtually no printing presses, no bookshops, no libraries, and no schools. An aberration? Perhaps, but the experience of the Icelanders may tell us something about the nature of literary culture throughout…"

January 09 2012

SpeEdChange: Changing Gears 2012: ending required sameness

"It is time to dispense with age-based grades and grade-level-"expectations," time to rid ourselves of assignments where everyone works on the same thing much less in the same way, time to rid ourselves of time schedules which limit learning, time to move beyond "Universal Design" to learning studios where differentiated humans learning to live and work together."

January 03 2012

Sir Ken Robinson: Alternative Education is Good Education | MindShift

"In 2006, Sir Ken Robinson presented a TED talk about the importance of nurturing creativity in education. That video has been viewed more than eight million times. Just a few weeks ago, Robinson presented a video TEDx talk in London, addressing how population growth and technology are fueling huge changes in education, and the imperative to make all schools progressive. He argues that the principles of what’s considered “alternative” education are those that should be applied to mainstream education. It’s hard to argue with these ideas."

January 01 2012

What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success - Anu Partanen - National - The Atlantic

"Yet one of the most significant things Sahlberg said passed practically unnoticed. "Oh," he mentioned at one point, "and there are no private schools in Finland." This notion may seem difficult for an American to digest, but it's true. Only a small number of independent schools exist in Finland, and even they are all publicly financed. None is allowed to charge tuition fees. There are no private universities, either. This means that practically every person in Finland attends public school, whether for pre-K or a Ph.D. The irony of Sahlberg's making this comment during a talk at the Dwight School seemed obvious. Like many of America's best schools, Dwight is a private institution that costs high-school students upward of $35,000 a year to attend -- not to mention that Dwight, in particular, is run for profit, an increasing trend in the U.S. Yet no one in the room commented on Sahlberg's statement. I found this surprising. Sahlberg himself did not."
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