What Meaningful Reflection On Student Work Can Do for Learning | MindShift | KQED News

This is an excellent article that shows the importance of reflection in learning. There are so many ideas for educators to use in their practices. While not all of these were named, these are my thoughts after reading the article.
  • providing meaningful feedback to their students;
  • discussing the big picture with students;
  • providing time for students to reflect regularly and building these habits;
  • creating a culture of sharing reflections with community members; and
  • how student led conferences can be valuable. 
  • tags: metacognition learning reflection Student Led Conferences

    • For student reflection to be meaningful, it must be metacognitive, applicable, and shared with others.

    • If students are metacognitive about inquiry, then they’re thinking about exactly how they are going to phrase that question;

    • if they’re metacognitive about collaboration, then they’re considering how their introvert or extrovert personality will affect the group.

    • Metacognition is essentially reflection on the micro level, an awareness of our own thought processes as we complete them.

    • Metacognitive reflection, however, takes this process to the next level because it is concerned not with assessment, but with self-improvement:

    • metacognitive reflection can be used to develop resilience in the face of a challenge.

    • Many young children (and some adults) will throw down their work when they become frustrated with it, unable to transcend the struggle. By contrast, a student who has learned the value of metacognitive reflection will recognize frustration as a signal to pause and think through the situation instead of plowing ahead with the same approach or giving up entirely.

    • How is this reflection going to help me in the future? I

    • Keeping a log of tasks and habits, for example, gives students a rich source of data to mine when reflecting on their progress, and there are many apps that will collect and aggregate this information in accessible and attractive ways.

    • Even using a simple timer can help students chunk out their work so they take a reflective break, and some programs have breaks built into the timer cycle, so that a pause from the work is guaranteed.

    • This kind of isolated, after-the-fact reflection dominates our understanding of the process. When asked to imagine a person reflecting, you probably conjure up an image of an individual alone, in a comfortable place, staring off into the distance, plaintively contemplating some earlier life event. This scene is likely set at the end of a calendar year, or at the end of a lifetime—or, if you imagined a professional setting, at a retirement party.

    • Unfortunately, this sentimental notion of reflection for reflection’s sake keeps the practice from being used for active improvement in the here and now.

    • By being transparent about future tasks and assignments, teachers remind students that they’re going to have to use at least some of these skills again, so there’s no sense in making the same mistakes.

    • Reflection suddenly has a real and immediate purpose: You know where this course is going, so how are you going to improve the quality of your own journey?

    • Proximity here is key; reviewing a previous reflection can be most instructive when students are working on the next task, so their reflection should be stored wherever that work is happening.

    • Digital tools also provide different mediums for students to capture their thoughts—they can type or tag, or talk into the microphone or camera.

    • Electronic tools of analysis can also play a big role here. Just as athletes track their physical performance using a specific set of metrics, students may benefit from reviewing their academic achievements in different areas, like the categories of a rubric or a list of discrete skills.

    • In the interest of keeping up appearances, we don’t really like to share our weaknesses and past failures (although we do love gawking at the problems and misfortunes of others).

    • But if we are really seeking to take action based on our reflections, then we will likely need some help, and that means we have to own up about what needs work. To make students comfortable with this practice, the classroom has to become a place where each student is recognized as being on an individual path of improvement—and, an important point, no student has reached the end of the path, because there is no end.

    • By sharing their reflections on their academic work, students can both advise and seek help from their peers.

    • Just as electronic tools make reflections easy to access for an individual, so, too, do they make it easy to share. Sharing becomes instantaneous when material is available online; the collection of commentary from an entire class can also be indexed, searched, and organized by theme—a feature that may be of great use for the teacher, who will want to look at both individual goals and the class’s experience as a whole.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


Empathy as a Precursor to Innovation – Reflective Stance – Medium

  • tags: empathy innovation design_thinking design thinking

    • How can we possibly understand what someone needs if we do not know them?

    • I am just beginning to embark on a new project to support schools in creating School Narratives to tell the story of learning and improvement and I am struck, once again, by the need for relationship to drive any type of learning and improvement.

    • We need to find the soul of our data and that soul is always found in the stories of those we serve.

    • We need to stop acting from what we think we know and listen to those we serve, to find what is truly needed.

    • They felt that the culture allowed them to be innovative, take risks, learn from one another and be truer to themselves.

    • The main character, Rodney Copperbottom, is born to be an inventor. He creates numerous inventions but it is only when he looks at his father, lying exhausted in a chair at the end of a hard day of work that he comes up with his best invention.

    • Invention is the creation of something whereas innovation is about improving something — be it a process, a product, or service.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Integrated Studies: A Short History | Edutopia

  • tags: interdisciplinary

    • For the better part of a century, educational theorists have been advocating for a more integrated and less “siloed” approach to learning. As American philosopher John Dewey pointed out during the Progressive Era, “We do not have a series of stratified earths, one of which is mathematical, another physical, another historical, and so on. All studies grow out of relations in the one great common world.”

    • Ralph Tyler, a major figure in 20th-century American education, described integration of subject areas as “the horizontal relationship of curriculum experiences,” and he considered such connections to be essential for student learning. His thinking was informed by his work on the landmark Eight-Year Study, which followed students from 30 secondary schools during the 1930s. Researchers found that students were well-served by high schools that organized content not by isolated subjects but around overarching themes that connected disciplines.

    • Heidi Hayes Jacobs, whose most recent book is Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World, has been making the case for interdisciplinary-curriculum design for more than two decades.

    • We simply do not function in a world where problems are discipline specific in regimented time blocks,” noted Jacobs in the 1989 publication Interdisciplinary Curriculum: Design and Implementation.

    • “The Logic of Interdisciplinary Studies,” a 1997 paper by Sandra Mathison and Melissa Freeman. The authors found a number of benefits for learners, including acquisition of life skills such as cooperation and problem solving, greater motivation and academic achievement, better attitudes toward learning, and opportunities for more meaningful relationships between students and teachers. What’s more, they found that integrated studies provides a sensible way to learn about a world of rapidly expanding and changing information.

    • “Standards are not simply individual tasks that students must perform separately in each discipline,” they argue.

    • disciplinary

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A Funny Example of Old School Grading Practices

The Huffington Post article, Student Sinks Impossible Shot To Secure Entire Class 100s On Organic Chemistry Quiz recently caught my attention. It’s a fun story about a student in a organic chemistry class at The Ohio State University that threw a wadded up piece of paper into the garbage can from the balcony. The story is so popular that there are over 1,000 comments. So, being someone who has an interest in grades and grade reporting I decided to comment.

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I really wondered how many people would respond to my comment and I’m shocked that there were 30 comments. Here are just a few to give you an idea of what people were thinking.

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It’s just interesting to me that so many people are programmed to think that giving out grades for “extra credit” or tricks unrelated to academic performance is the norm. I’m all for having fun in class and I think that it’s great that the professor encouraged this type of behavior. I’m also smart enough to know that the quiz grade doesn’t do much for their overall grades in the end. I’m just a proponent of Grades that Mean Something.
The purpose of grading is to describe how well students have achieved the learning objectives or goals established for a class or course of study. Grades should reflect students’ performance on specific learning criteria.

In Finland, Learning Matters More Than Education – The Atlantic

Make sure that you take a look at the video at the bottom of the article. What will education look like in 100 years?
  • tags: Finland education LifelongKindergarden

    • Too often, I see high-school students break down in tears over grades or pile on advanced and AP classes because “that’s what colleges want to see.”

    • In fact, a recent survey of a nationally representative sample of 22,000 high-school students conducted by Marc Brackett at Yale indicated that high-school students felt stressed 80 percent of the time.

    • Some companies such as Deloitte no longer require college degrees at all—even for professional positions.

    • And if that weren’t enough proof that traditional paths to career success can be misleading, seldom do current measures of high-school success guarantee success in college. I

    • according to a Gallup poll of high-school students, the No. 1 measure of college success is a sense of hope for the future.

    • In fact, according to a separate Gallup survey, 79 percent of elementary-aged children feel engaged in school, while only 43 percent of high-schoolers do.

    • Even in Finland, many high-school students still find school boring, but Finland takes the issue of student boredom seriously. Recently, the country has begun a reform to rid high-schools of mandatory subjects altogether, leaning instead on “phenomenon-based” curriculum.

    • There are schools in America doing play and learning for learning’s sake very well, and not only in elementary schools.

    • I’ve seen examples of secondary classrooms in my home state where teachers place students’ humanity and personal needs ahead of academic achievement.

    • At the beginning of last year, the faculty at the school set up a simulated plane crash with an actual plane outside its building, while each village took on the necessary roles to manage the crisis.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Rethinking High School Graduation Requirements: Project & Microcredentials – Vander Ark on Innovation – Education Week

This is a bold approach that needs to be further developed. A new paradigm for high school education.
    • The five states that make up the New England Secondary School Consortium have made progress on redefining success by developing proficiency-based diplomas.

    • Chris Sturgis notes that many schools use capstone projects, exhibitions, or portfolios that provide evidence that students have met the level of proficiency.

    • Given all this opportunity, how do we reconceptualize what graduates should know and be able to do?

      • Another way to frame and communicate learning expectations is to ask students to complete and present 20 projects (or, more broadly successful learning experiences) — four to six per year over three or four years including:


      • Solve a local problem (community service)
      • Launch a business or sustainable initiative (entrepreneurship)
      • Build a mobile app (for the business/initiative)
      • Secure and serve a customer with marketing services
      • Share a global context (comparative analysis across time/subjects)
      • Propose solutions to 3 global problems (see case for studying UN’s #GlobalGoals)
      • Complete an online course
      • Complete 2 college courses
      • Demonstrate computational thinking
      • Demonstrate application of data analysis
      • Conduct a science experiment and publish the results
      • Publish 40 editorials, reviews, or reflections (individual)
      • Publish 2 major works: papers, books, or sites (team)
      • Explain 10 emerging implications of artificial intelligence on lives/livelihoods
      • Produce and present public art (performance, exhibit)
      • Apply to a valuable postsecondary experience (college or equal)

      • Self-directed learners
      • Skilled communicators
      • Design thinkers
      • Persistent innovators
      • Data & AI literate
      • Empathetic collaborators
      • Resourceful problem solvers & entrepreneurs
      • Global citizens
      • Experienced project managers
      • Healthy conscientious neighbors

    • If graduation requirements were described as 20 projects and 10 microcredentials, it would allow students to attack the requirements in their own way and at their own pace often working in teams and cohorts.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Re-Designing American High Schools for the 21st Century | Stanford Social Innovation Review

  • tags: innovation Paradigm Shift Paradigm redesign

    • The Model T didn’t emerge from strapping an engine to a horse, and Tesla didn’t emerge from putting an electric engine into an existing car. Yet when it comes to school design, we are trying to innovate off a completely outdated industrial model, rather than rethinking its fundamental structure.
    • It’s time to boldly reimagine the high-school experience—using the power of human-centered design, the latest adolescent neuroscience, and purpose learning—to usher in a new era of education that prepares students for this century, not the last.
    • From a design perspective, our current debate is kind of like people arguing over the interior design of a house without considering whether it’s the right house. Why argue about the furniture in the living room, the kitchen, and the bedroom (the curriculum) when the house is old, failing apart, and not right for your family’s needs anyway (the current high school model)?
    • Take scheduling, for example. In my conversations with students, they say they pay attention in class 15-60 percent of the time. This is partly due to the teaching schedule.
    • Unless we redesign the system, we are going to keep delivering less-than-optimal learning environments for students.
    • While there are some exceptions, the majority of today’s high schools focus on the regurgitation of facts (as evident in most AP curriculums). Almost nothing that US high schools formally evaluate is designed to actively develop or increase a student’s self-regulation or emotional awareness—skills that employers like Google most desire today
    • The teenage years are a time when students can start imagining the lives they want to lead, and can develop the internal compass and traits that will help them live a life of purpose, meaning, and devotion to a cause bigger than themselves.
    • This is where our high schools are really failing students.
    • Almost nothing in the current system speaks to developing the voice of young people, their own dreams, and a sense of what’s really important to them. Instead, the system focuses on validating rampant external achievement and measuring students’ knowledge through standardized testing. No wonder students are bored, tired, and stressed.
    • Organizations like the Institute for Applied Neuroscience are actively trying to educate policymakers about the need to adapt school policies so that they better align with the neuro-functioning of young adults.
    • Include project-based learning and differentiated instruction:
    • Help students feel like they matter:
    • Train teachers to play the role of mentor.
    • Build better physical spaces:
    • t doesn’t have to be expensive—simply re-designing a classroom or letting students spend more time outside goes a long way.
    • Teach more than academic skills:
    • Big Picture Learning and Expeditionary Learning—do a great job of allowing their students to explore ideas outside of school and develop meaningful relationships with adults.
    • “What do teenagers most need to thrive in today’s world?”
    • The Future Project, for example, assigns each school a coach (known as a “dream director”) who helps inspire students to figure out their dreams and aspirations, and then re-shape school culture around these projects.
    • Noble Impact introduces young people to purpose-provoking curriculum to help them answer the “why” question.
    • Wayfinder Weeks programming, for example, allows students take a step back from their day to day, and ask what they really want from life, why, and what they need to do get there.
    • What big issues do students want to address in the world and why? What kind of life do they want to lead? What makes them come alive? What do they want to contribute to the world, and what do they need to learn to do so?

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.