Posted by: bwoof | January 17, 2010

Professional Reading

Good educators are supposed to be good learners. And learning is sometimes just hard work, intentional, and disciplined. At other times it’s serendipitous and fun and spontaneous.

Today I’m trying to work on the first set, the purposeful kind of learning. My GoogleReader account is always a good place to start and, like I’ve said in earlier posts, features many of my mavens in my Personal Learning Network…Will Richardson, David Warlick, Ian Jukes, etc.

So, today’s readings lead me to the following stretching articles. Take a peek.

Micro Cultures of Professional Learning Communities

From the Education Innovation website, this article talks about how to recreate culture, not a bad idea in schools where, over time, things can get stale and sour.  “In his fine book Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling, author Andy Crouch explains his premise that it is not enough to condemn, critique, consume, or copy culture. The only way to change culture is to cultivate and create it.”  Note: I found this book via my education-based links but it seems to connect to my faith-based perspectives as well. Interesting.

8 Laws of Nature in Professional Learning Communities

1. Parkinsons Law of Triviality – the amount of time an organization spends discussing an issue is inversely proportional to its importance

 2. Sayre’s Law, which states that in any dispute, the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the stakes at issue

 3. Student Syndrome – Apply yourself to a task only at the last possible moment before the deadline, that people generally underestimate how long a task will be, and generally people miss deadlines because they leave things to the last minute.

 4. Pareto Principle -The 80/20 rule applies to many situations.

  5. Maes-Garreau Law,  – Any prediction about a favorable future technology falls just within the expected lifespan of the person making it.

 6. Rogers’ Experiential Learning Theory — Rogers lists the qualities of experiential learning as personal involvement, self-initiation, learner evaluation, and pervasive effects on the learner. The theory suggests that learner motivation and the relevance of the topics are keys to successful learning.

 7. Information Cascade– Wikipedia explains, “An information (or informational) cascade occurs when people observe the actions of others and then make the same choice that the others have made, independently of their own private information signals.

 8. Peter Principle, which states that in any organization “people reach the level of their own incompetence”

High-Stakes Tests (D Warlick)

In a time of change, we should not be asking, “Did you learn this?Instead we should be saying, every day,“Show me what you’ve learned!  … and surprise me!”

Study questions learning-style research

As educators struggle to define effective 21st-century instruction, one practice that many have viewed as fundamental to teaching and learning has come under new fire: catering to different learning styles.

According to a new review of existing research, scientists have yet to show conclusively that students learn better when they are taught according to their preferred modality—and the study’s authors say it’s time to stop funding a technique that hasn’t been proven effective.

What kids in Grade 6 want in a high school

You’ve got to see/hear Zoe’s Gr 6 kids talk about what they want.  I’ve been to this class and, well, how do you say WOW!

Stay in Line

Scott McLeod is a fav educator whom I follow. Here’s a story he tells:

Overheard at a preschool I visited yesterday: Good job! I like the way you all are staying in line. You’re so good at this!

The socialization to be a cog in the machine begins early. Woe be it if you don’t stay in line.

McLeod’s page also features his current reading and, as always, I wish I had time to check into his current selections shown here.

Grateful for:

  • Jay Lehman’s excellent message today re getting ‘unstuck’
  • chili on a winter’s day

Curious about:

  • Haiti and the devestation there
  • the Toronto Star article today which, in my opinion, is totally over the edge in sensationalism and unprofessional journalism. The photo selection is not appropriate!  I have sent a letter to the editor and wonder if they will respond

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