Archive of ‘contemplative pedagogy’ category

rethinking intelligence

Rethinking Intelligence: How Does Imagination Measure Up?

http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/04/11/rethinking-intelligence-how-does-imagination-measure-up

Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman When he was young, Kaufman had central auditory processing disorder, which made it hard for him to process verbal information in real time. He was asked to repeat third grade because he was considered a “slow” learner.

Kaufman thinks the traditional IQ test does a good job of measuring general cognitive ability, but says it misses all the ways that ability interacts with engagement. An individual’s goals within the learning classroom and excitement about a topic affect how he or she pursues learning, none of which is captured on IQ tests. Worse, those tests are often used to filter people in or out of special programs.

FOUR PRACTICES TO CULTIVATE CHILDREN’S CREATIVITY

  1. allowing more solitary reflective time in kids’ schedules. Whether it’s the constant demands on attention at school or in after-school activities, there often isn’t enough time in a child’s day when she can switch off the executive functioning network and tap into the imagination network.
  2. “We support obsessive passion, but not harmonious passion,” Kaufman said. He defines harmonious passion as a core part of people’s identity that makes them feel good about themselves. Harmonious passion is characterized by flexible engagement, where a child can abandon the pursuit if it isn’t paying dividends.
  3. give young kids a diverse set of experiences in order to increase the chances of inspiration. “Lots of things add meaning to our lives,” he said.
  4. educators, parents, and policymakers need to reset their mindsets around student ability. “Kids who think differently are not appreciated in our school system at all

it’s even worth measuring imagination, but Kaufman believes that measurement is important so researchers can see how changing behavior affects creative achievement. But he hopes the measurements are never used as another sorting mechanism.

My note: Kaufman makes a new call for an old trend. The futility of testing is raging across the United States K12 system. Higher education is turned into the last several decades (similarly to the United States health care system) into a cash cow. When the goal is profit, then good education goes down the drain. Cultivating children’s creativity cannot happen, when the foremost goals to make more money, which inevitably entails spending less cash (not only on teacher’s salaries).

 

mindfulness in the classroom

Calming the teenage mind in the classroom

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/02/08/health/mindfulness-teenagers-schools-stress/

Lexxi Seay, a senior, was skeptical. “I actually never believed really in meditation. … I thought it was a joke,” she said during an interview.

Students “are just craving for ways to handle and cope with their stress” in healthy and nondestructive ways, said Gueritault. “It becomes sort of like instinctive and intuitive for them to just search for alternative ways to cope with their stress that have nothing to do with drugs or alcohol or whatever destructive behavior.”

More on mindfulness in education in this IMS blog:

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=mindfulness&submit=Search

slow professor

The slow professor

The authors of a new book challenge what they call the “frantic pace” of contemporary university life.

MOIRA FARR | March 29, 2016
My note:
In 2002, “slow food” was celebrated. As against “fast food” http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1152040.
In 2014, NPR aired a similar story regarding “slow medicine”: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/12/05/368736643/if-slow-is-good-for-food-why-not-medicine
Finally, academia is catching up with the “slow” movements.
Berg, M., & Seeber, B. (2016). Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy. University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division.
“Distractedness and fragmentation characterize contemporary academic life”
A number of factors. Over the last two decades, we’ve seen increases in class sizes, the casualization of academic labour, administrative bloating, the shift toward quantification of our time and our output. Pressures to publish, new technology, the downloading of tasks and the confusion it creates – these all have led to a situation where we spend less time talking face-to-face with each other and more time multitasking. There seems to be less sense of community and collegiality.

poems and storytelling

4 Reasons to Start Class With a Poem Each Day

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/start-class-poem-each-day-brett-vogelsinge

I get a few sideways glances and furrowed brows when I explain our daily opening routine for class.

1. Poems Are Short

2. Poems Are Intense

3. Poems Connect (to Other Reading)

4. Poems Inspire (Writing)

More on digital storytelling in this IMS blog:

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=digital+storytelling&submit=Search

engagement and contemplative practices

The On Course National Conference

http://oncourseworkshop.com/national-conference-overview/

has several sessions of interest:

Padlet Possibilities – Using Their Phones to Keep Their Attention in Class
Presenters: Kathy Magee and Paul Phillips, Faculty, Occupational Health and Safety, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Summary: Tired of fighting your students’ phones for their attention? Maybe it’s because the phone is more interesting than the lesson (or worse, than you). Why not use those phones to encourage participation in the day’s classroom activities and keep the on the learning and lessons you have planned. This session will have participants using their Ipads, tablets, and phones to access Padlet in order to identify, discuss, and adapt ways that this free software can be used in multi-disciplines.

Using PBL, and Active and Collaborative Techniques in Science Teaching
Presenter: Stamatis Muratidis, Faculty, Chemistry, Palo Alto College, TX
Summary: Participants interested in tips for successfully involving students by developing Active and Collaborative Learning (ACL) techniques will be engaged by use of a variety of topics, models and tools. Most of the workshop will take place in a collaborative group format and best practices for forming, molding and nurturing collaborative groups will be emphasized. Along the way the presenter will be promoting data-driven best practices, while identifying and mitigating some of the common pitfalls of implementing PBL and ACL activities.

Relax, Reflect, Relate: 3 R’s of Contemplative Practice
Presenter: William H. Johnson, Jr., Student Success Coordinator/Personal Development Coach, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC
Summary: Is life moving too fast? Are you busy beyond belief? Well, slow down! Would you attend a session that allows you to take the time to relax and be still, reflect on your life, and relate your thoughts and feelings to others? If you answered “yes” to at least one of these questions, then this workshop is for you. Research has shown that people applying some type of contemplative practice in their lives are likely to be more engaged, and are healthier and happier in life. Attendees in this session will participate in two forms of contemplative practice – meditation and reflective writing – that enhance personal growth. By the end of the session, you will learn strategies to quiet the mind, engage the spirit, and connect with others!

Study Smarter, Not Just Harder!
Presenter: Amy Munson, Director of Instructional Design, United States Air Force Academy
Summary: The United States Air Force Academy Science of Teaching and Learning program is conducting a study on how students learn about their own learning. The research team hypothesizes that students learn more from peers than from “outsiders” such as faculty members and has set out to develop a peer training and messaging program alongside a faculty training and messaging program using the same three highly successful learning/self-management strategies. On Course structures and strategies were implemented for the training components as researchers shared the benefits of practice testing, spaced practice and successive relearning as defined in Dunlosky and Rawson’s meta-analysis of learning strategies. This workshop will give participants an opportunity to learn more about those three strategies while also learning about how to implement a student “train the trainer” program.

 

disconnect the Russian way

Stalin, Siberia and salt: Russian recluse’s life story made into film

British director to tell the tale of Agafia Lykova, the only remaining member of a family of Old Believers who fled to remote Siberian taiga in 1936

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/12/russia-recluse-siberia-stalin-agafia-lykova-documentary

When I finally met Agafia, what surprised me was that rather than feeling like a primitive situation, it felt like arriving in the future – to a world with no technology, the vast forest littered with discarded space junk. It is an incredible and beautiful place

NCLB is dead

New Education Law Passes, With A Power Shift Back To The States

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/12/09/459067407/the-new-education-law-passes-with-a-power-shift-back-to-the-states

The new version — called the Every Student Succeeds Act — returns much government oversight of schools to the states and curtails or eliminates the federal role in many areas. Critics of NCLB are celebrating its demise.

Critics say there’s no guarantee that states will succeed where the old law failed in two crucial areas: closing the achievement gap and raising the performance of the absolute worst schools.

“The real test is going to be whether there is the political will to take data and turn it into action versus just reporting what they’ve been reporting for the last 15 years,” Wise says.

Austin Ouellette

For heavens sake, there are countries that are getting education right. Why can’t we just look at what they are doing and tailor those methods to suit our needs? Japan, Australia, Norway, Finland, France, Germany are all countries that have some very impressive education systems that WORK!

Americans really need to wake up!

mindfulness and education

Teach Mindfulness, Invite Happiness

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teach-mindfulness-invite-happiness

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to present-moment experience and doing so with kindness and curiosity. It is not cognitive but sensory, and so taps into and strengthens different but vitally important parts of the brain that have been neglected by traditional education. One crucial attribute of mindfulness is that it is practiced without judgment. Many of our students are so hard on themselves and their internal critic is so loud that just a few moments of being given permission to not judge can bring huge relief to body and mind. I have seen it bring students to tears.

There is now ample evidence that mindfulness practice enhances positive emotions (PDF).

4 Ways to Refuel Your Gratitude

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/4-ways-re-fuel-your-gratitude-rebecca-alber

Applying Mindfulness to Mundane Classroom Tasks

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/applying-mindfulness-mundane-classroom-tasks-abby-wills

Inquiry, Openness and Trust

How to Design a Classroom Built on Inquiry, Openness and Trust

http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/09/08/how-to-design-a-classroom-built-on-inquiry-openness-and-trust/

Many teachers have likely engaged in some type of inquiry or project-based learning, but with frustrating or dismal results.

Two of the best resources I’ve found for creating an inquiry classroom are Carol Kuhlthau’s work and Alberta Learning’s Guide to Inquiry Learning.

 

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