Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Does student engagement matter?

Two readings this morning:

first this: "What is college for?" which includes this acknowledgement:
"...university curriculum leaves students disengaged from the material they are supposed to be learning. They see most of their courses as intrinsically 'boring.'"

then this: "Teaching innovation key to propelling economy." Here's a sample:

"While we often think of creativity as the domain of music and art classes, most educators know that it’s what brings students alive in every class. Writing a play about a historical event. Designing and creating a certified Wildlife Habitat on campus. Developing a new application for a concept in math. That’s the kind of learning that really stays with kids—when they create something of their own, drawing upon different disciplines, often in a hands-on project. What doesn’t stick is preparation for standardized tests."

Does student engagement matter?

Montessori Glee

Cincinnati's Clark Montessori School wins Glee Award. Very cool!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

When an adult took standardized tests forced on kids

“I won’t beat around the bush,” he wrote in an email. “The math section had 60 questions. I knew the answers to none of them, but managed to guess ten out of the 60 correctly. On the reading test, I got 62% . In our system, that’s a “D”, and would get me a mandatory assignment to a double block of reading instruction."

See the whole story here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Welcome to the age of overparenting

"Mom, we're bored."
"I know that if I continue on this path, not only will my kids never have the wherewithal to build an igloo after a snowstorm, they won’t even have the freedom or imagination to try. Watching them play halfheartedly in their meager little forts, I knew I had to change."

Why Montessori can help executive function skills

My own executive functioning skills fell short this time. On December 1st, you could have tuned in to Adele Diamond as she presented a "Distinguished Visiting Scholar" lecture at Virginia Tech.

Or you could watch the tape now. Or read excerpts.

"The prefrontal cortex is overrated." Knowing and doing are not the same thing.

Montessori to the rescue

Jack Creeden spoke to board chairs of ISAS schools. Prestigious private independent schools. Topic: "Trustee Governance: Beyond the Basics".

After speaking about the threats to traditional private schools (on-line learning, charter schools, home schooling), here was his first ray of hope:

Don’t Despair, Montessori to the
Rescue (B.Globe, 8.26.11)

Montessori Alumni
Wikipedia founder – Jimmy Wales
Amazon.com – Jeff Bezos
SimCity – Will Wright
Google – Larry Page & Sergey Brin

“Brain research shows that all the characteristics
Internet entrepreneurs value – divergent and
innovative thinking, intellectual self reliance . . .
are the primary focus of Montessori classroom.
Mistakes are opportunities to learn.”

Thursday, December 1, 2011