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12 education guidelines from Alfie Kohn

Alfie Kohn says: Learning should be organized around problems, projects, and (students’) questions – not around lists of facts or skills, or separate disciplines. Thinking is messy; deep thinking is really messy. Therefore beware prescriptive standards and outcomes that are too specific and orderly. The primary criterion for what we do in schools: How will...

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One of the most destructive ways to raise a child is with ‘conditional regard’

Alfie Kohn said: Fury over the possibility that kids will get off too easy or feel too good about themselves seems to rest on three underlying values. The first is deprivation: Kids shouldn’t be spared struggle and sacrifice, regardless of the effects. The second value is scarcity: the belief that excellence, by definition, is something...

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Reader interest trumps passage readability?

Reader interest trumps passage readability?

Upcoming travel and events December 3-5 – International School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands February 3 – Virginia Is for Learners Innovation Network, TBD, VA February 25-26 – Missouri Educational Technology Leaders CTO Clinic, TBD, MO March 10-13 – Central & Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA) Annual Conference, Budapest, Hungary June 8-9 – Roanoke County Public...

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Don’t intervene

Bharat Anand, Jan Hammond, and V. G. Narayanan said: a typical approach to intervention in online [university] courses was to amass larger numbers of TAs [teaching assistants], so that some “expert” was ready to intervene quickly on any question as it arose. One unintended consequence? “Soon, everyone expected the TA’s to answer questions. No one...

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Asking students to work in complete isolation

Asking students to work in complete isolation

Joe Bower said: I would never ask students to complete anything that is worth doing in complete isolation from their peers, parents, books, or the Internet. I’ve worked hard to encourage my students to see collaboration as a critical characteristic of learning. Alfie Kohn reminds us that, “I want to see what you can do...

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Compliance remains the central goal

Alfie Kohn said: Whether or not it’s stated explicitly, compliance remains the central goal of most classroom management programs, character education initiatives, and parenting resources. Sure, we stress the virtues of independent thinking and assertiveness, but mostly in the context of getting kids to resist peer pressure. If a child has the temerity to resist...