Category

Innovation

follow the leader
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We Will Tell You How to be Innovative

A recent EducationWeek article, provocatively titled “These Shop Teachers Told Their Students to Form a Union,” focuses on Aviation High School in Long Island, New York, where students were encouraged to create a classroom much like the workplace of a union. Teachers José Vaz and Antonio Pepenella mention that students have more control over their education. This includes students electing officers (including foremen and a union representative) who are in charge of enforcing the class contract and ensuring student rights are protected and mediating conflicts between their classmates. Although a novel concept, which allows children out of their seats and away from the Pythagorean theorem, the approach is actually anti-innovation in that it builds a follow-the-leader mentality. At the core Read More ›

The idiom or the figure of speech “look for a needle in a haystack” is used to describe something elusive in a large space or a sisyphean task. Magnifying glass on the needle is isolated on white
The idiom or the figure of speech “look for a needle in a haystack” is used to describe something elusive in a large space or a sisyphean task. Magnifying glass on the needle is isolated on white
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Needle in a Haystack: School Innovation

According to Chelsea White of the Christensen Institute, there’s a dearth of information about innovation in schools across the country. In short, the “innovations schools are pursuing never makes it beyond the district office—and when it does, it’s not reliably or consistently documented, shared, or promoted.” In a project they call the Canopy, the institute is doing something about that. As stated in A VIEW FROM THE CANOPY: Building Collective Knowledge on School Innovation, “The Canopy is a collaborative effort to surface a more diverse set of innovative schools, and develop an index of approaches linked to student-centered learning.”  Encouragingly, they found that traditional public schools which represents 67% of their dataset are “work[ing] towards student-centered learning regardless of governance Read More ›

Flipped Classroom Concept
Flipped Classroom Concept On Blackboard With Apple And Digital Tablet On Wooden Table
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Flipped Classrooms Are Not the Problem

EducationWeek recently opined that “flipped classrooms may exacerbate student achievement gaps.”  The notion of a “flipped” classroom is one in which the “traditional rhythm of class time” is flipped by “introducing teacher lectures online so that students can view them at home, while using class time for projects and group activities that might traditionally be consigned to homework.” Here’s where they missed the mark: A flipped classroom does not give the student any more required time to fully grasp the material at hand. So the notion that flipped classrooms may exacerbate the student achievement gaps isn’t the issue. The crux of the matter is how long these students have access to learning. In order for educators to meet the needs Read More ›

Children having swimming lesson
Children having swimming lesson
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Group-Based Learning: Swim Lesson Vs Swim Meet

Senior Fellow Don Nielsen of Discovery Institute writes in his book Every School “A parent needs to have only two children to know how totally different children can be.”  That is why the “one-size-fits-all” system is no longer advantageous during the information age. ExcelinEd, a national non-profit organization focused on state education reform founded by former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, is pushing for more individualized learning. They propose “Next generation learning re-imagines learning for the 21st century by providing innovative educators flexibility and support to meet the needs of all students.” It is important to understand why group-based learning is highly antiquated. To explain this, one must look at the design of the bell-shaped curve and what role that plays Read More ›

Idaho US State Law Legal System Concept
Idaho US state law, legal system and justice concept with a 3D rendering of a gavel on the Idahoan flag on background.
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Idaho: Model Legislation for the Nation

Student-centered learning is being rolled out in Idaho. During the 2015 session, House Bill 110 passed the Idaho state legislature which mandated the Idaho State Department of Education transfer from the traditional group-based education to what they refer to as “mastery-based education.”  The Idaho State Department of Education website states, “This model will move students away from the current time-based system to a mastery-based system to allow for a more personalized and differentiated learning experience. Mastery Education (ME) requires focus on explicit, measurable, transferable learning objectives that will empower students and prepare them for the 21st Century.” This exciting news suggests that Idaho is ready to revamp the system. The state is implementing this legislation exactly the way it should Read More ›