Time to place creativity central to learning

Education Readings
By Allan Alach
The new term is underway we wonder how many schools, now that the National Standards have gone, have begun the vital transformation to place the 2007 New Zealand Curriculum centre stage and, as part of this shift, have re-imagined literacy and numeracy as ‘foundation skills’ vital to enable student inquiry and creativity? As one commentator wryly said about past practice ‘the

Guy Claxton – ‘Learnacy’

evil twins literacy and numeracy have gobbled up the whole curriculum’. The future is about developing students’ gifts and talents in tandem with the learning dispositions to be lifelong learners. As Sir Ken Robinson has said ‘creativity is as important as literacy and numeracy’ and this is echoed by educator Guy Claxton who says ‘learnacy is more important than literacy and numeracy’. Are schools listening?

Bruce Hammonds and I collect article to share to encourage a creative approach to education. Take a quick look – some might appeal to you. Please feel free to share with anyone you might think interested.
Stop Calling Them Soft Skills; they’re Essential Skills
‘We need to call them what they really are: essential skills; skills that are absolutely necessary to

thrive in the modern world. We need to change things up. And I think that starts with us stop calling communication, collaboration, critical thinking, work ethic, and confidence “soft skills.” How about instead, they’re called “essential skills.” Because they are essential, arguably more essential than your ability to memorize facts and equations.’

What Makes a Good School Culture?
Most principals have an instinctive awareness that organizational culture is a key element of school success. They might say their school has a “good culture” when teachers are expressing a shared vision and students are succeeding — or that they need to “work on school culture” when several teachers resign or student discipline rates rise.But like many organizational leaders, principals may get stymied when they actually try to describe the elements that create a positive culture.
What will education in Australia look like in 1980?
The start of a new school year is a time of excitement and curiosity as new students, parents and

teachers wonder what they can expect from the classroom. More broadly, there are a lot of questions about what’s in store for the education sector as new teaching methods emerge and ever-present technological disruption and innovation continues.’

Big Picture Learning
Big Picture Learning was established in 1995 with the sole mission of putting students directly at the center of their own learning. BPL co-founders Dennis Littky and Elliot Washor merged their thirty years of experience as teachers and principals and their distinct national reputations to launch this new innovation in education. With an intention to demonstrate that schooling and education can and should be radically changed, Big Picture Learning was born.
Teacher Tom’s School
‘I strive for Woodland Park to be a place where children are as free as possible to create, explore, study, and play with as little adult judgement as possible. I am not there to critique their work or to teach them tricks, but rather to be the resident expert on safety, schedules, and courtesy, while providing the time and space for children to ask and answer their own questions about their world.’
Tomorrows Schools Review proposals will make schools better, says John O’Neill
‘Right now, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address systemic barriers to student success. The Independent Taskforce to Review Tomorrow’s Schools recently published its report, “Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together – Whiria Ngā Kura Tūātinitini”. We believe that its more than 30 recommendations will transform our schooling system, and that we will be stronger together as a consequence.’
Rediscovering Our Nature Instinct
The most powerful parts of “The Nature Instinct” are its many examples of how to correct our present-day nature deficit. By undertaking the exercises he describes — using Orion to tell direction and time, creating maps from the wind, or identifying trees by their sounds — the book “gently” hammers our brains “into a new pattern of thought,”
Everyone Can Learn Mathematics to High Levels: The Evidence from Neuroscience that Should Change our Teaching
Very important article by Jo Boaler:
‘For it is only when we combine positive growth messages with a multi-dimensional approach to teaching, learning, and thinking, that we will liberate our students from fixed ideas, and from math anxiety, and set them free to learn and enjoy mathematics.
#3quotes from Vygotsky
Steve Wheeler:
Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky is revered as a notable pioneer of research into learning and cognitive development. Although his writings were suppressed in the West for several decades, they eventually emerged in the 70s, representative of a progressive view of constructivism, in which the social was seen as a major influence on learning.’
Extra arts education boosts students’ writing scores — and their compassion, big new study finds
It’s just the latest study to find that giving students more access to the arts offers measurable benefits. And adding time for dance, theater, or visual arts isn’t at odds with traditional measures of academic success, according to the research — which amounts to one of the largest gold-standard studies on arts education ever conducted.’
From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:
Advice from David Perkins to make learning Whole – how to integrate skills into inquiry.
‘The problem Perkins says is there is too much problem solving ( teachers problems ) and not enough problem finding – or figuring out often ‘messy’ open ended investigations. ‘Playing the whole game’ is the solution resulting in some sort of inquiry or performance. Student are withdrawn individually or in groups to be given necessary help to return to the game of learning..’
Importance of observational drawing
Drawing is an ideal way to break through habitual ways of thinking. All too often our students see but they do not look. Observational drawing has long been an important means for some teachers to develop deeper consciousness

in students – to assist students see through their habitual ways of seeing and to develop new awareness.’

Interactive teaching- the Learning in Science Project (LISP)
If we really believe students ‘construct’ their own ‘meanings’ from any experience then teachers need to value the ‘prior ideas’ , questions and theories their students have. Only then can they set about to challenge and help students change what they know and can do. Some of the best research in this process was completed in NZ in the 80s by researchers at Waikato University but has been, more or less, ignored by those in authority since.’
Organising the school day for 21st Century Teaching – the Craft of Teaching
‘Ideally classroom organisation should be based on helping students achieve in depth quality learning across the curriculum amplifying or uncovering, every student’s unique gifts and talents to ensure they have the skills to become lifelong learners.A close look at the daily classroom organisation/timetable is a sure way to get an idea of what is seen as important by the teacher – or the school.’
Valuing the individual differences and talents of all learner

Categories: Education