This Week in Ontario Edublogs

When you take a course, learning does get tedious.  Most of the time, you know what’s next or can make a pretty good guess.  That’s helpful if you’re the type that likes to work ahead.  But when you’re learning by reading blogs, you never know where your next source of wisdom will surface.  Here’s some of what I tucked away from Ontario Educators this past week.


Being Gifted.. Poetry from Young People

Zoe Branigan-Pipe published a Google Slideshow of poetry from some of the Gifted students that she worked with.  I’ll admit that it was fascinating reading and worked my way through them slowly.  The students really shared some interesting insights.

She’s putting it all together into a book and there’s a link there for others to contribute and get involved.  I like the concept – call for crowd sourcing by seeding with some examples and then taking flight.  I hope that it works out for her and her students.


My Concerns With The Growth Mindset
The Fixed Mindset of Student A & Student B

Aviva Dunsiger stirred the pot, as she often does, by commenting on the Sketchnote from Sylvia Duckworth that I’d included earlier in the week in a blog post.

She particularly focuses in on the use of what she calls “Edu-lingo”.  That did generate a smile here since, without all this lingo, researchers and consultants leading workshops would be out of business.  Heck, bloggers would be too, I suspect.

I think that her concerns have an element of legitimacy to them and many educators feel the same although don’t use social media to share them.  In her post, she brings in a previous post from Brian Aspinall where he uses Student A and Student B to demonstrate what he sees as the difference between the two types of mindsets.  I get what he was trying to demonstrate but I see a danger in viewing/labelling students this way.  I don’t believe that any student completely fits the description that he calls Student A or Student B.  I think I need to flesh out my thoughts a little deeper than this and will probably do so this weekend.

If the terms “Fixed” and “Growth” really are offensive, then I would recommend going back to the original sketchnote and covering them with your finger.  Just read from each column.  I would then deny any educator to question the message.


Don’t Raise Your Hands Students

I had read the article, from Australia, on the same day as David Fife.  I immediately thought – Bueller?  Bueller?

This method has created some controversy and I can understand why. On the surface it does seem a bit extreme. The intent behind it may have some merit, but will it really help the struggling student, or will it just discourage them even more.

I think that the concept sends an important message beyond the simple raising of hands.  It digs into effective teaching practice.  I’m thinking of the huge (800) class sizes at university.  You didn’t ask questions – the prof might not know, the students were there because they forced, nobody liked being booed and hissed at for prolonging the agony.  The message was quite clear; save your questions for the grad student who runs the smaller study sessions.  The interaction there was far more effective because of the smaller, personalized groupings.

As a profession, we’ve tried all kinds of ways to make the traditional approach work and come to the conclusion that formal lecturing just doesn’t work for everyone.

Today, most teachers work in an environment where you do many things other than lecturing to a full class.  We know that it works better for all kinds of reasons.

In the comments, Sue Bruyns links to this as further evidence of how raising hands works – Instructional Strategies: Raising Hands in Class and the Outlier Effect.  It’s a good read and really extends David’s original thoughts.


Duty Calls

I’ll open this comment on Shaun Grant’s post with his concluding paragraph.

This is one of the best bait and switch posts I’ve read in some time.  I’ll admit, Grant, that you had me suckered in with your original thoughts and premise.  It’s a good read for all educators and then you need to draw your own conclusions.


I’ll bet you never saw all this learning coming.  Click through and read the entire thoughts from these great blog posts.  Thanks again, Ontario Edubloggers.

2 thoughts on “This Week in Ontario Edublogs

  1. Thanks for including my blog post here, Doug, along with some of my very favourite reads from this week! I can totally see what you’re saying in response to my post. I think that my bigger concern is not with the edu-lingo per se, but with the fact that sometimes people use the lingo without making the changes to practice. Do we maybe need to focus less on the lingo and more on the ideas? It also really concerns me that we want our students to have a “growth mindset,” but as educators, do we always have one (myself included)? I think of comments that I’ve made in the past, and how I could have said them differently or done something differently. The thing is, I really believe in showing students the power of perseverance, and this has been a HUGE focus in our classroom this year. I totally embrace the “growth mindset,” but I just wonder if there are some other questions that we need to consider. Thanks for helping me articulate my thoughts more!

    Aviva

    Like

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