It may come as no surprise that the ideas that are top-of-mind for educators, parents, and policymakers are the very topics conveyed in the most popular MindShift posts this year. Giving kids the tools to create, teachers the freedom to innovate, making students’ work relevant in the real world, giving them access to valuable technology. These are the aspirations that have resonated most with MindShift readers this year. Here are the top 10 posts from 2012.
- Being able to use the Internet and operate computers is one thing, but it may be just as valuable to teach students how to code. Giving students an introduction to programming helps peel back the layers of what happens inside computers and how computers communicate with one another online. Programming knowledge, even at a very basic level, makes technology seem less magical and more manageable. Programming also teaches other important skills, including math and logic.
- So much about how and where kids learn has changed over the years, but the physical structure of schools has not. Looking around most school facilities — even those that aren’t old and crumbling – it’s obvious that so much of it is obsolete today, and yet still in wide use. Continue reading
In preparing students for the world outside school, what skills are important to learn? This goes to the heart of the research addressed in the Deeper Learning Report released by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science in Washington.
Simply defined, “deeper learning” is the “process of learning for transfer,” meaning it allows a student to take what’s learned in one situation and apply it to another, explained James Pellegrino, one of the authors of the report. “You can use knowledge in ways that make it useful in new situations,” he said in a recent webinar. “You have procedural knowledge of how, why, and when to apply it to answer questions and solve problems.”
To deconstruct the definition of deeper learning further, the researchers came up with what they call three domains of competence: cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal. Cognitive refers to reasoning and problem solving; intrapersonal refers to self-management, self-directedness, and conscientiousness; and interpersonal refers to expressing ideas and communicating and working with others.
“The kinds of tasks we need to assess take kids more time to enact and more time to score.”
These three broad competencies are related to each other, Pellegrino said, and there’s good evidence that shows they can lead to success in not only education, but also in career and health. In fact, conscientiousness is most highly correlated with successful outcomes.
If deeper learning is the ultimate goal, can it be taught? To a certain degree. But for educators to engage in deeper learning with students, researchers say they must begin with clear goals and let Continue reading