Wednesday, September 28, 2016

John Thompson: Let's Hope NOVA's Hopeful View of The School of the Future Is Right | Huffington Post

Let's Hope NOVA's Hopeful View of The School of the Future Is Right | Huffington Post - Linkis.com:

Let’s Hope NOVA’s Hopeful View of The School of the Future Is Right

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NOVA’s The School of the Future is an excellent and intriguing contribution to the Public Broadcast System’s back-to-school special reports. The first third of the report hit the right balance between state of the art cognitive science, the long-established body of research on neuroscience which can inform educational practice, and the facts of life in public schools. Pamela Cantor, director ofTurnaround for Children, drew on our understanding of neuroplasticity and the damage done by chronic stress to explain why children need schools where they feel safe. Her organization has done great work towards creating positive learning environments where children are praised and benefit from collaborative practices such as “turn and talk,” that build on their strengths.
NOVA then synthesized the long-admired work of Carol Dweck on the “growth mindset” with the more recent research of Angela Duckworth on the “psychology of effort.” The role of tests, that have no stakes attached, and other science-based learning practices, were explored by Mark McDaniel and Roddy Roediger. (During my last year in the classroom teaching GED to TANF recipients and prison inmates, I incorporated several of their recommendations into my classes, and they seemed to be helpful.) Todd Rose argued for real personalized learning, as opposed to the faux “personalized” learning which strips the human dimension from instruction.
As usual, Sal Kahn emphasized the positive potential of digital learning. Fortunately, NOVA also voiced questions as to whether the technology will be scaled up constructively but, inexplicably, it did not address the single biggest reason why its potential may not be realized. If the brutal, test-driven, charter-driven culture of competition persists, the incentives are to misuse so-called “personalized” learning as a “drill and kill” tool to “juke the stats,” or make accountability metrics look better. 

My complaint with NOVA’s synthesis on the future of learning is that it failed to mention dangerous prospects of charter schools, and other true believers in data, who want to grade students on their “grit,” and/or use lessons learned through Let's Hope NOVA's Hopeful View of The School of the Future Is Right | Huffington Post - Linkis.com:


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