Tag teachers

“We have put up too long with schools that are devoid of hope, humor & potential.” – Dominic Randolph on Rethinking Schools …*

Here are some excerpts from Dominic’s If I Were Secretary of State for Education post, which is a series of 41 articles written by leading international educationalists about what they would do if they were Secretary of State for Education in the UK. The articles were commissioned by the Sunday Times Festival of Education and Summerhouse Education, and sponsored by Pearson. Read them all at IfIwereSoSforEducation.tumblr.com.

*

I would tackle what I think are the three principal issues that plague educational systems in the UK and in much of the world: how we undervalue the work of teachers, how we undervalue the task of educating our young people and how vitally important it is, and how we undervalue the crucial necessity for supporting lifelong learning so that people have the opportunity to learn new knowledge and skills throughout their lives. Therefore, I would concentrate on vigorously reframing the place of schools in our culture by making schools the most exciting place to be in any given community, making them the core of communities.

. . . *

Schools would be places that would inspire and normalize intellectual development but also the development of character and good ethical decision-making. They would be places that are truly human and, rather than reducing people industrially to summative scores or grades, would encourage ongoing formative development of the full range of their capacities. They would be preventative care health centers. Schools would become the community resource center. People attending schools would develop their potential and grow. They would focus on the delta of their development in an ongoing way rather than measuring it statically at certain points.

. . . *

Making schools positive, productive and cool places at the heart of each community would be the aim. We have put up too long with schools that are devoid of hope, humour and potential. Starting a movement to change this reality and bring learning to the centre of what we are about could be a great dream for us all to have.

Read Dominic’s full post here.

imagine, reframe & rethink …

{ #IWishMyTeacherKnew } Empathy In Action In the Classroom …*

{ #IWishMyTeacherKnew } Empathy In Action In the Classroom ...* | rethinked.org

Screen Shot from Kyle Schwartz’s Twitter Timeline

 

A few months ago, I quoted a poignant observation found in an article written by Joshua Freedman who was reflecting on his own mistakes, notably his failures of empathy, in dealing with his son’s constant procrastination when it came to doing his homework.

Hopefully, tomorrow I’ll remember to take that all-important pause and ask myself: I wonder what’s really going on for him right now? That moment of curiosity is the doorway to empathy, and it’s a game changer.

Freedman’s article was published on Start Empathy, which is the blog of an Ashoka initiative dedicated to building a future in which every child masters empathy. Empathy is a critical component of thriving relationships and in an increasingly volatile environment of accelerating change, it is especially urgent that we help our children understand and activate their capacity for empathy. One of the most impactful ways to help children understand empathy is to model it ourselves in our interactions with them. It starts with listening and a genuine curiosity and openness to understanding each child’s point of view and experience. Which is exactly what Colorado teacher Kyle Schwartz does in her third grade classroom. Schwartz has been asking her students to finish the phrase, “I wish my teacher knew….” and after recently joining Twitter, she has been posting photographs of her students responses. The hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew is now being used by teachers everywhere. Here is a wonderful example of how easy and accessible it is to model and infuse empathy in the classroom. Bravo, Ms. Schwartz!

Source: What Poor Students Wished Their Teachers Knew About Them 

{ #IWishMyTeacherKnew } Empathy In Action In the Classroom ...* | rethinked.org

Screen Shot from Kyle Schwartz’s Twitter Timeline

{ #IWishMyTeacherKnew } Empathy In Action In the Classroom ...* | rethinked.org

Screen Shot from Kyle Schwartz’s Twitter Timeline

When Failure is Fearsome

_______________________________

I’ll never forget junior year of high school when I signed up for AP Chemistry, which was held at [a neighboring co-ed school]. Within a week I was in over my head. I went running to Mrs. Gordon, the Upper School head, to drop the class.

She said something to me that was quite correct, but not at all strategically worded: Failing at something would be good for you.

HA! I hightailed it out of her office — and out of that class.

______________________________

That’s a comment I posted last week to a Facebook conversation with several classmates from high school. It started as a discussion of Carol Dweck’s research on mindset and its relevance to raising confident daughters. Almost immediately the conversation shifted to our own childhood struggles with confidence. Specifically, we shared how particular events at our all-girls school — usually comments by teachers — influenced our identities and senses of self, for better and for worse.

Though our 6-way conversation hardly constituted a scientific sampling, two striking themes emerged in every classmate’s comments:

One was that a piece of the confidence we have today as 40-year-olds can be traced back to the one or two teachers who saw us for who we felt we were. One classmate called these teachers her “game changers.”

The second theme was less affirming. Our perception of being typecast by teachers — through underestimation as well as overestimation — had negative implications for all of us, often persisting well past our school years.

Furthermore, that perception of being typecast — which sometimes had its roots in the comments of a single adult — revolved around two inverse experiences: each of us felt branded as either a consistent struggler or a consistent achiever. 

Those who were typecast as strugglers felt marked by the expectation of failure and so developed significant self-doubt. Only over time did they begin to see themselves as capable and restore their intellectual self-confidence. Those who were typecast as achievers felt marked by the expectation of success and so developed an acute fear of failure. Only over time did they learn to distinguish self-worth from performance and develop some tolerance for risk.

Mrs. Gordon was right. Failure at something would have been good for me, but there was no way on earth I was ready to risk it back then. Failure was to be avoided at all costs.

Mrs. Gordon offered no context for why I should entertain the idea of embracing the risk of failure. By the time I raced into her office in junior year, I had long operated under the belief that education is about performance and therefore the student’s job is to perform well. As a student, I was all about avoiding risks, so I had little grasp of the fact that genuine learning and genuine growth inherently carry risks.

Things might have worked out differently had I been able to appreciate that. I suspect that Dominic Randolph’s intriguing delta mapping proposal — ways of charting change over time — would have helped tremendously in my case. Educators who champion growth and change as well as performance help provide the context I needed to comprehend advice like Mrs. Gordon’s.

For all of today’s talk about “reframing failure,” are we as educators doing measurably better than Mrs. Gordon did, twenty-plus years ago? How might we create authentically teachable moments around failure? How might we create contexts in which students can experience “failure” as a real opportunity for deeper iteration, exploration, and understanding?

Educators, Rethink…* Your Assumptions About School To Become More Effective, Engaging & Fulfilled Teachers

One of life’s greatest pleasures, in my opinion, is the discovery of a simple idea that enables you to completely rethink…* and reappraise your understanding of yourself and the world. Not that the actual rethinking…*process is always pleasurable; it has been my experience that change comes with its fair share of growing pains. But once you have put in the hard work, and developed a deep and multilayered understanding of the idea, made it yours and truly changed your perspective to a new, richer and more nuanced vision of yourself and your reality, there is a special type of intense joy that comes from recognizing the extreme power and impact of simple and elegant thoughts. Carol Dweck‘s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success– How We Can Learn To Fulfill Our Potential, provided me with such an opportunity for deep, assumption-shattering rethinking…* Dweck, who is a psychologist at Stanford University, has focused her research on achievement and success and elaborated a simple yet extremely impactful idea: success and fulfilling, engaging lives are linked to whether we approach our goals and existence with a fixed mindset–the belief that intelligence and personality traits are fixed, which leads to a desire to look effortlessly endowed and a primary framework of judgement for evaluating experience–or with a growth mindset–the belief that intelligence and character can be developed, which leads to a desire to learn and a framework of growth. Mindset, is a veritable treasure trove of powerful rethinking…* prompts and simple actionable advice which I will write about more fully in future posts. But for now, I’d like to share a passage that I came across earlier today which made me want to howl with recognition:

How can growth-mindset teachers be so selfless, devoting untold hours to the worst students? Are they just saints? Is it reasonable to expect that everyone can become a saint? The answer is that they’re not entirely selfless. They love to learn. And teaching is a wonderful way to learn. About people and how they tick. About what you teach. About yourself. And about life.

Fixed-mindset teachers often think of themselves as finished products. Their role is simply to impart their knowledge. But doesn’t that get boring year after year? Standing before yet another crowd of faces and imparting. Now, that’s hard.

Seymour Sarason was a professor of mine when I was in graduate school. He was a wonderful educator, and he always told us to question assumptions. “There’s an assumption,” he said, “that schools are for students’ learning. Well, why aren’t they just as much for teachers’ learning?”  I never forgot that. In all of my teaching, I think about what I find fascinating and what I would love to learn more about. I use my teaching to grow, and that makes me, even after all these years, a fresh and eager teacher.

Source: Dweck, Carol. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – How We Can Learn To Fulfill Our Potential. New York: Ballantine Books, 2008. Print.

This is exactly what rethinked…* is about–we are an autonomous, innovation team whose mission is to help students and teachers question their assumptions and rethink…* their practices to optimize their learning and teaching and experience more fluid, nourishing, and engaging lives. We’ve worked with IDEO to explore the ways in which design thinking could be applied to K12 to optimize the learning and teaching experiences. We’ve worked with the Rotman School of Management to see how integrative thinking could be leveraged in rethinking…* education. We’ve partnered with Martin Seligman and Angela Duckworth to integrate principles of positive psychology into the curriculum to teach character strengths such as grit and gratitude. But at the end of the day, all of these methods are just tools that we employ to rethink…* our doing and, just as importantly, iterate our questioning. Tools are lifeless, their impact comes from the purpose for which they are used and from the people who use them. And people are complex, multilayered beings ruled by their assumptions. By using different tools we broaden our field of inquiry, we try on new perspectives from which to evaluate our assumptions and in the process, we continue to refine our questions about what it means to thrive in our lives and learning. How? is a very important question–without it, nothing would get done, ideas would remain intangible, non actionable and therefore unimpactful. But why? must come first and it must infuse the process of iterating the how?

Ultimately, we’re not looking for definitive, all encompassing answers. Rather, we aim to keep moving towards more salient iterations of the age old question: what is the good life for man and how do we get there? And through our evolving questioning, to discover simple, impactful hacks such as the one proposed by Dr. Sarason– reframing how we approach teaching by questioning assumptions about school and rethinking…* their purpose with a simple question–to empower as many people as we can to take control of their experiences and learning and enjoy fluid, playful and fulfilling lives.

Check out Joy’s post, What Do We Assume About School and Learning? and try to see how many different ways you can rethink…* the assumptions he’s collected.

Friday Link Fest…*

Friday Link Fest...* | rethinked.org | photograph by Elsa Fridman

“Everything is sculpture. Any material, any idea without hindrance born into space, I consider sculpture.” -Isamu Noguchi

READ

It’s Summertime: Let’s Play! ~ The benefits of play are great — more far-reaching than just helping kids blow off steam or get a little physical exercise. In addition to helping kids learn to self-regulate, studies show that child-led, unstructured play (with or without adults) promotes intellectual, physical, social, and emotional well-being. Unstructured play helps children learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts, to regulate their emotions and behavior, and to speak-up for themselves. via Greater Good Science Center, published July 15, 2013.

“We Have a Responsibility to Awe” ~ Jason Silva’s new passion project – “Shots of Awe.”  A TestTube series about what it means to be ALIVE – these 2-minute videos are like little jolts of caffeine right to the frontal lobe. via The Wonderist, published May 30, 2013.

Facilitating Group Problem Solving in High Schools ~ If you’re a designer interested in teaching in the high school classroom, or you’re just thinking about bringing student-led problem solving into your classroom or community group, try the following best practices we discovered during our pilot of frog’s Collective Action Toolkit (CAT) in high schools, in partnership with Savannah College of Art and Design’s (SCAD) Design for Sustainability program, Design Ethos, Gatorball Academy, and teachers and classes at Beach, Groves, and Savannah High Schools. via Design Mind, published July 18, 2013.

Turning waste into building blocks of the future city ~ Modern cities create vast quantities of waste. But rather than causing a crisis, could these overflowing landfills help create urban landscapes of the future? In the third of Building Tomorrow’s expert viewpoints, urban designer Mitchell Joachim looks at ways our trash can be turned into treasure. via BBC Future, published May 28, 2013.

How To Schedule Your Day For Peak Performance ~ Are you a certified organizational ninja? It’s okay, nobody is–so steal this idea from career kickstarter Amber Rae, who shares her “Work, Play, Fit, Push” framework for getting things done while staying inspired.  via FastCompany, published April 17, 2013.

Roger Martin on Designing in Hostile Territory ~ You don’t need anyone’s permission to think like a designer. But there are five things you need to do if you want to be effective in a “design-unfriendly organization.” via Business Week, published November 16, 2013.

Unlock Your Creative Genius: 4 Steps To Being Provocative With A Purpose ~ In his book, Unthink: Rediscover Your Creative Genius, Erik Wahl says that “purposeful provocation” should be a part of our personal and professional lives, every single day. Here are the four steps he suggests we need to take to inject a healthy disorder to remain progressive: via FastCompany, published July 17, 2013.

5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits That Stick ~ In our day-to-day lives, habits can often be tough to build, as there are plenty of distractions that can lead us off the “straight and narrow” and right back to our old ways. To alleviate some of those troubles we can examine some academic research on motivation, discipline, and habit building, and break down their findings into actionable steps that any aspiring habit-builder can put into place. via 99u, published July 17, 2013.

LOOK

To Encourage Sharing And Reading, Creative Places Free Books On Subways ~ In her project ‘Books on the Underground’,  London-based creative Hollie Belton, leaves books at subway stations and on trains on the London Underground network—where they are to be taken, read, shared and enjoyed. via Design Taxi, published July 18, 2013.

Technology Is a Tool, Not a Learning Outcome ~hand-drawn image by author Bill Ferriter on the role that technology should play in teaching and learning spaces. via MindShift, published July 12, 2013.

LIFE at Lascaux: Early Color Photos From Another World ~ via TIME, published January 23, 2012.

The faces of education: stunning photos from the classrooms around the world Julian Germain started his “Classroom Portraits” series in 2004 in North East England, and since then he’s been everywhere from the Middle East, to Africa, to North and South America capturing the spirit, students, and visual culture of school rooms around the world.~ via GOOD, published July 17, 2013.

16 Real Modern Technologies Predicted by Inspector Gadget ~ Vanity Fair sifted through Inspector Gadget’s 86 episodes to see what this crystal ball of technology foretold. The results are a surprising collection of then fantastical products and concepts that we couldn’t imagine living without today. But perhaps the most forward-thinking model might be the show’s core relationship: a computer-obsessed child doing her best to explain technology to her forever clueless parental figure.via Vanity Fair, published July 11, 2013.

Villagers ‘Grow’ Bridges Using Vines And Roots To Cross Rivers ~ In the state of Meghalaya, India, villagers have been directing tree roots and vines to ‘build’ bridges for 500 years. By using hollowed out tree trunks, they guide these plants to the other side of the river and allow them to take root. In a region which receives much rain, it is counter-intuitive to make a bridge out of wood planks as the wood will rot. The natural solution was to use the surrounding plants as they would strengthen over time. via Design Taxi, published July 16, 2013.

WATCH

Sir Ken Robinson on How to Find your Element ~ Finding one’s passion and true purpose in life is essential to human flourishing. via RSA, published July 5, 2013.

What Happens When You Let Artists Play With San Francisco’s Trash ~ Trash can be beautiful. Just take a look at Recology San Francisco’s Artist in Residence Program, which lets professional and student artists run wild with the waste management company’s garbage. via FastCo.Exist, published July 19, 2013.

Martí Guixé: Food as an object of mass production ~ From a hands-free lollipop to a cake that displays its ingredients in pie-chart form, Martí Guixé’s work challenges perceptions of reality. The Catalonian designer works with food as an object of mass production, often creating interactive experiences. Working across food, platform and system design, Guixé’s work is often playful – like the parties he had to get partygoers to help him decorate retail interiors! via Design Indaba, published March 29, 2013.

The 7 Essential Life Skills ~ Ellen Galinsky on the 7 essential skills–focus & self-control; perspective taking; communicating; making connections; critical thinking; taking on challenges; self-directed, engaged learning–humans need to keep learning and growing throughout the lifespan. via BigThink, published July 18, 2013.

5 Great under 6 minutes TED Talks for Teachers ~ via Education Technology & Mobile Learning, published July 16, 2013.

Sir Ken Robinson on the 3 Principles By Which Human Life Flourishes & What That Means For Education…*

“There are three principles on which human life flourishes and they are contradicted by the culture of education under which most teachers have to labor and most students have to endure.”

In this insightful and brilliantly delivered talk, which first aired on the TED TV special on education, produced with PBS, Sir Ken Robinson highlights three principles by which human life flourishes and the implications that these principles have for learning and teaching practices. Robinson notes some of the various ways in which America’s education culture contradicts these critical principles and then goes on to offer some suggestions on how to better align our educational system and culture to these inherent principles of human flourishing.

The three principles that Robinson identifies are:

1. Human beings are naturally different and diverse ~ “Kids prosper best with a broad curriculum that celebrates their various talents, not just a small range of them.”

2. Curiosity is the engine of achievement ~ “If you can light the spark of curiosity in a child, they will learn without any further assistance, very often. Children are natural learners.”

3. Human life is inherently creative ~  “It’s why we all have different résumés. We create our lives, and we can recreate them as we go through them. It’s the common currency of being a human being. It’s why human culture is so interesting and diverse and dynamic.”

Drawing from the practices of high-performing educational systems across the world, Robinson highlights three trends of real-life applications of these principles to actual teaching and learning practices which lead to greater engagement and more effective learning:

1.  They individualize teaching and learning. They recognize that it’s students who are learning and the system has to engage them, their curiosity, their individuality, and their creativity. That’s how you get them to learn.

2. They attribute a very high status to the teaching profession. They recognize that you can’t improve education if you don’t pick great people to teach and if you don’t keep giving them constant support and professional development. Investing in professional development is not a cost. It’s an investment.

3. They devolve responsibility to the school level for getting the job done. You see, there’s a big difference here between going into a mode of command and control in education. [Learning] happens in classrooms and schools, and the people who do it are the teachers and the students, and if you remove their discretion, it stops working. You have to put it back to the people.

 

highlights }

 

The drop out crisis is just the tip of an iceberg, what it doesn’t count are all the kids who are in school but being disengaged from it–who don’t enjoy it, who don’t get any real benefit from it.

Education, under No Child Left Behind, is based on not diversity but conformity. What schools are encouraged to do is find out what kids can do across a very narrow spectrum of achievement. One of the effects of No Child Left Behind, has been to narrow the focus on to the so-called STEM disciplines. They’re very important; I’m not here to argue against Science and Math. On the contrary, they’re necessary but they’re not sufficient. A real education has to give equal weight to the Arts, the Humanities, to Physical Education.

By the way, the Arts aren’t just important because they improve Math scores, they’re important because they speak to parts of children’s being which are otherwise untouched.

There is no system in the world or any school in the country that is better than its teachers. Teachers are the lifeblood of the success of schools. But teaching is a creative profession. Teaching, properly conceived, is not a delivery system. You know, you’re not there just to pass on received information. Great teachers do that, but what great teachers also do is mentor, stimulate, provoke, engage. You see, in the end, education is about learning. If there’s no learning going on, there’s no education going on. And people can spend an awful lot of time discussing education without ever discussing learning. The whole point of education is to get people to learn.

You can say, “There’s Deborah, she’s in room 34, she’s teaching.” But if nobody’s learning anything, she may be engaged in the task of teaching but not actually fulfilling it.

The role of a teacher is to facilitate learning. That’s it. And part of the problem is, I think, that the dominant culture of education has come to focus on not teaching and learning, but testing. Now, testing is important. Standardized tests have a place. But they should not be the dominant culture of education. They should be diagnostic. They should help.

So in place of curiosity, what we have is a culture of compliance. Our children and teachers are encouraged to follow routine algorithms rather than to excite that power of imagination and curiosity.

We all create our own lives through this restless process of imagining alternatives and possibilities, and what one of the roles of education is to awaken and develop these powers of creativity. Instead, what we have is a culture of standardization.

The point is that education is not a mechanical system. It’s a human system. It’s about people, people who either do want to learn or don’t want to learn. Every student who drops out of school has a reason for it which is rooted in their own biography. They may find it boring. They may find it irrelevant. They may find that it’s at odds with the life they’re living outside of school. There are trends, but the stories are always unique.

Right beneath the surface are these seeds of possibility waiting for the right conditions to come about, and with organic systems, if the conditions are right, life is inevitable. It happens all the time. You take an area, a school, a district, you change the conditions, give people a different sense of possibility, a different set of expectations, a broader range of opportunities, you cherish and value the relationships between teachers and learners, you offer people the discretion to be creative and to innovate in what they do, and schools that were once bereft spring to life.

The real role of leadership in education — and I think it’s true at the national level, the state level, at the school level — is not and should not be command and control. The real role of leadership is climate control, creating a climate of possibility. And if you do that, people will rise to it and achieve things that you completely did not anticipate and couldn’t have expected.

 

Enjoy & rethink…

Ken Robinson: How to escape education’s death valley via TED.com, published May 2013.

“TED Talks Education” Tonight ( May 7, 2013 ) at 10/9 c on PBS

TED Talk Education  {Screen Shot}

 

Be sure to tune in to PBS at 10/9 c tonight for TED’s first-ever original television broadcast special:

TED Talks Education, hosted by John Legend, premieres May 7, 2013 at 10/9 c on PBS. Public television and TED, the non-profit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, share a deep commitment to addressing the high school dropout crisis. The TED Talks Education one-hour program brings together a diverse group of teachers and education advocates delivering short, high-impact talks on the theme of teaching and learning. These original TED Talks are given by thought leaders including Geoffrey Canada, Bill Gates, Rita F. Pierson and Sir Ken Robinson. TED Talks Education is part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate Initiative

Other notable speakers featured in the one-hour special include: Pearl Arredondo, Founder, San Fernando Institute for Applied Media; Malcolm London, Chicago poet; Ramsey Musallam, Chemistry teacher and blended learning specialist; and one of our favorites…*, grit expert Dr. Angela Lee DuckworthAssistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania.

Here is the preview for tonight’s programming:

Watch TED Talks Education Preview on PBS. See more from TED Talks Education.

And for those of you too excited to wait until tonight, here is Rita Pierson’s talk: “Build Relationships With Your Students

Watch Rita Pierson: Build Relationships With Your Students on PBS. See more from TED Talks Education.

 

Enjoy & rethink…*

[H/T] TED Teams Up With PBS on Ideas for Education ~ via New York Times, published May 5, 2013

rethinkED Math Workshop: Topics in Teaching Math



On Friday January 11th a group of math teachers and administrators stayed after school, the first week back of school no less, to participate in a math workshop.  The workshop was led and organized by the rethinkED team with a guest presentation from Jed Silverstein, upper school English teacher, a session led by the tech integration team and a sessions designed by the rethinkED team.

The workshops came out of interviews with a handful of the math faculty at Riverdale. Through in-depth interviews, the rethinkED team captured a few themes they then developed drawing on some design thinking techniques. The team shared a list of proposed topics with the math faculty and administrators asking for feedback and to rank the workshops. The top-ranked workshops were chosen based on the math teachers’ feedback.

With the dusk falling, teachers sustained themselves with cheese and wine as they listened to TED talks, participated in debates, and designed prototypes of ideas. Cross-grade and cross-subject collaboration was encouraged.

 

http://media.nola.com/education_impact/photo/akili-huddlejpg-f1a80e50a72a9987_large.jpg

The first session was called the Creating the You-Can-Do-It Problem.The workshop involved an introductory TED talk, a discovery phase, and ideation and prototype phases with time for reflection. Out of the conversations, teachers brought up the question of transferability of a real life problems into the classroom. At times a real life problem may be difficult to talk about in terms of the specific math terms being developed. On the plus side, real life problems were seen as being high on the the relatability scale–something that greatly increases student engagement. Another issue raised was the engagement and fun of real world problems as being antithetical to the pressure of the college tests and preparation for next year.

The second session involved two workshops, one on Guided Student Teaching, with an intro from Jed Silverstein on some of the work he has done in his humanities classes. Jed often has students teach portions of his humanities classes so that they can learn and ask questions about the material as a teacher might. Well aware of the difference of content between humanities and math, Jed sought to find similarities across disciplines. The other workshop occurring simultaneously was led by the Tech Integration Team, who offered a tour through iPad apps geared towards middle and upper school math courses. A highlight was the ipad version of wolfram alpha which allowed students and teachers to see various different ways of solving a single problem.

The workshop ended on a high note, with buzzing energy past 6 pm on a Friday and plans to implement ideas and keep the conversation going. The rethinkED team will follow-up individually with math teachers, both through interviews and observations. There is talk of organizing a similar workshop in the spring. Stay tuned!

rethinkED moving forward

rethinkED

HIGH-IMPACT MOBILE CREW

We are not just any dispatched squad. We are a team committed to affirming permission to fail, harnessing creativity, and building character. We work with teachers by coming to them, building solutions out of their ideas and our shared brainstorming. We draw on philosophy, design science, engineering, technology, and–oh yes–the elusive imagination.

Why the need for the team?

In an age of standardized testing, the burgeoning sense of failure, and the need to control teachers instead of enabling them and the creative insight of their work, we are a cross boundary relief squad, parachuted in to unify, stabilize, and re-invigorate.

CHARACTER CREATIVITY CHANGE

The pace of change today is momentous. Between Wolfram Alpha and Aurasma, NoTosh and Nueva School, the models and possibilities are limitless–from high-touch to high-tech, from start-ups in high school to robotics in kindergarten. Building long-term memory, using iPads for world languages, incorporating e-portfolios, metacognition through self-evaluation, seeing character as the foundation for education reform, implementing visual thinking strategies–we draw on design thinking, integrative thinking, mindset research, and character development, to name just a few of the tool kits we pull from. The landscape is changing, the mountain of discovery looms vast and high, and yet we show the footholds are the same. We need to trust ourselves, breathe deep, and embrace the multiplicity.

Why the journey terms?

Education is a journey of discovery. And our compasses as educators guide us as we find new tools to instruct and teach our students. The rethinkED team is part-explorer, pioneering the edges of the abyss, part-Bernese Mountain Dog, helping others along with us. We are boundary crossers, a mountain rescue team on a mission to find, reinvigorate and sustain human learning in its most robust forms. Along the way we draw on tools, unearth the research to back them, the ability to manipulate them, and the time to play and lead the way.

RESEARCH INTERDISCIPLINARY PARTNERSHIP

The rethinkED team is a pilot, a first year model, i.e. we’re getting down, dirty, messy, testing the waters, experimenting. Coupled with that, we hold ourselves to a high level of accountability to the teachers we work with to finish a job, make it a job well done, and present all promised deliverables into re-usable finished products. Why? The rethinkED team is in the build-out phase of a public-private model that brings together top-tier education research institutions with surrounding public and private schools through a mobile team. For the long term: create reusable case studies, road maps, resource sites, dialogue platforms, and spaces for experimentation that cross disciplines and boundaries to catalyze educators into the future.

Who are we?

We are graduate students in one of the top-ranked schools of education in the world. We are people going deep, very deep, into a field of study, who have experience teaching and advising students as well as teaching teachers. We work across languages, and our backgrounds cross international waters. We are, as Tim Brown termed it, T people: we go deep into specialties and wide across disciplines. We are not engineers, scientists, designers, business executives, or economists. We are educators. But our expertise and understanding runs far and wide and we are able to access the knowledge bases of these many sectors, and leverage, as educators, the knowledge to create. something. great.

LEARNING.

rethinked, rethought.

join us.

Rethinked’s…* Dominic Randolph on Design Thinking for Educators: Short Documentary on His Collaboration with Ideo

 

Dominic Randolph, rethinker…* extraordinaire and Head of Riverdale Country School, won a grant in 2012 from the E. Ford Foundation to teach Design Thinking to Educators and to spread its adaption and implementation across the country. This seven-minute film documents Dominic’s collaboration with legendary design firm, Ideo. A collaboration which resulted in the DesignThinkingForEducators.com website and deep, collective rethinking about the nature of teaching, learning and design at the Riverdale Country School while amplifying and nurturing the global conversation about what it means to teach and learn in the 21st century.

Enjoy & Rethink…*

Design Thinking for Educators – Dominic Randolph from paul dewey on Vimeo, published November 6, 2012.

 

%d bloggers like this: