Day 64 (of 185) @LearningForward with thanks to @hargreavesbc @michaelfullan1 @pasi_sahlberg

Day 64 (of 185) @LearningForward with thanks to @hargreavesbc @michaelfullan1 @pasi_sahlberg 

This conference is a big deal. In shear numbers, the auditorium was overwhelming! 16 countries represented at the conference! It was amazing to be able to present (with fellow self-regulation champion @laurapaiement ) on self-regulation and anxiety (as shared yesterday: )

First time doing a co-presentation! Nice to practice sharing strategies!

And the networking was amazing – seeing some members from my Professional Learning Network for quick hellos and having some strangers (friends I haven’t met yet….!) come up to say hi as well. One of my first encounters was someone who meant to say hi at our recent @bcpvpa chapter council who thanked me for my recent TEDx Talk at West Vancouver that was also on anxiety:

Quick takeaways that I like:
Affirmative or Growth Feedback (being specific to reinforce +ves beyond ” I liked ____”
Also, the lineup of keynote speakers is amazing as well: 

Andy & Michael (Hargreaves & Fullan)
I’ve seen these two education theorists as individuals (even sat next to Andy Hargreaves for lunch at an event) but not together (but I’ve heard great things). 

PLD – Professional Learning Development – more than just a day at a conference, but how you grow both personally and professionally. 

The flawed case for PLD

Not just PLD – yes/no
Needs collaboration (but being aware that not all collaboration is good)

Imposed vs autonomy (discussions around “worth”)
– each and every teacher and principal (no isolation – autonomous does not mean isolated)

– Professional expertise through reflective practice and feedback – autonomy WITH collaboration – each when/as appropriate

– Collaborate to improve learning and achievement of all students

The case against PLD…..unprofessional ignorance and atrophy! and….connected to costs – misdirected argument against PLD 

– do as much with less (ie BC salaries lower than other provinces = reduce other salaries….and done globally….) we can’t make things better, but may stay at same “level” with less invest,net

– Don’t learn and develop; Evaluate and select (achievement results based on standard test scores do not reveal whole picture – US teachers develop a LOT in first three years and less after… do you ‘let them go’ after that OR compared knowing nothing to something -big gain- and refining/enhancing in later years

– Collaboration is overrated (easy to find bad examples and then generalize those) 

Student & Teacher Well Being

– Bad old pedagogy- get rid of (teacher at front/no discussions)

– Good old pedagogy – keep (relationships)

– Bad new pedagogy – identify (shiny objects)

– Good new pedagogy – foster (question/passion based learning)

Deep Learning:

– student drive 

– Activist (real problems in real time)

– Purposeful

6Cs not new…..but integration has been:

“The student as a change agent”

“Engage the world to change the world” 

Today…not an abstract future

ie everybody matters – might have an amazing teacher, but the bus driver is the first & last school community person many students see each day. Relationships matter. 

Moving from “my students” to “our students” – classroom –> school; school as part of district (not school vs school); district as part of larger region

Collective efficacy: working with students and whatever needs that had to create conditions to learn (exemplar: building a climbing wall for school whose students needed to climb)

Pasi Sahlberg
Challenges in education;
mis-connecting information such as pisa results to “costs” of education in different countries…..but depends on the evidence – when compared to GDP, norway/denmark/sweden spending more actual % than US

Argument is to spend “more” on education – esp early childhood….

Talk about “Digital Natives” 

Mac Prensky: “Our students have changed radically. Todays students are no longer the people our education system was designed to teach. There is a belief that todays learners (digital natives) are creative problem-solvers……yet Science achievement (on int’l tests) have not increased over the years… fun video share: CB Awards 2014 – Radio 1 – The Peanut Experiment –

Maybe it’s more: Digital immersion changes the way children think and process information (aka learn)
And interesting timing that today the OECD released the newest PISA information:

Recently the US has made “the greatest gains” in equity of education in recent years. Canada remains a “heavenly place” when talking about equity and quality….along with some ‘other countries” Estonia Japan and Finland <— the ‘big 4’ (was 5, but Korea dropped) with the exception of some outliers, there is essentially a “stairway to heaven”….the high performers that are often admired. And an interesting note on Singapore that has a high quality, but low equity of education system. 

Compared to 2012, some countries are struggling….without focusing on equity, there will be a loss in education performance

So….Mind the Data… we need to be careful of the use of “data” – as with most data, it is possible to manipulate it….there can be correlations that don’t really connect – ie Ice Cream Consumption and PISA results can be eerily similar…..and even an Interesting study of mathematicians -common image from 10 year olds: always male. never married. <— why would anyone want to be a mathematician?? AND how do they get this image? This study on “small data” gets very specific to identify answers to specific questions

Lessons from around the world
1. Collaboration before competition

2. Let the children play (ie nordic countries don’t start “school” until age 7)

3. Build trust and social capital

4. Equity with excellence

And in a follow up – don’t take the test data (esp for rankings) as gospel….Be wary that there are standard-errors to be considering….being 10th means could actually be 7th….or 13th….

Other interestings: formal learning “done” at age 16. But courses matter (vocational and academic) with assessments based on teacher/class

Also no letters/numbers until students know what they mean (essentially grade 5/6) –> changes everything – also why assessment/evaluation is critical in training. But law says there needs to be a grade by G9 to help determine which schools they go to after “basic” schooling done

And looping. Students and teachers together for multiple years….reinforced by a slideshow:

Re free play: provide all the safety necessary, but not all the safety possible. And reminded me of some of my thinking about “deep play”
– 60 minute lesson: 15 mins of this given to children (their own time) a “finnovation” – biggest issue: parents who see the 15+15+etc of “breaks” as wasting time and wondering how we would “make the time” up?

Need to communicate that teaching is a complex process. Not “just anyone” can go in front of a class and teach (despite what Teach For America tries to do). We need to use our words. They are the strongest weapons we have to share what we believe….what we know.  If we want to improve understanding and supports for education, we have to educate the ones who make the decisions….

About technolandy

Principaling on the Pacific in Powell River BC Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback to personalize learning!
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