Shifting Paradigms

A colleague at my school attended the AVID teacher-training conference this summer and shared this video with us.  She suggested that we watch and discuss it at our upcoming retreat as a springboard for conversations about how to increase collaboration among our students and shifting some of our goals for ourselves as educators.

Not a bad idea…

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5 thoughts on “Shifting Paradigms

  1. A great presentation and I agree with him about trying to reach kids in ways that don’t necessitate medication, but he lost me with the divergent thinking section of the talk. Humans are open to divergence in baby hood so that they can adapt and specialize in the skills that have promoted their tribe’s survival. I’m not convinced that their loss of mental flexibility isn’t biological, just as children can’t learn a new language accent free after 12 years. How does he know that evolution hasn’t favored a redirection of mental resources with maturity?

    Also, he never tied this brave new world back to employ-ability. Are it nice, would the author be willing to tie his own house payment to the earning ability of the students of this new method? How does this new, non-indusrial era model put food in my kids mouth and protect him from the predatory bankster class?

    • I think the point is the old ‘guarantee’ of education -> employment isn’t true anymore so we need to try something new. The industrial era model may not put food on your kids mouths anyway.

      Also, whether or not our ability to think outside the box decreases with age shouldn’t we encourage that ability? Looking back it seems like the big problems facing the world were solved/addressed by outside the box ideas.

  2. Many of the ideas here ring true for me as I think about my classroom and our curriculum – particularly the idea of being a kid in 2011. Our students’ lives inside school (books, paper, pencil, rows, quiet, alone, boredom) as compared to outside school (stimulation, collaboration, video games, TV, txt) are completely different. Schools and classrooms need to move into the present as we prepare kids for a future that we cannot possibly predict. “Teaching Digital Natives” by Mark Prensky does a good job of at least starting to think about this idea and what it could look like.

  3. @Jenny: I definitely agree with you that he makes this assumption that its our education system, and only our education system, which is responsible for the decreasing number of tested ‘geniuses’ in older age brackets. My two-year-old has a far better memory than I do, so either he’s a genius and I’m not, or there’s something about cognitive science that’s missing from the analysis.
    @Ian: Thanks for another great resource. I need to get reading! I’m hoping this year to make some major changes in my expectations for how students will learn from and communicate with technology.

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