Future of Learning Top Reads for week of Oct 22 2018

Photo by  Rosie Kerr  on  Unsplash

Photo by Rosie Kerr on Unsplash

“ADHD, Creativity, and the Concept of Group Intelligence,” by Peter Gray, in Psychology Today

“Were the ADHD kids solving the problems themselves? Or were they contributing some unique insight that then helped the others solve the problems? Or were the ADHD kids, perhaps by way of their ‘disruptive behavior,’ loosening the thinking of the whole group, which improved everyone’s problem-solving ability?”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

As the author of this article goes on to say, “We think of intelligence as belonging to an individual person. We measure it in individuals and give it a number. Intelligence tests were first developed as a means of predicting school performance, and in schools, as we generally know them, problem-solving is almost always done by individuals, not by groups.”


As Jaime Casap, Google’s Chief Education Evangelist, has said, “We have set up education as a single player sport, but the reality is that it’s a team sport.”

Where does your school design opportunities for learners to make each other smarter?

In a similar vein…


“Different Kinds of Smart,” by Morgan Housel, on the Collaborative Fund blog

“ ‘Smart’ is the ability to solve problems. Solving problems is the ability to get stuff done. And getting stuff done requires way more than math proofs and rote memorization.

“Being an expert in economics would help you understand the world if the world were governed purely by economics. But it’s not. It’s governed by economics, psychology, sociology, biology, physics, politics, physiology, ecology, and on and on.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Just as cognitively diverse teams can produce creative answers and breakthroughs, we ought to encourage individual learners to think in ways that inter-, trans-, and even anti-disciplinary.

Note: It’s a lot easier to understand a problem through multiple lenses if you aren’t forced to learn in discipline-based silos all the time.


“Finding Clarity in Assessment and Grading,” by Laura Thomas, on Edutopia

“The word assessment comes from the Latin assidere, which means ‘to sit beside.’ When we assess, we’re simply gaining information about what a student knows and can do. We need to ensure that our methods for gaining that information are as valid and reliable as possible, which means we must be clear about what we expect students to know and be able to do, and we have to be certain that the tools we’re using don’t prevent students from really showing us that.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

Do we want to rank order students? Then let’s grade them.

Or do we want to develop students? Do we want to maximize each student’s potential? Then let’s use competency and mastery based approaches to assessment.

It’s remarkable how many schools jump to reforming their grading systems without considering whether grading might be the source of the problem.

The good news: The Mastery Transcript Consortium continues to make progress on a prototype of a mastery transcript, which will catalyze new approaches to assessment.


Question of the week:

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