Future of Learning Top Reads for week of Jan 28 2019


In honor of Black History Month, I will be sharing Twitter profiles for black educators whom I admire and from whom I learn constantly. (Twitter is, by far, the best PLN out there… and it’s free.)

What black educators do you follow? Please let us know!

Kaleb Rashad, Director, High Tech High

If you are interested in project-based learning, High Tech High is the Mecca; and if you’re interested in project-based learning that accounts for equity, justice, inclusion, and pluralism, then you need to follow Kaleb Rashad on Twitter.

And if you ever have the opportunity to meet Kaleb in person, take it. He is pure positive energy, intellectual curiosity and creativity, and deep purpose.

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“Sir Ken Robinson: How to Create a Culture For Valuable Learning,” by Katrina Schwartz, on KQED

“The other central tenet of today’s education system is compliance, which Robinson sees best reflected in the testing industry, a multibillion dollar business.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

There are at least 4 types of learning cultures:

  1. Compliance: “I’ll do what you tell me to do. My goal is to avoid negative feedback and consequences.”

  2. Cooperation: “Tell me (us) what to do because I know it will be good for me (us). My (our) goal is to get praise and good grades.”

  3. Collaboration: “Give us a problem to solve and let us figure out how to solve it. Our goal is learn through constructive feedback.”

  4. Creation: “This is what matters to us and this is what we plan to do about it. Our goal is learn through constructive feedback.”

As you might suspect, there is a big difference between culture 1 + 2 (“consumer” mindsets) and cultures 3 + 4 (“creator” mindsets).

In a rapidly changing environment in which everyone needs to spot problems and solve them as part of a team, educating for compliance and cooperation is a kiss of death.

Which leaves one question…

What are you doing to educate for collaboration and creation?

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“The Threat and Opportunity of Lifelong Learning,” by John Hagel from the Deloitte Center for the Edge, on the Edge Perspectives blog

“No matter how smart any one individual is, that person will learn a lot faster as part of small group of people who share a commitment to getting to higher levels of impact and who form deep trust-based relationships through acting together. If we remain narrowly focused on learning in the form of transmitting existing knowledge, we’ll miss that key insight because it is particularly true if we are looking to create new knowledge through action in addressing unseen problems and opportunities.”

Why does this matter to the future of learning?

While Hagel is focused on the world of adult learning in and for the workplace, his principles for lifelong learning learning feel congruent with leading practices in K12:

  • Balance individual learning with learning in tightly knit workgroups. (Individual learning is still important, but collaborative learning should balance it.)

  • Promote collaborative learning in small groups that consist of individuals sharing a passion and whose strengths complement (rather than replicate) each other.

  • Design the environment to accelerate learning and performance improvement. (That is, de-emphasize “grades” in place of “results.”)

  • Ask learners to address unseen problems and opportunities in ways that can create much more value.

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Question of the week:

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Christian Talbot