2.7.16 Week End Update

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TED TALKS ON THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION

I just came across a few of the white coffee mugs from a few years ago with the red “Why? How? What?” target on the side. For those of you who were not here, the target and those three words come from Simon Sinek, an author best known for popularizing the concept of "the golden circle" and/or to "start with why.” The description of his TED Talk says “Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership — starting with a golden circle and the question ‘Why?' His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers …”

Click to watch “Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action.”

Sinek explains that most of us, when approaching a task or a problem, start on the outside of the circle with the “What?” and then move inwards. We usually get to “How?” but few of us ever get to “Why?” This was certainly the case when I started teaching - the Chair of the History Department gave me a textbook and told me to get through the Civil War by Christmas vacation. When I asked him how to do it he said to try and keep the students working and to assign lots of essays. We never even approached “Why?” That is how I learned to teach, and many (if not most of us) learned the same way. We did what had been done to us. We often did (and do) it quite well, but we rarely consider asking “Why?” we are doing it. Why is it so critical to get through all of this material? Why are we teaching this specific material? Why are we teaching certain skills and not others? Why are my students struggling to do well on my tests? The possibilities of “Why?” questions are endless.


This Week End Update, then, contains talks from three different teachers who have knowingly or not turned their teaching around completely, and begin by asking themselves “Why?”

WHAT IF STUDENTS CONTROLLED THEIR OWN LEARNING? - PETER HUTTON

Peter Hutton hated his own school experience, where he felt that education was being done “to him”. As Principal of Templestowe College he developed an educational model that allows students to individualize their education and share control in the running of the school.

What if students controlled their own learning? | Peter Hutton | TEDxMelbourne

THE MAGIC THAT MAKES THE BRAIN LEARN - KIM BEVILL

Kim Bevill is a teacher whose focus is on how neurology, hormones and culture work together in creating and influencing the children we teach and parent. In this humorous talk she explains how getting kids moving helps their ability to think, process, and focus; that if we get kids physically fit they will get higher scores. With research behind her, she shows us that the magic is simply to get them moving.

The magic that makes the brain learn: Kim Bevill at TEDxCrestmoorParkED

TEACHERS, KNOW YOUR BRAIN - SANDRA VAN AALDEREN

Knowledge about the brain and learning is essential if we want to convince teachers to use more active learning strategies, a rich learning environment, stimulate curiosity, or deeper thinking. It is the first step in teacher professional development aiming for 21st century education. In this informative, interesting and factual talk, Sandra tells teacher, parents, and anyone dealing with kids what they need to know about the brain. Sandra van Aalderen’s work and research is focused on how attitudes, beliefs, and mindsets influence learning. She is striving for education that stimulates curiosity, motivation to learn, and higher-order thinking skills. A trained cognitive neuroscientist, she switched from fundamental brain research to educational research to bring education to this next level.

Teachers, know your brain! | Sandra van Aalderen | TEDxAmsterdamED

CALENDAR REMINDERS

Thursday, Feb.11: Winter Formal

Friday, Feb.12: Winter Formal Holiday, NO CLASSES

Friday, Feb.12 - Saturday, Feb.13: Inside SPS Weekend

Monday Feb.15 - Saturday, Feb.2: Fisk Cup Competition

Friday, Feb.19: Spring Term book orders due at the bookstore

Saturday, Feb.20: LinC Day, NO CLASSES

Happy Super Bowl

The CIT group -

Alisa, Kate, Kevin, Lawrence, Melissa, Nick