from the world's big
How students apply what they've learned is more important than a letter or number grade.
- Schools are places where learning happens, but how much of what students learn there matters? "Almost all of our learning happens through experience and very little of it actually happens in these kinds of organized, contrived, constrained environments," argues Will Richardson, co-founder of The Big Questions Institute and one of the world's leading edupreneurs.
- There is a shift starting, Richardson says, in terms of how we look at grading and assessments and how they have traditionally dictated students' futures. Consortiums like Mastery.com are pushing back on the idea that what students know can be reflected in numbers and letter grades.
- One of the crucial steps in changing how things are done is first changing the narratives. Students should be assessed on how they can apply what they've learned, not scored based on what they know.
The COVID-19 disruption is a really an opportunity for collaborating and building stronger relationships.
- Relationships are important for all learners, says strategic education advisor Jackie Jodl, but they are particularly important to those who are at risk. When it comes to promoting engagement and sustained performance, the research shows that boys are more dependent on these student-teacher relationships than girls.
- An important question in the wake of COVID is how technology can enrich these relationships and contribute to learning in remote and hybrid settings?
- Jodl sees this "disruption" as an opportunity for all parties involved—from teachers and parents to policy makers—to come together and make this new form of learning work.
The importance of finding and shaping learning communities.
- When considering what the future of learning post-COVID-19 will look like, you have to start with a strong foundation. Daniel Kinzer, educator and founder of Pacific Blue Studios, looks at it like a seed that has to be grown.
- Informed by the culture and geology of Hawaii, Kinzer explains the concept of kipuka: a patch of land, untouched by flowing lava, that provides the DNA to restore life to the landscape.
- Applying that idea to the reshaping of education, he says that we must identify those kipuka, find our teachers, and find and shape our own learning tribes that are better suited for what we deem important moving forward.
How can curriculum planners refresh learning in the wake of COVID-19?
- The role of curriculum planners is to ensure that what students are being taught doesn't become stale and rigid. "The minute curriculum stops breathing, it gets really boring fast," says Heidi Hayes Jacobs, president of Curriculum Designers Inc.
- Jacobs says there are three necessary questions that designers have to ask while moving forward during and after COVID-19: What should be cut that isn't working, what essential components should be kept, and maybe most importantly, what will be created?
- Students, through their shared experiences, feelings, and realizations, will be a key part of how we understand this moment and use these insights to refresh learning.
It takes a special person with a special set of skills to reach students on an emotional level.
- Teachers have arguably the most important job on Earth. It's their responsibility to help shape who young people will become by inspiring them and connecting with them as human beings.
- Trust has to be earned before any meaningful learning can happen.
- The superpower that poet and children's fiction author Kwame Alexander learned from his mother is the ability to connect emotionally with his audience first so that they are open and interested in tackling heavier subjects and having challenging conversations.