While Scissors and Glue is mostly focused on resources that engender creative learning, it is important to remember those abstract aspects that create depth in any effort. Just as “creative processes” can accompany any subject matter in teaching and learning (not just art class), so too can music ignite the spark all children need in their growth and development. Check it out here.
research based enrichment
Data can be useful in guiding teaching practice, no doubt. And I believe we will find a balance to what data we collect and how we use it (for example, I believe test score data should be fluidly offset by a variable based on community involvement in a school—that is to say, strong community involvement should help student test scores trend upwards if the tests are valuable and meaningful so as to influence a school letter grade by at least a half grade, up or down).
The most offensive practice I have seen in the data-drives-education craze is the “Data Wall,” which is usually located in the “Data Room.” Pearson encourages data walls. To me they are insults to students when a red square is placed on a wall with a student picture on it. I’ve seen it in more than one school and it is disgusting and de-humanizing and I can’t believe it is allowed and furthermore it is a violation of student privacy.
But in education we shouldn’t complain unless we have a better idea. So mine is: keep data private, allow teachers to see it or anyone guiding instruction for that individual student. Then, encourage community support of schools and have a planning room for hands-on projects related to any and every subject. We know students need multiple ways to learn and express learning. . .and we should model that by offering materials to create student learning projects, both teacher-driven and student-driven. Come up with a metric to evaluate your school’s community support and the hands-on project materials offered in your school as a result.
I have been told that spatial awareness in 2nd graders is a better indicator of future STEM skill strength potential than 7th grade math is. Research articles can back up this cocktail party chatter, I suppose. Read here and here
We hear a lot about reading (as well we should) in the development of children and the tools they are acquiring for life-long learning and career pathways.
The reality is that our nation has, not a crisis, but a higher education conundrum. We aren’t quite sure why we educate, it seems. Is it for economy at large? Is it for the economy of those who push their way to the top? Is it a blend of those things? Has education been guilty of perpetuating itself with little regard to its relationship or purpose in the larger context.
One thing is certain, as we make decisions about the future of higher ed (which we will hear about plenty in the upcoming Presidential election, particularly because most politicians don’t dare touch the K-12 “situation” anymore) we have to consider the early years. . .which is the other talking that will conveniently (good, bad or indifferent) take the place of K-12 discussions among politicians.
Consider the nurturing of creativity, as pointed out in this publication. http://www.successfulstemeducation.org/sites/successfulstemeducation.org/files/STEM%20Smart%20Brief-Early%20Childhood%20Learning.pdf
This week I will begin a series of posts on craft activities and learning projects that develop spatial awareness. This summer I attended a conference on STEM for Girls at Harpeth Hall in Nashville. I will be sharing some of the nuggets of information from the event, as well as activities and the research that indicates its enabling effects in higher achievement. I would emphasize that I am a fan of education that develops the whole child, and while STEM is a good talking point for garnering the support of conservative politicians, its over-emphasis is unadvisable in preparing the leaders of tomorrow. There can be too much of any good thing!
Research points begin here: http://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.pbs.20140301.16.pdf