Traditional Schooling

Although not quite as vociferous as Ivan Illich (Deschooling Society, 1971), I am nonetheless a constant critic of what might be termed "traditional schooling". Discipline, rigor, neat rows of desks, exams. You know the drill.

Over a number of years I've criticised my own traditional teaching practices in my talks on Free Learning. To illustrate my point, I've used a three-leaved Venn diagram outlining the interplay between grade worship, conformity and dependence. Expanding on this line of thinking I've recently added a fourth leaf, delusion, which I've previously written about on this site. The result:
Is it any wonder that our school systems produce so many humans (and I include myself in this bracket) who struggle to live within the societies we are building?

Baking Bread

In last year’s End of Year Assessment (which I did not write about, but you can get a sense of it from the prior year’s) students asked for more curriculum surprises. One them related with obvious relish the tale of the (very random) occasion …

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Talking As Adults

At ICHK Secondary, as in any school, we find student culture shifting constantly, with new and exotic behaviours bubbling to the surface in a steady stream. Given a broad and contemporary diet of influences, including families, peers, mainstream media, social media, Internet memes and …

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Apple MagSafe vs MagSafe2 vs USB-C Chargers

At my school, we loan students Apple laptop chargers fairly regularly. Usually, the loan process takes longer than it needs to, because we need to find out what kind of chargers students have. Turns out, few of them know the chargers by their official Apple nomenclature: MagSafe, MagSafe2 and USB-C. The poster below aims to help educate and remind students what they have:

Printable Version (PDF)

 

Human Technologies

Thanks to those of you who attended today's session on Human Technologies at Leading A Digital School on the sunny Gold Coast. Please find embedded below the slide deck I used:


Narrative First

Somewhere towards the manic end of last school year I read a copy of Neil Postman’s The End of Education (recommended and loaned to me by my Head of School, Toby Newton). Whilst there were many parts that I enjoyed, and some that I …

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Student Self Direction

One of the key design goals behind the Free Learning pedagogy was encouraging students to direct their own learning. Based on the experience that many students lack the skills to make the most of pure inquiry-based learning, Free Learning makes use of a map of …

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I Hate Grades

I recently gave a 2-minute nano presentation at 21st Century Learning’s Hong Kong TeachMeet, entitled I Hate Grades. It was a pleasure to be able to speak openly about something very close to my heart, and the reception from the assembled teachers was really positive. …

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Poetic Truth

As part of our Year 8 Human Technologies curriculum, we are asking students to consider not only the nature of truth, but also different types of truth (e.g. scientific, poetic, individual, etc). As one activity on poetic truth, we played students four songs, and asked …

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The Educator’s Delusion

Read even a small amount of economics, and you might start to believe that human beings have things pretty much worked out. At its heart, economics views us as rational beings that make consistent, logical decisions on how to live. Quite in opposition to this, …

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