Thursday, November 29, 2012

Worth Reading

Sharing some worthy reads...

1. Richard Elmore: Future of School Reform- in 8:30 minutes a one man wrecking ball against the educational system and he is not wrong

2. 5 Inspiring Social Design Pioneers (Brown)- further evidence of seeing the connection between problem-solving and design thinking.  Continues to make me think he we should rephrase and reshape conversations with kids around problem-solving regardless of content or discipline.

Jeanne van Heeswijk describes herself as an artist rather than a designer, yet she uses the tools of design to build coalitions within communities to create lively and diversified public spaces. The video shows her remarkable ability to connect to a community, giving them ways to participate in designing solutions for themselves.

3.  GOOD Education: The Rise of Democratic Schools and ‘Solutionaries’: Why Adults Need to Get Out of the Way (Goyal)- highlights a point that often we forget to include students in any conversation about what is best for schools.  In doing so, we fail to see problems/solutions through the eyes of our true clients.  Under a design thinking model we fail to develop empathy in neglecting those who we are trying to assist.

 Young people bring a fresh angle to the conversation. It may not always be correct, but at the very least that perspective isn’t drowned in years and years of expertise. You wonder why this may be the best time in human civilization to be a young entrepreneur. Anyone can invent or create something without the risk of failing miserably considering the networks, mentors, and resources we’re bathing in.

4. Why Not Just Do It (Moran)- let's not forget the importance of play, experimentation and prototyping.  Think about the idea of experimentation and prototyping and the fact that embedded into each action is failure.  Why is failure frowned upon in schools and not viewed as part of the learning process?

Wise teachers know how to observe the cycles within a learning culture. They learn over time when to intervene and when to let learning unfold. They don’t see mistakes as a failing grade but as an opportunity for teachers and learners alike to practice experimentation, reflective processing, and abstract reasoning. They don’t spend time criticizing and judging children but rather assessing how they as teachers can provide the scaffolding needed to evolve and advance learning, as well as a love for engaging in it. They understand that different pathways offer different children entry points into learning and they define their job as not interfering with, but rather supporting the process.

5. Fight Songs: How Songwriting Is Saving War Vets' Lives (Peisner)- interesting story about return home from war- both the traumatic stress veterans endure and the ways relief is sought.

All over the country, soldiers who are suffering from the physical and emotional ravages of war are learning to deal with their pain by writing songs and playing music. Even more surprising: It's working.

6. Kelvin Doe, Self-Taught Engineering Whiz From Sierra Leone, Wows MIT Experts