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Although the standards from around the world significantly address what is important for students to know and be able to do when they are in school, what happens when they leave school? What happens when they are challenged by a world of uncertainty and the chaos of change? Will they be prepared for the tests of life as carefully as they were required to be prepared for a school life of tests? Listen to this video where Art Costa and I talk about why we believe that the habits of mind are a global common core as we move forward in the 21st century and beyond!
If you want to have more information about the habits of mind, go to our book Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind
Image attribution flickr users tanyaalittle and cliff1066
Bena Kallick, Eduplanet21
Are you having trouble listening with understanding and empathy (one of the Habits of Mind) when you are not face to face with the other person–on facebook, Google+, twitter, or other social networks? As an educator, staying in touch with your professional learning network digitally is a boon to the quantity of communication, but without the proper habits, you may not be reaping the quality you might. Inspired by the thinking from my work with Art Costa at the Institute for the Habits of Mind, here are some tips:
Do you find it hard to manage your impulsivity? Do you want to just respond, like, or share and get it done to move on to the next task? This diminishes the quality and substance of your interactions. As you pause, prioritize the messages that you value most and send them in an order that allows you to invest the appropriate focus on each one.
We are all captive to this experience so when you find yourself engaged in an important issue with someone else–on another network, or in person, minimize the browser window, or even get up from the computer altogether to help shift cognitive “maps,” then return to the computer when you have some time. This would be equivalent to the pause button that we use when we are engaged with someone face to face.
It is often the case that we think we understand what another person is saying and we jump to conclusions without checking to see if we truly understand. Paraphrasing is a very useful tool when in a web based conference. For example, when there are many people communicating at once–in- person, on a conference call, or even on a social media platform--it helps to paraphrase what you understand are the key points.
At the same time, you are helping to summarize and make sense out of the multiple perspectives, an important thinking and communication skill. This also reduces the temptation to simply get your .02 in without respecting the topic or purpose of others involved in the communication.
Good questions serve to clarify as well as extend the communication and the thinking. Especially with social learning, good questions are the start for good feedback. Probing what the other is saying shows respect for the other person’s thinking and a curiosity about how that thinking might influence yours.
Most people are living at least one half of their professional life in social learning or communication of one sort or another. How do you use–or fail to use–thinking and communication habits (Habits of Mind, for example) as a guide for making your work in education meaningful?
You might want to learn more about the Habits of Mind from our book, Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind
Preface: TeachThought is happy to welcome Bena Kallick, Ph.D., as a contributing author on TeachThought. Kallick has consistently been involved in important projects in education, including Assessment Strategies for Self-Directed Learning, Habits of Mind with Art Costa, and consulting nationally with districts and state departments of education.
Her latest project is Eduplanet21, a company that explores how social learning can be used as a platform for 21st century learning, and idea we look at often here at TeachThought as well. We’ll have more on their approach to learning online in an upcoming article.
We are all involved in some ways with social networks—ning, facebook, twitter…but are we actually doing some learning from these networks? Are we learning how to solve problems, become more innovative, interact and build new ideas? In addition, are we using the social learning to further our learning as instructors? Here are 5 tips that may be useful as you become a citizen in the world of social learning:
1. Ask clarifying questions when you are uncertain about what the entry into the discussion. Don’t assume.
2. Be certain that the others in the group are looking for feedback before providing it. Don’t assume.
3. Provide constructive feedback that is in keeping with what the other is asking. Make certain that you are coaching for better thinking not replacing the other person’s thinking.
4. Raise questions as frequently as you respond to what others are saying.
5. Respond promptly. Don’t let time lapse in the discussion. So in a virtual classroom don’t let a week go by; On a conference call do not change the subject or ignore a clarifying question.
Based on a chapter written by Bena Kallick and Marie Alcock, “Thinking Interdependently—Virtually” to be published by TCPress, September 2012.
Your To-Do List: Action Items for ASCD Leaders
OYEA Winners and Honorees Featured in Educational Leadership for 10 Year Program Anniversary
This month, in honor of the 10th anniversary of ASCD’s Outstanding Young Educator Award (OYEA) program, we invited past winners and honorees to share their stories about the first time they felt like a real teacher “Tell Me About…” column for the May 2012 issue of Educational Leadership themed “Supporting Beginning Teachers.”
From “Air Quotes and Empowerment” to “Resilience in Response to Tragedy,” these stories are funny, powerful, moving, and inspiring. Read their stories online and in pages 92–95 of your print copy of EL.
New Jersey ASCD Executive Director Shares Reflections From Common Core Symposium
As a result of the successful recent symposium entitled The Common Core Standards: Implications for Higher Education (PDF), New Jersey ASCD Executive Director Marie Adair wrote a white paper synthesizing the ideas and concepts presented during the symposium.
The document, Re-Envisioning the Teaching Profession: A Collective Call to Action (PDF), provides challenges for K–16 educators in determining the changes and the innovations that will need to be created in teacher preparation programs to advance our profession.
Other resources from the symposium are available on the New Jersey ASCD website.
· California ASCD is hosting an Educator Appreciation Day on May 11.
· Hawaii ASCD is collaborating with the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools and the Hawaii Department of Education to cosponsor a two-day conference at the end of May with Art Costa on “Habits of Mind.”
· Tennessee ASCD presents “Professional Learning Communities: What are They and How do They Work?” with Bob Eaker and Janel Keating.
California ASCD welcomes Chief Academic Officer and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for Central Unified School District Laurel Ashlock, and Program Manager for CTAP Region 10 Dennis Deets to the affiliate board of directors.
OYEA Honoree Co-Authors Book on the Common Core State Standards
2011 OYEA Honoree Maureen Connolly and Vicky Giouroukakis of Molloy College have recently co-authored the book, Getting to the Core of English Language Arts, Grades 6-12: Meeting the Common Core State Standards with Lessons from the Classroom. In this book, they discuss the benefits of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for the teaching of reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language, and they provide lessons from the field for grades 6–12 that effectively guide students in meeting these standards.
“The CCSS have the potential to allow divergent thinking among teachers and students alike because they are not about prescribing instruction, but rather they are about ensuring that our instruction and students’ learning experiences are rigorous and purposeful,” said Connolly. “ Vicky and I designed our book with a combination of theoretical and practical perspectives to guide and inspire teachers as they plan for instruction.”
OYEA Honoree and Emerging Leader to be Baltimore County Superintendent
Dallas Dance, 2009 OYEA Honoree, 2010 Emerging Leader, and chief middle schools officer in the Houston school district, has been chosen as the next superintendent in Baltimore County.
“We were extremely impressed with Dr. Dance during his interviews, with his poise and his maturity. His answers showed a depth of understanding. His references and prior experience were stellar,” said Baltimore County School Board President Lawrence Schmidt.
In an open letter published in the Baltimore Sun, Dance pledged his commitment to the new position:
“Education is my calling, not just a career. I've always known that this would be my life's work, and it has been professionally and personally rewarding. To quote one of my heroes, Teddy Roosevelt, “Far and away, the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” As your next superintendent, I pledge to the residents of Baltimore County to devote every waking minute to your children and giving them the excellent education they deserve.”
Congratulations to Dallas!
Director of Constituent Services Publishes Third Book
Director of Constituent Services Walter McKenzie has just published his third book, Intelligence Quest: Project-Based Learning and Multiple Intelligences. The book, published through the International Society for Technology in Education, offers a fresh look at multiple intelligences theory and how it can be applied to successful implementation of technology in teaching and learning.
McKenzie has been teaching and administering online communities of practice since 1997, through his work with Classroom Connect, Pepperdine University and the University of Mary Washington. He has developed and led online global symposia and conferences through the Capital Region Society for Technology in Education, and has served as the head of departments of technology and information systems for the public schools of Salem, Massachusetts, Northborough and Southborough, Mass., and Arlington, Va. McKenzie will have been with ASCD for two years this July; his previous published titles are Multiple Intelligences and Instructional Technology (ISTE, 2003, 2nd ed.) and Standards-Based Lessons for Tech-Savvy Students: A Multiple Intelligences Approach (Linworth, 2005).
Throughout May on www.wholechildeducation.org: Mental Health
A child’s mental health is influenced by her biology, social and physical environment, and behavior, as well as the availability of services. Good emotional and behavioral health enhances a child’s sense of well-being, supports satisfying social relationships at home and with peers, and facilitates achievement of full academic potential. Research shows that one in five children and adolescents ages 9 to 17 experiences symptoms of mental health problems that cause some level of impairment. However, fewer than 20 percent of those who need mental health services receive them.
But, being mentally healthy is not just about emotional and behavioral difficulties. It’s also about being mentally strong and resilient and having the skills and supports to deal with stressful issues when they arise. In a nationally representative survey of 12- to 17-year-old youths about their traumatic experiences, 39 percent reported witnessing violence, 17 percent reported physical assault, and 8 percent reported a lifetime prevalence of sexual assault.
Just as one can be physically healthy or unhealthy, one can also be mentally healthy or unhealthy. Join us throughout May as we discuss the importance of each child, in each school and in each community, being socially, emotionally, and mentally healthy.
Download the Whole Child Podcast to hear from Erica Ahmed, director of public education for Mental Health America; Jo Mason, acting national business manager and national professional product development manager for whole child partner Principals Australia Institute and MindMatters, Australia; and Philip C. Rodkin, associate professor of child development in the Departments of Educational Psychology and Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. As always, visit the Whole Child Blog to read posts from diverse writers, leave your comments, and get free resources on promoting good mental health for children.
Something to Talk About
Authors and presenters Harvey Silver and Art Costa discuss how to keep kids engaged in the classroom and interested in what they're learning. Catch their presentations at ASCD’s Annual Conference & Exhibit Show, March 24-26, 2012, in Philadelphia, PA. http://bit.ly/nXO1k4
If you were ever curious about what I believe or do as an educator, my summer institute, Constructing Modern Knowledge, represents me quite well. The energy, creativity, projects developed and guest speakers at last month’s institute makes CMK 2011 one of the proudest accomplishments of my career. Even when we lost electricity for a couple of hours, project-based learning continued unimpeded!
Educators from across the USA, Costa Rica and Australia came together for four days of project-based learning, collaboration and conversation with some of the greatest thinkers of our age. Registration will open in early September for the 5th Annual Constructing Modern Knowledge institute, July 9-12, 2012 in Manchester, NH. Add your email address to the mailing list for discount registration information as soon as it becomes available.
I’ve done a bit of work documenting a few of the learning stories captured at CMK 2011. I hope you and your colleagues enjoy them!
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I’m learning to play golf. My goal is to be able to enjoy an afternoon on the course with my husband and occasionally par a hole or two.
As I proceed along my learning curve with this endeavor, I have thought a lot about the steps involved in learning a new process. I recall explaining it to students in three stages: (1)naming the process and being able to articulate a rudimentary approximation of it; (2)practicing, revising, and making it one’s own; (3)reaching the point of what Art Costa and Bena Kallick call “automaticity” where the procedural knowledge comes naturally and is more internalized. They describe a four step developmental continuum: novice, apprentice, practitioner, and expert.
I suspect many accomplished golfers would argue that golf is a process where one may linger at step two for years, and this may be true of many types of procedural knowledge. Certainly new techniques in medicine require this of surgeons, and emerging technologies in many fields make step two a place to revisit and spend time. I plan staff development being mindful that if I am asking a group of educators to try a new instructional strategy, it is helpful to recognize the stages along that learning continuum. I use the analogy of learning to drive a manual transmission, with the intermediary stage---jerking and stalling around a parking lot---being a normal part of the process. I ask adult learners to reflect upon the stages of procedural knowledge and to pay attention to the ways they tweak what they do during that middle phase and to articulate how long the middle phase may last for certain types of learning.
Think of all the procedural learning that occurs in a school environment. Students approach the combination of content and skills using various processes; teachers embrace new instructional strategies; administrators engage adults in the work of learning communities. I wonder…how much attention is paid to the stages of the procedures involved? Are students and adults given the tools and time to find a different grip, or stance, or swing? Do they have access to ideas for slightly different ways to approach the process and opportunities to practice and tweak along the way? Are the procedures involved in learning acknowledged as important and often time consuming?
Education reform impacts individuals, classrooms, schools, districts, and society. As a process, the variables among students, educators, parents, resources, and geography render it a complicated one where the apprentice and practitioner stages take time. Just like there is no one way to swing a golf club, there is no enlightened way to reform education. Clearly there are practices in common among effective schools and classrooms, but one school's "recipe for reform" may not work exactly the same way somewhere else; hence, the importance of recognizing the middle stage for what it is...and perhaps what it isn't.
I expect to be in the apprentice/practitioner stage on the golf course for a long time. But school reform is not a hobby, and the sense of urgency that surrounds the future of public education is a real and timely challenge. There may be times when the process feels smooth, and there may be times when it lurches and stalls, but that is inevitable, and I, for one, have confidence that the educators I know have the talent and dedication to identify steps likely to work for their schools, revisit and refine along the way, and recognize that the process is a continuous one. My hope is that School Boards, communities, and relevant organizations offer support for the practitioners engaged in school reform efforts, recognize the importance of refining the process along the way, and avoid demanding strict ways to attain agreed upon goals.