kitchen table math, the sequel: How to study

Friday, October 4, 2013

How to study

Look what I just found!

Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology by John Dunlosky1, Katherine A. Rawson1, Elizabeth J. Marsh2, Mitchell J. Nathan3, and Daniel T. Willingham4

Now I need to drop everything & spend the next two days a) reading "Improving Students' Learning" and b) employing "Effective Learning Techniques" so I can remember how to Improve Students' Learning....which is sounding a bit circular as I write.

I'll get to that as soon as I finish annotating Tony Wagner's 2008 "Rigor Redefined," which our new $400K superintendent distributed to the board of ed last week.

The board is now deciding the future direction of the district, so naturally it's time to roll out a vintage piece of warmed-over, pre-crash Tony Wagner:
Daniel Pink, the author of A Whole New Mind, observes that with increasing abundance, people want unique products and services: “For businesses it's no longer enough to create a product that's reasonably priced and adequately functional. It must also be beautiful, unique, and meaningful.”1
Remember those days? The days when "increasing abundance" could simply be assumed?

That was then.


Shannon Baker said...

It sounds like an interesting series. I will check it out

book publicity

SteveH said...

From Rigor Redefined:

"I asked him about the skills he looks for when he hires young people ...

“First and foremost, I look for someone who asks good questions,” Parker responded. “We can teach them the technical stuff, but we can't teach them how to ask good questions—how to think.”"

That doesn't stop Wagner, who thinks he can figure it out.

"But after interviewing leaders in settings from Apple to Unilever to the U.S. Army ..."

He should try asking the first level managers. Many in upper management are so out of it once they get there. At my wife's large insurance company, many problems are directly related lack of technical skill and attention to details. Also, many problems relate to character issues - and there are still issues with men who can't deal with women in technical fields. It's all quite amazing. Then there is the issue that upper management types really don't want you to tell them what you really think. I also see the issue of companies that try to squeeze out every last ounce out of their employees. I really don't want upper management types driving our education system just because supply exceeds demand.

So, we get the usual suspects.

1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

2. Collaboration and Leadership

3. Agility and Adaptability

4. Initiative and Entrepreneurialism

5. Effective Oral and Written Communication

6. Accessing and Analyzing Information

7. Curiosity and Imagination

Of course, Wagner goes on to define these and how they should control curriculum and class pedagogy - top down, not bottom up, based on skills. In the algebra II example, there is no discussion of how the skills used to do the in-class "thinking" problem are developed, or what happens to those in the class group who just follow the leader.

"It's time to hold ourselves and all of our students to a new and higher standard of rigor, defined according to [his] 21st-century criteria."

It's all so predictable.