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Ideas worth Starting

How is Design Thinking Shaping Our Education System?

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The use of design thinking by educators across the board is influencing Education in two very distinct ways; students are becoming shapers of knowledge rather than simple receivers of knowledge, and they are also learning to apply design thinking to their everyday lives! An example of the former method, wherein students are looked upon as active stakeholders of their own education, is of Michael Schurr, a primary teacher from New York. When Michael realized that he had never taken the input of his students with respect to making the class environment more comfortable, he took the time to speak to his students directly. A simple yet powerful feedback that he received was to lower the [...]

An Australian elementary school is teaching Blockchain to kids?

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  That’s right! In one of Australia’s most disadvantaged urban areas, a teacher (Kieran Nolan, a former network engineer) is the driving force behind Wooranna Park’s grade school students now learning the basics of blockchain technology. As an agent of change, Kieran is bringing about a vital digital revolution in the way that education mechanisms are viewed and approached. What the heck is Blockchain anyway?  Blockchain may be this century’s most significant innovation yet. A blockchain is simply a distributed database everyone can access. It maintains a list of ordered records, called blocks. Each block has a timestamp and a link to a previous block. While the foundational [...]

Is creativity superior to intelligence?

Creativity and Innovation Ideas worth Starting What's new in Education

The answer is YES! Studies have shown that highly creative people are also highly intelligent but highly intelligent people are NOT always creative. This suggests that creativity is a higher form of intelligence. Why is this important? For teachers it is helpful in planning educational programs, curriculums, tests, activities, and classroom setting and for parents knowing this gives you an edge in all aspects of yours and your child’s life. Intelligence is measures by IQ tests and creativity is measured by the lesser known Torrence Test. It is generally held that one’s IQ tends to remain relatively stable over your lifespan. In 1932, the entire population of Scottish 11-year-olds (87, [...]

What Doesn’t Break You Makes You Stronger

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What doesn’t break you makes you stronger…It’s On the Couch with Suzanne Radford and Dr. Thoraiya Kanafani, Clinical Psychologist based at Human Relations Institute and Clinics. Today we explore some of the practices, therapies and tools that people have used to change their lives.

What is Classroom Culture?

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Students don’t remember everything they are taught , but they do remember how their classrooms made them feel. They remember feeling supported to take risks, being comforted when they felt sad, and being lifted up by their peers. This amazing video shows one classroom facilitator who used a simple three prong test to ensure she is budding the classroom culture she intended.

A Maslow inspired Model on how schools can WOW students

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Students are happy when they are wowed i.e. astonished, impressed or excited. Sadly most schools, even if full (and let’s face it there is a real shortage of schools as the population continues to grow at compound rates) , fall short. However, what if schools started thinking of their students as customers and WOWing them? In Chip Conley’s book Peak, inspired by Maslow Heirarchy of Needs, he correctly points out that meeting a customer’s “expectation” is their lowest need not meriting a ‘wow’. A school that provides a safe environment, rated curriculum, trained teachers, opportunities for social student interactions and an environment of learning is just only [...]

Is a Professional Coach a Better Teacher?

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Ever since I got certified as a Co-Active coach I realize that my approach to human interaction has transformed completely. Whether I’m talking to my husband, my students, my kids or my clients I am much more conscious and deliberate about the quality and the intentions behind my communication. The benefits have been enormous, from getting along better with my husband to coaching my kids through their tiny disasters to getting through to my third year university students in a way that their reviews include my class changing their lives. In fact, I realize that having a coaching arsenal in my toolbox is one of the most important skills I’ve ever acquired when it comes to teaching and [...]

How learning to say THANK YOU changes your Child’s Life

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According to Adam M. Grant and Francesco Gino in a series of studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Grant & Gino, 2010) you have a 66% percent chance of receiving more when you say, “Thank you”. In the study 69 participants were asked to provide feedback to a fictitious student called ‘Eric’ on his cover letter for a job application. After sending their feedback through by email, they got a reply from Eric asking for more help with another cover letter. The twist is that half of them got a thankful reply from Eric and the other half a neutral reply. While only 32% of participants receiving, the neutral email helped with the second letter, [...]

Why were schools started…do you know?

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Very few people know the history of school. Nor do they know the real reason schools were established in the first place. Here’s a short history of schools in the U.S. from the documentary Class Dismissed ClassDismissedMovie.com. Features interviews of John Taylor Gatto, Laurie A. Couture and discusses Horace Mann and Johann Fichte’s influence on today’s public school system and how the Prussian model of education & military findings were instrumental to the origins of school.

CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENTS AFFECT HOW CHILDREN LEARN?

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What if your child got an A instead of a C in Math, simply by changing the classroom environment? A paper from the University of Salford, published in the journal Building and Environment, has found that classroom design could have a 25% impact, positive or negative, on a student’s progress over the course of an academic year. This study was conducted over the 2011/2012 academic year and involved 751 students in 34 primary classrooms in Blackpool, England. Student performance levels going into and at the end of the school year were ranked, in collaboration with the architecture firm Nightingale Associates, on a scale of 1 to 5 against ten different design parameters. The most [...]