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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 [...]

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.

Finland’s Teacher Training Program for Saudis

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We had the distinct pleasure of meeting Ilkka Kurkela from the University of Helsinki (HY+) back in March at the Global Teacher Prize event in Dubai. The University of Helsinki is amongst the 20 best universities in Europe and within the top 100 universities in the world. Ilkka is the head of Customized Education Programs of HY+ which focuses on continuing education. We reached out to him for this interview after reading in the news about the ground-breaking training the University is providing to the country of Saudi Arabia tooling it’s local teachers with Methodologies and skillsets from the very best educators of Finland.  Finland is continuously ranked as having one of the best [...]

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.

Scandinavia’s No Shoes in Classroom Policy Improves Behavior and Grades

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Have you ever noticed how not having your shoes on causes you to act differently? For decades in northern Europe, children have left their shoes at the school door due to snow, ice, or slush. And then something interesting started happening. They behaved noticeably more calmly, they were more focused than their peers with shoes on, they acted more kindly to their classmates, and schools reaped the benefits of reduced cleaning bills and wear-and-tear on furniture. Now academics are calling on teachers in the UK to apply similar “shoeless techniques” to give children the best possible chance of performing in their exams. Imagine that! Experts are claiming that having children with no [...]

Growing a Professional Athlete into Adulthood

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This is an exclusive interruption  We are super excited to bring to you our interview below with Diane Henderson, mom of a budding athlete Joshua Allan Ho. What sport were you good at as a child but no longer play or participate in. What happened? Did teenage-hood take over and you got distracted? Was it just a passing phase? Was it an injury that stopped you dead in our tracks? Was it taking away from school-work and your parents stepped in and took sport away? The reality is most of us probably would have never make it as a professional athlete but then again…how would we know if we never made the effort? Even today, pay attention to how we dissuade youngsters who say they want [...]