laboratory for learning
July 1, 2012, by Eric
Please enjoy a few words of feedback from our wonderful trainees. These two teachers work at CICS Northtown, and we are extremely grateful to partner with them.
June 29, 2012, by Eric
Yesterday, we spent a good deal of time and thought on Blended Learning, it pros, cons, limitations, and possibilities to maximize learning. Please share in the ideas below:
BL – WHY
How does BL improve (for students) organization of course?
How BL enhance use of embedding resources?
How BL enhance network of learners
How BL helps to offer examples of excellence?
‘What if’ (contingencies to keep kids caught up):
Teaching for multiple intelligence:
June 26, 2012, by Eric
In our final training session today, we discussed evaluation. We asked and talked about the purpose of assessment and effective vs ineffective strategies. We told a few funny stories and laughed about our short-comings. But one thing that isn’t funny is that there is often a disconnect between what we evaluate, in terms of student work, and how we use the information to become better teachers, and better people.
Participants in GCE’s Educator Workshop answered the following prompt as comments to this blog:
Please feel free to share your own thoughts too.
June 25, 2012, by Eric
The purpose of our Tuesday morning session is to explore the essence of Inquiry-Based Learning and the contexts in which it is most effectively employed. Participants, educators from four schools — Global Citzenship HS, Chicago International CS Northtown, Young Women’s Leadership CS, and Glenbrook South HS – share their understanding of IBL in two ways, both of which contribute to GCE’s practice and examination of Inquiry and Project based learning, blended learning, City2Classroom* programs, and MDG & CCSS alignment:
April 20, 2012, by Eric
This morning I read one of Dan’s blog posts at http://adventuresofdeltawhiskey.blogspot.com/2012/04/my-time-in-champaign-urbana.html and posted the following response on his blog.
Thanks for sharing so much about yourself, the healthcare system in various places and forms, and about people in general. Like you, my professional work is fueled and informed by my own experience and me desire to respectfully leave the world a better place (some mushy gushy stuff too) — though my more disheartening past was in education, not healthcare. I’m constantly amazed by the level of disenfranchisement and disregard with which our patients (students) are treated. They often leave sicker than when they arrived; is this also because there is often a patient-blind process for administering the cure (standard approach to education/testing), and that this process undermines their sense of safety, autonomy, and potential?
I deeply appreciate you showing what doesn’t work as a background for pointing out some of the great things that do work, and which can be applied across business sectors. To say that you left your site visit seeking ways to employ their huddles (because of the humanity and trust they engender) is the greatest validation you can give. Praise is to say, this is awesome, great job. Yet it is ever more valuable to say that by doing that which you most admire. In some cases, this is akin to paying it forward. In other cases this is called, expanding your circle of influence. In more cases still, this is borrowing the idea/action and customizing it for yourself and your community.
At GCE, we work tirelessly to cultivate an environment similar to the one you describe. Our staff members describe the jobs they do as the most challenging and rewarding of their lives. We informally exchange tens of ideas each day, hundreds per week, and we collectively deconstruct and reconstruct the system and model on a yearly basis. These reflective and team-oriented practices share the understanding and agency required for us to heal our patients and ourselves. In so doing, we constantly rededicate ourselves to our highest aspirations while simultaneously accepting that we are both flawed and a work in process. One thing that we will certainly borrow is to improve the way that we huddle — I love the simplicity of “How’d we do yesterday?” and “What do we need to do today to make it a great day for our patients?” These questions can often lead to boring morning meetings when people check their email, but you’ve pointed out the essence of why this works and what we must bear in mind in order to succeed: the organization is structured, fact-based, but also invites just the right blend of “quirkiness, humor, and discipline.”
Thank you, Dan.
March 10, 2012, by Eric
Every GCE course, unit, lesson, and activity is purpose driven. We ask teachers to clarify the essence of learning opportunities and to transparently communicate why each course is essential to learn.
What is the purpose of your course and why is it essential to learn?
March 7, 2012, by Eric
Student performance, beliefs, and interactions reflect who we are and what we do as educators. At GCE, we constantly strive to see our own reflection in our students’ behavior and performance and to use the data available to improve our curriculum, instruction, and social emotional support. Ultimately, it is only through consistent and direct attention to our students that we can learn what THEY truly need in order to grow as students and citizens.
How will you know if/when your students get it? What are you looking for, listening to, sensing?
March 7, 2012, by Eric
One of the greatest challenges we face as educators is that of communication; and failure to communicate clearly through directions, questions, assessment, and informal interactions quickly leads to breakdowns in trust, motivation and performance. On the flip-side, by varying communication strategies and accommodating the unique learning needs of each student, we can bridge gaps that increase love of learning, connection, and advocacy.
What patterns of communication will your course facilitate? How will students connect with themselves, others, and the world?
March 5, 2012, by Eric
Part 2: How do you want your students to be transformed in 10 weeks? How do you want them to be different?
March 5, 2012, by Eric
Dear GCE Community:
As we prepare for spring term 2012, I have designed a workshop for our staff to help catalyze even more advanced curriculum design. As always, this generative process will result in global, integrated, inquiry- and project-based blended learning curriculum (that lives online and in-person), and that is aligned with both the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and the Common Core Standards. To learn more about our curriculum design process and outcome, please view our GCE Passport.
Please note that there are several posts on this topic; this is part 1. All feedback from staff is posted as “comments” to each post. The process starts with reflective prompts, moves into discussion, invites public sharing on the blog, grows into curriculum, and is tested through the relationship between instruction and student learning.
PART 1: What do you want your students to “feel” each day?