to join Chris Sloan @csloan and me @paulallison to introduce why we need lab spaces to disrupt and redefine school (Lab Connections). The goal is to facilitate self-directed learning. Here’s how Monika and others introduce their work in an in-progress book they are writing:
Students in Loveland, CO crafted a four year plan of disruption to redefine school. We are just beginning year two. Year four has community/life as school, with the city as the floor plan. Who, what, when, where, how, and with whom you learn, per choice. The premise… nothing is for everyone. We’re redefining success per individual/community. We’re respectfully questioning everything, especially what public education deems as normal. Imagine if the 7 hours a day we currently call school would/could awaken indispensable people. It’s a quiet revolution.
There has been plenty of theory/research invested in what we are doing, and that will be ongoing. But mostly, we have had the privilege and delight to indulge in experimentation/failure/prototyping/etc. The following is our best attempt to capture the key elements learned from key failures. If you are so inclined, shuffle along with us. It’s a kick. You might just fall in love with it.
This was a first, exploratory conversation, and one that we hope will inspire you to join as well. We'll be continuing our conversations with Monika Hardy and her colleagues in the coming weeks on Teachers Teaching Teachers. Join us every Wednesday at edtechtalk.com/live where you’ll hear and see a Livestream broadcast of our conversation, and be invited to chat and ask questions as well.
Click Read more to see a copy of the chat that was happening during the webcast.
66:16 minutes (15.17 MB)
On this week’s Teachers Teaching Teachers, we have some of our current and former students on the podcast to talk about the high school-college transition. We are also joined by a couple of National Writing Project teachers who have been involved with the “Framework for Success in Post-secondary Writing” that came out a few months ago. These frameworks include this amazing list that we invite you to explore:
Habits of Mind
The Framework identifies eight habits of mind essential for success in college writing—ways of approaching learning that are both intellectual and practical and will support students’ success in a variety of fields and disciplines:
Curiosity: the desire to know more about the world.
Openness: the willingness to consider new ways of being and thinking in the world.
Engagement: a sense of investment and involvement in learning.
Creativity: the ability to use novel approaches for generating, investigating, and representing ideas.
Persistence: the ability to sustain interest in and attention to short- and long-term projects.
Responsibility: the ability to take ownership of one’s actions and
understand the consequences of those actions for oneself and others.
Flexibility: the ability to adapt to situations, expectations, or demands.
Metacognition: the ability to reflect on one’s own thinking as well
as on the individual and cultural processes used to structure knowledge.
What is College Readiness in Writing? and How Do We Get There?
Every year, we have far too many students like Ian. They aren’t the AP kids (though they might be), and they aren’t the students who fail our classes. They do OK, even sometimes receiving excellent grades in our high school classrooms. But when they get to college, they place into Developmental English classes, or worse (like Ian) they crash and burn and drop out of college. They fall off the bridge between high school and college. This site is devoted to local efforts to help more students graduating from high school place directly into college level writing classes, and importantly—do well in freshman composition. It is meant both as a resource and a professional community of practice dedicated to doing more to prepare our students for college and for helping these students do well once they are in college, for “college readiness” and “student success” in college are really two sides of the same coin.
Kirsten Jamsen whose affiliations include being the co-director of the Minnesota Writing Project.
Kirsten presented on the “Frameworks for Success in Postsecondary Writing” at the National Writing Project’s Annual Meeting in November, where she discussed the statement’s purpose, and recounted the process of composing it. We’ll ask her do some of that again. We’ll also use some of her questions from that session to guide our discussion on Wednesday evening: “What is your response to the statement? How might you use it to promote effective writing instruction at your school? How could this statement help you design thoughtful professional development?”
Diana Laufenberg, Zac Chase, and a student, Luna from the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia
Woody Woodgate from Alaska
David Pulling from Louisiana State University at Eunice
We asked Diana and Zac to come talk about an interdisciplinary project they did/are doing with juniors. Each student was invited to find a building in his/her neighborhood with a name on it, then to learn the history of that person and the building. From there, students created multimedia presentations. Diana and Zac brought this example to their conversation at last month’s Educon 2.3, and we wanted to learn more! Wait until you see this work!
Many in my semester’s class have joined Voices on the Gulf since a couple of weeks ago, and Wednesday I’m going to give them a prompt for their first post. I’m going to start them off the same way I did the class last fall, asking them to study their back yards or neighborhoods or pastures or homes to identify some place or thing that they may take for granted and to consider the cost of losing it, etc. etc. etc. I’ll encourage them to post pix or videos as well. I’ll guide them into inquiry from there. I hope you’ll hear from some neat students and read some neat stuff. I’ve got an eager and industrious bunch this semester.
If that’s not enough, our old friend from Alaska, Woody will be joining us as well. Woody has focused a lot of his scholarship and pedagogy around place-based education in rural Alaska. We have already learned a lot from him, and we look forward to re-connecting with him on Wednesday. Woody writes:
I am negotiating to go back out to rural Alaska to teach at a site that is heavily focused on what they call “relevant education” and what we have been calling place-based education. I will be focusing on how to incorporate standards into the already established outdoor program. Therefore, I gladly accept your invitation in hopes that I can get back up to speed with what others
have been doing in this area in the last 3 years since I have been out of the classroom trenches.
Pretty exciting stuff! We hope you enjoy learning with us.
Meet Erick Gordon the new director of the New York City Writing Project and the founder of the Student Press Initiative.
Enjoy the perspectives of a couple of the digital photographers who are in Chris
Sloan’s school in Salt Lake City, where they had just published their
student magazine, the Bulldog Press on MagCloud for the first time.
Warm to the thoughts of David
Pulling from LSU-Eunice who gives us an update on how
his students I-Search papers. In particular we invite you to take a look at this one by Vonda
Guidry: “Potential Health Effects of Food Contamination From the BP Oil Spill.” Paul Allison’s high school students and Vonda had a productive dialogue in the comments under her discussion post.
And of course you don't want to miss Margaret Simon's elementary school students who have publishing on Voices on the Gulf — and who now have other ideas, as Margaret explains:
Things are good and busy. Our gifted students present a historical
play each year for first graders in the parish at The Shadows, a
plantation home on the bayou. There is much involved in preparing and
performing, so little else goes on.
My student Kaylie is working on making Clover the Plover
a book. She is illustrating it using Paint on the Promethean board. I
hope to publish it on Lulu as a fundraiser for the Gulf.
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