Global Conversations
Global Conversations

Global Conversations

Leading on from the post on Merlin John Online I went onto listen to my second global debate in a week, iMoot be the first. Which of my PGCE tutors would have suggested I would be listening to a recording of a LIVE stream event that brought eminent international educationalist together to debate education values.

I don’t think we need to teach what their values should be but how to develop their own values and explore what to do about them. Kate Lang (Toronto)

You want people to think for themselves. Are you prepared to go further, and say, ‘and act for others’? Because once you say the second part you’re into values…..  That they devote part of their lives enabling other people to be fulfilled.  Sir Tim Brighouse (UK)

Yes…. Kate Lang (Toronto)

It all centres around a sense of belonging, acting – based on their values – to better their communities. Deanna Del Vecchio (on behalf of Jennifer Corriero) Canada

I like that. Sir Tim Brighouse (UK)


The second commentary, that I spent far too long transcribing, was this Richard DeLorenzo philosophy.

We go to school for so many hours a day, so many days a week, and so many weeks a year….. Time is the constant, learning is the variable. What we want to do is flip that around. Once you create a real clear system, then learning becomes the constant and we can actually measure the rate at which students are learning. Learning can happen 24/7, 365 days a year….. and if we want to unleash the power of students, learning has be very clear, in what students are expected to know and be able to do, but they can  learn in any context to meet those objectives.

Are our schools permitting our students to learn what is important to them? Are schools creating a synthetic, constraint to students learning? Rather, if not schools, curriculum?

In five years, Richard DeLorenzo took Chugach of the lowest performing school districts in Alaska to one of the highest. This, Richard said, was chiefly the result of  “five things we did really well,” these were

  1. Ensuring the relevance of learning – “kids have to have ownership of what they learn. It has to mean something to them”.
  2. Building relationships – student to student, student to teacher,  teacher to teacher;
  3. Responsibility for learning and assessment transferred from the teacher to the student;
  4. Rate of learning  – “We increased it  – kids perform actually above their ability rate”
  5. Rigour – we were able to increase the rigour, what  the kids had to do to be successful in the global economy.

Can any, or, all of these five ‘things’ be applied in our own classrooms?


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  1. Pingback: links for 2011-05-05 | Kristian Still's Blog

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