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Showing posts from June, 2014

What Is Learning? The Debate That Should Not Continue

It seems that our nation, and possibly the world, are in the throws of a debate of what education should look like and ultimately what learning really is. Granted, change is always difficult. And although it seems education or learning should always be about change, growth and adaptation, we can also safely say that it’s also about tradition, compliance, control and power.

     In addition to the standard debates about educational reforms, there are two other forces contributing to the newer level of debate. First, technology has become so dominant and influential in all aspects of the world economically, socially and politically, that education can no longer ignore technology or attempt to work outside of it. Two, the impact of the changing global economy are finally becoming a reality. The nature of jobs and employment is dramatically being altered so fast that all educational entities are being forced to reckon with what it all means.

     In an attempt to boil it down, thi…

Commitment and Contribution - Two More C's That Need To Be Included

There are more discussions than ever going on now in our society and culture about what is learning, what is an education and what should students be doing in school. To me, there is no doubt that the world is demanding different skills, advanced types of thinking and greater levels of performance.
     I fully support the emphasis on the 21st Century Skills and the Four C’s (Collaboration, Communication, Creativity and Critical Thinking). However, I also think that we need to add two more C’s to the list. They represent skills that have always been relevant, crucial and gauges of success – but are even more pertinent now more than ever. They are COMMITMENT and CONTRIBUTION.

     As educators and even students reflect during this annual time of year on graduation, completion, renewal, goals, accomplishments, accolades and more, it seems we need to ask one another what was really gained or learned from any educational experience or situation.

     Is it about grades? Getting …

Endings & Beginnings Force Reflection, Higher Levels of Learning

With the time of graduations and school-year endings upon us, we are often found in a state of reflection. Whether it’s educators completing another exhausting and challenging year - or students moving on to new levels of education or new chapters in their lives – this time of year will often lead to us to see what we’ve done and we’re going to do. This is reflection and this is real learning at a high level.
     Famous thinkers such as Aristotle, Plato and Confucius all communicated about the value of reflection in learning. Early education researcher John Dewey wrote about the value of reflection in learning often and thought of reflection as the beginning of all problem solving, higher level thinking and more. Bloom’s Taxonomy addresses reflection throughout and education writer and researcher Don Clark breaks down reflection as it applies to students, teachers, etc. (

     In lay terms, how does reflection relate to…