An Education day at EduFest2019 - Institut Le Rosey

My quick summary of what I heard and learned during the 4 sessions I could attend, in between my other commitments: three perspectives on schools, three students’ views and the fact there are a number of false beliefs, widespread and wrongly guiding both the teachers and parents actions. A lot of food for thought and a time super well spent.

21st century skills within 20th century curriculum

Research indicates the school systems systematically privilege the advantaged and are biased against the underprivileged.

School curriculums are geared towards knowledge acquisition, key 21st century skills are not formally taught nor tested. Book learning, academic skills, test-taking smarts are entry tickets to university but are insufficient for university graduation and adult personal and professional life, which requires lots of resilience, grit, empathy.

The 21st century curriculum must include 21st century role models showcasing non-linear careers, portfolio of competences, portfolio of jobs, new skills, new jobs, etc.

What they know determines what they see

Students need crystallized knowledge, installed for long-term retention

Students need flexible knowledge , transferable to new contexts such as reliable predictions and explanations or generalizations, threshold concepts

Students need feedback, tailored feedback in content and form. Apparently, students like written comments but do not read them and love double ticks (hic!). A good reminder: feedback can be a powerful tool, both ways – positive or negative.

Common beliefs unsupported by scientific evidence

Some mythbusting – for me - from David Didau and Paul A. Kirschner extending the Mark Twain’ comment “In religion and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand and without examination” to Education:

  • Multitasking doesn’t exist: is in fact task switching

  • Passive consumption of knowledge technology-enabled is not building skills such as analysis and critical reasoning, information processing

  • Socio-economic profile is the most powerful factor in academic performance (PISA 2015).

  • Most of the time used to give feedback is wasted – there is no impact on performance (Kluger & DeNisi 1996)

With a quick search for the content of the Paul Kirschner book ‘Urban myths about learning education’ I found many other myths and interesting statements I want to explore. Same with the David Didau’s book: How to make kids cleverer. I am a mother of a teenage girl, of course I need to know how, so my holiday reading plan is filled up with these two titles. If are good, you will know in my August blog. And hopefully, I will be cleverer too.

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