The Social Animal

The Social Animal. David Brooks.

David Brooks Defines The New ‘Social Animal’
March 07, 2011
http://www.npr.org/2011/03/07/134329412/david-brooks-defines-the-new-social-animal

David Brooks has covered some of the most significant events in recent time.
Looking at the effects of these events from a broader view, Brooks began to think that perhaps other people besides policymakers — such as scientists, philosophers, psychologists and neuroscientists — were the ones who had real insight on how people thrive, and what causes failure on such a large scale.

In Washington, D.C., which Brooks calls “the most emotionally avoidant city on Earth,” Brooks notes that decisions are made based on the assumption that people are cold, rationalistic individuals who respond to incentives.
Those assumptions didn’t quite match what the research in other fields began to illustrate, however.

“Scientists, philosophers and others were developing a more accurate view of human nature, which is that emotion is more important than reason, that we’re not individuals — we’re deeply interconnected,” Brooks says. “And most importantly … most of our thinking happens below the level of awareness.”
[related:
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/emotion-more-real-than-facts
https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/reason-and-emotion-come-into-conflict]

Instead of relying on rational decisions, Brooks says, people tend to be influenced by their underlying, unconscious emotional state, which is in turn influenced by the social relationships surrounding them. For example, Brooks has covered education reform for 20 years and writes that he has seen little improvement from multitudinous policy changes.

“The reality of education is that people learn from people they love. But if you mention the word love at a congressional hearing, they look at you like you’re Oprah,” he says.
[related: https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/kids-dont-learn-from-people-they-dont-like ]

Brooks emphasizes that what really matters in people’s lives today is how they relate to one another.
Scientists can now study an 18-month-old child interacting with his or her mother and predict with 77 percent accuracy whether the child will graduate from high school.
While Brooks cautions against letting these early signs determine a child’s future, as mentors or other strong relationships can intervene along the way, he stresses the importance of looking at the impact that emotional relationships have on our lives from the very beginning.

The most successful groups, he says, are the ones who take turns having a conversation and are good at signaling each other.
[related: https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/enhance-your-resilience ]

related:
http://www.npr.org/2011/07/14/134240870/david-brookss-smart-messy-theory-on-everything

NCTQ Teacher Prep Review

NCTQ Teacher Prep Review
June 18, 2013
http://media.npr.org/assets/news/2013/teacherprep.pdf

As a result, the burden of training has shifted from the teacher preparation program to the novice teacher—or more accurately, the new teacher’s employer.
The consequences of this shift have not been good for the profession or for public schools. (p. 6)

Because of its remarkable record of educational success, Finland has often been cited as a source of wisdom about everything from the supposed “dangers” of standardized testing to the proper aesthetics of school architecture.
What is not so well known is what it took for Finland to become a paragon of educational virtues: the radical restruct uring of its teacher preparation system.
Raising the standards of teacher preparation in Finland ultimately raised the status of the teaching profession. Now Finland’s best and brightest !ercely compete to get into its prestigious teacher training programs. And, as the renowned educational analyst Pasi Sahlberg notes, only medicine is perceived by Finns to be a more desirable occupation for a potential spouse than teaching. (p. 9)

High-performing nations, such as Finland, South Korea and Singapore, are all notable for their top-notch teacher training systems. All three draw candidates from at least the top-third of the college-going population, …

Undoubtedly, new teachers will always learn a lot in their 1rst year on the job, as anyone does when starting a new profession.
However, the expectations for novice teachers’ competencies are far too low given the impact on student learning and the fact that students who are already far behind their peers are much more likely to be assigned such teachers.

Lesson Planning: plan instruction for their future students who will need special consideration: students with special needs, English language learners and students who know the material before the lesson even begins. (p. 47)

one element of consistency does emerge: the direction to teacher candidates to plan for instruction that considers students’ “learning styles.”
Unfortunately, this recommendation has been thoroughly discredited by research as ineffectual [26] and distracts the candidate from more productive planning considerations. Nonetheless, the “pseudo science” that learning styles be considered in planning lessons is advocated by threefourths (74 percent) of programs. (p. 48)

The fact that 866 different reading textbooks—the majority of which are partly or wholly unscientific—are used to teach the seminal skill needs by elementary and special education teachers is a testament to this abdication of responsibility, an abdication that has very real consequences for our nation’s children. (p. 94)

http://www.nctq.org/teacherPrepHome.do

http://www.npr.org/2013/06/18/192765776/study-teacher-prep-programs-get-failing-marks

Fostering Student Self-Management

Classroom Management that Works. Part 3: Fostering Student Self-Management
ASCD. 2004
Teacher John Wallis uses verbal cues and student-made systems to remind his class that most learning is in their hands.

ASCD: Learn, Teach, & Lead.
http://www.ascd.org
Founded in 1943, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is the global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner. Comprising 140,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, professors, and advocates from more than 134 countries

How common will the Common Core be?

Among Conservatives, Concerns Grow Over New School Standards
June 24, 2013
http://www.npr.org/2013/06/24/195264223/among-conservatives-concerns-grow-over-new-school-standards

“Common Core” is one of the biggest phrases in education today.
To many educators and policymakers, it’s a big, exciting idea that will ensure that America’s students have the tools to succeed after graduation.

in Michigan, as in most states, adoption of the core was up to the State Board of Education.
But funding has to go through McMillin and the state Legislature, so McMillin added an amendment to the budget that as he describes it, says, “Not a dime of the money that’s given to the Michigan Department of Education can be spent on implementing Common Core unless there’s an affirmative vote of the Legislature to do so.” Conservative lawmakers in other states are using similar tactics.

So while districts across the country move ahead with implementation, one big question still looms over it all: Just how common will the Common Core be?