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HomeEducationShifting Focus From Concepts To The Results Of These Concepts

Shifting Focus From Concepts To The Results Of These Concepts


by Terry Heick

It’s not the considering behind an concept that ought to trouble us, however reasonably the impact of the concept.

#edtech. Content material-based tutorial requirements. PLCs. Video streaming. Use of knowledge. Mandates to be research-based in our conduct. Distant instructing. Differentiation. Social media within the classroom.

None of those concepts are good or unhealthy in and of themselves. They’re simply concepts. They’re value-neutral–inert in isolation. We solely cost them after we internalize them–consider them utilizing our distinctive schema, think about them in circumstances acquainted to us, or in any other case contextualize them comfortably to keep away from cognitive dissonance.

By internalizing them, we clean their tough edges for simpler consumption. Who needs to really feel like they’ve an incomplete understanding of one thing? At this level, although, the concept has misplaced its authentic form. It’s misshapen–the identical distinction between an actual canine and one a clown twists up in brown and white balloons.

Shifting from an idea or concept to one thing we perceive in our personal phrases isn’t any small shift. And comes with a loss. By internalizing an concept, we additionally connect feelings to them–hopeful optimism, head-shaking skepticism. Or indifference.

For instance, I like the concept of personalised studying, so I connect constructive emotions to it that may lead me to cognitive distortions downstream, the place I oversimplify its perform or catastrophize our continued misunderstanding of its potential in training. I champion it, however the ‘it’ (personalised studying, on this case) is merely an concept. The it + context is totally different. That is chemistry.

Consider it as sample: Concept–>Integration–>Impact.

The concept alone is beneficial solely as a matter of imaginative and prescient or artistry. As an educational or mental train. As a matter of playful dialogue or good old style bench racing.

The mixing is a matter of design and engineering (designer and engineer being two minds of a instructor).

Concepts, integrations, and results all matter, in fact, nevertheless it’s all additionally recursive: One impacts the opposite, the concept impacting the combination, the combination affecting the impact, the impact shining new gentle on the concept. Perhaps then, as an alternative of a linear Concept->Integration–>Impact, we would suppose as an alternative of one thing extra like a triangle:

                         Concept

Integration                             Impact

Altering Our Pondering

And as an alternative of “Is that this concept?”, we would ask different questions:

What’s ‘it’? What are its components? What does it seem like complete?

What’s it doing?

How is it working?

What does it ‘price’? Impact? Change?

How does it help academics–make instructing a artistic and mental and human act as an alternative of a matter of coverage, process, and survival?

What are its results–and never slim results in pursuit of a single objective, however reasonably macro results on a factor in its native place?

In training, these may be redressed as:

What has standardizing content material right into a slim vary of content material areas finished to studying?

How has a gamified system of training labored for youngsters as they search to turn into complete human beings able to good work, compassion for the folks round them, and nuanced digital and bodily citizenship?

See additionally What Ought to A Faculty Do?

How has training retreated right into a tangle of coverage and jargon impacted the capability of households and communities to be served by their very own studying?

How do academics reply when referred to as to be ‘research-based’? Does that encourage them to pour over peer-reviewed journals of rising pedagogies to solely usher in “confirmed” methodology into their classroom? Or does it ship them to Google to seek for ‘research-based educational methods‘ the place they discover the identical 6-8 examples which might be tossed limp and lifeless into their subsequent lesson plan as a result of that’s what they had been advised to?

Let’s broaden our view. Let’s fake for a second that we are going to finally be capable to design a system of instructing and studying the place each single pupil will be capable to grasp each single tutorial commonplace their native authorities has set out for them. What’s the impact of this technique? Of this mastery? What are we assuming in regards to the requirements and their mastery? That they’ll create a nation of essential thinkers that do wonderful issues?

And this technique–what are we assuming about it and its results? What does it ‘do’ to youngsters? Once they graduate from this hypothetical machine, will they’ve a robust sense of self-knowledge, knowledge, place, and familial legacy? Of essential considering, work, and love? If not, is that okay?

Is that even the supposed impact we’re on the lookout for? If not, what’s? We must always know, proper?

Concepts As Results

A flipped classroom is sweet, sure? 1:1? Maker training? The 3D printer within the library? Sure, as concepts. So what are they doing? What are their results? The concept is all the time impartial.

A ‘good concept’ is advertising based mostly on emotion and look. How is it been applied, and extra critically, what are its results? Expertise. Workshop-based PD. Snark on twitter. That grouping technique you had been planning on utilizing tomorrow.

And watch out of the metrics or proof you’re on the lookout for. That new questioning technique might have 65% extra engagement from college students however might have stymied the scholars from wrestling with the query on their very own. Identical with instructor self-directed PD, 3-minute hallway switches, or labeling a faculty as ‘good’ or ‘unhealthy.’ Saying one thing is a ‘good concept’ can solely be accepted if we transfer immediately right into a dialog about integration, after which on impact.

“What are its results?” is a fancy query that deserves our considering and most cautious genius. However one much more worthy of our collective affection may be, “What’s it doing to our youngsters as they search to turn into extra human–to develop intellectually, creatively, and in knowledge and love?”

We would then crane our necks additional downstream than we’re accustomed to in order that we would see what we–and so they–are shifting in direction of collectively.

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