Sunday, September 22, 2013

Accountable Talk - My Cousera Course

It's Saudi National Weekend. I'm using this weekend to catch up on reading and immerse myself in some professional development goodness. I love learning...learning excites me and invigorates me.

I'm currently in Week Two of my Coursera course - Accountable Talk. This week we are looking at the Growth Mindset and the Fixed Mindset. Part of the resources available to us is the video below:

I'm a fan of Carol Dweck and have read her book "Mindset".

Three ways to instill a growth mindset in ourselves and those around us:
1. Recognise that the growth mindset is not only beneficial but is also proven by science.
2. Learn and teach others about how to develop our abilities. When we understand how to develop our abilities we take conviction that we are in control of them.
3. Listen for your fixed mindset voice and reply in a growth mindset voice. If you hear "I can't do it?" - Reply with "Yet".

Useful readings:

Quotes of interest:

As Nobel laureate Herbert Simon wisely stated, the meaning of “knowing” has shifted from being able to remember and repeat information to being able to find and use it (Simon, 1996). More than ever, the sheer magnitude of human knowledge renders its coverage by education an impossibility; rather, the goal of education is better conceived as helping students develop the intellectual tools and learning strategies needed to acquire the knowledge that allows people to think productively about history, science and technology, social phenomena, mathematics, and the arts. Fundamental understanding about subjects, including how to frame and ask meaningful questions about various subject areas, contributes to individuals’ more basic understanding of principles of learning that can assist them in becoming self-sustaining, lifelong learners. (How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School, 2000, p.5)
Teachers must draw out and work with the preexisting un derstandings that their students bring with them. The use of frequent formative assessment helps make students’ thinking visible to themselves, their peers, and their teacher. This provides feedback that can guide modification and refinement in thinking. Given the goal of learning with understanding, assessments must tap understanding rather than merely the ability to repeat facts or perform isolated skills. (How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School, 2000, p.20)

Providing children with practice at telling or “reading” stories is an impetus to the growth of language skills and is related to early independent reading; seeBox 4.6. For many years some parents and scholars have known about the importance of early reading, through picture book “reading” that is connected to personal experiences. Recently, the efficacy of this process has been scientifically validated—it has been shown to work (see National Research Council, 1998). (How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School, 2000, p.105)

Story telling is a powerful way to organize lived and listened-to experiences, and it provides an entry into the ability to construe narrative from text. By the time children are 3 or 4, they are beginning narrators; they can tell many kinds of stories, including relating autobiographical events, retelling fiction, and recalling stories they have heard. The everyday experiences of children foster this story telling. Children like to talk and learn about familiar activities, scripts or schemes, the “going to bed” script or the “going to McDonald’s” script (Nelson, 1986; Mandler, 1996). Children like to listen to and retell personal experiences. These reminiscences are stepping stones to more mature narratives. As they get older, children increase their levels of participation by adding elements to the story and taking on greater pieces of the authorial responsibility. By 3 years of age, children in families in which joint story telling is common can take over the leadership role in constructing personal narratives. (How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School, 2000, p.108)

....research studies show clear evidence that when teachers engage students in a
certain kind of academic talk, they learn better than when teachers do not engage them in this kind of talk. What we know from these and other similar studies, is that the changes captured in these results are retained over time and often extend beyond the subject area in which the students engaged in the academically productive talk. In fact, some of these results are quite startling. One of the exciting things about these studies, and some of the other research that exists, is that the findings cross diverse sets of students. It is very easy to think about having rigorous discussions with advanced placement high school students. But we see in the research that all students can benefit from this instructional practice: students who don't speak English at home, students from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, and even very young students. All students can engage in academically productive talk and see the benefits. (Research that informed our thinking, p.4)

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