Thursday, 6 October 2016

Oct 6th - A teacher's view on "Most Likely to Succeed"

Connect, Collaborate, Innovate
   31 Days of Blogging 2016

  Today's tips from the Starter Kete

Guest Blogger - Sue McLachlan

At the start of #31daysofblogging, we decided to find blogs that
teachers in the ChCh Connected Educators group had already posted and cross-post them this month. We wanted blog posts that related to the themes Connect, Collaborate and Innovate.

Sue Mclachlan is a teacher on the move. She starts at Haeata, the new Yr1-Yr13 school in Aranui next Monday. She is leaving Hagley High School where she has been Head of the School of Apps. Don't know what that is? Here is her blog post from last year's "31days of blogging"
But I want to focus on Sue's blog post written last year after she
had seen the movie "Most Likely to Succeed" about a Californian school, High Tech High. The founder of the school Larry Rosenstock was the opening keynote speaker at uLearn16. Many teachers in New Zealand have seen the movie, so here is Sue's blog post about the movie.

Most likely to succeed (18th November, 2015)

Tonight was the Christchurch screening of  an amazing documentary about the purpose of school. You can read a bit about the background to this in this article about Ted Dintersmith and his documentary "Most Likely to Succeed". I have been lucky enough to watch this movie today and this is my notes and reflection on it.
"If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow." ~John Dewey
This quote really sums up the movie for me. Change is needed and certainly this was brought home tonight.
It started with talking about how Deep Blue beat Kasparov in chess in 1997 and started the change in what computers can do and what humans can do. There was a very interesting interview with Jeopardy contestant Ken Jennings who came up against the Jeopardy Supercomputer and lost. He talked about how his job of knowing things was one of the first jobs to become obsolete.  A good question was
"What are people going to do when muscle power is not needed anymore?"
The next section was about the history of education and they talked about how education was put into age, ability and subject groups back in 1843. This was related to the Industrial Revolution and then led to the Committee of Ten which was a group of educators who designed the American curriculum back in 1892. This was 120 years ago and very little has changed since. We need to think about what skills we need now - not 120 years ago.

High Tech High is the High School that is the main feature of this documentary. It is a Charter School in San Diego and has a project based curriculum where students are responsible for their learning. There are no bells, classes are not in subjects, teachers are on one year contracts and they can teach what they want - they teach to their passions. The students start with a Socratic Seminar and they have to organise the seating themselves. They struggle with this at first and I love the comment from the staff member:
 "I can micromanage you through this or you can do it on your own"
Read the rest of Sue's blogpost  HERE

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