Sunday, March 13, 2016

Today's Reads, Views, and Links

My unread email messages are over 100 again, so it's time to do another round of reads, views, and links.

This one was so buried in my email it was from the first week of school!  I'm glad I found it: The Two Types of Knowledge.

This is an interesting read that explores "the" two types of knowledge (and for all I know there are certainly more than just two types of knowledge.  I'm just going off this article), which I'd paraphrase as "real" knowledge to "memorized" information.

Here is a great story from the article that illustrates this -

After receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918, Max Planck went on tour across Germany. Wherever he was invited, he delivered the same lecture on new quantum mechanics. Over time, his chauffeur grew to know it by heart: “It has to be boring giving the same speech each time, Professor Planck. How about I do it for you in Munich? You can sit in the front row and wear my chauffeur’s cap. That’d give us both a bit of variety.” Planck liked the idea, so that evening the driver held a long lecture on quantum mechanics in front of a distinguished audience. Later, a physics professor stood up with a question. The driver recoiled: “Never would I have thought that someone from such an advanced city as Munich would ask such a simple question! My chauffeur will answer it.”

The article goes on to clarify the two types of knowledge a bit more - the "real" knowledge as in the original work and thinking that Professor Planck did in the example above.  Then there is the "memorized" information, like that of the chauffeur.

What I find interesting is that certainly the chauffeur had tons of "real" knowledge that he could demonstrate to the professor who then could just recite it off to an audience and pass it off as if he knows something.

So the question seems to me is how often do we allow for students to develop the type of knowledge that Planck has.  This is not a critique of teachers.  Maybe our current way of teaching our students is to give them a broad base of knowledge (usually acquired in the same was that the chauffeur gained his knowledge) in order to do the real work later in college and life that Planck excelled at.

I think it's an interesting topic to think about.


When we read Seth Godin's Linchpin, I show this video as an example of a man who is, without a doubt, a linchpin.  His area of expertise?  Superior content knowledge.  If he didn't have that, he would have lasted about two minutes trying to exterminate this giant wasp nest.


I love edutopia.  They always have intriguing articles.  This one is no exception: Stop, Start, Continue: Conceptual Understanding Meets Applied Problem Solving.

This is a post written by a Chief Academic Officer about how he reviews their curriculum.  He asks three interesting, yet simple, questions to begin the review:

*  What should we stop doing?
*  What should we start doing?
*  What should we continue doing?

Their results are quite interesting -

What should we stop doing?

*  Stop teaching like we have the answers
*  Stop talking

What should we start doing?

*  Start looking for problems to solve, actions to take, and beauty to create
*  Start teaching with new discoveries about the brain in mind
*  (My personal favorite) Start seeking out authentic, high-stakes audiences for student work

What should we continue doing?

*  Continue with professional development and model the growth mindset in action (gotta love good old Carol Dweck)
*  Continue to place our work with students in a global setting
*  Continue believing in the potential of every student.

Now if you (or your department and then your school) asked those questions, what would you come up with?


I'm a total professional development junkie, so I'm always looking for new books to read.  Here is a list I found on Twitter from the editors of Fortune.  Here are their 12 must-read books.

You can read the list yourself if you wish.  Here are the ones I ordered -

The Gift of Failure:  How the Best Parents Learn to let go so Their Children Can Succeed.

How Google Works.

So You've Been Publicly Shamed - This one was also recommended by a former student now at Concordia.  She read it in one of her classes, so I bought it upon her recommendation.  I had a student read it in CC 2 for her first Sticky-Note Book Report.  Given how we are a 1:1 district, this would be interesting required reading.


I have a board on Pinterest entitled The World is a Fine Place and Worth Fighting For.

This story about an autistic 6 year old and her therapy can belongs at the top of that page!


This story is perfect for what we are studying in College Comp 2 as we read Austin Kleon's Steal Like an Artist.

This piece not only talks about Einstein's incredible work ethic - one thing Kleon focuses on again and again in his book, but it also focuses on how Einstein was a contributor.  He kept working and contributing to the field of science right up until the day we die.  May we all be so lucky.

That reminds me of one of Kleon's favorite quotes:


I'm always preaching this to my students: School is Not a Metaphor For Life.

There are two quotes in here that I think are just genius -

First, "Humanity cannot wait for students to graduate."

Second, "Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself."

Now chew on those for a year or two!


Coach Mumm sends out his morning motivations and it seems like every other time there is a video that makes me wonder how I could ever teach without having used it.

This is latest example.


Kristie and I watched this last week, and we laughed so hard we had tears.  How much fun would this job be?

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