Creative Schools

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Creative Schools by Mind Map: Creative Schools

1. Chapter 1: Standards movement is failing and creating more problems than solutions.

1.1. Student engagement and teacher morale are low and continuing to decline. Students are dropping out of school, some of whole seek alternative methods, such as getting their GED. Teachers are also leaving the profession, many within the first five years in the profession.

1.2. There is an increase in anxiety and pressure within students. Suicide is among the leading causes of death among 15-44 year-olds. In particular, the rate of suicide has increased more within young people.

1.3. Due to disengagement, students who do not complete high school face repercussions such as incarceration. The data shows that a "very high proportion of people who are long-term unemployed, homeless, on welfare, or in the correctional system did not graduate from high school."

1.4. Rather than build the economy, the standards movement has caused a widening skill gap between what is being taught in schools and what is needed in order for the economy to thrive. Despite having degrees, many are unable to find employment, particularly in their field of study.

2. Chapter 1: The standards movement is not appropriate for all learners.

2.1. The standards movement has led to an almost nonexistent vocational emphasis in schools. If anything, vocational training and careers are seen as second-rate to a college education. There is no longer an emphasis or value for practical disciplines such as art and drama.

2.2. This movement gives preference to direct instruction of facts and whole-class teaching as opposed to a student-centered constructivist approach.

2.3. Assessments are rote and formal, with multiple choice questions being the preferred method. Open-ended performance-based assessments are not encouraged, particularly because they cannot be quantified as easily.

2.4. It puts students with poor socio-economic backgrounds at a disadvantage, particularly if they are living in poverty. It seeks to empower those with means.

3. Chapter 6: Curriculum should be a balance between knowing, doing, and being.

3.1. There are 8 competencies that are relevant to the basic purposes of education: curiosity, creativity, criticism, communication, collaboration, compassion, composure, and citizenship.

3.2. The pairing of academic and vocational learning allows for higher engagement and interaction with learning.

3.3. "Education is the responsibility of everyone in the community." By providing students opportunities to work with professional mentors from within the community, they can learn in the real-world and help build their community.

3.4. When we force kids to learn things that have no relevance or interest to them, we take away their natural ability to learn.

4. Chapter 6: Learning should be a mix of theory and practice.

4.1. This provides opportunity for a balanced curriculum, which gives equal status and resources to arts, humanities, language arts, math, physical education, and science.

4.2. This approach also provides opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and activities.

4.3. Failure is something that should be celebrated because it is part of the process, and part of learning what doesn't work.

4.4. Design thinking is another approach to disciplinary teaching, which can also provide a great balance between academic and vocational education.

5. Chapter 1: Safety and stability are vital if learning and teaching is to take place.

5.1. Dr. Barron worked to establish safety in school so that students would come to school in the first place. She also reconsidered suspending students to show that she wanted them at school.

5.2. next, she worked to help students feel valued in order to create the safety and stability. She and her staff gave value and importance to what the students felt was important. In turn, the students valued what the adults valued and cooperated with them.

5.3. Lastly, she and her team focused on supporting teachers and ensuring that curriculum was delivered to the students. The school saw an increase in test scores and attendance in conjunction with a decrease in discipline issues.

6. Chapter 7: Standardized testing is undermining the quality and equity of education.

6.1. Standardized tests have become a multi-billion dollar business that causes stress and anxiety for teachers and students.

6.2. The PISA league tables have led to an increase in standardized testing culture. Many of the schools that are within the top 5, administer fewer standardized tests than the U.S.

6.3. The PISA league tables has been a motivating factor for initiatives such as NCLB, Common Core, and standardized testing.

6.4. "The world economy pays you for what you can do with what you know." Standardized tests focus on what you know rather than what you can do with what you know.

7. Chapter 2: Learning should be engaging, authentic, and relevant.

7.1. When you harness the natural abilities of learners, they are more engaged with their learning - it gives it purpose and importance is given to creativity.

7.2. This allows for learners to develop a sense of purpose and self-respect for themselves and their abilities.

7.3. It provides a rich learning experience, which is the result of passion and care from experts and trust, willingness, and commitment from the learners.

8. Chapter 7: Assessment is a necessary component of learning.

8.1. It is a process where descriptors are used to compare and make judgement about the student's progress and attainment.

8.2. Assessments are diagnostic, formative, and summative. Programs such as the Learning Record have provided an authentic way to assess students and track their progress. It provides all stakeholders insight and snapshots of the learner's progress.

8.3. Employers are looking for collaborators, communicators, and creative and critical thinkers - not people who received good grades on content.

8.4. Teachers who have moved away from providing students numerical or letter-based grades have seen an increase in student progress. They have focused on goal-setting - monitoring and achieving goals.

9. Chapter 2: Education shouldn't be an industry.

9.1. You cannot conform in education because each person is different, not standardized. Diversity should be celebrated. Schools cannot be compliant because you cannot dictate how or when students should think. Creativity and imagination should be encouraged. Being linear goes against human nature, thus students shouldn't be grouped linearly because each learns at their own rate.

9.2. Experiences shape people, hence life is unpredictable. You cannot pre-plan education. Optimum conditions need to be created for learning and development.

9.3. The result of industrializing education is stunting the talents and interests of learners.

9.4. Education needs to be organic, where the focus is on developing the whole student, understanding and recognizing the interdependence of the student's development, cultivating each student's talent and potential irrelevant of their circumstance.

10. Chapter 8: School leadership has a direct impact on teaching and learning.

10.1. A school leader brings vision and management to support the school in excelling.

10.2. "At the heart of the principal's role is to: appreciate the individuality of the student body, seek potential at every turn, and constantly strive to move the school forward in the face of constant change."

10.3. Good, strong leaders are those who are able to inspire those they lead. Schools can only be transformed by principal leadership, faculty willing to engage in the change, and good quality professional development.

10.4. Great principals build community in addition to their other responsibilities.

11. Chapter 2: The purpose of education is - economic, cultural, social, and personal.

11.1. Economic: The standards movement is outdated and no longer supports the jobs that exist or will exist. There is a need to foster an educated workforce that has "21st century skills".

11.2. Cultural Education must be broad and rich, not narrow. Part of which is understanding one's culture, the culture of others, and tolerance and coexistence.

11.3. Social: Education lacks equity. The allocation of funds and resources lacks equity. This leads to the education system's failure in producing active citizens.

11.4. Personal: In order to raise student achievement, each individual student must be engaged and their needs met.

12. Chapter 8: Learning extends beyond the school and academics - it is an extension of the culture and community.

12.1. Each community has their own habits - their individual routines and procedures

12.2. The habitat or physical environment of the school is just as important as its habits. The habitat affects the feel of a school as well as how the school works.

12.3. "Culture is about permission." Change within the community or culture takes place due to many forces interacting with each other.

12.4. Clark University sends its students out into the community to engage with and solve with real problems.

13. Chapter 4: Children are natural born learners.

13.1. Children learn and acquire language on their own - parents do not stop to teach them explicitly.

13.2. Sugata's experiments found that children reacted to, observed, tried, learned, and taught one another how to use the computer and internet. Children observe, adapt, and practice skills naturally.

13.3. The intellectual culture of schools focuses more on the "academic", particularly on the propositional knowledge. It seems to be more important to know "that" than "how" or "why". Schools need to provide equal opportunities and spaces for propositional and procedural knowledge.

13.4. Play is a vital component of how children learn. Most schools have students sitting at desks, facing the front of the room, learning. We must develop children's natural abilities by personalizing education to the real abilities of students.

14. Chapter 9: A strong partnership between parents and school supports learners in being successful.

14.1. Parents know the whole child - they can help teachers better understand the student and their likes and needs.

14.2. Higher parent engagement leads to increased motivation and achievement.

14.3. The expertise of parents can help foster students' strengths and interests.

14.4. Parents advocate for the needs of their child. This however, should not be in the form of receiving special treatment for specific students.

15. Chapter 4: Education is a global and personal issue - learning should be personalized.

15.1. Intelligence is diverse. Every culture and group of people has made its mark on this earth, in a variety of ways through science, arts, religion, technology, and much more.

15.2. Allow students the opportunity for personalized learning by letting them pursue their interests. This will create more student engagement and investment. Each person is different, thus teaching them the same way is ineffective.

15.3. Each person learns best in their own way, thus, they may also learn at a different rate. Flexible schedules provide flexibility and opportunity for longer student engagement and opportunity to learn.

15.4. Assessments should be inclusive of multiple pieces and types of evidence. This provides a "full picture" of the learner and what they know and can do.

16. Chapter 9: A strong partnership between parents and school allows for school improvement.

16.1. Strong and positive partnerships can lead to school improvement and better learning environments.

16.2. Schools have to make the involvement of parents accessible.

16.3. Involving parents and families can lead to greater learning, as can be seen in the example of the Blue School, where parents, teachers and students all engage in learning.

16.4. Organizations like Families in Schools have made a great impact in increasing parent involvement. They have worked to get teachers trained on how to work with parents who may not speak English or who may not have the time or availability to be active participants.

17. Chapter 5: Teaching is an art.

17.1. The main role of a teacher is to facilitate learning, which occurs when students are given the right conditions for learning.

17.2. Teaching requires a balance between traditional and progressive teaching - direct instruction of facts and information + inquiry and self-expression.

17.3. Learning occurs when students are engaged. Two ways to make that happen: allowing students to make their own work and appraise the work of others.

17.4. Good teaching provides a balance of creative, technical, contextual, and critical development.

17.5. Subject expertise is not enough for great teaching. Being an expert in a discipline does not mean you can teach it. Need to know how to inspire students.

18. Chapter 10: The role of effective leaders is climate control, which comes through establishing the principles of health, ecology, fairness, and care.

18.1. Health is fostered by creating and maintaining enthusiastic learners and expert teachers. It also is supported by an uplifting vision.

18.2. Ecology is nurtured through inspiring leaders, a holistic approach and well-focused resources.

18.3. Fairness is promoted through establishing partnerships and collaborations, strategic innovation, and advocacy and permission.

18.4. Care is provided through high standards, intelligent accountability and continuous professional development.

19. Chapter 5: Expert teachers engage, enable, expect, and empower.

19.1. By bringing out the best in the students, the teacher is able to engage them. This enables students to be inspired and enthused.

19.2. An expert teacher knows which techniques to use, when. Additionally, they adapt and grow their repertoire of strategies and continually adjust, judge, and respond to the students' energy and engagement. Inquiry-based learning is one way to enable students.

19.3. "Teaching and learning is a relationship." In order for this relationship to grow, teachers must expect their students to do well. This builds the human connection between the two.

19.4. Teachers are mentors and guides - they support students in building their confidence, get a sense of direction, and believe in themselves. "Students who are more confidence of their own learning ability "learn faster and learn better." It becomes the culture of the classroom.

20. Chapter 3: In order to transform a system you need a critique, vision, and theory of change.

20.1. You must take a look at things as they are and have a vision for what they should be. You must then have a theory for how to move fro one to the other.

20.2. In order for this to be effective, it must be realized that schools are adaptive and complext. If this is kept in mind, then the change can take effect and be purposeful in each setting.

20.3. Change begins by taking responsibility for it, and by accepting that you are able to make change.

21. Chapter 3: There is an ecosystem of responsibilities that must be adhered to.

21.1. The main job of the school is to facilitate learning. It is the teacher's job to help the student learn. If this relationship fails, education is not happening.

21.2. Policymakers must create conditions in which principals and schools can ensure that teachers can facilitate learning in order to ensure that students want to and be able to learn.

21.3. You need to allow students the space to succeed, as can be seen through the North Star example. Students aren't pressured to learn. They are given the freedom to find their own path, to explore and to learn.

22. Chapter 5: Learning occurs when students are engaged and creative.

22.1. The Flipped Classroom model gives students an opportunity to learn from peers. It allows students to learn at their own pace at home and apply and practice the skills in the classroom setting.

22.2. Being creative immerses students in refining, testing, and focusing on what they are doing. It is a process through which you learn the skills you need, rather than learning them in isolation.

22.3. Once students are hooked through videos or other means that are of interest to them, the will actively participate in the learning.

22.4. Students need to be inspired through the teacher's passion for the discipline, and become confident, independent learners who experiment, inquire, ask questions, and develop skills.

23. Chapter 10: Change occurs when creativity is given priority.

23.1. Peter Gamwell realized he needed to embrace creative contributions from around the county.

23.2. In Argentina, Silvina Gvirtz worked to improve the quality of education at underfunded schools. She was able to raise the graduation rate as well as begin a technology initiative that allows students to explore their creativity.

23.3. People avoid taking chances with innovation and change. They avoid taking risks, the culture and ideology may influence education and money and political agendas also influence the direction of education.

23.4. Vision + skills + incentives + resources + action plan = change = creativity and innovation in schools.