Category Archives: Reading

The English Connection – #LL2LU with #WALearns & @lottascales

How might we mashup leveled assessment, clarity of expectations, and alignment of curriculum? There is so much to do that we need our work to serve multiple purposes.  What if we meet together as a team to discuss, describe, and build prototypes of learning progressions in student friendly language?

I had the privilege of working with Woodward Academy’s English Connection to investigate these ideas.  Shelley Paul, Woodward’s Director of Learning Design, a.k.a @lottascales, and I facilitated a day-long professional development opportunity for 20 Woodward faculty-learners to experiment and learn.

Our learning plan for the day:

I like the learning plan.  It mirrors the original plan for Leading Learners to Level Up with much richer detail and use of technology way to communicate and collaborate.

I wonder if our plan will help Woodward’s teacher-learners engage in the process and feel confident as they begin the important process to align curriculum both vertically and horizontally.

I want to know more about teaching reading and writing and how it progresses as a young learner grows through our school from Kindergarten through their senior year.

Shelley and I have done some homework.  We have practiced this process with Dee Koscik (@koscikd) and with Peggy McNash (@pmcnash). We also met with the English Connection core committee members to discuss and overview the process.

In my next post, I will share our experience during the session and the feedback from the teacher-learners.  Stay tuned…

PD: Reading and Assessment – Learning Together – feedback progress

We met yesterday to discuss next steps in our work and learning on reporting progress, learning, and growth.  Our lesson plan (agenda) had to differentiated for different groups of faculty.

I am working to be better at differentiation for the 90+ faculty.  I was more successful yesterday, but I still have lots of room for growth.  The plan differentiated for our teachers of 3s and Pre-K, teachers of K-4th grade, teachers of Specials, and teachers of 5th-6th grade.  I failed to have a formal differentiated plan for our Learning Team and our Media Team.  Fortunately, the Learning Team was proactive and submitted a lesson plan for themselves. <awesome!>

At 12:30, Dawn Pile (@DawnPile), our Early Elementary Division Head of School, reminded us that progress report for our youngest learner was revamped just a couple of years ago. These teacher-learners used the rest of the meeting to learn more together about supporting and building e-portfolios for our 3s and Pre-K children.  Rhonda Mitchell (@rgmteach), our Personalized Learning Specialist, highlighted work already being done and outlined a workflow strategy to record this work into the children’s MyLearning portfolios. It was awesome!  A real mashup of PD, sharing ideas, and strategies.  The questions were immediate and specific.  How do I… What app should I use… Will you help me… It could not have been better for these teachers. The feedback was great.  Here are a few comments that stood out for me:

Rhonda helped me to understand the many different ways I can use Evernote besides posting pictures and videos previously taken. Very useful!!

Rhonda generated ideas to get us moving on the My Learning notebooks. she also helped us with ways to move photos and videos into notebooks.

I have never used Evernote and need all the information I can get.  Also, the timing of this meeting was perfect.  It will jumpstart us to begin document our students progress.

At 3:30, Maryellen Berry (@fastwalker10), our Upper Elementary Division Head of School, Dawn, and I reviewed the work and ideation from last year and discussed the results from the latest faculty feedback.  We talked about the request from faculty to have a mashup of the ideas from our ideation.  Since the group was so big and so diverse, we then transitioned into three small groups.  Maryellen and Dawn met with Specials teachers; Rhonda facilitated the K-4th grade session, and I worked with the 5th and 6th grade teams.  I was very encouraged at our progress as the meetings concluded, but what would the feedback say?

I liked that it felt like our feedback and suggestions were listened to and acted upon. (This is a really bad sentence but I don’t know how to word it better.) I liked having a discussion of what it might look like.

I was able to see the different perspectives of progress reports and assessments from my fellow colleagues, which I really enjoyed!  We are all different and have different, unique, and important ways to see our children and communicate with families.

Honestly– I thought that it was a little silly for us to write about a student today.  BUT….. I CHANGED MY MIND COMPLETELY!!!  It was so useful to hash out the sticky parts of this BEFORE we are sitting at our computers actually writing them in October.

This applies directly to our work every day and then in progress report writing however, we would have liked to have Dawn in here to discuss with us and to clarify.  We would like to have an EED meeting with K and 1st to show examples.  We are eager to move forward with this new format and just want to make sure we are all on the same page!

As a community, we have grown in our ability and willingness to offer feedback.  I am encouraged and grateful to have every sentence of feedback that offers support, asks questions, and expresses concerns.

As is my practice, the entire set of comments and feedback was shared with our community via email.  It is shown below. Is there a particular comment that resonates with you?

PD: Reading and Assessment – Learning Together – empathy and feedback

Yesterday, we met together as a community to begin to study assessment and reading. As is my practice, I also want to share what really happened and the feedback.

As noted in our agenda, we meet twice on Wednesday’s with faculty because of our schedule. At 12:30, we meet with teachers of our 3s and Pre-K children.  At 3:30, we meet with teachers of 1st-6th grade.

Our slide decks used to deliver the overviews of assessment and reading are shared below.

I began with the idea that we focus on learning and asked faculty to do a quick think-pair-share on how we focus on assessment. I asked if, in the think-pair-share, assessment of learning was discussed. I also asked if assessment for learning was discussed.  (Rhetorical questions that caused some head nodding.)  Learners in our care want us to follow their learning, to know where they are, and to help them move to the next level. Can we offer our learners feedback that they can understand and act on to learn and grow? When we offer feedback of learning, do we follow it with feedback for learning? Do we have a feedback system? Can even our summative assessment be used as formative assessment?

I thought my presentation was stronger at 12:30 than at 3:30.  At 12:30, when I asked for a 2nd think-pair-share, it was clear that more learning was needed.  I took the opportunity to model (and discuss) formative assessment.  I adjusted, right then, my instruction to “feed up,” to offer clarity of the goal.  At 3:30, the discussion of formative assessment was stronger, and I did not need to adjust my plan.

Maryellen followed with a photo journal of ways and things we read.  It was awesome! She began with the goal “I want to become a reader” quote posted on a Kindergarten bulletin board.  Every child has this goal.  She highlighted the mystery of the alphabet and the patterns readers need to learn. What happens when the patterns fail as illustrated in the word pseudonym? She took as through an entire series of things that are important to read.  And then, the big whammy! Maryellen read a passage from her iPhone users manual.  While we could read every word, what did we understand? Awesome! The iPhone passage offered instant empathy for young readers.  Just because we can recognize every word, it does not mean we can read. She wrapped up her overview with the following quote:

Reading gives us somewhere to go when we have to stay where we are.  ~Mason Cooley

With these two overviews, faculty divided themselves into study groups and met to begin sharing our common practices.  We want to know about our current reality. What are we doing well? How can we do more of it?

At 12:30, Kathryn Nevin shared a formative assessment technique she used that day.  As kindergarteners arrive for music, they enter the room singing the same song every meeting.  Kathyrn is looking for walking with a steady beat, melody, doing the right thing, self-regulation, and a sense of space and direction.  She realized that these learners might be struggling to understand the expectations. So, on Wednesday, she used her iPad to capture their entrance to music on video. After completing the start of class routine, she played the video for her learners.

How awesome is that? The children naturally took the opportunity for self- and peer-assessment while in Kindergarten! Assessment for learning…even our youngest learners can participate, learn, and grow.

We will continue to grow and learn, together.  I’ve included the entire set of feedback comments at the end of this post, but I want to share a few specific comments.

I gained knowledge in understanding how to use continuous Formative Assessment in teaching EED Science.  It really helped me to realize the differences in Summative  and Formative.  I will strive to use Formative assessment.

.

I liked the format of today’s session.  Having a whole group explanation of both areas was helpful for a lot of people.
Jill– you did a great job of explaining assessment!  Lots of examples were really helpful to everyone.  I liked the feed up, feed back, feed forward explanation.
Maryellen– your presentation was so inspiring!  It’s wonderful to think of all of the ways we touch our children through reading.

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Assessment in Specials classes is different than assessment in the base classroom. Sometimes I struggle with the “how” of assessment in more formal ways since I only see my students once or twice a rotation. I want to continue to work at finding ways to formatively and summatively assess all of my students, across grade levels…in meaningful ways.

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I thought it was helpful to discuss different assessment options with other grade levels, reading instruction generally across grade levels, but I think it could have been helpful to incorporate some reading about reading, some study, possibly some kind of writing about reading and the possible article.

As is my practice, I emailed a copy of all of the feedback from this session to all participants.  It is another way to model formative assessment.  Everyone is informed about what everyone else offered as feedback.

PD: Reading and Assessment – Learning Together

As a community, we are studying reading and assessment.  Let me be clear.  We are studying the teaching of reading.  We are studying assessment. Our journey started with The Art of Questioning theme for our summer reading.

Kathy Bruyn, Caroline Peevy, Rhonda Mitchell, Michelle Perry, and Pam Lauer serve as lead-learners and committee c0-chairs for assessment and for reading.  Led by this team, the Faculty Staff Leadership Team (FSLT) committees met with in August to collaboratively build a common agenda (lesson plan) for these two study groups.

The agenda for today’s meeting sent via Google Doc is shown below.

Maryellen and I combined our slides for the assessment and reading presentations to tee-up these learning experiences.

For the overviews, I was charged with establishing common language around formative assessment and summative assessment.  Maryellen’s mission was to forward the importance and impact of reading as well as remind us and reinforce the message that we all teach reading.

Continuing with learner voice and choice, we asked each team to meet and choose a strand.  We need and want to have representation from each team in both the Assessment Cohort and the Reading Cohort.

Once settled in our smaller groups, the FSLT leaders asked teams to discuss their current practices and record what we are doing now in a common Google doc (Assessment and Reading) to share with other teams.

We take the last five minutes of each meeting to complete the Attendance and Feedback form so that we are doing the work in the meeting.  We model the “exit ticket” method using this form.

So, here are my questions and reflections:

I continue to worry about serving 90-100 faculty during this hour.  I  reflect on the faculty question Are we meeting just to have a meeting? Our Wednesday meetings offer job-embedded time for our community to learn. ALT and FSLT take the lead to teach – to facilitate learning.  How do we blend meeting together as a community and differentiating for individual needs and interests? We have a reading committee and an assessment committee.  What if we design learning episodes that differentiate and offer learner choice? What if our committee members collaborate to design paths and progress check points? How will we model mission and vision of learning?

I like that the agenda was a collaboration between FSLT and ALT.  I like that the agendas for reading and assessment had a common objective.  I wish that I could be in both meetings. I like that my teammates will be able to teach me what I missed in the reading meeting, and I can return the favor about the assessment meeting.

We can celebrate the active engagement and energy of the faculty.  We can celebrate our culture and that we can say I don’t know what formative assessment is and not feel judged.  I celebrate that we are a learning community where questions are encouraged.

We can grow by practicing the art of questioning.  When the learning experience does not appear to directly impact my work, how will I connect ideas to continue to learn and grow? Do I see myself as a teacher of reading? How can I take my assessment practices to the next level? Do I use assessment to alter my daily practice? Do I analyze assessment results to differentiate, enrich, and intervene? How might I teach the learners in my care to use assessment for learning? How can I contribute back to my team?…my grade level team? …my division level team? …my whole school team?

Falconry: I believe in you…

Problems are what make us interested to learn more.  Problems are the sign of a curious or creative mind.  Problems are really just challenges in disguise.  People who go looking for interesting problems are people who create and invent and discover things.  Someone who never looks for problems will rarely learn anything new.  And the ‘bad’ problems, the kind that truly do make you mad or sad or get you into trouble, well, try to turn them into ‘good’ problems by asking questions about them, or looking at them from a different direction.  You’ll see how quickly some of those ‘bad’ problems will disappear. (Lichtman, 103 pag.)

If we want our learners to ask more questions, shouldn’t we also ask more questions?  What is a good problem – a challenge or opportunity – that we want to take on?  Do we think about leading learning for our students by the example we set and the discussion we have about our learning, thinking, experiments, and actions? Do we lead learning by finding and accentuating the strengths, talents, and bright spots of every learner?

“You are all good questioners.
“You are all good problem finders.
“You are all good analytic thinkers.
“You are all good problem solvers, even for the difficult problems.
“Now we need to take the last step. I want you to become creational thinkers.
“What does that mean?  It means that you jump from analysis to synthesis; from critically evaluating what someone else has handed you to creating something to be critically evaluated by others; from reordering information to creating information. It means forging a path instead of following one. (Lichtman, 148 pag.)

I agree that “bad problems” can be turned into opportunities if we ask questions to understand from different perspectives.  How might we see through a different lens?

I argue with an “I can’t” mentality.  What if we discuss what can be and go from there?  I aspire to send a message grounded in believing in every learner; in other words, I aspire to change “I can’t…” to “I can…” with every learner.

I aspire to model partnering to shift from critically evaluating others to asking to be critically evaluated.  What if we bright spot work? Will we improve trust and relationship to the point where being critically evaluated is not deemed negative but actually sought?

I aspire to forge a new path, collaboratively, with learners.  I aspire to be a co-learner, to walk a path together.  I agree to try. I aspire to believe in every learner.

I aspire to listen more, question more, and learn more.

I aspire to become a falconer.

_________________________

Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.

[Cross posted on Flourish]

Falconry: problem-finding, find the dissonance

Identifying problems as a way to move others takes two long-standing skills and turns them upside down. First, in the past, the best salespeople were adept at accessing information. Today, they must be skilled at curating it— sorting through the massive troves of data and presenting to others the most relevant and clarifying pieces. Second, in the past, the best salespeople were skilled at answering questions (in part because they had information their prospects lacked). Today, they must be good at asking questions— uncovering possibilities, surfacing latent issues, and finding unexpected problems. (Pink, 132 pag.)

What if we simply think about the changes in history? Do the learners in our care ever experience current history lessons and learning? What about math? Are we “stuck” in an AP Calculus track for “good” math students? Do we learn enough probability and statistics? What about combinatorics or fractals and recursion?

How are we curating information? Are we teaching how to curate information and uncover possibilities? Are we striving to make connections from our discipline to the work of others? Do we model learning, curation, and connecting ideas?

Real learning, whether in the classroom or the real world, occurs when an individual takes a personal stake in solving a problem that is meaningful to him or her. The person finds a visceral, tangible difference between the world as they expect or want it to be and the world as it is. They will wrestle and prod and provoke the problem, using all of their tools and resources, until they either resolve the conflict to a point of satisfaction or just give up. Dissonance immediately leads to questioning: we ask “why,” “why not,” and “what if” until answers of satisfactory magnitude are found that either eliminate the dissonance or decrease it to a level of acceptability. (Lichtman, 104-105 pag.)

Why is it so uncomfortable to linger in and embrace the struggle? Do we see struggle to learn as failure?  Do we believe that if we don’t learn it the first time, we fail? What if we encouraged learners to discuss and reflect on the struggle?

First, resist the urge to react. Nine times out of ten, we are trying to solve the wrong problem. Reaction without analysis and understanding will almost always result in an inadequate solution. It may be easy, but it won’t be right. Remember where problems come from; dissonance. Find the dissonance. (Lichtman, 116 pag.)

I argue with labeling events (or people) as failures.  What if, when you fail, you try again? Isn’t this event then just a stumble?    I assume, again, that I have attention blindness and need others to help me with perspective. I agree that, while difficult, we should ask more questions before problem solving.  I aspire to dwell in problem-find analysis and questioning long enough to uncover multiple possibilities and find unexpected problems.

I aspire to listen more, question more, and learn more.

I aspire to become a falconer.

_________________________

Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.

Pink, Daniel H. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others. New York: Riverhead, 2012. Print.

[Cross posted on Flourish.]

Falconry: create dissonance, check “under the hood”

Good teachers ensure that their students learn the subject material to an acceptable or superior level.  Great teachers all do one thing well:  they create dissonance in the minds of their students and guide them in the resolution of that dissonance. (Lichtman, 105 pag.)

We as teachers must create opportunities for thinking.  However, even when opportunities for thinking are present, we must still recognize that thinking is largely an internal process, something that happens “under the hood” as it were.  (Ritchhart, Church, and Morrison, 30 pag.)

Asking authentic questions – that is, questions to which the teacher does not already know the answer or to which there are not predetermined answers – is extremely powerful in creating a classroom culture that feels intellectually engaging.  Such questions allow students to see teachers as learners and foster a community of inquiry. (Ritchhart, Church, and Morrison, 31 pag.)

In all cases dissonance, the recognition that “I” have a problem, leads first to questioning and then to growth of knowledge or experience.  The individual is directly, in some cases, passionately involved, self-interested in the outcome, in finding answers and more questions and more answers until the dissonance is reduced to an acceptable level.  This is the true process of learning.  It can be tumultuous, exciting, uplifting, rocky, enlightening, or all of them at once.  (Lichtman, 105 pag.)

We want more students to experience the burst of energy that comes from asking questions that lead to making new connections, feel a greater sense of urgency to seek answers to questions on their own, and reap the satisfaction of actually understanding more deeply the subject matter as a result of the questions they asked.  (Rothstein and Santana, 151 pag.)

I agree that great teachers create dissonance in the minds of learners and guide them to find paths to resolution.  I agree that this is really hard to do.  I argue with myself. I argue with myself a lot. It is okay for learners to struggle and wrestle with concepts, problems, and goals.  I assume the goal is to retain what is learned.  I assume we aspire to teach and learn rather than present and regurgitate.  I assume that sometimes learners will go home frustrated. I aspire to be strong enough to stand firm and guide learners through the struggle rather than give the solution or solve the problem for them.  I aspire to check “under the hood” for deep understanding.

I aspire to listen more, question more, and learn more.

I aspire to become a falconer.

________________________

Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.

Ritchhart, Ron, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison. Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2011. Print.

Rothstein, Dan, and Luz Santana. Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education, 2011. Print.

[Cross posted on Flourish.]

Falconry: wise general listening to become a hero

Sun Tzu says: Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy.
This means that many aspects of the solution you seek lie within the problem itself.  Come to the problem unburdened by preconceptions and use the information along the way to guide you. (Lichtman, 96 pag.)

If we lead learning by following the learners’ questions, won’t we be coming to the problem relatively unburdened?  Through history and experience, I might assume that the learners in my care will struggle with the approaching concept.  What if I facilitate a question-generating session and see where the questions lead?

The provenance of authentic questions doesn’t rest solely with the teacher, however.  When students ask authentic questions, we know they are focused on the learning and not just completion of assignments.  Students’ authentic questions are a good measure of their intellectual engagement. (Ritchhart, Church, and Morrison, pag. 32)

What if we collect multiple questions – authentic questions – from our learners? Will the collection of questions lead to the same product or outcome with increased interest and engagement?

The act of prioritization – the ability to assign importance properly is an intellectual task involving a wide range of skills, including comparison, categorization, analysis, assessment, and synthesis. (Rothstein and Santana, 88 pag.)

Are we able to teach more because we follow their thinking paths? In addition to teaching content, will we teach comparison, categorization, analysis, assessment, and synthesis?

Great teachers create opportunities for students to ask questions that excite them to self-discovery.  Great leaders, in business, politics, sports, or families, create opportunities for others to be self-successful.  Many of our heroes are heroes because they find a way for us to find something within ourselves – courage, kindness, leadership, charity, vision – that we might not have found without their help.  They prepare us to be prepared to take advantages of opportunities. (Lichtman, pag. 33)

I aspire to find solutions that may be within the problem.  I argue that it takes collaboration, communication, and empathy to find the myriad of perspectives in any complex problem.  I agree that great teachers help uncover critical human-centered qualities that need to be offered to the world.  I aspire to be a teacher that prepares learners to be prepared.

I aspire to listen more, question more, and learn more.

I aspire to become a falconer.

________________________

Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.

Ritchhart, Ron, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison. Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2011. Print.

Rothstein, Dan, and Luz Santana. Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education, 2011. Print.

[Cross posted on Flourish.]

Falconry: multiply the diversity and scope of learning

Questions, however, can lead to many new points of information.  Questions are the source of inquiry and creativity.  They multiply the diversity and scope of the learning process.  (Lichtman, 43 pag.)

Isn’t this what we want for our learners? Am I confident enough to collect questions before, during, and after a lesson?  Am I flexible and talented enough to lead learning by following the learners’ questions?

The importance of curiosity and questioning in propelling learning is easily seen in our experience as learners.  We know that when our curiosity is sparked and we have a desire to know and learn something, our engagement is heightened.  (Ritchhart, Church, and Morrison, 13 pag.)

Can I spark curiosity and facilitate need-to-knows that heighten engagement?

We want more students to experience the burst of energy that comes from asking questions that lead to making new connections, feel a greater sense of urgency to seek answers to questions on their own, and reap the satisfaction of actually understanding more deeply the subject matter as a result of the questions they asked.  (Rothstein and Santana, 151 pag.)

Satisfaction, deep understanding, urgency to learn, and bursts of energy…Wow!

Even after extensive efforts to develop understanding, we find that we may be left with more questions than when we started. These new questions reflect our depth of understanding.  This depth and ability to go below the surface of things is a vital part of our ongoing development of understanding.  Rather than look for or accept the easy answers, we push to identify the complexity in the events, stories, and ideas before us.  In this complexity lay the richness, intrigue, and mystery that engage us as learners. (Ritchhart, Church, and Morrison, 13 pag.)

I wonder if, in my past, I taught kids to be relieved to find an answer. Did I push them to find multiple paths, solutions, approaches, and answers? Did we strive for richness? Did we press to go below the surface? I know I struggled with depth and breadth. I know I struggled with the balance of coverage and understanding.

I have been argued with – lots – about these ideas. How will learners be able to ask questions if I have not taught them anything? Do we assume that learners are blank slates when they arrive to us? Do we ask first or tell first?

I agree that questions lead to new points of information.  I argue that the learner was not ready to learn what was just delivered if they turn right around as ask the question that was just answered.  I assume that they are ready to learn when they ask a question. I aspire embrace the challenge of ask first, follow their our questions, and make course corrections to lead learning.

I assume that I fall victim to attention blindness as described by Cathy Davidson in Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn, last summer’s reading.  I argue that I can do better, but I need help.  I agree that learning episodes will be more engaging if I attend to the questions of the learners rather than exclusively the way I think and plan.  I aspire to lead learning by multiplying the diversity and scope of the learning process.

I aspire to listen more, question more, and learn more.

I aspire to become a falconer.

________________________

Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.

Ritchhart, Ron, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison. Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2011. Print.

Rothstein, Dan, and Luz Santana. Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education, 2011. Print.

[Cross posted on Flourish.]

Falconry: power, influence, and persuasion jujitsu

… power leads individuals to anchor too heavily on their own vantage point, insufficiently adjusting to others’ perspective. (Pink, 72 pag.)

I agree. This is really yet another call to focus on learning rather than teaching.  If I, the teacher, focus on my work and the job I do too heavily, then I may miss the fact that some in my care are not learning what I think I’m teaching.  (How many times have I been surprised about what my learners do not know?)

Sun Tzu writes: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.  It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry, which can on no account be neglected.

This means that facing challenges, both problems and opportunities, is vital to personal success.  This is the arena in which we can grow, excel, create, and expand. Without these challenges we wither. Because of this importance, it is equally vital to examine the way in which we meet the challenges by questioning our path from the outset. (Lichtman, 51 pag.)

Learning is of vital importance.  How do we face the challenges of ensuring that everyone learns? How do we grow, excel, create, and expand our abilities to differentiate, enrich and intervene, so that everyone is making progress.  Can we overcome the subtle, and not so subtle, barriers in communication, expectations, confidence, and support? How do we teach learners to overcome these barriers too?

As a result, the ability to move people now depends on power’s inverse: understanding another person’s perspective, getting inside his head, and seeing the world through his eyes. (Pink, 72 pag.)

Offering learners multiple ways to become aware of what is to be learned and designing experiences to lead learning and practice should enable and empower the learner to grow stronger and more confident.

I’ve been thinking a lot about power and influence.  I do not have the power to make anyone learn.  Learning is within the power and control of the learner.  I have a sphere of influence and an ability to persuade.

Think of this first principle of attunement as persuasion jujitsu: using an apparent weakness as an actual strength. Start your encounters with the assumption that you’re in a position of lower power. That will help you see the other side’s perspective more accurately, which, in turn, will help you move them. (Pink, 72 pag.)

I instantly loved the phrase persuasion jujitsu.  The American Heritage Dictionary breaks down jujitsu or jujutsu as  jū, soft;  + jutsu, technique.

I aspire to develop persuasion jujitsu, a soft technique, when teaching and learning.  I agree that it is critical to understand the learner’s perspective.  I argue with the idea that because I was a student once, I have that understanding.  I assume that I need to walk more in the shoes of a learner in 2013 rather than reflect on the needs I had as a student long ago.

Can I model lifelong learning and openly discuss my learning with others? Can I teach persistence, risk-taking, and overcoming failure struggle if I share, question, and collaborate?

I aspire to be a positive influence. I aspire to examine the way in which I meet challenges.

I aspire to listen more, question more, and learn more.

I aspire to become a falconer.

________________________

Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.

Pink, Daniel H. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth about Moving Others. New York: Riverhead, 2012. Print.

[Cross posted on Flourish.]