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Do Away with PISA?

PISA12/17/11 - Random Thoughts from the Conference on Imagination and Creativity #2

Well the day started out much like yesterday – missed the bus – but found 2 colleagues Robyn Gillies from University of Queensland  and her husband (retired teacher) from Australia who had also – we shared a cab and I spent most of the day with them –  about 3 pm I was looking at the program and saw a familiar picture and turned to Robyn and said OH there you are!! – Evidently she was an invited speaker on Cooperative Learning – Fame is Fleeting! - engaging together couple; enjoyed them.

Heard Eva Baker – former AERA President – Former WERA president – former – former – former - still at UCLA – the assessment guru from UCLA speak – nothing new -- reinforced messages that I use – “it’s not what you come to school with; it’s what you go out with.” “We need to adapt instruction to the wired generation.  They grow up with social networking tools and ease of information (i.e., Anna Grace, my granddaughter invited me to her Google+ circle of friends – I was the only person in the circle over 20 –BOY was I proud to have made the cut! 

Eva’s other points were that we need to do away with PISA and need to replace it with a collective activity (sounds like the way American exited the  Vietnam war – we declared victory and left), We need embrace failure as a way of learning.  She says the skills needed are – situational awareness – collective goal setting – community – flexible goals – adaptive thinking, adaptive organizations and leaders who support such conditions.  Sounds like we need Strategic Leaders sounds like -- Pisapia!

Took in a session by Joseph Krajcik from Michigan State University on designing science education learning environments.  Premise – current classrooms present only well structured problems (solution is known) to students.  If we want imagination, creativity and innovation students must be exposed to ill structured problems (solutions are not known complex) – sounds like he read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers– my favorite non scholarly writer -Here is his structure – a rope with four strands (1) Core Knowledge (build synthesis of core ideas (big ideas) that one builds new knowledge on over their lifetime – conceptual understanding) ; (2) meta cognition skills – (planning, monitoring, evaluating); (3) Argumentation Skills: Ability to justify solutions; (4) Practice of Science – (design and completed investigation’s – Ask questions - what would happen if; What am I missing; How can I make it happen - Willingness to keep going). 

As I reflected on the session, I noted the similarities to the way strategic leaders work and to my own class in Executive leadership – (1) journals that force text to text – text to self – text to world enable big ideas to be identified and built on with examples from life – (2) assignments that require use of metacognition and strategic thinking skills; justifying conclusions; and intensity enabled to know one can persevere.  So of course I liked his presentationJ

Takeaway of the day - Tight coupling leads to difficulty during times of change – Adaptation is at the edge of work not at the top of the hierarchy – a growing demand for personalization of learning –

Oh yes – lunch was Subway and FruitWink

John Pisapia 2011

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