Homework/ Home Learning

I have written earlier about the impact of the word “work” in describing the learning activities in which we want students to engage. My thinking was initially triggered by Alfie Kohn’s writing in Students Don’t “Work”- They Learn . Homework defines this conflict for me most clearly. Can it really be a quality learning activity if […]

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Impact of Teachers Showing Their Belief in Students

On a recent flight I was checking back on “items saved” on my computer and ran across a Mindshift post titled, How Showing and Telling Kids ‘I Believe in You’ Can Empower Them at School.  It was excerpted from a chapter titled, “Teaching Mathematics for a Growth Mindset” found in Jo Boaler’s book, Unleashing Students’ […]

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Documenting 4C skills

I had a request to facilitate a team of high school teacher leaders and administrators who were exploring the possible implementation of a graduation portfolio or capstone project that would document students’ skills in the 4Cs: collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking. In the same week I received a message from an international contact who […]

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Was Santa a Great Teacher or Did He Get Lucky?

At the Learningforward Conference this month I had the opportunity to attend a keynote by Yong Zhao .  He shared the need for schools to focus on identifying and supporting students pursuing their strengths and interests. Zhao illustrated the point by having the audience sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Had […]

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The Beginning of the Year Messages

It’s that time of year again when my schedule often contains “opening day” presentations. Sometimes I’m part of an end of summer professional development event or part of a getting started session for administrators or teachers. In any case, one of the discussions I try to facilitate explores what messages educators want to communicate to […]

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Differentiated, Personalized, or Personal?

Personalized Learning A few years ago I decided to switch my word choice from differentiated to personalized learning. The switch was made because I found that some teachers were differentiating their lesson plans when they didn’t yet know who their students were. In other words they were planning for a higher group and a lower […]

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Steve Barkley

For the past 35 years, Steve has served as a consultant to school districts, teacher organizations, state departments of education, and colleges and universities nationally and internationally, facilitating the changes necessary for them to reach students and successfully prepare them for the 21st century. Read more…