Why Learning Theory Matters

At Bemidji State we have teacher-candidates write a comprehensive “Central Focus & Context/Rationale” with every lesson plan. This is a statement requiring students to explicitly describe the big idea or central focus of the lesson, detail the lesson’s fit in the curriculum, and then lastly, use research and learning theory to support teaching methods chosen.Continue reading “Why Learning Theory Matters”

Why is it so Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? (part 3 of 3)

This is the third in a series of three. The Collection of a person’s knowledge and experience is an interlocked network of specific packets of information and memories each being what I am calling a “schema”. These are stored in an interlocked set of neural networks, which are stored in the human brain, which isContinue reading “Why is it so Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? (part 3 of 3)”

Why is it so Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? (part 2 of 3)

This post is second in a series of three. In the previous post I provided a paradigm for life using a “living systems” model. I want to expand that paradigm beyond explaining how a living system (a human in this case) is interlocked with its physical world, to how one understands and makes sense ofContinue reading “Why is it so Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? (part 2 of 3)”

Why is it so Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? (part 1 of 3)

This post is the first in a series of three. I have been studying a “systems view of life” as a component of a larger three-part goal: First, become better able to leading students to explore their “ecological identity” (their self-described place/role in the natural world). Second, from a systems theory perspective, how a learnerContinue reading “Why is it so Hard to Change Someone’s Mind? (part 1 of 3)”

It’s Not What the Teachers Do, It’s What the Students Do

During the last month, teachers have had to rebuild their ship while sailing. That was a daunting task. I’m sure some have done it with grace and style while others have really struggled. Could be that those who were dynamic teachers in the classroom have found ways to engage students via remote learning. I thinkContinue reading “It’s Not What the Teachers Do, It’s What the Students Do”

A New Framework for Learning

This morning I’m sharing a short video titled “The Learning Cycle: Consider, Construct, Confirm.” This is a 14 minute “nutshell” description and example of a teaching/lesson/curriculum design method that I have developed and outline in detail in my book, Consider, Construct, Confirm: A New Framework for Teaching and Learning. I offer this now for twoContinue reading “A New Framework for Learning”

Why Grades Matter (but maybe not how you might think)

The act of grading someone for their work immediately changes everything. One cannot help but be influenced primarily by extrinsic motivation as soon as one is being judged and sorted. Of course, there are times this is necessary, such as on The Great British Baking Show…Mmmm, excuse me whilst I go find bake. The purposeContinue reading “Why Grades Matter (but maybe not how you might think)”

Downshifting

This morning was like any other. I begin the day reading about such things as children of employees of a local fishing tackle factory having elevated lead levels in their blood due to lead dust being transported home on the clothes of the workers. Wildfires continue to burn in California while others in California endureContinue reading “Downshifting”

In a Groove or Stuck in a Rut

The Tuesday after Labor Day has typically been the first day of classes. Even years when I started teaching the week prior to Labor Day, it still felt the like the true end of summer and beginning of the academic year. This week is the first since 1993 when I wasn’t starting a school yearContinue reading “In a Groove or Stuck in a Rut”

Elusive Happiness and the Lure of Passive Leisure

We are living in a stressful time.  Maybe it only seems so due to 24-hour news cycles and giving opportunity for anyone’s voice to be heard around the world without any editing or gatekeeping—mine included! My anecdotal observation of the impact on our daily lives is that we rely more and more on passive leisure.Continue reading “Elusive Happiness and the Lure of Passive Leisure”