Realistic Expectation and Reliable Feedback

Realistic Expectation and Reliable Feedback

Middle School The Study Academy Report

Hello Readers,

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day, and for those readers out there that are in fact Mothers, I hope you were spoiled rotten! Speaking of mothers, there is nothing more important to a parent than the happiness and success of their children. For that reason, in today’s The Study Academy Report I wanted to discuss how The Study sets their realistic expectations for each child’s academic development as well as how this is fostered by the honest, accurate feedback given to both the child, and their parents.

Reliable Feedback in action at The Study Academy!First off, for a student to succeed academically there needs to be a clear correlation between the teacher’s expectations and student’s understanding. So, the teachers at The Study Academy clarify these expectations, but they also stress to each and every student their responsibility and accountability while striving for such expectations. The observations, conversations and the students’ product themselves provide teachers  the vision of whether the students are meeting such set goals. By utilizing these venues the teachers also increase the reliability and validity of the evaluation of the students’ learning. In this way there are no surprises for teacher, student or parent, however, it is also through this structure that there can be a gradual improvement and growth for the student as well as the classroom as a whole.

The communicative pathway between student and teacher, as well as teacher and parents, likewise play a integral part of the feedback based system of education at The Study Academy. Communication about the student’s progress is carried across several venues including Edmodo, email, Internet, parent teacher interview, personal meetings with Principal Krell  and a telephone call! I believe the subject- counselling notices and parent teacher interviews are two of the best ways that The Study Academy opens up this communicative pathway and really transforms the student’s learning.

Necessary Relationship of Teacher, Student and ParentUsually parent teacher interview are held upon the completion of a midterm of each session. It is a time to discuss progress. However, teachers at The Study Academy do not wish to leave a student till this point if they are struggling. This would also be terribly misleading for a parents who wishes also to see the academic progress of their child. For that reason there are also subject counseling notes, which are sent when there is the detection of early and serious problems. At this time parents meet and discuss with their child’s teachers ways to improve the chances of their child’s success. Essentially this can act as a corrective measure and ensure no student gets left behind.So, in this way The Study Academy really is bent on ensuring a child meets the goals and expectations of their teachers, as well as make sure that when they do, it is based off reliable evidence. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a pretty good system for success for any student, and if success is all that a mother wants from her child, then The Study Academy definitely helps each child give the best present they can for their mothers.

Theoretical Thursday: Creativity, Innovation and Education

Theoretical Thursday: Creativity, Innovation and Education

Middle School The Study Academy Report

Hello Readers,

And welcome to Theoretical Friday! As I mentioned yesterday, I have come down with a bit of a cough and cold, so I pushed our usual Theoretical Thursday to today.

Over this week, however, while seeing the children engage in such wonderfully creative endeavors, I began to think of the importance of innovation in Education and the need for creativity in our youth.  Whether it be by the media, researchers or even educators themselves, there has been quite a bit of talk for the need to increase new modes of thinking in students. There are some schools, such as The Study Academy, that make it their mission to provide courses and teaching methods based on creativity and innovation.

imagesBut here comes the question-Why is creativity so important that makes these individuals in educational institutions, researchers, and media argue so passionately for its integration into the Educational system? One such reason, that research has provided, has to do with the process of divergent thinking in children. What is that? Well, it is the process of breaking down concepts into their various components within our minds, and being able to see things from various perspectives. Divergent thinking can provide a deeper understanding and can foster insight in children, which benefits their overall learning development.

So, to foster a child’s divergent thinking abilities, education must go beyond simply knowledge based teaching. Indeed, to simply have a child learn in a knowledge based, single answer manner does not teach students how to analyze, synthesize and evaluate ideas in the same way divergent thinking can.

However, the Educational system as a whole, does not currently reward this way of thinking about things in children. Actually the current teaching methods can detract from the development of a child’s divergent learning capacity. In one study, used as a critical argument in Robinson’s TED talk in 2006 on creativity and education, several Kindergarten children were tested for their ability to think divergently. The initia

schools-kill-creativity

l results indicated that 98% had such a capacity, but when tested five years later, the results  dropped significantly. They dropped even more so five years after that. What happened, you may ask.

Well what I am trying to indicated, and what Robinson so strongly argued in his video (which can be found at http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_ robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html), is that a student’s capacity for divergent thinking can diminish if it is not encouraged. Do not be fooled, divergent thinking does not necessarily disappear as one ages. Not at all! Instead, results indicate that the current teaching method had “taught [divergent thinking] out of them. They’ve spent ten years at school, being taught there’s only one answer.”

While I admit it is a challenge for the Educational system to anticipate what sort of useful tools a child will need for their future, I believe a capacity for divergent thinking is a skill that is always relevant both on a personal and societal level. The ability to see many perspectives and understand another human being is important for relationships. The knowledge of how to anticipate a situation can help individual know what can be their next move. To understand the long term considerations of an action can help a society act consciously. For this reason, creativity and innovation are indeed crucial tools for learning development  in an individual as well as sustainable development within a community. Education and training need to incorporate creativity and innovation into life long learning.

That’s all for now folks, but this subject is not over just yet. I find it particularly interesting and so i will touch more on this subject matter next week on the next Theoretical Thursday. Stay tuned!

Also, if you are interested in reading more on this matter I would like to suggest the following two pieces:

McGrath, J. & Davies, D. (2012) The Future Will Not Be Multiple Choice. Published by Mind Shift. Available for download at: http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/02/video-the-future-will-not-be-multiple-choice/

Stanford Breakfast Briefings – The Enterprise of the Future. Available for download at: https://breakfastbriefings.stanford.edu/briefings/enterprise-future