1. Jen Von Iderstein


    I agree on all of your readings. I just want you to know that although many will argue about Daniel Pink as you mentioned, He is a highly recommended read in the educational field of my area (Buffalo, NY). I first encountered Pink's name thissummer while completing my internship in the central offices of one of the local school districts. The administration team was reading Drive, as part of their book study. Then when I started my fall classes, Drive is required reading in my Educational Change class, as well as First, Break All the Rules, and Bad Leadership.

    Csíkszentmihályi is on the list of recommended readings, as well as Heiftz.

    Someone you may want to check out (you may also already be aware) is Brian Mendler. Awesome speaker on how to deal with "hard to handle students." I believe his book is called Disciplining with Dignity.

  2. Hi George,

    I've often mentioned to staff 4Cs – connecting, communicating, collaborating and contributing. In fact, it is intro to our team wiki and how we shape our learning together. In many sessions, staff have expanded the Cs in discussion. I would add one for consideration that matters for all of us in our learning and that is customization. Today's era of lifelong learning is about customization and personalizing our learning.

    • George

      Customization is great 🙂 I have heard context before but customization seems a little more powerful!

  3. I love that you put challenge on here. It's the struggle going on in my classroom right now. I love to be challenged. I love not knowing the answer. I love finding the answer. It's a huge part of who I am. The problem, my students hate it. For so long their school career has focused on memorizing the answer. Finding it the easiest way possible. They are obsessed with facts. Ever time I challenge they shut down. No matter how fun or how easy I make it. I seriously want to give in and say "here's your facts, just memorize!" Seriously was considering changing my lessons for Monday so I wouldn't have to deal with the frustration of it all. Not changing now. They have to get over it. It's going to be just a little at a time but they will still be challenged. Everyday I make them tell me the purpose of our class. They roll their eyes and say what I have made them repeat since first day "We are in this class to learn, not to make an A." Ha we are going back to learning!

  4. Alicia Lopez

    I agree that the 4C's should shape our learning. The 4C's have been around for a long time. It's how they are perceived and worked through that matter most for kids – 21st century learning. I would also add Angela Maiers and Amy Sandvold's book – The Passion-Driven Classroom: A framework for teaching & Learning. Check out Angela's presentation: "What the Heck are 21st century Skills"http://reformsymposium.com/blog/2010/07/19/keynote-angela-maiers/

    • Thanks, Alicia! That is exactly what our message is all about…that Passion is the missing ingredient! We've missed it for awhile in education. Thanks for the great blog post, George…you get the conversation going on key, essential topics in education!

  5. Well, Mr. George, I love the wealth of learning that you have included in this post. Kohn, Pink, and Robinson have significantly shaped my educational and learning philosophies and you have linked their thoughts so well here.

    Our BC government has set their focus on the 3 R's and the 7 C's with these being:

    Critical thinking and problem solving,

    Creativity and innovation,

    Collaboration, teamwork and leadership,

    Cross-cultural understanding,

    Communications, computing and ICT literacy,

    Career and learning self-reliance, and

    Caring for personal health and planet earth.

    We shall see if the current structures change to make this focus more attainable.

    Fantastic post (again) buddy!!!

  6. Thank you for a very articulate posting with great additions!

    My students presented at the K-12 Online Conference 2010 about this topic:

    C^4 Leveraging the Power of Blogs and Wikis in Student Learning. They connect each of the Cs to specific activities we did in our class: http://bit.ly/ac7kcf

  7. Re critical thinking. I've heard that critical thinking is the new buzzword. If so, I'm delighted. As a long time college prof, I've found – over and over – that my students come to college having been taught that thinking is not only not needed, but taboo, They accept so many assumptions as truth – all opinions, religions and cultures are equal – we are all where we are meant to be – everything happens for a reason. In fact, their blocks against critical thinking were a powerful motivator in my creating a site with a big section on critical thinking. You might enjoy looking at it. Unlike the TED lecture, the emphasis is fully on good thinking.

    For example, Benefits of Thinking:


  8. Just a thanks George, a real treasure trove of links to follow and things to read and watch – much appreciated! (Although when I'm going to make time to read all of my Google Reader with that extra huge bundle of goodness added to the already overflowing stream of data I have no idea!!)

  9. Hi there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

  10. Your decision to be, possess and do something out of the norm involves contending with challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Quite often your most significant asset is merely your ability to persevere longer than anyone else.

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