Dare to Care

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17/Feb/2016
by Denise Krebs
Comments Off on Question from @EduQuinn

Question from @EduQuinn

I started to answer in a tweet, but I soon realized it was going to take more words than fit. So here goes, Dave.

I would have to say it was not student engagement or lack of it that motivated me.

Actually, it was teacher engagement. When I became more involved, more engaged, more in love with learning, I wanted to share it all with my students.

When I became a connected educator, I began to love learning and teaching more than ever. I looked forward to coming in every morning and couldn’t wait to share something I was learning or see what my students were going to do next.

I wasn’t looking for how to help my students become more engaged.

Genius Hour just became a natural extension of what was beginning to happen in our learning. I became more of a learner, and I believe it became contagious.

Now, Genius Hour is definitely engaging and it helped with some students who were not engaged. However, engagement wasn’t a conscience decision in choosing Genius Hour.

I guess I discovered Genius Hour by keeping my eyes and ears open, as the chief learner in my classroom.

Just think what tomorrow will hold!

12/Mar/2013
by Denise Krebs
9 Comments

Hope, Engagement, Well-Being, and Genius Hour

I happened to see a tweet from @mrstg recently. She had retweeted @bundtjd message below:


There was “much to think about from this presentation” by Brandon Busteed, education director of Gallup. In the speech, he addresses business leaders about the future of education.

Early in the speech he asked the listeners what they remember about their best teacher. According to people surveyed, teachers care about us. In addition, they know what makes each of their students tick, so they individualize for their students. They are also relational. These are the important things people think of when they think of the teachers that made a difference to them.

He says we neutralize the best teachers because we continually take away their ability and time to care, individualize, and relate. We ask teachers to meet different objectives — those measured by standardized tests, rather than care, individualization and relationships.

The future of education is not about knowledge. We can’t compete on knowledge. “The cost of knowledge is trending toward free,” Busteed said. For instance, MIT’s courses are all available online for FREE. Though you can’t get a degree by taking them, you certainly have access to all the knowledge.

If we want students to be successful, we don’t drive them toward success by working on standardized tests only. In fact, there is a negative correlation in the 30 or so countries that took both the GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Measure) and PISA (Program for International Standardized Assessment) tests.

Schools with an over-emphasis on standardized tests neutralize entrepreneurial spirit. Many entrepreneurs and innovators drop out of school or college because of that — Mark Zuckerberg, John D. Rockefeller, Oprah Winfrey, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Ellen DeGeneres, Ted Turner to name a few.

According to Busteed, standardized tests can only account for one-third of the success of our students. Hope, he says, is actually a strategy when it comes to school success. We can help students have hope.

As educators we need to get out of the knowledge business and into the learning business. Busteed goes on to say that hope, engagement and well-being account for as much as one-third of the variance in student success. (That’s one-third — the same as standardized tests!)

We can take at least some of our time to give students choice in what they are doing in school.  Genius hour gives students (and educators) hope, engagement and well-being. Read what Melina, a high school senior, says about this kind of learning:

Read more of Melina’s beautiful words on her blog post.

In this age where knowledge is ubiquitous, and no longer belongs to the teacher to dispense during lessons, school needs to change. We need to inspire students to become lifelong learners. Genius hour can begin to do that.

Busteed suggests students have these three rights. They should be able to come into school every single day and say YES to:

Brandon Busteed said every student should be able to say YES to these.

Would your students be able to say YES to those rights?
Don’t we owe it to them to let them say YES?

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