Gardening 101: Getting to the Root of the Problem

Dandelions: the perennial lawn maintenance nuisance. It doesn’t take a very savvy gardener to know that getting rid of a dandelion takes more than just popping the yellow top off. It requires attention to the root – digging the whole darned thing out from the ground – to remedy the problem.

taraxacum_officinale_aggregata_species_dandelion_flower_side_view_12-04-10_1There’s a reason that in talking about problems and solutions the term “root” is thrown around even when the topic isn’t gardening or dentistry. Throwing “solutions” at the top of a complex problem will never solve the problem. At best it will mask it or defer the problem for a time, but ultimately the concern will either manifest itself somewhere new or re-emerge again over time.

We know this in gardening, in business, in healthcare, in government. So why are we so slow to “know” it and, more importantly, to act on it when it comes to education? All the data tells us that access to early childhood education dramatically, positively impacts a child’s trajectory of success for K-12, post-secondary education and far into their professional lives. More successful professionals means stronger national and global economies and a more secure future for us all.

Let’s make 2016 the year that we acknowledge the achievement gap in the united States and demand our next president make early childhood education a priority. Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) is doing just that. Read more on their campaign to make early childhood education funding a top priority in the campaigns for all presidential hopefuls in the coming elections.

Welcome to ShiftED

This is your weekly digest of articles on education – not your grandma’s education or your dad’s education or even your own education. ShiftED focuses on 21st century educational ideas and practices: making learning a global, cross-disciplinary experience for all students.

What’s Data Got To Do With It?

According to a recent New York Times article, those who advocate more collection and analysis of data in the classroom say it can give teachers concrete evidence of what instructional strategies work. Read the full article here.

One dissenting commenter disagreed:  “Why can’t I just teach my kids? They are not data! They are human beings!”

What do you think? Post your comments on the website or email us.

Stop Start Playing Around 2015-05-21_11-25-45

The power of positivity. It’s a pretty cliche line by now; but neuroscientists are giving the concept of positivity a revival, and it has everything to do with students’ learning trajectories.

TEDx Speaker Shawn Achor gives a 12-minute peek at just how powerful positivity and the act of play are for learners of all ages. Watch the Video.


2015-05-21_11-28-22Not Enough Neuroscience?

If you haven’t gotten your fill of neuroscientific research for one day, fret not. Here’s a little more neuroscience for you, complete with theme parks and a DIY rollercoaster. (Disclaimer: no adrenaline junkies were harmed in the execution of this experiment.)

The Profound Learning Institute highlights one enterprising team of sixth grade teachers who tapped into more neuroscience power with a cross-disciplinary project on rollercoasters. We dare you to watch this video without being moved. Pun totally intended.

A Recipe for Blended Learning 2015-05-21_11-39-14

Blended Learning is a popular buzzword these days. There are various models and submodel templates floating all over the internet. We’re not claiming there is a definitive right answer but The National Center on Time & Learning released a study on Morton Middle School’s implementation of one version that’s produced some successful results.

Watch this video on the blended learning model that’s working for Morton Middle School.

Blend this: could data collection mixed with a blended learning model like this one be a recipe for 21st century classroom success? Tell us what you think!

On the Blog

This week, indulge yourself in a Superbowl ad throwback and see how baby formula relates to the plight of 21st century education. Lumenary and former English teacher, Risa, pieces it all together for you here.

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