Some more episodes of the BBC Radio 4 series The Educators are currently being broadcast.
The episodes in this series listed so far are:
The episode is about the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP). This is an American program to support pupils in disadvantaged circumstances. “They work in the most disadvantaged districts of New York, Houston and Los Angeles, where children have less than a 1 in 10 chance of completing a college degree, but their focus on character skills like grit, empathy and determination, is seen as the reason why half of KIPP students will graduate from college.”
(BBC, 2015a, lines 5 -10)
2. What Finland did next.
This episode examines the Finnish education system: “Since the first international comparisons in 2000, Finland has been at or near the top of league tables for the abilities of its teenagers in reading, maths and science. Experts and politicians flocked to its schools to discover what was leading to its success, and came away with a picture of autonomous schools, children starting school much later than in the UK, and having no tests until their final year. What developed was seen by many as a myth surrounding Finnish education success, while the reality could be attributed to extensive teacher training, high quality lessons and a culture of literacy. But now, Finland is overhauling the way it teaches through ‘phenomenon learning’ – periods of the school year where learning isn’t confined to single subjects, but students take on a broad topic and decide what, and how, they will learn. From 2016, it will be compulsory for all schools to teach with phenomenon projects, but Helsinki has already adopted it in the capital’s schools.” (BBC, 2015b, lines 1 – 17)
The programmes are available online at this link and they are saved on Box of Broadcasts.
BBC (2015a) The Educators Character Lessons. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06ptw79 [Accessed:26/11/15]
BBC (2015b) The Educators What Finland did next. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06qjyrr [Accessed: 26/11/15]
If you have been watching the TV or listening to the radio you will have heard about the BBC’s Make it Digital activities. The main website is here. There are TV and radio programmes, iWonder activities and opportunities to get involved online and at school. If you click on ‘Get Involved’ at the top on the left you can see many ideas that could be useful in schools and at home.
There are lots of resources to use to explore coding and digital tools and share with pupils including:
Code Club – the after school code club for 9 ti 11 year olds – have a look here to find your local clubs.
Coder Dojo – programming clubs for young people – there’s one in Olney and one in MK so far.
Teen Tech events where secondary pupils work with scientists, technologists and engineers – have a look at this link to see the events happening in your area.
For many of us since the recent change in the national curriculum our own subject knowledge in coding and computing needs developing. In these BBC Make it Digital resources and events there are great opportunities for us as adults and for pupils to learn more and explore the creativity and opportunities that are around at the moment.
feel free to comment below if you use any of the resources and attend any of the activities.
(Radio 4 Wednesday 12th August and on iplayer and BoB)
‘Claudia Hammond presents the history of psychology series which examines the work of the people who have changed our understanding of the human mind. This week she interviews Carol Dweck, who identified that individuals tend towards a fixed or a growth mindset regarding what they can learn and achieve. She also showed that a fixed mindset can be changed, and that once people adopt a growth mindset, they can achieve more.
Claudia visits a UK primary school where growth mindset is part of the curriculum, and sees how children who don’t like maths soon change their attitude at a summer camp in California, once they’re shown that getting the wrong answer actually makes their brains grow more than getting the right answer.
She hears more about Dweck and her work from colleagues Greg Walton and Jo Boaler at Stanford University, and executive head Dame Alison Peacock at the Wroxham Primary School.’
(BBC, 2015, screen 1)
This is an interesting programme for you as students to listen to as it explores how the ideas and research of academics are applied in the classroom. Some of you may be experiencing the application of a growth mindset approach in your schools or your children’s schools. Do you think it also has an application to yourselves as university students?
BBC (2015) Mind Changers: Carol Dweck and Growth Mindset. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b062jsn7 [Accessed: 03/09/15]
(Wednesday September 2nd at 9am and available on radio 4, iplayer and BoB)
‘As summer ends and children trade flip flops for school shoes, Mariella Frostrup starts the new academic year exploring what can affect a child’s IQ.
Parents who read to their children, talk at the dinner table and help with homework might have happy offspring, but will they be making them smarter?
In the light of research into the influence of genes, Mariella and her guests debate the role of parenting on intelligence. They explore recent research into the effect of exercise and sleep and ask what difference can breastfeeding, flashcards, violin lessons and superfoods really make.
For the first in a new series of Radio 4’s parenting programme, Mariella is joined by Dr Stuart Richie, Postdoctoral Fellow in Cognitive Ageing at the University of Edinburgh, writer and consultant Sue Palmer, Dr Sophie von Stumm, Lecturer in Psychology at Goldsmiths and Director of their Hungry Mind Lab, and Hilary Wilce, writer, advice columnist and coach.’
(BBC, 2015, Screen 1)
This programme is interesting for you as students to listen to because you can hear people with a range of views discussing and debating the research and evidence surrounding this issue. Listen for how they express their views, how they use evidence to support or dispute views and think about how you are swayed by their arguments. Is it what they say, or how they say it?
BBC (2015) Boosting your child’s IQ. [online] Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0680g5x [Accessed 03/09/15]
In each of the eight programmes Sarah Montague interviewed a contemporary educator about their ideas. Here is the episode list:
1. Sir Ken Robinson
2. John Hattie
3. Tony Little
4. Daisy Chritodoulou
5. Paul Howard-Jones
6. Sugata Mitra
7. Jo Boaler
8. Salman Khan
You could listen to several of these through iplayer or download the podcasts. As you listen think about how what the educator is saying relates to your setting, your role and your own experience of education. You might like to add a comment below.
In the early weeks of this campaign there have been some programmes focusing on creativity and the arts. One was the BBC Four Arts Question Time.
A panel of leading creative people answer questions from the audience about the challenges, opportunities, failings and future of the arts in the UK.
There was also a radio debate ‘The Front Row Debate’ where John Wilson hosted a discussion exploring the relationship between the state and the arts. You can listen to it here.
You can watch / listen to these on iplayer until the end of March and I have added them to Box of Broadcasts which you can access if you a University of Northampton student.
If you explore the Get Creative part of the website you can see lots of ideas for creative activities and articles about related people and issues. You can sign up for the weekly creative challenge – you’ll be sent an email with a 20 minute, an hour and a half a day challenge so you can choose the one that fits the time you have.
This week the challenge is based around colour and looking around us. The responses can be shared with others through the 64 million artists website or by using #BBCGetGreative on social media.
I’ve signed up because I think the ideas could be useful for using in teaching as well as in my own art.
The approach – setting an open challenge – could be a useful one in school too. It would be interesting to set the challenge on a Friday afternoon and give children the opportunity to respond at home and at school and then take a look at what they did after a week.
You can also explore Get Creative in your region here. There are lists of organisations nearby that offer creative activities.
If any of you are using the BBC Get Creative resources in school (or at home) comment below and let us know how you are getting on!
Last week creativity was in the news as the Warwick Commission launched their report ‘Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth’ and the BBC launched their ‘Get Creative’ celenration of the arts, culture and creativity across the UK.
‘Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth’ is based upon a year long investigation by people working in the arts and culture, supported by academics at the University of Warwick.
It was chaired by Vikki Heywood, CBE, who said:
‘The key message from this report is that the government and the cultural and creative industries need to take a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life. There are barriers and inequalities in Britain today that prevent this from being a universal human right. This is bad for business and bad for society.’ (p8)
The report can be downloaded here – Final Report You can read tweets about the report and join in the discussion here #enrichinggb
For those of us working in education and schools it is interesting to note that the report calls on the Government and Ofsted to ensure all children up to 16 receive a broad cultural education and urge that no school should be designated “outstanding” without evidence of an excellent cultural and creative education.
Goal 3 (of five goals) is focused upon fully harnessing the importance of creativity in education and skills development. Goal 3 states:
A world-class creative and cultural education for all to ensure the wellbeing and creativity of the population as well as the future success of the Cultural and Creative Industries Ecosystem. Education and skills development are essential in order to maximise our nation’s full creative and cultural potential. The key to enriching Britain is to guarantee a broad cultural education for all (through arts skills acquisition, participation in arts and cultural events and enhanced appreciation), an education and a curriculum that is infused with multi-disciplinarity, creativity and enterprise and that identifies, nurtures and trains tomorrow’s creative and cultural talent. The English education system does not provide or encourage either of these priorities and this will negatively impact not just on the future of the creative industries but on our capacity to produce creative, world-leading scientists, engineers and technologists. As the evidence in this report demonstrates, children born into low income families with low levels of educational qualifications are the least likely to: be employed and succeed in the Cultural and Creative Industries; engage with and appreciate the arts, culture and heritage in the curriculum; experience culture as part of their home education and have parents who value and identify with the cultural experiences on offer from publicly funded arts, culture and heritage. (p15)
If you are seeking to preserve and enhance and culture in your setting this report contains powerful evidence and arguments to support you.
Tomorrow (Wednesday April 2nd) is the seventh annual World Autism Awareness Day. You can read more about it here.
This evening there is a Horizon programme on BBC at 9pm. It is repeated on Wednesday 2nd April on BBC 2 at 11.30pm and will also be available via the BBC iplayer and Box of Broadcasts.
Professor Uta Frith was also interviewed on Radio 4’s ‘The Life Scientific’ a few years ago, a very interesting interview where she discusses her interest in Autism and her life as a psychologist. You can listen to it at this link and via Box of Broadcasts.
Today at 10 a.m. EDT, the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the U.N., Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the U.N. and Autism Speaks co-hosted a panel discussion, “Autism: Awareness to Action,” at the United Nations in New York. The discussion was co-sponsored by the United States Mission to the U.N., Permanent Mission of India to the U.N, Permanent Mission of Chile to the U.N and Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the U.N. This included the following statement:
“It is with great pleasure that I acknowledge the 7th annual World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd and the incredible work of Autism Speaks in calling greater international attention to autism and other developmental disorders that affect millions of people globally. In epitomizing the message of “turning awareness into action,” Bob and Suzanne Wright are beacons of blue light, radiating across our global community. Let us continue to work hand-in-hand, side by side. Now is the time to strive for a more inclusive society, highlight the talents of those on the spectrum and ensure opportunities to realize their potential. International attention is essential to address stigma, lack of awareness and inadequate support structures.”
You can watch a video of the UN panel discussion here.
You can watch the UN Secretary General’s message here.
If you’re on Twitter, use #LIUB to share your experience helping light the world up blue this April and if you’re on Facebook there is a page with more details here