"Students get plenty of teacher interaction: Finland and New York City have the same number of teachers. But Finland has nearly half the number of students. Standardized testing is kept to a minimum: before a New York student reaches high school, he or she will have taken 10 standardized tests. Collectively, US students take 100 million standardized tests a year. Finland's only standardized test is taken when students are 16 years old. Kids have more time to be kids: an average us 5th grader has 50 minimum of homework per day. Finnish students rarely do homework until their teens. And while us elementary students average 27 minutes of recess students in Finland get about 75 minutes a day). Finland knows good teachers are essential: teachers in Finland are all required to have a Master's degree (which is fully subsidized by the state)."
(OnlineClasses.org, 21 January 2013)
"Reflection-in-action proceeds by a construction cycle of framing, naming, moving and reflecting. Framing and naming concern the problem-setting in that the designer constructs a problem out of a situation by naming the things to which she will pay attention whilst at the same time framing the way that the problem is viewed (Schön 1991). Framing in this sense imposes an order onto the problem; moves are made towards a solution in relation to how the situation is framed. However, the situation ‘talks back’; surprise at the outcomes of moves leads to reflecting. Reflecting on outcomes may trigger either further moves or a new framing (Schön 1996). Reflection-inaction is not an interruption to fluid action; it is always embedded within action."
(Simone Stumpf and Janet McDonnell, CiteSeerX)
1). Simone Stumpf and Janet McDonnell, "Individual Learning Styles and Perceptions of Experiential Learning in Design Teams"
"Yes you know there’s this view that only special people are creative and it's not me. It's not it's not anybody I really know. It's a very isolated sort of genius you know to be really creative. And you know people doubt their own strengths and their own capacities. So I meet all kind of people who don't really get much fulfilment from the work they do. You know they just get through it and wait for the weekend. But I also meet people who love what they do. And couldn't imagine doing anything else. You know if you set and don't this anymore they wouldn’t' know what you were talking about because this is who they are. You know I mean like I don’t know what else I would do. They are so to speak in their element. And so the book is about that. It's about the journeys people took to discover their own talents and what difference it made in their lives. And I talk to all kinds of people. It's not just interviews. But the book is seasoned as you know with interviews with people in science in business in the arts in sports in technology all kinds of different fields and what's interesting to me is of course it's different for everybody and this is really a key point you know that human ability and talent is highly diverse. You know what turns somebody on might totally turn somebody else off. What excites some propel does not excite other people and I know when I am signing the book these days I always ask people what they do. And when they tell me I ask them if they like it. And I always think it's great when people say I love it. Because you just never [inaudible].'"
(Ken Robinson, Conversations from Penn State)
Fig.1 Conversations from Penn State Episode 207: Sir Ken Robinson, Uploaded by WPSU TV/FM/Online on 6 Nov 2010, YouTube.
"Individual learning plans form a 'route map' of how a learner will get from their starting point on a learning journey to the desired end point. They may be for one course and include the acquisition of qualifications and skills, or may link several courses that give progression to different levels (from level 1 to 3, or from level 2 to Higher Education). They should be individual for each learner to reflect aspirations, aptitude and needs.
Although there may be common learning goals and methods of delivery for all learners on a particular course, it is unlikely that all learners have exactly the same learning styles, abilities, support needs, access to assessment in the workplace (if applicable), previous qualifications or experience. Too many vocationally-based courses have identical individual learning plans where only the names of learners are different. Some will struggle to achieve them while others will find them too easy and lose interest by not being sufficiently challenged.
Individual learning plans should start from a common format, listing general outcomes, and then develop as initial assessment and circumstances impact. They should be live documents that are useful to the learner, delivery staff and possibly employers and parents/guardians."
(Learning and Skills Improvement Service, UK)
"Higher education institutions are large, complex, adaptive social systems like all other human organizations. Over the last decade, Higher Education around the world is facing a number of challenges and potential threats to effective learning and teaching support. In recent years considerable interest has focused on identifying those challenges, identifying opportunities and threats and proposing ways to address them. However, the relevant literature on higher education challenges is scattered over many textbooks, conferences and journals. This paper provides a comprehensive presentation of all those challenges found in the literature in a structured way. Also this study will identify how technology and data infrastructures could provide responses to address those challenges in a world where students are changing, their learning styles are changing, and the technologies to accommodate their needs are changing."
(Farhana Sarker, Hugh Davis and Thanassis Tiropanis, 2010)
1). Sarker, F., H. Davis, et al. 'A Review of Higher Education Challenges and Data Infrastructure Responses'. International Conference for Education Research and Innovation (ICERI2010). Madrid, Spain, International Conference for Education Research and Innovation (ICERI).