5 Educon Takeaways
2/28/2013 By: Jon Orech
■ Teachers must embrace (not just accept)
relinquishing control to students. If
students are to “own” their education, they
must be trusted to make decisions—and
mistakes—about what and how they learn.
Also, teachers need to no longer be the
“keepers of knowledge.” As said in the
keynote by Dr. William Hite, “Teachers must
be masters of context, not contents.”
■ We must redefine “achievement” and seek alternative
methods of assessment. One sure way to raise hackles at
Educon is to use the phrase “standardized testing.” The
overriding message is that we must continue to strive to
develop alternate methods of assessment that measure not
only content skills, but personal traits including perseverance
■ It’s all about design. Several sessions addressed the concept
of “learning by design.” Instead of teaching students in a
lockstep “worksheet” approach, we need to teach students how
to approach a problem in a systematic method, and encourage
them to solve problems interdependently.
■ Inquiry, inquiry, inquiry. We need to break the mold of posing
questions to students and coaxing them to answer. Instead, we
need to better teach them how to question themselves, explore,
and make their own meaning. Not coincidentally, “Inquiry” is
the first core value of the Science Leadership Academy.
■ Building community. Whether it’s like-minded educators
forging bonds at Educon, or students connecting with
classmates across the hall (or around the globe), it is clear that
we learn more and live happier, healthier lives when we are
connected with others.