Learning Principles

I woke up about 5:00 a.m. with the following thoughts pounding their way out of my mind and onto a piece of paper… They are a mixture of things I have heard and observed that I believe are relevant and central to MVPS… Rather than Design Principles, I consider them Learning Principles… – To prepare learners for the real world, learning must reflect/be rooted in the real world. – Experience is life’s best teacher. As life’s best lessons often come from failure/failing up, we must increase the frequency of risk-taking, shipping ideas, and launching initiatives. Then iterate them. – Mindsets […]

“The Succinct 9”

A Ridiculously Succinct ‘Cliff Notes’ Version of iPlan 17 “Design and Demonstrate” 1. Clarify learning outcomes. Lead students to mastery. 2. Infuse MV Mindsets with learning outcomes. 3. Measure mastery of learning outcomes and mindsets with a balanced assessment system. 4. Design hands-on experiences around student interests and passions. 5. Include interactive technology. 6. Systematically seek and use feedback. 7. Use innovative instructional methods. 8. Engage in ongoing design and implementation of teaching and assessment. 9. Pursue a robust professional learning network and collaborations.  

Why Do We Do All of This?

Dear Middle School Families, As students arrive from the cold, morning carpool carrying backpacks and gift bags filled with thoughtful Christmas treats for teachers and friends, the simultaneous sense of hustle n’ bustle, busyness alongside a feeling of peace, caring, and unusual stillness strikes me. I smile as I try to warm up my hands. I forgot my gloves. The question emerges in my mind, “Why do we do all of this?” At first, the thoughts could be applied to the season. It’s a common reflection at Christmas time. But as the smiling and freezing faces file past me, the […]

What is Kaizen?

Kaizen (改善), Japanese for “improvement” or “change for the best”, refers to philosophy or practices that focus upon continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, and business management. It has been applied in healthcare psychotherapy, life-coaching, government, banking, and other industries. When used in the business sense and applied to the workplace, kaizen refers to activities that continually improve all functions, and involves all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers. It also applies to processes, such as purchasing and logistics, that cross organizational boundaries into the supply chain. By improving standardized activities and processes, kaizen aims to eliminate waste (see lean manufacturing). Kaizen was first implemented in several Japanese businesses after the Second World War, […]

How Might Teachers Use Their Soft Power?

Soft power is a concept developed by Joseph Nye of Harvard University to describe the ability to attract and co-opt rather than coerce, use force or give money as a means of persuasion. Nye coined the term in a 1990 book, Bound to Lead: The Changing Nature of American Power. He further developed the concept in his 2004 book, Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics. Put another way, soft power is essentially a country’s ability to gain global respect and influence through non-military means such as art, entertainment, product exportation, tourism, education, relief aid, etc. The term is now widely used in international affairs by […]

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