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Art, Science, & The Brain

From October 31 to November 1, 2011 a national delegation of 300 innovators in public education will take part in a groundbreaking “knowledge eXchange” – Art, Science and the Brain: New Models of Learning for the 21st Century. Interactive sessions will “explore inquiry-based learning and its effect on our brains.” The emerging field of project-based education, which synthesizes art and science, is multi-faceted. This is reflected in the range of interrelated themes and sessions including: New…

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Limitless Imagination

Half a century ago, Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge. Today, imagination is fueling the global knowledge economy. Asking ‘What if?’ and ‘Why Not?’ has launched multi billion dollar enterprises with life altering ideas and products. Apple is a good example.  Thomas Friedman, editorialist and author, observes: “If whatever can be done will be done…the biggest competition is between you and your imagination”. General Electric’s tag line is “imagination at work”. Its website…

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Project Skills for Students

Kim Liegel is a pioneer in the emerging field of Project Based Learning for K-12. In 2004, she presented her groundbreaking presentation: “Project-Based Learning and the Future of Project Management” at the North America PMI Global Congress. As a result, Ms. Liegel helped bring together thought leaders from the PBL movement, educators using PBL, and the PMI Educational Foundation to create a network of mentors and educators prepared to support the growing demand for PBL. Her book ‘Make…

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Cave Children’s Art School

Cambridge archeologists revealed evidence of children’s learning and art making 13000 years ago. Their wall markings, called finger flutings, are found throughout the famous complex called the Cave of a Hundred Mammoths in Rouffingnac, France.  Children between 3 and 7 years old created many of the thousands of finger flutings. Four individual children have been identified through their distinctive markings based on scientific measures involving size of fingers, etc.. Two artists were girls. Most prolific was…

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Parents Play Prelude

Massey-Vanier High School recently hosted a novel ‘Meet The Teacher’ evening. Grade 7 students taught their parents to play Prelude, a learning game used in class. Prelude helps foster self-knowledge, communication, collaboration, and appreciation for diversity. Seventeen families, with a total of fifty-one members, participated. Gail Klinck, the lead teacher and Prelude pioneer, reported that ‘without fail everyone said Prelude is a good resource’. One parent, a corporate executive, said Prelude is essential for preparing…

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School of One

School of One, based in NYC, offers an innovative, audacious new way for students to learn. Joel Rose, the school’s founder, states it “is based on one simple idea—that we are organizing an entire school around the needs of each individual student.” The school uses a holistic interdisciplinary approach that capitalizes on technology to support students based on their individual learning styles. The school uses what is called a ’student playlist’. This provides a global profile…

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Heliotropic Effect & Abundance

The following is an essay extract from a much larger symposium document Explaining Extraordinary Organizational Performance and Transformation: Lessons from Rocky Flats. The Heliotropic Effect of Abundance is by Dr. Kim Cameron a co-founder of The Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship. The Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship is a community of scholars devoted to energizing and transforming organizations through research on the theory and practice of positive organizing and leadership. It is located at The Ross…

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Constructionism & Appreciative Inquiry

The Prelude game experience uniquely embodies the principles of Constructionism and Appreciative Inquiry. Constructionism is a theory developed by Seymour Papert at the MIT Media Lab. It holds that young people learn most effectively through the making and sharing of public objects. Papert uses the example of a sandcastle. During the co-design/creation process students gain hands-on experience and draw their own conclusions. This is meaning-making at its ideal. In the process, transformative learning occurs. Constructionist ideas link…

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Graduation & EQ

It is graduation time. High School students and College students now face a major transition into the next stage of life.  The NY Times has published two related articles with similar advice to graduates. Plan B: Skip College Dr. Robert Lerman, a Senior Fellow at the Department of Economics, American University, observes that social and emotional skills are “ranked the most desired even ahead of educational attainment — in many surveys of employers”. Employers want…

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Playing Prelude in the Gulf

April promises to be a fascinating month vis-à-vis Prelude’s growing use internationally. More specifically, this involves three events in Dubai where the learning game will be highlighted. These are discussed below. All are the result of the pioneering efforts of Professor Maureen Cocksedge and her colleagues at Women’s College. Professor Cocksedge began piloting Prelude in early 2009 after learning about it at the NatCon Conference in Toronto. This trio of events is a testament to her tireless efforts…

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