Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

May 11, 2011

What is the definition of an educated person and what strategies will get us to reach that goal

#Edchat 05 – 03 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Thank you to Jeff Richardson (@jrichardson30) for this week’s very enlightening summary. This week’s topic is key to what we are all about on #edchat and if we can’t come close to a definition, how do we decide what we must do in our organisations? The chat was a very interesting one and I think that Jeff has really captured the essence of our dilemma here.  Jeff is a dedicated edchatter and you can read more about him in his bio at the end of the post. Thanks again Jeff!

Looking back over this chat, I am reminded once again that the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.  These chats are so rich, so challenging and so full of great information that I really don’t know what I did before Twitter, edchats and these critical global conversations.  Each and every time, I am inspired and my thinking is pushed in new directions.  This chat brought so much to the table because the topic is truly at the heart of what we are all trying to do…which is to educate students and ourselves.  

We all must reflect upon and decide for ourselves what it means to be an educated person so that we can use our gifts, passions and abilities better in order to help others become “educated.” We don’t have to agree on all the qualities, and semantics can get in the way on a topic like this, but certain traits do remain consistent throughout this conversation and for me, passion is one of those. It is apparent that if we want a united front and we want to see significant progress, then this topic is something that needs to be discussed at all levels in schools from teachers and students in the classrooms to administrators at the highest levels.

As for this edchat, I think everyone involved peeled back layers, exposed realities and suggested effective ways that we can move closer to our goal.  I know my thinking was challenged and made some great new connections.  Thanks for contributing and I am honored to have the opportunity to put together this summary.       


Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • Attributes of an educated person
    • creative, curious, searching, passionate, motivated, adaptable
    • a good listener, a life-long learner, has choices
    • someone who knows where to find information
    • Problem-solver, challenge seeker, self-discoverer 
    • Learns from mistakes
  • How to achieve the goal of more educated people
    • Passion needs to be modeled, encouraged, valued & explored
    • Teachers must embody a true, visible passion for learning
    • Students need choice, have a say in their own learning
    • Schools need to be exciting, student-centered if we want students to be “educated”
    • Stop standardizing and start individualizing 
    • Curriculum needs to be more flexible
    • Encourage exploration/discovery
    • Get kids outside! Service learning
    • Personal relationships are critical


Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye.

@jpsteltz:  an educated person knows how to communicate via writing, speaking, listening, and observing #edchat

@jrichardson30:  Someone who can find info & leverage to meet their needs or the needs of others. #edchat

@TutorSolutions:  Educated person must be able to understand the difference between right and wrong. #edchat
@rliberni:  Defining an educated person is not easy, many facets but I think they will be self-sufficient in dealing with the world #edchat

@cybraryman1:  The only person who is truly educated is the one who has learned how to learn & change #edchat
@CTuckerEnglish:  Education is a life-long process of discovery. Teachers must provide students w/skill set necessary to “discover” & learn #edchat
@rliberni: Defining an educated person is not easy-many facets but I think they will be self-sufficient in dealing with the world #edchat
@jpsteltz:  students must have the itch to learn, the willingness to search for answers, and the courage to share with the world #edchat
@msmith833:  A person who learns to make discoveries on his own, not because an assignment is due! #edchat
@Akevy613:  To be educated you need to be willing to learn& grow and to make mistakes along the way but learn from your mistakes #edchat
@Akevy613:  We as educators need to be inspired and passionate about what we do so that we can instill those values and feelings in our students #edchat
@jessievaz12:  @jpsteltz Couldn’t agree more! Involve the students in finding out about what inspires and makes them curious. That’s educated. #edchat

@inquirebook:   Our society so values certainty, but educated people are willing to dwell in uncertainty in order to learn. #edchat 

@westgatehusker:  #edchat give learning real life meaning will encourage passion and the desire to continue learning
@ShellTerrell:  I would like to see educators inspire all students to be lifelong learners! Most schls turn kids off to learning #edchat
@malcolmbellamy:  passion cannot be taught but can be discovered #edchat
@ContentLiteracy: Passion comes from ownership or investment. #edchat
@QZLPatriotHawk:  Life creates more educated ppl than school. School as we know it fosters task completion. #edchat
@jessievaz12:  Tchrs role is to provide context that provokes uncertainty….from there the curiosity and learning are endless. #edchat
@maryannesacco:  if we don’t allow for choice, how do students learn how to make them? #edchat

I would ask that the following question is added to the poll next week:

How can we be disruptive without being dismissed? 

To follow the complete discussion see here

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 


As ever, there were some great links shared:

malcolmbellamy: What would you do? The future of education: building windmills or walls http://wp.me/pKfOP-Qd  #edchat #ukedchat

 @mrsebiology: If You Can’t Reach Them, You Can’t Teach Them (via @ASCD) – http://bit.ly/jWiwea  #edchat #lrnchat #midleved #elemchat

MarjieKnudsen: Bloom’s Taxonomy: Critical Thinking Skills for Kids – http://goo.gl/0j0uL  via @exquisiteminds1 @DrLynneKenney #parenting #edchat #ptchat

GWoodJCG:  http://ning.it/mKYDEs Nourish your soul #edchat teach first with kindness

@cybraryman1: My Learning from Mistakes pg http://cybraryman.com/learningfrommistakes.html   #edchat

@cybraryman1: My Motivating students pg http://cybraryman.com/motivating.html   #edchat

@davidwees:  John Taylor Gatto on “12 Things You Might Not Have Learned in a Classroom” http://bit.ly/mRcLCx

 @InnovativeEdu: Diplomas Don’t Prepare Students for the World. ePortfolios do http://t.co/5hrhhib   #ptchat #edchat #edreform

@pearsonls: 7 Solutions for Engaging 21st Century Students http://ow.ly/4M2Iy via @Marbellis #education #edchat #highered

@voxy:  A Call to Arms for #Education Innovation – http://ow.ly/4M7Ez  via @HuffingtonPost #edchat

@mattledding:  @tomwhitby standardized students need 2b identical so system can b tuned to them. Maybe: http://bit.ly/k72yDw  is a gd picture. #edchat

@elenischool: @pearsonls: 15 Important lessons you may not have learned in school http://ow.ly/4LYt4  via @debsylee #education #edchat

@InnovativeEdu: Have schools forgotten they were supposed to prepare students for the real world? http://t.co/DcU5YvO  #ptchat #edchat #edreform

@ShellTerrell: How do we begin to get schools 2 rely less on testin… (cont) http://deck.ly/~HNrLx

@delta_dc: @wendygorton @jasonflom @usedgov we certainly need to reclaim assessment – my idea here: http://t.co/dTi3yVc

@MN2020: Why are leaders taking us in the wrong direction on education policy? Share your thoughts @ Tuesday Talk: http://bit.ly/k6tW9G  #edchat

@willrich45: Would love your thoughts on this: Have Schools Reached Their Limits? http://huff.to/iwH9pi  #edreform #edchat

web20education: Top 12 Pioneers in Education http://bit.ly/iuDgrN  #edtech20 #elearning #edchat #ukedchat #eduswe #elemchat #lrnchat #elt #efl

@davidwees: Please help refute this argument. “Why Classrooms Should Be Teacher-Centred” http://bit.ly/m5mu2z  

I am @jrichardson30 on the Twitter and my other name is Jeff Richardson.  I’m a tech coach for 3 elementary schoolsin Hoover, Alabama and have been for 4 years.  I taught 8th grade World History for 5 years prior to this.  I consider myself fortunate to be in a district that thinks big, wants to move forward and provides the infrastructure as well as the leadership needed to make it happen.  The biggest thing motivating me as I learn and work to challenge and grow teachers are my own kids.  I have 3 (3 yo, 8 yo, 11 yo) children who go to school in the district where I work. I want to make sure they all have amazing experiences in school.  As a family, we love being outdoors and we are currently learning how to sail.

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat

Challenge:

If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think? Leave a comment!

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