Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Teaching Skills that Matter: Microsoft Virtual Univeristy

After an enjoyable evening ride on my Quarter Horse gelding Ripper, I am settled in for tonight's Microsoft Virtual Univeristy session Teaching Skills that Matter with presenter Chris Gerry.  Devon Caldwell and I were thrilled to be selected for the Microsoft Expert Educator program as a result of our success at the 2012 Partners in Learning Global Forum.  Invitations to Virtual University sessions are just one perk of being part of this exciting program! Fellow educators - be sure to join the Partners in Learning Network and check out the application for the Expert Educator Program.  

Tonight's session was all about the importance of non-cognitive skills and the role they play in cognitive/academic success.  Here are my key ideas and reflections from tonight's learning:
  • In order to succeed, it is important for students to know that teachers and schools are interested in them as people, not just in their scores and their performance.
  • Non-cognitive traits that increase success include "grit", resiliency, perseverance, self-regulation, ability to work with others 
  • Educators, parents and community members can help our youth develop these traits of resiliency, self-management and teamwork
  • Research shows that it is beneficial to tell learners that they WILL improve by being at school/participating in an activity/completing a task
  • Positive relationships, social interaction and reflectiveness are key to developing resiliency
As a follow-up, I did some more reading on Chris Gerry's ideas as presented on the Project Based Learning section of the Partners in Learning Network's Hot Topics Blog.  More key ideas that resonated with me included:
  • The need for educators to believe (and act upon) the idea that cognitive and non-cognitive intelligence is changeable
  • The importance of a strong school team when trying to change/improve school culture

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