Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

April 12, 2014
by Larry Ferlazzo
2 Comments

How Adam Grant Just Made Teaching More Complicated

I’m a big fan of Professor Adam Grant’s work (see my interview with him at Education Week, Teachers As “Givers, Takers & Matchers”: An Interview With Adam Grant).

And I was very excited to see his must-read guest column in The New York Times today, Raising a Moral Child.

It’s geared towards parents, but just about everything he says is also extraordinarily useful to teachers, too.

He discusses recent studies identifying effective ways to help children become “kind, compassionate and helpful.”

Developing these kinds of qualities are being identified more and more as an important part of our work as educators (see my Ed Week series, ‘Character Is Not Compliance Out Of Fear,‘ and The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources).

There’s so much substance in his short column that I’m not even going to try to summarize it — just read the whole thing.

I do, however, want to highlight one part of it where I think he just made our job more complicated (obviously, I’m talking tongue-in-cheek):

A-couple-of-weeks-later

Many of us who are familiar with Carol Dweck’s work on praising action instead of intelligence might find a contradiction in this finding.

I know I was a bit confused.

So I sent an email to Adam asking about this apparent contradiction and he was kind enough to respond right away. Here’s what he said:

In “Mindset”, Carol Dweck describes her famous body of groundbreaking research demonstrating that when we praise children for their intelligence, they develop a fixed view of ability, which leads them to give up in the face of failure. Instead of telling them how smart they are, it’s wise to praise their effort, which encourages them to see their abilities as malleable and persist to overcome obstacles. Some parents and teachers have stretched this idea to its logical conclusion: always praise actions, not fixed qualities. In the domain of moral character, though, this might be the wrong approach. If we want children to become caring and generous, the evidence suggests that there’s value in helping them see these as stable dimensions of their identities.

That said, even in the moral domain, there may be some risks of praising character. Research on moral licensing suggests that when we see ourselves as good people, we sometimes feel greater freedom to engage in unethical behaviors. This is captured in chilling detail in Mistakes Were Made, But Not By Me by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, and in The Honest Truth about Dishonesty by Dan Ariely. I’d love to see more research on how to instill a sense of moral character without leading people to say, “I’m a good person, so I can do a bad thing”—or worse yet, “I’m a good person, so this clearly isn’t a bad thing.”

So, now, based on this research, we might need to be aware of which character quality we want to teach and employ contradictory instructional strategies for some of them.

Teaching is complicated, ain’t it?

December 24, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2015 – Part Two

The-Best-Theory-Of

It’s time for another “Best” list to add to All My 2015 “Best” Lists In One Place.

Here are my previous TOK-related “Best” lists:

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources — 2010

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2011 — So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2011

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2012 — Part Two

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2013 – So Far

The Best Commentaries On The New IB Theory Of Knowledge Teaching Guide

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2013 – Part Two

The Best Movies For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes – What Are Your Suggestions?

The Best Posts On IB Theory Of Knowledge Oral Presentations

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – So Far

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2014 – Part Two

The Best Posts On Teaching TOK “Knowledge Questions”

The Best Theory Of Knowledge Resources In 2015 – So Far

Here are my picks from the past six months:

The National Review tweeted out this incredibly misleading chart on climate change:

It’s perfect for when we study misleading statistics and graph. You can read more about this at The Washington Post’s Why this National Review’s global temperature graph is so misleading.

As regular readers know, I am continually adding to Over 2,000 Categorized Resources For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes.

Neil deGrasse Tyson published a short piece in The Huffington Post titled What Science Is — and How and Why It Works. It’s a very safe bet that it will be used as required reading in many IB Theory of Knowledge classes when the definition of “knowledge” is discussed. And I’d bet dollars to donuts that many teachers will be using this accessible column in many other classes, too.

Here’s an excerpt:

Objective-truths-exist

The Virtue of Contradicting Ourselves is the headline of a column by Adam Grant in The New York Times. It’s a great piece to use when discussing “knowledge” in IB Theory of Knowledge classes, and I’m going to use in one of the upcoming lessons for English Language Learners that I write for The New York Times Learning Network. Plus, it offers wisdom that’s good for all of us to keep in mind.

Here’s an excerpt:

Intelligence-is-often

One assignment I learned about at my original IB Theory of Knowledge training was having groups of students invent a classroom appropriate product and have them create a short commercial four of the fallacies that we have studied. I have each group show their video, and then they call on people to identify the fallacies used in it.

Here’s an example of one from this year:

Fallacy Video – Tape

I’m adding it to The Best Multimedia Resources For Learning About Fallacies — Help Me Find More.

I have my IB Theory of Knowledge students work in groups to prepare weekly presentations on our textbook chapters that they read for homework. When we were discussing the role of emotion in the search for knowledge, one of the presentation groups was asked if emotion is sometimes like a voice in our heads that we have to control. I then showed this clip from the National Press Club, which is a perfect example of that in action.

Grammar, Morals & History

This post will be useful when studying history: The Best Posts & Articles On The Textbook That Calls Slaves “Workers”

NPR published A Discoverer Of The Buckyball Offers Tips On Winning A Nobel Prize. It’s a good piece, with a great quote that’s ideal for IB Theory of Knowledge classes:

I-think-the-most

TOK teachers might be interested in this post and the accompanying comments:  Calling All Theory Of Knowledge Teachers: How Did You Feel About How IB Examiners Scored Essays This Year?

Here are some useful resources I use in my IB Theory of Knowledge classes, and they are also applicable to other classes:

First, many teachers are familiar with the Jigsaw cooperative learning activity. You can learn more about it at The Best Sites For Cooperative Learning Ideas. It’s a regular activity I use in my IB Theory of Knowledge classes (and my ESL courses, too). With my TOK classes, I’ll often print out articles related to the Way Of Knowing or Area of Knowledge topic we’re studying (you can access my Over 2,000 Categorized Resources For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes here). Then, I distribute these instructions, which pretty much explain how the Jigsaw activity is organized.

Secondly, we spend a few days studying Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. You can see many of those resources at our TOK class blog, along with examples of student videos – they have to create modern versions of it. This year’s students will be showing their own creations on Monday, and I’ll be adding some of them to that class blog post. Students viewing the videos will be using this anonymous evaluation form, which will be completed after each video is viewed, collected, and given to the video’s creators.

“8-Bit Philosophy” Is A Useful Series of Videos

TED-Ed released this excellent video and lesson — perfect for IB Theory of Knowledge classes when studying language:

This video would be a useful one to show when discussing indigenous knowledge systems in IB Theory of Knowledge classes:

In IB Theory of Knowledge classes we examine in both math and human sciences how people taking polls/surveys can manipulate the answers. Here’s a video that would be a nice introduction to the topic (after first explaining to U.S. students the definition of “National Service”):

This video is from PBS, and is a great one for IB Theory of Knowledge teachers when exploring the arts:

Here’s A Writing Prompt I’m Using With My TOK Students On The First Day Of Class

Here’s a good video on perception for teachers of IB Theory of Knowledge classes:

Tons Of Resources On Both The Milgram & Stanford Prison Experiments

“Don’t Judge Too Quickly” Is A Great Series Of Videos For TOK & ELL Students

November 25, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

A Different Take On Gratitude

There is obviously a big emphasis around the concept of gratitude at this time of the year, and many of use teach lessons on it (see The Best Resources On “Gratitude”).

Adam Grant, one of my favorite writers (and educators!), wrote a piece today that offers a different “take.”

You’ll want to read his entire post, Instead of Just Being Grateful, Try This, but here’s an excerpt:

We-asked-people-to

November 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

SEL Weekly Update

I’ve recently begun this weekly post where I’ll be sharing resources I’m adding to The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources or other related “Best” lists:

Mindfulness in the Classroom: A How-To Guide is from Ed Week. I don’t yet have a “Best” list on mindfulness, but I’m sure I will be creating one soon. You might be interested in a previous post, Mindfulness Can Mean More Than Meditation – Can’t It?

On a related note, you might be interested in Can We End the Meditation Madness? by Adam Grant, which appeared in The New York Times.

I’m adding this next tweet to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset”:

I’m adding this next tweet to the same list:

And here’s one last addition to that list:

November 15, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Quote Of The Day: It’s Okay To Change Our Minds

The Virtue of Contradicting Ourselves is the headline of a column by Adam Grant in today’s New York Times.

It’s a great piece to use when discussing “knowledge” in IB Theory of Knowledge classes, and I’m going to use in one of the upcoming lessons for English Language Learners that I write for The New York Times Learning Network.

Plus, it offers wisdom that’s good for all of us to keep in mind.

Here’s an excerpt:

Intelligence-is-often

June 16, 2015
by Larry Ferlazzo
0 comments

Quote Of The Day: Communicate Vision By “Using Image Based Words”

I spend a lot of time working with my IB Theory of Knowledge students on the importance of illustrating each point they make, both in essays and in presentations, with stories. In fact, many highlight that fact in their end-of-year class evaluations as one of the most important things they have learned. You can see many of the resources I use to back-up my hammering on that concept at The Best Digital (& Non-Digital) Storytelling Resources (especially in the bottom-half).

Adam Grant shared an article this morning on Twitter that is a nice addition to that collection. It’s titled People Remember What You Say When You Paint a Picture.

Here’s an excerpt:

Messages-laced-with-data