Six Experiences, Growth Mindsets and Rankings Cons

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The Big Six Experiences that Impact Student’s Post Graduation Success

Researchers found that there are six elements of an undergraduate experience which had a significant effect on a students’ post-graduation success.Unfortunately, according to  Gallup, only 3% of those post-secondary students polled said that they experienced all six elements on the list. (25% shared that they had no experience at all with the six identified elements).  So what are the six?

  1. A professor who made them excited to learn;
  2. A professor who cared about them as individuals;
  3. A mentor who pushed students to reach their goals;
  4. Working on a long-term project;
  5. Completing a job or internship related to classroom lessons;
  6. Being engaged in extracurricular activities and groups.

Not an impossible list by any means – shouldn’t items 1 and 2 on the list be common place?

Sometimes the most innovative ideas are not based upon boldly looking forward but on quietly looking back; to turn away from the collective gaze at all things novel and to look backwards at what we’ve lost.

Spencer Ideas encourages us to pause and reflect on our education methodology roots in the blog post:When did 19th Century Learning Become so Trendy? (8 Old Ideas That Are Actually Pretty Innovative)I particularly like John Spencer’s reference to recess where he writes: Recess: The idea is simple. Play matters. For all the talk of adding movement and creativity to classrooms, one of the best fixes a school can offer is unstructured period of time to just play. Watch the worlds that kids develop. Watch them craft new games. Watch them design new worlds. It’s pretty amazing. Now if we can just promote this further in Post-Secondary and Workplace Learning environments …

Collaboration Between Business & Academia: A Delicate Process

The London School of Economics’ Ben McLeod shares recent survey findings that there are definite barriers between business and academia that we need to overcome and for those communities that make the effort, there are win-win-wins to be found.  An interesting note by McLeod is:  the only unsuccessful projects occurred when the university and business were located geographically close to each other. Our interpretation is that many local partnerships may be born from convenience rather than strong desire to undertake a project together. 

The Uncomfortable Truth of University Rankings

Donald Clark recently posted his ‘top ten’ con list for university rankings and number 3 on his list is Teaching. “They may SAY they take teaching into account but they don’t. They often claim to have ‘measures’ on teaching, but actually draw their data from proxies, such as employment and research activity and use nothing but indirect measures to measure teaching. The Times rankings are a case in point. They claim that their ranking scores include teaching. In fact, only 30% is based on teaching but they use NO direct metrics. The proxies include student/staff ratios (which is skewed by how much research is done) and, even more absurdly, the ratio of PhDs to BAs. It is therefore, a self-fulfilling table, where the elite Universities are bound to rise to the top. There is little direct measurement of face-to face time, lecture attendance or student satisfaction” Definite food for thought and a worthwhile read … what’s next for university rankings?

Encouraging Growth-Mindset for Adults

Growth mindset is a hot topic in education – specifically in relation to the development of 21st Century Skills.  However, are we as educators encouraging and advancing our own growth mindsets?  In her post, Never Too Late: Creating a Climate for Adults to Learn New Skills, Deborah Kris reminds of the clues to identifying a professionals’ fixed mindset – “ when professionals struggle with new demands, they may be tempted to use phrases such as “I’m too old for this,” or “I already know what works for me,” or “I’m just not a computer person” – along with thoughts on our role as educators and leaders to support overcoming a fixed mindset to developing a growth-mindset.  A good reminder!

Cheers to the week that was and the weeks ahead!

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