Challenging Passivity @mcleod

Dr. Scott McLeod, in responding to Joe Bower about Passivity among students and educators, writes the following:
We need more 'active learners' at all levels of our education system. What percentage of your students – and educators – are just going through the motions ("just tell me what to do") rather than inquiring, learning, leading, and, perhaps, modeling?
This is a tough question to answer, unless we apply the figure cited in Crucial Confrontations book:
A national poll of U.S. workers found that 44% reported putting in as little effort as they could get away with without being fired.
If that's in a national poll of U.S. workers, would you say educators are LESS inclined to be like their business colleagues or MORE so?

In reviewing Scott's paragraph cited at the start of this blog, it's fun to ask, "What characterizes active learners in the education system?"

  • Be meta-cognitive
  • Creating, not just consuming content
  • Collaborating and skill development rather than transmitting information
  • Engaged in activities such as (as expressed in Active Learning & Technology):
    1. learning contemporary skills, such as learning how to use computers and networks (arguably, single-loop learning efforts); and 
    2. advancing foundational concepts, such as testing and differentiating the advantages and disadvantages of using various electronic media to achieve stated aims
    3. Acquiring, extending, or adapting intellectual capabilities—such as problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and more—in the context of IT-enabled environments
  • Exploring one's own attitudes and values

Earlier today, we discussed the problems with the emphasis on learning and then technology. It reminds me of the importance of teaching lower-order thinking skills before ever getting to higher-order thinking skills. The problem with that remains that students never advance to HOTS because they get drilled to death in LOTS and there is little engagement. I despair of this perspective of "learning and pedagogy first" then adding the technology because educators could spend entire lifetimes trying to get better without ever introducing the technology.

So, I emphatically disagree with assertions like the one below:
Donna Harp Ziegenfuss notes: "Pouring a solid foundation of good pedagogical design before adding on the layer of technology can become a critical factor in the success rate of technology integration."10
I must be wrong...maybe I should choose the certainty of silence?

As my TLN colleagues argue, the best professional development must be, “job-embedded, problem-based, differentiated, collaborative, onsite, compensated, ongoing and teacher-driven.” 
(Source: Bill Ferriter, The Tempered Radical) long has that idea been around? Probably even longer.

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