Tuesday, 29 July 2014

3 Myths of Changing Behaviour

We are looking at how this applies to our review of behaviour management.

Jeni Cross explains why our common sense is our biggest barrier to changing behaviour.  What we think we know...but don't.

Myth 1: Education will change behaviour
There is a 20% behaviour change from education alone.  How you present this information is essential.
Step 1: Make it tangible to them.  Turn it into something they can see or touch.
Step 2: Personalise the information to each person
Step 3: Interaction was in person.  Socialisation is essential
With these 3 steps in use there has been a measured 60% behaviour change as a result
Identify what is lost, not gained by the situation
Change your message for each audience.  The more specifically you can target your audience, the more effective you will be.

How can we make behaviour tangible?  What is it each person loses with their negative behaviour?  How can we personalise this for each person and ensure personal interaction in delivery?  What are our audiences within our community and how will we reach them?

Myth 2: You need to change attitudes to change behaviours.  Attitudes follow behaviour, they do not predict it.  Set behavioural expectations.  Connect to values.  What are the audiences values, and how can we connect to these.  How can we shape our desired outcomes to each audiences values.

Behavioural expectations will be an outcome of our work.  It would seem the thrust of any focus groups or surveys would need to be to gather common values.  How can we shape our outcomes to reach each audience?

Myth 3: People know what motivates them to action.  They don't.  The answer to what motivates people is the perception that most other people are doing something except me.  Showing the negative, sends the message that this is the norm, and can therefore reinforce the negative behaviour.

How can we best show the different audiences examples of what we want other to ASPIRE to Achieve?


This is an RSA animation for a shortened presentation of Dan Pink's, Science of Motivation: Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose.
His well research information is still referred to very rarely, even though this was first presented in 2009.
Extrinsic (prizes and rewards) and Intrinsic (personal enjoyment and satisfaction) motivation are task specific in terms of improving outcomes.
Extrinsic is the classic idea of the stick and carrot.  This type of reward has been used for decades and with good purpose.  Any task requiring mechanical repetition, simply do more of the same thing, extrinsic motivation improves outcomes.  However, this has been proven over repeated studies in multiple countries to have an inverse effect on outcomes if the task requires even rudimentary cognitive skills (creativity and problem solving).  The higher the incentive, the worse they perform.
For these tasks Intrinsic motivation has been proven to increase outcomes.

Intrinsic motivation requires three elements to be most effective.
1. Autonomy: work includes discretion to follow passions, within defined parameters.
2. Mastery: desire for self improvement.  Look for a challenge which may benefit others.
3. Purpose: shared values with employees who are animated by purpose not profit.

Brain Plasticity and Skill Development

Michael Merzenich discusses how the brain measurably changes with the development of new skills and how important the first year of life is.  Start from 11 minutes into the presentation if you need to save time.

Testing showed sensitivity grows for the area of the brain used to gather information to complete a task. As greater control was required to complete the task, the related portion of the brain was able to gather and process greater quantities of information.
Learning creates a measurable physical change in the brain.

Do you think this applies to the development of thinking skills, not just physical skills?

In early brain development, too many inputs, limit our ability for refined development, eg learning speech in a noisy environment, we miss subtleties of speech, therefore create a defective schema.
If problems are resolved in early plasticity, then brains function the same as anyone else, and this will not have any significant later effects.
If not reparied, can take 30 times longer to grasp new knowledge.  Without repairing initial schema, they are destined to continue to learn at this slower rate, because the brain compares all new knowledge to the original defective schema.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Skills and Guy

Yeah, some pretty good reflections coming out of our talk yesterday and from Guy.

Language that Identifies individuals was about permenancy of labels as being destructive, not talking about sharing how they did in a piece of work or unit / test.  EG anything that may be construed as a statement about their forever after level of achievement.  If they see themselves as a Booster maths kid, then this might create the mental picture that they are no good at maths.  Therefore if I am no good at maths, why would I try.  The same could be stated for GATE, what mental model does this create and therefore effects of this?  Imagine being in GATE on year and then not the next... how destructive is that to self perception?

"No competition between test scores and key competences. Focus on competences increases achievement, and is not at the expense of achievement."
I thought this had a great message, but wasn't so sure about the robustness of the research.  Guy's research has shown that the time taken out of the day to explicitly include a thinking component has not been at the expense nationally standardised achievement levels.  He had some graphs of a number of schools pre, during and several years post implementation.  The argument used has been that the time spent on these skills will have a negative impact on achievement as we have less time on content, but his result show the opposite in most cases.  I guess, in regards to our conversation yesterday, the answer is added value in focus on skills is seen in existing assessment, therefore not needed to assess the skill themselves (that last bit is my interpretation, not his words).  So if we wanted to see an area improve in the curriculum, we might as a school, have a focus on associated skills which will add value to the existing content assessment?!?)

Yeah, BLP ones he gave us are his current incarnation, revised since his book. there is a reference at the top to the Expansive Education Network which is where his latest stuff is, and also hints and tips from schools using his approach.  Remember, this is taken from and English education context, so some of it is...well duh.

The last one was a nice catch phrase I thought.

Newlands have adopted this for the last 2 years, and are further along, so could be a good group to sit down and chat with.

Skills and Guy Claxton

I have read your notes from the Claxton presentation and have 'highlighted a few points/questions.thoughts below.  I enjoy our 'debates' - it is great to be challenged and feel passionate!!


"Drop language that identifies ability level of individuals. There current level of performance is not a reliable measure for what they will ever be able to achieve." - Does this relate to what we discussed today?  Should we be assessing learning skills (the how we learn) and giving achievement labels as we do now with APE when each skill and the achievement of our students is going to look different in each contexts that it skills are used in?

"No competition between test scores and key competences. Focus on competences increases achievement, and is not at the expense of achievement."  - Are key competencies not skills?  The skills that we use to increase our achievement?  If teaching is structured appropriately and skills are planned for effectively and systematically then the skills will increase achievement.  What is Claxton suggesting achievement is here?

"These are the learning muscles in BLP. Some are refined since the book." - Also written about in Marzano's Dimensions of Learning from the 90's. Not all the same though.  Also relates to Habits of Mind (Art Costa)

"Busy happy children is necessary but not sufficient." - The way that inquiry has been delivered in the past lends itself to this statement.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Guy Claxton: Building Learning Power

Learning Agility (a Google term) how people approach a new problem, for which they don't know the answer, not just know more to start with. How are we building "Learning Agility?"... or are we just trying to cram in more knowledge?

Click here for more notes from Guy Claxton

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Transitioning Pre Digital workplaces to the Digital World

Does the way we are using technology in our modern learning environments support a new collaborative approach to learning, or are we doing the same stuff in more expensive ways?
Do we have a flexible learning environment in our school community, which supports a sustainable workload, or does it increase our workload?  When do teachers and students get a break from being teachers and students?