When I saw the keynote speaker for Friday at OCTM was the vice-president of NCTE, I began wondering why? I wonder no more. Ernest Morrell is a dynamic speaker. Ernest Morrell thinks about education and crosses boundaries between disciplines that should be crossed. Ernest Morrell thinks about students as people and looks for changes to be made. Ernest Morrell is the director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College. My notes can not compare to his actual presentation and I urge you to see him speak if the chance comes your way.
Three questions, Ernest Morrell shared to jump start our thinking;
1. How do I get kids excited about learning? How can they apply math?
2. How do I get kids to feel good about themselves?
3. How is can do different than will do?
Our time with Ernest Morrell was spent thinking about learning communities. He shared this equation,
value + expectancy = motivation
Students need to have goals they value and a belief they can make it. Confidence is created by expecting success for motivation. The first step in reaching these goals and community spirit is by engaging students with a context they can be successful in. Students need relevance for learning.
When creating a social awareness, which fosters learning, the attachment theory needs to be in place. The attachment theory involves being attached to the academic world, to the world of numbers, to others in the classroom, and to see the larger social world outside the world of their own. Secure attachments in the school world are essential for fostering success and learning.
We have to think about how we think and teach but more importantly how do kids learn and they don't learn through a lecture! Ernest Morrell shared his work and the different scenarios he has been in leading to the Powerful Teaching Principals. Our students and our classroom climate need these factors.
-Voice - we need to help our students say their thoughts
-Affirmation - confidence and humor
-Achievement - push beyond expectations
-Purpose - create work products.
-Love - make a difference
We also need to look at how our students are using popular culture. He shared several examples of mathematics through things we do in life normally and referenced the show Sport Science on ESPN. We need to look at how pop culture has influenced our students consumption. What do they read, watch, and listen. We need to show them possibilities about mathematics. Student's can't become excited about mathematics or reading until they see the possibilities. Create projects where they are reaseachers, find out what they would change, connect it to their learning. Children are natural born scientist. Use the power of numbers to persuade. Create learning communities that work together, question, connect, share with others and strive for excellence.
He closed with a few reflective thoughts that were uplifting and motivating. "Teaching makes you internal and it's an absolute honor to create HOPE.