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Reset the Mindset A presentation (and workshop) for teachers

NOTE: you don't need to take notes.

Just listen. If you want to take notes, Have things really changed? Is Boyer
don't worry. We will give you this turning over in his grave?
presentation on a CD or DVD, your choice.
What's needed? A new way of looking at the
At the end of this presentation, you will be problem.
asked to work with partners to apply some of
the information that is discussed in this 2. What happens when you change
workshop. You might want to keep this the mindset?
question in the back of your mind: How can I
use this information in my classroom? Before we look at schools, let's look at other
times when the mindset was changed.
What could I change in my lesson plans
and in my classroom to put this GALILEO and COPERNICUS
information to use?
Galileo looked at the moon and said, "I can
What materials can I bring into my see that the moon orbits the earth, and
classroom that could build on what I'm there's no way that the sun circles the earth."
hearing today? He provided a new model for categorizing
what everyone saw.
Yes, 1983 is ancient history for many of us...
His telescope showed that there were little
1. The Situation in 1983 moons that went around Jupiter and those
moons did not circle the Earth. This data
blew the minds of 16th century Italians and
The Carnegie Foundation paid millions of
they couldn't handle it. Galileo had to recant.
dollars to get a report that made broad
recommendations for school reform.
There have been other shifts in mindsets or
paradigms. Copernicus showed that the
Chairman Boyer looked at the school
orbits of planets were ellipses, not a circle.
systems around the country and concluded:

I hope that in the century ahead Mindsets come from the way we look at
students will be judged not by their the world scientifically
performance on a single test but by the
quality of their lives. I hope that  Ether. Scientists used to think that light
students will be encouraged to be traveled along the ethers. they used to think
creative, not conforming, and learn to that light was a wave, but it also acts as a
cooperate rather than compete. particle (that's a shift in the mindset)

Ernest Boyer, president of Carnegie  Phlogiston -- this word describes a

Foundation for the Advancement of material's ability to burn... Intellectuals in the
Teaching, 1993. Middle Ages thought that wood and paper
had more “phlogiston” than metal or stone.
Nearly 30 years later
 Gasoline: our mindset before 1973 was
We have more measurement. Did anything (hopefully) different than today.
ever grow by measuring it? (Dennis Littky)

Reset the Mindset Yuzenas and McCrea VisualAndActive.com 1

We are talking about cars that run on homes that the entire structure would start to
alternatives to gasoline. fall down?

There have been dozens of major changes in Action: Congress made it easier to lend
humanity's collective mindset and we are in money
the middle of a mindset change now...
Response: Interest-only loans with a balloon
Howard Gardner helped us reset the way we payment and increased interest rate after four
think about intelligence (multiple or five years. OOPS: people who couldn't
intelligences) afford to borrow were given loans...

Robert Ballard asked us to look at the Black

Sea and imagine what might have happened
to create the story of Noah's Ark and the 4. What are the unintended
Great Flood consequences of measuring
students and applying standards to
Dan Pink told us to think about the other side schools?
of the brain… but these mindsets have
stalled. a) teaching to the test

People like Dan Pink are saying, "Hey, "Tell us what's on the test, and let us prepare
design is important, look to the whole for the test."
brain" while test mavens want to standardize
education in a left-brained, data-driven, b) Preparing for a test (instead of teaching
lopsided manner. as we used to and just letting the test
measure what was taught.)
Progress does not have to move forward
smoothly. There will be losses, These were NOT what Governor Jeb Bush
retrenchment before we unloose the bonds stated in his plan for "A+" when the Florida
that bind us to tradition and then we can Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT)
surge ahead. was proposed.

So let's move on... 5. SOME QUOTES

3. Unintended Consequences "It seems to me that schools primarily teach

kids how to take test, a skill one hardly uses
Problem: we depend on foreign oil in real life unless one is a contestant on a
Remedy: ethanol from corn quiz show). Elementary school prepares kids
for junior high; junior high prepares them for
Unintended Consequence: (cartoon of high school. So the goal (if we can call it
starving kid next to fuel pump with ethanol that) of schools is to prepare kids for more
from corn) school." -- Tom Magliozzi, one of the Car Talk
guys, writing in his book, In Our Humble
There are numerous other examples of Opinion: Car Talk's Click and Clack
Rant and Rave (2000).
unintended consequences.
"I have been a psychologist for 21 years, and
Who knew that when Congress made it a
I have never had to do in the profession what
goal to help more people to own their
I needed to do to get an A in many of my

Reset the Mindset Yuzenas and McCrea VisualAndActive.com 2

courses in college. In particular, I've never kids about the real world by locking them up
had to memorize a book or lecture. If I can't in a building that looks, acts and feels nothing
remember something, I just look it up. like the real world. -- Littky, page 29
However, schools set things up to reward
with As the students who are good The traditional school isolates large groups of
memorizers, not just at the college level but young people from adults and the
at many other levels as well. -- Robert experiences of the real world, then expects
Sternberg, psychologist. them to emerge at age 18 knowing how to be
adult, how to work and how to live in the real
Our education system should be creating world. Kids are expected to sit still for long
mindful learners. (Littky) periods of time, to learn primarily by listening
to someone talk and never talk to anyone
Too often we teach people things like around them. They learn how to please
"There's a right way and a wrong way eight different teachers with eight different
to do everything." What we should be sets of expectations -- and the teachers base
teaching them is how to think their understanding of the kids on 45 minutes
flexibly, to be mindful of all the spent in a room with 20 to 30 other kids.
different possibilities of every situation Only if they are having trouble do they get an
and not close themselves off from individualized education plan (IEP) or get any
information that could help them. Ellen
feedback on their learning beyond a single
Langer, professor of psychology
letter on their report card. Their education
system assumes that they are exactly like
I never let schooling get in the way of my every other kid in the class and every other
education. -- Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) kid who was in that class 40 and 50 years
ago. The school emphasizes the same "set
No matter how far you have gone on a of knowledge" for everyone and expects them
wrong road, turn back. -- Turkish proverb all to demonstrate the exact same skills. The
world is changing -- schools are not. -- Littky,
Think about how people learn best. We The Big Picture, page 32
learn best when we care about what we are
doing, when we have choices. We learn One-third of the jobs that will be around
best when the work has meaning to us, when ten to fifteen years from now haven't been
it matters. We learn best when the work is invented yet.
real and relevant.
We want to prepare our children for the world,
so let's no isolate them from the world. What can teachers do today?

Many people talk about how difficult it is to We could continue complaining, but let's end
integrate a curriculum. How can English this training with two questions:
teachers work with math, science and history
teachers? That is ridiculous: the world is 1) How can we personalize our lessons?
integrated! Every day schools unravel the
world and all its vast knowledge and put it 2) How can we integrate our lessons with
into boxes called subjects and separate other subjects?
things that are not separate in the real world.
What is science and geography without 3. How can we bring the world into class
math? What is English with its history and or take the class out to the real world?
word origins and other languages? We teach

Reset the Mindset Yuzenas and McCrea VisualAndActive.com 3

GROUP ACTIVITY (for the participants in EXCITING PART: You might think that this
the seminar) seminar is over. We've talked together for
30-40 minutes. This has just begun. We are
Let's brain storm together -- sit with a group passing around a sheet of paper with your
of four teachers and come up with three contact information. You signed this paper,
things you can do to individualize training. putting your email address and your name on
the sheet. Well, most of you did. We want
you to sign up for 7, 30, 90 day checkups.
How can you integrate your subject with Dennis and Steve will make it their job to call
other subjects? you, email you or possibly visit you in your
class to see how you use these techniques.
Can we use the Internet to create virtual If you want none of that follow up, scratch out
internships? the numbers. If you want all three visits or
emails, 7 30 90, then circle all three numbers.
We will contact you or visit you on this
(time to circulate with the audience, put them
basis. Please add your phone number. If
into groups, someone takes notes, the notes
we can text your mobile phone, please write
get passed to the front, a big list is made and
the word "TEXT" next to the phone.
checked off the list that is given to the
Thank you for your attention. The
unexpected consequence of this presentation
is not yet known, but we have a hunch that
you might bring a camera into your
Project-based Learning
classroom, a computer and a disk burner.
Many education reformers point to narratives
As the crowd disperses, the following quote
and portfolios for assessment and projects to
goes on the projector
guide the learning in the classroom (to
reduce lecturing). Inquiry and independent
What is the power of stories?
thinking by students ought to lead the way in
the classroom, so that the teacher is a “guid I tell stories to new teachers who are just
eon the side” not a sage on the stage.” beginning to get a sense of what "one kid at a
OBJECTIONS: “It’s hard to grade a project” time" really means. When they start to gather
and “it’s messy.” More objections? Other their own stories that is when they are
comments? beginning to see the inner workings of each
kid and to understand where the kids come
from. This is when they are able to make
learning happen and when they are helping
CONCLUSION This workshop is not over to carry on the culture of our school.---
yet... When you are finished working in your Dennis Littky
small group, we say, “Very good. Each
group got at least ten of the items that are on
our list.” BRAVO, thank you for your
participation. Some of the groups added
some ideas that we didn't have on our list, so
we will add them to the lit for our next

Don't leave! Sit! Stay! NOW COMES THE

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Reset the Mindset Yuzenas and McCrea VisualAndActive.com 5
At the end, quotes by
Steve Jobs, Thomas
Friedman, etc., go on the
wall, CDs are distributed
with the materials and the
lecture on the CDs so the
participants don't need to
take notes.

Presented by Dennis and Steve

By the way... here are three things you can

introduce to you students immediately – (1)
Posters for the walls at home (and at school),
(2) digital books and (3) educational mp3
files – the CDs are included in your packet.
Please follow up with us and tell us how you
have used this information and please share
contrary or supporting articles that you find in
the news.

Photo from 2006 – we've been pushing digital

books on TV (see the photograph of Steve on
a local TV news show, South Florida Today)

For more information, write to

Dennis Yuzenas
yuzenasdennis@bellsouth.net Steve
McCrea visualandactive.com

ome/reset-the-mindset << see images online

Steve at a rally

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By Terry M. Neal and John Poole

washingtonpost.com Staff Writers
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Those two programs -- one federal and one state -- are on a collision course this summer.
That's when new test results could show that many of state's schools pass the Florida A+
standards while failing to show sufficient improvement under the federal No Child Left
Behind rules. Failing to make progress on the federal standards would require the state to
let the parents of students in failing schools transfer their children to better-performing

Ninety-four percent of Florida's schools passed the state standards but only 13 percent
passed the federal ones, according to a recent press release from Jim Davis, the
Democratic congressman who represents Tampa and St. Petersburg. More than a few
educators in Florida are worried that massive transfers could destroy the public
education system in the state.

Gov. Bush touted the results at a press conference at Coral Park Elementary School in
Miami. "When we ended social promotion and raised standards for our high school
seniors last year, many were skeptical," he said. "Today's results show Florida is moving
in the right direction, with more students reading on grade level and significant
improvement and opportunities among those who have struggled most."

Testing is not new to Florida's school kids. The state has required graduating seniors to
pass a competency test for 20 years, said Frances Marine, communication director of the
Florida Department of Education. The A+ plan merely increased the level of proficiency
required for graduation from an 8th-grade to a 10th-grade level. Marine said no one ever
complained about the previous testing requirement until Gov. Bush began pushing his
A+ plan, a sign that the opposition is playing politics. "Where was the outrage before?"
she asked

Gov. Bush's supporters and advisers in Florida say the federal No Child Left Behind Act
(NCLB) has integrated nicely with the state's existing testing formula. The goal of
NCLB is to raise reading and math proficiency to 100 percent for all students in the
country by 2014. Unlike the A+ plan, which grades schools on the aggregate scores of
all their students, NCLB measures the performance of subgroups of students in reading
and math and requires all groups -- defined by racial, ethnic, income and other factors --
to keep improving until all groups reach the 100 percent goal. These different scoring
techniques have given some schools passing grades under the state A+ plan but failing
grades under NCLB.

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Gloria Pipkin, a white 57-year-old educator and author who lives in Lynn Haven, a small
town on the Florida Panhandle, has organized a group called the Florida Coalition for
Assessment Reform (FCAR). Her group consists mostly of educated, affluent whites
who are alarmed at what they see as the undermining of a well-rounded education. Like
Wilson and Curry, FCAR's members believe that the education system needs to be
improved, but don't believe high-stakes testing is a means to achieve that goal.

FCAR is a nonpartisan and nonprofit grassroots organization with a "shoe-string"

budget, Pipkin said. Hundreds of parents, educators and students are working in FCAR
to repeal the A+ mandates.

"I'm sure the motives were noble and honorable, but whenever high-stakes are attached
to any test -- bonuses for teachers, school funding -- the whole system becomes
deformed and distorted by test scores, and we confuse that with learning and gaining,"
Pipkin said, arguing that subjects such as social studies and creative writing are being
phased out to make way for test preparation. "I see high-stakes testing as a very real
threat to deep thinking, critical thinking and imaginative thinking…All we're concerned
about now is taking a test."

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