Universal Design for Learning: Variability in Emotion and Learning

before you talk. We have student teachers
who are going to be entering our
profession very soon. All right, awesome. (APPLAUSE) >>: We have
practicing teachers from local school districts. We have a great group
from the Baltimore County schools. We have a group… (APPLAUSE) >>: …A great
group from the Baltimore City schools. We also have some
fantastic Towson University faculty members
who are part of our Universal Design for
Learning professional development network. And – you don't have to
cheer for yourselves. (APPLAUSE) >>: And this
is particularly exciting because we also have
special education alumni here who have come back to
network and talk and hear our great speakers. So we have lots of
different groups all under the umbrella of wanting to
learn more about Universal Design for Learning, and
the role of affect and emotion in the students
that we teach, whether they are preschool
students or whether they are adult learners. We are going to walk away
tonight with some great concrete ideas from our
speaker, Dr. Sami Daley. If any of you had the
chance to come to the January conference, you
heard from David Rose, he talked a bit about
Universal Design for Learning. And Sami is one of David's
colleagues at CAST in Boston. And she is quite an
accomplished individual herself. She is a research
scientist. And her current role right
now is doing a lot of projects, many projects on
emotion and learning and how to design instruction
that takes that information
and applies it. And she's going to tell
you more about that. Before she came to CAST,
Dr. Daley was a clinical fellow in the Learning
Disabilities Program at Children's Hospital in
Boston and an instructor in the Language and
Literacy Program at the Harvard Grad School
of Education. And she's also been
a learning disability specialist in high school
and college settings. She has a doctorate in
human development and psychology from the
Harvard Graduate School of Education, and she has
published a number of places, but also the
Mind, Brain and Education journal where she was
co-editor, and also the Journal of Postsecondary
Education and Disability. So you can see she's got
a background that can connect with pretty much
every single person in this room. And I have had the
pleasure of hearing her speak and I would've
bought a ticket to hear her. So I'm really excited to
welcome Sami to Towson University. (APPLAUSE) >>: Thank you,
Liz, for the very kind introduction. I am so happy to be here
and I am so impressed with how many folks were
willing to come out at the end of a long school year
on a beautiful night. So thank you very much. So as a little logistical
detail before we get started, there should be
a pile of these sort of boring-looking
handouts on your table. It says variability in
emotion and learning on the top. You're going to want one
of those and something to write with so that when
we do the interactive portions, you're able
to sort of follow along.   OK.   All right, all set? If you have to share, it's
not the end of the world.   OK. So I want to start with
an assumption for our conversation tonight. And to sort of illustrate
this assumption, I'm going to start with sharing
a student's view on how emotion plays a role
in his learning. So this is a drawing made
by an eighth grader – we'll call him Scott –
with whom I was working individually, helping
primarily with reading comprehension skills. We're working on,
you know, reading comprehension strategies
and different supports like that. And at the end of one of
our sessions, Scott asked if we could do some
spelling words. He was very good at
spelling, so this was sort of a fun way to wrap up. And I gave the
word epitome. And you can see the word –
I guess I can't point -but you can see the word
epitome down in the bottom left. He actually spelled it
correctly and then he went back and changed it and it
didn't end up quite right. But regardless, he said, I
know what that word means and I want to show you. OK, great. So he said, can I
draw you a picture? So Scott proceeded to draw
this picture where the star at the top is what
he called the epitome of a good student. OK? Then you can see there's
a row below that – a layer below that where the
average students are. And there's a student –
there's a little person leaning over saying ha
ha to somebody who's down below who's
saying help me. And where does
Scott see himself? Hanging off the ledge at
the bottom with vultures circling. OK? And this is the pyramid
of rank education-wise. OK? So what I want to use this
to sort of start out as a fundamental assumption is
the fact that learning and school are at once
emotional and cognitive all the time. So learning is emotional
work whether for students or for teachers. When you think about your
own day and your own role, clearly it's
emotional, right? It's not just a sort
of strictly academic skill-based experience. And as Scott so eloquently
shows, for him, going through school everyday
is intensely emotional, right? And this, of course – it's
an extreme demonstration, but the fact that he could
so readily articulate in an image his emotional
experience when academically he, you know,
maybe could not articulate so well his knowledge,
shows just how profound this is. So there's been a lot
of attention lately, wonderfully, to the role
of emotion and motivation and engagement
in learning. This is a fabulous
– sort of- movement. But often we hear the
label noncognitive to describe those aspects of
learning that are somehow separated from the real
academic skills that were supposed to be
primarily focused on. And I just want to
start with the idea that noncognitive is a
misnomer, right? There is no learning that
can be ever separated into cognitive and
noncognitive. Everything is both
emotional and cognitive all the time. We've made up those terms
to sort of help us think about learning
in various ways. But they're abstractions
that you don't really exist. We're both thinking
rationally and experiencing something
emotionally all the time, OK? So to just give you a
second to sort of think of how this plays out, we're
going to do a first little interactive piece. This will be brief. I want you to take a
minute and where it says activity one at the top of
your sheet there's a whole bunch of lines. Just independently answer
this very simple question. What does it take to be
successful in school? Make a list of as many
different things you can think of that it takes for
a student to succeed in school. You can think about
whatever grade level you want. Whatever sort of makes
the most sense to you. But what kinds of things
does take for somebody to be successful? I'm going to give you a
few minutes to write down your answer. Prize to whoever
has the most. No not really. With your table mates, I
want you to take a second and circle anything on
your list that you would categorize as
purely academic. And academic skill. Circle anything that you
think is even primarily about some kind of
academic skill or strategy.   OK. out And then go ahead
and share with your table mates, and what I'm
particularly interested in is often when I do this –
if we weren't so big I'd have us share
out all together. And what do people say? Things like
self-regulation. The ability to read social
situations – these kinds of things. And relatively few of the
more academic things like can read fluently –
this kind of thing which clearly are important. So take a minute to talk
with each other and just reflect on the fact –
where did you end up? What kind of
balance do you have?   But I really just want to
sort of say I hope that we've sort of now started
with the assumption or the sort of establishment that
school is emotional work for students and teachers. That it's both experienced
as emotional and the emotional aspects are
critical to the learning and the success and the
outcomes that we're hoping for. Fair enough? OK. So with that as our
starting point, we're going to go through two
other sort of main points – both will be
substantially longer than that. That was an easy one. So variability rules. So we're going to start
by talking about the variability and emotional
responses to learning experiences. I'm sure that that's a
familiar concept given all of your work with
universal design for learning I'm sure you've
heard about variability over and over again. And then we're going to
focus on three different roles of educators that
kind if come out of this thinking about emotion and
affect and engagement and particularly variability. OK so let's start with
thinking about variability in terms of the other
two networks under UDL. The recognition and the
strategic networks which often when we talk about
UDL, these seem to be the two that – it's, you know,
not that challenging to see that there's
variability in terms of these networks. So this is sort of the
single slide that I'll use to demonstrate this
because I think it captures things in a
somewhat intriguing way. So just to explain what
you see here, this is a study done by Chantel
Prat at the University of Washington, and what
she did is quite simple. She asked all of the
undergraduate students in her intro to psychology
courses to take the Nelson Denny reading test, OK? And that has both a
reading comprehension aspect and a
vocabulary aspect. And I should say that she
filtered out anyone who was registered with the
university's disability services center. So presumably this is
primarily folks who do not have any diagnosed
disability. What you can see in these
403 students is, if you look along the x-axis
which is the reading comprehension percentile,
we have students all the way from the first
percentile up to the hundredth percentile, and
it's actually a fairly line distribution. So remember these are
students who are at a four-year institution most
of whom – or very few of whom have any kind of
diagnosed disability. And they're reading
all the way along the spectrum. And similarly, their
vocabulary, which goes along the y-axis, is
also widely distributed. So those of you who are
teaching in postsecondary settings, I think this
might be of particular interest to sort of pause
and think of the wide variation in reading
skills amongst your students – or those of you
who are current college students. But obviously what this
is meant to show is that there is wide variability
in these students' ability – their – what they know
and can do when it comes to reading and
vocabulary, OK? So we'll just kind of
take that as a given. Striking though, right? I think so. OK. So it turns out there's
also variability in emotion-related constructs
as well and to start to kind of get into that –
just – I just want to sort of highlight that it's
become somewhat trendy for nations to conduct studies
of things like happiness. So you can have a national
happiness indicator – a national well-being
indicator and with the idea being that this is
an outcome that should be measured. Which is kind of an
interesting phenomenon right? That maybe we should be
paying attention to more than GDP and that kind of
thing and thinking about well-being. I'm not sure all the
measures are exactly what we might choose or what I
might sort of think of is most meaningful
but it's a start. And we see at this very
gross level, that there's wide variation here, too. So this is
European countries. The personal well-being
indicator is along the bottom. You can see that there's
some distribution. I could have picked from
a range of indicators for the y-axis is thought you
all might be interested in the relationship between
personal well-being and education spending. And look, it turns out
that Denmark leads in both. The relationship is
pretty clear here — those countries that spend more
education tend to also have citizens who rate
themselves as having higher levels of
personal well-being. OK – interesting. So there's some indication
that there's some variability in how people
are experiencing life from an emotional
affective perspective. But of course, this not
the level of analysis that's at all useful for
instruction and learning, right? What we really need to get
at is how does variability work when we think about
an individual student or a class of students sitting
down to engage in – or maybe not sitting down –
to engage in a learning experience, right? OK. So to dive into that
aspect of variability or that level, I'm going to
ask for a little bit of participation here. So I'm going to show you a
series of images, and with each one I'm going to
describe a scenario. I want you to pretend you
are in the scenario being described and go ahead and
when asked, yell out an answer to the question,
how do you feel? OK? Ready to play along? OK. OK. So you're standing –
your best friend for your birthday got you a
skydiving outing. You're standing at the
edge of the plane with the instructor strapped
to your back. You're about to jump out. How do you feel? >>: (CROSSTALK) >>: OK. This one's hard to see. I apologize. This is a statistics
homework assignment. It's got a distribution
of scores and you're being asked to predict what the
expected MCAT score is – state test score is for
students at this school. You have to use some
knowledge of statistics and probability and things
and do some calculations. You're asked to do this
by your principal – supervisor – whomever. How do you feel? >>: (CROSSTALK) >>: Some stressed. Some no problem. OK. All right your neighbor
has just come home from the hospital, has a
newborn baby, calls you up and says they need
to go to the doctor. Can you come over and hang
out with the baby for a couple of hours? How do you feel? >>: (CROSSTALK) >>: All
right, you're asked to do much like what I'm
doing right now. You're asked to stand up
and give a presentation. Maybe it's some kind
of capstone thing. Maybe it's something
to get a job. You're going to stand
up and you're going to present and share with
a whole crowd of folks. How do you feel? >>: (CROSSTALK) >>: Nice. OK – last one. It's a Sunday in the
winter – kind of cold and rainy out. You don't have anything
particular going on. You're going to spend
the afternoon sitting and reading. How do you feel? >>: (CROSSTALK) >>: OK so
hopefully what you could hear – and I don't know
if you could 'cause it's a lot of people so it may
have gotten muffled. But when – for instance,
this one, there's a whole lot of yay and a whole
lot of oh my gosh, right? I'm not doing that. Similarly, woo-hoo – you
know, oh, that would be so cute and oh my goodness,
I'm not doing that. Right? Right? All through these you can
see that there's a whole lot of variability
in people's emotional responses to exactly
the same activity, OK? So one of the challenges,
when we think about engagement and school or
learning, is that folks, we all tend to fall into
this trap of thinking, for instance, oh, this is a
hands-on activity where they're getting up
and doing something. That's going to
be a fun day. Oh, this is a day where
we're sort of sitting around, you know,
maybe doing very quiet activities. That's going to be a
really kind of a boring day, right? And we have these sort of
preconceived notions that what's going to be fun
or, you know, positive emotionally for most
people, and what's going to be not so
positive, right? But as we see, it's not
the task or the activity itself that contains that
positive or negative. Yes, it's true that some
are going to be – you know, more frequently
trigger a positive reaction. But it's not
inherent to the task. We all bring, with us,
things that shape how we perceive that activity. So this one – this is my
son, Ethan, when he was an infant, right? Yeah, it's aww now, but at
that time how did I feel? Aghh, right? I didn't know
what I was doing. He was my first, right? But then when his sister
came along, aww, you know? 'Cause by then,
what did I have? Experience – a whole lot
of background knowledge, right? And similarly, you can
imagine that if, you know, if I told you the same
scenario and said but your grandmother is going to be
next-door and she's raised ten kids – there's a lot
of ways to change the dynamics of exactly
the same task, OK? So that's what we're
kind of going to try and leverage in thinking about
how to design instruction. How can we take this same
activity and build in enough flexibility and
enough resources so that it is more likely to be
experienced or perceived as positive by a whole
variety of learners who all come with their own
levels of background knowledge, their own
previous experience with a similar task or lack
thereof, etc. Because when we think about a whole
group of learners, we've got wide variability
between learners, right? And then we've also got
this individual learner, who going through a given
day or week or month or school year or academic
career – just think of how many different activities
that learner experiences, right? Everything from, you
know, riding the bus to learning, you know,
to read, to doing math things, to doing a science
lab where it's a totally different set of skills,
to listening at lunch to – all of these different
things, right, are going to shape perceptions of
exactly – of a task we may design thinking it's going
to be one way or another way emotionally. OK. So school's emotional
work, variability rules across all three networks. There's not any more
variability in recognition in strategic than
there is in affect. So what are we going
to do about it, right? So part of the rationale
for the universal design for learning framework is
to try to understand where there is systematic
variability so that we can design instruction
that addresses it in a meaningful way, right? If everything is just
infinitely variable, it's very hard to know how
to shape instruction to recognize and take
advantage of that. OK, so I've broken this
down into three sort of general rules
of educators. Of course, like with any
model including the model of UDL that also is three
parts, this is necessarily going to simplify a whole
lot and leave out some really important things,
but I'm hoping that it'll be a sort of helpful
framework and it will let me touch on some key
aspects of emotions and learning in
instructional time. OK. So the first role is
recognizing a learner's affective state and
helping the learner to recognize it. OK, so if we think about
teaching as emotional work and you think about strong
teachers, it's obvious that this is a lot of
what's going on, right? It's that you're working
with individual students or a class of students and
have the ability to sort of read where they are
affectively and in terms of skills and
strategies as well. But a lot of it is
figuring out, OK, here's how I'm going to adjust
or peg this particular activity on this
particular day for this particular student. And with a UDL approach,
there would be the flexibility built in to
allow that to happen, right? So we see skilled teachers
do this all the time. Wouldn't it be wonderful
if some of that reading and recognizing and
adjusting based on affective state could be
transferred into the hands of the student so that it
becomes something they're able to do and able
to use moving forward. OK, so we're going to talk
a little bit about that. But before we get into
that, we actually have a whole grant from
the National Science Foundation to CAST
focused essentially on the question of what does
engagement look like? Right? So if we're going to do is
have – one of our roles is to recognize others'
affective state, it seems like it would be helpful
to be able to understand – what are we looking for? What is it that we
feel like, oh, there's engagement. Right? Yes, we all have this sort
of intuitive sense, but what we're trying to do
is come up with a useful model that will allow more
nuance in instructional design. OK. So we have this grant. It's focused on what does
engagement look like? And I've got to say
it's probably the most challenging grant
we currently have. OK? It's very, very hard. So let me tell you a
little bit about how it's working. So we have this
partnership with the Museum of Science in
Boston, who are absolutely wonderful. They came to us because
they have this problem, which I think to you –
especially, perhaps, if you teach secondary
science – will sound like a wonderful problem, that
they have students come to the museum so highly
engaged and aroused and excited that they learn
nothing, basically. They come, and they are so
excited that they call it the ping-pong effect. They bounce from here to
there to there to there to there. And do they leave feeling
wonderful about it? Yes, right? But the museum staff,
of course, wants to go a little beyond that and
wants to figure out how to harness all of that
positive emotion to actually translate
into deep learning. So it's, for us, a really
fun project because, often, when we think about
engagement, we're thinking about the other end of
the spectrum, right? So particularly,
unfortunately, in science classes, this can
be a challenge. So it's this great
experience of looking, at   one end, at a margin to
try to understand more deeply what's going on and
how we could design better to harness
positive emotion. OK. So I want to give you sort
of the setup for how this works 'cause then I'm
going to have you act as research assistance
for a minute. OK. So we have students in
middle school come to the museum one at a time. They sign up for a time. They come. Half of them are
assigned to participate individually. Half are assigned to
participate with a parent because one of our
questions is the role of a parent in social
interaction and engagement. We're not going to get
too into that right now. So we have a
participant come. We have one exhibit at the
museum completely closed off to the public. It's an exhibit that
focuses on – it's called Math Moves – and it
focuses on ratio and proportion. And it's a mix of sort
of hands-on things where you're manipulating
things. And then there's some sort
of stations where it's more like a monitor, and
you're maybe moving levers and things, but it's
mostly a digital display. So it's a nice
sort of mix. There's six different
stations in the exhibit. So we do various measures
in the beginning, but the bulk of the study is that
this single kid gets the chance to explore this
exhibit on his own for 20 minutes. They can go to
whatever they want. They can go to
all six stations. They can go to
one only station. They can go to things
and then go back. They can end after five
minutes if they want. Whatever they want. But they have the
chance to explore. There's various other
sort of manipulations that happened, but mostly
they're just kind of able to do whatever they want. While they're exploring,
we are collecting all these different sources
of data about their engagement. We have these nifty wrist
sensors that measure electrodermal activity
– skin conductance. OK? That shows – it's a
physiological a measure of arousal. You'll see – I'm going
to show you a video. You'll see they have on
these totally spy gadget-y eye tracking glasses that
monitor where their pupils are looking so that we can
see what they're attending to and not. So we can tell did they
read the instructions on the sign or not? All these
different things. We are videotaping so that
we can judge things like posture and facial
expression and all of that kind of thing. All this, remember, is to
try and get a vision of what does engagement
look like, OK? We have them do reports
after each of their activities. I'll show you
some of that. And then at the end, they
reflect about the whole experience. OK. So all of this is giving
us all these sources to try and say, what does
engagement look like? And it's, I should say,
mostly trying to move beyond how the museum
field currently measures engagement, which is
with a stopwatch, right? If you stay longer, you
must be more engaged. Perhaps not as a robust a
measure of engagement as we would like, right? So we're working on it. OK. So we have all these
sources of data, but as we talk with people in
the museum field – the informal learning field –
and advisers that are more from formal education
even, we keep arriving at the assumption or keep
having people say to us that all of these sources
of data should be compared to individual experts
rating what we see and rating the degree
of engagement. Right. So there's this widespread
assumption that engagement is – pardon the comparison
– but sort of pornography, right? You'll know it when
you see it, right? And there's this
assumption that educators could watch kids engaged
in a learning activity and have a pretty good sense
of, yeah, that's engaged. That's not. OK? So all right, we're
willing to try that out 'cause if that's the case,
forget all those other measures. We'll do that, right? So we're going to try it. OK. So get your paper ready. You will see that in the
middle, you have four boxes – OK? – for time one
through four. Here's what we're
going to do. I am going to play a
video of a girl whose participating
in our study. She's going into
fifth grade. You're going to watch her
just at a single activity, so just, like, a couple
of minutes out of the 20 minutes that she had. And you'll notice that
she's in the condition with her parents, so
her dad will come over. And this activity – just
so you have a little bit of the context – involves
manipulating blocks and the goal is supposed to be
– there's, like, a model   figure and you're supposed
to double the dimensions all three ways. Right, is supposed to
double the length, the width and the height
of this example. And there's just so –
again so you have a little bit of the context –
there's a screen that you'll see that has a
little video that just plays on a loop that sort
of demonstrates this a little. It doesn't tell how to
do it but it tells what you're – that you're
supposed to try and double the dimensions. OK, so here's your task
– I'm going to play this video in a second and I'm
going to pause it after every 30 seconds. This is how we've
actually done the coding. So I'm going to pause it
after every 30 seconds. At that point, please put
a one or a two or a three in the box for
that time segment. Don't look at your
neighbors – just do it yourself. A one, a two one A2 two
or a three – one is a low engagement, two is
engaged, three is high engagement. OK, everybody ready? Here we go.   OK, do your first rating.   No cheating – I see you
talking to each other. Do it yourself. OK, ready? Here we go.   OK, second rating.   OK, you ready?   Third rating.   OK, last one coming up.   All right, that one's
a little tough, but go ahead.   OK.  
So hold on – you've got
one more thing to do OK, so now at the end of
the session, we reflect with the participant and
we asked her to pick two words that she would use
to describe her experience of this block station. So pick your two words. And once you do that, then
you can compare at your tables and see how similar
you were in your ratings and how similar you were
in your choice of words.   OK. But you're all educators,
shouldn't you be able to recognize engagement
when you see it, right? So well, let's show
how we did as raters. So I'm going to show next
this clip that indicates three of the research
staff doing the same activity. There were actually six of
us – some from the museum some from CAST doing it. And in the clip I'm going
to show – so this is a sort of nifty software
that lets you do coding of video. And you're going to
see the three lines. Each line is a
different person's code. Red is low engagement,
yellow is – so that's a one, yellow is a two,
green is a three. Let me, I think you
probably can predict what's going
to happen here. I know, it's OK. Thank you though. OK, got it now, right? OK. So remember, there are
three different raters and ideally, they would
all be the same color.   OK, so now we've got
two green and a yellow. But look what's coming up.   And we did do it in 30
seconds but – I don't have it set that way but now
you can see we're moving into a one, a two and
a three all at the same time. I saw several of those
at your tables as well. So I don't have to let
it continue playing, but that's the gist. This is only
three of the six. We were all over the map. And we did multiple
videos, trying to get more and more reliable and
– no, you know, we just basically couldn't do it. So stay tuned to see what
all of the other measures, which hopefully will be
somewhat more consistent tell us about engagement. But I think it might be
somewhat more promising to   let the student
tell us, right? OK, so after she completed
the activity – right   after, like as she's
transitioning to the next activity, she's
asked to reflect. So you can see here
the questions are about describing how she felt
during that activity. So how interested were
you, how confused were you, et. cetera. And you might
say she's sort of middle-of-the-road, right? She's a little bit
interested – also a little confused. She thinks it's a little
fun but also a little difficult. A little happy, a little
frustrated, a little bored. But not at all proud and
not at all nervous, right? OK, so all right so she's
sort of eh, like kind of – I don't know. She's sort of OK with it,
not totally enthusiastic, right? But also not like
that was awful. Let's – oh, I think I have
to go out of this again. Let's listen to her
explain using her two words. >>: OK, that makes sense. The next one that you
went to – hey, wake up computer. The next one
you went to… >>You can hear that? >>…Take a moment. Think about it, remember
what you did, and just decide which of these
words describe how you felt. >>: Oh, hold on. Is the sound OK? People in the
back can you hear? I realize – hold on. >>: It was a
little frustrating. >>When did you
feel frustrated? >>Frustrated. >>: When I was trying to
rebuild the shape with the other blocks but the
block was hanging off. So I had to hold
it finish it. >>: You thought those
were frustrating? >>Yeah. >>: Yeah. Any other words that
describe how you felt? >>: Excited. It was fun to build and
see how to double it. >>: You thought that
was really exciting? Cool. Cool, OK. >>: So she's frustrated
and excited, which actually in the 50 or so
kids we've talked with so far, that happens more
often than not – that it's both a somewhat, you know,
what you might qualify as a negative with
a positive.   Really frequently that's
what happens, which I think is a wonderful
demonstration to all of us that, you know, it's
not all just fun to be engaged, right? A little bit of difficulty
can actually go along with a really positive emotion,
which is great to learn from. So how'd you do? Did you get all
the words right?   OK, so it seems that
there's some promise in asking students to do some
of this reflection because we perhaps are not
so able to do it. Now of course, this
is a highly contrived situation, right. If you were sitting down
and talking with her during the activity, you'd
have a much different level of insight. But still, the assumption
that we can tell engagement or not, you
know, I think there's some reason to question that
and to think about well, there's probably some
benefit to helping students to do it, even
if, you know, we could accurately take
on that role. You know, having it be
a skill that they can monitor their own
emotional state and then act to customize their
learning environment accordingly – seems like
something that's worth sort of striving for. So I want to just show one
example of an approach to doing this. Is anyone familiar
with the mood meter? Do you know this? OK, great. So you can see the four
quadrant thing on the left. And this is a really
common way to talk about emotions. So a lot of the emotion
research has this kind of four-quadrant set up. And the two axes are –
along the bottom, is some indication of valence
or feelings – so from unpleasant to pleasant. And then along the y-axis
it's – here it's called energy, sometimes
it's called arousal or activation. This is the sort of
degree of strength of the feeling. So just to sort of orient
to how this works, you would think that somebody
in the yellow quadrant is feeling very pleasant and
also very high energy. So we often will think of
this as the Elmo quadrant. Right, like wahoo,
this is great. That's yellow, OK? The blue is unpleasant
but low energy. So this is the sort of
bored, depressed, not, you know, a lot of arousal or
activation and not very pleasant. The green is, I think,
purposefully green because it's in that sort
of calm, right. So it's pleasant
but low energy. And then the red is, as
you might imagine for red, high energy and negative. So this is angry, really
frustrated, scared. There's lots of actual
emotions that could fit in there but this is
something that's highly felt, strongly felt and
negative – unpleasant, OK? So what I'm going to show
is a clip from this social emotional learning
curriculum called The Ruler approach. This is a great
curriculum out of Yale. And the mood meter is one
of the tools that you they use in the curriculum to
help students learn how to monitor their own
affective states. And I just want to show
what that looks like, and it's a very brief clip.   So this is at the
beginning of class one day. >>I'm feeling
in the yellow because I'm starting to feel bizarre
today because I want to come to school to learn. (Unintelligible) >>At ease. So you can see that these
students – and actually I don't know what grade, I
apologize – but they've clearly learned how to use
the mood meter as a skill to stop and reflect on
their own affective state. And then what you can't
see is that they're – it's sort of an accompanying
sort of curriculum that works through what happens
if you're in – some days, you're going to be in a
red, or you're going to be in a blue. What do you do? And there are strategies
that go along with it to sort of help you recognize
that and adjust and be able to sort of engage in
whatever the learning task is, even if you're in
these, you know, not ideal quadrants. And lest we think that
this quadrant experience is only for kids, there
are grown-up versions of the mood meter as well. And I just want to sort of
mention there's this book by Tony Schwartz – I don't
know if you're familiar with Tony Schwartz – he
does a lot of sort of workplace and emotion
kind of things. There's a book called "The
Way We're Working Isn't Working." And he uses the
four quadrants to talk about people's experience
of their workplace and their career. So you may be able to
imagine where in the four quadrants you might
sometimes feel, you know, positive or negative. And then he sort of
relates that to workplace productivity,
efficiency, et cetera. So what I'd like to do,
and there isn't a space on the paper for this, but
I just want to pause and allow you to talk a little
bit at your tables about how you could imagine
embedding some opportunity for students to reflect on
their affective state in whatever it is you're
teaching – whatever sort of classroom
situation you're in. And I'll just mention a
few different – so there's the mood meter
kind of approach. We've also worked with
folks who put little questions on the bottom of
quizzes or worksheets or whatever it is, or exit
slips or things like that that might have things
sort of like this. We've done work where we
ask students to rate the difficulty of different
questions or tasks. And that's quite revealing
and students love being able to say this was
really hard for me. So that's a sort of –
another take on affect. So just pause – brainstorm
a few minutes with your table about things you
might build in that lets students stop and
reflect on where they are affectively. (CROSSTALK) >>Everybody
said you'd all be willing to talk – its great. So does anybody have any
ideas they're actually willing to share
with the whole group? Anything creative that
came up that you'd like to talk about?   Back table. (CHEERING)   >>I was saying
the (unintelligble) fact so when a student is
feeling overwhelmed or time crunched, at the
appropriate time, I'll go to the back table and pick
different glitter and go to a jar of water, so when
angry or sad and they fill up as much as they
want and shake it. As soon as all the glitter
goes to the bottom of the jar, (unintelligible) it
calms them down, and they really think about their
actions and then they (unintelligible) >>Wow,
I've never heard of the glitter jar. Very cool. (CROSSTALK) >>: OK, so
there's some training and some teaching to help them
recognize when to use the glitter and how to
use it et cetera. Fabulous. Another idea anybody
wants to share? The other back table. Nice and loud. >>: So this actually an
idea that I had in one of my courses here. And our professor would
come in and have them pick up these cards. They were either red,
yellow or green and so you were feeling like yeah,
I'm good, I'm ready to go, you take a green. If you were like, you
know, I'm kind of not really having a great
day, you pick up a yellow. If you were just like
don't talk to me, I don't want to be here,
you pick up a red. And so that way, she kind
of knew, like, everybody's moods and personalities
throughout the day. And she was like – I can
pick on the students that say they're in a good mood
or I'm not even going to mess with that student
who is here taking notes quietly. And it was just kind of a
good way for her to gauge our attitude for the
day and kind of do that. It was great. (APPLAUSE) >>: Way
to go – love it. All right, one more? Anything else? >>: We actually talked
about reports of first having students understand
what emotions really mean, what kind of the things
occur when you have those kinds of emotions. And then getting to know
the students so you can understand their culture
and maybe what they've had modeled at home and we're
here trying to change and be the saviors and they
really need a little bit more – need to know a
little bit more about our expectations and see how
that all goes together first. >>: Nice. Well said, thank you. OK, so it sounds like
there were great examples. Perhaps I should
collect them somehow. But OK, so rule number one
for educators in thinking about emotion,
variability, et cetera was recognizing and helping
learners to recognize where they are
emotionally, recognize, like, hopefully you're
going away with some ideas about how to do that. I am. So the second rule is – OK
now we're going to design instruction and
scaffolding and interventions and
things that reflect this understanding. OK so this is sort of
the obvious next step. So how can we sort of
demonstrate in our design of instructions some
appreciation of the affect – of affect and the
learning process. So to get into this, it's
perhaps a helpful starting point is how our stress
and emotional systems work, right? So it's hard to think
about how do we consider affect unless we know what
it is that affect is doing to us, for us, with us? – as we're experiencing
different emotional or affective states. OK, so a lot of my work
involves some kind of physiological measure,
something where we're taking some kind of
signal from the body. And the reason for that
is that, well, as it says, we're mammals, right? So our stress and
emotional system is developed just like
other mammals, OK? And that means that it
behaves in a certain way. So this image is of this
wonderful Neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky
out of Stanford. He was a pioneer in making
the connections between the stress system of
animals, like the baboon, which is the specific
species that he focuses on, and humans. So he did all this work,
initially just with baboons, looking at
how their stress system responds, based on their
hierarchy – position in the hierarchy of the troop
– or whatever it is – I think it's troop, right? And so he learned a whole
lot about cortisol and the hormonal responses and
this sort of cascade of physiological things that
happens when you're in a stressed state – when
baboons are in stressed states. And then learned, or you
know, realized that humans have exactly the same
physiological responses in a lot of ways. What's unique about humans
and what he argues so beautifully in a
wonderfully titled book called "Why Zebras Don't
Get Ulcers" is that humans have the unique ability
to respond with a stress response to things that
are only imagined, right. A baboon engages that
stress response when a predator is coming
towards them, right? That's what the stress
response is designed to respond to. It is designed very
specifically to get you out of danger, right? We are the only species
– the only species that we've sort of conclusively
determined at least who can think about – oh my
goodness, I need to pay the mortgage and I'm not
sure I'm going to be able to do that and that
engenders a stress response, OK? I sit down – I'm a student
and I sit down and am given a high stakes
test – stress response. Is that test physically
dangerous to me? No, right? I can imagine things and
the exact same stress response that happens to
a baboon when a lion is approaching
happens to me, OK? So you can imagine the
risks associated with this, right? So a lot of the research
about stress focuses on people who are chronically
engaging the stress system, which is over time
really not very healthy at all. So we've actually at
CAST done work that demonstrates that
kids with learning disabilities, when
presented with a reading task – this is with middle
school kids – their stress system responds
– it's triggered. Not only that, just
walking into a situation where they're going to be
asked to read triggers a stress response. So imagine going – and
of course, that's not the only case, right? But that's the particular
one we focused on. Imagine going through an
entire academic career with this sort of chronic
triggering of a stress response, OK? So how does that work? How does the stress
response get triggered? We like to think of it
in terms of a very simple balance- it's sort of
deceivingly simple, where we know from lots
of literature, from neuroscience, from animal
studies and from studies behavioral studies with
humans that we are all going through our
days constantly asking ourselves the question of
– is this good for me or is it bad for me, OK? When you came in and
decide to sit in this room, you looked at the
options and thought – is that one good for me or
bad for me or that one good for me or bad for me? Not consciously, but
basically that's what you're doing. You're constantly
evaluating risk, OK? So when you are answering
this question for yourself, there's two sort
of basic ends of the scale that can tip you one
way or the other. OK? And we refer to them as
demands and resources. OK, demands are things
like, does this endanger my safety? Does this prevent me
from getting to my goals? Is this going to take a
lot of effort and a lot of time? Is this threatening to
my sense of well-being? All these kinds of things
are demands, right? Resources are things like,
do I have external support to make it through
whatever the situation is? It's my internal
predispositions could be a resource – they also can
be a demand, actually. But if I know that I'm
sort of able to persist and handle challenges,
I come in with that knowledge. Again, this is not
happening at a conscious level, but I sort of have
this sense of, oh, I can kind of handle this risk. Resources could also be
knowing that something is really going to move you
forward towards a personal goal. OK, so there's demands. there's resources and
everything we do, we're constantly
evaluating that, OK? So when you think of a
learner and a specific task, they're also
evaluating these demands and resources
all the time, OK? So when we think back to
the pictures that I showed – the skydiving, the
babysitting etc. – basically what you're
doing in evaluating how you feel is you're
thinking, is this good for me or bad for me? Do I have the resources
necessary to meet the demands of this task? And if not, and the
demands outweigh the resources, we call that
a threat state, OK? And the threat state is
what gets your stress system going in a
not-so-healthy way. OK? So – actually so what
happens when the stress system kicks in – and I
realize this is too small, probably, for you to see,
but it's showing the sort of physiological cascade
and gist is that along the bottom those circles, the
little icons there, are showing all the
things that happen physiologically because
of the cascade of hormones are going from your brain
through various steps – won't get into that – to
your – the rest of your body. So in a nutshell, what
happens is anything that's not needed to respond to
that stressor shuts down. So that's things like your
digestive system slows, 'cause if you're running
from a lion, you don't really care about
digesting what you had for breakfast, right? So that slows down. Your heart beats faster. And you've all
felt that, right? When your stress system's
going your heart beats faster. Your lungs dilate – the
bronchi in your lungs dilate because you need a
lot of oxygen to be able to run from that
lion, right? But things like memory –
not really so important, right? You need to be able to
just respond quickly. You don't need access to
what happened with the lion, you know,
a month ago. You need to just
be able to respond. So physiologically,
because of the cascade of hormones, your body is
responding in a certain way. And in terms of learning,
having this negative appraisal – this sort
of demands outweighing resources – this is bad
for me kind of reaction – we know from a whole range
of studies – and actually I realized I didn't
put citations on here. If you're interested in
the citations for all these, send me an email,
and I'm happy to send them. We know that if you have a
negative stress response, it narrows your
thinking and limits your flexibility, again,
because you need to be able to respond quickly. You don't need to be
debating, hmm, should I climb that tree or dive
in that ditch, right? You just do something. You can't think
creatively. Your memory is impaired,
and really critically, you're not very likely to
persist in effort, and you think everything is a lot
harder than if you're not in that stress state. So for instance, there's
these wonderful studies of perception of the
steepness of a hill. And you show people in
a lab sort of happy, positive movies or kind
of sad, negative movies – station them at the
bottom of the hill. The kids – the people who
just watched the negative movies think the
hill is really steep. It's amazing right? I mean that's like
perception – straight perception, right? But because you've got
this certain hormonal, physiological response,
it affects your thinking. OK. So what does that mean
in terms of designing instruction? So critically, demands –
the perception of demands and resources is all about
just that – perception. So as we talked about
earlier, it's not that certain tasks inherently
have, well, they do inherently have some
demands and some resources, but layered on
top of that is whatever we're bringing to
the situation, OK? All right. We're going to try this
out – I'm hoping that this is – if this is not clear,
ask me, and I'll try and explain it a little more. But what I have here is
a page from a physics curriculum. This is a ninth grade
physics curriculum from a partner – wonderful
partner of cast. It's called EDC. They made this really
rich, robust physics curriculum. They also do biology
another curricula, all funded by the National
Science Foundation – great, you know,
very thoughtful work. It was all text based
and quite difficult for students. And they were particularly
having difficulty reaching students, you know, who
were at the sort of lower end of the spectrum in
terms of reading ability and things. So we worked together to
think about how to apply principles of universal
design for learning to this curriculum. And I will get into what
we sort of ended up with in a minute but first,
what I wanted to do was to have you – and you have
this – on the backside of your sheet you have this
paragraph called the law of conservation of energy. And here's what I'd like
to spend a few minutes doing. Could you, in your groups,
think through what demands do you see in learning
the physics content? So what demands are there? What resources exist in
this, the print-based version? And you can use your
imagination a little bit, right? 'Cause imagine that
this is being used in a classroom, and it has the
usual affordances of a classroom. And what resources
could you imagine? What do you think you
could provide to support the learning of the
physics – support students to understand the law of
conservation of energy? OK? So what I want – what
I'm hoping is that we can start to get a sense of
where are there different elements that we can use
to sort of manipulate that demands and resources
balance – clear enough? OK. If not, let me know. So go for it. Spend a few minutes – you
need to probably read the paragraphs – and then
spend a few minutes talking about the
demands and resources.   You can shout out ideas. >>: Vocabulary. >>: Vocabulary. Clearly, vocabulary is
going to be a challenge. Others? Abstract thinking, great. >>:You need some
prior knowledge. >>:You need some prior
knowledge to be able to get into this section
of text for sure. Anything else? >>: Students'
interest level. >>: Interest level, right
– slash anxiety level, perhaps. Yup – attention
span, vocabulary. >>: The format
of the page. >>: Format of the page, in
that it's quite dense… >>: Yes, no pictures. >>: Yup, OK, no picutres
– yup, you have to be able to decode. You have to be able to
read somewhat fluently, probably. Right, so there's clearly
quite a lot of demands, right? As is the case in
this curriculum. So what resources did you
see that exist in here, or that you imagine exist
in the context of the classroom? Any? >>: Glossary. >>: Glossary, yes. So clearly there's some
boldfaced words – there must be a glossary. OK. Other? >>: A model. >>: A model? >>: Pre-existing knowledge
of other physics laws. >>: Yeah, so they refer to
this being one of the laws – probably there's been
some discussion of other laws. That's true. OK. Ideas about resources that
you could imagine – I know you probably have lots so
let's take three ideas of resources you could
imagine adding to shift the balance – the
perceived balance, here, of demands and resources –
'cause we should point out that for some kids they
are going to perceive this in a very positive
well-resourced way, right? So we're not assuming that
everybody is threatened, OK? 'Cause that is
definitely not the case. Actually I've seen this
curriculum taught, and there are some kids who
are diving in – totally love it, OK? >>: Student support –
pairing students who are struggling with students
that thrive with this curriculum. >>: Fabulous. So pairing students with
other students who can support their learning. >>: Scientist
in residence. >>: Scientist
in residence. (Laughing) OK so not
student support, but a scientist as support. Yup, OK, one more. >>: Videos. >>: Videos. Perfect. Yeah, so I'm sure that
there were lots and lots of ideas of ways that
you could sort of try and shift that balance here. And what we're striving
for when we think about demands and resources is
to get the balance almost balanced actually, OK? So we tend to think about
if demands way outweigh resources, as I said,
that puts us in a threat, anxiety kind of state
– not so positive. But also, if resources
way outweigh the demands, which is actually what
we see in the museum of science context, where
it's very heavily resourced and there's
almost no demands, that one maybe doesn't count
as boredom, but it's a different kind – in the
museum context – but it's a different kind of
not-so-ideal for learning right? So what we're striving
for is this channel where demands and resources are
pretty evenly balanced, and I think you can all
sort of imagine in your own experiences when you
feel like, this is going to be kind of tough,
but I think I can do it. That's your – typically
people experience that as the most engaged kind
of conditions, OK? So when we think about
engagement from a UDL perspective, we're sort of
aiming for this – creating conditions where learners
can adjust their own demands and resources to
get themselves into this ideal state, OK? So that means there's got
to be a lot of options available, right? A lot of flexibility
because we do not know exactly what different
learners are going to need to get themselves
into this channel, OK? So just to sort of show
you what we ended up doing in collaboration with
EDC – we made an online physics curriculum. The URL is there. Maybe some of
you can't see it. It's
udlfoundationscience.cast. org. I mention it mostly
because it is freely available as an open
education resource – half of a year or so of physics
– ninth grade physics curriculum. We made an online UDL
version, essentially, of the physics. So this is one
of the pages. There's an arrow pointing
to the section that you all just read. And here's what we
ended up with for that particular section. I'm not going to go
through everything, but just to sort of show some
of the highlights, there's a text to speech bar along
the side that'll make everything read aloud. There's a translation
to Spanish. There's a dictionary. There's highlighters. That's all in that bar
that you see on the left. There – you can see that
there are underlined words for the glossary words
instead of bringing you to a static glossary, it
brings you to a multimedia glossary that has movies
and images and all of that kind of thing. You can see that the big
thing on this page is a video that is actually
really funny where the teacher releases the
bowling ball and stands there and is confident
it's not going to hit him, right? Because of the law of
conservation of energy. All sorts of different
supports there's – for the different questions –
the open-ended questions students can respond
either by typing, by audio recording their answer,
by drawing, by making a table.   And then there's
hints built-in. So what we're striving for
here is that students can customize their experience
based on this universally designed curriculum, so
that they balance their own demands and resources. And fortunately, that's
mostly what we saw. So some kids treated it
like a textbook and just read the text, just like
they would if they were handed a paper
version right? Other kids used every
button available, right? Watched every video,
clicked on every hint – were totally into
all of the supports. And it didn't fall by sort
of stronger students and less strong students. Some of the very strong
students chose to use everything. They thought that, you
know, oh, there might be something in that hint
that's really going to be helpful for me, so I'm
going to really take the time to sort of click on
that and engage with it, which, you know, is great
to see – that we can't predict who's
going to use what. We can't predict who feels
sufficiently supported by the text alone and not. So let's let them
judge for themselves. And one of my all-time
favorite quotes – and this is a picture of students
at one of the schools were it was piloted – said
this is mad work, but it's easier, right? So it is hard work. Learning this
physics is hard. It's mad work
but it's easier. And he went on to talk
about how you don't have to worry about all that
other stuff that gets in the way of learning
the physics, right? It's not about struggling
with the book when you're trying to read it for
homework and you don't – you know, you're not the
strongest reader and you can't quite make
sense of it. There's all these pieces
– like for this kid, handwriting was a
challenge, so when the open-ended questions were
on paper, that was really hard for him, right? So this is exactly what
we want – that he has scaffolded himself so that
he's able to engage in a deep way with the physics,
which is hard, but not be hung up by all the other
somewhat irrelevant pieces. OK, so we've gone through
recognizing and helping students to recognize
where they are affectively – a little bit about
demands and resources and how to design instruction
that allows students to carve their way through. The third rule that I
wanted to touch on is crafting feedback that
recognizes the importance of affect and works
to support it. So feedback is one of the
tools that is sort of most powerful in the affect,
emotion, engagement, motivation toolbox, right? Because feedback has
these dramatic effects. The nature of the feedback
– the frequency of it – all of the sort of context
in which it's given. All of these things
about feedback are really important. So this will be a quick
one 'cause I don't think it takes much time. Actually, we don't even
have to share out about this one at your table. Just pause for a minute
and try and picture in your head the most
effective feedback you've ever received. It could be in any domain,
but some feedback from someone along the way that
you felt like, wow, that made a difference to me,
and I remember it, and it had an impact. Do you want to share
with each other? OK. You can share. You get three minutes.   For some of you it
might be hard, but… In your groups you had a
chance to share – I'm just going to keep us moving in
the interest of time and hopefully you identified,
perhaps, some common – some things that were in
common about what your effective feedback
experience were. Maybe not. Sometimes what's
interesting about feedback is that different types
of feedback are most appropriate in different
conditions, right? So you often see – you
can recognize this very easily, often, with
athletic coaches, right? You see the screaming
on the sideline kind of situation sometimes. I don't know that that's
necessarily effective. But sometimes,
perhaps, it is, right? And then you see the sort
of pat on the shoulder, whisper in the ear
kind of feedback. And they use that in very
different ways, different situations, different
players etc., right? So – but there – and so
there are all sorts of sort of aspects of
effective feedback. We won't get
into all of them. But I just want to focus
on a couple that are particularly relevant
to us tonight. And I'm sure that
you've heard about master-oriented feedback
which is part of the UDL guidelines. We always like to add the
caveat, which is sort of what I just said, which
is that while we sort of endorse mastery-oriented
feedback and there's a whole lot of research
showing its effectiveness, of course, we
recognize variability. And it's not going to be
appropriate for everybody in every situation. And that's part of why the
first role of being able to identify where students
are and helping them to identify is going to help
to sort of shape what kind of feedback is
appropriate. That said – in general,
it's hard to go wrong with mastery oriented feedback
in most cases, and the gist of master oriented
feedback is that those sort of general comments –
good job, nice paper, you did great etc. – tend to
have very little effect. So I'm sure as you were
sharing your stories about effective feedback, nobody
said it was most effective when I just got an A plus,
and that's it, right? That kind of vague,
good-job kind of feedback is never going to be sort
of the most effective. And not only that, there's
all sorts of research by Carol Dweck amongst others
– but quite a lot by Carol Dweck – showing that
it can have, actually, detrimental effects –
that when kids are praised primarily for
intelligence, for instance, like, oh you did
so great, you must be so smart – which of course is
meant well – that actually leads to less likelihood
to take risks in learning, less likelihood to persist
when there are challenges ahead and more likely to
attribute difficulties to a lack of ability or
intelligence instead of a lack of effort whereas
praise for very specific aspects of a process and
effort and strategy used have the opposite effect,
where if you, you know, really – and focus –
target the feedback and the praise particularly
to, I see how hard you worked to apply that
strategy in this case, or something in that vein,
students will be more likely, when given a
choice, to take what they think is the option
that lets them learn new strategies and try out
new things as opposed to sticking with the safe
kind of choice where they think they're more likely
to have continued success. And really, isn't that
sort of what we're going for, right? That they're going to face
new learning situations with an attitude of I
want to try something that might be a little bit
challenging for me. That I feel like I can use
the strategies that I have or I can learn new
ones because that's how learning works – not that
it's based on intelligence or some sort of
overall ability. So mastery oriented
feedback, response to specific behavior and
it focuses on a specific aspect of the
learning process. OK? So just as a kind of
example – and this, actually, is not an ideal
example because it's not responding to a specific
behavior but, this is my son, Ethan. Don't tell my daughter
that he's in twice and she's not, sorry. But anyway, this is when
he was in kindergarten, and I know many of you are
familiar with elementary schools and how big the
hundred-day celebration is, yeah? OK. So this is his hundred-day
celebration – the hundredth day of school. And he – if you're not in
elementary schools, just know this is a big deal. So he is displaying his
vest that he had to make and glue on a
hundred of something. He chose a hundred twigs. We spent a lot of time
finding twigs, gluing them on, you know? He's got a necklace with a
hundred pieces of macaroni – everything's hundred. And this is a big deal. He wears this – they made
crowns which, along the bottom, say a
hundred days smarter. What does that tell you? At first I was like, I
don't know how I feel about that, right? Then when you stop and
think about it, what does it say? You don't come in to
school with some level of smartness. You work, and you spend
time at school, and you make an effort, and that's
what makes you smarter. Would I use, smart? Maybe not. But I still think there's
a mastery oriented message there that's saying
this is something worth celebrating. We have been working
together for a hundred days and we've all
gotten smarter, right? So it's this sort of
wonderful celebration of effort and process
and learning.   Whether we see these
things later on in school – you know, not so much. But in kindergarten,
affect and cognition – affect and academic skills
go hand in hand all the time, right? And then they sort of
pull apart, often, later, unfortunately. So the next sort of more
recent version of – or extension of mastery
oriented feedback, I just want to highlight because
I find this a really powerful study. So I'm just going to take
– we're coming to the end of time. This will be quick. I just want to take a
minute to explain this study that came out in the
journal experimental psych 'cause it – I think – I
hope you'll be as inspired by it as I am. So this is a group that
focuses on the racial achievement gap, OK? And how persistent it
is, and what kinds of strategies can we use
to narrow the gap, OK? So they did this series
of studies focused on they termed the mentor's
dilemma – that sometimes you really need to give
some really hard feedback, right? How do you do that without
totally crushing the motivation and
self-confidence of the learner. OK, and they're
particularly concerned about minority students
in this regard because there's evidence that
negative feedback is particularly damaging for
those populations, OK? So this study – beautiful. They have – oh, I'm going
to forget the grade – I'm pretty sure it's
ninth graders. If you want it and you
want to send me an e-mail, I'm happy to send it to
you, and we can double check but I'm pretty
sure ninth graders. Let's go with that. Teachers have their
kids do essays – just a regular, whatever
assignment it was during the year, OK? Essays come in, teachers
grade them like they usually would, put
whatever comments they usually would. OK. Researchers do nothing
to that whole process. It's just a regular paper
like any other paper. All right, then the
researchers come in, and they randomly put the
papers into two stacks, OK? Not by grade distribution
or anything – totally randomly put the papers
in to two stacks okay. On one stack of papers,
they paperclip a note that says, I'm giving you
these comments so you have feedback on your essay. On the other stack of
papers, they paperclip a note that says, I'm giving
you these comments because I have high standards, and
I know that you can meet them. OK? That's it. That's the entire
manipulation. The results are
absolutely astonishing. When asked if they want
to revise and resubmit the papers, something
like 87 percent of African-American students
who were given the wise feedback chose to do so. The African-American
students who were given the control group feedback
– something like 12 percent chose to do so. That is the
only difference. I have no idea what
these kids grades were. I don't know what the
teacher wrote in the margins. The only difference is
that one note conveyed wise feedback. There are three elements
that this research group has determined
for wise feedback. It explicitly conveys that
critical feedback reflects the teacher's high
standards and not a bias against the student,
which is how it's often perceived, OK? So it conveys high
standards, assures the student of the potential
for him or her to reach those standards and
provides students with the resources they need in
terms of substantive feedback to reach the
higher standards being asked of them. We're assuming, in this
case, that that was provided in the comments
that the teacher gave, OK? So I just want to sort of
flag this because I find it so enormously powerful
and revealing about how feedback can have such
a dramatic impact. OK, so we talked about
school as emotional work, the variability in affect,
three roles of educators. To end I just want to
mention this quote. You've probably seen
it on, like, Facebook. Everyone is a genius, but
if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree,
it will live its whole life believing that
it's stupid, right? If we provide an
environment that is so demanding without the
appropriate resources, it makes a whole lot of sense
that kids would have a certain view of
themselves as learners. I did a little looking. It turns out it's not from
Albert Einstein at all. We'll ignore that and just
say that it's actually a good idea. And when we think about a
learner like Scott, we see that he's in an
environment with wonderful teachers and lots of good
things going for it, but he's clearly feeling like
a fish who's being asked to climb a tree. And that's having really
serious emotional impact on him. Thank you. >>: (Applause).  

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