Monday, April 21, 2014

If you're talking 'bout a learning revolution, count Steve in!

A Learning Revolution Project is underway, as is–or soon will be The Learning Revolution Conference (April 21-24, 2014), one of many organised or supported by Steve Hargadon. 
Steve announces these projects and programs in a rack of newsletters and blog posts bursting with information and inspiration with regard to both education and educational uses of technology. For example, the snippets below about risk-taking resonated with concepts of learned helplessness (Maier, Peterson, and Schwartz, 2000) and growth mindsets (Dweck, 2006) that have bubbled up in consciousness as a new semester gets underway.

In follow-up remarks about risk-taking as a fundamental component of proactive learning, Hargadon argued, "Failure is a one of the natural outcomes of risk, but we're not striving for failure--instead, we are encouraging risk and acknowledging that failure will often be the result. / Without risk, there is no progress" (Hargadon, 2014, Final Notes, ¶¶2-3). Yet in contrast, Hargadon observed, "… A high-stakes, test-driven education environment induces the opposite of risk-taking, it creates fear, and so results in little intellectual progress" (Hargadon, 2014, Final Notes, ¶4).
Celebrating failure itself, of course, makes no sense; nor does never allowing for it. Education is a choice we make in how we think about learners. If we want learners who will take risk, build their skills and talents, and then learn to live their lives fully as contributors and creators, we'll recognize that they need to learn to prepare [for] and take risks, and that failures are an inevitable part of that process. 
(Hargadon, 2014, Final Notes, ¶7).

For more about about Steve's work across the field of education, I recommend browsing through the projects and labs he features on his blog (Steve Hargadon: Projects), and checking out the communities he supports in various other venues (Web 2.0 Labs: Communities). You may well find one or more to suit your own needs. For a bit of follow-up reading on mindsets, I suggest you check out Tomorrow's Professor, post 1324, Mindsets for Learning (April 18, 2014 [JST]), and the list of references included there.


Dweck, C.S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House. 

Hargadon, Steve. (2014, April 15). Learning Revolution Free Events - GREAT Keynotes - MiniCon - ISTEUnplugged! - Striving for Failure? [blog post]. Retrieved April 18, 2014, from

Maier, Steven; Peterson, Christopher; & Schwartz, Barry. (2000). From helplessness to hope: The seminal career of Martin Seligman. In J. Gillham (Ed.). The science of optimism and hope (pp. 11-37). Radnor, PA: Templeton Foundation Press.

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