Measure growth in education - Lorna Minkman - Educational Design Expedition EDEX 2018

How do you measure growth in education?

How do you measure growth in education?

Measure growth in education - Lorna Minkman - Educational Design Expedition EDEX 2018

Is wonderment a skill and, therefore, part of a learning process? And what about empathy? How do we create a learning environment where students are able to show their resilience, vigor or modesty? All of those are essential skills for the future, if you ask me. Jelle Jolles, University professor of neuropsychology in Amsterdam, made a list of twenty-four skills that are not tested on primary or high school exams in the Netherlands. The question is easy: Would you be willing and eager enough to learn how to assess skills, such as: curiosity, humor, leadership, courage and patience?

Together with the students of the minor EmbraceTEC (Fontys University of applied sciences), my fellow teachers and I started an adventure to search for new ways of learning, which would make students feel challenged again. Moreover, their desire for learning would increase as well. Also, we searched for an opportunity to let students make a substantial contribution to the world, while learning at the same time.

Therefore, we didn’t talk about an academic half year, related to final qualifications. We only focussed on creating an environment where the learning space would be fun and challenging. School should offer a place, in which you would wish you could stay there the entire week, together with other students and teachers. A learning space that would be constructed by students themselves. Where teachers would continuously ask students what they really want to learn. I would rather start today than tomorrow. Of course, with personalized coaching and guidance.

The basis of every good learning is trust; a confidence that each student is willing to learn. Therefore, acknowledgement and recognition is essential. Every student is entitled to be acknowledged for who he is and who he wants to be. And, the core values of the relationship between a student and his teacher and the relationships between a student and his peers are based on: Can I be the person who I really am?

To guide this learning process based on trust, we translated The power of feedback (Hattie & Timperley, 2007) in questions like: Where am I right now? Which obstacles did I come across? How do I create the right learning environment? And these questions were related to Embedding formative assessment (Black & Wiliam, 2009).

Theoretical models
However, the learning practice seemed to ask for a complete different approach. Some students felt supported by these specific questions, other students didn’t express these specific needs. Some individual coaching sessions started off from structure and a good grip, others from an actual situation. Some beautiful sessions produced many positive learning outcomes, but they didn’t identify any growth or learning development.

During a learning process a student develops him or herself. Sometimes this development stalls; other issues ask for the student’s immediate attention. Suppose you were able to use a thermometer to measure the learning development of a particular learning task? Suppose you were able to measure the amount of creativity of that particular task or the amount of vigor a student needed to perform well in an interview with his peers? Is it possible that the student is willing to fill in his own thermometer and maybe compare this with his peers or teacher? Maybe he thinks his amount of empathy is important for his learning process? Or he might develop some of his own thermometers and relate them to the ones, developed by his coach. A lot of input for a interesting coaching session.

Agile process
As a human being you are a prototype that develops throughout your whole life, in a formal and informal way. Your learning outcomes are personalized and not related to the average of a group. By using thermometers, a student receives insight of his condition in a certain context. A student is able to describe for himself the meaning of a high, medium or low temperature. Therefore, he creates his own learning space, by means of a personal foundation.

After a period of, for example, ten weeks, he is able to compare the thermometers and visualize the difference, without value judgement. These thermometers put the student and his learning process at the centre, instead of a school system or academic standards.

Freedom to learn
Is it possible to determine the correct education level of the student? After fifteen weeks of experimenting in the Fontys minor EmbraceTEC, I would like to point out that the majority of our students was already able to surprise us to a great extent.  One student, Maartje, mentioned that she and her peers had made long days working on their project: “I was unable to blame the system or the school, I could only blame myself.” Leandros told us: “I felt more owner of the process, felt more responsible, also for my peers.” Edo: “We’ve made some pretty long days and that wasn’t what I’d imagined when you mentioned “freedom to learn” in the beginning of the project.” Tom: Internal motivation is the most sufficient one. Because of that we felt ownership; we didn’t care about time or other duties. We just kept focussed on our project.”

Are you interested in working with thermometers in education? Make sure you’ll join the EDEx2018 where my team and I can give you custom advice for implementing thermometers in your education.



Talent development in education - an introduction - Timo Wesenaar - Educational Design Expedition EDEx 2018

Talent development in education – an introduction

Talent development in education – an introduction


Talent development in education - an introduction - Timo Wesenaar - Educational Design Expedition EDEx 2018

Talent (development) in education is something that my team and I strive for. In this post I’m going to give you an introduction in talent development.

In our opinion talent is that what makes you unique. The energy that you carry with you; the way you do things without even thinking about it or putting effort into it.

Using your talent makes others experience you as real and authentic. Talent development helps to make these moments occur more frequently and to better recognize these moments with yourself and others.

Due to our so called ‘professional’ behavior and through the hustle and bustle of the day, we regularly forget who we ware. Insights from people around you are helpful in recognizing yourself (again). And that is where you start to shine and energy starts to flow.

Talent is only half of the story. We all know some of our own behaviors that we find annoying. We lose our cool, procrastinate or shut down. Talent development is also about acknowledging and dealing with this behavior.

I have experienced beautiful examples of talent development. Teachers that see there students for whom they truly are and they give this back to their students as well.

For students, this way of talent development helps you discover who you are even more. That you discover that you are valuable and that you have talent by nature!

What can you do – as a teacher – to stimulate talent development with your students?

–   Put your students in a situation where they can (and must) take responsibility.
–   Engage in conversations about situations and experiences. When does a student come into its own? What yielded energy? What consumes energy? What are the effects of your actions on others around you?
–   Find patterns that students start to recognize in their behaviors in authentic situations.
–   Challenge students to find new patterns by themselves in new situations.
–   This cyclus asks for repetition and is factually a model for life long learning.

Both for the individual teacher and education as a whole, there is more room for talent development. That is why we provide inspiration and personal support to all EDEx participants who are looking for ways to incorporate talent (development) in their education.

You can bring your own team and your own learning question to the EDEx2018, so that my team and I can give you a custom advice based on your own learning context. I hope to see you there!



Translation by Eveline Druncks

Educational Design Expedition 5 reasons why

5 Reasons to join the EDEx2018

Educational Design Expedition 5 reasons why

The last weeks have been amazing! So many of you have reached out to share excitement, but the same question keeps popping up: Why should I join the EDEx2018? Frank van den Ende gives you 5 reasons why YOU should join the EDEx2018 and buy your tickets (with 20% early bird discount) today!

1. The personal approach
2. International expertise
3. Creating
4. Community building
5. Pricing


Click here to buy your tickets with 20% early bird discount

Educational Design Expedition EDEx2018

Everything you need to know about the EDEx 2018

Are you working in education and ready to experience something new? Take part in our three day event!

EDEx2018 starts on Monday 22nd of January 2018.

In this three day expedition you will gain learning experiences by designing education and doing on the job. After the event you will return home with a backpack filled with actionable new ways of executing education.

Design thinking

We believe that creativity and innovation arise when processes are properly facilitated. We are the facilitators, so you can submerge yourself in a process called Design Thinking. The best part is: You’re not only going to learn about Design Thinking, you are going to experience it by applying it on a genuine educational context, perhaps even your own.


Leaders in disruptive education will inspire and trigger you about all kinds of educational topics. This includes testing, feedback, maker-education, holacracy, talent development and theory-U.
Learn from these industry leaders and apply your new found insights and knowledge to the products you’re developing in the design thinking sessions. 

The power of difference

An important aspect for an impactful educational design developed based on creativity and innovation, is a multidisciplinary design team. We welcome all teachers, policy staff and support staff of all levels of education and all nationalities. Imagine how your talents and expertise can contribute to a great new learning experience during this expedition.

5 things you need to know

  1. There are only 90 places available for the complete 3-day expedition
  2. Early bird discount is available until November 21st 2017
  3. EDEx2018 takes place in Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  4. You can bring your whole team to the expedition
  5. Multiple price packages are available


Buy EDEx2018 ticket with early bird discount

Click here to buy your tickets with 20% early bird discount