Thursday, 5 November 2015

STUDENT AGENCY & VOICE

As kaiako we often forget to ask our akonga what they think about the class environment.

We surveyed the class and this was their response.

D


Monday, 12 October 2015

#TWITTER #ULEARN15

Monday, 3 August 2015

#teacherInquiry - 2

#edCHATnz teacher inquiry - 1

#EDCHATNZ 3rd Aug, 2015

#educampPALMY

Kia ora,

I am very happy to have been part of the organising committee for #educampPALMY in 2015.

It was a wonderful opportunity to be sharing my experience and thoughts on it.

Here is a link to the smack down and google site.

SMACK DOWN

I ran a BREAKOUT on gafe, this was to fill a need. There was high interest from 38 people, they extended an interest in GAFE. So I felt compelled and privileged to share my perspective and context in using google classroom.
Here's my slide:
GAFE



My notes from the EMERGING LEADERS breakout, run by the edlead team.

11.00-11.45
Emerging Leaders:

Standing back to back on a position puts you at an opposed position to someone. In order to know what the other perspective if you must stand side by side. My job is to truly see and understand someone else’s perspective. What we’re expecting of our learners is key. We need positive leadership skills. Positioning myself as the leader by the side of a teacher empowers our relationship. I need to situate myself so that I can COACH alongside. Be the teacher / learner. When going into a conversation about how I want it to finish is not a good start. I need to see their side, see their perspective. Awareness / assumptions- I need to be more aware of myself to be effective. Deal with a CURRENT situation, talk through a problem. Jennifer Abrams- read about this scaffold in conversations. When in these difficult conversations, give them an invitation to speak and share. Am I solution giver or a problem giver?

I need to DE-PERSONALISE my learning to make it meaningful for me.

I need to be willing to appreciate positive feedback.

MID-YEAR CHECK IN WITH THE PRINCIPAL

Malo soifua,

I'm quite behind in posting. But luckily I work on google docs. So it's not too hard to find my notes.

I was asked some key questions by my principal.

These were my responses about my teacher inquiry so far.

Drew

D.Pouniu- 24.06.2015

MID YEAR APPRAISAL REVIEW-DRAFT TEACHER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
  • Describe some of the organisational systems that you have in your Flexible Learning Space (FLS)
Linear maths and cyclic literacy workshops
Online SDA tracking sheets
Online tracking sheets: literacy & numeracy
Planning & assessment are digital and collaboratively developed
Independence license system
Pedagogy drives the organisational systems within Poutama
We are aiming to provide a paper-reduced learning experience, using google classroom
Our class blog is our central hub

  • How do you make learning progressions visible for learners?
This is evident on a maths workshop wall
Literacy is more subjective as it is cyclic
Teacher certificates each Friday
Student voice is evident on our walls
We publically promote learning gains of students at whole class meetings (celebration)
We have a “smashed it wall” for excellent work
Tasks are scaffolded verbally or through written / digital means
Our blog and google sites have all the instructions /examples for tasks
We use padlet consistently in the classroom to present learning


  • What approaches do you take to promoting learner self management?
Student organise their time based on ‘must dos’ and ‘can dos’
They record their completed learning on the SDA tracking sheets
There is a scaffold for each zone, as this is chosen weekly


  • How does the way you operate your FLS link to the school’s learning process?

This is evident in our Term 1’s science Te Ako Ritenga. It guided the learning process, but is very visible in other times of our day.

Friday, 27 March 2015

MODERN LEARNING PEDAGOGY: part nine

Over the last few weeks, I've been enquiring into MODERN LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS and the PEDAGOGY that underpins them.

http://www.core-ed.org/professional-learning/mle-matrix

The above link takes you to the CORE Education matrix of what a possible MLE should be like.

Below are my notes about where I think I am, my team, and where we are going is a mystery. I'm not stuck on the escalator. Just learning to take the time to unravel and unpack our context, and work towards an answer.








Wednesday, 18 March 2015

MLP- MODERN LEARNING PEDAGOGY: PART EIGHT


The internet is a powerful thing, yes we're living in the 21st century. But ICT is not what MLP is ALL about. I've just finished reading Lyn Ross' (2014) presentation. She is a CORE consultant with extensive knowledge of MLE and MLP. I started reading from about slide 14. It's great to read and know that we've personalised our space to promote learning. We're working on personalising the learning more and more to target our students learning.










Key points:
  • learning requires thinking
I know, that's not exactly ground breaking. But the ability to 'think' about learning is, and to be cognisant of the learning process and to use 'metacognition' in action, these are all things that show 'learning requires thinking'.

  • learners need to be actively engaged
It's not rocket science, but teaching learners to be learners can be like rocket science. Engaging them and awakening their curiosity is what PBL (problem based learning) is all about. We've recently purchased a set of ACTIVE MINDS boxes. They are INCREDIBLE. Seriously, if you've not got one / two / three of them? GET THEM. The sheer chaos and enthusiasm in my classroom was 'OFF THE CHAIN' ;-D. Check them out: https://twitter.com/activemindsnz





Our students were actively engaged in this learning. NO ICT was involved. Just good old curiosity and OPEN-ENDED science tasks, such as how can we make a paper plane fly the futherest, or let's make the pig fly. VERY COOL TASKS. The level of engagement was incredibly infectious. We teachers ended up trying to work out how to complete the tasks.



  • learners have to want to learn
  • learners have feel in charge of their own learning
  • learners needs to develop in-depth knowledge


We've really worked hard to develop strategies to engage our students with their learning, to foster a love of it, to encourage the students to be in charge of their own learning. For a majority of our students, this flexi-learning space (early days of course, albeit an 'under-construction' space) has supported them to realise their ability to be independent learners. There's a core group of students that just GET ON WITH IT. They love the freedom to choose when and what to learn during SDA (self directed activities). We're not completely there yet, in terms of timing all of our teaching workshops. But Maths is working very well. We have set times, that each of our groups have to attend, these are our workshops. They then fit their independent learning in and around that. They choose which activity and space will work for them daily. In time, I hope to have all the BYOD students adding their workshops to their personal google calendar, with reminders beeping at them to get ready for their workshops. On the walls and windows we have a scaffold of how to win a pin. It's got pictures of the things they must bring and do to win a pin. (refer to PART 4 for the breakdown on Independent licence and our PIN system). Personalised learning space is a huge part of Poutama. Below is some recently acquired furniture and furnishings, kindly donated by D.Peck, our wonderful principal.



  • learners need to be encouraged to search for the right approach
  • learning involves interaction
  • learning usually needs structure
Our vision: we will provide all the workshop times that students must attend, then they'll be able to even more successfully 'TIMETABLE' their learning. This is to further promote STUDENT AGENCY. We want our students to fully take charge of their learning, and know that CHOICE is an important skill to have have as a life long learner. Lyn Ross (2014) sites that problem solving as a process is the learning NOT just the answer. I feel that we have strived to support our students to learn how to problem solve. I see our students one day being able to think:
"oh, I can't do my collaborative task because my buddy is at his maths workshop, or at 12.30-1.00 we can book space x and then collaborate."

This is a timetable that my colleague modelled after Russell Street schools visual timetable. We project this on a TV in the think space. It's also available on our class blog with links for the students to go to in order to be set up for the day. As teachers, we always provide structure, it's a given that students LOVE knowing boundaries. As you can see in this timetable, our maths workshop times are given. As mentioned, we hope to eventually have all teacher workshops recorded, so that the students know when to meet with us.


Presently, we're focussed on INQUIRY. We want our learners to ENQUIRE into the LEARNING PROCESS through technology. At Riverdale, we have TE AKO RITENGA, it is our cyclic model of the learning process (more on it here: RIVERDALE INQUIRY, nb- this observation is a little outdated, so I'll update it in a new post). Our students apply EXPLORE in a range of learning contexts. Technology is just one of the many ways we have begun to promote this learning process. Through EXPLORE the students are focussed on DESIGNING. This will encourage them to understand the technology process at the planning level.



In summary, based on the presentation I've read. I know that our collaborative teaching is demonstrating many of the facets of effective pedagogy in action. Are we all the way there? OF COURSE NOT! We're on 7 weeks into it, but we're moving at LIGHT SPEED. I'm really proud of our work ethic, passion and drive to succeed. We're not in the practice of preparing our LEARNERS for intermediate or highschool, where they sit in rows, and regurgitate knwoledge and do 1hour of homework, we're preparing our LEARNERS to meet the demands of the future, an uncertain future, a future where jobs will not look like what they look like right now, one where the ability to CHOOSE and ENQUIRE will prevail, not simply the random reciting of generic knowledge. We're supporting our LEARNERS to be life long LEARNERS that know how to PROBLEM SOLVE and ENQUIRE.

END RANT
***


*
Personalised learning image link

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

MLP- modern learning pedagogy: part seven

Poutama- a space redefined by what works for our kids.

I was reading this Principal's blog, and it occurred to me that I've actually started this inquiry in August of 2014 and have continued it until now. Time is necessary in mulling over ideas. Shifting a mindset into a new teaching paradigm is hugely taxing mentally. Thanks Nic Rate. If you haven't read his blog you really should check it out. http://nickrate.com/tag/teacher-inquiry/ There are many intriguing posts about teaching, the one that inspired me was the teacher inquiry and how TIME is required. I can see MLP in MLE is going to require more than Term 1 to Term 4. And how exactly am I to 'quantify' CHANGE. How am I to show in my teacher inquiry that I've in fact met





For an MLE to be successful the collaborative teachers need to share a common pedagogy. Fortunate for me, we share many common aspirations and expectations. This has helped guide our decision making process. Inquiry in many ways involves being flexible in learning when / what / how something is going to fit or if it will work at all.

The learning zone divided?!
As mentioned before in my posts, we have divided the classroom into many zones. Last night, my wife asked me 'why divide up a learning environment in the first place?'. I was perplexed as to my reasoning, I could not for the life of me quote theorists. So today, this has brought me to this week's posts. 

WHY SHOULD AN MLE BE ZONED OR HAVE SPECIFIC LEARNING SPACES?
According to Bray & McClaskey, 2013 we need to provide spaces that work for learners. We should have them in mind. Below is table that matches such qualities in learners with possible learning environment provisions.

Learner Qualities 
  1. Fidgeting and having trouble sitting still
  2. Prefers working on projects
  3. Cannot sequence what is happening in story
  4. Likes to draw with technology
  5. Prefers to work alone and reflect on task


Learning Environment
  1. Area to pace or stand with high desks
  2. Tables grouped for collaborative work
  3. Teacher area with interactive whiteboard
  4. Multimedia computers with stylus or tablets
  5. Individual space for private journaling



Furthermore, according to the MOE an MLE should have breakout spaces. BREAKOUT spaces, explained by the MOE NZ. A space for taking a group of students, in our Poutama MLE the learning space we deem the BREAKOUT is for students to seek some quiet, a place to work with a buddy in peace. Or even a place for a group of students to work alongside each other. Our shared teacher vision for the environment was to see some non-traditional curriculum workshops run by teachers. I had hoped that this would be an ideal opportunity to run a metacognition or thinking skills workshop for students. Or perhaps even a space to teach them about how to use google calendar. It appears, that in hindsight, our space leans closer to the 'Discovery zone' as described by Bray & McClaskey, 2013. A space where students collaborate and problem solve.

Our Poutama MLE shares some of the learning zones that this digram presents. We have a discovery and creation zone, although they're not named that, their use is similar. Central to this redesigning of the classroom is 'personalisation' the notion that we should be giving students a VOICE and CHOICE. Early on in the year we did a bus stop to share a common 'language' and 'expectation' of what we would do in each of our learning spaces. As time has progressed we have made changes.
Bray & McClaskey, 2013
***

Why should we bother with our learning environments?

The following extract is taken from: http://www.ncef.org/pubs/outcomes.pdf

"Bowers and Burkett (1987) found that students in newer buildings outperformed students in older ones and posted better records for health, attendance, and discipline. The study attributed approximately three percent of the variance in achievement scores to facility age, after considering socio-economic differences in the student populations. In more recent work, Phillips (1997) found similar improvements in newer facilities, and Jago and Tanner (1999) also found links between building age and student achievement and behavior." (SIC)

CORE EDUCATION MLE MATRIX:

In beginning this research into MLP in MLE many questions arise. The matrix developed by CORE ED exposes gaps in our planning for our learners. 

Learner focus- How are the ides and needs of learners incorporated into the planning process?
Teaching and learning- Are the pedagogical beliefs and practices articulated and used to inform learning space design? How might these be prototyped in our current context?
Learning space design- Does the actual use of space match the design intention? What modifications / iterations may be necessary?

One of my co-teachers suggested we move the LEARNING HUB computers to allow for more space for our learners. The change in the space was instant, the students had much more room to freely learn in, we were able to take groups in it with much more ease.

As the team leader, I will need to lead more discussions or build in more chances for modification will see us develop a space that truly works for our learners. What needs to happen, is the "RE-VISIONING" and modification of our space, so that we can action the necessary changes. We want to improve student achievement and this is always at the top of our minds.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

MLP- modern learning pedagogy: part six

These are my U-LEARN 14 notes continued. I'm now up to keynote 3.

It's awesome re-reading these 6 months later, while I'm in the middle of developing our MLE. My lens has become more focussed. This feels like I'm at U-learn again and that this is my research in action, so it's almost the research methodology: ACTION LEARNING. It's a good thing I did a paper in it for my post-grad; now to dust of that part of my brain?! Hmm...

I am torn, I see my role as the facilitator, and in my experience I would set up students with various forms of expression. Then when it came time to present their learning I know that I've taught them to present their learning on certain graphic organisers or posters or a speech or a role play. But in re-reading these slides, I'm now thinking I need to be more flexible.



So my next step is to unravel my years of teaching experience and move beyond the 'sage on the stage' model which was clearly, so carefully masked by what I thought was facilitation, where I've traditionally modelled and scaffolded them in various models of representation. Instead, according to this UDL model of learning, students should be scaffolding their own learning. It's an interesting notion, and in many ways, I can hear my co-teacher saying to me "I told you so", and out of my mouth I'll probably say "sorry brosef".

Hmm, I need a convo. More on this later :-)

I might ask him to guest blog actually. He's the expert in UDL, I only heard about it for the first time at U-learn. It felt like a dinosaur moment. Everyone else nodding knowingly, while I'm quickly googling. #goodtimes #teacherproblems

MLP- modern learning pedagogy: part five


MY NOTES ARE PRETTY SCATTY:
KEY NOTE 2: ADAM LEFSTEIN-

RULE #1- Don’t talk about pedagogical problems. The norms of privacy are obstructive in the development of MLE. Staff room talk is often about VENTING, consolation, or sharing of materials.

RULE #2- Don’t mind the gap between teaching aspirations and classroom realities.
The huge gap between what happens in the classroom and the way we talk about the classroom. We don’t talk honestly about our practice. We end up talking ASPIRATIONALLY about it. This makes it difficult to have real discourse.

RULE #3- DICHOTOMIZE. Content vs process, achievement outcomes vs values education & old edn vs new edn. There’s no individual without culture. 

RULE #4 TRUST YOUR OWN UNIQUE EXPERIENCE

RULE #5- NO PRECISE PROFESSIONAL LANGUAGE.
The teaching profession has a discourse that can easily be understood by people from a range of backgrounds. 

RULE #6- HYPERCRITICISM

RULE #7- Don't over tweet on tweet deck and pay attention to the key note speaker, otherwise you'll miss out on rule #7.

RULE #8- FOCUS ON WHAT’S MISSING: Hold a conversation about ‘what could have happened’.

RULE #9- TRUST OUR FEELING AND INTUITION

RULE #10- EVERYTHING IS DUE TO THE TEACHER: Pupils shape teaching no less than teachers do.

***

PROFESSIONAL CONVERSATIONS-


Classroom practice is key.

Hold deep conversations about the representations of practice.

Adopt an inquiry stance: describe and understand before attempting to judge or solve.

Balance the critique.

Focus on issues and dilemmas, and move between specific instances and general principles.

A POSITIVE DISCOURSE GROUNDED IN CLASSROOM PRACTICE. The honest convo allows both sides to have a say. DELIBERATIVE LEADERSHIP- say what?


***

I WISH I HAD RE-READ MY U-LEARN NOTES BEFORE STARTING 2015.
It's obviously clear that we've focussed on issues and dilemmas. We constantly have been fixing our mistakes as we go. I like to think that being organic about how we problem solve is vital. There have been many times that we have sat and tried to preempt situations with forward planning. But as collaborative teachers we're pretty good on our feet. The awesome thing is that we also trust each other too.

I have an open approach to leadership. Sharing the lead is crucial, we three have strengths in various educational areas, not just in curriculum but also our combined knowledge is varied. I know this might sound like a lazy leadership approach, however, if there are strong leadership skills in both of my co-teachers, why wouldn't I allow them to naturally lead a conversation or development of a planning document, or assessment method. Yes, being deliberate about leading is just as important too. I need to focus on focussing our MLE. I want to know that by year's end that I have steered us toward aligning our programme with our school's vision and learning process, but with a unique twist, our MLP will flavouring.


As co-teachers, we have always talked about what we want to see if our learners, whilst our pedagogy is similar, we still are driven by core principles, which are apparent through many conversations. One of my colleagues is quite driven about providing U.D.L (more on this in my next post). So many of our planning meetings contain this element, it is so important to allow students to present learning in a way that they choose. This practice should be interwoven into our MLE. My only reservation, is how well have we set up the students to present their learning in various forms. If we say, sure make a video. Do they know how to? Will that mean we need to instantly run a workshop on making videos on chrome books or imacs. Will this cloud their presentation of the actual learning content. I want to provide this opportunity to freely present learning in their own way, but SCAFFOLDING must occur in advance. It needs to be set up in a way that we can definitely say we've set them up in a few forms of representation. So if we said, this concept we've been learning, such as Te Ako Ritenga, you're all thinking about it, you know lots about it, it's now time to go and work on how to present it to us. We would hope that the quality of their presentation would highlight their learning rather than their lack of knowledge of their chosen form of expression. Just this week gone, my co-teacher highlighted 'I students to be successful, I want to set them up for success'. My sentiments exactly. Getting to this point will take time. Do I believe that UDL is important? DEFINITELY. Do I want students to be successful? OF COURSE I DO. Getting there requires scaffolding.

Grounding our conversations in professional discourse, strengthens our co-teaching relationship.

***

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

MLP- modern learning pedagogy: part four

My last few posts haven't had photos, and are a little bit boring. 

Here are some photos of what we've NOW got in our flexi-space.

OUR PEDAGOGY
CAN BE SEEN IN OUR ENVIRONMENT

*** INDEPENDENT LICENSE ***


Independent License pins.
Criteria drives success. We want our students to be successful. To do this, we want them to learn to be autonomous, but obviously they have to jump a whole heap of hurdles before this can happen. Above you'll see the criteria for each zone. This model of independence was developed by J.Bron and S.Mccallum (2014), we've simply re-branded it and added to it for our purpose.
Example- WORKSHOP ZONE: CRITERIA- be on time, write the date & walt in your book, participate, and support others. When students have demonstrated the above criteria for this ZONE at least twice, we then award them a pin. When a student earns 3 pins, they become an expert, and are given an 'expert' label. There are 10 zones of learning to be independent. 30 pins in total. As they earn pins they move up the LADDER of independence. This then EARNS them certain rights.

Ladder of Independence

When students become LEVEL 3 they're allowed to move exclusively to particular spaces in our school. Obviously, this upward movement in independence is hopefully guided by our scaffolding to support them to ACTUALLY be independent.


 *** LEARNING SPACES ***

CLOAKBAY
We've set up a table and chairs in our cloak bay space. This is a BREAKOUT area for students to complete work quietly without interruption. What's great is that it's not too far from the CONNECT, so therefore teachers are always able to roam and support students in this space.
CLOAKBAY

CREATE
This CREATE space is where we hope to allow students to MAKE AND BREAK things. However, we're a few weeks away from fully realising its potential.

TEACHING- connect
In this space we provide opportunities for specific groups to meet with us for workshops.

LEARNER HUB- this suite of computers is pretty sweet!


TECH - PERTS
There are many students in our class that are just learning to use digital technology. Luckily, we have a group of students that have spent a year learning in an MLE. We've asked these students to be on call to support our kids with questions they might have about digi-tech. They wear very cool MARVEL-SHIELD themed tech-pert lanyards.

TEEPEE- this is another chill zone for our kids.

CONNECT WALL.
We created a visual display of our students REACHING FOR THE STARS. The students collaged their name and wrote goals on their forearms.



LITERACY CORNER
This space houses our SYNONYMS display, WRITING PROCESS and library books. The students move their name on the writing process so that we can visually see where students are. The plastic pockets have synonyms that students can use to replace words we highlight in their writing.


THINK- This collaborative space is awesome.
As you can see some students are playing a card game, while another is on their device. The box is full of SDA games, each has a task card or set of instructions describing what they are meant to do. On our MUST DO and CAN DO google sheet or scrap book the students must complete a certain range or number of independent tasks. They have to record this on doc pictured below.

MUST DO / CAN DO google sheet.
These SHEETS are on our blog (1 group has theirs glued into a personalised scrap book each). We have grouped our students into 3 levelled INDEPENDENT SDA groups. We track their completion by checking daily what has been completed. As you can see their are triangles in the right corner of some cells. The students will have written the exact activity they have completed. All MUST DO tasks must be completed before CAN DO tasks. 1 teacher tracks our scrap book SDA group, and the other 2 teachers track and conference all the other students.


IN & OUT BOARD
Clearly, with this many students it's important for us to track where our students are. They have to simply move their name on the board so we know where they are at all times.


BREAK OUT SPACE- teachable moments
In the breakout space there is often a group of students problem solving or collaborating. Whenever possible one of us is roaming and able to provided non-traditional support. Sometimes, students just need a hand with printing or to help with a task. Having three teachers is amazing for this very reason.

THESE KIDS SMASHED IT!
As the year progresses we hope to present the AWESOME work that students create. This is our VISUAL way of celebrating student learning. It's a place for STUDENT VOICE to be heard.


SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY

On many walls there are tonnes of posters describing Riverdale School's learning process. It's definitely worth a read.

MLP- modern learning pedagogy: part three

MY TEACHER INQUIRY 2015.

Where does one begin?

What path should one take?

How effective will it be to focus an inquiry on practice so that it doesn't impact the learning in one's classroom?

***

In 2015, I am lucky enough to be part of a 3 teacher collaborative teaching situation. Poutama: journey to learning is the 'space' that I work within. I am lucky enough to work alongside another experienced teacher, and the PRT that I mentor (which is a very loose term for what is the actual outcome of our interaction).

This year has thus far been exciting, challenging, draining, but worthwhile. 

There comes a point in any teacher's career, when you find yourself at a crossroad. Do I continue teaching the way I have always taught, or do I challenge myself to be better.  

After Ulearn 14 last year, I was offered the opportunity to continue being a senior teacher of a team, but also, to support Riverdale in the re-purposing of a major learning hub, flexible learning space. Namely, 'POUTAMA'. LC5 or learning community 5. It's a karaihe full of students, we're literally bursting with 73 students. But on any given day, there are 3 teachers, plus 2 teacher aides and another part time teacher, Monday-Wednesday. Having reduced our ratio to 1:24 we are better equipped to teach. More on this later, it's time to GO BACK.

So, early on in 2014, the 3 of us teachers spent time discussing the logistics of collaborative teaching and flexi-learning spaces. After all, an MLE needs strong MLP (modern learning pedagogy). Our Principal has led us to re-purpose the MLE to flexi-learning environment. This is a more appropriate title for what we are trying to develop. Many discussions over the summer break led us to the idea that our space needed to have 'breakout' zones. This was a theme of many of the ulearn workshops. I led the team to believe in my vision about having such a learning space. We added on the 'connect', 'think' and 'create'.

Breakout- an area of learning where a teacher might take a non-traditional workshop on metacognition, or digital technology. A space where students might work independently on their BYOD to complete a 'must do' or 'can do'. After 5 weeks, it looks very different to our original vision. However, students enjoy learning in this space, there are tables and chairs. A built in wall seat has allowed the students to use this space to their advantage.

Think- this space is where a lot of collaboration takes places, ss play active learning games, which are found in our SDA (self directed activity) boxes, the hope being that students that learn best with a peer or in a group are thus given this vital opportunity. Gamification is a huge concept right now in MLE circles. We've followed suit, but of course, learning games have always been a part of my own single cell classroom environments. We provide many online games too, we hope to fool these kids into learning, even though they're playing a game. Kinaesthetic learning behaviours are carefully integrated into our learning programme. We want to provide times for students that learn from doing, to do just that: 'learn by doing', rather than just sitting.

Connect- quiet is a very important aspect for many individuals. This space is where we teach instructional groups. Groups of learners we know need similar teaching. We see all of our workshop groups in this space. Therefore it must be silent. The students are still coming to terms with this idea. But it's early days, so that can obviously be forgiven. There are 2 whiteboard tables in this room, where 2 teacher can work with their groups, our 10 Imacs or 'learning hub' is in here too. This space is about 'connecting' with a teacher. We try to support our learners to meet the demands of a learning intention or W.A.L.T (acronym for we are learning to). In this space, one teacher will be sitting on the mat with their learners, so at any one time, there could be 3 teachers taking instructional groups of up to 8 learners each, 10 students on the imacs, 5 groups by the couch and pink chill zone. This of course sounds absurd, you'd be right to think it. However, LEARNING HAPPENS. Yes it gets noisy, however, when it's quiet, which is often, the ss are amazingly focussed, regardless of noise.

Create- we have spent much of our time focussing on the other spaces, that this space has been slightly neglected. It has a lot of potential, but with everything that we're learning as collaborative teachers, and with all the systems we're setting up, it's not been practical to build in this space.

***

Our pedagogy cannot simply be recorded in a few blog posts. Pictures don't do it justice. However, learning is at the top of our list. We want our learners engaged, we want them to love learning. We want to do the best we can. WE ARE LOVING WHAT WE DO.


MLP- modern learning pedagogy: part two

Late in 2014, I was fortunate enough to attend U Learn 14. It was an incredible opportunity to regain my wavering focus. It is here that I quickly remembered my thirst to understand the best ways to promote learning. Knowledge is of course power, but it is more than that, it's also got to be actioned. 

An argument that education serve 3 purposes was proposed at the first Key Note. The following notes are taken from Yoram Harpaz "The big picture, what should educators be doing with students in this modern era?" Education is all about ideologies.



These purposes being:



Socialisation
Acculturation
Individuation

The purpose is the desired graduate.
The desired graduate = knowledge, skills, traits, worldview.

Educators have been made to adopt phrases such as 'learning outcomes', an idea that we work towards an outcome. Socialisation might be the practical and useful 'learning experiences' we provide students, we empower them to exercise these particular skills as it might be 'good' to be an educated person that is 'adapted to society'.

Furthermore, the 'inner value' of the content we deliver may improve a students cultural values and the 'truth' they live by. This acculturation may lead a student to meet the demands of a social framework, we like to call the 'workforce'.

At the core of many teaching programmes, one would assume; individuation. An idea where we support students to be an individual, we in essence are truly their 'guide on the side'. This would be the hope that we facilitate their learning, and that they each, one day fulfil their needs through unique self regulated learning.

Yoram asked all the educators at Ulearn make the 'tragic' choice. We filled in a google form and chose between the three. 

Needless to say, but making the choice to be a teacher thinking under any single ideology ALONE is a difficult task.

As an educator, it is the 'space' of learning that most interests me. Which currently, fills my mind, right alongside the 'community of thinking' pedagogical paradigm that governs my teaching practice. 

It is the 21st century, and we should no longer be reducing our educational system to a basic 'assembly line'; hey child number 2034668, learn this vocation, support the social structure of the workforce. But just so you know, your future job may not be around in 10 years, maybe not even 5 years. 

A breakout I attended, Mark Osborne 'Modern learning environments- where learning takes place'. It was intriguing. He indicated that our current model of learning was 'endangered'. Technology and access to media has enabled people to consume KNOWLEDGE at an increased rate. Therefore, computerisation of KNOWLEDGE through digital means has BANKRUPTED many industries. There are several sectors that are vulnerable to this.

Is the modern learning paradigm an answer to this? Who knows?

Here are constraints to consider:

TRENDING IN 2015: If we were future historians looking back at 2015, this is what would STILL be trending, and has been trending in the education system for almost 100 years.
learning is built around the machine:
learners are-
organised by birth
learn subjects or content best at a certain age or time during the day
grouped in 30's or by gender
taught and don't become collaborators or teachers
taught at the same rate as others.

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What should the vision of our future be?