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Nigel Coutts

Striving to preserve Truth - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    What purposes does education serve? What needs of humanity does education serve? What might the product of our labours be like and how might our efforts contribute to the greater good? These are questions we have long struggled with but with but it seems that in the current times we might need to rethink how we answer these questions.
Nigel Coutts

Banishing The Culture of Busyness - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    At the start of each year we arrive back from our break hopefully rested and energised. The new year brings many new opportunities including new students, new team members and new teaching programmes. We begin again the climb up the hill with a fresh group of learners arriving at our doors full of excitement who will rely on us to meet their learning needs in the year ahead. All of this means we are at risk of starting the year with a certain level of panic. There is so much to do, our students are not accustomed to our routines, we don't know each other well, there are parents to meet, assessments to be done and before we know it we are back to being busy. 
Nigel Coutts

Learning to learn with a MakerSpace - The Learner's Way - 4 views

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    Making, Maker Centred Learning and STEAM fit neatly alongside Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) for many schools. Commonly this approach includes a constructivist view of knowledge and teachers seek to establish conditions which allow students to explore questions and ideas with greater independence than may occur in the traditional classroom.  Learning becomes a collaborative partnership between teachers and students with a clear focus on a learner centric approach.
Nigel Coutts

Maker-Centred Learning & STEAM - The Learner's Way - 5 views

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    Making the most of Maker Spaces and STEAM will require professional development and a new mindset for all learners. 
Nigel Coutts

Learning vs Work in a Culture of Thinking - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    Earlier this year a group of teachers I work with explored the 'Eight Cultural Forces' identified by Ron Ritchhart of Harvard's Project Zero. In doing so we decided to focus on our use of the term learning instead of the word work. Our goal was to bring our language choices into the spotlight and explore how a more deliberate focus on learning might alter the culture of our classrooms. Two terms later this focus persists and it is worth reflecting on the effect that this has had.
Nigel Coutts

Learning to love teach meets - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    There is a growing momentum in education driven by a desire to share our practice and learn from our colleagues. Increasingly teachers are finding ways to break free of their classrooms and share their ideas. Collaborations in the interests of unlocking the collective potential of the profession are spreading within and importantly between schools. For many these collaborative endeavours and desires are satisfied by online communities but for many the possibility for a face to face conversation is more alluring.
Reynold Redekopp

Forget Copyright - Think Copyleft | Fast Forward | OZY - 6 views

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    Interesting read about CopyLeft
Nigel Coutts

Questions at the heart of learning - The Learner's Way - 4 views

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    At the heart of learning are the questions to which we do not yet know the answers and the journey to the questions we have not yet asked. Such simple truths and yet understandings that can have fundamental consequences for approach to learning and growth.
Nigel Coutts

Shaping the Curriculum - Exploring Integration - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    After two days of talking about curriculum, integration, STEM, STEAM and HASS I am left with more questions than I started with. In some respects, the concept of curriculum integration is simple. It is after all something that Primary teachers almost take for granted. But for Senior and Tertiary educators the question of curriculum integration is inherently complex. At all levels questions emerge of what curriculum integration might achieve, what purposes it serves, what it could and should look like and how it should be supported by curriculum planners. In the current climate, with its debate around the role of education within an innovation economy, shaped by technology and confronting demands for a STEAM enabled workforce the shape of our curriculum is under pressure. 
Nigel Coutts

Organisational Learning - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    For schools the concept of a learning organisation should make perfect sense, after all learning is our core business, or it should be. Perhaps that almost three decades after Peter Senge identified the importance of learning within organisations the idea is only now gaining traction in schools tells us something about the approach taken to learning and teaching within schools. With an increased focus on the development of professional learning communities as a response to the complex challenges that emerge from a rapidly changing society, it is worth looking at what a learning organisation requires for success.
Nigel Coutts

Valuing and responding to resistance to change - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    Change is something that we fear or embrace. It is widely considered as the one constant in our lives. For education at present we face a deluge of reports that the pace of change shall only accelerate and its scale become more absolute. No wonder then that many teachers feel now is a good time for a move out of the profession. For others the changing face of education is seen as bringing exciting new possibilities wrapped in engaging challenges. Regardless of how reliable predictions for change may prove to be it is worth considering how individuals and groups respond to it.
Nigel Coutts

Understanding the power of stories - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    We are the stories that we tell and it is the stories we share which unite us. This was the seed of an idea planted by a day with author, artist, musician and story teller Boori Pryor. Understanding the power that our stories have allows us to better value their role in our lives, to see them as more than recounts of the past or imaginings of the future. Stories should be viewed as the powerful agents that they are with the force to shape who we are as much as we shape them.
Nigel Coutts

Delivering on the promise of STEAM - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    The challenge is to ensure that students within a STEAM programme are better prepared than they might be if they studied the disciplines in isolation and that in seeking to integrate diverse fields we do not weaken the efficacy of one for the inclusion of another.
Nigel Coutts

Making the most of opportunities for thinking - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    What should our goal for student thinking be? How do we scaffold student thinking in ways that are meaningful while developing autonomy and encouraging students to think effectively when we are not there? What would success with thinking strategies look like? These were the challenging questions that Mark Church presented to teachers at the most recent 'Cultures of Thinking Teach Meet' hosted by Masada College.
Nigel Coutts

Educating for the Unknown - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    What will tomorrow bring? What will life be like in 2028 as our youngest students of today exit school? What occupations will they enter and what challenges will they face? These are not new questions but with the rate of change in society and the pace at which technology evolves they are questions without clear answers. How then do schools prepare students for this uncertain tomorrow? What shall we teach our children today such that are well prepared for the challenges and opportunities of their tomorrow?
Nigel Coutts

The Emerging Trend of Connected Institutions - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    The book 'Non Obvious' by Rohit Bhargava present an intriguing exploration of how careful observation and thought can reveal emerging trends and as the subtitle suggest 'predict the future'. For educators the ability to identify the trends which will deliver the best outcomes for our students from the noise of fads is alluring. While the talk of new technologies, of learner centric pedagogies and teaching for lifelong learning play the part of the obvious trends in education identifying the non-obvious trend is a more challenging endeavour.
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