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Nigel Coutts

How might we confront the challenges of time and "the system"? - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    Two forces seem to present the most significant obstacle to educators hoping to achieve these illustrious goals for and with their learners. The first is time, the second is "the system". Together these two factors act as a bulwark to change; the constraints within which progress is able to occur but only to the point that it strikes against the seemingly immutable obstacles. 
Nigel Coutts

The messages we send about learning - The Learner's Way - 6 views

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    We send our students many messages about learning, growth, ability, potential. . . Sometimes we are sending these messages deliberately, such as when we talk about growth mindset and the rewards of effort, persistence and risk taking. At other times the messages we send are accidental, incidental and unplanned; these are often the strongest messages we send. 
Paul Beaufait

U.S. Department of Education Releases Study and Accompanying Toolkit on Ed Tech for Eng... - 5 views

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    "This toolkit brings suggestions and resources for educators who want to utilize new technology-based resources to help their EL students gain proficiency in English and meet academic goals. The toolkit offers five guiding principles for educators to apply in exploring new ways of working with and supporting EL students through technology" (press release, 2018.10.22, ¶3
Nigel Coutts

The power of powerful ideas shared simply - The Learner's Way - 5 views

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    Some statements stand out in your memory for the power with which they resonate through you mind. I recall the first time I encountered the question posed by Alan November "Who owns the learning?" on the cover of his book of the same name. In four words, Alan poses a question that strikes at the heart of education and encourages us to re-think our approach. If we believe that the learner should own the learning, what are the implications of this for our teaching? Like a stone dropped on the surface of a calm pond, the ripples from a powerful idea spread, expand and gain strength. 
Nigel Coutts

Schools are made of People - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    Schools are made of people. Schools are all about people. Schools are made from the connections between people. Schools exist to serve people and make the lives of all people better.
Nigel Coutts

The challenge and promise of learning organisations - The Learner's Way - 4 views

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    There is a great deal that I like about this description of humanity at its best from Ryan & Deci. It is both a goal to be achieved and an indicator of conditions which are required for us to fulfil our potential. While the focus of this statement is on the actions of the individual we can see how society might act to deny individuals the opportunities to lead such an inspired and agentic life. I like to imagine what a school might be like if every individual who plays a part in its functioning strove to extend themselves, master new skills and apply their talents responsibly.  Maybe schools would be like the 'learning organisations' described by Peter Senge. 
Nigel Coutts

How might we develop self-regulated learners? - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    A common question is how do we facilitate the development of independent, self-regulating learners. With an increased focus on the development of dispositional models for learning where the skills and mindset of the learner are crucial, how do we ensure that our learners move from requiring external regulation to a model of internal regulation?  
Nigel Coutts

The Trouble with Change Management in Schools - The Learner's Way - 4 views

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    Taken simplistically there could be a feeling that due to the complexity of large systems change becomes an uncontrollable beast with a mind of its own. 
Nigel Coutts

Why might we want to learn Digital Technologies? - The Learner's Way - 6 views

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    Understanding the "Why" of any initiative should be a key step prior to implementation. Without a clear understanding of our "Why" how are we to judge the success of what we are implementing. How will we know which steps take us in the right direction if we have no concept of why we are journeying. In our implementation of ICT (Information & Communication Technologies) and now Digital Technologies, a lack of clarity on the matter of "Why" has often been the most significant challenge to success. 
Nigel Coutts

Debating false dichotomies: a new front in the education wars - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    Sometimes, it seems everyone who ever went to school is an expert on education and has a plan to make it better. Actual teaching experience, years of professional learning and formal training are all easily swept aside. The result is an ongoing dialog around what schools should do, what teachers need to do more of or less of and how the academic success of the nation is linked to strategy x or y.
Nigel Coutts

The learner's role in their search for learning - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    Rather than expecting to be immersed in learning that shines a light on the path forward the notion of searching for driftwood that suits the learner's needs is very empowering. It requires an imagining of learning as a very active process where the learner is aware of their context, their current understanding and what they might need to move forward. It demands a conscious practice of reflection and a disposition towards taking charge of one's learning. It is a very agentic view where learning is something that you do, not something that happens to you. 
Nigel Coutts

Why we need to move our technology use beyond substitution - The Learner's Way - 6 views

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    Mere substitution is not going to help our learners maximise the affordances of technology. The challenge is to find ways by which technology can enhance learning. We can be certain that technology is not going to go away and that those who maximise the affordances that it brings are likely to gain the most from it. 
Nigel Coutts

What might our children most need from Education? - The Learner's Way - 4 views

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    In these times of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA), in this Post Truth era, what do our children most need from their education? How do we best prepare them for their future?
Nigel Coutts

Engaged, Disengaged and Overengaged - The consequences of engagement on learning - The ... - 2 views

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    If you consider the day to day life of many of our students today, you see that they have very little time that is free from some form of programmed activity. Indeed, it is increasingly the norm for families to fill their children's time with the maximum number of learning, sporting and co-curricular activities. Schools naturally are happy to facilitate this and many see the breadth of programmes that they offer as a measure of success. But is there a consequence to all this activity and constant state of engagement?
Nigel Coutts

A stable foundation makes change possible - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    The foundational stability of schools might be our greatest strength.Getting the fundamentals right and protecting them during change efforts is essential. 
Nigel Coutts

Raising Mindset Awareness is a Challenging Endeavour - The Learner's Way - 4 views

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    Our efforts to enculturate a Growth Mindset or Mindset Awareness are not wasted but the process needs to be understood as complex and demands a multifaceted action plan if it is to produce results.
Nigel Coutts

A curriculum built on the fundamental questions of our disciplines - The Learner's Way - 6 views

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    As we make plans for how we will engage our students in their learning the decisions we make become fundamental to how they will grow to understand the purposes of learning. How our learners approach the curriculum and the disciplines is fundamental to the outcomes we may achieve for them. One path will set them up to view learning as the acquisition of information the other to see it as a process of asking and exploring questions of significance through the many unique lenses.
Nigel Coutts

Why engagement matters for learning - The Learner's Way - 5 views

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    This is not a story about the evolution of the world-wide-web. It is not about an evolutionary process of learning or a desire to engage in life-long learning. It is instead about the importance of purpose and engagement as factors in our learning.
Nigel Coutts

Thinking in the Wild - Thinking routines beyond the classroom - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    Despite this being a 'thinking' conference, despite us all being advocates for structured and scaffolded models of thinking, not one group had applied any thinking routines, utilised a collaborative planning protocol or talked about applying an inquiry model or design thinking cycle. It wasn't that we didn't know about them. It wasn't that we don't know how to use them. It wasn't that we don't value them. We had all the knowledge we could desire on the how to and the why of a broad set of thinking tools and anyone of these would have enhanced the process, but we did not use any of them. Why was this the case and what does this reveal about our teaching of these methods to our students?
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