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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

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

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?
Nigel Coutts

In anticipation of learning - ICOT18 - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    Next week is set to be an exciting week of learning and sharing as teachers from across the globe make their way to Miami for the International Conference on Thinking (ICOT). 
Nigel Coutts

Teacher Agency vs The Collective Voice - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    With good reason, much is made of learner agency but the concept of teacher agency is important too. If we hope to build a profession in which we are all self-navigating life-long learners, we must acknowledge the role that teacher agency plays. 
Nigel Coutts

Our curious ideas about intelligence - The Learner's Way - 6 views

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    We have some strange ideas about intelligence, many of them are wrong. Some of our ideas can have a damaging effect on the people we label as intelligent. When we look at some of the research behind intelligence we find that our assumptions based on what we were once told about it need to be updated. 
Nigel Coutts

Wrapped in Cognitive Cotton Wool - The Learner's Way - 6 views

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    The dangers of making learning so safe and so easy it lacks any real sense of challenge. When we do this we deny our learners the opportunities they need to learn from mistakes and grow their minds. 
Nigel Coutts

A Question of Scale: Meeting a Global Need - The Learner's Way - 5 views

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    I recently spent ten days in Cambodia accompanying students on a service trip where they developed their cultural understanding and spent time improving the environment of a local school. While laying pavers and digging a ditch I had a chance to reflect on the difficulties facing education in a country like this. I came away with questions, wondering and few answers. 
Nigel Coutts

Educational Disadvantage - Socio-economic Status and Education Pt 3 - The Learner's Way - 7 views

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    Pedagogy and curriculum that engages students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds and is deemed personally relevant to the lives they live, are seen as important factors towards equality of outcome by Wrench, Hammond, McCallum and Price (2012). Their research involved designing a curriculum and pedagogy that would be highly engaging to students of low-socioeconomic status. 'The interventions involved curriculum redesigns that set meaningful, challenging learning task(s) (culminating in high quality learning products); strong connection to student life-worlds; and a performative expectation for student learning.' (Wrench et al 2012 p934)
Nigel Coutts

Educational Disadvantage - Socio-economic Status and Education Pt 2 - The Learner's Way - 7 views

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    An unavoidable element of the discourse around educational disadvantage or equality is how we define and assess equality. One definition will see this as being in equality of access to education, funding for education and/or resources. Such an approach has largely been seen in government funding models however subtle variations on this theme have resulted in significant differences in resulting policies.
Nigel Coutts

Educational Disadvantage - Socio-economic Status & Education Pt 1 - The Learner's Way - 4 views

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    The role that education plays in issues of social equity and justice cannot be undervalued. It is acknowledged by the United Nations as a human right, 'Everyone has the right to education' (United Nations, 1948) and as outlined in the Melbourne Declaration on the Educational Goals for Young Australians 'As a nation Australia values the central role of education in building a democratic, equitable and just society- a society that is prosperous, cohesive and culturally diverse, and that values Australia's Indigenous cultures as a key part of the nation's history, present and future.' (Barr et al, 2008). Such lofty assertions of the importance of education as a right and national value should be sufficient to ensure that all Australians have access to an education of the highest standard with equitable outcomes for all, the reality is that this is not the case.
Nigel Coutts

Destinationitis - Preparing for tomorrow while missing today - The Learner's Way - 6 views

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    Destinationitis is the tendency to focus more on where you are going than where you are. You will frequently see groups of trekkers suffering from destinationitis. So focused are they on making it to the end of the trek or the next rest stop that they storm through the wilderness oblivious to the beauty that surrounds them. Destinationitis similarly afflicts educators but here the consequences are borne by the students.
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    Wow! I do not know that! I sent this on my twitter! =D Thanks !!!
Nigel Coutts

Why such a rapid pace of change? - The Learner's Way - 7 views

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    I am currently reading "Thank you for being late: An optimist's guide to thriving in the age of accelerations" and have found in this the answer to these questions. In essence we are confronting two types of change, one that we have always faced and one that is unique to our current times. 
Nigel Coutts

Avoiding Assessment Mistakes - The Learner's Way - 6 views

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    Assessment is arguably the piece of the learning cycle we get most wrong. Whether looked at from the perspective of the learner, the teacher, the school administrator, the politician or the parent, assessment is misunderstood and poorly utilised as a tool for learning. The importance of changing this situation is only made more salient in light of the countless research studies from the likes of Jon Hattie & Dylan Wiliam that points to the power of effective assessment. So, what are the common mistakes and how might we avoid them?
Nigel Coutts

Learning by playing, tinkering and making - The Learner's Way - 8 views

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    Play is a vital tool for learning. It should be vital part of every child's learning; the norm rather than the exception and we leave it behind as we become adults to our own peril. 
Nigel Coutts

Creativity is a beautiful, messy chaotic thing - The Learner's Way - 8 views

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    Creativity is often said to be the key to the future. The essentially human attribute that will ensure our utility in a world dominated by automation. It is said to be an essential ingredient in education but it will not be truly learned unless we provide students with opportunities to dive fully into its waters. 
Nigel Coutts

Five Great Reads - The Learner's Way - 9 views

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    One of the great joys and best strategies for expanding your understanding is to engage with a great book. Fortunately the options available today are immense and electronic options and audio books make access easy and possible wherever you may be. Here is a short list of what I have been reading lately with some brief reflections. 
Nigel Coutts

Shifting from awareness to action - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    The evidence is mounting and the narrative around education is shifting towards a story centred on long-life skills, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. Success in the future seems to be connected closely to one's capacity to innovate, to problem find and to make strategic decisions when confronted by unique situations for which we have not been specifically prepared. 
Nigel Coutts

Learning in the age of Social Networks - The Learner's Way - 10 views

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    Learning is a social endeavour. Schools need to understand that for our students the social landscape has changed. Rather than turning away from this reality we need to understand what it means and what our children need to know and learn to safely maximise the opportunities it brings.
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