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Nigel Coutts

Mathematical thinking presents teachers and students with new challenges - The Learner'... - 1 views

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    The shift away from teaching for the rote memorisation of prescribed methods requires teachers to rethink their approach to the discipline. With this new pedagogy comes a need to understand the processes of mathematical thinking in ways not previously required. When we require our students to be able to reason and problem-solve through unique challenges we also require our teachers to have an understanding of the mathematical moves that their learners are likely to call upon.
Nigel Coutts

Contemplating questions of work life balance - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    Oddly lately I have been pondering how schools responds to the question of a work life balance. Let me try to explain my thinking. I am still trying to clarify my thinking here, so please bear with me. What does it mean to achieve work life balance, and should we want to?
Nigel Coutts

Number Talks for Number Sense - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    "Number Talks" is an approach to the teaching and learning of Number Sense. Rather than relying on the rote-memorisation of isolated number facts achieved through drills of "table-facts", Number Talks aim to build confident, number fluency, where learners recognise patterns within and between numbers and understand the properties of numbers and operations. Number Talks are a "mind on" learning task that engages students in an active learning process as they search for patterns, decompose and recompose numbers and develop a flexible understanding.
Nigel Coutts

Growth = Mindset + Action - The Learner's Way - 3 views

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    Having the right mindset is alone not sufficient for growth. I might talk the talk about a growth mindset and believe I can learn a new skill but unless I back that belief with action, it is just talk.
Nigel Coutts

The Curse of False Expertise - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    what if our expertise is imagined or false. What if what we think is so, just ain't so. This might be more common than we care to admit, and it is worth considering the source of this difficulty and its implications. 
Nigel Coutts

In Postnormal Times our Students need to be Brave - The Learner's Way - 5 views

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    If we are to cultivate the dispositions required in these times of postnormality and post-truth we need to establish cultures in our classrooms which will allow them to thrive. 
Nigel Coutts

A Conceptual approach to Big Understandings and Mathematical Confidence - The Learner's... - 3 views

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    This traditional pedagogy results in students developing a negative attitude towards mathematics. Many develop a mathematical phobia and believe that they are not a "maths person". When confronted by challenging mathematics they retreat and have no or only poor strategies with which to approach new ideas. This all leads to a decline in the number of students pursuing mathematical learning beyond the years where it is compulsory. Fortunately there is a growing body of research that shows there is a better way. 
Nigel Coutts

Aligning assessments with the purposes of our teaching - The Learner's Way - 7 views

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    We rely on an assessment measure without taking a close look at what it is measuring and we obfuscate the information we need to evaluate the utility of these measures by reducing the results to numerical values.
Nigel Coutts

Taking time to design programmes for understanding - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    Identifying what our children need to learn is one of the most important processes within education. For the teacher this is the question they engage with as they design their teaching and learning units. By no means is this an easy task and the teacher must balance multiple factors to ensure that the programmes they design provide their students with the learning they require. Even the most effective sequence of lessons is of little value if what it sets out to teach has little importance in the lives our learners are likely to lead. 
Nigel Coutts

When designing student learning, what questions guide us? - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    We ask lots of questions as we plan for our student's learning. Some of the questions we ask are about where they are with their learning. But perhaps we miss one important question along the way. Maybe we should be asking questions about how our students will apply what they learn? 
Nigel Coutts

What meal would your team be? - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    What makes a team truly great? What are the qualities which allow some teams to perform at a high level while others seem trapped? One approach to this question is to consider a team as though they were a meal. Thinking metaphorically, we ask what are the ingredients that make a great team and how might we combine them to produce the best results?
Nigel Coutts

Lessons from Schrödinger's Cat - The Learner's Way - 4 views

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    There are some ideas which seem to translate nicely into fields of thought far from their point of origin. These are  ideas which shine a metaphorical light on concepts and allow us to develop a deeper understanding of that concept once we see it from a fresh perspective. Schrödinger's Cat is one such idea.
Paul Beaufait

obervation_schedule_king_the_cops.pdf - 5 views

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    Classroom Oral Participation Scheme (COPS)
Nigel Coutts

Educators as Agents for Educational Policy - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    Education exists in an uneasy domain and the teaching professional is forced to navigate between a multitude of conflicting tensions. Our education systems are dominated by abundance of voices all shouting for attention and offering a solution to the problems they have diagnosed. Each individual claims expertise and insights gained from years as a student is sufficient experience to allow one to speak with authority. - Educators need to find their voice. 
Nigel Coutts

A pedagogy for Cultural Understanding & Human Empathy - The Learner's Way - 6 views

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    How we see ourselves, how we describe ourselves reveals a great deal about how we see 'others'. In May of this year, speaking to the audience of the International Conference on Thinking, Bruno Della Chiesa invited us to consider how we might approach the question of "who we are?". In responding to such a question, what list of affiliations do we invoke to define ourselves?
Nigel Coutts

Holiday Reading - Christmas 2019 - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    With the Christmas Holiday's finally here this is the perfect opportunity to catch up on some of that reading which has been delayed while more pressing matters are dealt with. Here are the top items on my holiday reading list. With a project underway that explores a conceptual based approach to teaching mathematics there is a bias in that direction. 
Nigel Coutts

Teaching mathematicians shouldn't be like programming a computer - The Learner's Way - 4 views

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    Traditional methods of teaching maths have more in common with how we programme a computer that what we might do if we wanted to engage our students in mathematical thinking. We shouldn't be overly surprised then when our students consider mathematics to be all about learning a set of rules that they need to apply in the right order so as to output the correct response. But is there a better way?
Nigel Coutts

Why we fear data and how our perception can change. - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    Data occupies a somewhat curious place within education. Mention it to teachers and you tend to get one of two responses. One group will roll their eyes and with great sarcasm how data is "so exciting". The other group responds with something akin to "actually I quite like data" indicating that experience has shown them that they are members of a small group. The question is why do some people find data to be a useful and fascinating tool while others see it as a good method for inducing sleep? 
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