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Nigel Coutts

Project Zero Turns 50 - The Learner's Way - 23 views

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    This year is the fiftieth birthday of Harvard's Project Zero, a research project designed to explore the nature of thinking and learning and from this suggest pedagogies which align with what we know about the mind. For its birthday celebration Project Zero shared insights from its five decades of research with presentations from Howard Gardner, David Perkins, Shari Tasman, Steve Seidel and Daniel Wilson. The presentations revealed the changing nature of the work of Project Zero from its early days and focus on arts education to its current position as a research organisation with broad interests across education but with a focus on thinking, understanding and the workings of the mind.
Nigel Coutts

What if? Reflections from the ACSA Conference - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    Last week I spent three days thinking about curriculum and all that it means to teaching and learning thanks to the Australian Curriculum Studies Association's biannual conference. It was three days of deeply thoughtful conversation and learning with just the right mix of academic research and ideas for grounded practice straight out of innovative classrooms and schools. With keynotes by Alan Reid, Dan Haesler, Bob Lingard, Robert Randall and Jan Owen combined with Masterclasses from some of Australia's leading educators there was much on offer. The biggest challenge was deciding which workshop you would attend when every session offered such outstanding opportunities.
Nigel Coutts

Modern Spaces for Contemporary Learning - The Learner's Way - 29 views

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    Think back to how you felt after the last day you spent at a conference or course. If things went well you probably came out feeling enthused by new ideas but also exhausted and fatigued in ways that you don't after a regular day at work. If the presenters have done their job well and you choose your workshops wisely, the day should have been full of learning that resulted from you having to think. Days like this should work our brains hard and it should be no surprise when we are fatigued by such an experience. - So how might our students be coping?
Martin Burrett

Graphic: Going Higher - 21 views

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    Text: Hurdles can stop you, but you will go higher if you try to get over them
Nigel Coutts

Destinationitis - Preparing for tomorrow while missing today - The Learner's Way - 14 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.
Nigel Coutts

Making Time for Quiet Contemplation - The Learner's Way - 27 views

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    In our busy and highly connected lives it can be difficult to find time to slow down, to deliberately and mindfully engage in reflective contemplation. Taking the time to do so can be significant for success, creativity, mental well-being and learning and yet we seem to struggle to commit time to this valuable practice. Schools, in particular seem to offer little time for students to slow down and think, and with the busy lives students lead such time is often entirely absent.
Martin Burrett

2017 Online Conference - 14 views

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    "Due to demand, we are delighted to announce details of our first online conference. Educators from around the world are invited to participate in this inaugural event, where the focus is on pedagogy, classroom practice, and ideas to improve teaching and learning.

    The event will take place over 3 days in October 2017 (24-26 October) - planned to be during the half-term holidays for most educators in the UK - but educators are also invited along to share in the incredible pedagogy that goes on in classrooms around the world."
Rafael Morales_Gamboa

Contemplating the consequences of Constructivism - The Learner's Way - 21 views

  • learning is a process which occurs within the mind of the individual as they process stimuli arriving from their sensory buffer from their environment (broadly speaking), into working memory and onward into long-term memory. 
    • Rafael Morales_Gamboa
       
      The emphasis does not have to be on the individual, as is common. The social group learns by means of individual, but joined and synchronized, learning.
  • self-guided learning or self-initiated learning
    • Rafael Morales_Gamboa
       
      Not in the case of social constructivism.
  • what is significant
    • Rafael Morales_Gamboa
       
      To others...
  • ...11 more annotations...
  • the research on what produces effective learning supports this
    • Rafael Morales_Gamboa
       
      Of course, that depends on what exactly is evaluated.
  • independent practice
    • Rafael Morales_Gamboa
       
      and social practice
  • This desire is evident when we expect our learners to be scientists, historians, geographers, researchers and problem solvers/finders.
    • Rafael Morales_Gamboa
       
      As well as critical citizens.
  • We teach the skills of inquiry, problem solving and experimentation and then provide opportunities for independent practice.
    • Rafael Morales_Gamboa
       
      Can you imagine anything a better explanation of "knowledge transfer"?
  • we have previously instructed them in
  • The gradual release of responsibility model of instruction suggests that cognitive work should shift slowly and intentionally from teacher modeling, to joint responsibility between teachers and students, to independent practice and application by the learner
    • Rafael Morales_Gamboa
       
      Does not sounds like the classroom is empty? Classmates? Who cares about them?
  • It is not always the case that learning is best served when the process begins with direct instruction.
  • Schools provide a rich environment within which such learning may occur
    • Rafael Morales_Gamboa
       
      It is not always the case, and I would rather say that is not often the case, if our cultural legacy that depicts the school in literature and films.
  • best model can be to begin with an independent exploration of new content even when this produces failure
  • schools maximise their impact on the learning that occurs
  • constructivism urges teachers to ensure that the learner is at least as involved in the process as their teachers are
    • Rafael Morales_Gamboa
       
      I would call that "teacher-centred constructivism".
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    Constructivism is one of those ideas we throw around in educational circles without stopping to think about what we mean by it. They are the terms that have multiple meanings, are at once highly technical and common usage and are likely to cause debate and disagreements. Constructivism in particular carries a quantity of baggage with it. It is a term that is appropriated by supporters of educational approaches that are in stark contrast to the opposing view; constructivism vs didactic methods or direct instruction. The question is what are the origins of constructivism and does a belief in this as an approach to understanding learning necessitate an abandonment of direct instruction or is this a false dichotomy?
Nigel Coutts

Sharing our Puzzles of Practice - The Learner's Way - 19 views

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    Einstein is often quoted as having said "If I have an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes." Clearly Einstein understood how to attack puzzling problems. As teachers we face a host of puzzles on a daily basis. Every student we teach, thanks to their idiosyncrasies presents a unique puzzle. The interactions between students further complicates things. Our goals for our learners, their learning needs, the demands of the curriculum, pressures from beyond the classroom all result in puzzles for us to manage and to solve.
Nigel Coutts

Good Reads for Great Assessment - The Learner's Way - 42 views

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    Recently I have been diving into the world of Assessment, seeking to better understand how we might design effective processes around this essential phase of the learning cycle. In doing so I have found a wealth of resources and quality reads that offer insights and strategies to be applied into our classrooms. Here then is a sampling of what I have been reading. 
bldav1

7 Outstanding K-8 Flexible Classrooms | Edutopia - 51 views

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    Classroom arrangement
Nigel Coutts

Maker Education on a Budget - The Learner's Way - 20 views

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    There is growing interest from schools in the Maker Movement and Maker Education but with this have come some subtle misunderstandings about what it is all about. For one the modern maker movement is all about the mindset of the maker rather than developing a set of specific skills for making. The second confusion stems from a belief that the maker movement is all about the tools and the makerspace and that as such it involves large budgets.
Nigel Coutts

Asking Why and Why and Why - The Learner's Way - 15 views

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    As children, we ask "Why?" a lot. It is a part of childhood, that special time when the many forces acting upon our cognitive development converge around a singular desire to ask "Why". It becomes the central focus of our conversational style, an incessant exclamation into the void which tests the patience of any nearby adult. But asking "Why" offers so much more.
Nigel Coutts

Taking risks outside our comfort zone - The Learner's Way - 19 views

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    Possibly the most dangerous place to spend too much time is inside your comfort zone. Only when we take a risk and step away from the safety of the familiar and the ways we have always done things do we expose ourselves to new ideas and become open to the possibility of learning and discovery. The trouble is having the confidence to take that first step, to embrace discomfort and become open to the risks that come with trying something new.
Nigel Coutts

Why such a rapid pace of change? - The Learner's Way - 14 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. 
globalwrobel

Digital Natives: Do They Really THINK Differently? - 40 views

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    by Marc Prensky Our children today are being socialized in a way that is vastly different from their parents. The
    numbers are overwhelming: over 10,000 hours playing videogames, over 200,000 emails and
    instant messages sent and received; over 10,000 hours talking on digital cell phones; over 20,000
    hours watching TV (a high percentage fast speed MTV), over 500,000 commercials seen-all
    before the kids leave college. And, maybe, at the very most, 5,000 hours of book reading. These
    are today's ―Digital Native‖ students.
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    In Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: Part I, I discussed how the differences between our Digital
    Native students and their Digital Immigrant teachers lie at the root of a great many of today's
    educational problems. I suggested that Digital Natives' brains are likely physically different as a
    result of the digital input they received growing up. And I submitted that learning via digital
    games is one good way to reach Digital Natives in their ―native language.‖
    Here I present evidence for why I think this is so. It comes from neurobiology, social psychology, and from studies done on children using games for learning.
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    by Marc Prensky Our children today are being socialized in a way that is vastly different from their parents. The
    numbers are overwhelming: over 10,000 hours playing videogames, over 200,000 emails and
    instant messages sent and received; over 10,000 hours talking on digital cell phones; over 20,000
    hours watching TV (a high percentage fast speed MTV), over 500,000 commercials seen-all
    before the kids leave college. And, maybe, at the very most, 5,000 hours of book reading. These
    are today's ―Digital Native‖ students.
    1
    In Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: Part I, I discussed how the differences between our Digital
    Native students and their Digital Immigrant teachers lie at the root of a great many of today's
    educational problems. I suggested that Digital Natives' brains are likely physically different as a
    result of the digital input they received growing up. And I submitted that learning via digital
    games is one good way to reach Digital Natives in their ―native language.‖
    Here I present evidence for why I think this is so. It comes from neurobiology, social psychology, and from studies done on children using games for learning.
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    Hi.

    I wrote a paper about digital natives as part of an anthropology assignment for a doctoral course. Researchers from around the world have empirically proven that Prensky's theories are false. Additionally, while neuroscience has shown that brains do change as a result of neuroplasticity, to argue that it is generational is also a false claim.

    Though cognitive theory shows that learners bring their prior experiences to the interpretation of new educational opportunities - impacting attention and interpretation - all generations have had this occur. There is merit to the point that we should take learner's prior experience into consideration when designing instruction; however, Prensky's digital native claims may have done more to create tension between students and teachers than to provide instructional support.

    If you would like any of the scholarly studies, I have a published reference list at http://brholland.com/reference-list.

    Beth
Nigel Coutts

Avoiding Assessment Mistakes - The Learner's Way - 56 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?
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