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Nigel Coutts

Focusing on What Matters - From Identifying to Enacting our Big Rocks - The Learner's Way - 9 views

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    The message is now unpacked for the class. The jar represents our lives, and the challenge is to decide what we will fill our lives with. The large rocks represent those things which matter most in our lives. The gravel and sand the small things which occupy our time and keep us from what matters most. - How might this help us focus on what matters for our learners?
Nigel Coutts

Mathematical thinking presents teachers and students with new challenges - The Learner'... - 15 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

Number Talks for Number Sense - The Learner's Way - 7 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 - 12 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 - 12 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 - 13 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

Aligning assessments with the purposes of our teaching - The Learner's Way - 12 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 - 4 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 - 24 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 - 5 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 - 27 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.
Nigel Coutts

Curiosity as the edge of knowledge phenomenon that drives learning - The Learner's Way - 12 views

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    We are driven by curiosity. It is an innately human quality that has driven us to explore, ask questions, investigate, wonder why and search for a deeper understanding. In a very fundamental way curiosity is the driver of all self-directed learning. It is our desire to find out more, unlock new knowledge and answer our questions (big ones and little ones) that compels us to learn. Sir Ken Robinson famously and provocatively asked "Do Schools Kill Creativity?". The same question might be asked about curiosity.
Nigel Coutts

The Eight Cultural Forces - The lens & the lever - The Learner's Way - 15 views

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    This unavoidable and irreducible complexity means that schools are challenging place to study, to understand and to manage change within. Even for the teacher who spends everyday inside the school there is so much going on that unguided observations and the plans based upon them come with no guarantee of success. - We need a lens and a lever to manage this complexity. -  Such a lens is offered by the 'cultural forces'.
Nigel Coutts

For those about to make a resolution - The Learner's Way - 4 views

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    With the year rushing to a close, this seems like the right time to set goals for the year ahead. To pause and consider what next and make some personal promises.  The trouble is that the history of setting New Year Resolutions is littered with failures. It is so easy at this point  in time to make commitments for change and then just a few weeks later to have forgotten what they were.
Nigel Coutts

Holiday Reading - Christmas 2019 - The Learner's Way - 10 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

Rethinking Time to see Education as a Lifelong Journey - Lessons from Blueback - The Le... - 8 views

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    Blueback is a beautiful metaphor for life and particularly of the life we live in schools. When looked at close up, with an eye on the details, the experience of school is one of passing and recurring cycles. When looked at from a distance, with an eye on the whole, there are elements of constancy, the throughlines which bring meaning to our experience and which have as their consequence the residuals of education. 
Nigel Coutts

Letting how we choose to learn inform our teaching - The Learner's Way - 10 views

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    Think of a time when you were completely immersed in a learning challenge. A time when you became aware of the need to master a new skill or concept. A situation that took you outside of your comfort zone, when there were times that you became frustrated, when you thought of quitting, downed tools and walked away, but came back time and time again. Maybe it was a problem you had to solve. Maybe it was a challenge you wanted to overcome.
Nigel Coutts

Why we fear data and how our perception can change. - The Learner's Way - 4 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? 
Nigel Coutts

Towards a pedagogy for life-worthy learning - The Learner's Way - 14 views

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    In the contemporary classroom, there is much greater consideration of what the learner does in partnership with their teacher so that they develop the capacity to learn. Classroom routines and structures are designed to engage the learner in a rich process of dialogical learning. 
Nigel Coutts

How might we confront the challenges of time and "the system"? - The Learner's Way - 7 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. 
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