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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

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.
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

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. 
Nigel Coutts

The purposes of our pedagogy - The Learner's Way - 35 views

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    The debate over the most effective method of instruction continues as ever and where one stands on the topic is largely influenced by the purposes one attaches to education. Analysing a series of research articles reveals the nature of the debate between advocates of direct instruction compared to those who support a problem based learning methodology.
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?
Nigel Coutts

Reflections on a service trip to Fiji - The Learner's Way - 4 views

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    Recently I left the cold and dark of a Sydney winter and journeyed north to the warmer climate of Fiji. A jewel dropped in the warm waters of the Pacific, Fiji is a popular holiday destination for those looking for a tropical escape. This trip was very different from the norm. There would be no resorts, no five-star dining and my company was to be a group of 24 Year Nine students. It was to be a journey full of learning and insights into the challenges facing education. 
Nigel Coutts

Reflections from EduTech 2017 - The Learner's Way - 24 views

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    EduTech in Sydney has been a remarkable experience. A grand celebration of education and an energising gathering of educators ready to share stories and make connections. Despite the rainy weather some 8000 educators came together in the inspiring new International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour and left two days later with hers full of new ideas and wonderings of what might be the future of education. With many ideas still bubbling away here is a brief list of the key take-aways.
Nigel Coutts

Creativity is a beautiful, messy chaotic thing - The Learner's Way - 33 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

Growth Mindsets in the Great Outdoors - The Learner's Way - 20 views

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    chool camps are a wonderful opportunity to observe how our students handle the challenge of a different learning setting. Away from the norms and familiar settings of the classroom, we see students in a different light. For the students, camps are an exciting and for some frightening challenge. For teachers, they are an outstanding assessment tool that should inform our practices long after camp is over. 
Nigel Coutts

Transforming Homework to Home Learning - The Learner's Way - 40 views

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    A recent strategy to alter the negative image that homework has built is to re-brand it as "home learning". But is this enough and if we are going to "get it right" what do we need to change besides the name?
Nigel Coutts

Five Great Reads - The Learner's Way - 38 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

Understanding the true nature of science - The Learner's Way - 20 views

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    As thousands take to the streets as part of a global 'March for Science' it is worth considering the significant role that education has to play. What are the messages we need to send our students about science and what role have schools played in creating the current climate? Now seems like the time to pause and reflect on the place of science in our community and our schools.
Nigel Coutts

Shifting from awareness to action - The Learner's Way - 16 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. 
Martin Burrett

Video: 30 Revision Apps, Sites & Tools - 35 views

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    A collection of 30 apps & website to help students learn and study for exams
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