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Nigel Coutts

Five Great Reads - The Learner's Way - 1 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 - 19 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 - 14 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 - 34 views

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

What do we need to know? - The Learner's Way - 29 views

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    I keep circling back to this question of what do we need to know, or to learn. It comes up so often in conversations around education and is closely connected to what we hope to achieve for our students. It is a question whose answer shapes not only what we teach but how we teach and what we assess. It strikes at the heart of how we perceive the role of education in society and the way we answer it reveals much about our personal philosophy of education. 
Nigel Coutts

What messages are we sending about learning? - The Learner's Way - 24 views

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    How can we take more notice of the culture of our classrooms and what it communicates to learners about the value of thinking? 
Nigel Coutts

Teaching in the 21st Century - The Learner's Way - 45 views

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    The consistent message is that we are preparing our students for success in a world very different to that which was the norm only a short time ago. The implications of this change are immense and require a shift in our thinking about what matters most in our classrooms. Such is the pace of change that within any school there will be multiple generations who normalise different perspective on technology and its place in their lives. What becomes clear that the skills we most need within our schools at every level are those which are critical for individuals to be empowered, self-navigating learners. But what does this mean in practical terms?
Nigel Coutts

Understanding understanding and its implications - The Learner's Way - 25 views

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    There are terms within education that we use with reckless abandon and as a result cause great levels of confusion. Understanding is one such word and its usage and our 'understanding' of it can have a significant effect on the learning we plan, deliver and assess. With multiple definitions and its broad usage in curriculum documents, philosophies of teaching and learning and as an indicator of the quality or depth of student learning it is a word we should better understand. 
Nigel Coutts

Teaching Dispositions for Learning - The Learner's Way - 25 views

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    Increasingly we aim to teach dispositions but some care in the use of the term is required as it is easily oversimplified. While teaching for dispositions is encouraged it will have little effect if it means doing little other than engaging with the terminology. If we are to encourage the expansion of the desired dispositions, we must be sure to adequately unpack them and understand the implications in store for our culture of learning. 
Nigel Coutts

The BIG Three for Managing Change - The Learner's Way - 32 views

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    Understanding responses to change is critical and with the predicted future of education increasingly being linked to innovative practices which prepare students for an unknown future change is a central theme
Nigel Coutts

Helping students to become problem finders - The Learner's Way - 44 views

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    For students engaging in creative personalised learning projects such as a 'Genius Hour' or 'Personal Passion project it can often be difficult for them to uncover the right project. Students have become so reliant upon their teachers to pose them problems that when they are given the option to explore one of their own design they don't know where to start. This is indeed a significant challenge as we know that our students will enter a workforce and world of learning beyond school where they must be active problem finders. How then might we provide the support they require without removing the opportunity for truly personalised exploration.  
Nigel Coutts

Banishing The Culture of Busyness - The Learner's Way - 26 views

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    At the start of each year we arrive back from our break hopefully rested and energised. The new year brings many new opportunities including new students, new team members and new teaching programmes. We begin again the climb up the hill with a fresh group of learners arriving at our doors full of excitement who will rely on us to meet their learning needs in the year ahead. All of this means we are at risk of starting the year with a certain level of panic. There is so much to do, our students are not accustomed to our routines, we don't know each other well, there are parents to meet, assessments to be done and before we know it we are back to being busy. 
Nigel Coutts

Maker-Centred Learning & STEAM - The Learner's Way - 37 views

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    Making the most of Maker Spaces and STEAM will require professional development and a new mindset for all learners. 
Nigel Coutts

Engaged by, in and with learnng - The Learner's Way - 13 views

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    As teachers we hope our lessons are engaging and that our students are engaged. We understand that positive learning experiences are more likely to occur when we are engaged cognitively and affectively by what we are doing and that when we are, new ideas and skills are more likely to stick. Engagement is an important consideration in learning and as such it is worth taking time to consider what it means to be engaged and perhaps how we bring the benefits of engagement to our teaching and our learning. 
Nigel Coutts

Learning vs Work in a Culture of Thinking - The Learner's Way - 36 views

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    Earlier this year a group of teachers I work with explored the 'Eight Cultural Forces' identified by Ron Ritchhart of Harvard's Project Zero. In doing so we decided to focus on our use of the term learning instead of the word work. Our goal was to bring our language choices into the spotlight and explore how a more deliberate focus on learning might alter the culture of our classrooms. Two terms later this focus persists and it is worth reflecting on the effect that this has had.
Nigel Coutts

Playing with Habits of Mind - The Learner's Way - 50 views

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    What are the mindful habits of successful learners and how can an understanding of these habits help us better achieve our learning goals? This is the question Art Costa Bena Kallick set out to answer with their study of the Habits of Mind. In 'Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind' Costa and Kallick identify sixteen habits which when utilised promote deeper understanding, unlock creativity, encourage reflective thinking and scaffold problem solving for individuals and groups. 
Nigel Coutts

Learning to love teach meets - The Learner's Way - 13 views

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    There is a growing momentum in education driven by a desire to share our practice and learn from our colleagues. Increasingly teachers are finding ways to break free of their classrooms and share their ideas. Collaborations in the interests of unlocking the collective potential of the profession are spreading within and importantly between schools. For many these collaborative endeavours and desires are satisfied by online communities but for many the possibility for a face to face conversation is more alluring.
Nigel Coutts

Politics, Education and Lessons from 2016 - The Learner's Way - 15 views

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    It is difficult to have not noticed that the Presidential Election in the United States of America has been somewhat controversial. The same conclusion can be drawn about 'Brexit'. The implications of these events will keep historians, political analysts and indeed educators busy for many years. Regardless of your political leanings there are genuine implications for educators in these events and a considered response now and in the coming months (even years) will be required. 
Nigel Coutts

Questions at the heart of learning - The Learner's Way - 25 views

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    At the heart of learning are the questions to which we do not yet know the answers and the journey to the questions we have not yet asked. Such simple truths and yet understandings that can have fundamental consequences for approach to learning and growth.
Maureen Greenbaum

How Clear Expectations Can Inhibit Genuine Thinking in Students | MindShift | KQED News - 44 views

  • to understand better how expectations operate as a cultural force in learning groups, we have to make a distinction between two types of expectations: directives and beliefs.
  • very clear standards for students about points, grades, and keeping score, one sees a belief that school is about work and that students must be coerced or bribed into learning through the use of grades
  • one sees the belief that learning algebra is primarily about acquiring knowledge of procedures rather than developing understanding, and that memorization and practice are the most effective tools for that job. This theory of action, “One learns through memorization and practice,” made it hard for Karen to bring out and facilitate students’ thinking. Instead, thinking existed as an add-on to the regular rhythm of the class, something she did as an “extra” to the regular work of the class. Through her strong focus on grades and passing the course, even if one is “no good at mathematics,” Karen sent the message that our abilities are largely fixed and that “getting by” was all that some could hope to accomplish. One might not understand algebra, but with effort one could at least pass the course. Finally, in her efforts to promote order and control, certainly worthwhile and important goals in any classroom, Karen tilted the balance toward students’ becoming passive learners who were dependent on her.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • five belief sets are as follows:

    • Focusing students on the learning vs. the work
    • Teaching for understanding vs. knowledge
    • Encouraging deep vs. surface learning strategies
    • Promoting independence vs. dependence
    • Developing a growth vs. a fixed mindset

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