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Nigel Coutts

In Postnormal Times our Students need to be Brave - The Learner's Way - 12 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... - 12 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 - 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.
Martin Burrett

What Makes Great Teaching? 6 Lessons from Learners by @Powley_R - 24 views

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    "At times, students' viewpoints need to be treated with caution.  In Do Learners Really Know Best? urban legends about learners as 'digital natives' and 'self-educators' are exploded, whilst Kirschner et al. argue, that students do not always prefer the most effective form of instruction.  Despite this, what struck me when reading the Sutton Trust's What Makes Great Teaching was the correlation to student's voice I had done with Year 10 students on their views of effective teaching."
Nigel Coutts

Educators as Agents for Educational Policy - The Learner's Way - 6 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 - 9 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 - 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

Teaching mathematicians shouldn't be like programming a computer - The Learner's Way - 11 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 - 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. 
Nigel Coutts

The messages we send about learning - The Learner's Way - 10 views

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    We send our students many messages about learning, growth, ability, potential. . . Sometimes we are sending these messages deliberately, such as when we talk about growth mindset and the rewards of effort, persistence and risk taking. At other times the messages we send are accidental, incidental and unplanned; these are often the strongest messages we send. 
Nigel Coutts

The power of powerful ideas shared simply - The Learner's Way - 15 views

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    Some statements stand out in your memory for the power with which they resonate through you mind. I recall the first time I encountered the question posed by Alan November "Who owns the learning?" on the cover of his book of the same name. In four words, Alan poses a question that strikes at the heart of education and encourages us to re-think our approach. If we believe that the learner should own the learning, what are the implications of this for our teaching? Like a stone dropped on the surface of a calm pond, the ripples from a powerful idea spread, expand and gain strength. 
Nigel Coutts

Enhancing the power of our reflective practice - The Learner's Way - 18 views

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    "We do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience." ― John Dewey These words by John Dewey point to a truth about learning that is often forgotten. Experience alone is not sufficient for true learning to occur; reflection is an essential part of the process and our failure to include time for this is why our learning often does not stick.
Nigel Coutts

Schools are made of People - The Learner's Way - 8 views

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    Schools are made of people. Schools are all about people. Schools are made from the connections between people. Schools exist to serve people and make the lives of all people better.
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