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Nigel Coutts

A culture of innovation requires trust and resilience - The Learner's Way - 7 views

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    Two quotes by Albert Einstein point to the importance of creating a culture within our schools (and organisations) that encourages experimentation, innovation, tinkering and indeed failure. If we are serious about embracing change, exploring new approaches, maximising the possibilities of new technologies, applying lessons from new research and truly seek to prepare our students for a new work order, we must become organisations that encourage learning from failure
Dallas McPheeters

Change and why we all see it differently - The Learner's Way - 13 views

  • the rise of the ‘gig’ economy where freelance and short term contract work is common and training and retraining for new projects is the norm
  • it is more important to be able to learn than it is to be learned
  • If the young people of today are to thrive beyond the walls of the classroom they will need to be able to cope with a world characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
  • ...11 more annotations...
  • teaching children who have lived their entire lives in that very century
  • multiple reports that detail the skills and dispositions children will need
  • there are broad typologies which emerge along a continuum from those who actively seek to change to those who actively resist it. 
  • There are those for whom change is the next adventure
  • There are those who are open to change but need to be shown the evidence.
  • There are those who need to be show how the change will impact them
  • There are those who publicly embrace the change but in the privacy of the classroom continue as they have always done
  • There are those who are outright afraid of change
  • “A person’s sense of identity is partly determined by his or her values, which can mesh or clash with organizational values”
  • There are of course also those for whom the change is just wrong
  • Change is always complicated. A the least it involves people, personalities, cultures, beliefs, values, emotions and identity.
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     If the young people of today are to thrive beyond the walls of the classroom they will need to be able to cope with a world characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. The children of todays Kindergarten will enter the workplace in the fourth-decade of the 21st Century. We debate the merits of teaching 21st Century Skills and what they might be while teaching children who have lived their entire lives in that very century. The challenge is how will schools and individual teachers respond to this drive for urgent change.
Nigel Coutts

Starting the year on the right foot - The Learner's Way - 8 views

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    Across Australia students are returning to school. Armed with fresh stationery, new books full of promise, shoes that are not yet comfortable and uniforms washed and ready to go, students will be heading off for the first day of a new year. What do they hope to find and how might we make sure their first day back sets them up for a successful year of learning?
Nigel Coutts

Becoming Learners: Making time for OUR Learning - The Learner's Way - 6 views

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    At the heart of all that we do as teachers lies the act of learning. Our hope is that our actions inspire our students to engage in a process that results in their acquisition of new knowledge, mastery of new skills and the development of capacities and dispositions which will prepare them for life beyond our classrooms. Increasingly our focus is on developing the skills and dispositions our students require to become life-long learners. We recognise that in a rapidly changing world, the capacity to take charge of your personal learning journey, to become self-navigating learners is essential. 
Nigel Coutts

Taking the time to think - The Learner's Way - 22 views

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    It seems that we never have enough of it and the result is a feeling of constant pressure to do things quickly. As a result, we fall into a pattern of making quick decisions, with incomplete information and then proceed to take hasty action and seek short cuts. Our busy lives, the business of those around us, the schedules we set ourselves and the constant stream of distractions and interruptions ensure we have very little time to do things well and we never seem to get things done. 
Nigel Coutts

Learning with the New Science & Technology Curriculum - The Learner's Way - 19 views

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    In the final weeks of 2017 a new Science & Technology Curriculum for Kindergarten to Year Six slipped into the schools of New South Wales. What does this new curriculum bring and what does it reveal about the nature of learning as we approach the year 2020?
Nigel Coutts

Culture, Change and the Individual - The Learner's Way - 16 views

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    A recent post by George Couros (author of The innovators Mindset) posed an interesting question about the role that culture plays in shaping the trajectory of an organisation. The traditional wisdom is that culture trumps all but George points to the role that individuals play in shaping and changing culture itself. Is culture perhaps less resilient than we are led to imagine and is it just a consequence of the individuals with the greatest influence? Or, is something else at play here?
Nigel Coutts

A Question of Scale: Meeting a Global Need - The Learner's Way - 9 views

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    I recently spent ten days in Cambodia accompanying students on a service trip where they developed their cultural understanding and spent time improving the environment of a local school. While laying pavers and digging a ditch I had a chance to reflect on the difficulties facing education in a country like this. I came away with questions, wondering and few answers. 
Nigel Coutts

Exploring the Changing Social Contexts of Learning - The Learner's Way - 5 views

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    Understanding how mobile, global and virtual social networks influence our interpretation of socio-cultural theories of learning might allow us to better understand the interplay of settings and contexts within which learning occurs and in doing so better understand how learning may be facilitated.
Nigel Coutts

Inquiry vs Direct Instruction - The Great Debate and How it Went Wrong - The Learner's Way - 48 views

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    There is a debate taking place in the world of education. It is not a new debate but recently it has gathered new energy and the boundary between polite discussion of opposing views and hostility has been stretched. The debate is that between those who are advocates of inquiry based learning and those who believe direct instruction produces the best outcomes. - This article explore how the debate has gone wrong and fails to serve the needs of learners.
Nigel Coutts

Finding a new paradise for education in times of chaos - The Learner's Way - 12 views

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    Through any lens schools are complex places. A melting pot of human, social, political, economic, technological, physical and philosophical tensions. At once the stronghold of our cultural traditions and facilitators of our future wellbeing, schools serve as pillars of stability constructed at the event horizon between our now and our tomorrow. Perhaps at this point in time more than ever is this tension between the role that schools play in indoctrinating our youth into the ways of society at odds with the imperative to prepare them for their futures.
Nigel Coutts

What truly drives change in Education? - The Learner's Way - 17 views

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    You do not need to look very hard to find a report claiming that schools and education needs to change. But real change needs more than teacher blaming and increased accountability. What will drive real change is . . .
Nigel Coutts

Educational Disadvantage - Socio-economic Status and Education Pt 3 - The Learner's Way - 11 views

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    Pedagogy and curriculum that engages students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds and is deemed personally relevant to the lives they live, are seen as important factors towards equality of outcome by Wrench, Hammond, McCallum and Price (2012). Their research involved designing a curriculum and pedagogy that would be highly engaging to students of low-socioeconomic status. 'The interventions involved curriculum redesigns that set meaningful, challenging learning task(s) (culminating in high quality learning products); strong connection to student life-worlds; and a performative expectation for student learning.' (Wrench et al 2012 p934)
Nigel Coutts

Educational Disadvantage - Socio-economic Status and Education Pt 2 - The Learner's Way - 9 views

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    An unavoidable element of the discourse around educational disadvantage or equality is how we define and assess equality. One definition will see this as being in equality of access to education, funding for education and/or resources. Such an approach has largely been seen in government funding models however subtle variations on this theme have resulted in significant differences in resulting policies.
Nigel Coutts

Project Zero Turns 50 - The Learner's Way - 29 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 - 31 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?
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...
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  • 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?
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