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Nigel Coutts

Becoming a reflective practitioner - The Learner's Way - 11 views

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    There are particular behaviours and a mindset that accompanies effective reflective practice. Understanding and applying these allows us to become reflective practitioners.
Nigel Coutts

Realising the benefits of reflective practice - The Learner's Way - 7 views

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    It is generally accepted that learning is enhanced by the inclusion of deliberate, reflective practice. Indeed the act of reflecting on the impact that our actions have towards the achievement of any goal (learning oriented or other) is shown to have a positive impact. Reflective practice is defined as the praxis (interdependent and integrated theory, practice, research, thought and action) of individuals or groups to move from 'better thinking to better action' as a result of reflection for, in and on learning (Harvey et al. 2010 p140). With this in mind, it is worth considering what reflective practice might look like and to consider it in a range of contemporary contexts. 
Nigel Coutts

Local Wisdom versus Global Assessments - The Learner's Way - 7 views

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    A significant shift continues to occur within global education markets. It is signified by the manner in which it makes sense to speak of a global education market. It is driven by neo-liberalism and the expansion of markets into all aspects of our lives and it is made possible by manipulation of the third messaging system within the educational triad of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. It is a drive towards accountable, comparable and productive education systems fine-tuned to maximise the return on investment and provide industry with the workforce it desires. What must be asked is how does this trend impact students and are these the forces that should be driving change in our education systems?
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

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

The challenge and promise of learning organisations - The Learner's Way - 2 views

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    There is a great deal that I like about this description of humanity at its best from Ryan & Deci. It is both a goal to be achieved and an indicator of conditions which are required for us to fulfil our potential. While the focus of this statement is on the actions of the individual we can see how society might act to deny individuals the opportunities to lead such an inspired and agentic life. I like to imagine what a school might be like if every individual who plays a part in its functioning strove to extend themselves, master new skills and apply their talents responsibly.  Maybe schools would be like the 'learning organisations' described by Peter Senge. 
Nigel Coutts

How might we develop self-regulated learners? - The Learner's Way - 16 views

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    A common question is how do we facilitate the development of independent, self-regulating learners. With an increased focus on the development of dispositional models for learning where the skills and mindset of the learner are crucial, how do we ensure that our learners move from requiring external regulation to a model of internal regulation?  
Nigel Coutts

In anticipation of learning - ICOT18 - The Learner's Way - 5 views

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    Next week is set to be an exciting week of learning and sharing as teachers from across the globe make their way to Miami for the International Conference on Thinking (ICOT). 
Nigel Coutts

Building Home-School Connections for Continuous Learning - The Learner's Way - 11 views

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    When schools communicate, and share strategies they are using to develop mindsets, dispositions and competencies with parents and when parents adopt these strategies and elements of a metalanguage for learning and thinking, our students are better able to integrate the desirable attributes. 
Nigel Coutts

Managing the pressure of the 'difficult' class - The Learner's Way - 33 views

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    Sometimes, it seems the class you are teaching is more than you can cope with. The truth is all teachers face times like this. The sad part is that many good teachers decide that the best move for them in these times is to leave the profession; a trend we need to fix. 
Dallas McPheeters

Change and why we all see it differently - The Learner's Way - 14 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.
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  • 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

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

Good Reads for Great Assessment - The Learner's Way - 43 views

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    Recently I have been diving into the world of Assessment, seeking to better understand how we might design effective processes around this essential phase of the learning cycle. In doing so I have found a wealth of resources and quality reads that offer insights and strategies to be applied into our classrooms. Here then is a sampling of what I have been reading. 
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

The art of modern writing - The Learner's Way - 53 views

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    Learning to write is one of the fundamental skills we gain from our time at school. Writing is one of the cornerstones of learning and we devote significant time and energy towards its mastery. Skilled writing is a mark of an educated individual and a skill required for academic success. But in the modern world what makes a skilled writer? What has changed about writing and what literary skills should we focus our attention on. 
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

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. 
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

Rethinking Mathematics Education - The Learner's Way - 32 views

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    What becomes clear, as you dive further into the emerging research that connects what we know about learning, mindsets, dispositions for learning and the development of mathematical understandings, is that a new approach is required. We need to move away from memorisation and rule based simplifications of mathematics and embrace a model of learning that is challenging and exciting. We can and should be emerging all our students in the beauty and power of mathematics in learning environments full of multiple representations, rich dialogue and collaborative learning. 
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