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Nigel Coutts

Reflections from Mathematics: The Greatest Show - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    I have just had the opportunity to spend the weekend learning alongside a large group of mathematics teachers. After a day and a half of talking and thinking about mathematics teaching, I am excited to get back to school and try out some new ideas. There were also some key takeaways for me that I share below. These are the questions or wonderings that my mind wandered to while listening to the numerous talented speakers over the past two days.
Nigel Coutts

Five reads for September - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    For teachers in Australia, the long Term Three is drawing rapidly to a close. Indeed as I write this just ten days remain before a two-week break. This is the perfect time to consider a holiday reading list. Just enough time to raid the school library or place an order with your favourite book store. Here is what's currently occupying space on my nightstand. 
Nigel Coutts

Thinking and learning in the postnormal era - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    We live in a time of chaos, complexity and contradiction. (Sardar, 2010 [1]) Where rapid changes and transformations through technology, politics, globalisation and the climate, conspire against normality (Friedman, 2016 [2]) These times demand a fresh approach to education, one that provides learners with the thinking dispositions they need to turn challenges into opportunities, to connect their learning to their passions and emerge from their years of formal education as self-navigating life-long learners. 
Nigel Coutts

Seven Language Moves for Learning - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Our language choices communicate both intended and unintended messages. In the choices we make, in the subtlety of these choices, lies a truth more powerful than that conveyed by a literal reading of our words. When we look closely and critically at our use of language, we begin to see particular patterns which reveal much about what we genuinely value and expect from our learners. 
Nigel Coutts

A new literacy for understanding and communicating knowledge in the post-truth era. - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    In the post-truth era, does the capacity to utilise knowledge prepare one adequately to do battle against falsehood? When those selling untruths know the falsehood of their stories, does the bright light of truth shine through? Perhaps not.
Nigel Coutts

Powerful Provocations for Learning: Sparking curiosity and increasing engagement - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Powerful learning begins with the perfect provocation. Creating, refining and skilfully presenting the perfect provocation is an essential capability for teachers hoping to engage their class in rich dialogue. Claims that the percentage of students engaged by their learning declines from 75 percent in fifth grade to 32 percent by eleventh grade suggests a need for a more provocative environment. 
Nigel Coutts

Supporting Mathematical Thinking through the Eight Cultural Forces - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    At the heart of mathematics are a set of connected thinking dispositions. The mathematician uses these dispositions as the cognitive tools of their trade. While the traditional imagining of mathematics might be all about the accurate application of well-rehearsed algorithms and processes, in the real world of mathematics, it is all about the thinking. As we consider what our students need from their mathematical education, we should not overlook the importance of these dispositions. 
Nigel Coutts

Reflections from The Future of Education Conference - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    The Future of Education is a topic often discussed, and at the recent gathering of educators in Florence, it was the title and theme for the conference. Now in its ninth year, The Future of Education is an international conference that attracts educators from around the world and across all domains touched by education. The conference is an inspiring two days of discussion and sharing, with the city of Florence, the centre of the Renaissance, providing a constant reminder of what might be possible when creativity and critical thinking combine. Here are my key takeaways from this event.
Nigel Coutts

A New Renaissance - The Future of Education — The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    This week I am in Florence having spent two days at "The Future of Education" conference. Visiting this city, which has played such a significant role in western history, is inspiring. It encourages one to not only look back at what was, but also to look ahead at what might be, especially when the t
Nigel Coutts

Becoming a reflective practitioner - The Learner's Way - 0 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 - 0 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

Four perspectives on truth, normality and education in times of rapid change - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    We are living in interesting, frightening and rapidly changing times. Where rapid changes and transformations through technology, politics, globalisation and the climate, conspire against normality. These times demand a fresh approach to education, one that provides learners with the thinking dispositions they need to turn challenges into opportunities.  "All that was 'normal' has now evaporated; we have entered postnormal times, the in-between period where old orthodoxies are dying, new ones have not yet emerged, and nothing really makes sense." But what thinking might guide us through this time of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity?
Nigel Coutts

Learning about change from a home cooked meal. - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Last week I decided that a good home cooked meal was in order. Lacking inspiration it turned to a recipe book I had been gifted the previous Christmas and found what appeared to be a tasty and nutritious option. I read on with enthusiasm and was soon imaging myself dining on this wholesome meal. If the end result looked half as good as the glossy picture that accompanied the recipe, I would be in luck.
Nigel Coutts

Learning And Teaching for Understanding - A day of learning with PZ Sydney Network - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Today I had the pleasure of joining over three-hundred educators for a day of learning and sharing. That this was a Sunday and that the event was organised as a free event for educators by educators speaks volumes of the quality and care that educators bring to their role. 
Nigel Coutts

Local Wisdom versus Global Assessments - The Learner's Way - 0 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

Why we don't cook frogs slowly and other thoughts on change - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    The frog in the pot of boiling water in An Inconvenient Truth is a cinematic moment that has the desired effect. It is one of the moments from the film that the audience remembers long after the credits roll. I have often thought about how this metaphor applies to change and particularly the way that change operates in schools.
Nigel Coutts

Mathematical thinking presents teachers and students with new challenges - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    The shift away from teaching for the rote memorisation of prescribed methods requires teachers to rethink their approach to the discipline. With this new pedagogy comes a need to understand the processes of mathematical thinking in ways not previously required. When we require our students to be able to reason and problem-solve through unique challenges we also require our teachers to have an understanding of the mathematical moves that their learners are likely to call upon.
Nigel Coutts

Contemplating questions of work life balance - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Oddly lately I have been pondering how schools responds to the question of a work life balance. Let me try to explain my thinking. I am still trying to clarify my thinking here, so please bear with me. What does it mean to achieve work life balance, and should we want to?
Nigel Coutts

Number Talks for Number Sense - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    "Number Talks" is an approach to the teaching and learning of Number Sense. Rather than relying on the rote-memorisation of isolated number facts achieved through drills of "table-facts", Number Talks aim to build confident, number fluency, where learners recognise patterns within and between numbers and understand the properties of numbers and operations. Number Talks are a "mind on" learning task that engages students in an active learning process as they search for patterns, decompose and recompose numbers and develop a flexible understanding.
Nigel Coutts

Growth = Mindset + Action - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Having the right mindset is alone not sufficient for growth. I might talk the talk about a growth mindset and believe I can learn a new skill but unless I back that belief with action, it is just talk.
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