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Contents contributed and discussions participated by Nigel Coutts

Nigel Coutts

AAMT Why Maths? - Inspiration beyond the classroom - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    This week I spent three days in Brisbane attending the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers' national conference. The theme of the conference was "Why Maths?" and along with 500 other mathematicians, we looked to find inspiring answers to this provocative question beyond the classroom. Here are my key takeaways from this event. 
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 - 1 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

How might we prepare our students for an unknown future? - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    How might we prepare our students for an unknown future? If we accept that we are living in times of rapid change and that the world our children will inhabit is likely to be very different from the world of today, or perhaps more importantly, different from the work our current education system was designed to serve, what should we do to ensure our children are able to thrive?
Nigel Coutts

Becoming a reflective practitioner - The Learner's Way - 1 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 - 1 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 Lear... - 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 - Th... - 2 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

Focusing on What Matters - From Identifying to Enacting our Big Rocks - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    The message is now unpacked for the class. The jar represents our lives, and the challenge is to decide what we will fill our lives with. The large rocks represent those things which matter most in our lives. The gravel and sand the small things which occupy our time and keep us from what matters most. - How might this help us focus on what matters for our learners?
Nigel Coutts

Local Wisdom versus Global Assessments - The Learner's Way - 1 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 - 1 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'... - 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 - 1 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.
Nigel Coutts

The Curse of False Expertise - The Learner's Way - 1 views

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    what if our expertise is imagined or false. What if what we think is so, just ain't so. This might be more common than we care to admit, and it is worth considering the source of this difficulty and its implications. 
Nigel Coutts

In Postnormal Times our Students need to be Brave - The Learner's Way - 0 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... - 0 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 - 1 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.
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