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Nigel Coutts

Moving beyond linear plans for learning - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    An important part of the role of any educator is that of planning learning sequences. Perhaps you are tasked with designing curriculum or more likely you are translating a mandatory curriculum into workable units of learning. The task is complex and there are multiple arrangements. The goal is to design units that connect students with learning in ways that are meaningful and relevant. A well-designed unit of learning fits seamlessly alongside other learning opportunities and the overall sequence of learning should match the learners developing expertise. As we plan units of learning we must consider a great variety of factors which impact the learning we design. Our knowledge of our students and where they are with their learning is crucial and a strong place to start. We also need to know what it is we are required to teach and have a grab bag of pedagogical moves that bring this content alive.
Nigel Coutts

Organisational Learning - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    For schools the concept of a learning organisation should make perfect sense, after all learning is our core business, or it should be. Perhaps that almost three decades after Peter Senge identified the importance of learning within organisations the idea is only now gaining traction in schools tells us something about the approach taken to learning and teaching within schools. With an increased focus on the development of professional learning communities as a response to the complex challenges that emerge from a rapidly changing society, it is worth looking at what a learning organisation requires for success.
Nigel Coutts

In search of the conditions required for Spectacular Learning - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Not all learning is created equal. Sometimes the learning that we achieve and the success generated through our engagement with a learning opportunity is spectacular. At its very best, our learning unlocks fresh understandings for ourselves and sometimes even for others. What conditions allow for such spectacular learning, and how might we bring these conditions into our classrooms?
Nigel Coutts

Getting started with Deep-Learning - Part B - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    With our goal of deep-learning in mind where do we begin and what learning opportunities might result in this? Having clarified our key terms of understanding, learning and deep, we can turn to a set of questions which might be of use as we plan the learning our students will engage in along their way.
Nigel Coutts

Enhancing the power of our reflective practice - The Learner's Way - 0 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

The learner's role in their search for learning - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Rather than expecting to be immersed in learning that shines a light on the path forward the notion of searching for driftwood that suits the learner's needs is very empowering. It requires an imagining of learning as a very active process where the learner is aware of their context, their current understanding and what they might need to move forward. It demands a conscious practice of reflection and a disposition towards taking charge of one's learning. It is a very agentic view where learning is something that you do, not something that happens to you. 
Nigel Coutts

Filling a Gap in our Professional Learning Caused by Social Distancing - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    As schools and organisations move to remote education, there are potential gaps in our professional learning of which we should be aware. While many of us are discovering fresh opportunities for online and remote professional learning through podcasts, webinars and online courses, one of the most significant aspects of our professional learning has been curtailed thanks to social distancing.
Nigel Coutts

Getting started with teaching for deep learning. - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    There is an understandable interest in deep-learning, after all, who wants their students to have a superficial understanding of the content. Read the marketing of almost any school and you are likely to find some statement about the deep-learning that is achieved as a result of their excellent teaching and learning platform. Likewise, ask any teach about their philosophy of teaching and you will hear how they engage their students with learning that promotes a deep-understanding.
Nigel Coutts

Learning to learn with a MakerSpace - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Making, Maker Centred Learning and STEAM fit neatly alongside Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) for many schools. Commonly this approach includes a constructivist view of knowledge and teachers seek to establish conditions which allow students to explore questions and ideas with greater independence than may occur in the traditional classroom.  Learning becomes a collaborative partnership between teachers and students with a clear focus on a learner centric approach.
Nigel Coutts

Rethinking Mathematics Education - The Learner's Way - 0 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
Nigel Coutts

Desirable Patterns of Learning for Online Learning - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    With the emerging threat of COVID19 and the closure of schools, teachers are scrambling to move to online learning environments. This will bring with it a myriad of challenges the short time frame is not going to help the situation. While we are fortunate that there are many technological solutions for the provision of remote learning, the more significant challenges will revolve around how we interact with our learners.
Nigel Coutts

When designing student learning, what questions guide us? - The Learner's Way - 0 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

Shifting towards student centred learning - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Particular patterns of pedagogy have been of most interest to me across the years, particularly those that shift the focus from what the teacher does to what the student does. With this shift comes an emphasis on understanding how students learn and with this knowledge in mind developing learning experiences that will allow them to develop their skills for learning.
Nigel Coutts

Teaching and Learning as Dialogue with the World - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Learning should always be an active process and a two-way partnership between teaching and Learning. In essence, Learning and its counterpart exist as a vibrant dialogue between individuals whose role in the relationship is continually transformative. I'd like to explore this thinking further.
Nigel Coutts

If we learn from reflecting on experience - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    It is difficult to understate the importance of reflective practice for learning. Dewey states that "We do not learn from experience. . . we learn from reflecting on experience", and it is worth taking time to consider the implications of this. How might we maximise the benefits of reflective practise amidst the many competing pressures we confront?
Nigel Coutts

Why engagement matters for learning - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    This is not a story about the evolution of the world-wide-web. It is not about an evolutionary process of learning or a desire to engage in life-long learning. It is instead about the importance of purpose and engagement as factors in our learning.
Nigel Coutts

Home Delivered vs Home Cooked Learning - Who's in the driver's seat? - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Do you like your learning 'home delivered' or do you prefer it to be 'home cooked'? Is learning something that you are the driver of or is learning something that happens to you? 
Nigel Coutts

Exploring the Changing Social Contexts of Learning - The Learner's Way - 0 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

Questions at the heart of learning - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    At the heart of learning are the questions to which we do not yet know the answers and the journey to the questions we have not yet asked. Such simple truths and yet understandings that can have fundamental consequences for approach to learning and growth.
Nigel Coutts

Learning vs Work in a Culture of Thinking - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Earlier this year a group of teachers I work with explored the 'Eight Cultural Forces' identified by Ron Ritchhart of Harvard's Project Zero. In doing so we decided to focus on our use of the term learning instead of the word work. Our goal was to bring our language choices into the spotlight and explore how a more deliberate focus on learning might alter the culture of our classrooms. Two terms later this focus persists and it is worth reflecting on the effect that this has had.
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