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Nigel Coutts

Essential Reading for Teachers Interested in Thinking - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    If you are interested in building a classroom culture where thinking is noticed, named and celebrated, there are three books which make essential reading. They provide clear evidence for why teachers should focus their efforts on encouraging and normalising thinking and offer research-backed strategies to support this. The books are the result of ongoing research by Harvard's Project Zero and their lead author Ron Ritchhart.
Nigel Coutts

Slow Looking at Home or Doing More with Less - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    It seems that thanks to COVID19, educators, parents and students are in a rush. It seems the rush started moments after the decision was made to promote social distancing by offering remote learning. From quality learning in classrooms focused on deep learning we shifted into top gear. Packets of work were prepared, online tools rapidly expanded, new options for content delivery were examined and quickly deployed. We wanted to make sure that our students would be kept busy. Parents wanted their children to be busy. - Maybe slow looking is the solution?
Nigel Coutts

Bringing Mathematical Reasoning into our Classrooms - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Reasoning is at the heart of mathematical thinking. It is what mathematicians do. But how do we teach it?
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

Towards a pedagogy for life-worthy learning - The Learner's Way - 0 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. 
Rhondda Powling

A vision of educational technology | Teaching using Web Tools for Educators - 8 views

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Nigel Coutts

Bringing Computational Thinking into the Primary Classroom - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Primary teachers in New South Wales (NSW) are this year and next integrating a new Science & Technology Curriculum. It brings with it a number of challenges and opportunities and while it has much in common with the existing curriculum, it will require some significant changes.
Nigel Coutts

Thinking in the Wild - Thinking routines beyond the classroom - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Despite this being a 'thinking' conference, despite us all being advocates for structured and scaffolded models of thinking, not one group had applied any thinking routines, utilised a collaborative planning protocol or talked about applying an inquiry model or design thinking cycle. It wasn't that we didn't know about them. It wasn't that we don't know how to use them. It wasn't that we don't value them. We had all the knowledge we could desire on the how to and the why of a broad set of thinking tools and anyone of these would have enhanced the process, but we did not use any of them. Why was this the case and what does this reveal about our teaching of these methods to our students?
Nigel Coutts

Getting creative with our learning spaces - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Unfortunately, we are not all blessed with expansive classrooms which can readily accommodate a diversity of learning zones. The challenge becomes one of creatively using the space and furnishings you have to create flexible spaces.
Nigel Coutts

Change and why we all see it differently - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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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

Becoming Learners: Making time for OUR Learning - The Learner's Way - 0 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

What if? Reflections from the ACSA Conference - The Learner's Way - 0 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

Sharing our Puzzles of Practice - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Einstein is often quoted as having said "If I have an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes." Clearly Einstein understood how to attack puzzling problems. As teachers we face a host of puzzles on a daily basis. Every student we teach, thanks to their idiosyncrasies presents a unique puzzle. The interactions between students further complicates things. Our goals for our learners, their learning needs, the demands of the curriculum, pressures from beyond the classroom all result in puzzles for us to manage and to solve.
Nigel Coutts

Good Reads for Great Assessment - The Learner's Way - 0 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

Growth Mindsets in the Great Outdoors - The Learner's Way - 0 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

What messages are we sending about learning? - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    How can we take more notice of the culture of our classrooms and what it communicates to learners about the value of thinking? 
Nigel Coutts

Teaching in the 21st Century - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    The consistent message is that we are preparing our students for success in a world very different to that which was the norm only a short time ago. The implications of this change are immense and require a shift in our thinking about what matters most in our classrooms. Such is the pace of change that within any school there will be multiple generations who normalise different perspective on technology and its place in their lives. What becomes clear that the skills we most need within our schools at every level are those which are critical for individuals to be empowered, self-navigating learners. But what does this mean in practical terms?
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

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.
Nigel Coutts

Learning to love teach meets - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    There is a growing momentum in education driven by a desire to share our practice and learn from our colleagues. Increasingly teachers are finding ways to break free of their classrooms and share their ideas. Collaborations in the interests of unlocking the collective potential of the profession are spreading within and importantly between schools. For many these collaborative endeavours and desires are satisfied by online communities but for many the possibility for a face to face conversation is more alluring.
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