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Nigel Coutts

Reflecting on report writing time - How might we maximise the value? - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    For schools in Australia and many parts of the world, we are heading towards the end of another school term and year. That means report writing season. For the next few weeks, teachers across the country will be huddled in front of computer screens, writing reflections on the progress their learners have made. Mark books will be opened, assessments consulted, work samples will be reviewed. All so that in the first week of the long Summer vacation students can sit and read their report and make plans for how they will enhance their learning in the coming year.
Nigel Coutts

All learning is a consequence of thinking - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    All learning is a consequence of thinking. I have these words printed and posted on the wall above my desk. It is a reminder of what I believe is a vital understanding. The consequences of this one statement are quite profound. They fundamentally shape what I do as an educator and the experiences I hope to create for my learners.
Nigel Coutts

What if questions are the way to the solution - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    Adults love to ask "What if...?" questions too. It is a model that can be a catalyst for change when used in the right way and when combined with some other questions. 
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 - 1 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

Do We Truly Understand Place Value? - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    James Tanton shattered my understanding of the vertical algorithm. More than that, he helped me to see how poorly I understood place value and that many of my students function with the same misunderstanding. What made the experience more humbling was that it took him less than two minutes to do this.
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

Powerful Provocations for Learning: Sparking curiosity and increasing engagement - The ... - 1 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

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

Supporting Mathematical Thinking through the Eight Cultural Forces - The Learner's Way - 1 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

The Conditions Required for 'Learner Flow' - The Learner's Way - 0 views

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    What might it take to ensure students choose to be in our courses because the value of the learning achieved through mindful attendance is such that they would not want to be anywhere else?
Nigel Coutts

AAMT Why Maths? - Inspiration beyond the classroom - The Learner's Way - 0 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 - 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

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

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

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'... - 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.
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