Friday, December 11, 2015

Tempted by the promise of a different life (Tim Finn)

A recent article on Schools in 2030, yes - 2030, tried to project Marty McFly style Back To The Future

Dangerous stuff usually. Hoverboards anyone?

So, what did they reckon?

Well two things emerged and they won't be much of a surprise I shouldn't think.

One - they predicted 'totally transformed classrooms', a.k.a. 'learning spaces'.

These would be open and flexible and equipped with the latest technology. There, students are sometimes working alone , sometimes in small teams, and sometimes in a whole class or even bigger group.

There have been some early adopter schools who have embraced this concept. We've yet to do so at my current school.

Two - teachers as 'activators' (we are no longer 'transmitters of knowledge' but we are also not 'mere facilitators'). The writers cite our own John Hattie during their article and that pleased me a lot.

Hattie's work remains extremely valuable to all educators and so, it's worth quoting his findings at length here (my emphasis):
 "The remarkable feature of the evidence is that the greatest effects on student learning occur when teachers become learners of their own teaching, and when students become their own teachers."   
"The act of teaching requires deliberate interventions to ensure that there is cognitive change in the student... It involves a teacher who knows a range of learning strategies with which to supply the student when they seem not to understand, who can provide direction and redirection in terms of the content being understood and thus maximize the power of feedback, and who has the skill to 'get out the way' when learning is progressing towards the success criteria."
 To accomplish this second change our English courses have changed substantially to be much more inquiry based. Often the emphasis is on - teach me what you've found out. 

We are also learning to 'get out the way'!

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