Saturday, 12 March 2016

What events or actions create the greatest learning gains?

In the photo you see a group of students involved in creating an inquiry pathway, after conferencing with a teacher.
What interests me is “what events, actions or processes spark the greatest learning gains.”

Firstly 'the idea'
The idea generated was a spin off  from a set of immersion tasks. The idea ‘Floating Houses’ (floating above the ground) is interest and passion driven.
During the conference it was discussed “Why, this idea?” and "what's the relevance?" -  Giving purpose and relevance as well as making connections to an area that the students are keen to learn more about.

“What do we have to find out?” - questioning
- What knowledge is needed to pursue this inquiry pathway.
We had a laugh as the students shared ideas and discussed a range of concepts, drawing on prior knowledge. Themes such as electro-magnets and vacuum technology. Building curiosity, intrigue and a desire to learn more.
We discussed - “So what, where could this led you?”, and “how could we use this knowledge?”, where would it take their learning. They are keen to build a floating house, using the design process and prototyping.
What do we do , planned or unplanned, intentional or unintentional to increase the 'learning effect '
for example, what will be the effect when a blog post is created and e- mailed to the parents outlining what they are trying to achieve and celebrating their learning. Opening up conversations at home.
What will the effect of them sharing their learning and the process of creating their inquiry pathway with the class or other classes, collaborating with others and gathering ideas? What will be the effect of giving continual feedback, reflection time and opportunities to assess and share the many skills that they will draw upon during this inquiry.
What would the effect of bringing in an engineer to talk to them about their idea. The effect of actually building a floating house, drawing upon their new knowledge and ideas.

This reflection has also led me to revisit John Hattie's research. Which explores the most effective strategies for improving student achievement.
Hattie created a scale to compare the impact of different interventions. He calls this the ‘effect size’. -
Noted below are a few of the significant interventions.

Peer Influence – group work & discussion: 0.82
Feedback and Assessment for Learning: 0.75
Positive student-teacher relationships: 0.72
Differentiation: 0.61
Clear learning objectives: 0.57
Challenging tasks and success criteria: 0.57
Providing worked examples: 0.55
Questioning strategies: 0.52

I can draw on these intervention, using them as a checklist, to inform my own interventions.

Below is a 5min brainstorm of learning events created in Team One's team meeting, as a led in to discussing inquiry direction.

While reflecting and and making connections with the design thinking process I stumble upon the Nueva School Design Thinking Process. - A great Design Thinking Infographic

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