Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Supporting pedagogical change

Last year I worked with a wonderful group of teachers and created a collaborative learning space which was originally 4 separate classes. Creating a open, visual, connected and student centered learning environment. It was shaped to effectively deliver curriculum with the students futures in mind and taking into consideration the skills and attributes that I believed would lead to success, now and in the future. As well acknowledging the neuroscience of the adolescent brain. (as I work in an intermediate school)

I love, buzzing, productive learning environments, where students are fully engaged, comfortable, self motivated, and drawing on a range of essential skills in socially constructed learning opportunities.

I believe this takes time and effort and a team who are keen to develop the most effective learning environment which meets the needs of 'All' of the students

This year I have moved out of the classroom - My role enables me to work with teachers and students, supporting them to make adjustments to their learning spaces and practices. Helping them adapt their classrooms and spaces to reflect future focused thinking.

When working with teachers I have found there are two areas which can be explored or used to establish where a teacher is working at and start setting goals and inquiry focuses.

How does the environments support student learning?
- This often is about how the space is utilised, the teacher or teachers' role within the space

2. What is in place to enable students to manage their learning and increase student agency?
- This is the systems or support in place to promote or the develop student agency - This is where technology can be integrated so successfully or in some cause not.

So in order to make pedagogical decisions teachers should be considering, listening too and continually monitoring and tracking learning.

At any one time students are operating at various levels of agency and have a broad range of skills and mindsets to draw upon to enable success in a learning environment that is focused on developing student agency and a 21st century skill sets - Critical and creative thinking, collaboration, effective communication etc....

As teachers and facilitators of learning there needs to be an awareness of where students are operating at, to enable success and a need to carefully construct programmes that support the develop of all students. As well as tapping into the potential of multiple learners.

Traditionally educators have often approached classroom organisation and curriculum deliever without the learner in mind or the future of the learner in mind. Setting structure to suit the teacher or tick a box. Resulting in turning students off learning or creating negative or inhibitive mindsets. Sometimes directing teaching to the middle and losing many students in the process.  
As well as create classrooms that are bias towards students who have high levels of agency.

There is a real need to personalise. A learning environment needs structures as well as freedom and to do this teachers need to understand their learners and have opportunities to explore what evidence is needed to make informed decisions.

Next steps for Teachers
Teachers must plan and provide opportunities that meet a need or a purpose, that are motivational and stimulate curiosity in the learner so that they are self driven and developing a range of skills in the process. Providing, problem solving, critical thinking opportunities which draw upon a range of digital and non-digital resources.

If we priorities around skills and processes our timetables should dramatically change and students get to 'use' knowledge through exciting scientific , mathematically problem based learning opportunities.

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