I am a big fan of twitter chats and regularly take part in many chats based in various countries. Recently, however, I have found that they are becoming ego chambers filled with back patting and lacking critical thought. Still doing great things to connect educators, share ideas and support each other but not really allowing time or space for critical discussion to occur.
That is until the 2nd Birthday of #edchatnz last night. It was a doozy! The topic was “How can we meet students’ needs when the world changes so fast” and Rachel Bolstad (@shiftingthinkng) gave a masterclass in developing critical discussion within the fast-paced environment of a twitter chat. Continue reading →
I am currently reading Key Competencies for the Future by Rosemary Hipkins, Rachel Bolstad, Sally Boyd and Sue McDowall and have found it incredibly inspiring. At the end of a chapter about making meaning across the different disciplines, they pose 6 questions for educators to discuss. One of these questions is the (very slightly reworded) question for today:
How Might We encourage young people to stay hopeful, without sweeping hard questions under the carpet?
To me, this is a key challenge as we strive to make learning more authentic. So many of the issues facing the world at the moment and into the future can be such powerful learning prompts but so overwhelming.
As a social scientist I completely believe we have to embrace controversy and complexity in the classroom and have always striven to do so. This term I am co-teaching a module with Danielle Myburgh called Apocalypse Now which is Continue reading →
A new section has been added to TKI focusing on Key Competencies and Effective Pedagogy. It focuses on a tool developed by NZCER and University of Waikato who worked with teachers to see what the key competencies looked like in different learning areas. This has led to the 3 sections on the website: a self-audit tool, 14 learning stories and Insights into aspects of the key competencies.
The self audit framework could be used by a teacher, syndicate, department or whole school to inquire into how well the key competencies are embedded into learning rather than an afterthought. The framework is developed around the concepts of initiative, connections and challenge. Initiative is really about student agency – student voice, learning to learn etc. Connection is about meaningful links between activities, experiences and/or learning areas. And Challenge is about using, transforming, critiquing, and generating knowledge for purposes that students recognise as worthy of their effort.
I personally have found the framework to be an effective self-reflection tool (as I was lucky enough to see earlier drafts of the framework) and I would encourage you to utilise this if possible, particularly when planning out or reviewing a unit of learning. Continue reading →