Ungoogleable Questions Update

By far and away my most read post on this 2 year old blog is a post on Ungoogleable Questions from almost 2 years ago. I have been meaning to update this for quite some time and #28daysofwriting has finally given me the prompt to do so.

Since I ran the workshop with staff and generated the questions shared in my earlier post I have focused on helping students develop their ability to inquire into ungoogleable questions (major shout out here to Ewan McIntosh who set me on this journey). I have used a variety of prompts, provocations and question development frameworks over these last 2 years. I have continued to read blogs (Kath Murdoch and Bo Adams blogs have pushed me in this) and books (Can Computers Keep Secrets by Tom Barrett, The Falconer by Grant Lichtman and A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger being the most influential for me) to further my thinking and practice and it is about time I share my tips now. Continue reading

A Mindset for Learning

“If you haven’t failed in the classroom lately, you probably aren’t pushing the envelope enough. You are being too safe.” Dave Burgess

This blogpost is all about the word “mindset”. I know this has been around for a while but I first consciously came across the word Mindset at ICOT this year. It seems to have really grown on the world and in my consciousness this year and I see it everywhere now. There are many people out there selling tool kits or strategies that will make you a more effective teacher but I fundamentally believe there is no 1 correct answer for education. By having an open mindset we can make more of a difference.

My teaching mindset at the moment is heavily influenced by the following mindsets that I believe really complement each other to help me approach teaching with the enthusiasm (and hopefully effectiveness) that I do:

– Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset
– Design Thinking
– Teach Like a PIRATE
– Exploration mindset (heavily influenced here by Dan Raven-Ellison)

Continue reading

Is Globalisation Good or Bad?

My Year 10s are working on a unit about Globalisation at the moment. We have done all the intro activities, looked at global economics, fashion, global links, globalisation at school and globalisation of media (including the class and me getting in trouble for writing in washable chalk on school buildings – must remember instruction of ground good wall bad for next time!). Today I split the class into random groups and gave them 2 lessons to investigate the 3 most positive aspects and 3 most negative aspects of globalisation. Essentially a basic research task but with the added critical thinking of what are the most important pros and cons.

The class know that they then have to give a 2-3 minute explanation to the class of their most positive and most negative aspects on Friday. To follow this up the class will enter a philosophical chairs discussion on “Is globalisation good or bad?” Continue reading

Year 10 Inquiry Questions (Hopefully Ungoogleable)

Our Year 10 class are studying how societies in the past have influenced modern times. To start this topic we focused on the Vikings for 2 weeks and looked at their contributions to law systems, marine technology and navigation. Now we are going to break up into an Inquiry phase based upon student interests around this theme. I gave the class the question development guide outlined here and these are the inquiry questions that they came up with (hopefully ungoogleable):

  • Has religion had a positive effect on society, and what would life be like without religion?
  • How did the gaming economy become what it is today?
  • How has the Victorian era influenced society today?
  • How did the French revolution affect the world?
  • How did Hitler’s actions impact on our lives today?
  • How does consumerism affect America?
  • What events in the past have made [student’s name] the way she is now? And how or why does this make her different?
  • How does the formation of the Soviet Union impact modern society?

Guide to Developing Good Questions

This question development guide was one first developed in a previous school which I have updated recently. The Word version of this is formatted nicely but this gives a good idea of how it works:

Brainstorm of your early ideas 

Questions/topics/areas/issues related to theme that you may be interested in developing further Continue reading