By Allan Alach
Now that the National Standards emphasis on literacy and numeracy, and the onerous associated assessment and
documentation are no longer required, it’s time for a new emphasis – a return to a creative holistic and personalised approach to education. With this in mind Bruce Hammonds and I search out readings to encourage teachers to develop activity based programmes that are premised on developing the gifts and talents of all students- programmes that as much as possible integrate literacy and numeracy as and when required.
Time to re-read John Holt’ book ‘How Children Learn’ again
|John Holt – a brilliant writer
Here, summed up, are John Holt’s great insights about children’s learning. If Holt were alive today he might be optimistic because even though the percentage who understand that children learn best when allowed to control their own learning remains small, that percentage is growing.’
Social Studies were once a feature of earlier integrated learning. .
The below article may be useful.
‘The basic idea is that students ask or are given compelling questions and then investigate those questions, evaluate and find evidence to answer them, and communicate their answer. An inquiry model is outlined and related to project based learning.’
Advice for beginning teachers. ‘Surround yourself with good people’.
‘By finding the positive, supportive, energetic teachers in your school and sticking close to them, you can improve your job satisfaction more than with any other strategy.’
Every Kid Can Do Amazing Things – an important read
‘I’m not talking about the child genius, who can spell, read and write before he goes to school and gets all the school accolades that make her, and importantly her parents, proud as punch. We see enough of them to know that school knows how to respond to their talent. I’m talking about thother kids. The vast majority.’
Debating the Best Way to Teach a Child to Read – not phonics!
‘We are not supportive of systematic phonic based teaching we believe It’s all about meaningful contexts.Phonic enthusiasts blatantly disregards hundreds of studies that show the merits of a rich, comprehensive literacy approach that includes phonics but not to the exclusion of authentic, experiential reading (and writing) experiences that will ensure that every child becomes a successful reader inside and outside of school.’
For the love of learning – stop writing learning intentions!
‘How often have you been told that writing the lesson’s objectives on the board is best practice? Can
you think of even one reason why doing this might be a bad idea? Because the prevailing wind of conventional wisdom consistently blows in favour of content-bloated, prefabricated externally mandated standardized standards, it takes courage to pause and reflect.’
Project-based Learning: Are You Focused on the Project or the Learning?
‘I think it is important to highlight that if students aren’t motivated and inspired to solve authentic and meaningful problems, it’s not just them that misses out. It’s all of us. In case you haven’t been paying attention, we have some very real and challenging problems that we continue to face in our world. Much of this is a result of a focus on short-term, extrinsic rewards to coax kids through low-level tasks and provide technology as games or rewards to motivate learners instead of designing authentic and personal learning experiences that draw on learner’s curiosity, passions, and interests.’
Just in case you missed our advice to begin the school year.
‘Teaching is one profession where there is no shallow end. From day one you are presented with up to thirty plus young individuals for you to shape into a learning community; and every class community will be different. Even experienced teachers have Here are some ideas to select from.’
Ken Robinson: Government “Standardization” Blocks Innovative Education Reform
There can be few NZ teacher who have not heard or read the ideas about creativity of Sir Ken Robinson – now it time to put them into action.
“I never blame teachers or schools… But there is this deadly culture of standardizing, that’s being pushed on them, politically. My core message here is that we have to personalize education, not standardize it. That all children are different, and we have to find their talents and cultivate them.” ~Ken Robinson
Quotes from John Dewey
Steve Wheeler is publishing sets of quotes from significant educators – this week he features
‘One of the most valued books in my personal library was first published over a hundred years ago, in 1916. It’s by John Dewey and is called Democracy and Education. One of the first things I learnt from reading Dewey, is that we don’t teach subjects, we teach people. Dewey opposed the mechanistic methods of education that were prevalent in his day, proposing (then) radical solutions. His thoughts about the nature of education extend to what cannot be taught, but is learnt by experience.’
From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:
Developing talents – what role for school? Benjamin Bloom’s research
‘In the future schools will need to focus on developing the talents of all students rather than academic success for those students who are best suited to the current education.. An emphasis on a personalised talent based education would dramatically transform education and would result in less students leaving feeling failures, or worse still alienated, as at present.’
Howard Gardner’s book ‘Five Minds for the Future’.
‘Howard Gardner is well known to many teachers but he is the first to worry that his ideas about multiple intelligences have not always been introduced in ways that he approves. In his 2006 book ‘Five Minds for the Future’ he introduces readers to the ‘five minds’ that will be vital in the 21st.’
Experience and Education -John Dewey 1938
Such a lot of the ideas expressed today have their genesis in the ideas of John Dewey. That Dewey’s ideas have yet to be fully realised says something for the power of conservatism in education. ‘Experience in Education’ is Dewey’s most concise statement of his ideas written after criticism his theories received. In this book Dewey argues that neither ‘traditional ‘ nor ‘progressive ‘ ideas are adequate and he outlines a deeper point of view building on the best
|Now is the time for creative thinking