6th April 1980
The need to identify and share teacher expertise
We’ve always believed that the real experts in education are those that actually do it. Obviously such teachers gain support from those distant from the classroom but if it doesn’t happen in the
classroom it doesn’t happen. And I also believe the further experts are away from the classroom the easier it is to give advice.
A long time ago, before the introduction of self-managing schools, there were plenty of opportunities for schools to collaborate. Teachers were chosen to attend and contribute to national and local in-service courses.
Today the focus in on our school not our schools.
In the last year or so an attempt was made to introduce a community of schools approach but all too often this was simply a means to introduce Ministry dictates such as National Standards. It
was, at least, a start to move to more collaborative environment.
The Tomorrow’s School Review has at its core the idea of hubs which would introduce the idea of our schools rather than our school. Time will tell if this eventuates but one idea regional principals groups could do is to identify teachers with recognised, expertise in local schools and to share this expertise by means of a website with all schools in the area. There may be schools with beginning teachers coping well that other beginning
teachers could visit; there might be teachers with expertise in the creative arts, technology, physical education, mathematics science, inquiry learning, integrated studies, and play based approaches to learning etc.
There may be the need to select principals/teachers to act as an organising committee and a need also to employ a person with
website development skills.
Something along these lines would not only enable the sharing of ideas between schools but also to return teachers expertise central to educational development.
Last week we shared readings both for and against the ideas included in the Tomorrows School Review.
Here is one more to consider
I’m a school principal – here’s why I support the Tomorrow’s Schools changes
‘The independent taskforce report on Tomorrow’s Schools recommends big changes to school governance, and a lot of principals are up in arms. Auckland high school principal Claire Amos explains why she’s not one of them.’
The Art of Looking: Eleven Ways of Viewing the Multiple Realities of Our Everyday Wonderland
‘An invitation to the art of observation: Together, we became investigators of the ordinary, considering the block — the street and everything on it—as a living being that could be observed.In this way, the familiar becomes unfamiliar, and the old the new.’
Drawing isn’t just an art form, it’s also a tool.
‘We often think of drawing as something that takes innate talent, but this kind of thinking stems from our misclassification of drawing as, primarily, an art form rather than a tool for learning.Researchers, teachers, and artists are starting to see how drawing can positively impact a wide variety of skills and disciplines.Drawing is not an innate gift; rather, it can be taught and developed. Doing so helps people to perceive the world more accurately, remember facts better, and understand their world from a new perspective.’
They Say There’s No Such Thing As A Stupid Question
‘They say there’s no such thing as a stupid question, but I beg to differ. We hear stupid questions almost every time adults and young children are together.’
High School Doesn’t Have to Be Boring
‘Debate, drama and other extracurriculars provide the excitement many classrooms lack. And they can help overhaul the system.’
How to Teach Students Historical Inquiry Through Media Literacy And Critical Thinking
‘Today, most people look up information they don’t know on the internet, including students. So it’s even more important that students have tools they can use to make educated decisions about what they trust online.’
How to unlock students’ internal drive for learning
‘One of the key components of engagement is students’ excitement about what they learn. Yet most schools extinguish that excitement.’
Learner Agency. What’s it about?
‘Learner agency is about having the power, combined with choices, to take meaningful action and see the results of your decisions. It can be thought of as a catalyst for change or transformation. Within a school context, Learner Agency is about shifting the ownership of learning from teachers to students, enabling students to have the understanding, ability, and opportunity to be part of the learning design and to take action to intervene in the learning process, to affect outcomes and become powerful lifelong learners.’
Learning Is Different Than Education
“…all our problems tend to gather under two questions about knowledge: Having the ability and desire to know, how and what should we learn? And, having learned, how and for what should we use what we know?”
International Women’s Day: What factors are at play when girls are excluded from mathematics?Jo Boaler:
‘In a recent survey National Numeracy asked a sample of adults
how they felt about maths. This showed that more than twice the proportion of women (30%) than men (14%) said that maths made them feel uneasy. Why might this serious gender disparity exist – even in the 21st century?’
#3quotes from Holt Steve Wheeler:
‘Holt was best known for his progressive approach to education, and his criticisms of state-funded
school systems. I have drawn three quotes from his 1983 classic How Children Learn (first published in 1964) and have added some additional commentary.’
A couple of Oldies
Tapping into the student’s world
‘Every student brings with them memories and ideas gained from the experiences they have had. All too often this personal form of motivation is overlooked by teachers who seem to think they have better ideas to use – their own. It is as if students come to school as blank slates ( tabula rosa) when instead they come with a wealth of ideas to share but to do their ideas need to be valued.’
Importance of observation
‘Drawing is an ideal way to break through habitual ways of thinking. All too often our students see but they do not look. Observational drawing has long been an important means for some teachers to develop deeper consciousness in students – to assist students see through their habitual ways of seeing and to develop new awareness.’