Collective EPSY302 Course Notes

Online Collaboration Team for VUW Diploma of Education October 17, 2010

1 Copyright c 2010, Blair M. Smith Please copy, modify and redistribute under the terms of the GNU Free Document Licence (GPL FDL) here:

Introduction 1 Module 1—Planning and Evidence Module 1-2: Graduating Teacher Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 8 8

Module 1-3: Becoming and Effective Teacher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Module 1-4,5: Lesson Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Comments on “Beginning teaching and beyond” . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Short Glossary of Lesson Planning Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Module 1-6: Advance Organizers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Module 1-7: Guide to Lesson Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Module 1-8: Writing Learning Intentions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Module 1-9,10: Guide to Lesson Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Module 1-10: Evidence About Student Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Task 8—Then And Now Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Assessment and Reporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Module 1-11: Developing a Lesson Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Module 1-12: Interpreting Assessment Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Module 1-13: Evidence About My Teaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Task 11, Reflective Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Task 12, Reflective Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35


. . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 3 Module 3—Classroom Management 58 Module 3-1—Behaviour Management Perspectives . . . 62 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Theme 2: Safe Environments . . . 49 Reading “Important Features of Cooperative Learning” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Module 2-5—Some BUTs About Co-operative Learning . . . . . . . . . . 58 Module 3-4—Relationship Building . . 54 Task 20. . . . 38 A Check-list for Lesson Plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Summary of Lesson Planning . . . . 49 Reading—Learning Together and Establishing Effective Teams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Listening Habits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Module 2-3—Group Interaction Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Reading—“Reflective teaching and learning” . . . . . . . Decisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Reading “Using small group work as a teaching strategy” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CONTENTS 3 Task 13. . 59 Module 3-5—Behaviour Management Practicalities . . . . . . . Recollections of Direct Instruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Theme 1: Relationships . . . . 38 2 Module 2—Models of Teaching 41 Module 2-2—How Do We Learn? . . . . . 53 Module 2-6—The Direct Instruction Model . . . . . . 55 Module 2-7—The Lecture-Discussion Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Module 2-8—The Guided Discovery Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Solving small group-work problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Theme 3: Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Module 2-4—Co-operative Learning Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Module 3-10—Intervention. . . 36 Reading—“Critical Friends” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . 71 How to Get Students Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Examples of PBL for Improving Lessons . . . . . . . . Creating Learning Partnerships . . . . . . . 89 How to Plan for Differentiated Learning . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Module 5-2—What is Differentiated Learning? . . . . . . . . 70 Inquiry Lesson Planning Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Module 5-4. . . . . . . 76 Module 4-9—Strategies for Critical Thinking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Principles of Differentiated Learning . . . . . 69 How to Implement Inquiry Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 Module 5-5. . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Six Thinking Hats Thinking Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 5 Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 88 Module 5-1—Introduction to Differentiated Learning . . 92 Module 5-2b. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Sixteen Habits of Mind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Module 5-3. . . . . 108 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 How to Teach Critical Thinking . . . . . . . . Special Needs Students in NZ Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Catering for All Students . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Planning Problem-Based Lessons . . . . . . . . 82 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Highlights from “Elements of Differentiation” . 72 Inquiry and Critical Thinking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 Comments on the Thinking Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CONTENTS 4 4 Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 63 Inquiry Learning and the Curriculum . . 108 How to Create Partnerships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Three Story Intellect . . . Respect and Challenge for All Learners . . . .

. . . .CONTENTS 5 Module 5-6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 Teaching as a Subversive Activity . . . . . 140 Reflection Journal 142 Reflections on Each Week of Epsy302 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 The New Media and Networking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 Reflections on TE Week 1 . . . . . . . . 116 Module 5-11. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 6 Extra Discussion and Research 127 The SOLO Taxonomy . . 146 How to Get Students to Work Things Out? . 113 Module 5-10. . . . . . 110 Module 5-8. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 Reflection on Different Lesson Approaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . Connectivism: a Learning Theory for the Digital Age . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 Module 5-7. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 Digital Technology Usage Observations . . . . . . 111 The Changing Face of Learning . . . . . . . . 135 A New Zealand Model of Sudbury Without the Valley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 The Hidden Curriculum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 Other Critiques of Modern Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Flexibility in Teaching and Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 Reflections on Homework . . . 129 Dumbing Us Down . 147 Handling the Disruptive Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122 Review of Module 5 . . . . . Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age . . . . . . What does Digital Learning Look Like? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 Reflection on Teaching Models . . . . . . . . . . Ongoing formative assessment . . . . . . . . . . 139 What Are the Best Constraints? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 . . 134 Freedom to Learn—Sudbury Valley School .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .CONTENTS 6 A Radical Idea for Doing Fun. . . . 151 Cooperative Problem Solving . . . . . . . Awesome Science or Mathematics Classes all Year Round . . . . 151 References 153 . . . . . . . . . Awesome Science or Mathematics Classes 150 Cool Group Activities . . . . . . . . . 148 Creating Resources for Fun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The idea is that this book will serve as a reference and memory jog for all of our future work in education. 7 . and not so much as an exam preparation guide for the course. but to instead scan the topics and delve into the quoted paragraphs as your interest guides you—that way the book will hopefully not seem too daunting to read. Please copy and redistribute as you please. these course notes are not intended as substitutes for the course Module notes.Introduction These are free collaborative collective course notes for the 2010 online students enrolled in the VUW Epsy-302 course. respecting the GPL-FDL copyright. Also. which has added to the length of this book somewhat. We have included a lot of quotes from the online discussion forums. The suggestion is to not read this book serially. textbook and readings.

Standard Two: Graduating Teachers know about learners and how they learn (a) have knowledge of a range of relevant theories and research about pedagogy. Below each you could jot down your thoughts on which standards you need work on developing and which skills you already have.1. Standard One: Graduating Teachers know what to teach (a) have content knowledge appropriate to the learners and learning areas of their programme (b) have pedagogical content knowledge appropriate to the learners and learning areas of their programme (c) have knowledge of the relevant curriculum documents of Aotearoa New Zealand (d) have content and pedagogical content knowledge for supporting English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners to succeed in the curriculum. Since this is a personal reflection I have kept comments invisible for this PDF version of the course notes. Module 1-2: Graduating Teacher Standards The standards are reproduce here. • Professional Knowledge 1. 2. human development and learning 8 . Module 1—Planning and Evidence After the online introductions the first topic was to review the Graduating Teacher Standards published by the NZTC.

principles and purposes of assessment and evaluation (c) know how to develop metacognitive strategies of diverse learners (d) know how to select curriculum content appropriate to the learners and the learning context.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 9 (b) have knowledge of a range of relevant theories. Standard Five: Graduating Teachers use evidence to promote learning (a) systematically and critically engage with evidence to reflect on and refine their practice (b) gather. and cultural factors may have on teachers and learners (b) have knowledge of tikanga and te reo M¯ori to work effectively within a the bicultural contexts of Aotearoa New Zealand (c) have an understanding of education within the bicultural. Standard Three: Graduating Teachers understand how contextual factors influence teaching and learning (a) have an understanding of the complex influences that personal. analyse and use assessment information to improve learning and inform planning (c) know how to communicate assessment information appropriately to learners. political. high quality teaching and learning environment (a) draw upon content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge when planning. focus on learning and recognise and value diversity (d) demonstrate proficiency in oral and written language (M¯ori and/or a English). teaching and evaluating (b) use and sequence a range of learning experiences to influence and promote learner achievement (c) demonstrate high expectations of all learners. Standard Four: Graduating Teachers use professional knowledge to plan for a safe. 2. in numeracy and in ICT relevant to their professional role (e) use te reo M¯ori me ng¯ tikanga-a-iwi appropriately in their practice a a (f) demonstrate commitment to and strategies for promoting and nurturing the physical and emotional safety of learners. their parents/caregivers and staff. multicultural. • Professional Practice 1. social. economic and historical contexts of Aotearoa New Zealand. social. • Professional Values & Relationships . 3.

Standard Seven: Graduating Teachers are committed members of the profession (a) uphold the New Zealand Teachers Council Code of Ethics/Ng¯ Tikanga a Matatika (b) have knowledge and understanding of the ethical. but are likely to have a permanent smile. “An effective teacher will in general be organized. very busy at assessing student progress and assessing evidence of teaching and learning progress. an effective teacher might be expected to display the sort of elated exhaustion akin to the type of tiredness that follows pleasurable but strenuous physical activity. dialogue. and humour.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 10 1. and they will therefore probably look a bit exhausted most of the time. parents/caregivers. enthusiastic. professional philosophy of teaching and learning. Taking the first part of the question literally. Standard Six: Graduating Teachers develop positive relationships with learners and the members of learning communities (a) recognise how differing values and beliefs may impact on learners and their learning (b) have the knowledge and dispositions to work effectively with colleagues. families/wh¯nau and communities a (c) build effective relationships with their learners (d) promote a learning culture which engages diverse learners effectively (e) demonstrate respect for te reo M¯ori me ng¯ tikanga-a-iwi in their a a practice. 2. an effective teacher is likely to attract students to the task of learning without making it seem like a big effort. “So what does an effective teacher look like? Think back to your own teachers—what made them effective or not?” Below is one colleague’s answer. . full of innovative ideas. More figuratively. cooperation. professional and legal responsibilities of teachers (c) work co-operatively with those who share responsibility for the learning and well-being of learners (d) are able to articulate and justify an emerging personal. Module 1-3: Becoming and Effective Teacher The first question posed to us for this module is. and is likely to have a busy and fun classroom with plenty of cultured talk.

and humour.1: Teaching models studied in Epsy-302 and their relationship to the learning theories studied in Epsy-301. elements of surprise. Some common threads with all effective teachers I have known include: (1) sound subject and pedagogical content knowledge. .1. Vygotsky) Humanist Views Focus on child’s needs (Montessori. Skinner) Cognitive Views Making sense of world (Piaget. Bruner. thus the teachers would not waste our time. and respect for the playfulness and intellectual curiosity of students. Many practical things follow from the seriousness and good humour associated with class lessons from such teachers. Maslow) Direct Instruction (Gagne) Lecture Discussion (Ausebel) Inquiry Learning (Piaget. good and bad alike. and giving us tasks and activities that involved plenty of good stimulating conversation. leading naturally to few disruptions because all students.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 11 “I have experienced a few effective teachers. Bruner) Problem based Learning (Various) Figure 1.” The next question from the module relates to the following breakdown of teaching methods. such as: a good level of organization. Rogers. Bruner) Discovery Learning (Bruner) Group Interaction (Vygotsky.1. At their best moments they took the class on intellectual journeys beyond the stale curriculum topics. (3) a sense of seriousness conveyed by the teacher about the task of learning while mixed with good humour. friendly debate. Learning theories and teaching models Behavioural Views Modification rewards/punishment (Watson. Fig. Other teachers were highly effective at educating students by simply providing very structured yet challenging lessons. (2) deep respect from students for the teacher. were focused on the lesson. exercising our minds in creative ways. with little need for demonstrating personal charisma.

A fourth element of success would be to . 1. “can you identify which theories and models are more teachercentred and which are more learner-centred?”. the teacher is reasonably passive and provides a stimulating environment but is not necessarily and active instructor. Of these the Direct Instruction format is probably the more student-centred since it focuses on individual students rather than a class as a whole. Below is one possible answer. The Humanist Views try to achieve the best of both worlds. to become better citizens of the world. Module 1.” By this stage of the course we have all had the idea drummed into our heads that becoming a good teacher is a complex process and cannot be taken lightly.3 finally asks us to ponder these three questions (some template personal answers are given in italics). a tenant of direct instruction strategy is to ensure student mastery in a step-by-step process providing specific corrections for student errors and gradually moving towards independent student work. In other words. (b) enthuse all students sufficiently so that even the least motivated students end up wanting to take the subject taught at higher scholarly levels. Moreover. “The Behaviourist Views are the most teacher-centric because they model students as passive recipients of instructions and reinforcement learning (the ‘black box’ model of human mind). What sort of teacher do you (we) want to be? A brilliantly successful teacher! Three or four immediate definitions of teaching success come to mind: (a) give all students enough working skill and knowledge to usefully apply their new-found knowledge to the investigation and solution of real world problems. since a perfect teacher would presumably be sufficient for the whole world by logical deduction. we know with some certainty that there is no end to improvement in our teaching abilities. and hence if one existed there would be only one! So a good teacher will always be looking for ways to improve their professional practice. meaning they attempt to allow for both active students and active teachers. (c) provide a spiritual foundation for all students so that they leave the class with a more assured view of themselves as valuable human beings and gain a respect and deeper understanding for and of other human beings who may be either more able or less able than themselves. For example. The Cognitive Views are the most student-centric because they regard the student as an active recipient of external input which they internally turn into knowledge. This is for example a feature of group interaction models proposed by Vygotsky and others from the social constructivist school of education philosophy.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 12 The question is.

question and teach each other and generally find out what it takes to understand the world from another persons point of view. exciting. maybe. brainstorm. that is. so that the knowledge constructed by students in our classes is relevant and can be readily used to add value to society. Module 1-4. • Spend 5 minutes explaining the bigger picture of the unit objectives and this particular lesson’s objectives.5: Lesson Planning Before even looking at lesson plans. monitoring the comparative success of different teaching strategies and lesson plans that have the same learning goals. To ensure ongoing improvement in all the elements defining success in teaching some sort of self-assessment needs to be developed to monitor both student and teacher progress. • Begin a lesson with a stimulating. engaging short activity. How will you (we) be that teacher? First.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 13 (d) improve upon these successes as much as possible every minute of every day (or at least every hour if we think minute-by-minute improvement is a tad unrealistic). . Using appropriate and meaningful group interaction activities will be vital to foster an ever improving culture of education the classroom. we will need to stay abreast of the trends in economic. Then we will need to make and deliver lessons that do indeed teach students such skills and which further motivate them to continue to build on those skills by themselves in the future. Collecting evidence of best practice is another. 2. and put yourself in the students seat—a lesson that appeals to you has some chance of appealing to others. Gold is tested by fire!1 The idea of ‘meaningful group interaction’ here is that students should have ample opportunities to debate ideas. environmental and social conditions. This is not a lecture. 3. We may need to often teach them first why the lesson is likely to be relevant to their lives if this is not obvious. his could be an extension of a previous lesson that needs review. plan for about 5 to 10 minutes. let’s consider some meta-planning aims. Think of what you would like your lesson plans to include. How will you know if you are that teacher? Student and colleague feedback is one way. If time permits this can 1 At least it was in the old days before mass spectrometry and the like. because a person best improves their sense of citizenship and societal responsibility by putting it to practical test.

1998). thinking or action. Let’s now review the module objectives for this unit. . ). Not only is lesson planning helpful to improve teaching and learning. The only constraint is that the single lesson period is 50 minutes long. • Stop the activity 5 to 10 minutes before the period is due to finish. in case the objectives are not clear. it is. giving them a chance to ask questions and seek help. Comments on “Beginning teaching and beyond” The reading here is (Barry & King. • Spend this time visiting each student. . We will discuss varieties of activity later.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 14 even be a discussion. • To complete a lesson plan template. • To identify and apply important considerations of planning for teaching. Below are some key points from this reading.. With this meta-template for a secondary school lesson plan we find we have introduced some key teaching guidelines and arrived at a structure for a lesson that can be applied to any subject. Encourage questioning and support and cooperation without offering unsolicited help. summarize the lesson and progress. • Spend another 5 minutes introducing and explaining the main activity. and can cover multiple lessons that span more than one day. • To use. . they can be hugely varied (group or individual. • To reflect on and evaluate the effectiveness of a planned lesson . Planning is a requirement. • The students are then set to task on the main activity. a mandatory requirement and must be documented. the teacher should ask if any students have relevant questions. and demonstrate understanding of. indoors or outdoors. in some countries. If students have not completed the task then tell them either it does not matter or that they will continue next period (as you see fit). or spend 20 to 20 minutes if a mini-lecture is required. any school. • Allowing time to tidy up. planning terminology.

everything else about a lesson plan revolves around these objectives and the students needs. The chapter reading gives examples on pages 49. appreciating values. acting on belief. analysis.) 5. How will we know what and how well the students have learned the objectives? (Evaluation. derived from goals (e.g.. What experiences will aid students acquire these? (Learning experiences or LE’s. non-verbal communication and the like. Cognitive=intellectual objectives such as comprehension. Categories of learning objectives. Many teachers think that planning a lesson to match the age. Psychomotor=physical motor skills such as reflex. Learning objectives define the focus of the lesson. What is the background for the proposed learning experience? (Background. ... The short-term learning objectives can further be broken down into General LO’s=for a unit of work .) 4.) 2. What knowledge.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 15 All lesson planning involves five key questions. organization. 50. evaluation skill and the like. abilities. needs and interests of students is the most important factor in lesson planning. Affective=listening. understanding causes of conflict between people).g. That is not easy to accomplish. A technical aspect of this is to ensure the learning is near the zone of proximal development for each student individually.g. given such-and-such a scenario. Learning objective=short term objectives. identify the causes of conflict and reason how you might resolve them). concepts have to be covered and in what order to achieve these goals? (Subject matter. skills. foster social responsibility). Specific LO’s=for a single discrete task. These are given as. and the like. derived from aims (e. These are. and we may not meet this teaching goal every lesson. 1. Aims=long term objectives (e. What should students learn? (Learning objectives or LO’s) 3. perception and observation.) Meeting student needs is crucial. Some terminology is adopted: Outcomes=broadest possible levels of results of education yet still clearly defined form of acquired significant skill or understanding or value appreciation. You didn’t expect to be paid to teach without some hard effort did you? Learning objectives—the centre of the lesson. and even finer Behavioural LO’s=precise quality of attitude and quantitative performance. Goals=medium-term objectives.

then some increase in deep understanding has probably occurred. Writing learning objectives. and so the latter do not need to be high focuses of classroom teaching activity. Thus. “List at least 8 out of 12 of the examples of inefficiencies in the US health system that are documented in the film Sicko! ”. accurate. So instead. concrete-to-abstract. on page 56. .1. It seems desirable to me that all three classes of learning objective are equally important for a healthy society and well-balance individual students. Of course.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 16 Why is cognitive learning the most common in schools? I believe the answer is that cognitive attributes are the easier to instil into students than affective learning objectives. “Illustrate the main steps in photosynthesis”. I also believe that this is a reflection of the poor state of our school system. We trust that if before the lesson the student was unable to demonstrate this objective and after the lesson they can. coupled with the fact that psycho-motor skills are typically acquired routinely in day to day life. It is up to the teacher to then use multiple evaluation methods to ensure that deep understanding has indeed likely occurred. relevance refers to choosing subject matter that builds on prior understanding. “Enjoy simple quadratic equation” as a learning objective! Examples of useful stock verbs for each of the LO classes (cognitive. any given student may be able to fake a deep understanding by simply using a photographic memory type of skill to reproduce a diagram of photosynthesis they have seen before. “Watch the documentary film Sicko! ” is not a learning objective. It takes more effort and is harder to evaluate the affective learning objectives. Note also that often the goal of all education is some sort of deep understanding. A reasonable learning objective would be. not merely skill or knowledge or fact recall. an ‘understanding’ goal (for a biology lesson) might be phrased as a learning objective in a clearly measurable form such as. Clear objectives are not just restatements of activities. even though that is our desire.” These verbs should be things that are easy to observe or evaluate. Panel 3. Prefaced by a stem such as. But in a learning objective statement we would hardly ever use the verb understand because it is very difficult to test and evaluate a student’s deep understanding. Con- . Subject matter—relevant. “On completing this lesson the student will be able to. don’t write. We will get to the topic of assessment and evaluation later in these course notes. The statement. . manageable. psycho-motor and affective) are given by Barry in his chapter 3. ” and then it is helpful to start each specific learning objective statement with a verb: “Solve simple quadratic equations.

In such cases a good journal note of what transpired would be useful. Expert educationalists also recommend a three step process: first concrete cases—then imagery—and finally abstraction. Barry adds that the subject matter needs to be appropriately sequenced. Performance record review. Student presentations. Choosing manageable subject matter can be accomplished by breaking down complex subjects into smaller parts when possible. Given that we want to ideally facilitate learning a successful lesson would. Barry goes over the three main forms of evaluation and rovides examples of how to perform each type. and sometimes even for adults. 3. . Demostrations. Work protfolios. • Focus on an objective ‘X’ that before the lesson students cannot accomplish (and the teacher knows this). 1. Tests.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 17 crete examples are required when introducing new concepts to younger children. Marking during supervision. This is the final topic addressed in this reading. but in the end if the above objectives are satisfied then the teacher has acquitted themselves and served he students adequately. since this minimises confusion for the students. Q&A sessions. Evaluation and assessment are implicit because without them we cannot tell if any of these hallmarks of success have been achieved (these are the teacher’s achievement goals!). Self-evaluation. • After the lesson the students can accomplish X (and the teacher can prove this). • Involve topics and activities of interest and relevance to students. These are. This is just a short list. Interview. We could add that even if students learn something useful but not the ‘X’ that was intended the lesson could still be counted as a success. Diagnostic—Pre-tests. Evaluation—the essential wrap. ideally in an enjoyable interactive setting (and the teacher is satisfied this is so). 2. The first and last elements of success here ensure that we have done a professional job. Formative—Oservation. Summative—Assignments. before introducing generalizations and abstractions. or if this is not possible then a number of holistic learning methods could be explored.

The model that novice teachers are encouraged to follow centres around the subject matter concepts or skills (what you desire the students to master). Step 1. Evaluation (check mastery of subject matter) That concludes the notes on the reading Barry and King (1998). Background (identify known subject matter) Step 2. and should. For student teachers the model proposed by Barry seems like a sensible procedure to adopt.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 18 Modelling lesson planning. The advanced organizer should include at a minimum the following point. Short Glossary of Lesson Planning Terms This is available in MP3 audio format for easier memorization on the Epsy-302 TWiki page Epsy302AudioFiles. • Key vocabulary . An advance organizer is an overview of a lesson that can. at least until some expertise can be claimed to plan lessons in a faster more freestyle way. • The Topic. be shared with students so they get a clear idea of where we are taking them. Objectives (identify new subject matter) Step 3. Module 1-6: Advance Organizers We repeat the Module notes here in brief for review. Learning experiences (how to facilitate learning of subject matter) Step 4. • The Learning intention • Links to previous learning • Why are we studying this? • Big ideas—the main ideas. It can be given as a handout that is then read aloud or just verbally.

. • Key words and concepts: more on the subject matter. of relevance. and answer: “what. • Preparation steps and resources needed: “how will I avoid being unprepared?”. from a curriculum)—statements of the performance expected of students. • Learning intention: “what should the students ideally learn?” (see Module 1-8 below). The reflection task for this Module is written up on page 143 of the Journal section of these notes. “During this lesson we will.. Module 1-7: Guide to Lesson Planning This Module section is recorded on the TWiki audio file for ease of review. These are to be woven into the lesson plan. ”.g. could be stated as. and Learning inquiry. . The basics are stated here in brief. • Specific topic: “what is the subject matter?”. “By the end of this lesson the students should be able to. Formulate three inquiries: Focus inquiry. ”. Teaching inquiry. The questions posed for each planning stage could be check boxes that you tick off to ensure you have at least attempted to write a clear and useful lesson plan. • Success Criteria Post Organisers. • Background—ask yourself. . . These are similar to advance organisers but occur after the learning experience. • The learning objective—outcome (e. We will cover aspects of lesson planning in more detail the following sections. Then in your plan include detail on.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 19 • Tasks—list of required tasks. Use a lesson template that you are comfortable with and can easily check and refer to during class. do students already know?” • The time allotted in total. . Basics of lesson planning.

but could be qualitative or quantitative. list. Good verbs: demonstrate.. decide. Answers the questions. understand. or Affective.10 below). . .Module 1—Planning and Evidence 20 • Breakdown by time and sequence of student activities and teacher strategy: “what needs to be covered and in what order?”. Whereas bad verbs would be like: enjoy. . So just beware of the potential confusions in use of terminology! A Module 1-8: Writing Learning Intentions This Module section is recorded in more detail on the TWiki audio file for ease of review.. calculate. manipulate. Basics of writing learning intentions. Must match with the learning intention. “How will the students show me that they have mastered the learning intention?” or “How will I know what the tudents have learned?”.. • Teaching strategies: “what experience will help students learn this subject matter?” • Assessment method: “How will I know what the tudents have learned?” (see Module 1-9. fill in after the lesson). in Epol344 (science curriculum studies) the Learning Outcomes are synonymous with the above “Learning Objectives’. or Psychomotor. Use verbs. Sample lesson plans from colleagues are contributed later on in these course notes. Warning: There is some conflict in the literature and various courses about what Learning Outcomes and Learning Intentions are and how they differ. Basics of writing success criteria. arrange. . So the success criteria must be demonstrable.. while the Epol344 Learning Intentions are synonymous with the above “Advance Organizers’. Stick to a domain: Cogitative. cogitate. • Evaluation section: fields to be fill in (initially blank. but make sure they are easy to assess and align with the type of activity. grasp. For example. .

There were many other excelllent sample answers posted to the online Discussion-Board. .Module 1—Planning and Evidence 21 Module 1-9. /Teaching-as-Inquiry • Alternate suggested inquiry cycle for Te Reo: For a large unit to get a good idea quickly of student baseline we might need to split the class into groups and give each group a different subset of questions. . Learning Inquiry “One way is: supposing lesson activities involve active problem solving tasks.tki. Revise it if the journal noted a need for improvement. a longer survey could be conducted and turned into a quizz game for even if incorrect. /Inquiry/Teaching-as-inquiry • Further discussion: http://nzcurriculum. but the rationale for each depends upon previous evidence!” Focusing Inquiry “Students’ answers to an apposite quiz. methodically checking on every single student and making discrete notes on how well they are doing and whether or not . are some contributed samples. . If no close match is found then I would consult the Google oracle or ask a colleague for a starter guide on the best evidence strategies. . /A-suggested-teaching-as-inquiry-cycle The first focus task for this module was to give one example of a type of evidence gathering method for each of the three types of teaching & learning inquiries recommended by the NZC. • The Diagram and discussion: http://nzcurriculum.10: Using Evidence Evidence About Student Learning The web links for the Teaching as inquiry background information are as follows. Then during these I could walk around the class. . Quiz questions would need to be such that the answers are informative. . “One type of evidence gathering for each. in name order.tki. but I was too lazy to copy them all Questions could be designed based on past observations of student records. Blair’s contribution. . If time permits. Teaching Inquiry “First check if my journal records a successful previous lesson on the same topic/unit.

I could add some interesting did you know? facts for extra interest and also have a capture display when the class arrives for the lesson. their prey. this would also be noted in my journal so that maybe next time the lesson could be extended to provide more challenge. hypothesis.reflection of their own learning. experiment. their natural habitats. Teaching Inquiry “To continue the planning I have to remember how much I know about spiders in the first place and whether I need to do more research. relating to others and participating and contributing. Even if the lesson is uniformly successful for all students. so I will get this underway. if not then this becomes a focus for improvement. get help from colleagues for existing resources (and find the spiders) and ensure that there is creative insight and a respect for evidence about this topic and not just a simple question and answer session. a question. Learning Inquiry “I can consider my student’s actual self . 10 students) Focusing Inquiry “I will ascertain general feedback from students to check their existing science knowledge and discuss conducting a simple science experiment ie. whether they learnt to expectations or not (or .” Contributed by Diana. I will look at the expected learning outcomes and expectations of the students around asking questions about this topic. We can then carry out a simple habitat experiment.cultural contexts relate to all fields of scientific research. My example could be ‘How do spiders spin webs?’ For this I need to plan the appropriate resources. results. To extend the learning we could talk about the actual silk and factors or functions of spinning. and not just how they spin (and what) to provoke more discussion and a range of LO’s. understandings and explanations from this task. I could refer to Entomologists and I could decide to present some existing thinking or research. I may introduce more about why the spiders spin webs. or a short quiz.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 22 they meet the success criteria. “I have chosen Level four to five (around year 9. Since socio. looking at types and anatomy of spiders in general. dangerous ones etc. conclusion. finding evidence and developing simple expectations and this would take into account key competencies of thinking. “I will try and ensure (level appropriate) that there is a development of scientific knowledge.

Setting a task that has no right or wrong response that allows you to identify their background knowledge.” Contribution from Jinxi. “Reflection about new discoveries and possible explanations. “Teaching inquiry evaluation. Was the teaching inquiry successful. I then researched the topic but not in the depth I would do if it was a real scenario. The assessment information I would target is the living world and how my students can develop an understanding of the diversity of life and other processes and of the impact of humans on all forms of life. Inquiry Overview “The learning outcomes and formative assessments would lead me on to consider how to teach in the future around the idea of making informed decisions about interactions with their environment as well as vocations is science such as a Zoologist or Entomologist. 10.-Personal student development. how should I teach it? and what do I base the decisions on? for a range of science topics for level four to five or year 9.” . conclusions and possible modifications. Set similar task at the end of the lesson. How did they complete the task and what level of understanding did they demonstrate in the execution of the task?” Teaching Inquiry “Exploration and discovery by introducing guided experimentation at the appropriate level. I would include other evidence of benefits for students that I have picked up during class discussions and this will help me assess what should I teach next?.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 23 exceeded it) and whether they can reflect back to me any new found respect in terms of our set up in the classroom ie. we could record statements around seeing a spider spin or around any existing webs (around the school?). Student input and teacher input. “I used the New Zealand Curriculum (Science) for the basis of my Inquiry and my example originally came from an Internet quiz. Learning Inquiry Task observation. Task set for small groups or individuals. Have they applied new methods and understanding to the same task. ’housing’ and caring for the spider(s) and observations they made. Focus Inquiry “Task observation.

Learning Inquiry “As assessment I might again use small groups and ask each group to put together a concept map or flow chart of the topic they have been working on. Learning Inquiry “Evaluation. etc. a quick fire quiz. I would then move into another activity. Teaching Inquiry “Using the same example. ‘Time to practice’ has been a foundation of the social constructivist theory of learning. group work if possible. contraceptives. mind maps etc. discussing feedback with students or getting them to fill out an evaluation sheet. or true/false statement list would examine students’ current knowledge in a particular area. was the lesson successful or not? In relation to your starting point and the AOs what was the outcome of your teaching.) would be beneficial in dispelling myths and encouraging students to discuss the correct procedure/information/chain of events. To start I would initiate a discussion or slide-show. To find this out a discussion with students may be valuable. I would ask each student to take a turn to come up with the next part of the sequence. Think about the various strategies you could use as it is important to tailor activities to suit all learners in the classroom.” Leah’s contribution. Teaching Inquiry “Strategies. research own experience and practice as well as asking other colleagues. These may be particularly useful in Health education where students are likely to have their own discussions about topics like drugs and sex outside of the classroom. small group work. and includes the learner playing an active role in their learning.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 24 This one from Joneen.” . particularly with the use of practical models (anatomical. For this part I would establish students existing knowledge and skills. movie clip where I had 90% of the control but still encouraged active participation from the students. Focus Inquiry “Using an activity such as an anticipatory guide. Also I would need to know about the students backgrounds. Focus Inquiry “Planning and assessment objectives. and if they have misconceptions or misinformation regarding a specific topic.

(particularly helpful when you are a first year teacher!). A class discussion is a fast way to see what they know. Focus Inquiry To establish where my students are at concerning a specific topic I would lead a class discussion on the subject. The focus inquiry stage is a planning and assessment component that summarises prior knowledge.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 25 Contributed by Loesje. identifies assessment objectives (AO’s) and learning intentions (LI’s). Contributed by Matthew. Understand the context in which you are teaching. Teaching Inquiry As how to decide which strategies are most likely to help your students learn. The focus inquiry is referred to as the ‘baseline’ because it provides teachers with a position from which to reflect and compare future outcomes. . teachers need to use evidence from research.They might be able to tell you whether that class works well in groups or better individual and they might tell you whether they benefit from strict routines or maybe freedom to explore. that is based on a specific image or question. Learning Inquiry This could be a self-assessment sheet that students fill in at the end of the teaching. “Example: Get to know your students. but also on their experience of the project in more general terms you will be able to gather evidence about your own teaching strategies. It requires consideration and evaluation of my student’s prior subject knowledge and at the same time a critical evaluation of my own knowledge of the subject. Focusing Inquiry “This is when I decide what is to be taught in a lesson or unit. These assessment sheets could be used as teacher enquiry evidence in future projects. If the questions are not only focused on assessing themselves and their work. Use activities such as concept maps. During the focus inquiry process the learning intentions need to be identified. So the evidence would be the experience from other teachers. you could collect evidence from your colleagues that have taught that particular group before.” Teaching Inquiry “To successfully achieve the outcomes determined in the focus inquiry. understand what they know and where they have come from.

We are asked to decide whether the following statements are ‘true’ or ‘false’. [True then False] Progresss is a huge part of assessment. “Example: May involve student feedback related to greater understanding of subject content. enhance both teaching and learning. Why the change of opinion? The comments in italics suggest why. Future lessons are based on this inquiry. among many other concerns. Identify what strategies might work best for the particular subject being taught and also for the set of individuals you are teaching to. 1. [False then False] I did not read anything that changed my mind on this. this is the eighth task for Module 1. for instance. [False then False] This aligns with the first statement. but cannot ever be our sole concern. Not all students can learn what I am teaching. Its an evaluative and reflective process using formative assessment methods that lead to considerations of how to improve future lessons.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 26 past experience and colleagues/peers to plan their lessons. In bracket’s are one colleagues responses before and after completing the module readings. 2. and encourage selfregulation. “Example: Ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of your classroom and design teaching methods to be inclusive of all students. The sole concern of assessment should be to check student learning.” Task 8—Then And Now Activity Believe it or not. 3. Assessment is mainly to measure students’ progress. This could be by way of general discussion.” Learning Inquiry “This is the process of investigating the success or failure of your teaching methods and identifying the outcomes of your teaching strategies in relation to your baseline AO’s and LI’s. quick quizzes of feedback sheets that can be analysed for purpose of improving learning strategies. we also want to improve motivation. but perhaps the main reason we assess is to enhance learning. . Below are one colleagues responses. Checking learning s perhaps the main concern. Planning is a key component of the teaching inquiry as it outlines statements of intent. This is a simple anticipatory guide.

– Formative assessment or assessment for learning. – Active assessment or assessment as learning. but let’s add a few more categories: – Diagnostic assessment or pre-assessment. The reading gives more detailed reasons. – Summative assessment or assessment of learning. It also helps students obtain some clarity about what is expected of them. Students should be involved in own assessment. If one wanted students to gain insight into their own progress and learn at the same time then active assessment methods would be best. Assessment and Reporting The 9th task for this module is the reading (Krause. Bochner. Helps schools and teachers to be accountable for their responsibilities. – Authentic assessment or real world assessment. If one is in the middle of a lesson and wants to check the student is in their zone of . Continuous more or less throughout the learning process. If one cares about informing parents of their childs progress relative to peers then summative assessment methods might be best. hopefully motivating them positively. – Dynamic assessment or feed-forward and feedback assessment. • What are some of the main effective forms of assessment? We have already looked at three of these. If one wanted to plan a lesson than a diagnostic assessment methods would come into force. • Why do we assess? It helps teachers figure out where students are at and there enables effective planning for future lessons. such as reviewing student records. Some comments: if one wanted to ensure what is being taught is what is being learned then formative assessment methods would be best. It helps students determine their level of achievement and relative progress. It helps schools design broad programs and cater for particular student needs. Let’s examine the key questions posed in this reading and attempt to answer them. Duchesne.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 27 4. & McMaugh. [True then True] Leaving students uninformed about assessments defeats the main purposes of assessment. 2010). such as self and peer assessment. – Performance assessment or instant assessment.

some of these categories overlap. 2 . gender. by long term comparison of effects of different combinations of teaching strategy and subject matter. which are reviewed on the mp3 audio for this module on our TWiki. Portfolios. 5. Observation. Also. Essays. or perceptions such as happiness. Questioning. You get the idea. In addition the following quality assurance factors should be considered and handled appropriately where applicable to the data: – Reliability—is the method consistently repeatable? – Validity—does the assessment method really check what you think it is supposed to check? – Bias—is the test fair? Factors include cultural. language. that is. Effective feedback. Strategic questioning. 4. Student self-assessment. physical. Homework. Previous records. particularly for diagnostic assessment. a lot of dynamic assessment is used for immediate formative purposes. via peer assessment or individual student-teacher dialogue. Sharing the learning objectives with students. Interviews. 3. e. including success criteria. pain. such as degree of skill at something fuzzy such as drawing. Formative use of summative assessment. using summative assessment as feedback to inform future teaching practice. to give students some responsibility and enable them to be active in assessment. Performance assessment task are often best if they are also authentic real-world tasks. Check-lists. 2. 6. and so forth. and other biases. Projects. Rating scales can be used for example to ordinally measure qualitative attributes. degree of cooperation. honesty.. The chapter by Krause et al 2010 gives some good tips for effective questioning.g. • What are some of the main effective tools of assessment? These include: Tests.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 28 proximal development (ZPD) in real time then a quick dynamic assessment method could be used and instantly acted upon. Alignment of the assessment with the learning objective. Assignments. Statistical methods appropriate for the data. Rating scales2 . For example. • How can we assure assessment is effective? Some basic methods are suggested: 1.

Module 1—Planning and Evidence 29 • Who is the audience for assessment reporting and how does this impact us? This question is not answered in the reading excerpt. Advantages: focuses attention on learning objectives. e. 3 The jargon for this type of assessment is ‘ipsative’ from the Latin root ‘of the self’. – Curriculum referenced assessment: used simply to check adequate coverage of topics. Disadvantages: can give false impression of achievement relative to peers. Then parents. Disadvantages: can be difficult to administer. so for example. • How do people use assessment information? Assessment without evaluation is like preparing food without eating it. We can assume the main audience for assessment reports are (a) the students. encourages self-directed and self-regulated learning. This list is in rough order of importance. which may require more summary reports or different presentation of results.. (e) the Ministry and government. Here are some assessment data types and corresponding uses. Advantages: good for diagnostic info. (d) schools (other teachers and administrators). Advantages: helps motivation. (b) the teachers. and can be frequent and direct. – Criterion referenced assessment: check mastery of skills. So first we should write reports with clarity for students. – Consistency compare only like assessments. Disadvantages: costs of planning. so they clearly see their child’s progress.. Disadvantages: prone to misinterpretation. Advantages: easily standardized. do not mix and compare assessment data from different sources. ratio comparisons are dangerous. Secondly. and do not accurately tell us what children have and have not learned. . (c) parents. In addition there are ways to make evaluation effective: – Alignment of judgements with learning objectives. Cannot be used to relate students relative merits. – Transparency inform students. recording personal bests.g. data gathering and interpretation difficulties. – Self-Progress referenced3 assessment: measures the students progress. provides positive feedback. – Normative referenced assessment: can be used to rank students from best to worst. and then high level interest parties need to be considered. consider ourselves so write reports with improvement in our own teaching in mind. so their performance can be self-evaluated.

For example. Here we just note the end result of the activity task. in Tables 1.1 to are some samples. ratio) scale then you need interval (resp. not ratio scales.2) is twice as good as Jack (who had a grade of 4. Below.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 30 • How do people misuse assessment information? One must be clear about what interpretations of the assessment data are valid and meaningful. ratio) data—for example comparing swimming or running race times is an interval and also a ratio scale type of measurement. because grades are ordinal scales. which was to develop a 10 minute lesson plan. Such as ‘Johnny (with a grade of 8. otherwise misuse occurs. This is an invalid use of grading data. Module 1-11: Developing a Lesson Plan The audio readings for this Module section cover the main content. If you want to compare students on an interval (resp. 4 .1) at task X’. using a scored or graded test cannot be used to determine relative merits4 of students! At best all such tests provide is information about the rank ordering of the students at the particular time and context for which the test or assessment was administered.

Learning area: Mathematics. . string. Advance Organizer: “We are going to figure out a cool relationship between rotations” and reflections. Practice manually transforming objects. At least two long meter rulers for group demo and make sure every student has a normal ruler.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 31 Table 1. transformations in the 2D plane. Teacher’s strategies: Remember about rotation and reflection transforms. . Pre-cut objects made of stiff card for practice.uiuc.” “I am going to give you some objects and you will play around with them to see if you can come up with a way of making a rotation from just reflections! For any rotation!” “I will remind you about how to perform reflections if you don’t remember. tell students you want them to think and not take any notes at this stage.geom. Time: Teacher’s strategies: . Continued on next page. The motivations are (i) delight in the process of discovering an unexpected relation. “what are some similarities and differences between rotations and reflections?” Discussion: Consider two or three answers and comment on them.) Teacher action: Students action: Remind and demo. Time: 10 min (Based on NZC AO—Define and use transformations and descibe the invariant properties of figures and objects under these transformations.5 min Primer: Ask them. They can perform arbitrary such transformations easily in 2D. and (ii) a glimpse of the power of geometric algebra. Key words and ideas: rotation angle. Enough drawing pins. Students action: Think of similarities and differences between roations and reflections.” “Are there any questions about that before we begin?” (Cut short if no immediate sensible questions. 2 min Teacher action: Jot ideas on whiteboard. Year level: 5 Topic: A rotation is a combination of two reflections. Template sheet for exercise problems (different variations for each student). Time: 0. Time: 2 min Teacher’s strategies: Intro: Welcome all and thank attentive students. geometry and measurement. Background: Students already know what reflection and rotation involve.) Ref: http://www. Brainstorm on whiteboard. and protractors for doing manual˜crobles/hyperbolic/eucl/iref/ Learning intentions: Calculate graphically the two reflections that define a given rotation in 2D.1: Lesson plan: All rotations are combinations of two reflections. mirror reflection. Homework: NA. Wooden blocks with different coloured faces for physical demonstration. Practice conjecturing by generalizing the concrete results. Preparation and resources needed: Prepare a worksheet with examples of pairs of reflections.

Ensure students are listening now. . but skip the questioning just remind them of the ideas. 2. . Continued on next page. . then if time permits: Attentive (ensure this using non-verbal cues). continued from previous page If extended discussion ensues let it go on as long as interesting ideas are advanced. but do not show the result. Ask them to note in their books their guesses and the most logical seeming number of reflections it might take to get a given rotation.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 32 (4 min) Table 1. —Students fill in worksheets. and you can then STOP the lessons here OK! If more than 2 mins remain go to the next stage. –How could we prove this in general? –Does this work in 3D also? 2 min “Are there any questions?” Ask questions. .1 . Mark worksheet problems. Ask students to work out how to get the same transform using a rotation. —Students fill in worksheets.) Ask the CLOSURE-1 questions. Ask questions to probe student understanding. . 4 min 1. but no need for formal groups. . Feed the following questions. Elicit student response. . Assessment of student learning: During the 4 min group work observe student actvity. –Is there a conjecture we can make from the results? Ask extension questions. skip the CLOSURE-1. Cooperative activity: (tell students they can talk and share ideas. return them to teacher. 2 min Ask evaluation questions. “What do you think will be the most likely?” “Or is there no way to make a rotation out of just combined reflections?” Teacher action: Students action: (3 min) 2 min Demonstrate a worked example of two reflections using props. Get students to work examples of finding the two reflections that produce a given rotation. “What do you think will be the most likely?” “Or is there no way to make a rotation out of just combined reflections?” . CLOSURE-1: At this point ask students to conjecture (come up with at least two or three ways) that a rotation might be produced purely by a number of reflections. Observe and answer questions. Tidy up materials. Prompt if necessary. and analyze. Worksheet marks: record in student database. Describe rotating on same object. CONTINUED: (Re-introduce the topic if continuing from previous day. Elicit student response. Answer questions.) Observe work. Gather worksheets for review. ask for conjectures. 3. Ask students to work out the result of two or three mirror reflections. Observe work. provide feedback. Check time.

and ‘quality’. Example thoughts are in italics. settle and dispose of the the perplexity. involves: (1) a state of doubt. ‘questioning’. ‘deep’. Task 11.” Comments: A somewhat negative view of reflection (doubt.1 . . Definitely an active view (on the hunt). perplexity) but with a positive purpose (resolving a problem). inquiring to find material that will resolve the doubt. Evaluation: What worked in this lesson? What did not work? Did the students enjoy the lesson? Did the students learn adequately? How can this lesson be improved? Module 1-12: Interpreting Assessment Information Module 1-13: Evidence About My Teaching The audio files go over the module notes for this section in more detail. continued from previous page Manual work precision ratings: ibid. Reflective Practice Task 11 involves jotting down thoughts on the following definitions. Bright. Gives a very serious weighty impression of reflection. and (2) an act of searching. Problem-solving based. Participation ratings: ibid. 1996 “A genuinely critical. . 1996 “Reflective thinking. mental difficulty. hesitation. hunting. Dewey. in which thinking originates.” Comments: keywords in this definition are ‘genuine’. . perplexity. The task was to read each definition of reflective practice and note down the themes and what the definition means to you.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 33 Table 1. in distinction from other operations to which we apply the name of thought. questioning orientation and a deep commitment to the discovery and analysis of positive and negative information concerning the quality and status of a professional’s designed action.

g. The student should be able to quantitatively check that a further reflection across the green line (labelled m2 will map the red triangle onto the green rotated image almost perfectly.. The green triangle to the left is the rotation (though about 120◦ anticlockwise). The yellow triangle to the right is the initial copy. the two black lines labelled a and b define the rotation.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 34 Figure 1. using a protractor). The dashed line are there for easy checking of the rotation (e. The red triangle is the image of the first reflection using the plane through the line a (also labelled m1 ) as the mirror.2: One example of how a student might approach the main question of mapping reflections onto a single rotation. .

skills. urrr. Posing useful problems is a difficult skill similar to learning how to ask good questions.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 35 Loughran. • The theme of searching and questioning and inquiry—hunting. wisdom. articulation of professional knowledge is encouraged. improvement. with a view to its improvement. (2) May involve reframing the problem. (3) Rejects a ‘top down’ approach. Task 12.” Comments: not sure why top-down thinking cannot be used as well as holistic or bottom-up thinking. discovery. Key phrase is ‘wisdom-inaction’ which connotes both useful knowledge and practical utility. Hatten & Smith. A strategy to synthesis learning. At least four strong distinct themes of reflective practice emerge in my opinion. enhancement. iterative thinking Linking ideas . . • Theme of improvement and iteration—reframing. . (4) Assumes teachers have the knowledge and skills to improve own teaching.” Comments: a bit abstract. Complete the following mnemonic. professional and wise action. quality. • The theme of wisdom and knowledge—genuine. yet pragmatic view. • Theme of practicality or usefulness—solving a problem. in the spirit of ‘no correct answers’ for this: Reframing—problems need to be reframed Empowerment of professionals Feedback—self-reflexive.” Comments: Zeichner & Liston. 2006 “Deliberate thinking about action. So. to develop and respond to this reframing through action so that the practioner’s wisdom-in-action is enhanced and . 1996 “(1) Involves both posing and solving problems. . Reflective Practice Mnemonic: R-E-F-L-E-C-T-I-O-N. questioning. . 1996 “The ability to frame and reframe the practice setting. .

the faker isnt concentrating on the speaker. and giving the occasional uh huh. He is comparing all the time against his view of the world. Less guilty—I try to be aware of not being too rude. Below are some sample comments. Be honest. He is judging the speaker’s words and trying to fit them into his logic box. Everyone uses blocks and this is an opportunity to become more aware of your blocks. Not that I’m good at it. However. He rarely asks about the underlying feeling or emotion attached to a message. Guilty—but generally only when I am genuinely not interested in the speaker’s topic. The Intellectual —or Logical Listener. Put a tick next to the listening habits that you may sometimes practice. which is rare provided the topic is not trivia or entertainment news. so I’m unlikely to interrupt. He’s too anxious to speak his words and shows little concern for the speaker.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 36 Enlightenment—result from good reflective thinking Critical thought Thorough Thinking and/or Teaching Inquiry Open-minded or Organized or Original Novel insights—naturally! Task 13. If you daydream a lot with certain individuals it will indicate a lack of your commitment to them. His mind is elsewhere. it helps me process the information. He is constantly rehearsing his next input. making eye contact. The Interrupter —The interrupter doesn’t allow the speaker to finish and doesn’t ask clarifying questions or seek more information from the speaker. When the . These negative listening habits sometimes prohibit us from being a good listener. The Happy Hooker —The happy hooker uses the speaker’s words only as a way to get to his message. Plus I often think I do not have anything to say of value. Guilty—it’s fun to do this. Listening Habits Read the following negative listening habits. This person is always trying to interpret what the speaker is saying and why. The Faker —All the outward signs are there: nodding.

it could also belittle the speaker by minimizing his or her concern with a quick solution. . Not guilty—I’m more likely to be sympathetic. Sometimes guilty—depends upon how desperate the speaker seems! I could definitely do more to improve withholding judgement more often to get a better feel for whether a solution is being asked or the person is just venting and needs a listener. . . Urrrr—not guilty? If the criticism is personal then I do tend to try to deflect or block it. But I would not naturally ignore what the person is saying. It’s as if the words were never said. story. You listen long enough to check for anger or danger or emotional stress. The Advice Giver —You are the great problem solver. otherwise I will sound like an idiot. it could be anything. Another way people filter is simply to avoid hearing certain things—particularly anything threatening. The Right Listener —Will go to any lengths—twist the facts.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 37 speaker says something. the happy hooker steals the focus and then changes to his own point of view. because it does not allow the speaker to fully articulate his feelings or thoughts. it doesn’t help the speaker solve his own problems. The Human Filter —You listen to some things and not to others. this behaviour interferes with good listening. . it prohibits venting. At least. Giving advice is sometimes helpful. “oh. criticism of just ideas I find to be helpful and I invite it. or facts. You simply have no memory of them. Less guilty—I’m only likely to indulge in such dismissive behaviour if the speaker is really boring or truly vacuous. thats nothing. . The Rebuttal Maker —This listener only listens long enough to form a rebuttal. and frankly. however. At his worst. at other times. The other person never feels heard because this listener is so quick to disagree. and I take criticism hard. Otherwise. When these possibilities are absent you can then let your mind wander. critical or unpleasant. His point is to use the speaker’s words against him. Unless I’m conversing with a racist or bigot. Can’t listen to criticism. make excuses or accusations. negative. Favourite hooker lines are. ” Less guilty—of course some input to follow is rehearsed. the person always wants to make the speaker see the other point of view. he is argumentative and wants to prove you wrong. here’s what happened to me. I remember when I was. call up past sins—to avoid being wrong. opinion. can’t be corrected and can’t take suggestions to change.

f Homework—if necessary (not just a ‘catch-up’) f Background of relevant student knowledge and context. f Lesson year and level. f Key words and key concepts. f Why should the students be learning this? f How should they learn this? Cross check with all the strategy checks.]. A Check-list for Lesson Plans I plan to be totally unsatisfied unless all of the following boxes can be ticked for any final lesson plan I devise [Ed.] Summary of Lesson Planning I thought it would be useful to end this Module study with a long check-list of things that I would like to see in all of my detailed lesson plans [Ed. 2008).] Reading—“Reflective teaching and learning” Comments on (Dymoke & Harrison. 2002).]. This one was not available on e-reserve. f Lesson topic/name (make it catchy and memorable). .Module 1—Planning and Evidence 38 Reading—“Critical Friends” Comments on (Bambino. f Estimated and preferably the rehearsed time. [EDITOR: TODO. f Clear statement of success criteria—linked to learning intentions. f Clear statement of lesson intentions—linked nicely to achievement objectives. f Clear statement of lesson objective—“what should the students learn?” f Relevance to National curriculum achievement objectives clearly stated. [EDITOR: TODO.

Module 1—Planning and Evidence 39 f Background of previous lessons of relevance. if not part of the main lesson. f Details for arranging possible additional teacher aids. is it well-planned and have you selected a group structure that suits the lesson? f Is this going to be an enjoyable lesson. f Timed sequence of main proposed teacher and student activities–learning experiences. f Notes on likely student misconceptions. f Notes on preparation of resources and any clean-up or follow up afterwards. f Lesson closing activity. support staff if required. f Starter activities. f Resources needed—all of: physical. human. f Strategy for ensuring safe and supportive learning environment. and plan how to respond. f Seating arrangement needed if necessary. f In general some sort of ‘out’ or escape in case of some unanticipated break down . and ICT. fDoes the starter activity get students immediately thinking? fAre the starter and plenary activities adequate to check and assess learning? f Strategy for differentiation. f Is the strategy appropriate for achievement of the learning intentions? f Does the strategy make good use of student knowledge. suggestions and examples? f If you have a group activity. f Outlets for potentially disruptive students that will keep them focused in some way on the learning intentions. errors. guests. to cater for student diversity. f Notes on possible anticipated departures from the timed sequence. f Back-up plan in case a main or critical path component of the lesson fails. f Extra safety arrangements if needed. extension suggestions and review. one that you would enjoy? f Key questions to ask: starters and intervention questions. thinking traps. summary.

. f Where administration and other notes will be recorded (non-assessment stuff). is it because this lesson is a special one-off In addition to this check list I’ve got a more specific check list for mathematics lessons in the Epol338 course notes. (This has to be something that will still lead to valuable learning. f Evaluation goals for reviewing the lesson and improving the plan. as well as teacher guides.) f Assessment criteria—will you be able to judge whether learning has been achieved or not? f Details on how assessment will be performed or recorded. then re-check this entire check list after doing so.Module 1—Planning and Evidence 40 in the lesson or teacher brain freeze. f Are your entering and exiting routines clear and consistent with previous standards for the classroom? f If there enough time to complete the lesson. or will you need a few shortcuts and/or extensions up your sleeve? f Look over the lesson plan again. “will the students immediately get a clear vision of where the lesson is coming from and heading towards in the big picture of the years grand plan and goals?” topic? If not. and ask. then re-do the plan and re-check this check list. f If you haven’t ticked the previous box. f Have you rehearsed the lesson? f Have you consulted your reflection journal for tips and reviews. past exam papers and examiner reports? If not.

• Recognise the importance of using questions to aid learning. which involves some sort of originality that they could not see in the way they actually did learn a particular answer to a question. • How do we learn? Well. The child said. innate abilities (is language innate?) and constructing knowledge with the aid of others using scaffolding and generalization processes are some of the ways we learn. • Use teaching models for specific purposes. • Prepare a range of questions.” Consider these questions. Such things as building on existing knowledge. sample responses are in italics. I cheated—because a friend told me that a few days ago. • Describe the differences between models of teaching: group interaction model. guided discovery. Module 2-2—How Do We Learn? A parent recently had a conversation with her child about a situation in the classroom when she had supplied the correct answer to the teacher’s question.2. Module 2—Models of Teaching Outline: At the conclusion of this module you will be able to: • Demonstrate an understanding of research-based teaching models and strategies. lecture-discussion. technically we have no idea about how we learn. “Actually Mum. really! Prosaically we have some theories about how the brain works and what seems to result in effective learning. direct instruction. The child in the anecdote has a particular ‘theory’ of learning. 41 .

it is predicted that 35% of secondary school age students in New Zealand will be either Maori or Pasifika. problem-solving skills. and so on and so forth.] Module 2-3—Group Interaction Models The idea that groups are good for learning is as old as human society. decision-making skills will be required in the future? [EDITOR: TODO. In this module we explore some educationalists ideas about what these might be. because educators still do not understand why it works exactly. imagination. discovery. it might be important to consider these questions. trial and error. Group synergy is well known and has been extensively documented and empirically proven to work. or knowledge? The ways we learn are manifold. no one really knows why cooperative small group learning methods are so effective. To paraphrase Killen (2009a). mimicry (is that real learning though?). . By the year 2021.] • What interpersonal skills. Two strong themes are.Module 2—Models of Teaching 42 • What are the ways in which we learn new qualities. The main rationale for using group work is to try to raise the academic achievement (and otherwise) of all students in the group above any levels that they would be able to achieve on their own. experimentation. cooperation. • What educational models do you think will be suitable for this changing world? [EDITOR: TODO. skills. dreaming. experience.] • How will models use changing avenues of communication? [EDITOR: TODO. In the following sections on group interaction models of learning we will see some recurring themes. The Epsy-302 Module notes state that “New Zealand society in the next decade what do you think it will be like? Our population is changing. The New Zealand demographic is changing.” So as a teacher for the future. reading. It’s becoming more ethnically diverse. Copying examples. Synergy is the modern word that captures the abstract nature of getting more out of a system than merely the sum of it’s parts. But there are problems with putting this into practice. and no one can say for sure what the conditions are that ensure group synergy. This is an ideal that does not always occur with every study group.

The intellectual quality of group work will often take care of itself through synergy. A teacher-directed conclusion to the lesson. fairness. Clear guidelines. be it group discussion to allow students to voice their thoughts and get peer feedback. Establish a clear focus on student learning. 4. Careful time management. 8. Task 14. and the other factors that make for effective group work. • Whatever the form of group activity. Monitoring and feedback by the teacher. 9.Module 2—Models of Teaching 43 • Group synergy results from quality well-functioning groups. So a wise teacher will allow for. Careful management of the learning environment. Adequate preparation of (and by) students. what is rather first and foremost is the higher level group dynamics: cohesion. 2009b). but not intrusion. . • Most of us benefit from group interaction where appropriate. by the teacher. and put plenty of time into. Reading “Using small group work as a teaching strategy” Comments on (Killen. • Dysfunctional groups do not have the same synergistic effects. 7. or cooperative group problem solving. the teacher acts as the facilitator. there are at least nine factors you need to consider to ensure success: 1. building strong groups. 2. 6. 3. mutual respect. Willing participation of all students. so why not teach students how to function well in groups! So when lesson planning for group activities the teacher needs to do their best to figure out how they will create quality student teams. cooperation. Direction. 5. • The key idea with group work is to try to facilitate learning via student interaction.

2.Module 2—Models of Teaching 44 • Before making every lesson into a group activity. “Killen (2009) indicated that one of the goals of group work was to give all students an opportunity to contribute in a non-threatening environment. advantages and limitations of small group work. a high achiever and a fast worker becomes frustrated when other group members work slowly and want to chat about their weekend activities. These are not repeated here. She is motivated to participate in group activities but so slow that other learners do not want to work with her. We are asked to select at least one scenario and then contribute to the discussion board thread by answering: “What’s the issue or issues here? What approach do you think could be taken to solve the issue?”. we are asked to give feedback to another student. As well as our own posting. Contributed by Anna: “Scenario 1—learner with the lower reading age who is motivated to participate but so slow that other learners do not want to work with her. • Killen provides two long lists of the special features. Task 15. A dispute develops between two learners because they disagree about how the group task should be done. but are included in the Module 2-3 Audio files posted on our course Wiki for Epsy-302. Clearly this is not occurring in the above scenario. McInerney & McInerney suggest (p. A learner who is highly motivated. for revision. it might not be. One danger of group work given by Killen is that high ability students may lose incentive to do well. 275) that the groups should be mixed abilities particularly when different perspectives are required. Below are some samples. Solving small group-work problems The following scenarios are given: 1. we need to consider whether group work is truly the optimum strategy for a particular learning objective. or would be better done in homogeneous groups. A learner has a reading age far lower than other class members. . 3. So it may be that this task was either not suitable for group work. One issue could be to do with the composition of the group.

then might need to look carefully at which one the student has—perhaps s/he could perform a task that doesn’t require reading—as long as s/he still comes away with the same learning. According to Thomson and Brown one of the five key elements to co-operative learning is to establish positive interdependence. p. but only if the correct methodology is applied to the learning tasks. This particular girl might not be good at reading but she might have other qualities to contribute to the group. This quality will have to be established. If roles have been assigned. to ensure she gets given the job . 2009. “Is this a failure of the group to function coherently or is it a failure of the teacher and the teaching method? According to research we covered in Epsy-301 you could reasonably expect the members of the group to benefit through peer learning and scaffolding. and therefore the other students don’t want to work with her. One more thing the teacher may need to reflect on is the suitability of group work for this particular exercise?” and Loesje had this take: “I have chosen the first scenario.” Another view of scenario 1 is from Matt: “I have chosen scenario 1 where there is one student working at a much lower level than the rest of the group. They suggest that a way to achieve this is making sure there is a division of labour within the group (everybody is required to contribute a different piece of work to the finished product). After that provide some particular assistance to the student with the lower reading age—either via the teacher. the group or herself. and that the appropriate group selection strategy has taken place. It is probably unwise to have students in groups whose abilities are poles apart. either by the teacher. 187). I think in this situation the success of the group discussion could benefit from ‘careful management of the learning environment’ (Killen. The students need to feel that it’s ‘all for one and one for all’. For scaffolding to be successful requires the development of new knowledge to be close to that of the existing knowledge so that the sequence of learning is logical and manageable. “The girl might has reading difficulties. I think in this example the teacher needs to select groups with similar (but not the same) knowledge and skills.Module 2—Models of Teaching 45 “Approach could be to ensure that the task is suitable for group work. or buddy up with a student who is willing to help.

Alternatively. and the others are not).” A contribution on scenario 2 from Blair: “Scenario 2. “This learner may have a more mature attention span and greater ability to stay focused on the task at hand. Make their weekend escapades part of the activity perhaps? “These are just some ideas. The issue is the difference in motivation between learners (or that one learner is motivated to complete the task. this will give them some control over the focus. while other learners see time without direct teacher supervision as ‘free time’.Module 2—Models of Teaching 46 within the task that makes use of her qualities.” Scenario 2 turned out to be very popular. There is also a motivation and/or focus problem: the chatty students are not on-task and focused. The focus problem is probably more important. She might be really good at presenting (the outcome). and maybe group size as well. one could imagine many more. but suppose the activity was made to lend naturally to leadership roles. But this may not be the best solution in this case. So the teacher is better advised to restructure the activity so that students cannot avoid focusing on the tasks at hand. If the high achiever is frustrated then that indicates the others are not making best use of this valuable group member. “What approach do you think could be taken to solve the issue? The teacher-facilitator probably needs to take more care in group composition selection. here is Leah’s take: “Scenario 2 highly motivated student. The motivated learner must see some relevance in this task—perhaps it is just to avoid getting any group work for homework. but it is likely that he/she sees a reason to . “What’s the issue or issues here? We have a mismatch in the group composition. That way there is no excluding from a group. then the high achiever could be appointed as the group leader. a high achiever and a fast worker becomes frustrated when other group members work slowly and want to chat about their weekend activities. or she might be a good organiser! “Another option would be. A learner who is highly motivated. that the group is as small as two people. It’s hard to give specific examples. rather than her deficiencies. if reading is essential. the activity could be made more fun for the chatty students. The entire group is prevented from working at their ZPD. and a safer learning environment is established.

etc. alcohol. giving groups short time frames to complete each aspect of the class—like in exams. asking one to relay information to class after discussion or someone to take notes to be pinned around the classroom. “The teacher could impose some guidelines for this activity. and wish to stay focused to avoid being left out of the social talk. and/or be unmotivated either by lack of relevance to them or by lack of understanding of task at hand.Module 2—Models of Teaching 47 complete the task in the time allotted. “What’s the issue or issues here? The issue here is that the high achiever is more motivated than the other learners.” and here is Hannah’s: “Scenario 2—A learner who is highly motivated. Dependent on age. The other learners may fail to see any relevance of the task to themselves and their own life. The motivated learner either has good self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation levels coupled with a desire to learn. with the time written up on the board and crossed out as each period of time has lapsed. for example. and then make sure the less motivated students are aware that they will be called on in some way to report their progress. I know I was probably a more studious learner who didn’t want to engage in the details of weekends because I chose not to join in with that scene. This may assist in keeping students on track. “The motivated learner may also not be interested in being involved in the social discussion due to his/her own issues with social activity. If it is possible for the task to be done independently. and as such they feel the less motivated learners are affecting their ability to achieve a successful outcome for the activity or reach their full potential. this learner may feel threatened by some of the discussion—if other students are talking about parties. then one solution would be to let the highly motivated student complete it on their own. The other group members must perceive the task to be less important than socialising. It would also be helpful to try to find . “What approach do you think could be taken to solve the issue? The approach taken to solve the issue depends on the nature of the task. either to the class or in a more formal assessment setting. or is performance goal orientated with a desire to achieve well in assessment tasks.. a high achiever and a fast worker becomes frustrated when other group members work slowly and want to chat about their weekend activities. and are therefore not motivated to complete the task to the best of their ability. The teacher could also assign tasks for each participant. so are more preoccupied with what they did in the weekend.

If this were the case the LO’s would have to move from task completion (ability) to a more fundamental improvement in communication and cooperation. ‘see no evil’ by way of blindfold or positioned out of site of the material. The others are not allowed to converse directly with each other. All information and ideas have to be passed through her so that she has to express them to the rest of the group ( she can make her own contributions also). The others in the group have to relay the information to the fast student so it can be compiled by the ‘blind’ student . “My first question to the problem was. Here the fast students abilities would be tempered by creating a new dimensional challenge. “It is possible that all 3 situations could arise in a single lesson (hopefully not simultaneously). This is my idea in principle but is highly conjectural: “Change their abilities by enforcing rules of communication and impose cooperation parameters. The student would not be allowed to see the work.” Jinxi had a comment on all three scenarios: “The key element in all 3 scenarios was that there was a major difference in either ability or opinion and each group demonstrated that they didn’t have the skills to overcome these obstacles and cooperate. With the fast student with the disinterested peers a similar approach could be made. As these are part of the key competencies I would feel justified in spending time on these skills so that future group activities would be more effective at achieving the LO’s. “1. and putting the less motivated students into other groups which are on task would be great if there are enough groups on task! Also giving them some individual responsibility within that context could help them to become more engaged with the task.Module 2—Models of Teaching 48 ways to make the task more relevant to them so that they have some intrinsic motivation to complete it. “Another option would be to gauge the level of functioning of the other groups and see whether dividing them up would be an option. ‘How can I make these differences balance within the groups?’ in other words how I would level the playing field for each of them. “2. For the child that struggles with reading she could be the pivotal mediator (‘hear no evil’) role. Putting the motivated student into a group with others who are on task would help. This could be self-monitored by making a tally for each student ‘player’ in the group and the one with the least ‘fouls’ wins the honour of best player (maybe) or just make sure they play by the rules.

Group and individual reflection. Positive interdependence. Purpose of cooperative groups.Module 2—Models of Teaching 49 making sure that all are participating and making good contributions to the task. it must rather have some element of interaction and interdependence. “It might work given the right context but then again it might just make things worse. 4. “3. 2. If not then it becomes a behavioural issue and may need active supervision. Neither of them would be allowed to talk directly with the rest of the group but can tell the other their thoughts and for it then to be disseminated. “A net result maybe a very hushed and focused group of students. that is. ‘speak no evil’. The five key elements for successful cooperative groups are: 1. Reading—Learning Together and Establishing Effective Teams This section reviews the references (Brown & Thomson. . Don’t schedule an activity that can be done as individuals. 2000a). Individual accountability. 3. Skills. 2000b) and (Brown & Thomson. Elements of successful cooperative groups. Nothing ventured. This (I hope ) would foster reciprocation in both parties. Enhances normal learning. The last group would deal with the conflict of opinion if the antagonists where limited to speaking on the others behalf. interpersonal or group skills. Basically the group activity should be intrinsically suited to group cooperation. nothing gained. Developes group interpersonal skills (conflict resolution. If they wanted there opinions and ideas to be expressed they could only do it via their counter-part so that they become co-dependent on each other to voice their thoughts. Develops collective thinking skills.” Module 2-4—Co-operative Learning Groups Task 16. communication).

So does using methods and tasks that force students to take ownership of particular work—they may be acting as supervisors of others in the group for example. For example. Allow opportunities and time for students to learn how to operate as a group—we cannot assume they will be natural team workers. give each member some sort of key (secret code or other) that the others will at some stage need to use. The following four F ’s can be used to remind us of what to look for when evaluating the effectiveness of groups in action: Forming the group is acting together in unity.Module 2—Models of Teaching 50 5. Face-to-face interaction. harmonious and busy. Formulating there is a sharing of thought and solutions and ‘ah ha!’ moments as student bounce ideas off each other with a focus on the problem task. Resources for the activity could be made scarce so that the students need to share tools. For visually impaired students some safe touching or indirect contact activities could be used. 2. . Allow time for groups to monitor and reflect upon their progress. Other ways to enhance the key elements of successful groups include getting groups to evaluate other groups work. The teachers needs to ensure this by structuring the group activity appropriately. Rotating the responsibility of reporting results can also enhance inclusion. Time can be used to make sure that no individual can succeed in time without help from others. another is to design the activity oo that roles naturally emerge and require cooperation. this is easy to observe. The activity should be designed to fail if any group members do not participate. To elaborate: ideally students will realize for themselves that the success of one depends upon the success of all. Functioning look for signs of leadership and pertinent questioning. Identifying when groups are effective. The group is inclusive and has good ‘ferment’. Assigning roles is one way. Facilitating face-to-face interaction can be done by selecting non-verbal games where students will have to look at each other to pick up silent clues. The activity could have an outcome that manifests each individual’s contribution. The group is well organized. There should be at least two things to note: 1.

mixing talent. not just a meek acceptance of the majority view within the group. we can have different types of groups. and so forth. 65) note that gifted and talented students do not necessarily suffer from having to work in cooperative groups. Assigning to Teams. 66) gives more thoughtful considerations on the advantages and disadvantages of these group selection methods.Module 2—Models of Teaching 51 Fermenting problems are posed. and assign teams accordingly. Establishing Effective Teams. ‘Four and no more’. Brown and Thomson (2000a. consolidating friendships or establishing new relationships. Good for control over roles and responsibilities. class duration activities. and variety. but beware of cliques and of isolated students. homogeneous groups. security and so forth. p. The teacher should decide whether a particular lesson activity best suits heterogeneous groups. • Formal or generic groups—good for set tasks or topics. and respectful challenging of proposals. Group Sizes. Of course. • Student selection—good for establishing comfort within groups. this is only a rule of thumb and need not be rigorously adhered to. • Informal groups—good for brainstorming type activities. p. or individuals. • Base groups—good for longer term year-round cooperation. First. . and there is a general openness. solutions are being offered. • Random selection—good for introducing each other and discovering similarities and differences. The idea is that the group should be manageable and allow each member to air their voice. • Teacher selection—a ‘method of choice’ in schools. Note that the Table on Brown and Thomson (2000a. We could consider. Rules of thumb: Small is beautiful. mentoring.

• A cooperative incentive structure—something that drives and binds all members of the group towards a common goal. that together make it distinctive to other types of group activity (such as competition) are. – groups motivate students to encourage one another to learn. when progress is evident. – groups motivate students to help one another learn. it motivates all students to be active and do well. However. • Social cohesion view —a cooperative dependent activity helps student care for each other. and we know from Vygotsky and his empirical backers. It does however breed a climate of positive expectations and. that no one truly knows why group activity enhances learning. and they are processes that arise naturally . or the requisite conditions. Reading “Important Features of Cooperative Learning” This section reviews the reference (Killen. which is universally known to enhance everyone’s learning. happiness. but has three crucial explanative elements: – groups motivate students to learn.Module 2—Models of Teaching 52 Task 18. scaffolding from more knowledgeable others along with individual processing of external stimuli are proven to aid learning. it does not guarantee that everyone will learn optimally or better than if they worked alone. The two features of cooperative group activity. so we won’t repeat them here. • Motivational view —ideally individual rewards should be conditional upon the whole group doing some learning. providing social cohesion. that social cohesion promotes learning. Attempts to explain group synergy. 2009a). The motivational view of group learning is not exclusive of other views and overlaps the views to follow. But there are some good hypotheses. • A cooperative task—common to other types of group interaction. Again. Why would this enhance learning? Well. • Cognitive constructivist views—Vygotsky and Piaget combine here. A number of advantages and limitations of cooperative groups are in common with small group activities outlined in the previous section. We noted at the beginning of the section for Module 2-3. this is not guaranteed to be optimal for everyone in the group.

(3) productive time spent on learning for consolidation.Module 2—Models of Teaching 53 in well-functioning groups with all of the nice attributes described in the lists above. Module 2-5—Some BUTs About Co-operative Learning The editor could not think of any reason why teachers would outright object to trying group teaching strategies. “My students are too naughty”. Using many minds to perform intellectual feats that the combined individual minds would not be able to accomplish. Here are some thoughts. In terms of the ‘grand systems’ of educational psychology: • Behaviourists would explain the synergy of groups by pointing out the influence of feedback. . “It takes too much time and effort to organize”—are all some common excuses na¨ teachers ıve might offer. • Information-process-time views—due to Stahl. the synergy it creates. The Module notes ask us for our thoughts about implementing group interaction models of learning on our looming Teaching Experience 1. • Humanists might suggest that curiosity is naturally aroused in groups and that groups provide wider contexts for learning than solo study. • Cognitivists would point out the processes whereby students get to elaborate thier view and verbalize their understanding • Developmentalists would point out the processes of peer modelling going on within groups. “It’s too noisy”. • Cognitive elaboration views—the idea that the subject material needs to be elaborated and restructured in our minds for us to learn. and that quality group activities provides these: (a) requisite information (2) internal processing of the information. Again. argues that at least three elements are needed to enhance learning. • What excites and motivates you to use this approach? The plain effectiveness of group learning. “I’ve tried before and it didn’t work”. The pure fun of it. but this module considers a few. obviously facilitated by participation in group activity.

1. Listen and read the thoughts of others on using them and adapting them to topics of interest. That is. It also includes the example-demonstration process. at a minimum. Apparently Vygotsky’s ZPD and scaffolding theory is taken as sound backing in favour of direct instruction. 2. Working students at their ZPD assumes we know what the students need to be taught. For teachers it simplifies lessons.Module 2—Models of Teaching 54 • Are there anxieties that you need to settle? Yes. Direct Instruction lessons can also be a mess and demotivating if implemented poorly. Social congnitivists claim direct instruction suits their theory because of the teacher modelling and demonstrations aspect. It can be highly effective. Identify the topic. I don’t know if my teaching supervisor will allow much risk taking. Aspects of Direct Instruction Planning. students can learn by observing skilled other which effects their behaviours and thinking. but I don’t see it that way. 1 “yeah riiight” I hear you saying—like I’ll really get around to doing that! . Specify learning intentions. needs to be complemented by other forms of teaching to be optimal. I’m a bit apprehensive about going off the deep end at some point—meaning I wonder how radical I can be without failing the TE or wasting the student’s time. unambiguous and students get plenty of on-task practice. but not always. Discuss them in advance with my TE supervisor and VUW tutors and colleagues. I’d venture that Vygotsky’s work is neutral about direct instruction. They can be clear. the students repeat and practice. say with my friends or family 1 . How is that possible with Direct Instruction alone? So Direct Instruction. Module 2-6—The Direct Instruction Model Direct Instruction refers to traditional “chalk and talk” teaching methods. • How can you prepare yourself for interaction models? Study them hard! Write notes on them. Not use any method or design of group activity until I test it in realistic simulation. or at least efficient with time. It could work well to promote learning at the ZPD. The teacher explains and models.

Module 2—Models of Teaching


3. Identify prerequisite knowledge. 4. Select suitable examples to demonstrate. 5. Select suitable problems for students to work through. 6. Sequence the demonstrations and problem solving in logical order to optimize student learning. I would add, plan for extra time for student questions and answers so that the direct instruction does not just go through the students’ one ear and out the other. A lesson plan template for Direct Instruction is given in the Module 2.6 course notes. It is fairly similar no matter what the topic: Review & Introduction. Presentation. Guided practice. Independent practice. Closure & review.

Task 20, Recollections of Direct Instruction
We are asked to think about the following questions and post responses to the on-line Discussion Board for the course. Below is a sample set of responses. 1. Think back to when you were at school, can you think of any memorable direct instruction lessons? If not, why not? Barely. At school the subject matter was too lame. It was only when we departed from the curriculum that I found lessons to be memorable, and then they tended not to be direct instruction. The closest I can recall would be (a) a lesson on the mathematical Golden Ratio—interesting because of the history and the surprise at the many appearances of the GR in the natural world, (b) another mathematics lesson on logic gates, memorable because it was the first time I recall understanding a bit about how computers really work at the basic electronic level, (c) a physics lesson on conservation of angular momentum, using a bicycle wheel as a prop which was tied in to Feynman’s ‘suitcase gyroscope escapade’. My university courses were full of better memorable direct instruction lessons. 2. Did you learn much from this lesson? If not, why not? Yes. All three cited lessons were learning experiences. The subject matter was sufficiently novel and fresh and presented in interesting ways. 3. What is your immediate reaction to using direct instruction? It is not a method to ignore. It is possibly the simplest type of lesson to perform, tricky to plan to make it effective, but a good strategy if no other

Module 2—Models of Teaching


suitable teaching method can be found at short notice. It is also reasonably cost effective (ample learning for the time spent). 4. How does direct instruction align with learning theories? Quite well. It fits most learning theories. It is however not optimal according to many modern learning theories that point out the learning gains associated with more chaotic fermenting of opinion through more intensive social interaction. 5. How does direct instruction fit with your image of yourself as a teacher? It is probably my current natural mode coming from too much university tutoring. It is a mode that I will always use from time to time, and probably as a default back-up. It is not what I want to be doing the majority of the time, because I think students will benefit, on the whole, from varied teaching methods. This response from Loesje was universally admired: “The most memorable direct instruction lesson I had was a very unconventional one (thats why I remember it because all of our classes were direct instruction). ‘ “In history our teacher Mr S walked into the class and said: ‘Sorry, Mr. S couldn’t make it today, youll have to do with me. My name is Lee Harvey Oswald.’ ‘ “This ‘Mr Oswald’ said he was there to tell us what happened in Nov ’63 on the day he shot president Kennedy. ‘ “From here on he started telling us his account of that day, the things that happened and the way people reacted to him. Mr. S did not for a moment lose his role as Lee Harvey Oswald (he would even add funny personality traits to make it juicier). “Although it was direct instruction (mostly a monologue from the teacher), the change of viewpoint from teacher instructed to person involved instructed made it so much more exiting. We all felt involved; we could ask a murderer questions! “This teacher did this a number of times; he was Fidel Castro, Hitler etc etc. All of my friends can still recall those lessons, and we can all still remember details of certain events. “I am telling you this to show you that direct instruction can still have a variety of shapes and forms. “Imagine doing this and dressing up as well. I can see myself walking into the class pretending I’m Andy Warhol. Give it a wig and the class will be in stitches! Mmm, think I might do that one day.” Awesome!

Module 2—Models of Teaching


Module 2-7—The Lecture-Discussion Model
Being honest, most students find lectures boring. The lecture-discussion teaching model is not supposed to be boring, since the discussion aspect should be fun, stimulating and interactive. That’s not to say the lecture part cannot also be stimulating and fun to absorb, just that teachers need to be aware that prolonged lecturing becomes counter-productive. The brain cannot cope with monotonous input format, even if it is interesting input. The audio files for Epsy-302 on our TWiki will record the Module 2.7 note details for review. Here we will just write up the reflection activity. 1. How do direct instruction and lecture-discussion models fit with your image of yourself as a teacher? 2. What surprised you about these models? That they are still very much in vogue. I’m not surprised they are still considered effective under certain circumstances, but I would’ve thought more innovation might have taken place since when I was young. 3. How will you use these models on TE? I will probably make good use of them. If I am asked to teach a topic that I haven’t thought about teaching yet, then I will by default use first an interesting Lecture-discussion plan, and if time permits reform it into a nicer Direct instruction plan. Then if I find I have plenty of time I might creatively depart from these methods. [NOTE TO SELF: make a Journal entry after TE to see how these anticipations match with what I actually end up doing.]

Module 2-8—The Guided Discovery Model
Task 21, Journal Entry, Teaching Models
See Table 6.1 in the Reflection Journal section.

Important questions to consider (and some suggested answers) are. disinterest. mental imbalance. Humanistic —all humans are inherently good and if not can be motivated to be good through empathy. Why might learner misbehave? This has many answers.3. inferiority. 3. hunger. What defines misbehaviour? Again. bullying. these need to be mediated using cognition to improve behaviour. insecurity. in this context it could be anything that disrupts learning. unhappy home environment. Some reasons include lack of motivation. cognitive —misbehaviour results from conflicts. particularly the learning of others. 2. Behavioural —teachers decide on desired behaviour and use rewards and punishment. and a host of other psychological complexes. support and encouragement. the main point is typically to provide a suitable environment for learning. 1. Module 3—Classroom Management Module 3-1—Behaviour Management Perspectives Corresponding to three approaches to education psychology there are three approaches to behaviour management. poor teaching. self-loathing. 58 . self-pity. What is the point of behaviour management? In the context of teaching.

2002). The following “thematic’ sections follow Epsy-302 modules. provided it is created in a humane way. Module 3-5—Behaviour Management Practicalities This module continues the theme of managing the classroom to provide an effective learning environment for all learners. Williams (2009) recommends identifying what is personally “out of bounds” for you. The Module notes for this section have been recorded on Audio Files here for your listening pleasure :-) . Punishment of students who do not know any better—in this case they first need to be taught the value of discipline and learning.Module 3—Classroom Management 59 The last question is particularly of concern to teachers because many of these factors are beyond the teachers control. Module 3-4—Relationship Building This module focuses on the importance of the teacher/student relationship for M¯ori a and Pasifika students. 1.1 is a before and after set of questions to ponder related to the reading. & Sutherland. What is out of bounds for you? Shaming definitely. Theme 1: Relationships (Module 3–8). such as shaming learners. 2. and require long term solutions and behaviour management planning. What are your core beliefs? Creativity is best unleashed when a sound learning environment is in place. Crowley. Vindictive punishment. The reading is (Hawk. Here are some questions worth reflecting upon. Hill. The focus of this section is on practical implications of the theories and philosophical approaches to classroom management. So classroom management is only a means to an end. unnecessary in my view. Table 3. Physical intimidation is out. and therefore it hardly matters how the environment is created.

Evidence: Statement 10: Teachers can learn to develop effective relationships with M¯ori and Pasifika students. you need to also be from a Polynesian culture. Evidence: Statement 3: Good teachers help their students to relax and enjoy the learning. and affected by. and expectations for them. the belief that the teacher holds regarding their potential for success. a Evidence: Statement 11: Having a positive relationship with a class means liking them and caring for them as a group. Evidence: Statement 5: When a teacher models good attitudes and behaviours with their students. Evidence: Statement 8: As teachers. they are more likely to get these attitudes and behaviours back from the students. we need to be aware of our conscious and unconscious body language. Evidence: Statement 9: Students are very conscious of. Evidence: Before disagree After disagree agree agree agree agree agree agree agree agree agree somewhat Table 3. Evidence: Statement 2: M¯ori and Pasifika students value strict teachers.1: Anticipatory guide for the reading. a Evidence: Statement 3: M¯ori and Pasifika students value from their teachers the a mutual respect which adults or equals afford each other. Evidence: Statement 4: When teachers display positive attitudes such as a good work ethic and respectful communication.Module 3—Classroom Management 60 Statement Statement 1: To relate really well to M¯ori and Pasifika students as a a teacher. Evidence: Statement 7: Caring for a Polynesian student needs to incorporate caring for them both as a learner and as a person. . Evidence: Statement 6: Taking the time and making the effort to get to know about the personal lives and background of Polynesian students is particularly important for the students who are younger. this helps M¯ori and Pasifika students to learn how to stay a out of trouble.

4. 4. • Apply these questions to each right. monitor hazards. Safe environments have rights and responsibilities 1. The responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect and act with appropriate decorum in the classroom—respect the classroom rules. 3. safety and behavioural standards and model them. To not shrug from duty to motivate and encourage students. 1. Everyone’s right to dignity and respect. Your right to teach. and encourage and provide opportunities for students to display their respect (give them risk taking opportunities and freedom when they earn it). Reflection: Rights bring responsibilities • What are the corresponding responsibilities that match the rights listed above? 1. Everyone’s right to safety. . • What is your responsibility and what responsibilities do other learners have? Provide quality education. The responsibility to look out for others and act with wisdom. avoid excessive risks. Provide a safe classroom. Your students’ right to learn. Reward good behaviours and censure poor behaviour. 3. The responsibility to let others learn. Students must obey safety rules and look out for each other. Others need to withhold personal criticism and be tolerant of the differences among peers. 2. 4. The responsibility to teach something worth learning. Other students should not disrupt the rest of the class or unfairly demand time.Module 3—Classroom Management 61 Theme 2: Safe Environments (Module 3–9). 3. 2. Other learners who desire the same rights have the responsibility to take ownership of their own learning and allow others the freedom to share the same rights. 2. We must provide good quality experiences. Other students should not impede others’ learning.

Decisions The Module notes are a terrific summary here. other than to watch the Bill Rogers video.mp3 here for your listening pleasure :-) Theme 3: Language (Module 3–13). nothing more need be said. The Module notes for this section have been recorded on an audio file epsy302 3. The Module notes for this section have been recorded on Audio Files here for your listening pleasure :-) .Module 3—Classroom Management 62 Module 3-10—Intervention.10-12 intervention rules-routines.

usually ending up by co-opting others to help them. One of the best descriptions of why the inquiry method is superior to traditional teaching methods is given by Neil Postman (Postman & Weingartner. it is how most people learn on their own when they get curious about something. as defined in the educational literature. and remember them longer. in which students have ownership of their learning. making decisions. and even utter them faster. purposeful. inquiry learning is systematic. generating solutions. It starts with exploration and questioning and leads to investigation into a worthy question. in my own words. As you can tell. focussed and reveals new knowledge The point is that fun and exciting lessons which do not involve these features may be useful for engaging students but are short of the quality mark. It involves asking questions. justifying conclusions and taking action” —from the Consortium for School Networking. you are imagining the most inconsequential part of the story. but this quote gives us a taste of the flavour. But in anticipating this. are that. gathering and analysing information. problem or idea. there is no tight definition of the phrase ‘inquiry learning’. issue. The inquiry method is not 63 . The important features of inquiry learning.4. 1971) “It is entirely possible that the inquiry method will help students to produce answers their teachers crave. Basically. Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking Here is one reasonable definition of inquiry learning: “Inquiry-based learning is a constructivist approach.

The inquiry environment stresses that learning is a happening in itself. Thus it will cause teaches. We want to teach students the way we would want our own children to be taught. bolder and more potent kind of intelligence. . which is another way of saying the processes of learning. The focus of intellectual energy becomes the active investigation of structures and relationships. sit up in their seats. Where the older school environment has asked. face front. It will cause college admission requirements to change. and be quiet. . we get a very high degree of participation and involvement in the forms of communication. Inquiry Teaching is More than Asking Questions It’s worth reflecting on what Postman has to say comparing inquiry methods with traditional teaching. . One has to work hard. at discovering patterns and assigning meanings to one’s experiences. it generates a different. but. and they lived in America before it was discovered. It makes the syllabus obsolete. Of course. the school syllabus is exactly the latter: someone else’s story. . ‘Who discovered America?’ the inquiry method asks. And most traditional learning environments are arranged to facilitate the sending and receiving of various story lines.” Yeah! That’s what we’re talking about. ’ “The inquiry method is very much a product of our eclectic age. . We do not want to teach the way we were taught. “. and their grading systems. ‘How do you discover who discovered America?’ The older school environments stressed that learning is being told what happened. It activates different senses. and one wants to. ‘There were these Indians. see. without the distraction of a story line.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 64 designed to do better what older environments try to do. attitudes and perceptions. The question we should want to ask students is not ‘How do you discover who discovered America?’. rather than the passive reception of someone else’s story. and their curriculums to change. That is why teachers regard it as desirable for students to pay attention.” But notice there is something wrong about that little example Postman gives. It will cause everything about education to change. It works you over in entirely different ways. students generate their own stories by becoming involved in the methods of learning. and their tests.

get into a fermented discussion about how history impacts the present. and accidents of history have social and economic repercussions that reverberate through centuries. for students who still do not see any interest in these questions. “Good learners seem to know what is relevant to their survival and what is not. their crap detector advises them that it is good for them to know—in which case.” . they resent being told anyway. unless. of course. Similar questions could be posed to students about the history of New Zealand. and how tragedies. in the modern world. Teachers should not need to beg students to ask or investigate questions. and how is this important or of interest to us who stand so far removed from that history? A class might then. mistakes. and may ask further questions such as. They are apt to resent being told that something is ‘good for them to know’. The teacher has to find subjects that do inspire and interest the students. The students are then led to research the facts but not in order to recall facts. How do you define the ‘discovery’ of a country? Who then do you think really ‘discovered’ America. What is the geopolitical or social or historical importance of the ‘discovery’ of either uninhabited or already occupied territories? or Of what matter is it ‘who’ discovers a new country? or. Here is another gem from Learning as a Subversive Activity. rather to inform their pursuit of answers to questions that are of interest to them.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 65 Why would it be useful or interesting to find out who discovered America? If the student thinks it would be of no use then the teacher has a richer lesson. here and now. If students still do not connect and engage with the questions then what point is there in pursuing them? Probably not a lot. but they do need to help students find topics that beg their own questions. hopefully.

3. we tend to perceive what we want to perceive. I can think of nothing much better than helping to make students aware of these very principles. What I am concerned about is how to use these ideas in the classroom. The ability to learn can be seen as the ability to relinquish inappropriate perceptions and to develop new. ones 4. In other words. 5. Secondly. First. People tend to have unique perceptions. 6. What we perceive is greatly influenced by past experiences. Our language and linguistic categories have a profound influence on what our brain and mind allows us to perceive. Sixth key findings were. in the light of the above ideas. We need good reason to change. clearly.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 66 Psychology of Inquiry Teaching The foundations were laid by Adelbert Ames. A good lesson has to place many beacons up to . our mind and brain process sensory. Our perception filters are however important. The ‘meaning’ we attribute to our perceptions is extremely closely related to how our perceptions cause us to behave and act. and written about by Horace Kelley. Language and symbols are certainly powerful filters which shape our perception and hence shape our reality. via our brain and mind. almost every school lesson I can conceive of from now on needs to have the freedom and openness implied by the above ideas. We do not change or alter our perceptions merely by being told they are ‘wrong’. The issue for us here is how to disseminate these principles into our classrooms when most of the establishment forces are arrayed (wittingly or unwittingly) against this. so part of being a social person is developing an ability to see things from another’s point of view. The implications have been spelt out in the literature on inquiry and constructivist learning. The teacher’s role is as a facilitator. 1. Ames’ research investigated human perceptions. I do not agree with Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner when they say that a subject is it’s language. True to the spirit we need to give them their own interpretations of these aspects of psychology. They take postmodernism too far in placing too high a primacy on language. not a transmitter. 2. and more workable. Our perceptions are generated within us. especially if our brains are fed ambiguous information.

agree or disagree. the atmosphere and environment of the classroom has to be loving and devoted to learning. safety and trust must be in place to allow healthy ferment of opinion and vigorous debate. and freedom to depart from the syllabus. All of the learning experience has to be open to allow students to discover things that even the teachers and experts might not have discovered. The coin of the realm will be. not just the one that leads to the recommended syllabus. • do you know how to validate it. A good teacher has to appreciate that they cannot guide students to certain knowledge and cannot cover a subject in limited lesson time with limited resources. • know how to collaborate with it. and should feel complete responsibility for creating the warm and joyful classroom environment. a good teacher needs to be able to provide this freedom while eliminating the disruption of one students learning upon another. . but the love. http://www. • and do you know how to problem solve with it. A nice manifest for inquiry based learning is the short video Learning to Change— Changing to Learn. Inquiry Learning and the Curriculum File 1 for this module involved an online forum activity. One teacher from this video is quoted: “The ‘coin of the realm’ is not memorising the facts that they are going to need to know for the rest of their This does not mean that the classroom is clinical and devoid of argument and furore. Thirdly. • know how to synthesize it. Fourth. freedom to dispute.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 67 guide students. and the only way this is feasibly possible is if the students have freedom. • do you know how to find information. care. This has to change. Freedom of study choice. This is produced by the Consortium for School Networking. I cannot see how the milquetoast syllabus of most past or modern schools allows such ferment.cosn. • know how to leverage it. far from it. • know how to communicate it. File 2 is a short description of inquiry learning and is recorded on the Module 4-1 audio file on our course TWiki. Even if just one classroom at a time. freedom to create their own syllabus.

to endeavour to encourage teachers.” Another key quote from this video. enjoy their time at school and flourish in a rich learning environment.” There are plenty of websites explaining inquiry learning. Some of the different forms of inquiry learning are outlined here http://ictnz. is a huge topic. The truth is that New Zealand’s Curriculum (Ministry of Education. Inquiry Learning and the Hidden Curriculum Let’s now get to the nub of the trouble with education in New Zealand and elsewhere. OK.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 68 That’s the 21st century set of literacies. “not all inquiry learning models were created equal!” So do not just choose one model. try other models and find one that works for you and your students. In short. but generally is on the right track and in sync with modern theories of education and practise based around inquiry and discovery learning. It still suffers from ghosts of schooling past. That. although the present New Zealand Curriculum has many flaws. Phew! But what about the hidden curriculum? We all know that 99% of schools in our country still teach to the tests and are in fact legally required to hold students (yes students) accountable for learning the rote procedures and topics published in the yearly exams and unit standards of the NCEA. “This is the death of education but the dawn of learning. The agency responsible for this is the NZQA. It’s got to be better than traditional teaching right? Well. . In other words. parents. which is really just a flavour of constructivist education psychology put into various concrete forms. but they are only working on behalf of the government Ministry who are in turn working at the behest of politicians who do not know what they are doing. it does indeed seek. be creative. at least in it’s spirit. of course. to help our students learn to learn and think. 2007) is a pretty good document. be critical. and all concerned with the education of our children. it seems schizophrenic—as if it was conceived by a committee as a compromise between hard line conservative school teachers and a softer modern breed of educator—it is a ‘half-assed curriculum’ one might say As one commentator pouts it. So let’s focus the debate. schools. one can see in it the glimmer of a possibly brighter future for our schools. so this is getting a bit political and messy. Experiment a bit. maybe not! It all depends upon what your objective are and what the students really need (as opposed to what the want). try it and ditch it if it fails in your classroom.

Jonathon Kosol. and if we take this seriously we should want and deliver the best education for them. at least some Primary Schools in New Zealand have more or less fully taken on board and implemented classroom practices that can be fairly identified as inquisitive. Try to help them achieve their true potential. Other advice recommends a rich variety of learning experiences along the lines of constructivist. who have been flogged metaphorically into submission by the traditional school system. discovery-based. Damn the examinations. our at least just try to help them find out about themselves and discover their inner (perhaps suppressed and formerly hidden) ambitions. On the contrary. Note however from personal experience of the editor. who should be held accountable for schooling? The teachers! The students are relative innocents in the education games we play. and philosophically in alignment with constructivist pedagogy. The are fundamental incompatibilities between these different types of advice. We are daily put in charge of their welfare. What goes on at present in most schools is an outrage. richer experience for our students. and who do not take easily to inquiry learning.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 69 The fact is. inquiry and problem-based learning models. Catering for All Students One of the problems old school teachers grapple with is what to do with students who resist learning. That does not mean coaching them through their required examinations. try to help them fulfil their ambitions. We need to move education in our schools away from such games and towards a fully. Students are still being force-fed supposed expert knowledge and a hard and fast diet of “this is what you need to know to obtain good exam grades”. we as teachers have an unwritten Hypocratic oath of sorts to do what we think is the best for our students. Here are some principles that might help. Neil Postman. This is 30 years after articles written by the likes of Marshal McLuhan. More acutely is the incompatibility of true earning with the external examinations regime. especially the novice teacher who’s head is probably full of conflicting advice and research. and others critiquing the similar system in place in the USA! Thirty years and schools are still only paying lip service to constructivist pedagogies and true learning 1 . Thais poses a severe problem for any conscientious teacher. Daniel Greenberg. it means giving them the life skills they need to go out into the real world and live successful fulfilling lives. Some advice recommends strict classroom discipline and set standards and topics and syllabus. The main problem exists when students hit Secondary School. They are shocked into the old school diet of note taking and test taking. whatever the intentions of politicians. 1 . Really.

it is more a matter of being willing to try inquiry learning in your classroom and being prepared to make mistakes and get things wrong before the full benefits accrue. labourer. So in a sense we are already experts. How to Implement Inquiry Learning Easier said than done? Well. to show them how inquiry learning works. street cleaner or chimney sweeper. How does a humble labourer improve their life? Working harder and longer hours seems like the only way if they are not equipped with learning skills. Unfortunately. I’m sure we could think of plenty of other rationales. existing school structures do no live up to this potential. it need not take a long time to become a good practitioner of inquiry learning because most of us do inquiry learning ourselves. to engage them. every day. However. labourer and non-intellectual. If this is not done ‘right’ then it will make it harder to start . can benefit from intellectual growth.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 70 • All students deserve the opportunity to learn how to learn. to motivate them from within with a thirst for learning. • More important than the direct impact of education on the student themselves is their ability to pass on every opportunity to their potential children. While this should not be an overt goal of education—for some students may not want to escape!—it should be one of the considered bounties of modern education. One of the great achievements of modern education should be the recognition that it can flatten society—it can help children born into what would previously be seen as a socioeconomic trap to escape. We just need to figure out how to translate it into a classroom environment with 20 to 30 possibly uncooperative students! So one prerequisite is to invest time to prepare a class for inquiry learning at the beginning of the year. The more pressing issue is now what to do about it. and to provide a safe and acaring classroom environment in which this can be accomplished. even if they themselves see their future as blue collar worker. and there is plenty of evidence to suggest this is because inquiry methods of learning are not correctly implemented in current schools. Here is where the skilled teacher plays a tremendous role. Many students will not want to be thrust into the discomfort of inquiry and discovery learning. • Every occupation. The teacer has the higher responsibility to gain student trust.

comfort and with the fun and thrills of discovery. If they are interviewing as a way to gather data they will need to understand how to ask useful questions for their interview to be effective in gathering data.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 71 teaching the curriculum using inquiry-based learning methods. form a detailed plan to try to answer that question 3. rights. At some stage in this week or two of preparation the students should discuss classroom etiquette and agree upon rules. Here we will assume this task is done. reach some conclusions regarding the answer or to explain why an answer couldn’t be found. Students may be organised into cooperative study groups (not inflexibly assigned). gathering data. These are skills they need to be taught. Each step will need to be scaffolded by planning to support the learners develop and use the skills as they conduct the inquiry. regulations and responsibilities. The teachers role is to support students at every step to ensure that students have the skills or can learn and develop the skills at each step. The students should know and behave as though they are there to learn in safety. gather data and analyse it in an attempt to answer the question 4. There is no manual on how to run these beginning of the year preparatory sessions. From the Epsy-302 course notes: For instance if the students are at step 3. identify a clear purpose—formulate a question that you can try to answer 2. 1. Games and other ice-breakers might be used to gently introduce students to inquiry learning. . They may be asked to write a plan for themselves for the full year (not set on stone but rather to be revised frequently of course). and any discipline issues should be dealt with head on at this early stage. Planning therefore includes how you will ensure that new learning is incorporated in a meaningful and purposeful way. Inquiry Lesson Planning Guidelines Once a class is prepared then to run an inquiry learning program the suggestion is to follow the typical steps in any type of research. they will need to know how that data can be collated (tally sheet) and represented (graph). Of course it is not easy and may take several weeks of preparation where the curriculum is skimmed through and explored in preparation for the year.

Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking


How to Get Students Started
Presuming now that the students have been prepared are are ‘on board’ for learning for themselves. How does the teacher-facilitator plan a lesson? It is no good selecting topics and then telling the students to get on with the worksheets and activities. The whole point of inquiry learning is that students need to be working on problems that are of interest to themselves, not problems that are of interest only to the teacher. If the latter course is chosen then the point of inquiry learning is immediately lost. The constraint we need to work under is the examinations regime, whatever it is, in our case it is currently NCEA. The goal of smooth lesson planning is to by-pass teaching to the tests without putting students at a disadvantage for their external exams. This is a severe constraint, and I have no idea f the following planning ideas will work, so they should be regarded as another of our ‘works in progress’—subject to continual review. The question of whether we put students at a disadvantage by not teaching them NCEA material is a good one that we may have to skirt for now until we have more evidence. Let’s just say that by not teaching to the NCEA tests we are probably, in the long run, doing students a huge favour. But the fight against parental and school resistance is one that we dare not leave the students to fight, it is our fight, and we need to try to get both students and their parents on our side through reason, compassion, consultation and wisdom. OK, so this more or less defines what the teacher-facilitator must do: 1. Introduce students to the philosophy of education. This can be linked to the curriculum subject in order not to shock the students too much initially, especially if they have never before learnt by inquiry at school (they will know of inquiry learning at home of course, they’ve done it all the time as children). 2. Discuss the broad goals for the year. 3. Help students organize a log or some other format for monitoring their progress on NCEA targets. 4. Consult with students and parents on the plan for the year: that they will be studying topics and projects of their own choosing and interest, guided by the teacher. The entire overarching philosophy needs to be clearly spelt out. 5. Plan a number of plenary lessons introducing students to the NCEA syllabus and the New Zealand Curriculum. Have a full and frank discussion about what the students want to do about all of this. But be clear that having lessons pre-prepared on a platter from the teacher is not gin to help them much in their future life!

Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking


We cannot benevolently force the students to engage in inquiry learning any more than we can benevolently force them to sit in class and take notes and engage in canned activities on set topics. 6. [Editor: The rest of these notes have been continued in my Reflection Journal.]

Inquiry and Critical Thinking
The next two sections cover Epsy-302 modules 4.6 to 4.7. We live in an information age, but it is also an age of transition. Traditional skills are not yet obsolete. Humankind has not yet reached the stage where robotic automation of critical societal functions such as food, water, and power supply and material recycling is possible. Nevertheless, today’s children are growing up in a world that is qualitatively different to the world their parents grew up in, and this has never before happened in human history. Educational institutions have not adapted so rapidly however and seem to have lagged behind, producing something of a crisis in modern schools. Students increasingly see school as irrelevant to their needs. But this need not be so. Consider the ‘Did You Know?” series of YouTube videos. For example, Gos&NR=1. The video ends with the unanswered question, “What does this all mean?” One implication is that tomorrows children will have greater opportunities. Another is that information technology could form a new sociocultural divide between the haves and the have nots, which could be worse than any previous social divide. Another is that the very nature of information (it is almost free to copy and distribute using electronic means) could be a powerful democratizing influence which could redress social imbalances. For educators the message is that information technology and literacy is ever more crucial, and must be part of any child’s education. The next question for educators is how much should we concentrate on information literacy and how much should we concentrate on traditional education? The answer is partly that we need not bother too much worrying about this distinction. Teach a child to read and write and they can teach themselves how to process information. Alternatively, teach a child how to use a computer and browse the web intelligently and they can teach themselves how to read and write (in any language!) So in a sense there is no “cart before the horse” issue here.

Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking


The issue or crisis facing modern education institutions is rather more subtle. It is the challenge of providing the resources to allow all children to reach their full potential. But has this not always been the key problem of education? Maybe. But in the modern world it is a potential reality and not just an ideal. So the real problem is to figure out to achieve a child’s full potential without any injustice or prejudices that would unfairly advantage one group of children in relation to another, or one country in relation to another country. The Epsy-302 course notes put this quite bluntly: “Its not knowledge we need Simply possessing knowledge is not enough. It is not possible to store sufficient knowledge in our memories and there is no need because information and knowledge are easily accessible. What we need are people who: • Comprehend • Judge • Participate • Assimilate information & determine its validity We need critical thinkers and the challenge as teachers is to develop all learners into critical thinkers—not just an elite few.” One might re-phrase this in terms of the needs of children: what children need is to become critical thinkers.

How to Teach Critical Thinking
The Epsy-302 course notes pose the key questions and ideas. “Firstly you must acknowledge that critical thinking is a skill that can be taught and practised. But it requires students to have dispositions to take risks, to make mistakes and to learn from those mistakes, so as a teacher you need to establish the environment where it is safe to take risks. What does this mean for our role as teachers? “ As teachers you can use teaching models which are specifically designed to develop critical thinking—these include: • Guided discovery • Inquiry learning

drama. There are always some students who hate drama or others who hate rocket science. in that they almost teach themselves. and to keep students engaged and interested. On the other hand. but these topics are still considered highly teachable because of their direct impact and potential for surprise or spectacle. The Epsy-302 course notes are worth reviewing and have been recorded in Module 4-8 audio files on our TWiki. Module 4-8. not something to learn. even more than knowledge about pertinent facts. and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking. In the end the teacher facilitates an extreme amount of knowledge acquisition on behalf of the students. 1916). learning naturally results. We leave the final word for this section to Dewey. rocket science (well. to mix things up throughout the academic year. The essence of PBL is for the teacher to act as a guide rather than a knowledge provider. So there is still room for the teacher to create genuinely interesting and targeted content for inquiry-based learning. and cannot easily be formulated into a fool-proof system for use in any classroom.1 on page 11. Planning Problem-Based Lessons Problem-Based Lessons (PBL) are part of the family of inquiry-based and discovery learning methods. In reality that’s an impossible ideal for any one lesson or method. There are many strategies for conducting such lessons. “Methods which are permanently successful in formal education give pupils something to do. the students are expected to learn about how to find things out for themselves. there are some lessons and topics that are naturally “teachable”. For example. or the intention of noting connections. but. This takes some ingenuity and creativity.” (Dewey. that none of these teaching methods guarantee that they will stimulate and excite the interest of all students. film making.” See for example Figure 1.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 75 • Group interaction models • Problem based learning We have previously looked at the first three models. The diagram below is a reminder of the models and their theoretical basis. almost). Be warned however. .

Examples of PBL for Improving Lessons For this module we were asked to design a PBL lesson that would have improved one of our lessons on Teaching Experience practicum. discovery learning and PBL is. From Blair: “So the problem was with a large (33 students) noisy all-boy year 10 science class. But over time the teacher should be confidant that PBL and inquiry learning will pay great dividends and surpass the efficiency of traditional teaching methods. Thus evidence based teaching (EBT) should be made a core part of PBL and inquiry learning. The teacher also has the role of monitoring progress and adjusting lessons so that these benefits do eventually accrue. I needed a better understanding of the students’ background knowledge. and despite being disruptive and ill-mannered they were bright enough to learn about balancing equations. I was told the class was an ”advanced stream”. They rebelled and made somuch noise I had to back down and do a simple demo instead.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 76 A mantra for inquiry-based learning. That’s an over-simplification intended just to make the more prosaic point that teachers can often be more effective when they talk less and solicit more talk from the students. Below are some postings to the forum discussing this task. “Not so! They complained and whinged and whined when I started to go through the topic in lecture-discussion style. This makes life difficult for the teacher. “So how could PBL have improved the situation? “First. Initially a class beginning POBL for the first time will probably not make as rapid progress as a traditional class. So why is inquiry learning and PBL harder work for the teacher? It is perhaps easier on the teachers vocal chords! It is harder however because it demands the teacher keep students on focus and on task while giving students more freedom than they are traditionally used to. I was told to do half a lesson introducing balancing chemical equations using combustion of alkanes as an example. The idea is definitely not that teachers are to be passive and laissez faire. If I knew they had never seen a chemical equation in their .. but rather work very hard in a different way to traditional teaching. So for many students this can be a difficult transition to make if they are not exposed to such teaching methods early in life. Teach less so students learn more.

again ”clean up” the progress on the problem: (Reactants: CH4 . :sigh:)” Diana had an idea for PBL lessons with food safety issues: . )? 8. If time is left. Then do another similar reaction. 2. 4.. Do a few more exercises using the textbook way (bowing to NCEA exam and social convention here. C and water and heat— from a previous lesson). PBL would have been useful. What analogies can be used (scale balance. . Next step: how do we quantify the balance? 6. 5. ... eg. Allow students to discuss ideas until the concept of symbolizing the change in molecules using symbols for the atomic constituents is given.) No harm in limiting to complete combustion. either in list or other form. provided their abstraction is correct. A reasonable lesson might have been structured as follows: 1.. Invite suggestions for how to balance reactants and products. burning ethane. Products H2 O. bank transactions. etc. 9. but a simple inquiry and discovery lesson would have been ideal. . . Then try incomplete combustion and heavier alkanes for practice.. Finally.whether they use reactants on left or right and an arrow or some other formalism does not matter!!! In fact it’s cooler if they do not use the textbook formalism. summarize in ‘cleaned up’ teacher formalism. Problem definition: how do we figure out how much alkane fuel (methane for example) to burn to get X litres of CO2 or water? 3.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 77 lives before then I would have started with ‘word equations’ and done things a lot slower. O2 . conservation of mass. CO. . This aught to be a simple formative assessment exercise. Once students have grasped the idea of a balance of atomic species. 10. profit/loss. CO2 . Invite suggestions: offer guidance if necessary mentioning what chemical reactions can and cannot do (change molecules but not atoms). Review products of combustion (CO2 . reveal the textbook chemical equations and get them to compare with their developed formalism. Ensure the concept of reactants and products is arrived at. 7. Summarize the main ideas and solicit ideas for quantitative formulation. check the result in tabular form.

4. put the hair nets on during practicals.scale of the problem.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 78 “In Food Tech The problem I had was how to engage learning as many were only interested in the cooking experience. costly product recalls etc.. provide options supported by more knowledge and apply to practice—compliance to wash their hands. 7. guide the group interactions moving them forward so they do not get too enveloped in discussing the actual examples so move them on to the bigger issues. asking for money back. 3. “To translate this discussion to PBL I could 1. “We discussed physical hazards in food and once it was realised this was to do with a ‘shard of glass in jam’ or ‘a hair in a plate of food in a caf´’ or even ‘a mouse found in a burger’ (the experiences were either first e or second hand). “Adjusting from discussion to a structured PBL based discussion could mean valuable learning outcomes. send the plate back to the chef. monitor peer and group interactions.” . 5. better food handling procedures. consequences of failures such as fines. 6. letters of complaints. What was my problem? How did I go about solving it? What might I do differently next time? “The outcomes could inform about how systemic food handling issues are in society. prompt and scaffold discussion (e. ask the student that has just answered to ask another question themselves).g. lost business).. plan questions to present the broad issue.g. and more individuals on task and engaging in solving the problem as well. Share my experience and knowledge and one particular course of action e. “The students write a brief written reflection following the group work answer questions. the discussion was very productive. impact (food poisoning. A lesson on food safety showed how a real issue impacted on their own experiences and this one would have been a good problem solving opportunity as the topic provoked curiosity and discussion. We covered how to handle situations and how food safety issues are addressed at a consumer level. look at the context of societal and ethical issues . 2. hazard control analysis to ensure safety. write students’ ideas on the board and form them into groups based on their interest in one example perhaps. washing dishes in hot water etc. hand out an example of an open—ended question where a group is ‘stuck’. consumer dissatisfaction etc.

“3. so they had to find someone to make the website for. I would spend more time on investigating sustainability issues. A 15 year old girl has found out she is pregnant. even make that aspect a group work aspect so that they could identify an authentic problem or need (such as projects going on within the community or school that needed promotion through a website or something) and then use the PBL process to come up with their solutions. but some PBL in the ministry of education to rewrite NCEA would be a good start :) ” Leah had a great idea for a lesson on teenage health: “I’ve chosen to apply the PBL model to a Year 13 health topic . any inquiry I had hoped they would do was not given enough attention or time to build the necessary skills.A Current Health Issue affecting a particular group in New Zealand “Teenage pregnancy: 1. If I were to redo this unit as a PBL unit. Small group brainstorming sessions would be conducted to identify what students already know about the issue.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 79 Hannah had a use for PBL that would also lead to a richer lesson structure: “I did a sustainability web design unit with my year 11-13 IT class. because assessment always draws that nasty box around the expansive possibilities of discovery learning. Students would use health-related resources and community services to find out as many options for pregnant teenagers as possi- . economic. however. lifestyle). I tried to get them to do some research on sustainability topics to find a topic that genuinely interested them. that based on the short timeframe I had with them. a second session would ask students to list the short and long term effects of being pregnant as a teenager on herself. A third session would ask students to list factors they believe contribute to becoming pregnant as a teenager (social. b) her community? “2. What services are available to her? What factors contributed to her current situation? What are the implications of the pregnancy on a) herself. and the year 13’s had to have a stakeholder for the unit standard. I’m not sure what the solution to that bit is. however. which all students have to fit through in the end to get their NCEA credits. One session would ask students to list services that are available to pregnant teens. “It would then require finishing off as individual websites being made. I think. Each group would report back to the class with their ideas. and on the wider community.

If results from surveys returned are favourable. Of course almost all electronic equipment we use utilizes complex chemistry properties to work. “The problem of course is that the students say ” so what. Students may be able to distribute their manuals to other students at the school and survey students who have read it. however most of these chemicals are dangerous or valuable.” From Mike: “I had a year 9 science class that I was trying to teach atom structure too and why some elements are stable and others reacted violently to form stable products.and long-term effects of pregnancy on a person. who cares” and that is a really good question. while oxygen and hydrogen react explosively to form water. Students would collate their information and put a manual together which would give the pregnant 15 year old information to help her get through her current situation. The same reports could be used to identify short. students can assess their work as successful. The manual would include identifying areas of her lifestyle which may have contributed to her situation. finding out if the manual would be helpful if they ended up pregnant as a teenager. For example sodium reacts violently with water to form hydrogen gas and sodium hydroxide.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 80 ble. “5. “4. etc. that the manual would help people. The chlorine gas that killed people during WW1 reacts with sodium to form salt that goes on your fish-nchips!!! “The atomic theory explanations for this have been nutted out over many years of research PBL. Teacher could access local teenage mum education course to ask if any students/mums would be willing to be interviewed by students to find out how she found services/help/options. Investigating contributing factors would involve reading reports related to teenage pregnancy and statistics which identify which health determinants link to the issue—social/economic/lifestyle/political/environmental. and things she may be able to change to avoid the same being put in the same situation again. or if any of the information would help them avoid becoming pregnant as a teenager if it was not an intended option for that stage in their life. “I pondered long on how I could find a useful problem based question that the students could explore but in the end came back to the fact that . The structure of the atom is fundamental to our understanding of chemistry and so the students need this base knowledge to understand more complex chemistry ideas.

what questions. “1. State the problem: My nana is 76. what. subtasks. Teacher to introduce blue-zones. T (2007). The 4D’s” . We were going to catch some small eels and grow them until they were big enough for the cook-up for the class. why. Teaching for tomorrow. why questions. Do: Students go about their work following their plans. continuum. turn 21. where. debriefing along the way. Students are encouraged to ask questions and require feedback from teacher. So off we went. What skills need to be improved? “I followed McCain.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 81 for safety reasons there are some things that will just need to be taught as base knowledge. Define: Co-construct the criteria. Include a rubric. boundaries. teaching content and problem solving skills. student–student debriefs. brainstorms. time-lines. “Of course there is a lot to think about here. “5. etc. these are centurion hot spots in the world. Students present their learning. These debriefs include stop-start-stays. A final debrief at the end includes an evaluation of what worked what didn’t and goal setting for the next problem. student-debriefs. legacy surveys. Student’s plans include task. “I quickly finished this unit and then moved on to something more interesting. It was a really fun unit but PS model could have made it even better. so students are aware of what is required of them. Is it possible? and if so what sort of things could she be doing to help make that happen? “2. Design: Using the information decided on in the define stage. task debrief. students to make a plan on how they will achieve the required outcome. I told the students that I want to farm some eels for an end of term cook-up. when. This includes the the how. Lots of how. is it to be completed in groups? What is the time frame? How is the information to be presented back? what class time will be allocated? etc “3. lesson debrief. She what’s to still be around to see my youngest child who is now 1.” Tarena had a good example: “I am going to use a year 9 Health class that I taught. I now have to make the trip into town every few days to check on our eel farm. which is only four years away from reaching the average lifespan. I was focusing on longevity and what things centurions do that enable them to lead quality healthy lives long after reaching the national average lifespan. SWOT. where. when. “4. Debrief: This happens throughout the process.

Yellow Hat Thinking—Benefits.instituteforhabitsofmind. Logical reasons are given. Difficulties. No reasons are given.mac. dangers. gut instinct. possibilities. Green Hat Thinking—Creativity. Tony Ryans Thinking keys http://centre4. Information and data. Black Hat Thinking—Cautions. 5. Thinking about thinking. De Bono’s Twelve Action Shoes.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 82 Module 4-9—Strategies for Critical Thinking Four strategies you can use to develop critical thinking are: Feelings can change. .pdf 3.html These programmes are fairly easy to translate into the classroom. White Hat Thinking—Facts. hats. Intuition. Logical reasons are given. alternative. Art Costas Habits of mind http://www. What do I know? What do I need to find out? How will I get the information I need? 3.asp 2. . Solutions to black hat problems. /six action shoes.adrian. 4. My feelings right now. Neutral and objective. Provocation— “PO!”. Spotting the risks. . De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats http://debonoforschools. Why an idea is useful.story intellect http://www. hunches. What thinking is needed? Organizing the thinking. Blue Hat Thinking—Process. Here are some quick summaries. Ideas. see for example http://homepage. Planning for action. Six Thinking Hats 1. plus points. Red Hat Thinking—Feelings. 2. The Three. staff/accet/CTWG/intellect. Positives.

catch a lion? The Picture Key. REPLACE something on it. ‘Kidspiration’ or Inspiration to record their responses. never or not in a sentence. a broken radio. an umbrella. The Alphabet Key. Example: A mouse trap. Example: Every child should be required to pay a tax on their birthday and Christmas presents. justify the idea by developing a case to support it. Example: What If all dogs turned into mice? What if the sun stopped shining? The Disadvantages Key. Students respond to a situation or circumstance by predicting a series of possibilities. The Prediction Key. a television. a pencil. a tent. Students list the attributes of two dissimilar or unrelated objects (e. Example: How many ways can you: make new friends. Choose an object or topic and compile a list of words from A. an old shoe. wash a giraffe. sketch or drawing and students work out ways to link it to the current topic they are studying. Australia.Z which have relevance to the current unit being studied. Example: Alphabet: food. The Ridiculous Key. The Variations Key. Start each question with “How many ways can you. Students list some different uses for items from their topic or theme (with an emphasis on reusing and recycling). Example: Find 10 uses for empty plastic yoghurt containers. Then they combine the attributes into a single object. Students may expand on these. Example: A computer. Draw a simple diagram.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 83 Thinking Keys The Reverse Listing Key. . . Make a ridiculous statement that would be virtually impossible to implement. Students then brainstorm various ways of correcting or eliminating the disadvantages. ADD something to it. The Different Uses Key. animals. You can pose virtually any “What If” question. Students can use a concept map. Make an item BIGGER. politicians. . Students then attempt to substantiate. Example: Predict what children will be like in 50 years. newspaper and swimming goggles).g. Select any item and ask students to list its disadvantages. The What If Key. The Combination Key. Example: Name ten things that you could not eat. ” Students brainstorm different solutions or ways to meet the challenge. a chair. a freezer. predict what forms of entertainment we will have in 100 years. Example: A sand-shoe and a lamp. The BAR Key. Place words such as cannot.

Develop a solution to a problem using three totally dissimilar objects. Monkeys. Children can draw a diagram. Pose a construction problem-solving task and provide readily available material for students to use. Students can work individually or in groups to build their construction. There are too many homeless people in Brisbane. Students think of five questions that give only that answer. Students can outline their ideas/ design on paper and then possibly construct their invention using a variety of materials. Koalas. Example: Work out three ways to take a photograph without a camera. Example: The clown is standing in the middle of the empty school oval. The Construction Key. Children can draw a diagram. an automatic vacuum cleaner. Example: You need to catch a cat with a kite. Children can draw a diagram. Describe an unusual situation. There are too many cane toads in Queensland. Students cannot use the objects in the way they were intended to be used. The Brainstorming Key. Provide students with an answer. The Alternative Key. Example: Invent a new mousetrap. sticky tape and 10 straws. The Inventions Key. and then try to “break down the wall” by outlining other ways of dealing with the situation. The Interpretation Key. The Forced Relationships Key. Decide on two objects which would normally have nothing in common. a grape peeler.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 84 The Commonality Key. Example: Kurwongbah State School and a circus. Migrants. State a problem which needs to be solved. creative or innovative solutions. Students work individually or in groups to brainstorm a list of practical. The Question Key. Students think of a number of ways to complete a task without the normal tools or equipment. Example: Midnight. see clearly underwater without goggles. . (This key links well with the Technology KLA. The Brick Wall Key. Seaweed. Example: Too many people eat fast food. a marble and a rubber band. Example: Build the longest bridge using one sheet of newspaper. rake up leaves without a rake.Technology Practice). Students may be presented with a design challenge of brief. and try to find common points between them. Students think of different ways to explain that situation. Example: Every child needs to go to school to get a good education. Make a statement which could not generally be questioned or disputed.

the solution to which are not immediately apparent. Striving for Accuracy 12. Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision 3. Thinking Interdependently 15. but cracking jokes and creating humour is hard.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 85 Sixteen Habits of Mind Habits of Mind are dispositions that are skilfully and mindfully employed by characteristically intelligent. Creating. Finding Humour 13. Questioning and Posing Problems 14. Persisting 2. Taking Responsible Risks 11. . Remaining Open to Continuous Learning The trouble with this list is that it is easy to say but hard to do! Especially ‘finding humour’. Thinking about Thinking (Meta-cognition) 10. Responding with Wonderment and Awe 9. Gathering Data Through all Senses 5. Imaging and Innovation 7. Thinking Flexibly 8. successful people when they are confronted with problems. Listening with Understanding and Empathy 6. Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations 16. The Habits of Mind as identified by Costa and Kallick are: 1. Managing Impulsion 4. Most of us appreciate a good joke.

Two-story men compare reason and generalize. Second Story—Explanation/Analysis. Imagine. Explain.” —Oliver Wendell-Holmes. • Fact collection: Count. Make Analogies. using labors of the fact collectors as well as their own. Costa’s version: First Story—Information. All fact collectors with no aim beyond their facts are one-story men. then pull them out whenever the class is posed a problem that requires differentiated styles of thinking. two-story intellects. Predict. • Reasoning and generalization. imagine.Observe.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 86 Three Story Intellect Moving students from lower to higher levels of thinking can become an explicit and intentional strategy through the application and integration of The Three Story Intellect. Apply a principle. Sequence. Forecast. To optimize the use any of these critical thinking ideas it seems sensible to tailor them the specific learning objectives. quote: “There are one-story intellects. they have achieved higher order thinking. Comments on the Thinking Tools We have to do some meta-cognitive thinking to figure out how best to use all of these tools. The inspiration comes from the following Oliver Wendell-Holmes Sr. All three are important components of good thinking and students can begin their thought processes at any of the three levels. Assess. Speculate. Evaluate. Compare/Contrast. Name. Identify. Recite. and three-story intellects with skylights. Their best illuminations come from above through the skylight. Third Story—Interpretation/Application • Idealize and imagine. Hypothesize. Infer. and predict. The Thinking Hats is simple since you first teach the children the idea of the thinking hats. Analyze Categorize. the three story intellect provides a means by which students can recognize the various levels of thinking. List. . When all three levels become part of student thinking. Synthesize. Inspired by an Oliver Wendell Holmes quote and adapted for academic purposes by Art Costa. Three-story men idealize. Describe.

The meta-key here is to choose an appropriate Key for the topic you want to teach. so pull out the strive for accuracy and persistence habits. One can do this for proving Pythagoras’ theorem for example. The Thinking Keys can be used to complete an entire lesson. and as a consequence teach a lot of geometry and algebra. obtaining some data demonstrating friction can be tricky. if you want to teach a set of mathematical methods that all solve a similar problem then you might use the Variations Key—ask the students how many ways can this problem be solved. . For example.Module 4—Inquiry Learning and Critical Thinking 87 The Habits of Mind can also be “pulled out”—of a figurative draw of tools—to respond to a classroom situation. For example.

”—Siegel & Shaughnessy.5. that makes this a great topic to study in this final module. . Failure to differentiate teaching & learning to meet different students’ needs has been described as. justify the use of differentiated learning 3. 2 of McInerney and McInerney (2006)) is a theoretical basis for the techniques of differentiated learning. Module 5-1—Introduction to Differentiated Learning By the end of this chapter you will be able to: 1. . define differentiated learning 2. 1999). When teachers are responsive in their teaching in order to support the success of all learners they recognize that learners are a mix of individuals and there is substantial diversity among the learners. “The biggest mistake of past centuries in teaching. 88 . know how to apply some differentiated strategies. Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age The educational psychology research on multiple intelligences (see for example Ch. We begin with a few notes taken verbatim from the Epsy-302 module notes. Rationale: Differentiated learning recognizes that teaching involves planning to meet various needs. quoted in (Tomlinson.

1999). to fill in before and after reading through this module. Rationale: The digital era is a time when available technology enables access to information. “They do not quest for sameness. but they search for the sense of triumph the comes when they are respected. Learning intentions here are: • to explain the background: schools. Module 5-2. nurtured. But let’s read on.” —Ibid. . and even cajoled into accomplishing things they believed beyond their grasp.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 89 Also.1. ideas and people from a range of locations. page 10.” —Ibid. rather. this says it all. and she expects them to become all they can be. • Identify digitally able teachers • Explain developing theory • Know how to put developing theory into practice. “In a differentiated classroom. page 10. Teachers need to be able to teach the digital generation in relevant ways. policies and teaching in the digital age so far. valued. To me. we will look at digital technology for education. the teacher unconditionally accepts students as they are. Assessment is not just an end. at any time. Highlights from “Elements of Differentiation” Below are some of the editor’s favourite extracts from (Tomlinson. Table 5. What is Differentiated Learning? First we have the anticipatory reading guide.

as well as those with very little prior knowledge relating to the topic. Evidence: It is important for all students to compete on a level playing field in summative assessment: being able to demonstrate their competency in the same way. Evidence: whole class teaching is fine. . Evidence: advanced students need sometimes deeper work. Evidence: The teacher explaining something to an entire class is not good practice because of the diverse needs of learners in our classrooms. “many times.v.1: Anticipatory guide for differentiated learning reading. Evidence: Using knowledge of different students’ interests can help teachers plan lessons that a range of students find engaging. which people like to choose to meet their individual comfort needs and to give expression to our personalities. is the order of the day”. so learning can be more comfortable. Diagnostic and formative assessment help teachers plan for learning experiences which suit the diverse needs of a class. engaging and inviting when a one-size-fits-all approach is avoided. q. Evidence: Good teaching takes account of students in the class who have welldeveloped prior knowledge. Tomlinson (1999) page 11. Evidence: A good way to provide for the needs of advanced students is to give them extra work. Evidence: An effective teacher is organised with all learning experiences for a unit of study planned beforehand. Evidence: As for clothes. . not just more work. Evidence: Before agree After neither agree agree agree agree disagree agree agree agree Table 5.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 90 Statement Different teaching/learning methods work better for different learners. . Effective teaching to meet the diverse needs of students could include differentiating the content taught to different groups of students.

To be great. and even then. One way to deal with the associated stress and work load is to have a sound perspective. . teaching using differentiated learning techniques and generally by constructivist methodologies is hard work for the teacher. people change. It is a deep respect for the identity of the individual. Yet it should seem comfortable and easy for students. by working to make all . how do we implement these ideals? How can we survive as human beings under the weight of this responsibility—assessing and modifying lessons overnight for about half a dozen different classes each of twenty to thirty different children? One answer is just to think differently ourselves! We can assess and modify a lesson in situ! We just need to have a deep understanding of the topic ourselves and most importantly of the pedagogical content knowledge required to be flexible and respond almost instantly to student needs.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 91 “assessment is today’s means of understanding how to modify tomorrow’s instruction. . not stress about it. page 13. The teacher facilitates this.” —Ibid. This is all fine and agreeable so far. modifying a lesson may take years of experience with many children before we get it right. he must make each player the best that he or she possibly can be. Then we can always use the students to help us get things right! “In the end it is not standardization that makes a classroom work. at least until the teacher becomes so experienced that their work becomes enjoyable second nature. page 12. I love this article so far! My question is. players alike.” —Ibid. . A second answer is to simply relax and not worry too much about overnight modifications. have fun with this challenge and be honest with the children if we think we haven’t got our teaching right. It helps to have a vision of . The trouble is. which is heavily shouldered typically. So for the teacher it is a complex system. “A great coach never achieves greatness. page 10. and tomorrows children may not appreciate lessons that are optimized for today’s children. generations change.” —Ibid. that’s their burden—which should be shouldered lightly—but not necessarily exhausting themselves physically (that’s for the play ground and PE lessons). The student is thinking a lot. while they may not realize how hard they are actually working. and to make his players great. So in a sense we just need to try our best. .

is to orchestrate the common goals for the year. So what is the analogy of the expert conductor? In many ways it entails the same skills as a professional orchestra conductor. given the right circumstances.” How to Plan for Differentiated Learning First. The big difference is that in a professional orchestra the musicians all share a common goal. if you need a mental boost. The start of the year is thus critical—the defining moments of the entire year will be at the beginning to a large degree. These are things like the class routines. They are however. looking at the diagram and bullet points at the end of Chapter 2 of Tomlinson (1999) is a good place to start for seeding some inspiration. qualitative and ill-defined goals. regulations. Beautiful music cannot be expected without expert conducting. They include respect for each other and a common purpose of helping each other understand the world and to help each other become the best they can be. For the teacher. So the very first task for a teacher of a differentiated class. To settle for anything less would be a betrayal to the ideals of education. I loved these sentiments: “All learners are motivated to matter what the psychological make-up of their students at the beginning of the year. rules. In some way this needs to be repeated every year for every new class. All learners can succeed in learning. rights and responsibilities. patience is required. given the right circumstances. While in a school classroom this is not typically the case at the beginning of the year. but the blend and mix must all be harmonized together in the marquee lessons at the beginning of the year t establish common goals. Learners need to be at the centre of the planning process. Individual learning goals may be different for each student.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 92 the ideal classroom and take steps to work towards this. The vision one could have is of the classroom as a harmonious orchestra—composed of diverse musicians (students) and instruments (their psyche’s). in my opinion (Ed) crucial. These may seem like vague. Start of Year —one of the most important things is to invest significant time at . The final quotation for this section is from the Epsy-302 module notes. Eventually an experiences teacher will refine their methods and find a comfortable working pace.

offer all students tasks that are (to each of them) equally interesting. Also sort out their personal journals—these can be kept in the classroom. it may not be to student B. their ‘buttons’). Some may argue we should only offer things that are of interest! Drop all the boring stuff. hobbies. their likes. then the rest of the year will be much more difficult for you to apply differentiated learning and constructivist teaching. Start of Year —again! Do an essay assignment: students get to write about their interest or background knowledge of the subject. and do some preliminary personal goal setting for the year. and Learning Profile (how they learn). a month. Student characteristics —pay attention to each students’ Readiness (their entry points). This may mean a week.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 93 the beginning of a year getting to know your students. Interests (their curiosity. . or more of lessons with minimal syllabus content and a lot of human interest content. (2) you can see it would increase student understanding and skill development. passion. backgrounds and interests. Teach as a leader —you do not relinquish the role of a leader. a culture of inquiry. This is extremely powerful if done wholeheartedly. dislikes. Offer something of interest —consistently escalate difficulty levels. and one pace does not suit all either! So don’t worry if some students streak ahead of the others. equally important and equally engaging. Do the same for classroom management. Expectations —expect all students to grow and support them in this. Start of Year —again! Establish a climate of learning. Curriculum elements —pay attention to how Content (what they should be learning). Modify only if necessary —take it easy! You only need to modify a curriculum element when (1) you identify a student need not catered for. and the converse for task Y . This is so fundamental that one can hardly spend too much time on it. Processes (activities that demonstrate skills). So we need to give students abundant choices. If this is not achieved. and Products (desired results) effect students differently. link these to their own interests. Just make sure the slower students are not left helpless. Teacher-student collaboration —co-opt students into the design and building of lessons and with evidence gathering. Rarely is there a “fits all” —one size does not fit all students. but nor should teachers act as prescriptive fountains of knowledge. But differentiation means while task X may be interesting to student A.

nz/r/gifted/handbook/. Student centred — Introduction. but hard to accomplish.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 94 Multiply success —and learn from failures. One of the great joys and privileges of being a teacher is sharing in the development of a young person’s exceptional ability. Practice what you preach: teach yourself how to run differentiated classrooms in a manner that best suits your learning needs. Quoting again from (Tomlinson. Moderation —you do not need to overdo things. They who progress the most are the class heroes. The following are extracts from this handbook. in particular the section Gifted and Talented Students: Meeting their needs.” No prejudices —believe each student can do anything possible. But one way to fast track it is to become a differentiated learner yourself. 1999). Special Needs Students in NZ Schools This is an extra module inserted here which summarizes the NZ Ministry of Education handbook for Schools.tki. Involve students in planning. That’s impossible. not at all! So don’t even mention it: concentrate instead and emphasize relative progress (ipsative assessment). but must be flexible and lead students to nectar that is suitable for their individual digestion. thus avoid the self-fulfilling prophecy trap that limits your teaching and prejudices students. teachers do not relinquish control as leaders. Stress relief —don’t sweat it—it takes time to become good at differentiated teaching & learning. unless it is necessary scaffolding. Source: http://www. goal setting. monitoring. You do not have to do it the same way your colleagues do. Lighten the load —teach only what you believe to be worth learning about! Cut the rest out. Many eminent . Again. and analysis. Reward progress —it is not absolute attainment that counts. “The teacher does not try to differentiate everything for everyone every day. Module 5-2b. It is equally gratifying to then observe that special ability being realised in adult achievement. and it would destroy the sense of wholeness in the class.

Certainly. culture. There has been no attempt to offer a single definition of giftedness and talent. Any approach must recognise that the incidence of giftedness and talent is not determined by class. This section explains the essential elements of programmes for gifted and talented students and describes a range of contexts in which these may be offered. and to include special abilities across a range of areas. This resource begins with a ‘Getting started’ section that outlines how schools might approach the task of developing a school-wide approach for their gifted and talented students. mediocrity. Instead. and even hostility.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 95 adults. and identification of gifted and talented students. . There is a growing awareness of the special needs of gifted and talented students and of the importance of providing them with an educational environment that offers maximum opportunities to develop their special abilities. point to support that teachers provided. Some of this group may compensate for an unrewarding school environment by finding fulfilment in activities beyond the school gate. examples of school case studies. leave school prematurely. and often never pursue those areas where they once showed so much promise. others may choose to deny their abilities in an attempt to fit in. schools are encouraged to take a multi-categorical and multicultural approach. research and conference papers. Structure of this resource. characteristics. Stage 2 looks at programme development and evaluation. when asked to identify the critical factors contributing to their outstanding accomplishments. However. and other related material are provided at the end of each section under the ‘Related reading’ heading. The remainder of the resource is divided into the two main stages involved in to developing a suitable programme. or gender. Consequences Teachers are becoming more aware of the consequences of not attending to the needs of the gifted and talented. To illustrate the strategies or to elaborate on the approaches outlined in each section of these stages. frustration. The research in this area is conclusive and irrefutable: failure to recognise and meet the needs of the gifted and talented can result in their boredom. many students are not deterred by a system that fails to support the development of their special abilities. There is also an increased acknowledgment that these young people represent one of our country’s greatest natural resources and that failure to support them appropriately in their schooling may see this potential go unrealised. A significant number of our more able students simply ‘give up’. Stage 1 looks at definitions.

Once the definition has been reached. a school may also require an outside ’expert’ to guide them in this undertaking. A policy for catering for the needs of gifted and talented students should be developed through consultation both inside and outside the school. Programmes for the gifted and talented have more chance of developing and enduring when: • there is a team approach to co-ordination. This is often because the impetus for a new initiative. Who? Defining who are the gifted and talented in a school population is not an easy task. However.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 96 Getting Started. issues of identification can be addressed. A crucial component in establishing comprehensive and enduring provision for gifted and talented students is the development of a relevant school policy. reside with a single staff member. A school policy needs to answer the why? who? what? where? how? and when? questions. Very often. Parents of gifted students should have an opportunity to be involved. Programmes for the gifted and talented can be tenuous in nature. Why? A good starting place is to develop a defensible rationale for providing differentially for gifted and talented students. A second question to ask here is who will co-ordinate the programme in the school. A policy also provides something against which approaches can be reviewed and evaluated. Developing a Policy. and have been known to appear and then disappear within a very short space of time. and • the team includes a member of the school’s senior management. because this provides the basis for identification and programme planning procedures. Gifted and talented students themselves can make valuable contributions to specific aspects of policy development. This situation can be avoided by making a school-wide commitment to catering for the needs of gifted and talented students. While a policy does not guarantee appropriate provision in every classroom. . to do this a school must first arrive at a definition. and the responsibility for its implementation. it does go a long way to ensuring that these students’ needs remain on the school’s agenda. This statement should tie in with the overall philosophy of the school.

questions about the appropriateness of a separate class. .Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 97 It is also essential that the programme is ’owned’ by the school community. This allows them to evaluate current provisions and practices. The needs of the gifted and talented must be at the forefront when this matter is being decided. Too often their needs become subsumed by concerns about charges of elitism. and so on can only be answered in an informed way after a school has addressed the why. Where? The debate about where gifted and talented students are best provided for in the school often constitutes the starting point in the process of planning and development. This can occur when the direction is provided by a staff member who is both experienced and enthusiastic but who fails to recognise that some of his or her colleagues may be much less knowledgeable and somewhat diffident. What? The next stage is the setting of goals and objectives what are we going to do? This part of the process is very important because it not only sets the direction of a school’s efforts but also provides criteria against which these efforts can be evaluated. a plan of action needs to be developed detailing how these will be met. or the reactions of parents of children not selected for special programmes. There needs to be a long-term as well as a short-term plan of action. These details are essential if a school is to develop a co-ordinated and consistent approach. The ‘gap’ analysis approach is also an excellent way of determining what should be included in a programme of professional development for staff. a withdrawal programme. To this end. and to identify the strengths and interests of school staff and members of the local community. How and when? Once the aims and objectives for the programme have been decided. the team or committee responsible for developing and implementing it should consult widely to reflect the different interest groups in the school and the perspectives held by members of staff. who and what questions. Some new developments are short lived because the vision was short term. to determine ‘where we are at and where we are going’. Sometimes new initiatives lose their impetus because the implementation plan is too ambitious. However. Many schools have discovered the value of undertaking a ‘gap’ analysis as a starting point. how other children in the school might feel. cluster grouping. This plan should include a time frame identifying when things will happen. ability grouping.

. Well-planned professional development opportunities for all those involved in education will increase interest in. within pre-service teacher education. There is an increasing trend towards school-based professional development. He believes this is because programme descriptions are usually brief and provide sketchy information. Reid (1996) reports that few New Zealand schools systematically and rigorously assess the effectiveness of their endeavours in this area. culture. and disability. Dettmer and Landrum (1998) remind us. Professional Development. or an optional paper). implementing. a one-off lecture. Any programme of professional development needs to be contextually based and to reflect current policies and practices within individual schools. Educators in New Zealand need specific training and understanding in each of the following areas: • concepts of giftedness and talent and related behaviours • identification methods • programming options and curriculum differentiation • teaching methods and materials • working with special populations among the gifted with particular reference to gender. Professional development is an essential ingredient in developing. that “it has been recognised for more than two decades that teachers do adopt more accepting and facilitative attitudes toward gifted students after just one course in the education of the gifted” (page 1). in their book Staff Development: The Key to Effective Gifted Education Programs. where the programme reflects the nature and needs of the individual school. and maintaining effective programmes for gifted and talented students. in-service professional development is vital.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 98 The question of how programmes will be evaluated should be answered as part of the initial planning process. and commitment to. Since gifted education is seldom addressed (beyond a chapter. the education of the gifted and talented. A school also needs to ask the question of how any new initiatives will be resourced.

Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age


Roberts and Roberts (1986, page 141) outline areas of concern and suggested professional development focuses as follows: • Awareness—arousing interest and providing information about how the gifted programme relates to other aspects of the school and curriculum • Informational—providing general information about the gifted programme and what it provides for students • Personal—providing clarification of role expectations • Management—providing direction related to day-to-day demands, such as timetabling, funding, and organisation • Consequences—providing opportunities to examine evaluation issues and refine teaching skills • Collaboration—providing time for working together, exchanging ideas, and guiding one another • Refocusing—providing opportunities for new ideas to be piloted. The professional development may be delivered by an array of individuals, including: • practitioners • researchers • college of education • university teaching staff • professional consultants • members of advocacy groups • parents of gifted and talented children • cultural experts • gifted and talented students themselves. Regardless of who the presenters are, their skills should match the needs and goals of the intended professional development programme. Opportunities for gifted and talented children will improve only when professional development is included as a goal—for all stakeholders—in a collaborative and consultative manner.

Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age


Summary. • Frequently, educational initiatives for the gifted and talented are short-lived. This often occurs when the impetus for a new development resides with a single staff member. • A new programme is more likely to develop and endure if it is based on relevant school policy and implemented through a team approach. • A policy should be developed through consultation in the school and community. • A policy for the education of gifted and talented students should address the following issues: – Why provide differentially for these students? – Who are our gifted and talented students in the school? – How will we co-ordinate our approach? – What are we going to do? – Where are we going to do it? – How and when will we do it? – How will it be resourced? • Professional development is particularly important in this area because most teacher education pre-service programmes offer only brief introductions to educating gifted and talented students. • Effective professional development: – is collaboratively planned – is tailored to the nature and needs of the individual school – covers conceptions, identification, programming, curriculum differentiation, teaching methods and resources, and special groups of gifted students – addresses areas of concern.

Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age


Related Readings and Research. For links to a range of online reading material by New Zealand authors about gifted and talented education, go to the G&T Related Reading for School Policies and Programmes site. The Extent, Nature and Effectiveness of Planned Approaches in New Zealand Schools for Providing for Gifted and Talented Students This research was commissioned by the Ministry of Education in response to a recommendation made in the report from the Working Party on Gifted Education and to inform the Ministry of Education’s development of policy for the education of gifted and talented students. The purpose of the research was to determine how schools provide for these students and the efficacy of these approaches. The section of the report entitled Overall Coordination of Gifted and Talented Education relates to the topics discussed in Getting started. Who are Gifted and Talented Students? This section is just a summary of the associated MoE handbook section. • There has been a trend away from defining the gifted and talented in terms of a single category (for example, high IQ) towards a multi-category approach, which acknowledges a diverse range of special abilities. • Multicultural values, which reflect a range of attitudes to abilities and qualities, form an important component of any concept of giftedness and talent. Identification procedures and programme content should equally incorporate multicultural perspectives. • Social, emotional, and motivational factors are acknowledged as important aspects of giftedness and talent. • Behavioural characteristics such as advanced reading and language skills, early abstract thinking, and exceptional levels of knowledge, curiosity, and motivation are helpful in identifying gifted and talented students. • It is important to recognise potential as well as demonstrated performance. Educators should offer rich and challenging experiences to help realise potential. Related Research. It might be worth looking at The Extent, Nature and Effectiveness of Planned Approaches in New Zealand Schools for Providing for Gifted and Talented Students. This research was commissioned by the Ministry of Education in response to a recommendation made in the report from the Working Party on

It is important for schools to note behaviours and characteristics that are valued by different cultural groups. and to inform the Ministry of Education’s development of policy for the education of gifted and talented students. so too has the diversity of characteristics included in each concept. some characteristics typical of the gifted and talented can be less acceptable. • While most characteristics of the gifted and talented are positive in nature. for some. The purpose of the research was to determine how schools provide for these students and the efficacy of these approaches. The section of the report entitled Defining Giftedness and Talent relates to the topics discussed in Definitions section of the handbook site. emotional and social difficulties arise as they progress through life. • As definitions of giftedness have broadened. For example. However. • Characteristics of the gifted and talented student can be grouped under the following headings: – learning characteristics – creative-thinking characteristics – motivational characteristics – social leadership characteristics – self-determination characteristics. giftedness and talent. Each gifted and talented student is unique. It is important to recognise that the emotional and social development of these students is not necessarily problematic on its own but can become problematic if they find themselves out of step with their peers. • The emotional and social development of most gifted and talented students is within the bounds of normality. a student who can recall a wide range of knowledge may dominate class discussion. It is also imperative that schools develop a set of characteristics that reflects their individual definition of.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 102 Gifted Education. and approach to. A student who prefers to work independently may actively resist working with others. . Summary—Characteristics of Gifted and Talented Students. with his or her own set of behaviours and characteristics.

and educational programmes. there is a significant discrepancy between their ability and their performance. These include: – disadvantaged gifted – disabled gifted – those with learning difficulties – underachieving gifted – those from minority cultural and ethnic groups. The first step in reversing this underachievement is to identify students in this category. moral. • Some of the principles of sound identification suggest that it should: – begin early . An inclusive approach that will benefit as wide a group as possible is more valuable than an exclusive approach. Summary: Identification of gifted and talented students. which they may direct to a strong sense of right and wrong and social justice. • Gifted and talented students often display high levels of sensitivity. • Issues of equity are fundamental to the identification of the gifted and talented. • With many gifted students. In the classroom they may have a preoccupation with social. and ethical issues and will often act on their own convictions in these areas. • Identification is a mediating link between definitions of giftedness and talent. • Special attention should be given to the ‘hidden gifted’.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 103 • Gifted and talented students often have strong academic self-concepts but weaker social self-concepts. • Gifted and talented students are sometimes characterised by a sense of perfectionism a compulsive need to achieve at the highest level and do the very best work possible. • It is helpful to have a school-wide policy on the gifted and talented that coordinates identification in the school. • The behavioural characteristics of some gifted and talented children closely resemble those associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

and interests. • The purpose of defining and identifying giftedness is to uncover individual abilities. helps to challenge gifted and talented students and to enable their special abilities to ‘surface’ and be identified. a a Summary: Principles and practice of differentiation and programme development. and input from wh¯nau members and kaum¯tua. • Identification should employ a wide range of quantitative and qualitative methods. • Identifying gifted students from diverse cultures poses special challenges. and parent nomination – standardised tests of intelligence. achievement. process. disadvantaged. careful teacher observation through a responsive learning environment.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 104 – be continuous – incorporate a team approach – be as unobtrusive as possible – include both quantitative and qualitative methods. • Within qualitative differentiation for gifted and talented students. Of more value for identifying M¯ori students and those from other ethnic groups are the evaluation of a students’ products. peer. Standardised tests of intelligence and achievement. and socio-economic status. learning difficulties. are often not appropriate or effective. • When designing and implementing programmes for gifted and talented students. and creativity – teacher-made tests – portfolios and performance-based assessments – rating scales and chec-klists. in which rich and stimulating learning experiences can take place. and even teacher and selfnominations. Such an approach is particularly helpful for identifying gifted and talented students who are disabled. self-. . three primary areas of differentiation emerge: content. Differentiation transforms the learning environment and teaching style. and product. schools must take into consideration factors such as culture. • A responsive learning environment approach. gender. qualities. or from different cultural groups. and the purpose of differentiation is to further develop them. Some of these methods are: – teacher.

be supported by a comprehensive written plan. Respecting. a curriculum model or models may serve as an ideal framework. Module 5-3. Respect and challenge for all learners . • Programme evaluation must have a clear purpose. Summary: Programme evaluation. Check out. Principles of Differentiated Learning The short-list: 1. not the other way round. fitting the evaluation to the programme. Other Reading. • Assessing for Differentiation: Getting to Know Students by Dr Tracy Riley. schools should utilise enrichment and acceleration. offering a continuum of provisions. • In designing appropriate curricula for gifted and talented students. and Responding to diversity . • The Three R’s of Diversity: Basic A model for Recognising. the Autonomous Learner Model. Bloom’s Taxonomy. • Programme evaluation is a necessary aspect of gifted education.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 105 • When planning and implementing differentiated programmes for gifted and talented students. and be designed to make changes or adjustments to programmes according to outcomes. • Programme evaluation should be both formative and summative. Know your learners 2. It should examine all programme components by using a variety of methods and by involving the entire school community. and the Enrichment Triad Model are commonly adopted or adapted by schools. • Offering a continuum of opportunities for gifted and talented students involves individualising the options to meet the students’ needs.

• Stock market fluctuations and economics (e. and current affairs to investigate ‘lies. Form and maintain learning partnerships beyond school 4. a year 8 class? One Wellington school did this recently by framing their teaching and learning about statistics within a unit on cell phones: a topic close to secondary students’ hearts. . car traffic frequencies. • Use the internet to investigate statistical properties of networks. random walks. darts to investigate π. coin tosses. Some Suggestions: (for year 9–13) • Do a project on average waiting time intervals for buses and trains. advertising claims. )..g. Task 38: Think about learning statistics (from the mathematics curriculum). • Sherlock Holmes puzzles to investigate combinatorics and common logical errors made in probabilistic reasoning. How could you incorporate the interests of learners? What might be interesting statistic topics for a year 2–3 class. .g.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 106 3. Cricket to investigate distributions of skill. weights. damned lies and statistics’—critical thinking in general. roll of dice. consequences of rational expectations and modelling using deterministic equations).) • Use a sport: e. • Discover distributions by plotting many different data sets (heights. We haven’t been counting rigorously. Ongoing formative assessment Education theorists consider these to be the fundamentals. . • Weather prediction statistics to investigate dynamical systems and chaos. • Gambling games to investigate probability. I’m out of my depth with years 2 and 3. • Media stories. but this is the 38th task for the course so far. you have to wait on average longer than the average interval between buses in the queue. I am sure some of these could be adapted to year 8 classes.. (This is quite cool. Flexibility in teaching and learning 5.

What have we done so far? What do we do next? Thinking about thinking. What information do we have? What information do we need? Diagnostic assessment—find out their learning needs. . new ideas. could be done weekly. Beware of victimization of students (by others. Listen to them. Is this true? Will it work? What are the weaknesses? What’s wrong with it? Get students to feedback and critique lessons. Green hat Creativity.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 107 Module 5-4. Assessment. Summative assessments. Suggestions and proposals. How do I feel right now? Watch out for changes in behaviour that might signal ‘losing’ students. feelings and hunches. Be rigorously just and fair. Respect and Challenge for All Learners Task 39: is to recall Edward de Bono’s thinking hats—where a different coloured hat is worn to indicate a different way of looking at something. Blue hat Organisation of thinking. Intuition. Yellow hat Good points Why is this worth doing? How will it help us? How can it be done? Why will it work? Use evidence to improve what works. The use of the coloured hats is a common strategy to encourage thinking skills. Judgement. Use these hats to consider your attitudes towards teaching a child with special needs and reconsider your attitudes for teaching a gifted child. No need to justify feelings. Black hat Bad points. even if negative. Some suggestions: White hat Information. Caution. Respect their opinions. then include students in planning— what do they think they still need to understand. but yourself ). Knowing yourself and how your attitudes impact on the individuals you teach is essential. why? How can it be improved for the student? Red hat Emotions. Different. What are some possible ways to work this out? Other ways to solve this? Formatice assessment—what is working. Questions.

• Use the internet to keep in touch with families and hold online chats. tiered activities. drawing upon outside expertise is almost a tautology for true differentiated learning. How to Create Partnerships This list is almost obvious. Flexibility in Teaching and Learning This section is cut & pasted almost verbatim from the Epsy-302 module notes. Feel free to add to it. e..g. especially if you are weak on teaching in the particular area.g. Differentiating teaching and learning processes means differentiating how we teach.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 108 Module 5-5. • Make use of visiting expert guests throughout the year. Why? The simple truth is that no teacher can cater for the entire range of abilities. anchor activities. Creating Learning Partnerships This is a fundamental bedrock for high quality differentiated learning. talents. • Encourage extra curricular activities and get involved in them yourself. • Swap classes on occasion with other teachers. Examples of strategies are: choice menus. Drawing on the expertise of others allows a variety of perspectives into the classroom. That’s almost all we need to say on this topic. These are each described below. Module 5-6. RAFT Plus activities. skills. • Invite parents to school to talk about their work or interests. as a coach or mentor. Therefore. learning stations. good food and drinks an some sparkling presentations). curriculum compacting.. and interests of all students in a given year or class. • Hold plenty of open discussion evenings with a warm and friendly atmosphere (e. .

e. the same learning intentions with two or three versions of the same activity. providing many opportunities to engage with material being learnt is always essential to embed new concepts. Individual learners choose from the menu items related to their readiness. Tiered activities —have several parallel learning activities with different levels of challenge. This approach avoids the common problem of learners with advanced skill levels becoming bored from repeating the same learning which they have already mastered. To help then feel that they are still managing student learning effectively. fewer options may be more manageable. . Format choices. RAFT Plus tasks put learners in a Role. Curriculum compacting —is particularly helpful for advanced learners in the class. RAFT Plus activities —build on the concept that consideration of perspective aids deeper understanding.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 109 Choice menus —give learners options about the learning experience where all options relate to the learning intentions. teachers could require students to complete some or all of the stations. Learners can work co-operatively or individually on RAFT Plus tasks. This strategy allows expertise to be recognised and then allows experts to take on advanced learning challenges. featuring differences in the level of support or scaffolding which has been structured into the task. When using learning stations. The teacher identifies experts through diagnostic assessment and delivers specifically designed learning experiences to address gaps. learners may co-construct or design their own studies. When teachers are new to this approach. and a specific Task/learning outcome focus. Teachers may also still require all students to complete same final assessment. Later. This is followed by a proof activity. a task which gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their new learning and once this has been satisfactorily completed recognised experts can take on an individual advanced learning contract. Advantages of learning stations are that they support levels of learner readiness. with an Audience. Learning stations — involves providing a range of different learning activities around the room to provide multiple opportunities and ways to develop the same skills/knowledge. support diverse learner interests and support different learning profiles. i. interest of preferred product (output). freeing the teacher to work with the rest of the class group whose learning needs match the material being taught. teachers may choose to incorporate daily learning reflections or progress reports into the individualised learning contracts for experts. It allows these students the chance to move quickly onto learning which is suitable for their learning readiness.

automatic next step when an assigned task is finished. Module 5-7. An anchor activity is a pre-organised. Headings provided can change according to what is appropriate for the topic. during learning and to assess achievement following the learning and teaching period. . and names of known artists. as well as support effective planning which scaffolds the topic in accordance with the students’ needs. they are also effective in making effective use of learning time in any situation when learners are finished early. Example: Jazz Music lesson. This information could be used to form teams. Ongoing formative assessment The principle of ongoing formative assessment for successful differentiation is fundamental as it ensures that planning and organisation of learning is based on accurate understanding of the learners current levels of knowledge and skill. for instance to group learners with diverse experiences or perspectives or to form teams which have similar interests. Others are informal but very effective. which will tell the teacher about current expertise that can be drawn on. There are numerous ways to assess learners levels of knowledge or skill prior to the learning experience. These activities need to be interesting and with established routines and expectations for them to be an effective transition management technique. Although they can be used to support curriculum compacting. Many of these ways are formal assessments that enable the teacher to plan according to needs. Self assessment is a useful tool to gauge individual interest and knowledge. For a music lesson we might ask students to record their own personal jazz musical experiences.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 110 Anchor activities —are for learners who have satisfactorily completed work and demonstrated their understanding.

capable of showing chaotic trajectories. “The simulations were quite advanced. they were just given tools to work the relationships out . “The lesson involved students going through a worksheet of guided instructions in order to help them discover analogies between circular motion and simple harmonic motion. Free online lectures are now readily available. to be studied and re-used. “It fits the Discovery Model because the students were not given any explicit answers. one with masses on springs. Below are some contributions. So what role will schools have in the future? • Teachers will become more and more like super facilitators. Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age The Changing Face of Learning The internet is rapidly changing how we learn and what we can learn. another with various types of point particle motions labelled by vectors for velocity and acceleration. Digital Technology Usage Observations We were asked to contribute examples of digital technology that we observed on TE.8–9. • Students will be able to learn almost anything that their brains can absorb! So these are exciting times ahead. • Students can and will be expected to do more self-study and self-assessment. You do not get a diploma or degree. but the knowledge is there. Blair’s example: “I used a couple of physics simulation. and it will never get less absorbing and exciting as far as we can foresee (not counting global climate change or other such catastrophes—but even such cataclysmic events should not effect the world wide web too much). • Teachers will need to be able to explain a wider variety of phenomena. free.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 111 Modules 5.

” Leah observed use of an interactive whiteboard: . It was pretty seamless. “One example which was a bit different was the year 7 and 8 classes’ use of a website called ‘Mathletics’ where the students can go online and explore the website to find fun activities to do to practice their maths skills. This was then converted into a powerpoint and loaded onto the Year 11 history intranet page so students could refer to it later. This would fit quite well with the more cognitive view of Discovery Learning. as would be expected. or typing up assignments kind of usage though.” Anna observed use of the intranet for resource sharing: “I was on TE at a private girls’ school and the technology (except in the food tech dept) was cool.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 112 for themselves.Origins of WW2: Students were put into groups and each had to research a significant event of the 1930s and present to the class. ” Hannah observed use of mathematics software: “While on TE1 I observed a number of digital technologies. The teacher then facilitated a discussion about different aspects of the event and jotted down a summary of bullet points on the smart board for each group’s presentation. and when they were in the computer lab for other classes/subjects they would often ask the teacher if they could go on mathletics instead of whatever they were supposed to be doing! It was obviously a great strategy for letting the kids explore and develop their own numeracy and fun enough for them to use it at home as well. One thing I really liked was the way some teachers chose to use the intranet for posting notes and course work. and I was teaching IT so every day involved every student using computers. The kids really enjoyed it. This would fit the humanist learning theory of group work (due to process) but you could also argue it was information used for explanations (behavioural). Most of this was just the usual direct instruction. research. An example for one of the classes I observed: “Year 11 History . save it to their files or print. It was a fairly successful lesson except only about 80% of the students got to the real objective. Most of the teachers/classes used data projectors for presenting information.

aligning with Lev Vygotskys model of social constructivism—that the students are able to make sense of the content while interacting with others in their learning environment. Google —Search. blogs.0 —a social network for those interested in Web 2. and are part of tools like Moodle. Moodle —Free OSS used as the entire content management system for some schools. So it has all the basics: calendars. The interactive aspect was often used during revision exercises which allowed students to write their answers. Consider the following trends in information sources. schools are making more use of online tools like Google Docs and Moodle to share resources. and so on. In addition. The students constructed their answers using knowledge from all contributing members of the class.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 113 “On my TE. and tools like GapMinder and more. . the most common use of technology was the use of an interactive whiteboard. Moodle is often described as a Course Management System (CMS).” The New Media and Networking Where do children and teenagers get most of their current affairs information? Knowing the answer to this question is extremely important for educators—it gives us a path whereby we can connect with students and ‘get into their minds’ a bit more than ever before. RSS Feeds —More old school these days. In most cases. Blogs —Can be embedded in almost any website. post homework and assignments. and communicate transparently and freely with parents. usually prompted by teacher questioning. also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). but RSS feeds are often linked in to blogs and Facebook.0 and Social Media in education. Classroom 2. posting. or the teacher to write a commonly agreed answer from many students. Gmail. Was created for educational use. the students were able to form an answer after some discussion. Google Docs. It need not be a resource used in the classroom. Facebook —Why bother setting up a personal webpage when you have Facebook? Twitter —Students may be using Twitter.

a slide presentation or poster or seminar. Social engineering —on average humans are enjoying better quality of life. email is still a huge communication tool. What you have to do instead (and this is good !) is just assume they can all get any facts and figures and as the main assignment tasks get them to interpret and analyse the information. but technology can help.html Next. Cyber elites —a looming problem is how to ensure access to technology is fair and equitable.. and a host of other LMS’s listed here: http://www.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 114 Wikipedia —watch out for this one. or a cool new media representation of the information.c4lpt. free software. or create something new and original from the information—e. If such progress can be managed equitably then there is tremendous potential for alleviating learning problems associated with social injustice and malnutrition or family ‘disturbances’. Notice what is missing! No email! but increasingly young people are bypassing email and using Gmail and other tools to connect with friends via Twitter. and so on. Education can move to focus more on moral and ethical training that is so hard to teach. So information access is increasingly a non-issue. the sky is the limit. with the assistance of technology. free technology. check out ATutor.g. There may even be drugs available soon that enhance learning in relatively benign ways (‘clearing the mind’ is a possible euphemism!) Whether use of drugs in learning enhancement is right or wrong is an issue we must soon face. Particularly as we may find we can accelerate the progress of children at school using new technologies. Or will a new social class of information elites arise? Is such emergence a natural evolution. Students can almost copy & paste assignments if you give them traditional research tasks. consider the trends in scholarship. There is tremendous potential for helping students to develop cognitively using multiple modes of learning. even if only helping bring social problems to Freedom —over more freedom of information. Some of this involves sensitive issues. For example. impossible to control? Augmented intelligence —how much do we need to know when robotic or cybernetic systems will some day soon provide us with almost instant access to . Learning enhancement —multimedia potentials for learning are only in their infancy. Alternative to Moodle are numerous. While these may operate at educational levels above secondary school. they may touch what we do in future secondary schools. Facebook and other content rich web tools. free books.

many students may not be able to transfer what they have learned on other media to paper. and become frustrated because of this. and instilling a culture of learning. Mash ups —it is becoming easier to re-use and adapt existing technology to create solutions to problems without having to work from the ground up. and will be empowered to move at their own pace. and arguably will continue to increase in potential. • Confusion—sometimes traditional lessons are more effective. and increasingly ubiquitous. Usually exams and tests still use the old modality of pen and paper. The power that a single child has to change the world has never been greater. This involves ethics and morals. These are not great demands on our skills! Pace of learning —there seems no limit. Our job is to make students aware of this potential and facilitate the most rapid progress the student can make without sacrificing depth and understanding. Students will increasingly become selfeducated. good ethics. Almost anyone can set up a rich and dynamic web site.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 115 any information we desire? Surely an implication is that the use of knowledge becomes a paramount thing to teach in the classroom. Can your students still write fluently by hand? . But is that necessarily bad? • Inequality—while digital technology remains relatively expensive. Focus moves away from teaching mere content and towards more teaching of self-discipline. self-motivation. leading to a digital divide. If we want something done it is now almost feasible that it will be done merely if it is (a) possible and (b) we have a network to draw upon that can find people to help do it. We need to teach children how to tap into them and yet not become overly dependent upon them. students can become confused and blinded to what they should be learning. Are today’s teachers mentally equipped to provide such education? To what degree can such philosophical education be provided constructively? How is wisdom best acquired? These are critical issues for the schools of the current millennium. with minimal effort and cash outlay. It is also useful to know how to establish and maintain new networks of knowledge. Networks —networks are pervasive in our lives. this may disadvantage poor families. Some of the potential down-sides to digital technology are: • Distraction—students may get side-tracked by the technology itself and not the objective of the lessons that use the technology.

and mediated by communication technology. the main networks of interest are those formed between humans. the web). The connections that a student makes are an important aspect of learning in the digital age. and the connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing. but the world will always need experts. geological faults. organisations and technology work collaboratively to construct knowledge. Learning (defined as actionable knowledge) can reside outside of ourselves (within an organization or a database). is focused on connecting specialized information sets. Connectivism: a Learning Theory for the Digital Age Review the notes in the previous section on page 111 and recall the importance of networks. galactic clusters). network. friendships). That may be fine for some people. George Siemens developed connectivism as a learning theory for the digital era. if it is a persistent attitude then one’s knowledge becomes shallow and it becomes hard to be an expert on any particular subject. Module 5-10. The theory considers how people. etc). What are networks? They are manifold in form. and complexity and self-organization theories. some have a physical basis (internet). and some social (Facebook. and some astronomical (solar systems. Siemens describes connectivism as: the integration of principles explored by chaos.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 116 • Kinaesthetic skills—learning to arc-weld using a virtual reality simulation is still not the same as learning to weld in reality! • Shallowness—when one finds information is easy to access. Some of these are natural. much more. For education psychology. some abstract (graphs. Learning is a process that occurs within nebulous environments of shifting core elements—not entirely under the control of the individual. and much. traffic). How are networks formed? By connections. but all are important for teachers to understand in order to make effective use of them. While this may be fine in the short term. there can be a tendency to not bother putting in the effort to learn relevant facts. the internet. Where do you think Siemens’ connectivism as a learning theory fits with the other learning theories you have studied this year? . some natural (ecosystems. some physical (fibre optics.

“This learning seems to fit into cognitivist theories but the instruction of drawing technique may be direct. nor a statesman whether he shall produce law and In the discussion board briefly describe what the example is and what theoretical paradigm in terms of learning the example fits into. Inquiry models. “The current topic shows students learning about sketching self portraits using only pencil and different line and shading techniques. Task 41 —Digital teaching technology and learning theories. But it can be found in all of the other learning models as so no only learning about drawing. In doing so. which is behaviourist. children are looking critically about themselves and their similarities and differences with others. Some may recall the 1990’s television series ‘The Pretender’—so the Mantle of the Expert method is a bit like getting your students to be the character Jarod from that TV show. Merryn wrote about her impressions of Art at Muritai school: “What beautiful artwork! The Muritai art blog exhibits student work. “The students are given scenarios where they have to ‘be an expert’. One advocate bases this on Aristotle’s philosophy: We deliberate not about ends but about means. A doctor does not deliberate about whether he shall heal. —Aristotle. They assume the end. Here are some contributions. The child learning to perform that skill is something they have to work out for themselves. Choose one of the digital examples. Discovery models and Group Interaction models. Justify your answer. “The Mantle of the Expert is a paradigm for teaching described in a sound byte as: A dramatic-inquiry or imaginative-inquiry approach to teaching and learning. An excellent description is given . Can the teaching be one theory and the learning another?” Blair wrote about the Mantle of the Expert paradigm and it’s use at Muritai school.muritai. We are asked to go to http://www.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 117 Suggested answers: Connectivism fits comfortably into Cognitive models. and consider how and by what means it is to be attained. Not an orator whether he shall persuade.php and look under the ‘Our Learning’ tab. nor does anyone debate or deliberate about his end.

what the food was like.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 118 in an animated slide show here: http://www. other parts were actually done in class. The aim is to create meaningful cross-curricular contexts for learning. The project I looked at going on at Muritai school was so impressive I have written extensively about it here following their teacher’s “Their first project was to design a company logo. “The students create an imaginary enterprise. Next week we will try to make a real recording of this interview. “The next period they filmed some dramas. The client commissions a project. We do our best to look out for endangered species of fish. The emphasis is on the tasks the children need to do. the gear they had to wear. “The next day they reflected on the learning that had been accomplished using the Mantle of the Expert approach. These were to include a history of the NZ COSSA company. “Then they identified Key Company Values: We work hard to be the best scientists we can be. They received a company email from management. They also planned a research trip to the Antartic. which included mathematics problem solving. The teacher frames them as experts. These were small dramas . to make the enterprise a success and to serve the needs of the clients. life on board a research ship.mantleoftheexpert. They then used drama to put together a filmed interview with three scientists about the work they did on the boat. “At Muritai school a year 3 & 4 class came up with an idea for a company (enterprise) they called ‘NZ COSSA’ with a mission statement: We explore and investigate so that the sea world around New Zealand can be protected for the future. We research and give people information about the sea around New Zealand so that is can be protected. ‘asking us to include some more things in our new foyer display design. and finally some information about life on board The Aumoana. In the teacher’s blog: ‘The third working group did some research about life on board a research vessel. So the children knew something about how they were learning. Next the imagined they had a research vessel The Aumoana. They also modelled scientific research equipment with clay models. and what their favourite thing was about living on the boat. some information about the diving work done on board The Aumoana. and more. We respect things M¯ori because it is part of a New Zealand’s culture and the Treaty of Waitangi. We agreed to believe that we were watching a filmed interview as this group performed their interview to us. We work as a team and respect each other. The enterprise has a client.’ Some of this was imagined. Antarctic research.’ They then did some research on diving.

Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 119 that they had created the previous week to be a part of their foyer display. • NZ COSSAs Mission Statement. • Clay models of. details about the equipment that needs to be worn while working on deck. • A display about diving work including a poster and a small video clip. (its values. an example of an upcoming planned expedition. “They then organized their foyer display’s. In the teacher’s words: ‘We all took turns to tell the interviewers about our fictional company and the work we have been doing to design a new informative foyer display for the company building. and information about. history. for example . Some of the values of the school are also clear due to the subject matter chosen. workspaces). A statement reads ‘the project is about us being part of a community. for Muritai school. and what learning in Mantle of the Expert is all about. and from a year 3 to 4 class. and a small videoed interview with scientists about their experiences working on The Aumoana. Brilliant!” Diana wrote about her impressions of the Muritai TV project: “Under the learning tab. the text and descriptions of each clip includes goals and visions of the staff and pupils and a clue to the footage. Keep an eye out for the link to the documentary here soon!’ Well. There was a lot to talk about as we described our company. photos from on the boat (our freeze frames). mission statement. and Company Logo. the different types of equipment used on board The Aumoana. Although I was not able to download any of the clips from the webpage for some reason. information buttons reading some excerpts from diary entries written on the boat. the research we have been doing. Values. These included: • Six different research posters (one for each group) with either an ‘information button’ or piece of ‘film footage’ to go with it. the TV section features a quite a significant digital initiative in the senior area. that was all quite impressive to me. “The next week Muritai TV visited the class and spent a long time talking to them about the work they had been doing. • A display about Life on Board the Boat including boat plans. and enables people from outside Muritai and Eastbourne to see the interesting things that our students and staff do everyday’. • A company timeline and history. is pupil driven.

artistic and social opportunities) and there is an interview with a pupil who lives on a boat (portraying the school reaching out to the community). Even the younger viewers at the school can benefit from the TV as a learning experience in some of the same ways until they are old enough to be the ones behind the camera. sporting.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 120 enviroschools (sustainability) or music or sporting events (enabling children to achieve across a broad spectrum of academic. “I think this example fits into both the cognitive and humanist views. in which they work in groups to produce TV episodes documenting what goes on in the school. Insight into knowledge is sought and not the mere acquisition of skills. as can be seen by the school and students implementing the ideas they believe in. It is very much . edit. There is specific mention in another section of the website to 16 Habits of the Mind. “To me. and the aim is to develop the community spirit both within the school. A school TV channel is very relevant to every day experience in the pupil’s lives so they can construct meaning through learning. and humanist learning theory is further illustrated this way. and all four of the learning theories that come from these. They learn to use cameras. The cognitive theory is perhaps harder to decide on without viewing the clips but with the excellent school approach to learning and specific mention from the values and mission statements. “The project is learner centred and there are elements of humanist learning theory from the perspective that students are dealing with new material related to an event or experience of interest in their lives and social and personal development and responsibility is created from the learning. and the more in-depth subject areas it certainly seems to fit as well. out outside the school. and interview people. Emphasis on the process of learning (rather than just the content) matches both cognitive and humanist learning theories. script.” Hannah also wrote about Muritai TV: “This is a project carried out by the senior students at Muritai School (which I’m guessing is year 7 and 8). this initiative relates to a range of values in the schools mission statement but clearly links to socio-constructive or the social cognitive learning paradigm. the TV idea is a working model of this and likely to be a great intrinsic motivator for the senior students who are involved. a cognitive based learning theory and in terms of fun and curriculum linked learning. “Creating videos for TV also forms the basis for group interaction models as well as problem based learning.

Students are inquiring into the affect of historical and current events and how these impact on the world we live. but the world (as can be seen on their ‘vistors map’ !)” Michael was impressed by the Mrs Ryan as a Scientist blog at Muritai school: “Mrs R D Science is a pictorial collection covering class and teacher investigations. The students and teacher are exploring the world around them and trying to make sense of what they see (cognitive view) but they take recourse to consult experts who use direct instruction. the group interaction model fits because each student would have a role. It’s student-driven and teacher would just facilitate.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 121 problem based learning because the students will have a problem such as ’produce a TV episode about our student teachers’ and they have to work together to find the solution. The learning theories are experiential and inquiry based. It is a sensible approach as it short-cuts expensive and potentially deadly learning experiences. Leah and Loesje wrote about the Enviroschools project: (Michale) “This is a site where school activities with an environmental and social focus are reported. The examples are using solar power for energy and reflecting on week by week changes in use. Because of the nature of film making. In Mrs R D’s case consulting experts on explosive use is preferable to finding out the hard way!” Michael. Their material is also available to a global audience. so they’re not just connecting with Eastbourne. as well as then conducting the inquiries needed to gather the information to produce the episode. “The aim of fostering both internal and external community spirit puts this into the box of connectivism also. as the students are making links with and sharing knowledge with a wide range of people. They have also completed a study on ANZAC day where the teacher used baking ANZAC biscuits as a strategy to engage . It is based in both the behaviouralist and cognitive paradigms. The recourse to experts is in line with Vygotskys theories about human development where we learn by observing and copying more knowledgeable others. It is also a good example of discovery/inquiry learning as the students would spend time exploring their environment to decide what topics to make episodes about. as well as needing to reflect on their practice if any problems come up to refine it for next time. and depend on the others in order to achieve the outcome.

and it will also provide them with new questions. The tools we use define and shape our thinking. analysed how they can make it work in their school.” ‘(Leah) ‘I chose to look at the Muritai School’s EviroSchools page.” Module 5-11. possibly unrelated fields over the course of their lifetime. and through completion of work-related tasks. This would most likely fit with a guided discovery teaching model. they are the same. this project fits with both guided discovery and cooperative learning methods. There approach has been one of inquiry learning. and developing understanding of concepts over time. more on the emerging trends: • Many learners will move into a variety of different. Learning now occurs in a variety of ways—through communities of practice. What does Digital Learning Look Like? First. where students have gathered information. where students are actively and continuously gauging how well the solar panels are working. lasting for a lifetime. • Technology is altering (rewiring) our brains. personal networks. but the continuity of the monitoring makes that students will be able to make sense out of the information they obtain.” (Loesje)“I looked at the enviroschools. Learning and work related activities are no longer separate. • Learning is a continual process. group work. • The organization and the individual are both learning organisms. the information that it provides can be used as a one-off. The students have researched what it means to be sustainable and are putting measures in place to ensure they keep their Green Schools certificate. • Informal learning is a significant aspect of our learning experience.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 122 the learners. then implemented relevant parts to their project. Incorporating scaffolding. Formal education no longer comprises the majority of our learning. . this is a form of guided discovery and inquiry learning. Increased attention to knowledge management highlights the need for a theory that attempts to explain the link between individual and organizational learning. In many situations.

• Ability to see connections between fields. ideas. or supported by. but also warn them of the dangers of getting used to such things with ignorance of what the button really does! . • Decision-making is itself a learning process. • Currency (accurate. • Learning may reside in non-human appliances. and concepts is a core skill. we need to act by drawing information outside of our primary knowledge.Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age 123 • Many of the processes previously handled by learning theories (especially in cognitive information processing) can now be off-loaded to. Choosing what to learn and the meaning of incoming information is seen through the lens of a shifting reality. technology. • Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources. Your students could use digital technologies for: • Doing things faster—show them how old ways of doing things can be done these days at the push of a button. The ability to synthesize and recognize connections and patterns is a valuable skill. While there is a right answer now. • Capacity to know more is more critical than what is currently known • Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning. it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision. up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities. Additional concerns arise from the rapid increase in information. the rapid evaluation of knowledge is important. 2004): “When knowledge is abundant. • Know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where (the understanding of where to find knowledge needed). Consider this commentary (Siemens.” Siemens outlines the following Principles of connectivism: • Learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions. In today’s environment. action is often needed without personal learning—that is.

Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age


• Doing things efficiently—same as above, but focus on quality of results. • Accessing information—people, sites, audio/visual, news, parliament. • Presenting—wikis, webpage, protopage, powerpoint, sound files, making movies. • Processing information—scientific calculators, videoing movement. • Gaming or interactive programmes- generic games: zoo tycoon, wii sports, simulation games, Quiz activities (eg. Fling the teacher), second life (or later versions). • Communicating—parliamentary submissions, local government issues, experts in the field, Ning, social network, Google documents Tips: Include in learning experiences (not every lesson, but within a topic) the opportunity to critique knowledge, be given critique, create ideas or knowledge and share their learning beyond the classroom environment. The digital learning matrix can be used as a guide for this. The Epsy-302 online modules gave us a document called the “Digital Learning Matrix”. A copy has been posted on our course TWiki. The matrix pairs Learning levels with Uses of digital technology.

Learning to Change and Changing to Learn
It is worth drawing attention to a few talks and seminars on the vision of future education. Check these out, • Learning to Change and Changing to Learn—video by the Consoritum for School Networking: • Changing the Paradigm—-Ken Robinson’s talk at the RSA: • Shift Happens—Education in the 21st Century: YIx0s&feature=fvw

Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age


Review of Module 5
Drawing on the expertise of others allows a variety of perspectives into the classroom. Let’s recall the goals of this chapter, and write a bit about what we have found. The learning goals were, 1. to define differentiated learning We have found: differentiated learning is teaching that involves planning to meet the different needs of diverse students. There are many ways to achieve this, all are valid forms of differentiated learning. 2. Justify the use of differentiated learning We have found: multiple intelligences theories in educational psychology suggest that people learn the same things in different ways. There are multiple paths to knowledge ad understanding, and people, in general, differ in which paths are more effective for them personally. 3. Know how to apply some differentiated strategies We have found: planning multiple, qualitatively distinct, activities (each with the same learning intentions), with a mix of whole-class and group and individual work, and giving students an appropriate degree of freedom to choose between—these are the keys. There are many ways to structure such lessons: tiered lessons, group activity, individual tailored activity, project choices, freereading times, varied homework (multiple options), study circles, tailored journal prompts, tailored goals setting, diagnostic and ipsative assessment, periodic individual review sessions. Another aspect of differentiated teaching is knowing that time is an important variable: today’s lesson may not be as effective if repeated tomorrow or next year. Conversely, quite often (more often than not in fact) a lesson given for a second time runs better than the first time around. The second part of this module looked at information technology and new digital technologies for aiding learning. The learning goals for this topic were, • to explain the background: schools, policies and teaching in the digital age so far. Well, schools are using more digital technology as budgets and availability allow, but we wonder if it being used wisely and effectively. • Identify digitally able teachers These are not necessarily teachers who are ‘tech-savy’, but simply those who

Module 5—Differentiated Learning and the Digital Age


know how to get the most from their students by keeping lessons simple and free of fuss. They are people who intuitively, or through experience, know how to focus students on learning and who can facilitate learning. • Explain developing theory Connectivism has links to many of the teaching models: Behaviourist (computer training), Cognitive (computer assisted self-directed study) and Humanist (social networks). • Know how to put developing theory into practice. This is a broad topic, but the essence is to not only use digital technology and new media, but to also help students understand the implications and realize the potential for self-directed discovery. The implications are profound for teaching: • Teachers need to adapt to technology, otherwise students will increasingly view school as obsolete and irrelevant. • Education will become more about use and interpretation of knowledge, because the raw knowledge will be at the students’ fingertips. • Teachers and schools will remain highly relevant to society, but in new roles: as facilitators, as exemplar moral and ethical trainers, and as developers of creativity. • Teachers and schools will be called upon to guard against knowledge elitism and a social digital divide—not by restricting people but by opening up opportunities for all people. (Schools should be embracing creative commons resources, free software and free e-books for example.) • Many more students will increasingly know more about particular topics than their teachers. This changes classroom dynamics for the better, if recognized and utilized wisely. With these positive sentiments in mind, this is a good point at which to end these course notes.

and it is claimed to be applicable to any subject area. Like the pyramidal representation of the emphasis on making connections and contextualising. Dip. and is well described in Biggs and Tang (2007) [references were not given]. and also. The SOLO Taxonomy The SOLO taxonomy stands for: Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes It was developed by Biggs and Collis (1982). Though not all students get through all five stages. and even with Bloom’s taxonomy in the cognitive domain. a number of topics arose that had not been part of the Epsy-302 module content. and during informal discussions at the “Principals Open Day” for the 2010 VUW Grad. UK educator J. but adds something more. 2010) writes about the SOLO Taxonomy: “It describes level of increasing complexity in a student’s understanding of a subject.6. although they could equally be part of Epsy-301 or Kura courses. and not all teaching (and even less “training” is designed to take them all the way).S. 127 . the assumption is that each level embraces previous levels. Teaching course. Atherton (Atherton. These seemed worth including here. through five stages. ‘conceptions a o of learning’. with Bateson’s ‘levels of learning’. Extra Discussion and Research During the teaching experience practicums. “There are fairly clear links not only with S¨lj¨ vis.

Unistructural: simple and obvious connections are made. Multistructural: a number of connections may be made. but the meta-connections between them are missed. but also beyond it. “Stage 3. which . the student is making connections not only within the given subject area. “Stage 2. Pre-structural: here students are simply acquiring bits of unconnected information. which have no organisation and make no sense. “I confess to a slight distrust of this kind of progressive model. “Stage 4. but their significance is not grasped. At the extended abstract level. able to generalise and transfer the principles and ideas underlying the specific instance. “Stage 5.” Atherton writes further.Extra Discussion and Research 128 “Stage 1. as is their significance for the whole. Relational level: the student is now able to appreciate the significance of the parts in relation to the whole.

the emerging field of work on Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge links in very effectively with the SOLO taxonomy and offers some points about how the above issues might be addressed. may teach unintended lessons since it is tied not necessarily to schools but rather to learning experiences.g. particularly those states which are learned but not openly intended. These ‘hidden’ messages and outcomes need not always be negative. relational level).htm. What it does not deal with is the student who establishes a relational construct which is nevertheless wrong. goals that are hindered by these intangible lessons [3]. Any setting. if you fail the exams you will never get a good job). a variety of definitions have been developed based on the broad range of perspectives of those who study this phenomenon. usually with a negative connotation referring to inequalities suffered as a result of its presence.. but nevertheless it is quite a good guide. hidden curriculum refers to various types of knowledge gained in primary and secondary school settings. (i) the unintended outcomes or messages conveyed by the school (e. is “some of the outcomes or by-products of schools or of non-school settings. in general terms. and gives some idea of the place of the Gestalt insight (at the fourth. In this context. and although they differ from school to school they are always present and discernible to those with a keen eye and ear.”(Martin.g. This attitude stems from the commitment of the school system of the United States to promote democracy and ensure equal intellectual development.Extra Discussion and Research 129 aspires inexorably to a final state. including traditionally recreational and social activities. hidden curriculum is said to reinforce existing social inequalities by educating students in various matters and .uk/tools/threshold 3.doceo. Go here to follow this up: http://www. But most often. and (ii) the implicit and/or unofficial expectations of the school (e. 1983) However. most of the students will end up forgetting most of what they are forced to learn).. and those who pursue wild geese at the extended abstract level because they are insufficiently informed at more modest levels. “However. The Wikipedia entry states: “A Hidden” The Hidden Curriculum The ‘hidden curriculum’ of a school has two aspects. I am not convinced that every subject area fits the model.

[5] Hidden curriculum is difficult to explicitly define because it varies among its students and their experiences and because is it constantly changing as the knowledge and beliefs of a society evolve. It seems as though schools are doing the opposite of what we hope they should be doing. Behind it lies criticism of the social implications. political underpinnings. “The concept that the hidden curriculum expresses is the idea that schools do more than simply transmit knowledge. In the same way that there is an unequal distribution of cultural capital in this society.[4] The hidden curriculum can also refer to the transmission of norms. which thwart the students’ ability to develop independently or think creatively. The phrase ‘hidden curriculum’ was reportedly coined by Philip W. capitalism. “. values. if we believe the bulk of research. which addresses the question of why students—even or especially the most gifted—turn away from education. the gifted students. and cultural outcomes of modern educative activities. . While early examinations were concerned with identifying the antidemocratic nature of schooling. and inequalities perpetuated by existing schools. One of the attacks aimed at educators who envisage schools and teachers as . Jackson (Life In Classrooms.Extra Discussion and Research 130 behaviors according to their class and social status. He argued that we need to understand education as a socialization process.) Yet. Stifling their creativity. there is a corresponding distribution of knowledge amongst its students. forcing them to conform rather than think differently.” That last comment attributed to Snyder is shocking to most of us new graduate teacher trainees. as laid down in the official curricula. . 1968). and anarchism in education. (It’s a bit like the World Bank does more to exacerbate poverty than alleviate poverty. One way to do this is to be aware of the hidden curriculum surrounding our schools and communities and do things to undermine the norms. this is in fact what schools are doing to our children. particularly. dead ends. including those concerned with socialism. and beliefs conveyed in both the formal educational content and the social interactions within these schools. MIT’s Benson Snyder published The Hidden Curriculum. It is the editors hope (and of most colleagues spoken to) that we future teachers all work tirelessly to fight the forces of convention and tradition that are killing education in schools. later studies have taken various tones. Shortly after Jackson’s coinage. We instinctively feel this is so wrong—that school is not serving the needs of. Snyder advocates the thesis that much of campus conflict and students’ personal anxiety is caused by a mass of unstated academic and social norms.

or universities. Wikipedia again. I would agree with Dewey and others who champion teaching as a noble profession whereby teachers can. act as meaningful and positive agents of change. For public schools. The private sector has less concern because private schools tend to be created with a particular agenda in mind and are unapologetic about it. teaching is at least a political activity. and an open society. and then identifying it and working to change it for the better. at their best. ever since John Dewey advocated schools as agents for pro-democratic movement he was criticized as presuming too much. The truth is that the modern world provides ample opportunity for children to educate themselves. This is particularly evident in the widespread disaffection that senior students have at secondary school—coupled with the comparative delight they have when they begin their university courses. To the extent that schools completely ignore these trends they completely fail to provide a modern relevant education. for good reason. As a teacher one is either upholding the status quo (acting as a conservative) or working to change it (either progressively or regressively). which are little more than the outworn old School Certificate and University Bursary systems in fancy dress. Dumbing Us Down This is a common enough expression these days. The book pro- . However. like it or not. even though employers seem to be happy to rely upon examining a prospective employees NCEA qualifications. The truth is. many do so. In New Zealand this is seen perhaps most starkly in the NZQA system that has given us Achievement and Unit standards. So society as a whole is certainly not dumbing down. “Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling is a book written by teacher John Taylor Gatto. sharing resources. At best. The NZQA system is. Traditional schools largely ignore the power of modern technology and the zeitgeist’s of the X-generation and I-generations—which are about discontent with tradition and hegemony and an emerging social conscience based upon freedom of expression. The book and consists of a multitude of speeches given by the author. This means accepting that there is always a hidden curriculum.Extra Discussion and Research 131 agents of change is that there is a presumption that this is a purpose of state run schooling. there is still a crisis of sorts in growing inequalities and intellectual stagnation. to be quite polite. They are not serving the needs of society and future employers. an absence of intellectual property ownership. an utter sham.

apathetic. and other school officials to set out what every student must know. . grades. constant evaluation and various forms of coercion and punishment that ensure conformity and downright stupidity. administrators. . Gatto confesses that he has done an excellent job in fulfilling the school mandate teaching kids indifference. and ObjectificationsThe Seven Lesson School Teacher and Modernism and Education. In the case of schools. cruelty. . and that never can be challenged even in the severest emergency: the right to think what we please—the right of freedom of thought. we allow them to institute an elaborate system of pressures and threats and sanctions that forces every student to learn . “A former school teacher. dealing with criminals and lawbreakers. . shattering their self-esteem. after age sixteen. Love. a youth is committed by law—and. one can only wonder at the “logic” which has led to this situation. “. “. inviolate right that we all have. what our children should do with their minds. I highly recommend it. by Sudbury Valley School (Sudbury Valley School. The Sudbury Valley School writes (Ibid. “During the entire formative period of his growth. simply do not recognize the existence of individual rights. through the system of bells. we allow all our schools to determine.. . In the case of prisons. The ideas are still relevant today—that is in any school in which students are still disaffected. curriculum committees. unchecked. one can certainly argue the merits of this situation one way or another.. We allow teachers. . etc. In powerful language. titled The Seven Lesson School Teacher in which he exposes what he “really teaches”. 1970). he delivered his famous speech.Extra Discussion and Research 132 poses that radical change is needed to the American educational system to turn around the negative socialization that children receive. In the booklet The crisis in American education: an analysis and a proposal. pages 31–).” Educator Layla Abdel-Rahim writes about Gatto’s ideas. like prisons. he shocked the pedagogical world of New York when after receiving Best Teacher’s Award. by economic and social pressures—to serve time in educational institutions which. . read On Objects. the state of education in the United States of America was lamented and a set of proposals for positive change were put forward.. But by far the most serious deprivation of rights occurs with the one absolute. and feel their hours trapped in school are like a form of imprisonment. This speech served as the basis for a powerful critique of contemporary obligatory schooling titled Dumbing Us Down. For a more in-depth study. . passivity. Yet.

1995). The Sudbury Valley School experiment is an interesting case study in freedom of education (Greenberg. Teachers too must sacrifice most of their rights when they cross the threshold into the school building. It is a quite radical departure from traditional schooling. Other works to read include. and evaluations that constantly monitors their minds and informs on their thoughts. It probably would work wonderfully in most communities save those . but it is worth reading the booklets published by the Sudbury school. the evidence from the school suggests that. Kozol. 1994. Neil Postman. “Students are not the only ones deprived of rights in the educational system. teach what they are told to teach. Alan Blankstein. Alfred Korzybski ( Science and Sanity). Alan Watts. Postman. consider how long ago this was published and how deplorable it is that intervening generations have largely maintained the status quo. John Holt. they must do as instructed. even more so than the Montessori model. One drawback is that it requires students who are pre-conditioned to take self-control of their own learning. Earl Kelley. Jerome Bruner. This is how we provide our youth with models of adult behaviour!” Does any of this sound familiar? If it does. I. However. Brilliant. 1988). John Gardner. Other authors to look for works by include. But has the Sudbury Valley model worked in tough inner city slum schools? We do not know. Greenberg. say what they are permitted to say. like language immersion schools. Richards (On Becoming a PePractical Criticism). and we allow them to put into effect a system of tests.. 1993. What is the cause of this? What reason could there possibly be for so fundamental a lack of change? I do not have all the answers. Adelbert Ames. as well as educators like Herbert Kohl. Jonathon Kozol. Daniel Greenberg and others to get some idea about how to break out of this ingrained system and become a free thinking teacher with free thinking students (Kohl. reports. allow any institution to take with us as adults. We would rise up as one man against any attempt to force us to think or learn anything we had not chosen to learn of our own free will.Extra Discussion and Research 133 what has been prescribed. “In short we allow our schools to take liberties with students that we would never.). & Palmer. the total immersion in self-learning seems to eventually work for all students. teachers must be pliant tools. Marshall McLuhan (Understanding Media). Carl Rogers (On Becoming a Person. Noerbert Weiner ( The Human Use of Human Beings). never under any circumstances. Henry Giroux. A. On the job. So it does not fit many students who would feel lost if they were thrust into such a free climate and had to constantly make their own decisions.

The problem the editor has had with the VUW Graduate Diploma Course. 1971). Once these fundamentals are in place there should be very little prescriptive content in the classroom. is not that current educators and schools fail to progress and learn. The goals and aims are clear. and from the ‘Teaching Experience’ offered. there is no clear consensus on whether all communities would benefit from adopting the Sudbury Valley School model. love and care for students. Teaching as a Subversive Activity Neil Postman wrote elegantly on this topic (Postman & Weingartner. to date. However. as have many other enlightened progressive educators. Teachers need to develop skills that will allow their students to show that they have the ability to pass the silly NCEA examinations. With most governments and education ministries too afraid to enact free education systems. If teachers can do this only then they can say they are truly serving the broader needs of the students. and not just in the education ministry bureaucracy and school administration. making school fun. meaningful. engaging and relevant. If enough teachers can do this then the examinations will become irrelevant. So teachers say one thing and do another. To put it bluntly. They need to be able to do this without teaching and coaching directly for the examinations. it should let children decide what they enjoy. the methods are softer and require much more refined teacher skill. It should focus on the needs of children. There should be an abundance of rich activity and subversive thinking. but that there is still rampant hypocrisy or double standards in the education system. In the editors mind this is the most effective way to subvert and fight against . but also right at the coal-face where teaching happens. They say they are in this for the children and then they prostitute themselves and let the kids down by delivering the NCEA exams and little more. but it needs to first train them to make good decisions for themselves.Extra Discussion and Research 134 dominated by conservative and neoliberal thinking families. the options for promoting positive change in New Zealand are then limited to subversive activity within the present system. Real teaching should forget the examinations completely. and persistence. But the way this is done is still strictly within the narrow confines of the qualifications and standards authority examination regimes (NZQA and NCEA in New Zealand). Even this first stage of preparation for learning should be done with the interests of the children at heart and should therefore strenuously avoid prescriptive education methods. all the talk is about doing the best for children.

This is a task to embrace. They just didn’t know how smart they were! Freedom to Learn—Sudbury Valley School The only school I have heard of that seems to practice the philosophy that they preach is the aforementioned Sudbury Valley School (Greenberg et al. Related to these themes I enjoyed Herbert Kohl’s excerpt from I Won’t Learn from You and Other Thoughts on Creative Maladjustment. 1994) “Creative maladjustment consists of breaking social patterns that are morally reprehensible. Kohl talks about the notion of ‘not-learning’.Extra Discussion and Research 135 the examinations regime. The students chose their own subjects. (Kohl. it consists of learning to survive with minimal moral and personal compromise in a thoroughly compromised world and of not being afraid of planned and willed conflict. and they enjoy their school years. but the point is that they achieve what they want to achieve and appear to be very happy and well-adjusted. I like that! It is exactly what my “dumb” class of year 11 “cabbage science” students were doing at the high school I attended for my second teaching practicum. and readjusting the world one lives in based on personal integrity and honesty—that is. This is an active process of refusing to learn something that you are being forced to learn.” In the first essay of this volume. The reality of the present world means that teachers will have to fight against negative influences in the homes and communities of many students. books and teachers. taking conscious control of one’s place in the environment. the students become “masters of their own destiny”. The teachers are facilitators of the highest order. materials. . They seem to have found a model of schooling that gives students complete freedom and yet is orderly and smoothly run by a flat democracy where students choose their teachers and everyone has a single democratic vote in all matters of running of the school from administration and funding to discipline and what they learn. The students at Sudbury Valley are not all perfect nor are they all uniformly capable. but this is something we must consider an inescapable responsibility of any committed teacher. Most importantly.. and the students invariably seem to end up being pure self-directed learners. if necessary. not shy away from. It takes courage from teachers. 1995).

because unless students can do whatever they wish. I have ordered the issues in rough priority. without disrupting the learning of others. So this is the main issue that needs to be addressed. the teachers hate it because they are like nannies and they are open about it. it is at the time of writing completely untried and even on paper it is a work in progress. Sudbury Valley does not degenerate like that because adults still supervise loosely and are on hand to mainly just provide a safe and caring environment (as well as academic expertise when needed). The more modernist schools that like to think they give students choice and freedom are usually (with rare exceptions) perpetrating an injustice and a big lie. The notes in this section outline how it might be accomplished in a single classroom. The following outline raises issues that need to be solved for a single classroom Sudbury style model of education. So even before the issue of authentic freedom. But at the present time I do not believe this is possible to achieve in a typical New Zealand school classroom. In my mind only a full Sudbury Valley model can provide utter freedom to learn. we must deal with honesty and avoid fooling ourselves that we are giving students absolute freedom. especially not within the confines of a traditional high school. but yet fail to do so. But I think something authentic that gets close to the goal of Sudbury Valley is possible. because the external . criticizes school that try to give students freedom. in that everyone loathes what goes on. The first is the issue of authentic freedom. But the needs are all student driven. and are open about that. Why not? Because there is still tremendous inertia in society and resistance to allowing children to explore for themselves. one of the founders of Sudbury Valley School. provided only that the school principle is supportive. The biggest obstacle is the NCEA regime. Daniel Greenberg. but without hypocrisy it seeks to give students an authentic degree of freedom to learn. There may be better models and this particular model is just one possible way of doing things Sudbury-lite.Extra Discussion and Research 136 A New Zealand Model of Sudbury Without the Valley The problem with the Sudbury Valley model is that is is so radical and unconventional that despite it’s success it has not been widely adopted. The problem for a typical school teacher in New Zealand is that the existing hierarchical and government run structures do not give teachers sufficient freedom to implement a Sudbury-like model. labelling them as worse than traditional schools that completely control learning. There is a sort of universal apprehension that if we leave children alone things will turn into Lord of the Flies pretty fast. the students hate it. The traditional school he says are at least completely honest. in the following proposed classroom model. then they do not really have freedom to learn. It does not fully implement the Sudbury model.

We cannot provide full freedom to learn. If we harm each other or the classroom we are harming ourselves. administrators. New Zealand public schools are currently required by law to offer students NCEA credits and give them fair opportunities to excel in NCEA examinations. The problem then is how one can be true to the model of free education and concurrently comply with the regulations that require schooling students thoroughly in the NCEA standards. This is a sham which is I think widely recognized and yet rarely debated. since it will be so alien and foreign to the established school culture of closed and externally directed learning. we cannot say we will offer true freedom. care for others and care for the classroom). These include such principles as. Yet any radical teacher desiring to work subversively within the present systems needs to uphold the law of the land. . no belittling. and government) will pretty quickly close down such a classroom. However. no abuse. Issue of Honesty. The downside to this approach is lack of consistency (how can we be sure we are given students a fair chance at passing their exams?) and openness to attack from administrators and parents and students themselves who may complain (if they fail) the unorthodox teaching methods have led to their failure at the NCEA exams. complete absence of hurtful and harmful competition. even if it means working with the law to highlight how ludicrous the law is. c) Freedom to leave—if the class is not catering to your needs then discuss this with your teacher and other students and if necessary apply for a class transfer. Issue of NCEA. If we are not enjoying the class we should not give up but instead (i) seek help. trustee boards. b) Collective Trust and Help—helping each other enjoy learning.. One solution is to simply teach as one sees fit for the benefit of the students wider interests and hope that they end up with enough contextual skills to ace their examinations. But there is no reason why we cannot do this and at the same time enjoy a degree of freedom to learn that we all crave and intuitively seek as children. other teachers. and (ii) seek to help others. We will have to (by law) study towards NCEA qualifications. the success of one is the success of all. eg. to be honest. a) Collective Care–this means zero violence (verbal and physical.Extra Discussion and Research 137 forces (school culture. no swearing. We are not here to force anyone to learn what they do not want to learn. There need to be a few minimal constraints that we all agree to work within. parents. It is the closest analogy in NZ education to an “Emperor with no clothes”.

Issue of Discipline. In the classroom this often means a teacher is implementing disciplinary procedures that are of someone else’s devising and may not be very well suited to the teacher’s personality. The approach that I then favour (with the learning aims and expectations in mind) is one of (a) discussing as a class the classroom rights and democratically setting responsibilities matching the rights. the students wishes should be. Routines should be fairly light-weight and unobtrusive to learning. The first thing is to discuss as a class the goals and aims of learning for the year. or request a transfer for the student to another class. This may be for low noise. zero tolerance for certain behaviours and so forth. philosophy and culture. minimal disruption. If this is not allowable then the teacher is best advised to work at a different school. Otherwise. We are serving the students first and foremost. What can be done in such circumstances? To my knowledge. less open to attack but harder to implement. upheld. For the latter students it is best to have full and frank consultation with both parents and student to ensure both parties are in agreement.Extra Discussion and Research 138 Another solution. The next issue is how to approach discipline when one has some flexibility. or voted upon if there is not initial unanimity. Most existing schools in New Zealand have fairly strict disciplinary rules. is to provide a degree of NCEA coaching to students who (a) desire coaching. and (b) whose parents desire high NCEA grades for their students. or which are prescriptive but at least fit the philosophy of the teacher. or not teach at a private school. Responsibilities should not be onerous yet should allow students to take initiative and demonstrate leadership. If students do not agree to abide by majority opinion on the rules and routines . and (b) discussing as a class any desired routines and democratically setting rules that fit with the rights and routines. Expectations need to be spelt out clearly so that a framework of rules and routines for the class can be discussed and agreed upon. one that has discipline procedures that are either very general and flexible in implementation. The best things to do in the latter case are to either consult further with parents and students to reach some unanimity. I think on principle. In a private school where parents are paying for tuition the matter is more complicated when there is disagreement between parents and student about the course of their learning. most schools will permit teachers to devise their own intraclassroom discipline procedures provided they have the effect desired by the school. at least in a public school.

while others will benefit more from a free culture in which they can direct their own learning. Some students will thrive on a strict diet of disciplined instruction and maybe even rote learning. but at least for some of the time in their education history. (iii) be granted a request for a class transfer if they still fundamentally disagree to accept the rules. One of the central debates surrounding education reform seems to be the issue of whether structured classrooms stifle learning and creativity or whether increased permissiveness is leading to declining standards. ıve. without being open to endless debate. (ii) be given a right of appeal and review. For at least some students. 1993). Other Critiques of Modern Education Issues with the way diversity are being handled and lamentations about the continued use of separate subject areas.Extra Discussion and Research 139 then they could (i) be given reasonable forum to offer suggested changes or amendments. That means at least breaking down the traditional classroom structure to provide diverse study methods and tools. this will mean rebuilding the structured classroom setting to allow certain students the chance to learn in the more traditional setting— if that is what seems to work best for them. (Giroux. 1988). are discussed in extensive literature by many radical educationalists. In other words. Finally. The polarity of these two sides to the debate are intense and one feels there is no hope for peaceful resolution unless we all realize that education is so multifaceted that there really is no one approach to education that works for all students. they may need to be adjusted to suit any changing classroom dynamics. and many other critical issues. but it is a false option . Most of this stuff can be sorted out within the first week or two of the year. maybe not all of the time. Sudbury School sounds idyllic for students. So the way forward I think is to provide a diverse educational setting that allows students and teachers together to find out what works best for each individual. the rules and routines need to be brought up for review periodically throughout the year. Without this democratic setting of rules and routines any talk of free and fair education for the students is at best na¨ and at worst hypocritical lies. This is much harder than using the “one size fits all” approach of all educational ideologues. See for example (Aronowitz & Giroux. The trick is to just not be an ideologue and always try to do what you think is best for each child.

How do we know that the minimal constraints of the Sudbury Valley model of schooling are really optimal? I do not think we can know the answer for sure. A music student wanting to improve their technical skill might spend a day practising difficult chord sequences or complex riffs over and over again. verbal. or spend the day playing ball. emotional. so they need to be clearly controlled and constrained. music. or tinker around with some machinery. We know this from many other areas of life and from research in other disciplines. Some students may be comfortable learning from books their entire lives. Certainly not up to tertiary level. No school can supply unlimited educational resources to their students. ‘whatever suites the student best for their positive life goals’. the successes of the likes of the Sudbury Valley School experiment need to be taken with caution. Here is a set of alternative constraints that might be workable within the boundaries of an established liberal but otherwise traditional New Zealand School circa 2010. at least not right now. but probably not even throughout primary and high school either. The Resource Funding Constraint. not from total freedom. but for the majority of students this single-mode of learning is probably not ideal. or science. Creativity for example. But all schools should be able to procure . literature. But a persons goals change as they grow. instead they might read poetry. or practise their Tai Chi. Physical. The No Violence Constraint.Extra Discussion and Research 140 if that is all that is offered: complete freedom is not the same as maximum quality. idly browse the web. intellectually and spiritually. whether it is in art. They even change from day to day. or converse with mentors and colleagues. 1. So the choice of constraints will change. One another day they may be searching for creative spark and may not even pick up an instrument. or whatever. This is really the constraint on non-interference with another’s right to learn. Maximum quality education is. So it is probably rare that one style of learning will suffice throughout a student’s schooling. 2. often results from the imposition of constraints. one might define. The issue for education is what are the best constraints? What Are the Best Constraints? Until more independently assessed evidence is available. and all other forms of violence are detrimental and harmful to learning. or go for a mountain walk.

. and similarly well organized and structured. and guiding students to finding knowledge and know-how for themselves. and sports events and so forth. 7. 4. practical activities and organized field trips. The Mentor Constraint. So a high quality school will need to offer some form of structure. but any particular school may lack the teaching expertise to offer a full range of depth in every subject a student wishes to learn. Closely related to the subject choice constraint: the lack of a good mentor whom the student feels comfortable communicating with and who the student can look to for general help and wisdom is a severe constraint. form class or “whanau group”) times. 6. These anti-chaos activities should be the life blood of the school. This could be in the form of voluntary (non-obligatory) assembly times. Most (even self-professed radical) educators will admit that utter anarchy and chaos (even if without violence or disruption) are probably not optimal conditions for learning. There should be no constraint of subject choice. Other than these few constraints I see no other reasons to stifle the education of our primary to secondary school students. with a fun focus. cultural festivals. One thing I would strenuously avoid would be academic competitions. There is little a small school can do about this problem.Extra Discussion and Research 141 sufficient resources to allow all students to freely access information and tools that will enable them to learn at a minimal rate of their own choosing. . The Internet does offer a form of expertise that might fill any school staff expertise gaps. not from school teacher-led events with an assessment drive focus. The Chaos Constraint. To get around this constraint it should be enough to have on staff teachers who are at least experts in facilitating learning. yet optional. 5. . arts shows. If these are organized they should come solely from student initiatives. It is rare that a school has a student who cannot find at least one teacher with whom they can relate comfortably and easily. but employing teachers committed to the freedom-with-constraints model of schooling should at least avoid the worst of this type of constraint for most students. 3. a well publicized quality lecture schedule (like at an open university). The Subject Choice Constraint.

The teacher could help this activity along by reminding students of the curriculum topics. These need to then be reviewed throughout the year in case a student achieves their targets part-way through the year. classes. These could be targets for summative assessment grades or homework completions and so forth. There is probably no time too long that one could spend on this. They should then be given the opportunity to set new targets. I might spend an entire week on ice-breaker and diagnostic information gathering and setting discipline and tones of respect and enthusiasm for learning in the class.Reflection Journal The Beginning of the Year I have decided that this is the most crucial time in class-based teaching. So in this section I’m collecting my ‘start of year’ activity ideas. younger aged. Try to think of activities that will instil respect and trust among students and for the teacher. Teachers could collect and keep these and use them at the end of year in some way to rewards students who set good targets and achieved or came close to them. although after a week one might expect to be teaching some subject content. ask students to set themselves quantitative improvement targets. but I think targets need not be always related to the curriculum or examinations framework. So the focus is on providing a calm and yet stimulating learning environment. disobedience and generally establish good discipline. 142 . This will help with calming any disruption. Especially in large. students need to be taught the benefits of respecting each other and not talking out of turn and so forth. Setting Self-Targets. They should be targets related to the subject that the student has not achieved and is interested in mastering. Discpline and Trust. both ways. At the start of the year. at least in a well disciplined class.

Discussion of consequences. Class Rules. Individual practice. discuss with students the rules and any questions or apprehensions. Short exercise using multiple letters (context).Extra Discussion and Research 143 Essay on Their Thought of the Subject. Teachers should start with their own base ground rules to establish authority. how to quickly and conveniently prepare healthy food. Agree when and where to stop and meet afterwards. Add arm motion. teaching healthy eating in a health topic. Student demonstration. resolve them. Question students about why these consequences. teaching backstroke in swimming. Floating on back. how to eat well on a limited budget. other options. Derive sets of agreed upon rules. The rest should be openly consulted and agreed by all students or established by a majority vote. Pass for now. re-demonstrate as necessary. keeping it physically simple but intellectually demanding. Design a confidence course. Provide feedback and correction at each stage if needed. Actually. Provide encouragement and feedback at each stage. In sequence: Quick teacher demonstration.g. . Both for them to air their views and for the teacher to pick up useful background information. Floating and kicking on back. Let them loose. There is software that does this better than I. teaching the letter ‘A’ in hand-writing. Do this as a group activity. Demonstrate and practice. Debriefing. any essay that reveals the students’ feelings and attitudes would be handy. Outline the activity. beforehand the class needs to agree that all students will abide by the will of the majority. Activity on the ‘how’ of good eating—e. Reflections on Each Week of Epsy302 Reflection on Different Lesson Approaches Examples of different teaching approaches. teaching orienteering or map reading skills. In sequence: Floating. Summarize and complete a questionnaire or similar assessment activity. Do these in sequence. Floating and kicking. Review and synthesize lessons gained. teaching word processing skills. Rights and Responsibilities. Visualization of good versus bad eating habits. In case of a majority vote issue.

another are the existing land holders or resource developers. Explain meaning of opinion identifying keywords. Watch a decent documentary— they will do a much better job than I could. . ”. Keep practicing under supervision. News broadcasts like those from the BBC might be good sources. Outline the goal of the lesson. ”. . teaching the correct ball passing skills. presented as fact. . But then use an activity to cement knowledge. boys only school) was a slight shock. . Once students gain enough confidence (can catch a few passes out of a dozen) then set a challenge goal or competitive game to spice up the risk level. The Associate teacher was severe on the boys for failing to do homework in preparation for exams the following week. Make sure they have some understanding of why these are indicative of opinion versus fact or otherwise. for example. Let students play. Discuss these with students. Correct basic skills that are lacking or absent.. The Teacher did not get .Extra Discussion and Research 144 teaching the history of the Treaty of Waitangi. so there is minimal ambiguity. . such as “I think.g. and “In my view.1. . Observe. Very brief theory then onto a demo with a capable student. teaching how to identify opinion in texts. Reflections on TE Week 1 Very first lesson (Mathematics Year 9 advanced stream class. See if the students can identify such disguised opinion from some not too complicated examples. as would article on philosophy. Introduce the complexity of disguised opinion. ”. another are the government negotiators. e. Fox News scripts should be a good source. A simple humorous joke or pun would suffice as a warm-up. . and contrast with reportage keywords and phrases such as “It has been shown. One group of students are the claimants. . especially social sciences. Give a clear outline of the learning objectives. Start with a funny example or game demonstrating the absurdity of taking an opinion as fact or vice versa. and “Due to. set up a mock tribunal hearing. Lay out ground rules and have the students simulate a forum or tribunal meting with a clear objective and (different!) agendas for each party. Examine some simple examples. Reflection on Teaching Models The task for Module 2-8 of Epsy302 asked us to summarize the different teaching modles in a table like that of Table 6. ”.

answering questions. providing good examples. Presenting material. Structured skills. What is the teacher doing? Demonstrating. But I would need to start at the beginning of the year by developing trust in the boys. probing.1: Summary of teaching models. complex problems. What are the students doing? Watching/listening. novel ideas. observing. . Teaching each other. meta-cognition. insight. Deep understanding. co-operative learning. cooperating. generalizations. so different teacher) the boys spent most of the individual work time gossiping or talking about things other than their work. demos. It seemed impossible for the teacher to keep an eye on all the . monitoring. talking. Vygotsky. Glasser) Framing the students. In one other class (same boys but a Technology class. Schema theory (Piaget) Useful for teaching. Piaget. evaluating and reflecting. at least no more than a good acting job would require. synergy and more. (Vygotsky. mimicking and practising. patterns. Facilitating and monitoring. giving feedback. I feel I could not teach a disruptive class. Lecturediscussion Complex relationships and organized chunks of knowledge. well-defined skill sets. scaffolding & ZPD (Vygotsky). Dewey. forming questions. . Inquiring. ? Problem solving. modelling. and clarity theory (Rosenshine. So individual work would have to be done in strict silence—“simulate an exam”. inwardly angry. working as teams. (Bruner. The discipline was for all that quite stern. Group & social skills. Group interaction models Social co-constructivism. I might have dealt with this differently. Thinking for themselves. Guided discovery Cognitive and constructivist. Presenting questions and problems. So it was a good example of acting or feigning anger and sternness without raising ones blood pressure to do so.Extra Discussion and Research 145 Table 6. But to balance I’d need plenty of opportunity for the boys to talk and chat but in a way that focused on mathematics. Piaget. the teachers expressing a feeling that the boys had let themselves and each other and the teacher down. debating. but projected an outward anger and frustration at the boys. and much more. taking notes. Shuell) Reception learning (Ausebel). creativity. discussing. Taking responsible roles. Model Direct instruction Theoretical support Social cognitive (Bandura). Facilitating. and theories. analysing. teamwork. synthesising. Listening attentively. Johnson & Johnson) Active. thinking of questions. imagination. Emphasising that the 50% of the class who did do their homework should not be put at a disadvantage of having to wait for the other boys to catch up. active problem solving. pattern recognition.

But typically that’s because homework is often poorly structured and amounts to nothing more than further drill exercises. Reflections on Homework This is part of my reflection on TE Week three. giving out ‘homework for homework’s sake’ is a rather pointless and even harmful strategy. in order to guide their experiment design. Homework helps simple skills. perhaps involving practical investigations rather than set book work. Some teachers and education researchers thing strongly that homework interferes deleteriously with the lives of families. The trouble is that this requires trust in the students that they will put in an honest effort to think about experiment design.Extra Discussion and Research 146 groups and make sure they were all on task. Shorter homework is better than long homework and group homework is sometimes effective. Also interesting is to read what the Wikipedia article says about mathematics pedagogy and homework: Homework which leads students to practice past lessons or prepare future lessons are more effective than those going over today’s lesson. ‘Mathematics education’ In other words. I am of two minds on this topic. or make it more interesting and worthwhile. Homework can be positive when motivated and structured for higher reasons. In science classes I would try to get students to design experiments rather than carry them out from a pre-prepared plan. but not broader measures of achievement. and think of homework as an unnecessary tyranny. Provided that trust is established one could easily weave in theory lessons during the experiment planning. —Wikipedia. This is a surprisingly contentious issue. other than structure the lesson in a totally different way. Assignments should be a mix of easy and hard problems and ideally based on the student’s learning style. Students with learning disabilities or low motivation may profit from rewards. My approach would be to make homework either purely optional. I do see that homework can be more of a nuisance than it is worth. though these findings depend on grade level. and would no doubt be asking questions. They would need some theory. . Students must receive feedback. I do not know how I would handle this.

handing down of knowledge. That should be Rule Number 1 at secondary school! Ownership and responsibility for one’s own education. They should however first of all be taught that they have their own education in their hands. Do they want to tune in or out? I considered that this would be impractical to attempt during TE because it requires time that the Associate Teacher does not have. So it is important for the teacher to establish management authority. but largely rests in their own hands. With such discipline in place lessons themselves need not be authoritative. or they will probably fail exams and waste their time at school.g. “we are preparing them for University!” So they should be prepared to fully own their education and take full responsibility for it—because that’s what they will need to do at University. Students quickly develop an idea of what a teacher will tolerate before blowing a cylinder. So the problem is how to do this? During TE I saw many practical problems with this method. Don’t worry about progressing these students through the curriculum. Trust that this will develop cognitive skills in the students that will ultimately aid their learning more than if you try to just transmit your knowledge. In a ‘results oriented school’ one could even use the school policy: e. Here is one suggested approach: Relax. It should be stressed that this is up to them. With trust a teacher can let students take control of many aspects of the class work. But it is something I would seek to do at the beginning of the year with each class I teach..Extra Discussion and Research 147 How to Get Students to Work Things Out? In the Epol344 course notes I wrote. . Many students were so turned off and disinterested that they just did not want to put in any effort during class. To my mind the problem is how to get them to think for themselves without making it seem like you are forcing them into things? There is so much inertia to overcome. So the first teaching task is to make sure all the students understand this: that their progress is not solely the teachers responsibility. Whenever possible get students to work things out for themselves! Do not spoon feed them. So they have to learn how to be self-motivated. We the teacher are only there to guide them. Handling the Disruptive Class Some classes are more chaotic than others.

By “all year round” I mean only all but the first month or three weeks. Teach thoroughly and review the entire exam curriculum in a few weeks at the very start of the year.Extra Discussion and Research 148 Younger students they may not have developed a good sense of responsibility. Go through it super fast. . 3. but even looser. 2. How can we handle them? First. These could be submitted say at the beginning of each week. This plan is a bit like a University teaching model. and (c) school should be fun. (c) Teacher ensures all students are familiar with the exam curriculum and content. (a) Make sure all students get a chance to ask questions and clarify their understanding of the topics. As if reading a textbook contents and then the introduction and summary for each chapter. What if it takes weeks to do this? Well. and (b) it is pointless to teach lessons that are not needed. The premisses are that (a) students should know best what they do not understand. Students can bring questions and problems to class to discuss. do not straight away teach the subject content. We do not live in an ideal world. The rest of the year the students should then take full responsibility for studying the exam material. Awesome Science or Mathematics Classes all Year Round I’ve exaggerated the title of this section slightly. (b) Do not worry about the content of the topics too much. The students then only ask the teacher to teach what they really think they need to know. 4. The sketch plan is this: 1. The time-frame for this should be about three weeks to a month or about 9 to 12 lessons. Only when this has been demonstrated should a teacher proceed to teaching subject content. Some classes will have such poorly behaved students that a teacher will have to use other strategies to build up trust over a longer terms while starting on subject matter lessons. a judgement call has to be made. Go for full coverage not depth. Teach them first the value of discipline and respect. A Radical Idea for Fun. Tell the students this plan and get them to ‘buy in’ if possible (if they do not unanimously agree then we have a different problem). Gain their trust.

basically whatever grabs the attention of the students. chosen by the students interests. TODO: I had some further pieces to this plan but they escaped my mind. but fundamentally driven by student interest. arts and music oriented students should be working (either given or guided towards) physics and science projects that focus on their arts and music interests. The plan is of course conditional on student buy-in and teacher ability to run such a program and cope with criticism from other teachers. (c) Teacher offers individual consultation to arrange schedules and individual plans. . (d) Teacher checks self-tests and other basic assessments for recording progress and gathering evidence for formative teaching. (a) These non-standard lessons are to be wide-ranging. The students should be aware of their progress on the exam standards but should be taught for the bulk of the year without regard to the exams. Throughout the year the teacher needs to diligently monitor student progress. but a rotation policy should also be used to keep all students involved in special topic selection. Self-testing all around. (b) Preference for topic choice goes to students who can demonstrate best progress on their exam curriculum studies. Why? (a) This is a subversive activity.Extra Discussion and Research 149 (a) Students are responsible for setting their own tests. . (b) The bulk of the years teaching should be stimulating. (c) For example. to ensure they are on track for satisfactory and even exemplary performance in the examinations. (b) Teacher is responsible for reminding them to self-test and to keep to some schedule. . fun and totally discursive and even philosophical. 5. 6. 7. 8. When students’ questions have been covered the rest of the week is devoted to selected special topics of the teachers’ or students choosing. (d) They should be given ample opportunities to solve exam style questions as part and parcel of the years teaching. guided by the teacher. and could be any topic related to curriculum achievement objectives.

Here it is. This plan might fail with very young students.Extra Discussion and Research 150 Comments. The opportunity to get deep into certain aspects of physics. Creating Resources for Fun. With a class of able seniors there is no reason to let good teaching ideas flounder for lack of development of resources. the students present and critique each other’s plans and resources and make suggestions for improvement. It does not guarantee good or even improved exam results per student. is the key. get senior students thoroughly immersed in a topic. If the teacher does not feel intellectually challenged then the plan is probably not working well. but I have not seen it spelt out before. but this should be compensated by the greater fun and variety it offers. . but I do not see why this would be so if the plan is carried out fairly and generously. or • practice their lesson plans on a willing junior class for real. say Year 9 or Year 10. There will be resistance from parents and from some students no doubt. • First. The plan is risky: it is not ‘tried and true’. The plan may involve more work for the teacher. of interest to the students. It is a cool way to implement evidence based teaching. since it achieves the dual purpose of solidifying the understanding of the senior students as well as helping the teacher develop new resources and ‘upgrades’ to existing resources that otherwise for lack of time would be put on the back-burners. The same principle of iterative lesson development can be applied in many ways. • The seniors can either present their proposals to their peers. The last step is to use them yourself in your junior classes and continue to refine them. • Go through a few stages of peer review. in a few bullet points. Awesome Science or Mathematics Classes I’m sure this is not an original idea. then • As a topic review project get them to design original lesson plans/resources for junior classes on the topic.

but the lesson still needs to be structured well. it does not really matter. Give more information than necessary to solve a problem. is another original idea for enhancing learning of diverse groups of students. Typically high energy students will find it difficult to keep quiet. and particularly a problem in disruptive classes. cross-curricular. or narrow and confined to a specific topic. So we assume a large resource of related questions and problems. 3. Collateral learning occurs because students will (presumably) be solving problems related to the particular unit or topic of study. Challenge Answers. 5. as far as I now. Group activities are one way. Predict-Observe-Explain. General type of activity involving canned experiments. 1. Get students to challenge solutions and think of alternative methods of solution. 2.Extra Discussion and Research 151 Cool Group Activities We’ve already noted that there is a problem in many schools motivating students. A good way to get students thinking and monitor their learning. It requires preparation of a fairly large number of interesting problems. channel it into learning activities. 4. Get students to translate learning from one form (text) into another (graphical). in . What matters is that the selection fits the current learning goals of the students (as determined by the students themselves). They all should be fairly complex (for the level of the students) and should be highly non-trivial. Extension—Do this in groups on different problems. Information Sifting. The topics can be multidisciplinary. So one idea is to use their energy. get students to identify the unnecessary data. The following ideas were picked up from TE and course readings and various other places. Cooperative Problem Solving This is. The specific learning intention is fostering teamwork and an ability to communicate difficult ideas and learn how to teach someone how to solve a problem. Concept Maps. then another group has to test the reduced set. Translate Forms.

b) The first student must then teach the second student how to solve the problem. If some students finish studying earlier than others they are given additional problems to work on. or they may choose any other meaningful learning activity (we are not running a forced labour camp or prison!). Students work away on the problems. The cooperative teaching could take the following format. the main objective is to have fun and learn how to enjoy teaching someone else a new idea. Gifted students should be discouraged from working in partnership with other gifted students. Less able students can work in pairs if desired. After all students have solved their problem we begin a round of cooperative teaching. in that they must clearly demonstrate an ability to teach their problem to someone else who cannot initially solve the problem. or give them enough tuition to be able to solve the problem. 5. though should not be forced to do so. 1. . or they can ask for additional tasks from the teacher. 6. Assessment involves the teacher making sure students are simply doing their own work. Perhaps anything from 30 minutes to a few hours for the typical student. 3. This can be lose or tight assessment. Distribute problems to individual students. 4. They can ask help from other students or from their teacher or from the internet or from books or any other resource at their disposal.Extra Discussion and Research 152 that they require numerous ideas or concepts or techniques to solve. or they should require at least quite a bit of time to master. a) A first student finds another student who has not helped with their problem and has not seen it before. Students who have no current partner should either team up as a problem solver or tutor with other students. 2. c) Once successful the second student can reciprocate or (if they have already shown the problem to the first student they need to find another partner).

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