Masters Sprints 5-10

Sprint 5 Sharing, showcasing evidence

As part of developing self determined learners, I have re-introduced student run websites. They use their websites to gather their evidence of work, and showcase their understanding. Having started my own journey of double loop reflections a while back (2012) I am very pleased to feel that this approach is both reliable and relevant.

With personalisation, the student drives their learning and is responsible for the goals. Technology is identified to support these goals and the student builds a network of peers, teachers, and experts to help them master the required skills and knowledge.

Sprint 6 Online Peer Collaboration

A useful blog on this topic by Tony Ward identifies the work of Garrison, Anderson and Archer (2001) who identify “three essential elements of a community of inquiry”

  • social presence “is the ability of participants to identify with the community (e.g., course of study), communicate purposefully in a trusting environment, and develop inter-personal relationships by way of projecting their individual personalities.”
  • teaching presence is “the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes”
  • cognitive presence “is the extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained reflection and discourse”.

How does sharing online enhance effective collaborative practice?

You are able to source and jointly construct reviews of journals and articles on a particular topic. This promotes cyclical professional inquiry.

What do you need to consider to lead collaborative practice effectively in your context?

It should be built on trust, with a clear goal in mind. Communication must be clear, as unambiguous as possible, and regular. Transparency is also key to collaborative success.

Sprint 7 The Gogies

A summary of the Gogies

In essence, a simple definition of the three Gogies:

  1. Pedagogy: Teacher led learning, which is unidirectional
  2. Andragogy: Self-directed learning which is bi-directional
  3. Heutagogy: Self-determined learning which includes the all important double-loop learning

How does self determined learning and heutagogy enhance effective collaborative practice?

Self determined learners will cope in an uncertain future because they will be equipped with skills to confront challenges head on. Double loop learning will mean that they become problem solvers and solution finders.

What do you need to consider to lead self determined learning and heutagogy effectively in your context?

Many people don’t like change. Teachers can get stuck into the way they have always done things. So as with any change, start small. Focus on what people are doing well to create self determined learners, and build on that. Build on the knowledge and skills they already have, and then add double loop learning on the end of the cycle.

How does self determined learning and heutagogy meet the needs of learners including diverse learners?

By showing care and manaakitanga; sharing the power and giving students voice, we will build their self efficacy. This dictates another paradigm shift for teachers, namely shared power. Students will not have a voice if they have no power of choice in the classroom. However, this power sharing framework is “not for the faint hearted” and changing the “top-down model” (Berryman et al., 2018, p.5) is easier to read about than it is to implement. Most importantly perhaps, as Hana O’Regan stresses, teachers cannot simply have high expectations, they have to actively help students achieve those high academic and behavioural expectations. This, it seems, is key to success. It should be pointed out that high quality, culturally responsive education will positively influence all students, not just priority students, if the practice is responsive to the needs of each individual in the class.

What learning environments and or pedagogy need to be in place or implemented for self determined learning and heutagogy to be effective?

Another influence of an increasingly culturally diverse world on the classroom is that teachers need to be conscious of and open to ako, or reciprocal learning, which links back to shared power. Effective teachers learn from their students, and students learn from effective teachers. To draw on cultural metaphors, the journey of the student through the educational process can be “likened to paddling a waka down a braided river”  (BERL, 2019, p.21). Teachers and educational leaders can commit to paddling together along this river by collaborating to be part of the solution. “Inequality is not inevitable” (BERL, 2019, p.21). We have the strategies to influence the educational outcomes of all our students. 

How does self determined learning and heutagogy provide culturally responsive solutions that address authentic problems in your context?

Teenagers in my setting have voiced fear about the future, and I do not believe that they are alone with these fears. Paradoxically, we all fear the future but invite, and want, the future to evolve. Technology can support a radical departure from traditional classroom practice. We should make time to get to know our students on a cultural level, form relational trust, and then focus on how we can improve outcomes for all students.

Sprint 8 Personalised Learning – Broadening Your Horizons

This diagram sums up the 10 trends of personalised learning. For me one of the key trends (they are all important) but key is creativity. I have included a video from 2019 based on bringing creativity back into the college classroom. I believe that this is the key to unlocking many of the desired outcomes of personalised learning.

Bring Creativity Back – 2019

Sprint 9 Translating Global Visions to Local Contexts

Some of the key questions from this sprint were:

How do we live responsibly, ethically, critically with the technology we have available to us?

How do we live with environmental change?

How do we model education with these questions in mind?

I feel fortunate to be working in a year 10 PBL which combines English and Technology. It is refreshing to be able to work on a project with an authentic outcome. I have led the two classes with Design Thinking and Planning for Practice. All evidence has been recorded on their personalised websites. The tech teacher has been working on Mechatronics, which has involved coding, programming and basic electronics.

The overarching question related to people getting lost in the outdoors, and needing an alert device to assist with the rescue. We are going to rethink this brief, but it has worked to give students context for their product. The strength has been the talking, negotiating and defending of points by the students. Another strength from my perspective has been on the transfer of skills from tech into my English class, with no input or knowledge from me. In addition, we have used technology to fit the outcome. When you have a project outcome in mind, this becomes a meaningful activity.

Technology in English

How does translating global visions to local context enhance effective collaborative practice?

In working together on a project, students are able to take on ethical and responsible issues and considerations. By rooting the work in a real world context, you are able to start working on ideas of environmental change.

What do you need to consider to lead translating global visions to local context effectively in your context?

Teacher efficacy is vital. If we are able to work from the same sheet, with common vision and goals in mind, there is far more likelihood that changes will be made, and sustained.

How does translating global visions to local context meet the needs of learners including diverse learners?

Diverse learners need diverse ways to express themselves, but paradoxically, need good solid structures in place. When teachers collaborate and have a clear vision in mind, they tend to develop a flexibility in terms of the pathways taken by the learners. In this way, diverse students are also able to reach a measure of success.

What learning environments and or pedagogy need to be in place or implemented for translating global visions to local context to be effective?

It needs to be written into the timetable and so time is given to the collaborative work. Without this, the collaboration simply will not thrive.

How does translating global visions to local context provide culturally responsive solutions that address authentic problems in your context?

Teachers and educational leaders have the influence to recreate the education system into an equitable enabler, where students are confident in and about their culture and subculture; where all students are empowered to succeed in a pathway of their own choosing. Creating educational environments where all students are “welcomed, engaged and inspired” (BERL, 2019, p.11) is something teachers can determine, “but it requires the hardest change of all – a change in our attitude” (BERL, 2019, p.11). To the culturally responsive teacher, this seems possible, even attainable.

Sprint 10 Agency and Student Engagement

In 2017, Bray and McClaskey wrote about the trends of personalised learning. They said that students need agency to become future-ready. Global collaboration and intercultural understanding would help students to participate in a multicultural world (Bray & McClaskey, 2017). How we do that in the distanced yet connected world of online learning is by creating personalised learning pathways. Every student will need to feel valued, and then we can weave a culture of growth and change, whether we are in a classroom, or learning remotely.

In addition, a future opportunity which lockdown highlighted was the benefit of personalisation over differentiation. With personalisation, the student drives their learning and is responsible for the goals. Technology is identified to support these goals and the student builds a network of peers, teachers, and experts to help them master the required skills and knowledge. Had we not gone into a remote learning environment, I do not believe that this form of learning would have taken on the impetus it has. Necessity is the driver of innovation, invention, and opportunity.

Remote learning has reversed the logic of the education system which was built on the student conforming to a set system of rules and regulations (Mitra, 2013). Remote learning has allowed students to distance themselves from a one-size-fits-all approach to learning. It has shown us that learning is not a place; it is an activity (Schleicher, 2019). The challenges with personalised learning, whether it is through forced school closure, or choice of the teacher, is that some students simply do not engage in co-constructing their learning (Bolstad & Gilbert, 2012, p. 4) Without the scrutiny of teachers, students might lapse into making shallow learning choices and work at a superficial level. To combat this, teachers should provide engaging real-world learning activities that are authentic, relevant, and linked to the local community (Ministry of Education, 2019, p.7). 

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