SPRINT 1

THE FUTURES OF LEARNING

Choose 3 areas discussed in the paper of interest to you in your context and:

 

1 - Justify why these are relevant to your context

2 - Highlight the implications to your practice

The 3 areas that interested me in my context were:

1 - informal learning

2 - strategic questioning

3 - knowledge building - Anytime and anywhere

Informal learning is relevant to my context as I believe it is an area that is a next step for our school to deeper delve into, particularly as my role as learning leader. Having a team of teachers who have completed the DCL, they are always pushing collaborative and personalised learning and we have seen the growth of our students with academic success over the last 4 years since a change in management. The opportunities for informal learning in a school learning environment is mostly through self directed learning and peer to peer sharing. Sometimes the learning that takes place in our low decile school is a detriment as the learning from peers often results in a visit to see the principal. In 2017 we introduced learning through play into the school. It was an utter failure. We had some teachers take the piss and do the minimum and then we had students who did not have the soft skills to be able to cope with the unstructured learning environment. It was an eye-opener to see our achievement drop during the 6th months before the management pulled pin. The implication that this causes is how do I manage a school of learners to focus on appropriate informal learning and how do we build soft skills in students and which are most important. I was able to go through many schools while on my sabbatical and I have a few hunches to support informal learning. 1 - have a prescribed self directed learning pedagogy for particular year groups that scaffold and build learning resilience and learning integrity. 2 - have a whole child approach that has a foundation of culture and early intervention at a younger age for learning, behaviour, social needs and health needs. 3 - front load teachers with the pedagogical knowledge and build new knowledge to fit our context. 4 - Soft skills are the key to leaner success. 5 - Some kids don't need a teacher, they need a guide.

Strategic Questioning is so important for our learners. I have been working on coaching models and working out my 7 key questions I can frame in different ways. When observing teachers in formal and informal settings I take note of the questions they ask students, peers, family and myself. Im am reflecting on if the questions are promoting critical thinking. My management team model questioning to promote thinking and to be the guide for the teachers. This is our approach to informal learning for adults. Watching and soaking it up - osmosis. The implication on practice for the school is making sure that teachers and students are consistently asking each other strategic questions and allowing appropriate wait time. Implicit and personal bias often rears its head depending on adult in the learning environment.

Knowledge building is something I am interested in and I am often at odds with my thinking and practice. I know I want my students and staff to grow new knowledge, but I need the children to learn new knowledge in order to further grow new knowledge. Soft skills need to be a key in this success. We have so many platforms to gain new knowledge I often wonder if there is another way to facilitate learning. Further research into this led me to Scardamalia and Brieter of Toronto University. Their premise is to use knowledge forums to begin with a Big question that leads into further questions being developed and answered by a global learning community. The knowledge building journey really hits its straps when questions cannot be answered and therefore research needs to be developed in order to find the answer. I had a thought, Sugata Mithra, of the University of New Castle, designed the hole in the wall project in Calcutta, India. Computers were put into a wall in the slums in Calcutta and monitored. The children of the slums became curious and started exploring this new device. Over time curiosity grew new knowledge and lead the children to the internet and further developed their knowledge. This is remarkable also because the students also did not understand english at the start. So how do we develop this knowledge in a New Zealand System? 

I am really interested in:

21st Century learning - and its terminology. I was recently challenged by a new graduate. "we are already in the 21st Century, why do you call it 21st century learning? Its been and gone and educators missed it - I was there". I was lost and said I would get back to her with some new terminology. I think this was really thought provoking and still had me consider that the skills are the key to success to inform the learning. When learning is happening critical thinking can further develop?

New Teacher Roles - Do we really need teachers? or do we need learning facilitators? I watch and observe learners and I believe that some students would work better in an unstructured learning environment with parameters where the teacher would become the facilitator. 

Learner Centred Models - Are these just a load of rubbish and piecemeal? I see a lot of all fart and no Tutai. We strive to achieve this but I consistently see struggles of students who arrive at school without the skills to succeed. We build these skills, but not fast enough. People will defend the (and their) kaupapa, but what is the true holy grail of Lerner centred models? Particularly of low decile school. The evidence from my sabbatical was clear between the "haves" and the "have-nots". I am really interested to have robust conversation around the key to success in a low socio economic environment.

Ngā Pātai Whakakīkī

 

What are the discourses, promises and perils of the future of learning and education?

The future of education has much promise. Governments think lineal and not disruptively and that causes issues as we continue to have policy set as it always has been. As a human species we face tipping points - extinction (by natural causes), Anthropocene Age where humans are having a direct impact on the climate and we therefore are killing the earth and we sit of the edge of the Big Mind Time where we sit on the verge of disruption. 30% of jobs will be automated by robots and A.I by 2030. This will change how humans are employed. We need to think differently. It could cause poverty but could mean distributed jobs allowing for more leisure time. We are on the verge of enhancing human evolution through technology. We are all changed in someway.

What things contribute to a thriving society?

We need to learn to live sustainably, have global competence and how young people learn - outdoors, We need to reinvent meaningful democracy. Don't chase GDP - Chase equity. There must be interpersonal relationships - we have the mogli generation who are not being bought up by wild animals, but screens. Relationships need to be loving and caring and a key part of thirvation.

 

What should education be for?

Education should be on developing skills for the future and the issues that we will face as humans. We need problem solvers.

 

What should learning look like?

#disruptive and different.

KORERO MATAURANGA

What are the key messages in this recording that strike you or that you think will have an impact on education in New Zealand?

Humans will live longer, but we will have a declining population.

We will be multilingual

We will be reversed engineered as humans

A.I will increase

Anything not possible now, will be possible in the future

The data available will be more than humans can comprehend.

Sprint 1 Critical Reflection

So what? now what? The evidence and discourse provided in this sprint underpins the possible coming challenges that we will face as humans in survival and in education. The thinking challenges educational boundaries further than before, in New Zealand we have the perfect opportunity to make these changes due to our educational autonomy in our communities. The theme I see running through all the readings and information provided is that students need to be built up with the skills to be problem solvers and critical thinkers and the barrier to this success is education and the way knowledge is disseminated and created. As the principal I am constantly thinking that my barrier is providing for the whole child in order for them to have not only have educational success but the capabilities to be successful in global challenges they will face, predominantly soft skills. So how do we create thinkers to solve problems or create new knowledge? This question led me to further research to think about these problems. Educational approaches have changed in response to some of the developments in this sprint as there is a greater emphasis on collaborative rather than individual inquiry, the tentative nature of empirical learning and critical thinking has become an important part of some approaches. But the new "knowledge of knowledge" has much larger educational implications: Ours is a knowledge-creating civilization. A growing number of "knowledge societies" (Stehr, 1994), are joined in a deliberate effort to advance all the frontiers of knowledge. Sustained knowledge advancement is seen as essential for social progress of all kinds and for the solution of societal problems. (Scardamalia and Briefer, 2006) So this led me to thinking about creating a knowledge society in a school and the school in the cloud that was a link from Sugata Mithras 1999 Hole in the Wall project I mentioned previously in this sprint. The School in the Cloud platform was originally launched at the 2014 TED conference to help accelerate his research by helping educators — be they teachers, parents or community leaders — to run their own SOLEs and to contribute to the global experiment by sharing their experiences with others. The aim of School in the Cloud is to spark creativity, curiosity and wonder in students and inspire them to take control of their own learning. (Mithra, 2014). School in the Cloud is learning at the edge of chaos; a place to come together to discover and explore self-organised learning (SOLE). This could be a path to follow in my practice and school context. 
 

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