Creative actions points
It is my assertion that we (teachers) spend more time thinking about how we will teach a subject than how pupils will learn it. Practitioners get caught in “activity traps” (Earl et al, 2009, p2), spending a disproportionate amount of time and energy on what pupils will do, not how they will learn it. How can we make learning the focus?
- Rejuvenate the planning process to provide reflective questions that guide teachers thinking towards learning. (This is in response to teachers saying that, when they did stop and think about attending to intended learning they could identify how to improve their practice. Introducing reflection questions should support this on a regular basis)
- Introduce ‘Back to Uni’ sessions to teach teachers about learning theories and cognitive science. (This is in response to teachers admitting they had never been exposed to the micro-practice of ‘attending to intended learning’ or related learning theory).
- Introduce MARGE: A Whole-Brain Learning Approach for Students and Teachers (Shimamura, 2018)
- Introduce Why Don’t Students Like School (Willingham, 2009)
- Re-invent the ‘peer observation’ model to enable and encourage more regular participant observation and critical reflection of practice (Brookfield, 2015). By providing more regular opportunities to visit colleagues classrooms – with the focus on learning, not teaching – teachers should increase their understanding of the micro-practices of attending to intended learning and other related learning essentials.
I welcome thoughts and comment.
Brookfield, S. (2017), Becoming a critically reflective teacher, Jossey Bass Ltd.
Earl, L.M. and Timperley, H. (2009), Understanding How Evidence and Learning Conversations Work. In: L.M. Earl and H. Timperley (eds.) 2009. Professional Learning Conversations: Challenges in Using Evidence for Improvement. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, pp.1-12.
Shimamura, A. (2018), MARGE: A Whole-Brain Learning Approach for Students and Teachers. Available at https://shimamurapubs.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/marge_shimamura.pdf [Accessed 5.10.18]
Willingham, D. (2009), Why Don’t Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom, Jossey Bass Ltd.