Friday, August 03, 2018

Developing a pedagogy for Modern Learning Schools / the power of drama / and the artistry of teaching

Education Readings

By Allan Alach

Every week Bruce Hammonds and I collect articles to share with teachers to encourage a creative approach to teaching and learning. We welcome suggested articles, so if you come across a gem, email it to me at

Drama the pedagogy of hope  
‘The importance of drama as pedagogy and as a way of resisting threats to participatory democracy was affirmed by an international conference of drama educators and researchers in Auckland last week.’

Opinion: Peter Lyons – the modern tyranny of metrics
Peter Lyons is dubious when it comes to setting SMART goals to hold teachers accountable.
‘I loathe the modern mantra of management which entails the need for metrics to measure performance and ensure accountability. To prove your worth with a
quantifiable measure.’

Place-Based Education Empowers Students to Make Change
‘Place-based learning engages students in solving problems in their communities. In the
Brightmoor neighborhood of northwest Detroit, one of the biggest problems is lack of water–ironic in a state surrounded by it. The issue resulted from a 2015 decision by the city to shut off water service to 23,300 Detroit homes in a crackdown on delinquent accounts. Brightmoor residents were left to collect water from their roofs using rain barrels, but the water was not safe for drinking. How’s that for a challenge for students to take on?'

Can the ‘Not-School’ Movement Help Kids Re-Engage with
‘An Australian researcher asserts that the alternative educational approach known as the “not-school” movement can lead to greater learning outcomes for children who are struggling in traditional school.’

Carol Dweck Explains The 'False' Growth Mindset That Worries Her
Carol Dweck
'Dweck explains all the ways she sees growth mindset being misappropriated. Her complicated psychological research has gotten boiled down to, "praise the effort, not the outcome." Dweck also explained what she means by a "false" growth mindset.’

Finding the joy in learning. Harnessing the power of ‘What if…
‘I know many schools are moving towards, or already include this style of learning with extended periods of time via project/problem-based learning, genius hour, inquiry learning, etc., but what if all students at all levels could feel as engaged and as excited about their learning as I did about mine today? Today, I experienced being lost in the joy of learning that is too frequently denied many of our students.’

Here’s a selection of articles looking at how secondary schools can be run to meet the needs of today’s students. Sadly many/most New Zealand secondary schools don’t appear to have moved beyond the late 19th century factory model.

How does a new secondary school ‘become’? Claire Amos
‘So how do a new school’s leaders turn a vision into reality? Evidence on what it’s like to make a new school from scratch is hard to find. What is scarce is information that helps us understand what it takes to develop a school culture, systems, pedagogical and pastoral practices and the like from a vision and empty new buildings. Hobsonville Point Secondary School (HPSS) gave me access to learn a little of how this particular school found its feet.’

My HPSS Journey - reflecting on an awesome five and a half years - Claire Amos
Claire Amos
‘I believe HPSS is genuinely beginning to reimagine what secondary schooling needs to look like and I can tell you, having lived it for the last five and half year, it is the most exciting and most challenging job an educator can have. Experienced teachers feel like they have their training wheels permanently fitted, genuinely living out what it means to be an adaptive expert.'

Impact Projects - Prototyping an innovation project
‘So when I had the opportunity to offer an Impact Project I knew I wanted to see how I approach it as if developing an Innovation Curriculum. I began by thinking about what Innovation might look if it were to become a stand alone subject. I decided that I would be best offering a project that was less about subject expertise  and more about focusing on supporting students who came with their own ideas and were more in need of a project/innovation coach.’

Patea Area School receives UNESCO Award

Nicola Ngarewa presents the exciting developments of Patea Area School at New Plymouth TED Talk.
‘Ngarewa closed the show with her captivating plight to "disrupt the education norms".Born from along-line of educators, Ngarewa's talk detailed her time as a principal at Pātea AreaSchool, which
was a low-achieving school under statutory management when she first stepped into the role.She spoke about how through shifting mindsets and tackling education with an innovative approach, she was able to radically improve the school's academic results and increase both its roll and its attendance rate.'
Aotea Canoe Patea

From Bruce’s ‘goldie oldies’ file:

Transforming Secondary Education – the most difficult challenge of all.Thoughts from a past age – ‘Young Lives at Stake’ by Charity James
‘Charity James believed it was important to get secondary education right if all students were to leave able to take advantage of the exciting opportunities the future might offer.  The challenge remains. Secondary schools need a radical reappraisal to ameliorate the effects of obvious social and cultural disadvantages and also to develop the needs, talents and gifts of all students.’

Artistry versus conformity in teaching.
Today 'best practice' rules supreme as teachers follow suggestions to try to direct their students'
learning by the use of defining intentions, negotiating 'success criteria', or something called WALTS. Teachers are too busy providing 'feedback' and 'feed forward' all too often unconsciously removing student intuition and imagination in the process.'

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