Making fellow teachers self-aware of and responsible for their own growth is coaching. Recognising their role in their ecology and building their ability to act within it is coaching for agency.
Playing for Team Human today: Susan Basterfield and Anthony Cabraal. Susan and Anthony share the open secrets of bottom-up collaboration as we celebrate the publication of Enspiral’s book, Better Work Together. It’s a conversation about the power of working together, building on ideas “good enough to try,” and creating a space where it’s “safe to fail.”
Looking for collaborative and participatory ways to create social change? Enspiral has collected and opened up its learnings for all to replicate.
I really liked some of the suggestion, such as developing walls that make us think, making sure that students belong in their spaces and thinking about our spaces from the perspective of different learners.
This is another post to add to the list.
I found it interesting reading your post on collaboration alongside this one. I always thought that if you provided the opportunity for teachers to work together that collaboration would be there. However, my experience has been that there are some who are more interested in their own agency and self-interest. It is for this reason that I cringe at awards and individual recognition. Maybe I am wrong? Jealous of the success of others? However, I would like to think that my interest is in supporting the wider systems, whatever that may look like.
You’ve heard of ‘growth mindset’ and the ‘maker mindset’. We now, more than ever, need to adopt an ‘Origin Mindset’. We must recognize that we are professionals and the Ministry has, in fact, given us incredible power over what we do in classrooms.
Someone who has inspired my thinking has been @largerama, who said: “it has to be student action … not voice. I prefer to label it as having students active in integrating tech”
The project of critical pedagogy is not simply the project of improving education, or of learning, but rather the project of becoming more fully human.
Instead of looking for another tool besides Turnitin for plagiarism, agency asks us to intervene upon the assumptions, acceptances, and adaptations that surround the agreement we generally hold that plagiarism is both unquestionably a problem and inevitable in every student population. Also, that we are helpless to its cresting wave.
And to look that deeply at our assumptions requires a willingness to believe in monsters washed up on the Chilean shore. We must not only want to see the world as it could be, to be intrigued by its possibilities, but we must be able to see it as it could be otherwise.
Being super prescriptive about what kids will learn and how they will demonstrate mastery is a professional act — but without some kind of meaningful balance, it also strips agency away from the kids in our care, and that’s NOT a good thing.
For those of us like myself who (all of a sudden it seems) mostly find themselves the oldest teacher in room, there is a strange sense of déjà vu about the flurry of excitement around agency. The challenge to rethink the way we ‘do’ teaching and learning and the desire to wrench schools from the transmission/factory-inspired model of the past has burned brightly within so many educators for a long time. It is not a new idea and therefore, not one to be dismissed as a fad or ‘the latest buzz word’. And this is far from another proverbial ‘pendulum swing’. I am eternally grateful to those who have gone before. Those who have believed strongly that learning is not something that gets done TO us – it is something we do for ourselves. It is so exciting to see a globally respected organisation such as the IBO place learner agency at the centre of its enhanced program. There is something palpably different about the new rise of ‘learner agency ‘ in the contemporary landscape.