Replied to A Classroom Romance | Hybrid Pedagogy by Laura Witherington (Hybrid Pedagogy)

Joannne Lipman in “The Fine Art of Tough Love” describes principles she learned from her music teacher Jerry Kupchynsky, or “Mr. K.” The steps in her roadmap to success include:

  • Banish Empty Praise
  • Set Expectations High
  • Articulate clear goals — and goal posts along the way
  • Failure Isn’t Defeat
  • Say thank you

While these may sound like obvious practices, it’s the attitude that makes or breaks their instructional implementation. None of these steps addresses the actual student. These are steps that could be taken by an alienated expert. If these are the principles of tough love, they are missing the love. And the love is almost always excluded from those who claim to practice tough love. My rejoinder to them is to try plain love, without the adjective “tough.” Why not just love? Just loving the students refocuses the teacher’s efforts onto the students.

This reminds me of the Finnish idea of ‘Pedagogical Love‘:

In the same way, ‘pedagogical love would rather aim at the discovery of pupils’ strengths and interests and act based on these to strengthen students’ self-esteem and self-image as active learners’.

Replied to Maths in Motion by FH (technologylearningjourney)
My planning this term has been fairly slack given that I’ve been so sick and there’s nothing worse than being sick at home and trying to plan lessons.
Fiona, I love your honesty with this reflection. So often when it comes to technology it involves using some other time to prepare for a lesson. This is not always feasible and as you demonstrate, not always sustainable.
Bookmarked Class Exploder: NetNarr Lesson on the Gameboard of Digital Redlining (CogDogBlog)

My blog is a place where I take apart my ideas, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. Each episode is produced and edited by host and creator aka me, wherever I am. Using the jumbled, thought tracks that keep me awake at night, I ask myself to delve into the specific decisions that went into creating my work. I barely edit them, and not frequently enough checking for typos, but condensing the story to be tightly focused on how bring my ideas to life.

Class Exploder
Alan Levine riffs on Song Exploder and the way in which each episode deconstructs a song bit by bit. He uses this as a model for reflecting on a lesson as an invitation for blogging. Not only is Levine’s example that he provides an interesting task in itself, but the whole activity bank is a great example of the heutagogical nature of Communities of Practice.
Bookmarked The Lost Art of Teaching with Gary Stager (Modern Learners)

Is instruction really necessary in schools? Just like that question, today’s conversation will make you think–maybe like you’ve never thought before. We are digging deep into the craft of teaching and what it should involve. The conversation includes our friend, mentor, and educational leader, Gary Stager, who rolls out ambitious and daring initiatives with his teacher training institutes.

Gary’s focus is on the nature of teaching. He says that since the mid-80’s, we have removed the art of teaching from teacher training, and now we have a generation of teachers who don’t know how to teach. Because of this, we need to create a productive context for learning and “bridge the gap.” How is this done? We need good projects instead of “reckless instruction.” Gary believes that deep, meaningful learning is often accompanied by obsession. He focuses on answering the question: How can we create experiences and context in classrooms where kids can discover things they don’t know they love? This is done by implementing good projects that spur creativity, ownership, and relevance.

As always, Gary Stager challenges many assumptions about learning, education and schools. Having been toone of his sessions, there is a certain magic in Stager’s deft provocation at the point of need. What he demonstrates is the importance of understanding the curriculum in order to celebrate the spread of learning, rather than using the curriculum as a guide.
Replied to #WhyITeach by John Wigg (Mr Wigg)
I teach because I love being a child’s advocate and helping him/her realize his/her own potential.
I remember deciding that I wanted to be a teacher when I left school and although I became a teacher, my reasoning for why I wanted to teach considerably changed. I started out with an interest in History and in hindsight, probably subject knowledge and skills, yet when I finished my studies I was more interested in creating the conditions for others to wonder.

I think I teach (or am involved in education) to support others in reaching their potential, but also in engaging in interests. I remember being told once that the word essay is best understood as ‘your say’. I have never actually found a reference for this, but the lesson stuck.

Syndicated at Read Write Collect

Liked TEACHING quality is not TEACHER quality. How we talk about ‘quality’ matters, here’s why by Nicole Mockler (EduResearch Matters)
when it comes to education, if we’re really interested in quality, we need to shift the conversation. We need to make it more about helping teachers to improve the quality of what goes on in their classrooms, and less about casting them as personally or professionally inadequate in the public space. We need to make it more about teachers’ practices and less about teachers as people. We need to make it more about real, collegial professional learning for improvement and less about trying to regulate our way to quality.
Bookmarked Excellent teachers in an age of fads by Mark Enser (Teaching it Real)
Many things that get labelled as “fads” might work for an individual teacher (although many things might work better) but they only become fads when divorced from their original meaning and then are spread around and are imposed on other teachers. Teachers, being brilliant, are able to make these things work as best they can, or at least to minimise harm, but they still have an opportunity cost. Worst still they add to our workload and drive teachers out of teaching. The solution is to give teachers time to study how pupils learn and time to reflect on and discuss their own learning – and then to allow them to teach. If someone wants to discuss a new method then that is wonderful; but it needs honest critique and the ideas behind it need to be explored.
This is an interesting post. I had never thought about the ability of teachers to make the most of a bad situation.

Another approach to this situation is to support teachers with structures, rather than solutions. Some of these approaches include Modern Learning Canvas, Agile Leadership and Disciplined Collaboration.

Discussing the teaching of literacy in Australia, Deb Hayes talks about uncommon pedagogies and the development of an oeuvre:

How might we support teachers to develop their oeuvre? What might the public discourse of schooling look like if it were to be based upon a deep respect for teachers, their knowledge and their understanding of the local conditions of teaching and learning?

Each of these perspectives provide a different approach to implementing change in education.

h/t John Johnson