Schools and teachers can play a part in what kinds of behaviours and successes are normalised and rewarded within the school environment. Those working in schools can ask themselves questions about how gender is normalised. Are boys encouraged to be alpha competitors or are quieter achievement and ways of being also noticed and rewarded? Is the catchphrase ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘he was just joking’ used to dismiss put-downs of others or the objectification of women? Is strength and success measured by sporting prowess and outward expressions of courage or by a range of possible successes in multiple arenas? What does ‘courage’ mean to the school community? Are multiple ways of ‘being a man’ celebrated and held up as exemplars?
Two things stood out though to me were your discussion of digital literacy and mention of learning plans. I agree with you that digital literac(ies) are important. My only concern is that we are not critical enough about some of the assumed practices of staff and students. I love Jacques du Toit’s Tweeting Aztecs project, I just feel that maybe such projects are best done in a space such as Edublogs.
Your reference to individualised learning plans reminds me of the work coming out of Templestowe College. I feel that the biggest challenge with this is allowing students space to take action on their learning. I worked in a school a few years ago where time was allocated for staff and students to regularly meet to develop learning plans. The problem in hindsight was that the practice and the wider pedagogical beliefs were split. I am wondering if you too have faced this connundrom?
So look at the power of the tools you have at your disposal. Look at what you can do with a camera. With a computer. With your voice and your connections. Look at whose voices are missing in your classroom. Look at who your students need to meet so that they can change their ideas of others.
We say we teach all children, but do we teach all stories? Do we teach the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, or just the sanitized version that will not ruffle any feathers? I can choose to bring others into our classrooms so that their stories are told by them. I can choose to model what it means to question my own assumptions and correct my own wrongs.
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.
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.
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