Bookmarked Teaching boys: Part 1 and Part 2 (the édu flâneuse)
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?
Deborah Netolicky reflects on her experience of teaching boys. She highlights three aspects: boys need a safe and trusting environment with high support and high challenge, boys respond to engaging curriculum content and boys benefit from regular, tangible feedback, a mixture of role-models, as well as hope and persistence. As I think about my own experiences teaching and parenting, I am left wondering why these approaches do not apply for girls too? Another interesting read on the topic is Adam Boxer’s question of boys and competition.
Replied to Permission is Triumph — + ”The future of the world is in my classroom... (diprato.tumblr.com)
The role of teachers in providing not the basic facts but the framework on which students can build deep understanding, to help students to learn how to apply their knowledge creatively and effectively, and to be divergent and critical thinkers. We need to teach students to find and make meaning in their learning not to simply master a list of skills.
Great provocation Adriano. Always so much to consider.

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?

Bookmarked In These Divided Times by Pernille Ripp (Pernille Ripp)

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.

I really like Ripp’s point that we need to consider how we use technology, it just makes me wonder what play technology can play in silencing voices? Whether it be the labeling of gorillas or the normalisation of whiteness by camera flashes and filters, it feels that speaking ones voice is easier for some than others for a range of reasons.
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.