Friday, April 19, 2013

Battling against entropy

The Wellcome Trust remind us that we are in a state of decline, descending into disorder, and that our world is doing likewise.  Though the writer tries to make brave fun of it, the pessimism of such an attitude remains.  I am reminded, however, that outside my window evidence of spring continues.  A special thanks for victory over entropy goes to our robin then; he is singing as though the world was the most spectacular place.

Teaching and Learning

One of the difficulties of student-centred learning is defining the outcomes.  There is also a place for routinised teaching, learning by repetition or rote.  Edutopia, however, offer a good example of project based learning, one worthy of exploration.

Make School Days Longer

I was reminded once again this week that pupils are defined in relation to a teacher, students in relations to learning.  I am astounded then by the latest suggestion from Michael Gove, that the school day should be longer in order to improve performance and make life easier for parents.  If we want children to learn, then we need to give them time to do so; and more controversially, perhaps, parents, not the state, should be looking after their children outside of school hours.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Who is Underperforming?

The Secret Teacher ends with the question How helpful is our help?  The concern is that the perennial battle to take students over the C grade boundary, is not helpful to them, or indeed to teachers or schools.  I am reminded of this every time I opt for the word student; students, by definition, are learners.  When we teach, coach, coerce, monitor, prepare students to the point where they are simply repeating what is needed to obtain a grade, they have ceased to learn; they have rather become parrots.  We need to be brave and recognise that this C grade is losing whatever value it once possessed.

The Future of Digital Resources

An interesting conference on the future of digital resources for learning and education.  This is potentially a very exciting development, though I imagine that any success will take many years to reach fruition.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Learning to Teach Virtually

Simaula offer a new platform for learning to teach using avatar students.  It seems an interesting and promising idea, certainly one worth following.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

PE Teachers are great

One of the highlights of my career was working with a dynamic, energy fuelled PE Faculty.  The competitive urge is always fraught, needs direction; yet this teacher reminds me of both the adrenalin and the potential of schools with a clear focus.  Harnessing learning through sport and social media he suggests that education is possible.