Monday, August 26, 2013

Learning Is Hard

"Learning is hard" is the message we got from Daniel's presentation to us on how the Primary School is addressing the issue of Learning.

Daniel took us through a presentation and workshop he recently took his parent group through. He is adamant that parents need as much exposure to new ways of learning as do the staff and pupils. He has consistently shared interesting readings and video clips with his parents through his newsletters; a practice I have been also following.
As part of his presentation he reminded us of Dreyfus' model of learning which shows that as learners move along the continuum from novice to expert, the need for 'Rule Governed Behaviour' i.e. such as following a recipe closely to prepare a meal lessens as we increase our 'Personal Practical Knowledge' increases and we are able to create a meal without reference to the recipe. As he reminded us, such a model is relevant to be aware of when planning learning for teachers, leaders and students alike.

By using some easy to organise activities he was able to show how hard learning can be and that when you group students into classes that the range of places learners are on the novice/expert continuum is very varied.

He also emphasised the importance of continuing our journey of developing a dispositions-based curriculum to sit alongside a knowledge-based curriculum.  This sits nicely with our views on promoting academic excellence and personal excellence. Knowledge is easy to discover; the real challenge is in developing the dispositions to test and use knowledge wisely and appropriately.

A neat activity was to select one image from dozens he provided which best suited our definition of learning.

I chose a map which had some well-travelled routes and less well-travelled routes one could choose to get from one place to another while overcoming some geographic hurdles on the way. It shows many alternatives to the destination.

Di has circulated a great reading on personalised learning which I really like (which means I agree with it and it must agree with me)

Oh, and today I met with the Ministry to discuss the timing of handing over the building to us and other related issues (out of hours usage and travel-wise plans) and I completed two more enrolments and Annette and I progressed our thinking around appointment of PA. Claire and Di spent time investigating AV options for the school.

The LOLs and SLT are doing a great job on nailing the detail of the principles and practice that will support our teaching and learning and tomorrow, after reading a great resource that Lea has circulated will explore the principles and practice that will drive the leadership necessary to put it all in place. When that is done, after 5 weeks of de-schooling and re-schooling and great thinking, challenging and sharing, they'll get into the nitty gritty of their leadership areas.

The process to this point has been vital for them to be successful leaders and I'm extremely proud of the carefully considered planning the DPs have put into this and the way in which the LOLs have responded. You should continue to check out their thoughts in their blogs.

I have a funny feeling that my focus will soon be shifting from the bigger picture stuff to resourcing, resourcing, resourcing!

Oh well, nothing like a challenge!

No comments: