My interest in the idea of sharing pedagogical purposes comes directly with the contact I have had with the Project for Enhancing Effective Learning at Monash University in Australia. Now each of these teachers were very active in establishing learning agendas with their classes. The impact they were having was inspiring. Each classroom tool can have a purpose beyond delivering content, and this needs to be shared.
I suppose the purpose of this website is collate, crystalise and open dialogues about how to increase this within classrooms. As the quote from Carl Bereiter illustrates this classroom methodology can empower our students.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Sharing the pedagogical purpose- student discussions

These excerpts are from a lesson where the students were introduced to a couple of new learning tools. I make a point of introducing each tool we use with a brief overview of what the tool is and then how to use it, modelling how to do it and thinking out loud about the decisions i make while using it.

Just like any content learning, some students struggle with learning the tools and think associated with them,. This is why discussions like these are so important. My voice is fairly sparse throughout as I tend use lots of wait time after a student has stopped talking, which prompts further discussion from them or their colleagues. It is evident in these Audioboos, that other students jump in at these points and share their knowledge of the tool. so, the resulting discussions are full of the difficulties and benefits of using these tools. The main thing though is that these tools become their tools as opposed to tasks the teacher has asked them to do. This is a key way in which we can increase the independence of students. It is essential that teachers hear these discussion's as it will frame, future differentiation and support for these students.

The tools themselves are the thinking tool- the whole part or brace map, for connecting important information and the PEEL strategy of a moving on map. The moving on map is entirely constructed by the ideas of the students, who are incidentally eleven years old. A colleague happened to be passing through my classroom as we constructed this and remarked on the sophistication of the student ideas. The other thing that struck my colleague was the usefulness of "boxing" in each step which added to the clarity of what the students had to do.