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.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Phases of developing a classroom community

Phases? Stages? Steps
What it might look like
What might help
Setting up the community
  • Students get to know each other.
  • The class agrees the rules of the community
  • An inclusive and safe environment.
  • The community shares a common purpose.
  • Students get used to working with  different people.
  • A conducive physical environment
  • Establishing routines and rituals.
  • The what great learners do procedure.
  • Team building tasks.
  • Teachers facilitate agreements of rules.
  • Teachers make clear the academic, social and character values that they helps the whole community.
  • A variety of seating plans is used by the teacher
Develop the cooperation within the group.
  • Students are motivated to contribute.
  • Students work together on common tasks.
  • Students given some responsibility
  • Students allwoed to fail safely .
  • Opportunities to reflect together eg circle time.
  • Tasks are designed so that all can contribute.
  • Teacher debriefs the skills of co-opertaion, communication and values of fairness and kindness.
  • Non Judgemental feedback.
  • Praise good teamworking, sharing etc
Develop Trust
  • The class celebrates together.
  • Students seek feedback from one another.
  • Students speculate.
  • Students are confident enough to disagree
  • Students engage in adult to adult conversations
  • Students feel they have a say in proceedings.
  • Non judgemental feedback.
  • Praise individual contributes.
  • Praise reciprocity.
  • Students are taught how to divide tasks into roles.
  • Knowing about transactional analysis.
  • Critique protocols Kind, Specific and Helpful.
  • Feedback on student to student feedback.
  • Establish a No put down ZOne
  • Teachers share some intellectual control. Eg Offers choice
Develop Collaboration skills
  • Students take different roles to complete larger tasks.
  • Students consider the quality of collaboration
  • Students provide formal and informal feedback and help to one another.
  • Students publicly show their academic knowledge along side their skills and attributes.
  • Co-construction of success criteria
  • Teacher modelling of skills
  • Increasing the sophistication of the tasks.
  • Use of Rubrics
  • Use of authentic/ wider community tasks.
  • Project exhibitions
Maintain and Repair  the community
  • Students document progress on collaboration and communication skills.
  • Teachers and students honest about challenges faced.
  • roup reflection - Circle time
  • Quiet individual reflection
  • Community dwells on solutions rather than problems
  • Debrief the process regularly.
  • Provide non judgemental feedback
  • Team Building tasks
  • Target  setting for skills and attributes
  • Time
  • The option to pass
  • Teacher takes role of a coach.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Planning with Pedagogical Content Knowledge

This is taken  from "Understanding and Developing Science Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge" by John Loughran, Amanda Berry and Pamela Mulhall.

By way of working out what you know about the teaching of a concept we are better able to teach it. It is the relationship between our subject knowledge and how students learn is key to understand.

These questions  are part of the Content Representation (CoRe) tool that groups of teachers use in conceptualizing the content of a particular subject or learning intention.  Using CoRe has helped teachers to develop the fundamental concepts behind the ideas they are teaching (Threshold concepts?), deepens teachers pedagogical content knowledge which ultimately results in teachers greater confidence in their teaching and willingness to develop new approaches.   It is worthwhile noting that like "Lesson study" the participation in the process appears to be more valuable than the items ( in this case a matrix) produced.

The question asked of the teachers about the ideas being taught are as follows:

What are the Big ideas or concepts?
What you intend students to learn?
Why important to learn it?
What else might you know that they don’t intend them to learn yet?
What are the difficulties in teaching this idea?
What’s your knowledge of student thinking that influences your teaching of this idea?
What other factors influence your teaching of this idea?
What are your reasons for the selected teaching procedures?
How will you find out about student understanding or confusions on this idea?

Here is a detailed example on "Scientific explanations (theories) are tentative and not absolute." that the internet has graciously provided.

And one on "Empirical Consistency is the Basis for Scientific Explanations"

And another....on "Subjectivity in Science"

The first few chapters of the book are available here.