Some of us, including me, at Nuova Lazio High School got an email from our Deputy Principal (DP).
It seems that we'd been a wee bit naughty, and we had yet to write what we had chosen as a Personal Enquiry Project on the list on the Learning Wall of the staffroom. (Sounds a bit like being back at Primary school, don't you think?)
The email wasn't nasty, but we all got the definite feeling that we'd had our knuckles rapped for being naughty children.
I should explain that the New Zealand Teaching Council has decided that as a strategy to maintain and improve Professional Standards, every teacher in NZ has to demonstrate that they are striving to improve their knowledge and practice of pedagogy. The DP known to Richard [of RBB] as Runner is in charge this year, and as she's a really nice person, and not wanting to disappoint her, I
I wrote "Co-operative learning and co-construction of standards in the domain of Information and Computing Technology, and the Digital Technologies."
I was quite proud of this, but I should like to explain what exactly I mean.
According to the prevalent thinking in Education (note the capital E, we're in the realms of the ivory towers of academe) co-operative learning is getting the kids to work in groups to complete tasks collectively toward academic goals. See Wikipedia.
|Our kids working together|
My definition is just a wee bit different. To me, co-operative learning is when I tell the kids what to do, and they co-operate by doing EXACTLY what I say. It has worked for the last 15 years, giving me nice, well behaved classes with very high pass rates.
Co-construction is, again by the Educationalist's definition, an approach to creating Learning Intentions and Success Criteria by a combined teacher and pupil mechanism or gestalt.
I hate to say it, but I used this in my class yesterday.
Me, speaking to class. "Alright my lovelies, do you want to pass this assessment, which will let you progress towards your final goal of getting out of school and gaining a well paid job (not you Natasha, I know you still want to be a pole dancer )?"
Class "Yes Mistah"
Me "And how are we going to get the best possible grades?"
Class "By doing exactly as you tell us to Mistah"
Me "Well done, have a lollie" (I am a keen devotee of the Skinnerian school of behavioural modification through rewards and punishments. Lollies work.)
So the end result was we co-constructed a Learning Strategy to help them progress.
Sometimes there's a grain of truth in the cubic kilometres of crap shoveled out of the Schools of Education.
It's nice to be so open minded and willing to try each new innovation in Education. We're all undergoing
Anyway, back to the List on the Learning Wall. As I wrote my chosen Enquiry Project on the list, I did notice quite a few blank spaces where colleagues have yet to chose their Project.
In the spirit of co-collegiality, I've decided to help them with this list of possible titles.
Investigation of the Key Competency;
This competency is associated with self-motivation, a “can-do” attitude, and with students seeing themselves as capable learners. It is integral to self-assessment.
The ability to arrive on time and shut up.
Investigation of the Key Competency; Relating to Others
|Relating to others is about interacting effectively with a diverse range of people in a variety of contexts. This competency includes the ability to listen actively, recognise different points of view, negotiate, and share ideas|
Finding out how to stop the little b*stards from hitting each other.
|Investigation of the Key Competency; Using language, symbols, and texts||Using language, symbols, and texts is about working with and making meaning of the codes in which knowledge is expressed. Languages and symbols are systems for representing and communicating information, experiences, and ideas. || Find out how to stop the little sods from swearing at each other, stop them tagging (writing graffiti) on every available surface and stop sending text messages on their bloody phones.|
|Investigation of the Key Competency; Thinking ||Thinking is about using creative, critical, and metacognitive processes to make sense of information, experiences, and ideas. These processes can be applied to purposes such as developing understanding, making decisions, shaping actions, or constructing knowledge. Intellectual curiosity is at the heart of this competency.||Discover a method of keeping the little sh*ts from falling asleep.|
|Investigation of the Key Competency; Participating and contributing|| This competency is about being actively involved in communities. Communities include family, whānau, and school and those based, for example, on a common interest or culture. They may be drawn together for purposes such as learning, work, celebration, or recreation. They may be local, national, or global. |
Finding out how to stop the little b*stards from talking to each other, and to get them to shut up when I'm talking.
Developing an understanding of the best use of Learning Intentions.
Learning intentions describe the knowledge, skill, understanding(s) and/or attitudes/values that are needed to develop an aspect of the curriculum. They are usually negotiated with students and expressed in a lesson or series of lessons. Learning intentions should be expressed in language that students understand and should support them in understanding what they are supposed to be doing and why. Ideally students can put learning intentions into their own words.
Sit down, shut up and listen to what we’re doing today.
Developing an understanding of the best use of Success Criteria.
Success criteria describe how students will go about achieving a learning intention or how they will know when they have learnt it. The purpose of creating success criteria is to ensure students understand the teacher's criteria for making judgments about their work, and so that they gain an ‘anatomy of quality’ for that particular piece of work.
IF you’ve managed to get anything done, show to me and I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it.
I don't suppose I'll get many kudos for all the thought and careful preparation that went into this, but I'm just trying to help.
|Help this poor girl see her navel|