Letter to an imaginary educator…
As an educational leader, do you think your decisions should be based on beliefs about how learning best takes place?
Here are my school’s articulated learning principles:
- We learn in different ways, depending on abilities, learning styles, preferences and interests.
- Learning takes place through inquiry: questioning, exploring, experimenting and problem solving.
- Learning includes acquisition of skills and knowledge, constructing meaning and transferring to different contexts.
- Learning is active and social and is enhanced by collaboration and interaction.
- Learners need to feel secure, valued and able to take risks.
- Learning needs to be challenging, meaningful, purposeful and engaging.
- Learning includes meta-cognition and reflection, which support learners taking ownership of their learning.
I have a few questions for you to consider:
What are your beliefs about learning? Do they coincide with ours?
Did you know that a curriculum should not be static, but constantly revisited and updated to be current, relevant and promote authentic learning?
Do you think a curriculum has to be a set of books with prescriptive instructions for teachers?
Are you aware that workbooks do not usually foster meaningful learning?
Do you realize that teachers are capable, thinking human beings and don’t need prescribed programs in order to teach?
Do you know that prescriptive programs tend to stifle creativity and discourage teachers from pursuing new ideas and experimenting with different options?
Have you considered investing the money you currently spend on pre-packaged programs in freeing up teachers to think, learn and construct meaningful learning experiences for their students?
Have you ever asked students about what engages them and how they learn best?
Have you spent much time in a student centred classroom seeing how inquiry fosters a love of learning ?
Have you entertained the possibility that administrative matters can be dealt with via email and conversations in meetings should be about teaching and learning?
Have you considered that people with experience and a track record in successful teaching and learning might have something worthwhile to contribute?
Did you notice that education has changed and is constantly changing and that classrooms should not look the same as they did five, ten, or fifteen years ago?
Watch this video, it might help…
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Do you believe all educators should be learners first and foremost?
Do you lead by example?
4 thoughts on “Questions about curriculum…”
The learning principles might has well have come out of my mouth! It’s truely how I see learning occuring sucessfully in any school! I will pop them in my blog and refer back to this post.
As someone who is moving t o Year 2 next year after 32 years in preschool and prep, I can’t agree more with you. I’m looking forward to taking my pedagogy into the more “formal” classroom. Although mine won’t be looking very formal!
Once again one of your posts have conicided with work units I see with EFL teacher trainees in Mexico. I have shared your link with them.
I have emphasizing student-centered learning since the beginning in my classes; and at the moment of truth (receiving trainees’ first lesson plans for units, months and a daily) all I got was teacher-centered lessons. In our situation, passive learning is the norm in the traditional teaching environment of Mexico.
I continue to take my baby steps one small bit at a time, thanks for putting in your post what I have been saying all along.