Whose learning is it anyway?

When my students, rather than using their initiative, ask me what to do or how I want them to do something, I often respond by asking ‘Who owns your learning’?

These posts  got me thinking this week, on related topics…

Against the Wind by @Nunavut_Teacher

DB talks about his efforts to abandon the ‘total control’ mindset that many teachers have. One of the ways he began the transition to a more student centred class, was to ask himself  ‘Is it important?’ before responding to students’  simple day-to-day requests. Letting go is just as difficult  for those of us used to being in control for years, as it is for less experienced teachers  still trying to ‘gain control’ in their classrooms. Starting off as DB does, with asking ourselves ‘ Is it important?’ seems to be a step in the right direction. I blogged recently about ways to get your students to take responsibility for their own learning.

The Hive by @mrs_honeysett

In this candid, reflective post, Michelle talks about the the fact that her practice doesn’t always reflect her beliefs about teaching and learning.  She admits to sometimes doing things because that’s the way she was taught.  How many of us do things in the classroom without thinking about the reasons, because we have always done them that way?! I’ve blogged about this before in relation to Simon Sinek’s TED talk ‘Start with Why’.

The Wejr Board by @MrWejr

In his post about a student designed curriculum,  Chris describes how students’ needs and suggestions were taken into consideration in developing a girls PE program.  The post shows students as key players in their own learning. (Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?)  It further highlights the need to move away from the idea of teacher (or admin) in control of all learning situations. And it demonstrates the power of not just considering the ‘why’ before doing things, but including the students in the decision making process…

Whose learning is it anyway?!


Series of posts: Blogs that made me think this week.. #3

Blogs that made me think this week #1

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Blogs that made me think this week…

Reading blogs and writing my own blog have played a vital role in my learning in the past year. I wonder how teachers who aren’t regularly reading educational blogs are keeping abreast of change, extending their thinking and further developing their understandings. Each week I discover blogs that push my thinking in new directions, make me reflect on my own practice, introduce me to new ideas or new tools, direct me to other resources… or simply make me smile at the knowledge that I am part of a huge community of teachers and learners with similar experiences, issues, problems, highs and lows.
Some blogs that made me think this week…

Corey has started an initiative in which he calls for nominations on a particular theme of education blog each week, creates a poll and then features the ‘winning’ blog. His goal (see details here) is to highlight EdBlogs and encourage bloggers to support each other. I was honoured to be featured this week! It got me thinking (again!) about the power and generosity of the online educator community. It never ceases to amaze me how educators help, encourage, support and promote each other, through blogs and Twitter.

Blogging in the Primary Classroom by @oliverquinlan

I have only recently discovered this thoughtful blog and still need to catch up on Oliver’s past posts. His latest post deals with physical classroom space and  he sums it up by saying ‘the thinking on innovative use of space should start with pedagogy not practicality,’ and adds that it should be about the learning, not the teaching. It made me think about how many teachers arrange their rooms in a way that’s practical for them, or allows for better ‘teacher control’ (!) rather than to facilitate learning. (I think this will be a future post for me, thanks Oliver!)

Clive in Sri Lanka by @CliveSir

I’m loving this blog (although I wish he wouldn’t talk about me), not just for what Clive shares about his teaching in Sri Lanka, but for the connection to another colorful world and culture. I’m not even sure how I first discovered it, but I have since been interacting with Clive and am interested in the development of his classes for computer teachers. Clive worked as an engineer for more than twenty years, before setting off to volunteer in the developing world. My own children have volunteered in India and Ecuador respectively and it’s something I would like to do myself one day, so his story resonates for me. I am also fascinated by what brings people to teaching, in it’s various forms, and what they get out of it as well as what they put in.

I’d love to hear about some blogs that made you think this week…

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Blogs that made me think this week…

I’m humbly amazed at the transition from being a blogger with 5 readers, to blogging for my colleagues, to having a worldwide readership.  I often wonder at how this happened! I was thrilled this week by a tweet from @davidwees, whose blog I admire, saying that he finds himself wanting to read every post on my blog! Even more so when that was retweeted by several others. Thank you! Especially when I know there so many educational blogs worth reading.

I’d like to share some other blogs that made me think this week…

Life happens by @MrMacnology

I like the honesty of Jeremy’s post and it resonates for me, as I’m a bit of an addict myself, I confess. It’s too easy to get sucked into Twitter and blogs and interacting with one’s PLN online… and completely lose track of time. Not having an iphone helps me ensure that I retain some balance!

How d’you get your kids to do that? by @mattguthrie

I love Matt’s approach. His belief in his students helps them take responsibility for their learning and achieve all sorts of things that simply would not be possible in the class of his colleague, who calls her class ‘retarded’  (no comment).  I blogged a while ago about this. If you haven’t seen the video ‘Believe in me‘, it’s worth a look.

Change and Strength by @rushtheiceberg

Davis reflects on different roles in education reform. He sees his strength as interacting with the students  in his classroom and this is the place he plans to innovate and contribute.  This post made me think about the power of change from within, change that can be effected one step at a time by individual innovative educators.

learning network

Another blogger warned me when I started blogging not to make promises in case I dont keep them, so I won’t say this will become a series… but it might 😉

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