Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Silly processes to eliminate from schools

Silliness 1
Reporting to parents in written format once or twice a year.
Instead - online, ongoing conversations and co-creations.

Silliness 2
Trying to assess key competencies in traditional ways.
Instead - use a focus on managing self, relating to others, thinking, participating and contributing, multiliteracies to develop new ways of weaving curriculum together.

Silliness 3
School bells
Instead - flexible learning times, going with the 'flow' and music and laughter.

Silliness 4
Teachers in charge
Instead - the future is in collaboration. It's messy and complex. Accept it. This isn't the abdication of the teacher. There may still need to be direct teaching its just that it's focussed on learning needs of individuals and build their capacity to become interdependent.

Silliness 5
Expecting Principals to focus on learning while being distracted by property, compliance...
Instead - resource schools appropriately. Actively encourage other models such as networks of schools with shared administrative staff; a manager to run the school and a principal to lead the learning; or build superhuman robots which can do the job.

3 comments:

Fastpaddy said...

Now this is the paradigm shift we are talking about in education. Primary schools are better at some of these things than the secondary schools. Moving secondary schools and secondary teachers is going to be a big challenge - I know because I am one of those secondary school teachers. Behaviour for us is a biggie, so adding more complexity and fluidity to relationships and classroom environments is a big ask. Quite a few teachers believe that we need to get behaviour under control before we start looking at new ways of teaching.

Cheryl said...

Paddy you say that "adding more complexity and fluidity to relationships and classroom environments is a big ask". What suggestions do you have to move secondary teachers forward? Do others have any ideas?

Heheboy said...

I've been teaching in a new school this year and have had difficulty teaching in a collaborative and fluid way. The children in my class had no concept of self direction and as year 7/8's were still completely reliant on the teacher for everything. It's not their fault, it is the fact they have had no opportunity to think for themselves and develop the key competencies throughout their schooling. My point is this; the earlier children are provided the opportunity to develop the key comps'the sooner the constraints of teacher / school direction can be replaced(School bells and teacher written reports especially). It is not a complete loss however, as children do adapt to new things quickly. I think it reinforces the idea that a school 'must' have a culture of learning that transfers seamlessly from Y1-8.