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Archive for September, 2013

Language of school tells us a lot

Posted by jturner56 on September 23, 2013

Here are ten words commonly heard in schools which I think reflects views of education that warrant re-assignment. What would you add or take issue with?

  1. Booklist
    Twenty years ago I debated how you could have digital equipment listed on a school Booklist. How far have we progressed in the meantime? Booklist as a term signifies a industrially prevalent, closed knowledge view of education
  2. Professional Development
    Have already written (2005) about the need to replace PD with a view of Teacher Learning recognising that what matters is what one wants to learn more over what one feels has to be developed in others.
  3. Homework
    Another “done to” view that limits understanding of how time can be used most effectively to support person-initiated learning in partnership with teacher support (as distinct from the other way round)
  4. School Maths
    Mathematics can be a beautiful exploration of logical reasoning within numberical and algebraic language structures. It can underpin wider learning. As a School Math teacher I have too often seen a filtering system that too often regresses learning potential. Not to be confused with those teachers who can still make learning power out of the time provided.
  5. Interdisciplinary
    As if we should start from disciplines and then look for connections (often as the afterthought). Perhaps better to start with a problem and build learning depth and value around it.
  6. 1:1
    After 20+ years still misunderstood on so many levels. From resource surrogate to teacher option we have missed much of the power of the Personal / now Connected Digital Learning Environment (PCDLE)
  7. BYO
    A more recent “solution” that is likely to fail the same test: resource over learning power. Only of potential worth if stated as part of a worthwhile Digital Teaching and Learning Strategy
  8. Computer Labs
    Attacked as regressive yet can miss the value of a specialist teacher with powerful machines and software. Well resources, open, fluid and powerful learning spaces have much to offer for supporting deep learning.
  9. IT Department
    Already under threat outside schools as they lose ground to individual expertise and retreat to safeguarding mission-critical data. Needs to choose whether part of the problem or part of the solution. If the later need to look to redefine as part of Digital Support Services.
  10. School Managers
    Those who are better known as school educators lead by example.

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