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Dig Age Research + #NPDL Thinking + #createthefuture Curriculum at #CDNISHK (1)

Posted by jturner56 on February 23, 2014

This week I had the opportunity to experience up close how recent conference and research readings can support curriculum development and initiative.

    • Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 7.46.15 AMThe Learning and The Brain Conference (No 37) presented latest neuropsychology insights. While the starting position was that neuroscience was confirming what has always been contended to be seen as good pedagogy (developing relationships, setting relevant goals, setting boundaries etc), exposure to the digital age is leading to new needs and challenges. These range from Focus to Creativity. Jay Giedd’s The Digital Revolution and Adolescent Bain Evolution provides a good examination of areas such as multitasking, plasticity, information processing, and the social brain.
    • The latest New Pedagogies thinking – A Rich Seam: How new pedagogies find deep learning by Michael Fullan and Maria Langworthy – points to the possibilities of convergence between new pedagogies, new change leadership and new system economics. Deep learning is defined as developing “learning, creating and doing dispositions that young people need to thrive now and in their futures. Premised on the unique powers of human inquiry, creativity and purpose.” They go on to highlight the importance of the teacher taking a proactive role in driving the learning process forward. Digital technologies are seen as a driving mechanism for achieving progress.
    • Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 8.47.01 AMFinally, I had the opportunity to be part of the Grade 8 Science+Design Project Team (kudos to the great work of David Larson, Aaron Metz and Saeed Rahman) which commenced an iBook Project where every Grade 8 student, as part of a team of three, is researching, constructing and publishing an iBook on Diseases and possible treatments.

The project highlights curriculum leadership at the teacher level, and demonstrates what neuroscience research and new pedagogies thinking is contending. This is but one project in a series of interlocking webs that includes subject projects across the middle school, Grade 4-12 iFolios, Teacher Digital Literacy Certification and many more initiatives. New ideas continue to be supported and connected across the school community. For example, in this coming week Design Thinking will be used in support of the Grade 6 PYP Exhibitions, and the school’s Social Media Education plan will be discussed with parents and educators.

The New Pedagogies thinking says now is the time to increase the value accorded to such work and learning. While I can only agree, I do so with concern that such an opportunity has been with us for some time. What is needed is a value system that balances focus with valued creativeness, supported by Digital Age administration that facilitates connective publishing, testing as data feedback, and evolving curriculum development. Research, thinking and examples are there for us. The question is what do we really value and to what level?




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