Sunday, 29 September 2013

Are you making the shift?

Image by Frederick D Bruner
The New Zealand Curriculum Update in Issue 26 October 2012 identified six themes of future oriented learning and teaching.  Guess what?  It is a year later - so, have you made the shifts in your class so that there is 

  • personalised learning
  • new views of equity and diversity
  • rethought roles of teaching and learning
  • a culture of continuous learning for teachers and educational leaders
  • a curriculum that uses knowledge to develop capacity for learning
  • new kinds of relationships and partnerships?
This morning I read a blog by Dean Shareski in Canada which resonated deeply with me, called "Why Teachers Aren't Making the Shift".  The gist of this article is that teachers are not capable of making the shift by themselves - they are busy, they are struggling to keep up with the demands of assessment, and they are not being informed about up to date research findings.

That is where professional development should come in.  I was interested to read the recent PPTA report on what kind of professional development that teachers like the most.  It seems that they do not enjoy the systemic, principal-led professional development that happens within their schools.  They prefer "more PLD opportunities, preferably with colleagues from other schools, led by an expert facilitator with valuable and trusted external expertise". 

Actually, when I remember back to being in their situation a year ago, it was my preferred pld as well but I think the real reason why is that you were out of the school for a day, with time to digest, and think about ways that you could use your new learning in your classes. You could discuss with other teachers without the pressures of daily routine interfering.

The first step that is needed by teachers however remains an acknowledgment that shifts need to be made for future oriented learning. There needs to be changes.  What do you think that this shift will look like in your school?  How can you provide the best possible outcomes for your students, because after all, that is what we are here for?

Don't keep on preparing your students for today's world.  Prepare for tomorrow.

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