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Showing posts from 2015

Practice Makes Perfect.

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At the centre of our school plan is Actively Involved Learners. 



In my teaching Inquiry, I have been looking at how critique and collaboration affects resilience and outcomes of student work and creating agentic learners in creating those scenes described by our Principal of the teacher skipping out the gate at the end of the day, with the students crawling, exhausted, as opposed to the other way around. I have touched on resilience a few times, as a key factor as it is one of our school vlaues and I keep wondering how we measure it; the timed drawings in year 11 and Manaakitanga in year 12 and 13 for instance have been active examples of me trying to figure this out. Achievement is going to come about as a result of commitment and resilience in my opinion. Respect is almost an aside, though necessary, obviously. In researching resilience as a topic to explicitly teach my students, in order to improve their outcomes, I go back to this each time; Carol Dweck wrote a theory about how yo…

Creating Agentic Learners

Agentic is a funny word that my husband tells me makes little sense. Agentic = agency = bad place to have to go to, someone there telling you off, making you beg, judging your values...a social welfare institution looking over your shoulder. It is generally a negative connotation.
I find this a funny word, but what it is meant to mean here is being the agents of your own destiny, being in control of your own learning. It is something that our school documents talk about a lot, in creating resilient learners. Resilience being one of our core values, CARR values.
It is really easy to fall into a trap of doing too much for you learners. When you see them struggling to even get some containers organised for taking paint home (one student so far out of 25 year 11's); my first thought is to go down to the warehouse and get some for them. It's only a few dollars, some students may not have a few dollars, I feel like I am letting them down not doing this. But then, is this a case of pri…

Assemblage - Manaakitanga; Collaborative Consideration, Collective Control.

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These photos are the result of students working on the same drawing at different times and adding their own ideas to them. We had five proposals as a base. Each of the three classes worked on these equally. Time limits in class were set and students had to really think about how they perceived shelter from a spiritual, emotional, as well as physical sense.


Students voted for their favourite drawing and had to justify why they made that choice and consider how they would eventually make the structure. The first and largest image above is their choice - number 4. It wasn't mine and I struggled with not putting  a case forward for one I liked personally! That would have undermined the intention of it being their collaboration. It was their decision and they felt that 4 reflected their understanding and intention in discussing shelter. The difficult aspect of this is that this is not a three-dimensional drawing. It is a flat design, with texture, space and form that needs to be made …

Same approach with white medium on black paper, a range of finishes and skill levels.

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Developing Resilience continued...

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Last year, I started thinking about how resilience could be addressed in a more explicit manner in my classes. As one of our school values, it is obviously something we as staff here feel is needed to be boosted. I heard something on the radio on the way to school the other morning about how 'Human Resources' teams in big companies assess potential employees' "RQ" or resilience quotient. I don't know if that is true! Half way through writing I just did an internet search and there is definitions and a website on which you can test your Resilience Quotient. There are PDF forms and online forms you can use to be tested.

I have become a little more sensitised to this, having an intern (student teacher) from NZGSE with me this term. She has noted, strikingly in her opinion, how quickly a high proportion of students give up, rate themselves as rubbish, and are not resilient. This is something that though I'm aware of, I think it has become something I take for…