Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Look at TEACHING 2030



Hmmm...I love the presentation...I like the information...but am I crazy in thinking that 2030 is WAY too far away to be thinking that this will be a reality for? It looks more like 2015 in New Zealand to me!

If I look at my local schools and wider community, we have a broad cross-section of the population of Auckland at least to look at and these things that are talked about are already taking place! Okay, so EVERY child doesn't yet have access full-time in the classroom to all devices and a personal laptop/IWB/iPod or iPad each, but the reality is that we are also missing a step here. The TOOLS for schools must be driven by the SKILLS not the thrills! For when the hoop-la is over and the ash is clearing, the ONLY thing that will matter is whether the kids of 2015, 2020 or 20-whenever can THINK for themselves, whatever device, app or issue lies before them!

I think that this presentation hits the nail on the head when it states that 'better teachers help all students achieve more' - we are not buying OUT of our role, we are re-writing new rules around what is needed from us!

'Teach the 'googled' learner' really only means that our learners have new and wonderful ways to find information. OUR job then is to teach them discernment and how to ascertain whether information is credible or accurate.
The list of 'ideals' for the new basics are essentially our key competencies - long ago we realised that we had to take a more 'holistic' viewpoint when looking at the learner and how they will emerge at the end of their primary years in New Zealand so now we are finally TEACHING to these ideals. If it takes other countries another 19 years to get to that point, then I pity their learners and I do not envy their teachers!
As for students 'monitoring their own learning', we all know the need for this and we are on a pathway with our teaching that takes us directly to this end. If our children are not critical thinkers and reflective learners then the journey will be more difficult and fraught with frustrations and disappointments.
Teachers and teaching institutions since the beginning of time have clung to the old adage 'it takes a community to raise a child' and for as long as schools have existed there has been the approach that we do not do this job alone. If the children know we are working WITH their parents and the wider community to teach and support their learning, then the boundaries and support networks are in place and the learning is a smoother and happier, more engaging journey more all. The opposite often applies nowadays though, with many parents working full-time in high pressure jobs and feeling increasingly disengaged from their own role as parent and supporter which makes it more disjointed when we try to seek parental support if problems arise in the classroom. The solution? Well, I guess we have to just continue to work on THIS generation of learner and change the way that they view the world so that perhaps they will be able to work more efficiently in the future.
Whatever way we look at it, the future looks VERY bright from here...

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