18 August 2013

Learning to suit the Learner

We have a very strong focus on 'best pedagogy' here at Pt England School. It is a continually developing, and builds on evidence and reflection.
*There are key aspects that have remained constant over time, such as working from a good teacher-student relationship, the need for explicit group instruction, and a focus on literacy.
*There are elements that pertain to our community in particular such as the strong commitment of whanau to pay for digital devices, and emphasis on cultural performance and sport.
*Then there are new practices that reflect the digital learning environment. This would include children and teachers both working from a transparent planning and learning site allowing everyone access to learning anytime.

Collaborative Teaching  in an open learning space also allows for a divergence of pedagogy to suit the learner.

In our Yr6 space with three teachers we have regrouped to allow for the structure and scaffolding some students require, while also providing programmes with increased choice, flexibility around time and space, and independence to fly for others.

Although the backbone of out practice is based on common beliefs, there are increasing differences between the way the thee teachers teach and run their programme.

When we first set up our open learning space in January all three teachers took a spread of ability groups for literacy and maths. Part of what we set up our environment for was to allow for flexibility. The resources, physical spaces, access to teachers, choice around learning and learning times could be opened up. While some students thrived, and creative products were being produced left right and center by some children, it was messy for most, including the teachers. We all had students who could manage more self directed learning and could reflect on this with the teacher, but there were also groups who needed more explicit teaching, and management. It was like taking a duel programme.

In Term 2 we separated and defined the roles of the three teachers to suit different groups of students. The students were regrouped around Key Competencies and how much we thought they were Learning in order to Learn or Learning how to be a Learner. Now teachers' programmes and practices match the needs of the learners. This could be considered a light form of streaming.

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