Saturday, June 30, 2012

Five Things I've Learned - by me

1. Relationships give meaning to life.
Quality relationships are based on fairness, tolerance, generosity and forgiveness. A “learning community” values and nurtures quality relationships. The best learning happens when both the heart and mind are engaged. The heart is more often engaged when there are quality relationships between learner and teacher. By building quality relationships with our students, their families and the community we will engage their hearts and minds.

2. We all need to be critical thinkers.
Students (and teachers) need to ask the right questions and know chalk from cheese. Asking good questions is more important than knowing the right answers.

3. We learn best from authentic contexts, learning about real, relevant and meaningful things.
Also there is often a large element of chance in learning. We may not always be in charge of when and how learning takes place but we can identify and promote the conditions where it happens.

4. Recognising good stories and telling them is what makes us human.
There are stories everywhere. We need to encourage students to value their own stories and encourage others to share their stories with our students. Literature is a powerful way for students to engage with a wider world. They should hear the voices of quality authors every day. Teachers need to read, know their books, and help every child find just the right book. Life is too short to read bad books.

5. School should promote resilience and optimism,
and personal qualities like enthusiasm, curiosity, perseverance, humility, kindness, generosity, tolerance, citizenship and humour.

In response to this: Five Things I've Learned

Five Things I've Learned - Stephen Heppell

1. You can't build better learning FOR children...

But you can certainly build it WITH them. Children are fascinated by learning, and their reflective practice—trying out ideas from all over, observing and critiquing the teaching and learning in their own school, swapping ideas and innovation—always and everywhere produces engaged, smart, articulate learners. Trying to improve learning without listening carefully to the learners' voice is like trying to drive with your eyes shut. Of course, they can be daft as brushes sometimes, but I have learned to trust them and to value their voices and views always. As they say in China these days: we should teach less so that we might learn more.

 Read the rest here. The whole site is worth a look too.