Stop labelling; start doing

This week I got to learn about rockets and it wasn’t via a NASA podcast but sitting down with a group of Year 7 students reflecting on their learning.  It was as John Hattie states a demonstration of the teacher becoming the learner and the learners becoming the teacher.

What I found impressive (apart from their inherent curiosity), was the recognition that their learning was enhanced through the the ability to problem-solve in teams, communicate their ideas and use technology.  While these students won’t graduate until 2021, they know that their success will be largely dependent on these skills. Although they admitted to the content being challenging (I’m told this is taught in Year 12 maths), each of the students admitted to enjoying the challenge enough that they were willing to work on the project during the school holidays!

Most telling was the sentiment expressed by one student who said being in control of their learning was a big shift from primary school where he had been ‘spoon-fed’.  That statement in itself illustrates the vast gap that exists between pre-school, primary and high school in how we view individual learners, how we teach them and how we successfully monitor progress.

To paraphrase Yong Zhao, to get our students to Mars, we need to put away the spoons and build the equivalent of an educational bottle rocket (that is launched at a trajectory of 45 degrees – yes I did learn something!).


2 thoughts on “Stop labelling; start doing

  1. So impressed with these boys, and their project. Thankyou for coming out to Parramatta Marist to interview them.

  2. Thanks Greg. Portably you note the levels of schooling ie pre, primary and secondary. Would like to see more focus on the inter communication between these levels of schooling so there is a smooth transition of teaching / learning that compliments these levels with each otherMost definitely time to throw out the spoons!
    Rita

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