Looking back on 2011

Earlier this week I had the privilege of attending a graduation ceremony at The University of Notre Dame and witnessed 100 young student teachers graduate. Other than feeling very old, I was amazed by their enthusiasm and energy which was clearly evident in their demeanour. To see this gave me great hope in the future of … More Looking back on 2011

Letting go of the past

The great American pedagogue, John Dewey, believed schooling could be summed up by stating that its locus was in the teacher and textbooks – everywhere except the child and their activities. Perhaps teachers have always been afraid of releasing control to the kind of learning tasks that are social, collaborative and chaotic. So it was … More Letting go of the past

Our educational canon

As our state and federal governments prepare for upcoming elections, it’s been interesting to examine their policy positions on education.  As always, the incumbent  party’s position is rejected by the opposition with no middle ground. The rejection usually focuses on cutting (mostly) or increasing (rarely) funding for a range of programs. Never do we have a … More Our educational canon

From PD to PL

Is there a fundamental difference between professional development and professional learning?  Can teachers be doing PD and teaching at the same time? If we define professional development as a one-off activity that takes place outside of classrooms, the answer is no. Professional development is a remnant of the 20th century when perfecting routines and tasks … More From PD to PL

Alchemy or science?

I am often asked why many teachers are so reluctant to share their work particularly on blogs and other social networking sites. The answer eludes me despite what we know about the influence of teacher learning on student learning. I believe it stems from the historical and cultural context of teaching. Since the 19th century, … More Alchemy or science?

Teacher learning

I spoke to over 100 teachers on Friday at a Mindful Learning: Mindful Teaching meeting. ML:MT is our system’s response to the federal government’s national partnership to improve literacy and numeracy in primary schools. I stressed two key points to the cohort: Although MySchool has dominated the media in the last three weeks, it is not … More Teacher learning

Tweetback

I’m amazed by the power of Twitter to turn one thought or comment into a million directions…… Reporting on how the Twitter phenomenon has changed the rules of engagement and social commentary, Steven Johnson writes (Time, June 2009): We are living through the worst economic crises in generations…. and yet in the middle of this … More Tweetback