The recent OECD report on Computers and Learning (covered in my last blog) noted that changes to T&L pedagogies faced the normal resistance to change from the education bureaucracy which flowed down and through the schools to the teachers in the classrooms. They would always opt to maintain the status quo. No surprises here.
It's a peculiar upside-down situation isn't it? The targets and beneficiaries of all pedagogies are the students. Yet they are the group hardly considered because the 'grown-ups' call the shots and think they know best. Do you think you know the mind of a student from 20+ years away??
The status quo is the elephant in the room. And it's pointless trying to move it. So if an advanced and contemporary pedagogy is to be introduced then we need to work around the elephant. Here's how:
- Integrate Problem-Solving into your programs. Start by setting Tasks weekly (www.MathsRepublic.com.au)
- Support the Problem-Solving with lessons on specific topics as they are presented because problems mix concepts (we're not referring here to those endless examples of the same topic from textbooks)
- Invite students to present their thinking strategies to the class. Encourage discussion. Note what emerges during this time.
You'll be amazed at how your students enjoy the interactions the simple process outlined.
Then you'll be ready to think about Collaborative Learning which will be the subject of my next blog.
Please post any comments. You're part of the team working around the elephant!