Friday 25 May 2012

iTeachFreely - My teaching directon

I'm not entirely sure if this is the norm, in fact it would be nice to see some opinions in the comments of this post, but my NQT year was not what I expected. It hit the ground running from my PGCE but by the time January rolled around, I had come to a gentle jog. It didn't take long for me to realise I needed inspiration. Being alone in the classroom and not observing/being observed as often as I was during my PGCE, I wasn't being as reflective on my teaching as I should have been.

I overheard a DHT at our school (@CannonsOPP) mention something called "The Flipped Classroom" and I was intrigued. Being a self-confessed "googlephile", it didn't take me long to find the following infographic by J Strayer of Ohio State (click to enlarge):

Constructivism was a key part of my ethos at the IoE. The nature of flipped classroom slides into that profile well! So armed with this interesting teaching tool, I wanted to find an appropriate and interesting way to support pupils in the class. My enthusiasm was back, and I wanted more. My next discovery was SOLO taxonomy.

Solo taxonomy describes levels of increasing complexity in a student's understanding of a subject, through five stages (taken from @totallywired77 during a #ukedchat):

  • Prestructural - students have no or limited understanding of what they are learning (perhaps at start of lesson/topic)

  • Unistructural - students have one clear idea/fact/piece of information about what they are learning

  • Multistructural - students have several ideas/facts/pieces of info about what they are learning - this is qualitative learning

  • Relational - students link & connect their learning, making links between the facts/information start of deep qualitative learning

  • Extended Abstract - students summarise predict generalise create new ways of looking at what they've learnt deep/profound learning

Now SOLO taxonomy can be a fantastic assessment, feedback and feed forward tool. Peer's are easily able to set their own success criteria, as well as make suggestions on how to better their work. It is an epic tool to show progression and pupils understanding. There will be a lot more from me about SOLO, but I hope at this stage it's not hard to see that using SOLO taxonomy, in tandem with flip, could cultivate very independent learners. Constructivism, constructivism, constructivism!

This leads me nicely to my current direction in my development as a teacher. I want my learners to be independent and resourceful, ready to take on higher education and adulthood. I hope to keep the internet informed as to my progress, and setbacks, as I strive to better my art.

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