Doing things differently is not always easy!

Doing things differently is not always easy!

Coming back to the kaupapa! Things are pretty busy on the ground. Many different aspects to our model, how to have cohesion, develop capability and support. It is all a balancing act as a leader… Today I got the coaches to reflect back on our initial kaupapa doc and key parts to our role. Here is the two docs…

HPSS Kaupapa of the Learning Hub

The Learning Hub

A Learning Hub is a small group within a Learning Community. Each Learning Hub has a Learning Coach. They are central to the school’s goal to empower learners by “Innovating through personalising learning, Engaging through powerful partnerships, and inspiring through deep challenge and inquiry .

When the school is at full capacity, students will remain with the same Learning Hub for their time at school. This is so they will get to understand and know each other and their Learning Coach well. In the first few establishment years there will be some shifts due to growing groups. However, this will always be done by involving students and their families.

The Learning Coach is to act as the academic and pastoral mentor for each of their students. In this way, the Learning Hub is a support system for the learner and is a bit like an extended family. Within this system every student has an adult in the school who cares about him or her deeply.

The Learning Hub is a time for students to be exposed to a wide range of ideas, interests, skills and experiences which support their learning. During Learning Hub time students develop skills around learning to learn, and the habits to be successful inquirers and self-directed learners.

The Role of the Learning Coach

The Learning Coach has the opportunity to be a teacher of learning and to radically change the entire schooling experience for their students. An important role of the Learning Coach is to create a caring, intellectually stimulating and well-organised Learning Hub.

The Learning Coach is responsible for guiding each one of their students through their learning journey. The Learning Coach works with students to identify passions and link their interests and needs to their learning. Learners negotiate their LearnPath (personalised learning programme) with their Coach to ensure that what they are learning is relevant to them.

The Learning Coach supports learners to reach academic and personal excellence by supporting them to set learning goals, constantly revisiting them and revising them and to seek ways of supporting each learner to enjoy the success of achieving their goals. The Coach also works with learners to track their learning journey, to discuss learning issues and find solutions, provide pastoral care, provide guidance for life beyond school and build on learners’ capacities to take responsibility for their learning.

and……

There was a lot of reflection by the coaches in my community, concerns over one on one time and how to facilitate this without just giving busy work, also still the difficulty of being in a new role and developing things on the ground. Finding a balance between time for developing capability and making things explicit, between teaching something separately or catching it in action -eg our habits and dispositions…How much is in the moment and how do we learn as we develop our understanding, it won’t just happen, we need to take the time…

To support but not too much, to build their capability…the interesting thing is that I made the shift from resourcing all to us all building our capability as coaches, by dividing up and sharing our resources around the habits and my-learning. In the reflections today hubs were coming back to wanting to do more on learning to learn and specific processes such as goal setting, how to skim and scan etc…

So…..it is all about balance, while returning to our kaupapa, a shift away from support the coaches, to actually WHY hubs!!!!

It was not long enough for our meeting so I need to revisit further… after the meeting I clarified our discussions with this email…

Kia ora all, just while it is fresh in our minds, I feel like we rushed past it this morning.

It was good to have time to reflect on hubs and coaching this morning. Thank you all for your honest reflections on things. As you are aware, it is a new role to all, that we are working on refining and developing as time goes on.

Hubs are an extremely important part of what we do with the learners/akonga here at HPSS.

I am also aware that there are a lot of parts to the model, these are parts that were co-contsructed early on in the process of the school as being important for developing the whole learner, their being, what they give to the community and how they go about learning in a time where knowledge is ever changing and readily accessible.

The way forward…

1. My learning is your responsibility as a hub coach…you had some very important feedback re this and learning to learn and what the kids need… it is finding a balance of this just in time teaching and supporting each other and growing our capabilities to talk about and recognise the habits in action, across all aspects of the school…as Martin said “capturing it as it happens”. The balance though is that we are all developing our understanding around this and it is different to anything we have done ever before.
So you decide what is best for your learners on a Monday, is it focusing on a habit, is it goal setting? Is it different things for different learners???

2. My communities is a time to draw on whanaungatanga in action etc… this does require what we have done with a bit of up front teaching of what this means… we can then as Jill said, use the students as teachers “Tuakana Teina” in action, try not to worry about the terms, however, I don’t think we should shy away from using aspects of Te Reo with our learners, even if it is new for us.

3. My-being is structured I realise (it took a while!!) But it should not be seen as something we are doing to learners….when you work with the learners on these activities, we are recognising their stresses, their worries, this truly is about knowing the learner.

This morning was not to stress you out about what you are not doing well, in the scheme of things it was mainly the one on one that came up as an issue. We can develop our skills in doing this better…but we must hold tight with the good things you are doing as coaches, that you do know your learners, that you know how to support good learning and that we are all developing in this role.

I believe you are all doing an amazing job and we can continue to refine and tweak to become even more awesome hub coaches. Remember also what we build now in our learners, they will be able to support younger learners later on.

Keep up the good work.

Sal

Where to now…. for me to rethink how I support, with the kaupapa always in mind, what do the akonga/ learners need, not what do the coaches need and how can I support the coaches to provide that….

Even though I have not been the best about the coaching with Suzanne, I often have reflective conversations with a mentor of mine at school here (guru and SCT Cindy), it is hard yakka on the ground leading in an environment where everything is so new, Cindy used the metaphor of trying to cut your way through the bush and making new paths with what you are doing, while it could be easy to revert back to what you know, sitting in your subject silo, doing what you have always done, we must hold strong to the why??? Keep coming back to why we are doing what we are doing.

It is about the akonga…

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Process over outcomes…Making learning visible in multiple ways….via blogging -teachers, learners, comments and authenticity

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Learning Outcomes-Right and Wrong

I love this image on technology and the “right and wrong learning outcomes”. For me this is an extremely important consideration for teaching and learning. Yes technology is shifting faster than ever before, yes we must engage ourselves and our learners in use of technology, e-learning, blended learning, whatever we may call it. Yes we must ensure equality for all, all learners need access to devices of some sort. BUT…… we need to think about all this with a pedagogical hat on!! Why comes first? What is the intended outcome? What are we wanting to learn? Why will this tool allow this? Not just a tool for the sake of a tool.

Therefore to blog or not to blog is not the question!

Why to blog????

There is multiple reasons that I believe that a blog can be a powerful tool for learning…

Firstly I believe that a blog allows gathering of naturally occurring evidence of learning, where the process of learning is gathered over time. Where the growth in the learning journey is visible to all. By all I mean, the learner, the teacher, the whānau and society.

Secondly, the learning is more authentic. This is due to the fact that the blog is out there for the world to see, to interact with and therefore the learning is augmented.

Thirdly, blogging allows for timely feedback to occur. Feedback from teachers, peers, whānau and other nodes on the network (Castells, 2000b). I have been giving feedback to my learners today in our integrated English and PE module. Feedback/feed- forward, where I hope I am making the learning more visible. Where I add value, challenge thinking and help shift the learners on their level of thinking.
here are some examples of feedback/feed-forward that I hope will add value for my learners.

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In addition, I believe that a blog is a great way to document and catch the learning journey in a better way than many other modes. I believe that it allows for a way to capture formative data about learning without the high stakes of a final summative assessment. I therefore believe it allows for the true alignment of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy and disables the potential for assessment to be the main driver.

In integrated learning, it is enabling a natural connection between PE and English. The learning is occurring, in, through and about movement (Arnold, 1979). There is a holistic focus between the doing and the learning. We are looking at socio-critical aspects such as gender, socio-economics and more and the influence of these on participation and competence in sport and physical activity. We are taking the critical aspects of this even further. We are using this content and using a blog as tool to capture this learning and understanding. The mode of the blog is being used as a tool to develop the learners writing ability for English. A hook in for those who love either PE or English or both. A hook into another learning area where it may not occur and a great way to connect their learning.

Here are some pictures of our module in action…
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To support the blog and make the learning even more visible, we have rubrics developed at school, that allow us to give specific feedback and feed-forward on where learners are at and where to next. The module is “Do we get what we are given?”, we are exploring nature vs nurture. We have a SOLO rubric for each level of PE and here is an example for level 5. We use the AO’s from the NZC to drive this and SOLO to show the level of thinking.

Here is the English rubric on writing, so that both curriculum areas have their own specific criteria to feedback on, even though teaching and learning is integrated.

We are practicing what we are preaching and both Ros and I https://plus.google.com/+RosMacEachern/posts are bloggers of what we are up to. We are also using a class blog as a platform for our teaching and learning programme, ensuring learners can access this at any time/just in time…
here is a link to our blog http://getgiven.blogspot.co.nz/

If you are reading this you may like to check out some of our learners blogs, so that they can get your voice as well, this will help us to make the learning even more authentic.

Finally, another great reason to blog, for us and our learners is sharing, sharing the range of different contexts, teaching and learning programmes, and ways of doing things that are out there, to keep being creative with the spaces between curriculum, assessment and pedagogy and not being stuck in doing things the way we have always done them. At the end of this we are looking for our learners to transform beliefs and societal understandings for others and what better way to do this than by sharing their journey with others and asking for them to be a part of it…

Watch this space as in my next blog I will talk to our cool module we have at the moment, integrating Maths and PE. Where students are integrating their understanding of measurement in maths with modifying activities for inclusion with our special needs unit (Arohanui) at school. A true reflection of our Hobsonville Habits in action.

Arnold, P. (1979). Meaning in movement, sport and physical education. London: Heinemann.
Castells, M. (2000b). The rise of the network society (2nd ed.). U.S.: Blackwell Publishing.