Let’s improve learning one slide at a time!
Flickr photo by aforgrave
Please add your slide to this Google Doc !
My goal with this project is to gather global exemplars of what pedagogy looks like and sounds like in effective 21st century learning environments. This project will be organized into five areas of teaching. I believe that change will happen in small chunks. Just like good teaching and coaching, chunking skills for educators can result in mastery little by little. My hope is that change will be less overwhelming and paralyzing for educators if they see exemplars in smaller chunks. They will feel confident and say “Hey, I can do this…”.
The slide should include a picture or document or video, link, etc. of a great example in the areas below. Please also include the age/ grade level for your exemplar and your twitter handle.
Area 1: Formative Assessment
student self-directed projects
writing using contemporary literacy
tools such as blogging
…etc., etc. ?
Area 2: Collaborative Culture and Routines
How do you establish an effective collaborative culture and set of routines for 21st century learning?
Area 3: Planning
What are some examples of effective planning or planning tools you use for 21st century learning?
Area 4: Evidence of Learning
How do you know the students have mastered the intended outcomes of learning?
Area 5: Interventions and Inclusion
How do you engage all students in the learning?
What strategies and/or tools do you use to assist students with different learning needs?
cc licensed photo shared by Life Inspired Photography
There is a lot of literature out there about being a leader and the importance of leading not managing. This solid advice includes building trust and relationships but let’s not forget about the management of 21st century learning environments. I am not talking about making sure there is heat in the building…although heat is good. I am talking about the structures that need to be in place for effective 21st century learning environments and the skills that go with developing and nurturing these environments. Sometimes we don’t have the right balance of both and this can cause barriers in organizational/school/classroom change. This balance does not necessarily mean 50/50. At times, you may need 90% leadership and 10% management which could mean that you have not yet established solid trust and relationships and, therefore no learning will move forward for anyone in the organization/school/classroom. It could be 20% leadership and 80% management which may mean you have established trust and relationships and now it’s more about facilitating the teaching of skills and/or structure for effective learning. For example, when we think about 21st Century pedagogy which includes providing individual learning in a variety of formats for all children in a classroom, we think about how great that would be. I have not met an educator that did not agree with the fact that facilitating personal goals for all students and allowing for many choices in the learning process would be best for students. BUT…. where the resistance comes in is the “how”…how can that possibly be done? It’s the “how” of letting go of that control in an effective way. Just the thought of following through with this kind of environment can be overwhelming and paralyzing for educators. However, if the management structures of the change are examined and broken down into manageable chunks then organizational/school/classroom change could be more successful.
Recently, @jimknight99 tweeted out about a book by Monty Roberts that is a recommended read for instructional coaches. In this book Roberts (2001) writes about 0-10 learning. If all learning is from 0-10 then the 0-1 learning is building trust and relationships. If this 0-1 piece of the learning is not solid then no learning will happen. When I think about organizations/schools/classrooms, this is also true. I would then add to this idea and say the 1-2 learning is managing this type of environment. This 1-2 piece includes explicitly modeling and teaching the routines and structures of the learning environment before the content. The 21st Century learning structure is new to many educators and students (unfortunately we have trained them in a traditional structure for years and the majority of them comply!). Often this piece of professional development for educators is left out because we assume that educators can figure out how to manage this structure of learning for themselves once they change their pedagogy but, in fact, that is usually where they become paralyzed resulting in one of two things: end up going back to old ways or not feeling like they can be successful and do not even begin.
Think about your situation… What leadership/management balance do you
need to do for organization/school/classroom in order for effective change to
A friend of mine is a horticulturist and she always tells me that deadheading flowers is “a must!” in order to sustain continual growth. So while enjoying a morning coffee on the weekend I realized that I had better pull off the dead flowers so that new flowers can grow before she finds out! While I was deadheading I began to think about the up coming school year how exciting it is going to be. Last year our staff had a successful year of learning how to move students towards independence so that they can ‘hand the reins’ over to the students using the Gradual Release of Responsibility model (@Whatedsaid refers to this model in her Feb. 16, 2011 post). This model sets the teacher up for success in terms of effectively letting go of control that is so imperative for 21st Century learning environments. Akevy Greenblatt’s recent post “Technology does not equal 21 Century Learning” reminds us that facilitating learning is one of the essentials for a 21 century classroom. As our teachers build their capacity in this area, a model that matches 21st century learning is beginning to replace the traditional model of the classroom. Essentially, we are deadheading structures in the traditional classroom that do not allow for effective student learning. As educational leaders we need to “deadhead” the structures, policies and strategies that hinder optimal student learning and find ways to support classroom teachers so that change is successful. We must deadhead to allow for the development and the sustainability of best practices. What will you “deadhead” in your classroom, school, or district this year? Check out how adunsige @Grade1 does it!