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Archive for September, 2008

When a teacher responds to professional learning with the comment….

As a result of today, I have changed my thinking on my teaching practice. Think outside the square!!

it is powerful stuff! This teacher, alongside 20 of her peers, has been participating in an early learning project because she wanted to change her teaching practice. She was aware, as were her colleagues, that we could do much better by the students in our care in K-Year 2.

At the outset, we put the challenge to the teachers to

  • think
  • reflect
  • question.

And they haven’t let us down. In fact, the amount of questioning, testing, hypothesising, thinking and listening carried out by the teachers has generated some wonderful professional dialogue. As another teachers commented….

Think! Think! Think! I definitely want to re-think how we use student directed learning to meet their learning needs more effectively.

From the wiki we have been using to collect data on changes to teaching practice, and from interaction with the teachers, I can confidently say that most teachers have made a seismic shift in their thinking, and subsequently, their teaching. So how do we sustain this change? What is the responsibility of the whole school in supporting this change? Where does the leadership team in CEO Sydney sit in relation to the value of early learning?

Interestingly, I had a discussion with some of my colleagues from various Catholic dioceses across NSW this week, and the topic of sustaining educational change and the value placed on early learning, was predominant. Until we have educational systems, school leadership, government policy makers all valuing early learning, it will always be a challenge to sustain change in pedagogy. Commitment in terms of time, money and resources is needed. There have been some rumblings from Canberra….

As my previous post stated, I don’t think education revolution is about Year 9 laptop rollouts. Start where education DOES make a difference. Early childhood. If we can’t get that right, then by year 9, a laptop won’t make much difference to learning.

So I put the challenge to my colleagues and the leadership team where I work.

How much do you value early learning?

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