Perhaps some of our commercial customers won't see the immediate relevance of the world of education to their needs, but if you give us a minute of your time, we want to challenge that perception.
To prove anything in education you need data. Furthermore, when so much of education is subjective rather an objective, more qualitative than quantitative, data needs to be carefully explored, sifted, refined and analysed. Once done, you have those nuggets of evidence that can justify actions, policy decisions and students’ futures.
What is Mantle of the Expert?
Drama teaching offers all sorts of pedagogical possibilities that empower students; none more so than Dorothy Heathcote’s ‘Mantle of the Expert’. The idea is simple, the students are the ones who use knowledge to construct an appropriate learning environment, rather than the teacher. Heathcote defined the teacher’s role as an ‘enabler’ rather than the traditional ‘transmitter’ role.
What does the future hold for education?
‘Flipping classrooms’ is rapidly becoming a form of pedagogy drawing a great deal of interest. In a survey by BESA (British Educational Suppliers Association) in May 2015, 19% of post-16 providers use it regularly, a further 40% intend to introduce it in the near future. Some secondary schools are adopting the idea too.
We know the E stands for Electronic – it shows how long the term has been around and makes you ask what term came before it, doesn’t it? Was it bLearning – where the B stands for blackboard? It’s a bit misleading really, because we’re actually talking about digital learning, using the Cloud. Perhaps we should rename it dLearning?
Supporting young people in the learning process is my passion. I’ve been a senior leader in an Outstanding secondary school for many years where the innovations I introduced raised achievement and improved teaching and learning significantly. As an education consultant I developed my paradigm into schools and colleges nationally, even extending it to train school leaders in China.
If you haven’t already done so I’d suggest reading two other articles in this library, “eLearning for the EPQ” and “Mark-It-Yourself Homework”, before looking at this one.
As a deputy headteacher, staff development was the bane of my life! There were the innovative sessions I wanted staff to undertake but they were frequently eroded by the mind-blowingly dull (but necessary) items as well. Maintaining the right balance was a nightmare.
I hated marking my students’ work, I’m sure I’m not on my own! I particularly hated marking factual assignments– names, dates, places, events, that sort of thing. Sure you can use peer assessment but each student’s progress isn’t always evident this way.
Assessing what’s been covered in class in a reflective way is where nimble® can help. Let me illustrate with an incredibly imaginative idea I saw used by a History teacher recently... the nimble® course was set out as a takeaway menu!
The Extended Project Qualification can act as a bridge between sixth form education and the rigours of investigative learning in Higher Education. We know the vast majority of students struggle to be independent learners and the EPQ gives them experience of this process in a highly personalised context – a topic of their choosing.
However that internal struggle for independent thought and action leads, in my experience, to many teachers spending time mentoring students through the process.
The latest Big Thing in post 16 education has been the MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses. For cash-strapped institutions they've appeared to be the Holy Grail but research is starting to deflate this particular bubble. They lead to low completion rates, high dropout rates, and the general inability to make them a financially viable concept. Studies have also indicated that males, younger students, many ethnic communities struggle in this environment.
I’m often asked how, as someone with thirty-five years of teaching experience, I arrived at a point in my life where I am encouraging schools and colleges to buy e-authoring software. The reason lies in observing hundreds of lessons as a learner. It’s not an experience many teachers get so they don’t consider this perspective.
As FELTAG pointed out, many teachers are struggling to provide learning experiences for Generation Z. They are ‘digital natives’ whose lives have been dominated by the internet and digital technology, experiences which have rewired how they think.
Yet much of education hasn’t caught up with them. Their teachers steadfastly use PowerPoint and think the Cloud is what blocks the sun.