The Waipahihi Teaching and Learning Environment
Over the last two weeks our teachers have had a range of opportunities for you to come in and catch up about your child's learning process, progress and achievement - as evidenced through Seesaw. This journaling of your child's learning journey, the discussion that supports this with you, and the teaching and learning structure that are school is developing, are all reflective of what the purpose of primary education is all about in the 21st Century world that our children are growing up in.
Learning cannot, and should not, look like it did when we were at school. Learning in small, isolated groups, within isolated curriculum areas does not promote the curiosity, creativity and problem solving thinking ability that our children need to be successful - not just for today but for the changing world they are growing up in.
Our preschoolers come from a 'modern learning environment' - most early childhood settings have never known any other way. Everyday they will have had significant periods of uninterrupted time with other children and with teachers. This time will have allowed opportunities to develop short and long-term, personal and group projects and inquiries that will have emerged in response to both spontaneous and planned experiences. building on children’s known modes of learning, and on what children find interesting, will go some of the way to supporting continuity for children and engagement. Below are two articles that example some of the thinking and research that supports the need for learning environments across the school setting to change.
The underlying concept of play based and discovery based learning are not just something we are delivering in the junior end of our school. The challenge for all our teaching teams is to develop what those concepts look like across the different ages and stages of learning. This is not just because its a fad but because the national curriculum framework sets the scene and the expectation for this.
Education last century was a factory. Children went in one end to be made into employees of various sorts on a conveyor belt to the other end. Henry Ford would have recognised it. It worked as well as his assembly lines. The 20th century has gone. Now cars are customised, stuffed with electronics. The image below examples the progression through the four knowledge waves that have occurred in the last 100 years of so! We are now firmly past the transition phase from the third to the fourth!
)"We are standing on the beach and the tidal wave is about to hit. No job, sector or industry is immune," says Valintine, explaining that compared with the Industrial Revolution, the change in the Technological Revolution is occurring 10 times faster, at 300 times the scale, with 3000 times the impact. (Click on the images above or below to read the full article "The future is now"
Children need to be ready for radically different 'working' environments, challenges, difficulties and variations. Our Education Minister, Hekia Parata, now calls standards 'indicators', not 'targets'. She points to the emphasis in the now cross-party-backed 2007 curriculum on competencies, characteristics and values. Children need tenacity and resilience and to be team players. American research detailed in June's Atlantic Monthly talks of 'non-cognitive skills or character strengths', including 'resilience, conscientiousness, optimism, self-control and grit' - all of which aren't captured by standardised learning!
Teachers, and schools, who can engender those capacities are the 21st-century educators needed for our children.