Every industry has a craft that they specialise in. For teachers that is education. The core role within that is developing an in-depth understanding of how to structure a learning programme that is reflective of the learner's needs. With the increased enlightenment over time of brain development and evidence-based learning research, it would be negligent of us as a profession (and as a school) to not be willing to challenge the status quo of what we, as parents, have come to assume learning looks like.
20TH CENTURY EDUCATION
Unfortunately in schools, most students continue to be educated in the same way as they were in the past, being taught a standardised curriculum through rote learning and individualised testing, at a one-size-fits-all pace. Far too many students are struggling to learn because they are disengaged and lack motivation. Why go to school when you could learn the same information faster by watching a Youtube video or playing a computer game? Why memorise facts for a test when you have all the information in the palm of your hand anyway? Past methods make little sense to today’s students who learn and think differently, and they make little sense in relation to the changing workplace, where making use of information is now far more valuable than simply knowing things. Schools are failing to teach students to respond to rapid change and how to handle new information because they are clinging to obsolete methods. The old adage still applies - if you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what you always got!
Somehow, over time, a good learning environment has come to be thought of as something akin to a good office environment. Tidy, well managed, industrious, and focused on output. We are putting the focus back on the conditions we are providing for learning to happen. We are focusing on the environment we are providing for our children to be engaged, connected, and happy in both the how, and what they learn as a 21st Century Learner.
A 21ST CENTURY EDUCATION
A 21st-century education is about giving students the skills they need to succeed in this new world and helping them grow the confidence to practice those skills. With so much information readily available to them, 21st-century skills focus more on making sense of that information, sharing, and using it in smart ways.The coalition P21 (Partnership for 21st Century Learning) has identified four ‘Skills for Today’:
A Typical day in the life of a Waipahihi Learner
The day starts with time to connect with their friends and guardian teacher/morning admin.
This part of the day is facilitated by teachers with a range of teaching and learning approaches, These will include:
* Small targeted groups with individual learning goals with a numeracy and literacy focus generally these are called workshops
* The opportunity to practise and maintain skills independently
* Connected curriculum tasks/experiences
* The opportunity to be active and embrace pockets of play inside and outside
Check connect and re-set in guardian groups
This period of time follows the same structure as above
12.30-1.00 -KAI TIME (lunch eating) happens across the school in small groups supported by classroom teachers. Good to remember if you are dropping your child's lunch off!
2.00-3.00 Continued learning programme within the teaching team
The exciting thing about our change of structure is that anytime between 9.15 and 2.00 there are multiple active outside Learning Coaches.
The role of the Learning Coach is to provide a balance of open-ended creative opportunities, teach specific sport and physical skills, social coaching, to challenge thinking, and be present and accessible for every child.
Over time, to compliment the trust you have in us as professionals, we will continue to inform you to build an understanding of what a learner-centered 21st-century school looks like.
We are all working with the same intent - that is we want the best possible environment and outcomes for our children and their learning. We've got this.