Thursday, June 9, 2011

Creating the Future of Learning

Picked this up from Core Ed--very interesting

Being Connected

Now that our school has grown to almost over the 700 mark, I have been finding it increasingly difficult, in fact down-right impossible to connect with every student. Long gone are the days when I could confidently say I know and recognise every one of them by name. However of late, I have had a go at “connecting on line” with our Y5/6 kids who all have an on-line learning journal. What a great concept! The children are using their learning journals to post an archive of their learning e.g. a photo or a movie of something that have been working on, then they enter a reflective comment about what it is all about and how they are going etc. Their teachers can also comment as can some chosen peers. For me, as the principal, reading and making my own comment on these has become quite insightful, suddenly I feel in touch with that student and most importantly I am now getting kids coming up to me saying “ thanks for contributing to my journal”. The task is not that onerous, but the rewards seem far-reaching. The power of technology!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What we measure flourishes!

Having attended APPA’s breakfast seminar yesterday where a panel provoked the audience to reflect upon “where are we with educating Maori kids?” and “why aren’t we doing better?” I certainly went away with some thinking to do. What caught my attention the most was the idea that in many schools, our’s included we measure the success of a Maori student’s progress by measuring them in a very “white” space. We want them to be the same as every other student in our school—literate and numerate—this seems ok on the surface. However we should also want them to be successful in their ‘maoriness”. We want them to be confident connected actively involved lifelong learners as Maori kids, (this sounds familiar). The trouble at the moment is we don’t focus on this, we focus on where they are as readers, writers and number-crunchers.
My thoughts are that for all kids—maori and non-maori, the narrowness of being measured in literacy and numeracy is exactly that—narrow. It does not tell the whole story—it does not reflect the student’s capacity to live in the real world. What we measure flourishes—we must balance our measurement structures! Lots of food for thought!
My next step is to talk to our maori kids—what does a successful maori kid look like? I will be interested in what they tell me.