June 27, 2022

Promoting Metacognition Through Student Self–Assessment – Emily Atkinson

Please see this blog post by CTE alumni Emily Atkinson on Promoting Metacognition Through Student Self-Assessment:

https://researchschool.org.uk/billesley/news/promoting-metacognition-through-student-self-assessment

There is also an EEF report called Moving forwards, making a difference: A planning guide for schools 2022–23 that Emily features in (page nine).


June 20, 2022

What is your teaching philosophy? – Lauren Slawson

What is your teaching philosophy? How has this originated, and can you evaluate how your educational touchstones will impact upon the teacher you aspire to be?

In 2005 - the same year that I graduated - Stephen Fry was awarded an honorary doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University. At our awards ceremony, he gave a speech, much of which I cannot remember except for one piece of advice that I have carried with me until this day (non-verbatim): No matter how much money you make, or how successful you become the only thing you will be remembered for by anyone is how you made them feel.

It is indeed the teachers who made me feel supported, who were warm and approachable, who encouraged me and showed patience, sincerity and consistency, who I remember the most. So much so that without one particular teacher’s influence I am not even sure I would have applied for university, let alone completed a degree. With this, I also remember the teachers that did not make me feel so valued. And like many of us do, I left school with an understanding of who I was and what I could do based on what I was shown by the adults around me.

I achieved a D for GCSE maths and I am not very good at it. Is that a truth or is it a message instilled in me from school when I was told this by a teacher? Cowley argues that “The relationship with the learners you teach effects the quality of differentiation that takes place in your lesson” (Cowley 2018, p.62). With this in mind, had said teacher taken the time to find out more about why I was struggling might the outcome have been different? Would my beliefs about my numerical capability still be the same? Conversely, one of the highlights of my career before teaching was supporting high level civil engineers with the development of professional qualifications. Engineers need to be very good at maths and I needed to have an understanding of mathematical concepts in order to support them. Why was I able to do this successfully despite a D grade? Because a colleague (and a mentor) recognised my strengths, looked beyond what I thought I couldn’t do and focused on what I could.

Just recently I was listening to a podcast called Off Menu. On this particular episode award winning actor and writer Asim Chaudhry talks about a negative experience he had with a teacher. Despite huge success Chaudhry explains that this one experience still affects him now and for many years he didn’t think he was good enough (Acaster, J. & Gamble, E. 2021). As Dweck explains “Every word and action can send a message. It tells children – or students, or athletes – how to think about themselves. It can be a fixed mindset message that says: you have permanent traits and I’m judging them. Or it can be a growth-mindset message that says: you are a developing person and I am interested in your development.” (Dweck 2012, p.266)

The language we use as teachers is powerful and it sticks. It is therefore my philosophy that successful pedagogy cannot exist without a genuine demonstration of belief in student capability, and to celebrate successes equally, whether that be an A* for one student or a long and laborious struggle from a D grade to a C for another. For if I am able to do this as a teacher then it is my hope that students will leave school with a strong sense of self-belief, motivation and an acknowledgement that they are defined by much more than what they believe they can or cannot do.

References

Acaster, J. & Gamble, E. (2021) Off Menu [podcast] Ep 113: Asim Chaudhry 20:00-20:55 / 01:06:28 Available at: https://play.acast.com/s/offmenu/ep113-asimchaudhry Accessed on 4th October 2021.

Cowley, S 2018, The Ultimate Guide to Differentiation: Achieving Excellence for All, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, London. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. [9 October 2021].

Dweck, C 2012, Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential, Constable & Robinson, London. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central. [9 October 2021].


June 13, 2022

Instructional Innovation

Including Esports in the curriculum to prepare for the Metaverse(s)

By Dr Isabel Fischer, Reader in Information Systems, WBS

Following the launch of our Warwick Esports centre, in collaboration with the Esports team Jack Fenton and Elenore Jiawen Li, we included Esports in four WBS modules (Digital Transformation, Design Thinking for Digital Innovation, Digital Marketing Technology and Management, and Developing Consulting Expertise). This allowed management students to experiment with and to reflect on digital innovations and to find solutions to problems. Specifically, we wanted to encourage students to develop tangible ideas for the future metaverse ecosystem.

While learning about technologies and business models related to Esports and the Metaverse, the topic also allowed students to reflect on the convergence of technology, ethics, science, psychology and digital wellbeing, as well as on the impact on environmental and social sustainability. Teaching delivery was accompanied by authentic assessments, with students able to choose their topic. These novel assessments (vlogs, blogs, board papers) were introduced in the previous year which allowed for comparisons.

We found on the one hand that the quality of submitted assignments improved, with students seemingly much more creative and also technological ‘savvy’, both for their choice of topics and content as well as for the delivery formats. On the other hand, module evaluation showed that the inclusion of the Metaverse and Esports early on in the module ‘hyped’ students and wet their appetite to ‘fully’ understand the potential applications of the Metaverse despite the Metaverse(s) still being conceptualised. While previous students were happy with carton-based headsets using their own mobile phones, some of this year’s students would have appreciated working with sophisticated VR headsets, possibly because our teaching delivery was further hyped up as it coincided with Microsoft’s $68.7bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard, clearly showing the current potential of the gaming industry.

Finally, here are some testimonials from students new to Esports, provided after the initial seminar on Esports:

  1. I am doing the Design Thinking module where we had a chance to join the esports world. This enables us to think creatively! I love our Warwick Esports Centre.
  2. Thank you for letting us use the Esports Centre - it was really fun and easy to learn.
  3. First time and it was a very enjoyable experience. Very well organized and easy for beginners.
  4. Really enjoyable experience, great equipment.
  5. The game is really fun to play. It’s quite unexpecting and fun which the seminar works. I enjoyed it a lot. Thank you for the experience.
  6. Thank you for giving students such a good opportunity on campus. It really is a good way to bring people from different backgrounds together.

For further information on this initiative you might want to listen to this podcast: https://anchor.fm/ldcuwarwick/episodes/Blogging--AI-Marking--Online-Learning--Communication--Metaverse--Esports-e1d8efu


June 07, 2022

What is your teaching philosophy? – Tohko Nohara

My Teaching Touchstone

I have always been interested in environmental science and conservation since I was very little. By the end of high school, I enjoyed science, but it was not as strong as I wanted to study biology or chemistry. Instead, I went to a university in the US where I studied sustainable development. A part of my program requirement was to complete an internship. I completed an internship at an environmental education organization called Change is Simple. I was initially drawn to the fact that I can work on projects about environmental science and conservation with a local community. Yet I ended up being placed with the education team where I went into elementary schools in the Greater Boston area to conduct environmental science activities for K-5 students.

I was able to integrate my love of nature with creative activities to spread the importance of conservation to children. I discovered that I really enjoy teaching through this opportunity. However, I was initially hesitant about becoming a teacher. I never excelled in schoolwork partially because I constantly moved around as a child (I have moved about 15 times in my life). Every time I moved, the curriculum changed, and I never felt comfortable as a learner. I wondered about the existence of teachers as to why teachers need to be there when in a digital age, information is obtainable in various methods.

My mindset for teaching slowly started to shift as I continued my studies in Sustainable Development. A few months before graduating from my undergraduate degree, I had an opportunity to study the concept of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in depth. I chose to focus on the number four goal: providing quality education to children all over the world.

I discovered that teaching is such a multi-faceted discipline. I realized that the art of teaching is both science and art. Teaching is more than passing on knowledge; “[t]he development of a powerful lesson plan is desirable, but the quality of the teacher-student relationship is the foundation of a deep learning experience” (McGuey, Moore 40). I learned that teaching is such a flexible discipline. Creativity and multi-discipline focus are essential for "no longer is a teacher just a teacher. Today a teacher must wear many hats. A teacher must be a counselor, parents, advocate, mediator, confidant, adviser, and more" (Doucet 6). Teachers have so much potential to be a vibrant part of the community through "...build[ing] relationships to help everyone develop to their full potential.” (Doucet 17).

I felt like I took a detour by coming back to school and student teaching after completing my undergraduate degree. However, I am realizing that all of what I studied and experiences I gained are an important part of who I am as a teacher. I hope to grow as a teacher who not only provides solid subject knowledge, but also emphasizes forming communities and relationships. I want to stimulate their curiosity and learn together the wonders of the world in a safe community.

Works Cited

Doucet, A. (2019). Teaching Life: Our Calling, Our Choices, Our Challenges. New York: Routledge.

Moore, L., McGuey G. (2016). The Inspirational Teacher Second Edition. New York: Routledge.


May 30, 2022

What is your teaching philosophy? – Clarisse Ng

What is your teaching philosophy? How has this originated, and can you evaluate how your educational touchstones will impact upon the teacher you aspire to be?

My teaching philosophy is fundamentally rooted in forming close, positive and respectful relationships with each and every child to optimise conditions for learning. In particular, I value each and every individual’s different interests, talents and unique personality. As demonstrated by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it is only when a child feels safe and their needs are met will they be ready to start learning effectively.

When my son started school, being very shy and quiet, he was easily overlooked by the class teacher and he felt unnoticed in a large class. He really struggled to learn during his first two years at school and it had a negative impact on his self-esteem. Outside of school, he was passionate about sport, skiing, swimming and Brazilian jujitsu but his teachers were unaware. It was only in his third year, when a teacher took her time to personalise her relationship with him and really make him feel included that I noticed a huge change in his attitude and confidence. He began to feel more valued and his outlook on school was replaced with a positive experience. It was not what that teacher had taught him that was of importance, it was how she made him feel. He is now a thriving 15 year old, about to take his GCSEs and I will always be indebted to those teachers who made a difference along the way. I aspire to be that teacher who makes a difference in a child’s life by focusing on human connections. I want to be able to create an environment where each child feels a sense of love, acceptance and belonging and can flourish personally and academically.

I believe each child is born with a thirst for learning and I want to nurture and encourage this love of discovery and curiosity that will hopefully, last a lifetime. To fully achieve ones potential, my goal will be to help children become motivated, effective learners. We need to instill in children the importance of grit to succeed (as psychologist Angela Duckworth describes it, a combination of passion and perseverance). What goes hand in hand with grit is a growth mindset (Carole Dweck). Having a growth mindset not only promotes academic progress, but children will enjoy better emotional and physical health and have stronger, more positive social relationships with other people. It is imperative that children are not disheartened by failure, rather, they view their mistakes as an opportunity to grow and learn. The brain is malleable and what a child is achieving now, is by no means an indication to what they are able to achieve in the future.

Underpinning all of this is always high expectations from each child and myself. As a teacher, I shall endeavour to never remain complacent and I will always seek to reflect, refine and improve my practice.

Dweck, C (2012). Mindset : How You Can Fulfil Your Potential. London: Constable & Robinson.

Duckworth, A (2016). Grit : The Power of Passion and Perseverance. New York: Scribner.


May 23, 2022

What is your teaching philosophy? – Shabrina Mohamad Razali

What is your teaching philosophy? How has this originated and can you evaluate how your educational touchstones will impact on the teacher you aspire to be?

My touchstones pertaining to education have been heavily guided by my interest in assisting others. I value helping students understand difficult and new information. As a side income, I provide private tutoring to students in my circle of friends and families who need extra support. From experiences like these, I believe that teaching is not a one size fits all. I realize that my teaching practices and beliefs will change over the years with experience and reflection from my students and other educators.

Growing up as a student in Singapore, there was little flexibility and deviation from the prescribed national curriculum. Singaporean teachers were made to ‘teach to the test’ that was highly scripted. Educators often argue that directive learning has a negative connotation to it but evidently, the teaching strategy has proven to be successful in producing favorable outcomes in high stakes examinations (Hogan, 2014). This unusual success however has been made aware that the method was not suitable in preparing students for the real world.

My teaching philosophy therefore sits on a range between the inquiry-based approach and the direct instruction approach. Learners are not meant to absorb information passively. They are supposed to be challenged with new ideas in a climate that forces them to develop a sense of competence and valued effort rather than ability. Neuroscience studies have shown that inquiry-based teaching exhibits increased engagement between a student and teacher. The results demonstrated that prompting questions and creating discussions generate a higher brain activity (Rotgans & Schmidt, 2011). Emphasis on inferential thinking and metacognition is essential in adolescents as their frontal lobes begin to mature and develop (Semrud-Clikeman, 2010). This promotes higher cognitive function in processing data efficiently and staying actively engaged. Rosenshine states that teachers should adopt probing of student’s schema with multiple responsive questions as it is a powerful mode of questioning and a form of guided practice as well (Sherrington, 2019).

On the other end of the spectrum is directive teaching – a traditional pedagogical approach that is structured and heavily teacher-led. I do believe that this approach is not mutually exclusive either. If incorporated extensively beyond successful results from assessments, directive teaching will on some level be required either way. For example, modelling practical work so that students know what is required of them. Or emphasizing key scientific vocabularies so that it retains in their memory. All in all, there are diverse strategies that are supposed to be interchangeable and not set to be taught in one way.

I hope to incorporate these approaches in my classrooms as I embark on my teaching journey and continue to reflect as an educator. To adapt and change my ideas on how an effective teacher educates and to create an environment for my students to be creative and curious.

References

Hogan, D., 2014. The conversation. [Online] Available at: https://theconversation.com/why-is-singapores-school-system-so-successful-and-is-it-a-model-for-the-west-22917 [Accessed 1 October 2021].

Rotgans , J. I. & Schmidt, H. G., 2011. Cognitive engagement in the problem-based learning. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 16(4), pp. 465-479.

Semrud-Clikeman, M., 2010. American Psychological Association. [Online] Available at: https://www.apa.org/education-career/k12/brain-function [Accessed 1 October 2021].

Sherrington, T., 2019. Strand 2: Questioning. In: Rosenshine's Principles In Action. Melton, UK: John Catt Educational Limited, pp. 27-34.


May 16, 2022

What is your teaching philosophy? – Julia McCuin

What is your teaching philosophy? How has this originated, and can you evaluate how your educational touchstones will impact on the teacher you aspire to be?

“A child needs encouragement like a plant needs water.”

This quote strikes a chord with me, having been a very shy, quiet, and unconfident child, who was often overlooked in class. Had I had the encouragement given to me in my schooling years maybe my experience would have been a different, more positive one. My teaching philosophy, therefore, is to make sure I will be a teacher who celebrates the learning of every pupil, giving encouragement, praise and inspiring their unique journey.

As a teacher, I aspire to bring out the very best in each individual and create a warm, inviting and stimulating environment for my pupils so that they feel welcome and safe from the moment they enter the classroom. According to Alfie Kohn, “If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings, and grow.” It is my aim to create this type of atmosphere so that the children can flourish and have a truly fun and positive school experience.

My parents raised me to have good manners, be polite and respect others. These are attributes I believe to be very important in life and would therefore wish to incorporate in my teaching. It is imperative, however, to lay down these foundations and set expectations in the class with regards to behaviour from the outset. In addition to this, I intend to incorporate hands-on activities, classroom discussion and group/pair work, as is demonstrated in Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development, thus prompting the children to think creatively, explore their natural curiosity and share their ideas. I want them to know that no question is ever too silly to ask. My wish for them is to leave at the end of the year feeling confident, inspired, and enriched.

I remember, in my school years, having teachers who were quite strict, lectured from the front of the class and were unapproachable. My methodology therefore to create an environment opposite to this is very important to me, as I believe this static style of teaching subsequently contributed to my lack of confidence growing up. It was only at a later point in my life, as a mother that my standpoint changed, and I volunteered in a classroom at my children’s school. I found myself really enjoying it and loved helping the pupils and had great feedback from the class teachers about my capability. It was at this point that I started to consider working in a school as a possible career path and looked into training to become a Teaching Assistant. Five years later, I was working at an international school as a Library Assistant who read and acted out stories to Toddler and Nursery classes with my colleague. We received such lovely and encouraging comments from teachers, parents, and the Leadership Team that it gave me the belief and desire to become a teacher myself.

My desire is to make learning fun and to engage, capture and nurture a child’s development and be that teacher a child always remembers!

References

Rudolf Dreikurs, Don Sr. Dinkmeyer (2013). “Encouraging Children to Learn”, p.3, Routledge.

Alfie Kohn (1999). “Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes”, p.255, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


May 09, 2022

What is your teaching philosophy? – Miriam Lim

What is your teaching philosophy? How has this originated, and can you evaluate how your educational touchstones will impact upon the teacher you aspire to be?

My teaching philosophy is based on my belief that students need to excel not only academically but also in life, and that ultimately, they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to deal with any challenges they may face inside and outside the classroom. In order for students to reach their full potential, teachers need to help them believe in themselves and give them the growth mindset needed for success. I believe this can be achieved through an abundance of encouragement and praise so that students feel safe in their learning and become eager to make bigger strides in their educational journey.

As an avid believer in the power of encouragement, I can relate to the argument by Schoenaker (2011) that “[e]ncouragement changes a person’s inner state by increasing one’s sense of self-worth and the belief in his or her potential […] The only thing that can unleash the awesome innate potential for growth in any individual or society is encouragement.” (p.xiii). Children and adults alike need praise and encouragement, but the younger years in particular constitute a critical period when individuals’ self-esteem and confidence are first established.

As a particularly shy student, it was with the teachers who encouraged me and truly understood me that I felt comfortable to learn and make mistakes, ultimately helping me to grow to become the best version of myself. On top of academic success, being a ‘well-rounded’ student was something I was continuously encouraged to be. Consequently, I engaged in many of the different extra-curricular activities on offer, and I now realize that those experiences built much of my character and how I interact with others. For example, the Duke of Edinburgh’s awards taught me not only to push myself physically, but also gave me the experience to discover what true teamwork is about and the importance of great leadership. Through the opportunity to take part in the Global Young Leaders conference, I met students from around the world and broadened my outlook on life and gained a deeper appreciation of other cultures, languages and beliefs.

As a teacher at an international school in Korea where students often consider academic success the be all and end all, I aspire to open my students’ eyes to the pathways that lead to becoming well-rounded students—and to the fact that success in life is not just about doing well in exams. I hope to ensure that they develop “the intellectual, personal and social resources that will enable them to participate as active citizens and workers and to flourish as individuals in a diverse and changing society” as stated in the TLRP’s ten principles of “Effective Teaching and Learning” (2007). I believe it is also essential that I have a growth mindset and believe that I can develop my own skills by seeing every student I teach as an opportunity for me to continue learning (Dweck, 2015). Being able to see the potential in all my students and maximizing their potential is something I strive to work towards. As a teacher, I hope to see them grow into confident young adults ready to face the uncertainty and challenges of their future.

Sources

Dweck, C. S. (2015) ‘Growth’, British Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(2), pp. 242–245. doi: 10.1111/BJEP.12072.

Schoenaker, T. J. L. (2011) Encouragement makes good things happen / Theo Schoenaker ; translated by R. John Huber ; with Jutta Street and Sandra Losa. New York : Routledge.

Teaching & Learning Research Programme (2007) ‘Research into action’, Principles into practice: A teacher’s guide to research evidence on teaching and learning, http://reflectiveteaching.co.uk/media/Principles_in_Practice_Low_Res.pdf


May 03, 2022

What is your teaching philosophy? – Eric Leung

Teaching Philosophy Statement

I believe children have boundless potential. To nurture and unlock each child’s full potential, it is important to teach foundational concepts, skills and tools to support them in becoming lifelong learners and empower them to seek answers for themselves.

Unfortunately, today’s students face growing immense pressure and competition. The experience of school is high “academic expectations as sources of stress” (Tan & Yates, 2011, p. 389) is no longer confined to Confucian heritage societies, but it has become part of the broader “productivity agenda” (Ang, 2014, p. 187) advocated by international organizations and governments around the world. As a result, I have noticed many teachers delivering as much content as possible yet narrowly focused on preparing students for assessments and satisfying parent expectations. This is in stark contrast to my own journey as a student where I was allowed to explore my own interests and enjoyed a more balanced schooling experience. Consequently, I am convinced that a future wise education demands (Perkins, 2014) creating an environment that fosters a disposition towards a love of learning rather than mastering prescribed content.

As a teacher, I want to support children to connect abstract concepts learned in the classroom with real-world application through project-based learning (Kaldi, Fillippatou & Govaris, 2011) that allows them to achieve a depth to their learning thereby enabling them to apply their skills and understanding across all areas of the curriculum in order to be a creative innovators, entrepreneurial problem solvers, and critical thinkers. Given that children are born curious, creative and active learners, it is essential that teachers provide experiences that allow them to build on what they already know and construct new knowledge (Piaget, 1973) through experiential activities that encourage interactive and hands-on learning. Furthermore, the main role of the teacher is a facilitator; therefore, they should scaffold children’s learning at every opportunity by using open-ended questions that challenge and extend existing understandings and equip each child with the resources they need to support them in finding their own answers.

Each child is unique. Teachers need to recognize children develop at their own pace and should meet where the child is. Consequently, understanding each child holistically means: nurturing and celebrating their strengths as well as meeting diverse needs through instructional differentiation (Gardner, 2006). One of the joys of being a teacher is that I find great personal fulfilment when children develop greater confidence and reach their personal best.

After working in a Reggio inspired environment, I subscribe to the view that the environment is truly the third teacher because it is “intentionally visually appealing and stimulating with close attention paid to materials, colours, light microclimate and furnishings” (Miller & Pound, 2019, p.10-11). As such, I have an aesthetic preference for using neutral tones in creating displays to support a calm and inviting learning environment. I also am committed to creating a safe, caring and intellectually engaging setting that encourages children’s imagination, innovation, and resilience to explore their own interests and develop new perspectives.

Professional development is also extremely important to me as I continue my journey as a teacher. When I initially started teaching phonics, I immediately took the initiative to complete a TESOL qualification from Trinity College London because most of the pupils in my classes are non-native English speakers and I wanted to better understand the needs of EAL learners. I am committed to furthering developing myself as an effective teacher through learning about different pedagogical approaches as well as seeking constructive feedback from experienced teachers.

References

Ang , L. (2014). Preschool or prep school? Rethinking the role of early years education. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 15(2), 185-199.

Gardner, H. (2006). Multiple intelligences: New horizons. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Kaldi, S., Filippatou, D., & Govaris, C. (2011). Project-based learning in primary schools: Effects on pupils’ learning and attitudes. Education 3-13, 39(1), p.35-47.

Miller, L., & Pound, L. (2011). Taking a critical perspective. In L. Miller & L. Pound (Eds.), Theories and approaches to learning in the early years (pp. 1-17). London, UK: SAGE Publications.

Perkins, D. (2014). Future wise education: Educating our children for a changing world. San Francisco, CA: Wiley.

Piaget, J. (1973). To understand is to invent. New York: Grossman.

Tan, J. B., & Yates, S. (2011). Academic expectations as sources of stress in Asian students. Social Psychology of Education, 14(3), 389-407.


April 25, 2022

What is your teaching philosophy? – Kun Sze Wing Jacqueline

What is your teaching philosophy? How has this originated, and can you evaluate how your educational touchstones will impact upon the teacher you aspire to be?

Learning is a lifelong journey and teachers are in a unique position to model this for children. Many children are naturally curious, but whether their thirst for knowledge is carried beyond their schooling years depends greatly on the encouragement and engagement they receive during those years.

As a child, I had many questions. Keeping me entertained in the doctor’s waiting room was a simple yet gruelling task: I wanted the medical posters on the walls read and explained repeatedly. This task often fell to my mother, who happened to be an educator. She gave me the impression that teachers were patient, encouraging, and knowledgeable role-models. I looked forward to going to school, which I associated with the knowledge I thirsted for.

Unfortunately, I was quickly branded a “trouble child” with “too many questions” by my first kindergarten teacher. This taught me that wonder and expression came at the expense of being harshly told off. As a result, I developed a fear of school and dislike of learning, attitudes I carried into early Primary. Gradually though, through the encouragement and patience of many more primary and secondary school teachers, who were open to questions and failure, and themselves demonstrated a love for learning, my thirst for knowledge was rekindled and I still enjoy learning new things and skills just for fun.

The contrast in these approaches allowed me to appreciate how teachers impact students beyond the classroom and shaped my aspirations for the kind of teacher I want to be. Though teachers are usually the “more knowledgeable other” (Vygotsky, 1978) in the classroom in terms of subject knowledge, I view myself and my students as equals in the sense that we all have knowledge to impart and gain (Fenton, 2013). Furthermore, since children often learn through modelling and “adult-watching” (Bruner, 1973), I believe making the love of learning visible to students is vital in cultivating a mindset for lifelong learning, that gaining new knowledge is not only a necessary but enjoyable aspect of life. As such, I encourage my students to ask questions, voice uncertainty, and frame mistakes as positive parts of the learning process (Donaldson, 2020).

With Primary 1 and 2 students, I emphasize the importance of their voice, encouraging them to share their wonders and experiences, intentionally turning moments of confusion to “let’s find out together” moments. For Primary 5 and 6 students, I directly highlight in the beginning of the year that learning is a journey we embark on together, that though I may not have all the answers, all questions are welcome. Google Classroom is also utilized for question submission without peer pressure. In all year levels, I take time to acknowledge and correct my own mistakes in front of students, showing that making mistakes is normal.

Ultimately, I believe that making a classroom a place for discovery and curiosity, while also demonstrating the eagerness to learn and view the world through different perspectives, will help foster a continued thirst for lifelong learning and growing independence—and that for this stretch of their journey, like my own, students will have their teachers walking alongside with them.

References

Bruner, J. (1973). ‘Organization of Early Skilled Action’, Child Development, 44(1), pp1-11.

Donaldson, M. (2020). ‘Everything Go Upside Down: Navigating Mistakes in Early Learning and Teaching’, Schools: Studies in Education, 17(1), pp70-91.

Fenton, S. (2013). ‘Great Teaching in the 21st Century? ... it’s a Partnership – a shared journey of growth & learning’, Ethos, 21(3), pp13-17.

VYGOTSKIĬ, L. S., & COLE, M. (1978). Mind in society: the development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.


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