A generalisation of Hattie’s work is that the models around student learning are less important than the implementation process and commitment from teachers. I say generalisation because his meta-analysis of best practices can be a little bit overwhelming, a little bit condescending and a little bit rock and roll (or is that Donnie and Marie Osmond?).
However, the implementation of any change must be intentional and cannot be left to chance. Take the new/revised BC Curriculum. This overhaul includes more opportunities for teachers to explore their own passions within the framework, gives student voice and choice, includes the incorporation of Core Competencies of Communicating, Personal and Social Identity, and Thinking, and has within all grades, the First Nations Learning Principles.
As the curriculum changes are happening, we are also looking at how we can best communicate student learning to parents/guardians and if immediate reporting (through programmes such as the new MyEdBC – a whole other rant, and FreshGrade) results in better communication and therefore greater student learning. We are also looking at assessment that best improves student learning (which is at the center of the changes, and to prepare our students for an unknown 21st Century world).
As a district, we have been working through the documents for over a year, with some schools and classrooms experimenting with different ways of creating opportunities for student learning, different ways of assessing that learning and different ways of communicating that learning. It has been an amazing opportunity to reflect on best practices and experiment with what works for each child, each classroom and each community.
The sharing of these experiences are so important. Education is not a solo, competitive endeavour. It is a social, collaborative, active act that requires both an understanding of relationship dynamics and modes of inquiry.
Next post: How we might navigate between content understanding and creative/critical thinking.