“We want to increase student engagement.” The intersection of three elements

I think we've all heard this said, "We want to increase student engagement." What do we mean by 'engagement'? Amidst marriage proposals, military operations and turning up for dinner, the relevant definition in Merriam Webster relates to “emotional involvement or commitment”.  This article “School engagement: Potential of the Concept, State of the Evidence” by Fredericks, …

Recalibrating the thinking-doing balance – Part 2: Growing a collaborative culture

      I really appreciate it when people take the time to respond to my posts. Here are some responses over the last few days young teachers leaving the profession and the pressures they face. Adriano: The composition of today's classroom is dramatically different from 5, 10 years ago....  the necessary shift to soft-skills implementation, …

Next generation teachers: How can we inspire current students?

This week the Australian Story  featured a maths teacher from a Sydney suburban high school. One maths teacher, Eddie Woo, with a story on the national stage. “He sucked me into maths” A student recalled being in Eddie's class. She felt inadequate at maths, but Eddie didn’t let that get in the way. His personal mission is to get all kids …

(Pedagogy + Place) & (Rhetoric + Reality) in learning space design: A decade of dialogue

"How to bring our schools out of the 20th Century" was the title of an article in TIME in December 2006. It featured a more recent take on the Rip Van Winkle fairy tale. After 100 years of slumber, Rip wakes in the first decade of the 21st century. As he walks the streets, observing the citizens of the day …

Shifting the practice of education from polite cooperation to purposeful collaboration

Cooperation or collaboration? In lists of the various ‘Cs’ of the 21st century ‘collaboration always seems to make an appearance. In this past week I worked with a group of educators, looking at agile learning spaces, thinking about how we need to work to ensure engaged learning for students in these spaces. The necessity of …

How open learning space can work for introverts, extroverts & ambiverts: D.A.R.E.

Let me give you a snapshot of myself.   I like people, I enjoy conversation. I am quite comfortable in settings where I don’t necessarily know anyone. I don’t find it difficult to strike up a conversation with a new person. I’m fairly confident communicating with small and large groups. I actually enjoy a good …