Saturday, February 9, 2013

2013 - Exploring Future Orientated Learning at Freemans Bay School

2013 is the Chinese Year of the Snake. The Year of the Snake promotes new beginnings and new ideas. 

Our teachers have started the year exploring  our vision at Freemans Bay School, that twenty-first century education must be future oriented and adaptable  to meet the learning demands of an increasingly global, diverse and complex world.

We have been exploring National and International research on the future of learning and practices of innovative schools and educators.

At Freemans Bay School we have adopted a future orientated approach to learning in the twenty-first century encompassing themes identified to the recent New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER).This research. " identified key themes for a connected and coherent future-oriented learning system. These themes include a commitment to personalising learning, a curriculum that uses knowledge to develop learning capacity, the rethinking of learners’ and teachers’ roles, and the forging of new partnerships with the wider community."

Our first teacher workshops of the year had our teachers working collaboratively to explore effective and innovative ways that we can strengthen our practices in 2013.

Teachers started in groups exploring these resources.

They then  worked  collaboratively on "Etherpad" to explore ways of unpacking the themes in the research.

The idea of working this way was for teachers themselves to experience a different way of working. Once they had explored the theme they had to put together a creative presentation of their findings to share with all the staff.

I worked with a group of teachers exploring the theme around new views of equity, diversity and inclusion. This is a theme that I feel very passionate about as I strongly believe that we need to promote valuing the different attributes of individuals and our diverse communities, rather that focusing on deficit thinking related to exam specific underachievement.

Here are some of the posts from the group of teachers working on the theme of "New views of equity, diversity and inclusivity."

Why is it important to both us as ‘future orientated’ teachers and our students to embrace new views of equity, diversity and inclusivity?
 It is important to address equity and diversity within the classroom in order to prepare our students for the future in the 21st century, by teaching them the skills to deal with others diversity and enable them to gain knowledge. Then they can use these skills when they leave the schooling system.
 To be able to embrace and solve problems unforseen. What will our petroleum fuelled world be when this resource runs dry. Having skills running alongside adaptive knowledge is more important than just knowledge
 To ' develop in learners a love of their environment, of the place where they are living, of its social history, of the bio diversity' 

What could new views of equity, diversity and inclusivity look like at Freemans Bay School?
We need to teach for diversity so that our students develop an appreciation of peoples from different cultural, religious, language, world view from theirs. They need go engage with  and value diversity.

This is about valuing different ideas, diverse world views so that everyones view is embraced .
It needs to be safe for everyone to contribute. We need to encourage our students to value everyones ideas and views and their differences.

The new thinking about diversity is not just to focus on underachievement of specific groups but to embrace and promote the strengths that they bring. We need to promote valuing the different attributes of individuals and communities. If this is not addressed then we are not preparing them for future, so that they can contribute to the social, emotional and economic world. 

Freemans Bay School vision and strategic plan provide a platform for our teachers to continue to explore a future orientated approach to learning and teaching. We look forward to seeing what creativity and innovation our teachers and students will bring to our school vision  in 2013, the year of the Snake!