Classroom design and the school

Read (2010)reminds us that students are visually aware of their environment and that it is important to consider the impacts of classroom aesthetics to create harmonious, welcoming learning environments for students whilst Schratzanstaller (2010) reminds us of the importance of  taking into account the needs of 21st century learners.

Read states that circular shapes and spherical forms appeal to children and that interest can be created in the learning environment through the use of varying textures and materials. He also notes the importance of natural light for children’s proper development, that windows add visual interest and allow children to view weather patterns and see the changes in seasons (2010).  Whilst there was plenty of natural light in the last classroom I was placed in I am now aware that it did not allow students a view of anything other than the gym roof and sky as the windows were placed too high for them to see anything when sitting therefore not adding much visual interest.

Schratzanstaller, 2010 reflects that if classroom design has not changed in years can it still be functional for the educational goals of today? Does the learning environment foster self-regulated learning and enable collaborative work of the 21st century learning. Technology also has an important place in today’s classroom and economy has a huge impact of the ability of schools to incorporate more technology into the classroom.

 

Read, M. (2010). Contemplating design: Listening to children’s preferences about classroom design. Creative Education, 2, 75-80.

Scratzenstaller, A. (2010). The classroom of the past. In K. Makitalo-Siegl, J. Zottmann, F. Kaplan and F. Fischer (Eds.), Classroom of the Future: Orchestrating collaborative spaces (pp. 15-39). Netherlands: Sense Publishers

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Eight Ways of Learning

I feel the pedagogy of 8 ways would fit comfortably within my teaching philosophy; it is a holistic approach to learning and teaching which would benefit all students, it emcompasses ways of valuing, ways of knowing, ways of being and ways of doing. I have contemplated engaging students in Aboriginal knowledge through The Arts and realised for learning to be culturally respectful and placed in real world context in would need to be in done in consultation with the local Aboriginal people, 8 ways is a way of bringing Aboriginal perspective to the classroom not just through The Arts and is culturally safe starting point to begin working with the local Aboriginal community.

I have redesigned a lesson used in Grade 4 class to align the lesson using 8 ways. I am interested it looking how I can continue to use 8 ways within my classroom next year.

Realigned lesson using 8 ways

Reference

http://8ways.wikispaces.com/

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Individual Learning Space

A visual catalogue of where, when and how I learn through reflection on my learning when driving and riding my bike, quiet study space in which I can spread out,collaborative group work and active listening in lectures and tutorials.

Taxonomy and my personal self-directed taxonomy

Taxonomy is a classification into ordered categories. In education it refers to the classification of learning objectives. Blooms taxonomy is a classification system that defines the cognitive process, ie thinking, learning and understanding.  In 2001 a revised version of Blooms’ taxonomy was released which categorised the classification of learning objectives as Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analysing, Evaluating, and Creating.

Remembering –  Can I connect this learning with something I have already know?

Understanding  – Is this useful?

Applying – How can I use this knowledge as a teacher?

Analysing – How can I make connections between what I have just learnt with what I already know?

Evaluating – Am I happy with what I did? How could I improve?

Creating – What can I do in future to improve the outcomes?

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21st Century Learning and Group work

A core aim of 21st century learning is the ability to be able to collaborate effectively in teams with others. Cooperative learning achieves the best educational outcomes but when working collaboratively other factors should be taken into account such as the ability to work together and developing independent learning skills which are core components of 21st century learning. When structuring group work during placement I used Heterogeneous cooperative groups that took into account student strengths and differences to pair them to work more collaboratively together. The result was learners that were engaged with the task and a more inclusive environment.  The use of Heterogeneous cooperative groups  provided opportunities for students to see other perspectives, resulting in better relationships between different students, increased self-esteem and more acceptance of others (Slavin, 1990 as cited in Blaise, 2011).

References

Blaise, M. (2011). Inclusive practices. In G. Lathan, M. Blaise, S. Dole, J. Faulkner, & K. Malone (Eds.), Learning to teach: New times, new practices (2nd ed.,pp. 222-249). South Melbourne: Oxford

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Electronic Learning Space

When incorporating Ipads or any technology into a lesson it is important to ensure the technology will suit the learning intention rather than try to fit the learning intention around the use of technology. Rather than using the technology to tick boxes, technology should be used for authentic learning opportunities. When using an app as a teacher we should ensure we have an in-depth knowledge of the app to make sure we are utilizing all aspects of the app so our students have the best learning opportunistic.

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Community of Practice (CoP)

Smith defines Community of Practice as a group of people who share a concern or passion and together learn how to do it better, it is characterised by a share passion in which people engage in activities, discussions, share information and help each other that enables them to learn from one another (2009). Excursions/ incursions allow students to share an experience and learn from one another through discussions and shared activities. Sharing the experience allows students to reflect on and discuss the experience. Revisiting the excursion the following day and week allows students time to reflect on their experiences allowing further learning through sharing (Lorenza, 2009).

Lorenzo, L. (2009). Beyond 4 walls:  why go beyond the bounds of school? [online]. Teacher. (198), 22-25.

Smith, M. (2009) Communities to practice. Retrieved from http://www.infed.org/biblio/communities_of_practice.htm

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Web 2.0

Web 2 .0 is a term that describes a variety of websites and applications that allows users to interact and collaborate with each other. Web 2.0 technology differs from other websites as it does not require web design or publishing skills to create a website which makes it an accessible tool that can be easily used. Different WEB 2.0 applications include wikis, blogs, social networking, podcasting such as Wikipedia, youtube, facebook and twitter.

Web 2.0 tools has made the internet a participory, interactive place where users can create, collaborate and share information . It can be described as a learning space as it gives people the opportunity to communicate, share and learn from one another in an online environment.

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