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Alison Copeland's discussion posts

  • Alison Copeland 11 Jul 2014 3:36pm () in MLEs: Learning spaces and resourcing | NAPP Kōrero 6

    Hi Geoff,

    Regarding reluctant staff - as I said in my previous post, the transition to MLE should be carefully planned way in advance of asking teachers to work in the new environment. This is a long term plan. You cannot just drop a teacher in and expect them to teach in a way that is suited to a MLE. PLD is the key and changing attitudes, paradigms, mindsets, what ever you want to call them. If the MLE is introduced with consultation and appropriate PLD and experience of MLE at comparable schools, reluctant staff can be eased into the transition, they can embrace the change, but if the staff member is still reluctant and not changing their pedagogies then there needs to be further discussion, advice and guidance.  There are some practitioners who will not feel comfortable or embrace these teaching methods.  Without the correct teaching methodologies the MLE will not work as an inquiry learning space, you will be getting didactic teaching but in a different space. 


    The IT and its use in the MLE has worried me, how do we make sure that it is being used appropriately and not just a ‘busy’ activity, or replacing a worksheet with a screen. I have had discussions with practitioners who think they are using IT appropriately, but then when you pick away at the surface the children are playing games, rather than inquiring. 


    How do we ensure teachers understand how IT is best used to facilitate learning?

  • Alison Copeland 10 Jul 2014 8:19pm () in MLEs: Learning spaces and resourcing | NAPP Kōrero 6

    I was browsing on line and I stumbled upon this.  It made me ponder what we are doing as practitioners to benifit the 21st Century learners

    21st Century Learner Skills 

    Sixteen Trends That Will Profoundly Impact Education & the Whole Society in the 21st Century 


    1.For the first time in history, the old will outnumber the young.

    2.Majorities will become minorities, creating ongoing challenges for social cohesion.

    3.Social and intellectual capital will become economic drivers, intensifying competition for well educated people.

    4.Standards and high stakes tests will fuel a demand for personalization in an education system increasingly committed to lifelong human development.

    5.The Millennial Generation will insist on solutions to accumulated problems and injustices, while an emerging Generation E will call for equilibrium.

    6.Continuous improvement and collaboration will replace quick fixes and defense of the status quo.

    7.Technology will increase the speed of communication and the pace of advancement or decline.

    8.Release of human ingenuity will become a primary responsibility of education and society.

    9.Pressure will grow for society

    to prepare people for jobs and careers that may not currently exist.

    10.Competition will increase to attract and keep qualified educators.

    11.Scientific discovers and societal realities will force widespread ethical choices.

    12.Common opportunities and threats will intensify a worldwide demand for planetary security.

    13.Understanding will grow that sustained poverty is expensive, debilitating, and unsettling.

    14.Polarization and narrowness will bend toward reasoned discussion, evidence, and consideration of varying points of view.

    15.As nations vie for understanding and respect in an interdependent world, international learning, including diplomatic skills, will become basic.

    16.Greater numbers of people will seek personal meaning in their lives in response to an intense, high tech, always on, fast-moving society. 


    Society is changing in ways that we never envisaged...how is this going to impact on e-learning and will MLE's provide our students with the skills for 21sC living?

  • Alison Copeland 10 Jul 2014 7:54pm () in MLEs: Learning spaces and resourcing | NAPP Kōrero 6

    Hello Glenn and every one who posted here.  

    The discussion about staff buy in for me is the most important one of all, it comes before the space is built, before you even thing about what kind of chrome books or apps you are going to be using. There seems to be a lot of conversations about MLE around what the environment looks like, the bean bags and I.T. They are the surface features. Buy in from staff and community comes first along with re-educationg staff and community as to what learning looks like....not just the space.

    In my school I have been working on staff buy in...and thats not always a smooth pathway.

    Our school is not a MLE and it is going to be some time before we have the high tech shiny new rooms, but that is not a barrier for us using the spaces that we already have as MLE.

    So without the lovely shiny new rooms what can we do to be a MLE?  For starters prepare our staff to teach in a MLE, and get them doing it now.  

    For us to go over to a new moder MLE some time in the future, we need to first ensure that our staff are able to work in these environments, and for some this is going to mean a dramatic shift in their mind set.  For this to happen we first needed to get the staff on board with a new way of planning and teaching, building up to an inquiry model of teaching and learning and in turn the teaching staff are now going through a cycle of self reflection to become reflective inquirers about their own teaching and pedagogies.  

    Providing a MLE without first doing the ground work will result in teaching the same old way but in a newer space.  For me getting our RTLB's on board to help our staff revist questioning and thinking skills, provide PD and support teachers in coaching and mentoring has been a subtle way of changing mindsets and the way we teach.  We also had full consultation with staff when we set up our inquiry curriculum, their voice and that of students was incorporated, along with the thinking and inquiry skills that are needed at each stage through the school.  All our PD around literacy and numeracy has dramatically changed the way our teachers practice.  

    We also decided to start at the junior end of the school and take a long term vision to embed practice and follow the first cohort through the school and provide PD to staff who teach as these students, as they progress on their learning journey through the school.  We are looking at a seven year plan to change practices/pedagogies and student/teachers perceptions about what school looks like and what learning looks like. 

    Our principal has been looking at MLE here and in Europe. And our staff have spent time in schools around Auckland experiencing MLE.

    Some of us are trying to use the open plan spaces and connected classrooms that we already have as MLE and collaboratively teach. It works, the students enjoy using the flexible spaces and the opportunity to self manage, and the opportunities for learning extension. 


    MLE is not always about a complete demolition and rebuild, first we have to look at the teaching practices that we need for the MLE and build from there.  A practitioner who is not willing to embrace the change will not reap the benefits for their students in the MLE.  And yes there are some that just will not bend with the wind of change, and you know what they will leave and find their comfort zone somewhere else.