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MLP or just Effective Pedagogy

Started by Neill O'Reilly 09 Sep 2015 4:56pm () Replies (64)

I am keen to find out if anyone can define MLP and if we can't, perhaps ditch the term and just talk about effective pedagogy?

Can anyone give us a succinct definition of what Modern Learning Practice / Modern Learning Pedagogies are?

Can't be about technology- not that modern (they were part of the rationale for the move to open plan units in the 1960's)

Can't be about student centred learning... being around for ever!

Can't be about having a shared vision, values and beliefs...they are not pedagogies or practices

Is it about preparing children for their future- I think thats just part of our day to day job (effective pedagogy?)

If it is about pedagogies I am wondering if there are some new modern pedagogies I am missing?

Perhaps it is about Collaborative teaching? If so lets call it that. But that seems confusing because you can go on a course to do MLP in a traditional classroom?

Be cool if it was about culturally inclusive practice (that's quite modern) but I don't think it is?

I suppose my concern is;  Have we created a new acronym for something when perhaps there is no need and it just adds to the confusion of MLE, ILE, ILS, FLS...MLP? Perhaps more importantly teachers are been led to think there is a new pedagogy or a 'modern learning practice' that is required to teach in a flexible learning space as opposed to a classroom

Really keen for some feedback....

Neill

Replies

  • Mia (View all users posts) 07 Oct 2015 2:49pm ()

    Great topic, Neill! You always challenge our thinking! I'm all for ditching the terms. They seem to just scare people off (parents, BOTs and some educators!)! Effective pedagogy or best practice is all we need to call what so many of us are trying to do. Student agency, collaboration, learner voice.... all the buzz words are just words really. Do we need labels for everything? 

  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 07 Oct 2015 12:13pm ()

    Hi Paul,

    Great questions!

    What paradigm shift?

    The paradigm shift is from private practice to deprivatised practice and space or another way of describing it is from an"Autonomous teaching and learning environment" to a "Collaborative teaching and learning environment". My research indicates this is the most significant shift (especially if the autonomous teacher was already a teacher with effective pedagogy). So the 'paradigm' of the teacher must change as they re-conceptualise their role from one of "me and my class and children" to "us and our space and children". It requires a shift in thinking about roles, responsibilities, reporting, communication, decision making etc.

    What new practices?

    I am assuming we are talking about an ideal collaborative teaching and learning environment. In this case teachers will be able to enact their effective pedagogy in different ways. Specifically how they group and teach children. For example the role of a learning coach and of guided teaching complimenting one another through "One teach, one assist" or the role of the teachers when implementing the strategy of 'one teach one observe'. So, from being a single teacher in a traditional classroom to a collaborative teacher in a flexible learning space some new practices (probably strategies is a better term) will be in evidence.

    What do I have to practically do to maximise the opportunities?

    Based on what I have observed through my research there is considerable potential to not maximise the opportunities of collaborative teaching. For example using one of the collaborative teaching strategies above begins to maximise opportunities, Planning to utilise collaborative teachers strengths, knowledge, skills, experience and interests maximises opportunities. Explicitly planning for the day week showing how you will do teach in ways that are not possible for an autonomous teacher is maximising opportunities (there is much more I could add here but hopefully this gives the idea). Teaching as if I was a single teacher in my own room with my children neither maximises collaboration of the space.

    What does all that look like on Monday morning in my classroom?

    I suppose I have touched on this above... Lets go back a week to the preceding Thursday/ Friday.

    We (our collaborative teaching team) meet and analyse the learning needs and progress from the week. We consider the learning needs for the week ahead. We consider where we need guided teaching (this is the type of teaching where the teacher comes pre planned for the lesson based on what we already know), where we need more active teaching (pre planned but likely to change based on feedback from children ) and experiential teaching (which I prefer to call Learning Coach) where the teacher is running workshops for children who are checking in for their own inquiries, who are independent learners etc. The Learning Coach teacher is also responsible for moving around and challenging, supporting, questioning and assisting children- this is a significant role which is probably worth of a whole post (as opposed to Roaming/ roving).

    Then the team would decide what collaborative teaching strategies they want to use and when. Who is teaching what and when and where the teaching and learning will take place.

    As the week progresses the team will meet to discuss progress. A lot of the week is designed based on a combination of academic learning needs as well as KC needs. There would also be pre determined check in times for children with teachers to reflect on goals and plan the next steps, this could be 'home room' groups or any other mix.

    The purpose of planning this way is to give children multiple perspectives on the curriculum as they learn from a range of teachers, for children to have some agency about who they learn with, where and when (workshops etc).

    A lot depends on your stage of progress and experience as a collaborative teaching team. Some schools early in the transition from classrooms to collaborative teaching in a FLS have a real emphasis on home rooms and being responsible for 'their children' as they progress (in time and experience) it appears this approach is less evident and the children become 'ours' for virtually the whole day. It also depends on the size of your collaborative teaching team (is it 2, 3, 4 or more teachers?). Planning would also involve teacher aides/ learning assistants in new ways as their contribution can be quite different in a FLS (again another post?)

    and finally...

    I am becoming more of the opinion we have just two things to consider:

    1. Effective pedagogy (as described in NZC and which would be subsequently made quite explicit in schools) and
    2. Collaborative teaching

    As you suggest Paul, effective Collaborative Teaching and Learning environment is only possible if it is student centred and learning focused (and again this is quite complex and requires shared understanding of what it is and is not in our community/ space). This is a significant component of an effective teaching and learning environment and critical for a collaborative one

    Love the cartoon as it illustrates what I was proposing right at the start of this whole thread. 

    Cheers

  • Catherine Kelsey (View all users posts) 05 Oct 2015 6:56pm ()

    so learning should be cognitive, emotional, and recognise different motivators e.g drivers. So instead of seeing dyslexic as a problem see the way in which dyslexic students have huge spatial awareness and ability. 

    Perhaps terminology such as MLP stops us innovating in a child centred way? 

  • Catherine Kelsey (View all users posts) 05 Oct 2015 6:54pm ()

    This was much discussed at the ACEL conference last week in Sydney  - the need for teachers, principals and schools to work for the greater good of all students in their school, area or group - not just their own pupils. Collaboration in a wider sense of community. Ian Williams called it combination of complementary knowledge and transformational leadership at all levels. The use of data was much discussed and the need for an awareness of context when looking at other systems in other schools or countries and the need for children to develop confidence and creativity for their world. Of particular interest was the idea form Yong Zhao that we need to stop trying to fix the past but focus on future innovation. 

  • Paul Wilkinson (View all users posts) 04 Oct 2015 4:53pm ()

    Thanks Derek and Neill for continuing to unpack this thread. Personally I find the discussion really helpful for shaping my thinking.

    Derek...

    I think it important to acknowledge that another key driver here is not simply about collaboration (which is itself but a manifestation of the deeper change) - but about the 'de-privatisation' of the teaching profession - because it isn't about the individual teacher and her/his class, but about the group/team of teachers and their collective responsibility for the cohort of individual learners they have responsibility for. 

     

    I agree that 'de-privatisation' is a key factor. It would make an interesting study to ask a group of teachers to unpack what this means for them before they began a co-teaching experience and again after a year at it. I wonder what would have changed for them? That interest is the sociologist in me coming out.

    The pragmatist in me says....

    I am glad that the idea of "practice" keeps coming back to the surface. I am just going to pick up on your last paragraph Neill and highlight the bits for me that need unpacking or translating into "how to" practical examples of teacher actions that make a difference.

    I would suggest a paradigm shift is required if teachers hope to implement effective pedagogies in a collaborative teaching and learning environment. This will necessarily lead to some new practices as collaborative teaching in a deprivatised, shared environment is immensely complex, I think I am starting to get a handle on just how complex it is. So I would still argue that if teachers understand effective pedagogy as described in NZC then when moving to collaborative teaching their main focus will be understanding how to maximise the opportunities provided through a collaborative teaching and learning environment be it retro fit, traditional spaces or purpose built flexible learning spaces (MLE, ILE, FLS?).

     

    What paradigm shift?

    What effective pedagogies?

    What new practices?

    What do I have to practically do to maximise the opportunities?

    What does all that look like on Monday morning in my classroom?

    I guess this is what I was alluding to with the earlier call for a "How to Book of Collaborative Teaching". Vicki suggests a wiki and perhaps that is a good idea. It might at least allow the opportunity for a toolkit for collaborative teaching to be developed. Neill you might just want this book to be called the "How to book of effective teaching", as per your original posting in this thread. I think for me the current challenge around MLP, MLE etc is mostly about about collaborative teaching and learner agency and connection.

    And then the pessimist in me says...

    How do we make sure that we don't end up with a classroom that looks like a camel? (As in... "a camel is a horse designed by a committee)

    or this...

     

     

  • Leigh Hynes (View all users posts) 04 Oct 2015 11:38am ()

    Reflecting on the discussion has really brought me back to Bolstad and Gilbert et al s work.  The themes of future oriented teaching and learning are extrmely well discussed by Gilbert and Bolstad et al and it seems to me that the ideas about MLPs that are discussed in this debate could easily be placed under the 6 headings of the themes.

     


     

    1. personalised learning (any time, anywhere, incorporating self regulation or learner agency of choice and control)
    2. new views of equity and diversity (capitalising and developing individual strengths for the benefit of all to make a stronger community)
    3. new relationships with community (anywhere, anytime, relevance, use of digital technologies to support)
    4. using knowledge to build learning power (metacognition)
    5. lifelong learning for educators and leaders (working towards what works best for individual learners, reflecting on the learning, adjusting, trying new techniques and technologies
    6. new roles for teachers and learners (collaboration)
  • marglnz (View all users posts) 04 Oct 2015 8:28am ()

    I enjoy following this discussion . However I can't find the post from sarah with the Ted talk she has mentioned. Is it the Simon Sineck one? Could you say which talk as I would like to view it. Thanks . Marg

  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 04 Oct 2015 8:11am ()

    Great post Sarah!

    Loved the TED talk- it has really challenged me and caused me to re consider the key role of leadership in this process.

    There is no doubt whatever that if we want to see effective Collaborative teaching and learning environments we will need staff to work and learn in mistake and risk enabled learning environments with the support of leadership to creatively solve the challenges the environments create. It is the teachers who do the work in the space with support staff, children and parents. They need to 'own' the process and engage in an empowered and authentic way.

    Thanks again, the tED talk as me thinking!

    Neill

  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 04 Oct 2015 8:06am ()

    Thanks for wading in Derek,

    Re the drivers:

    "it was more to do with leveraging system efficiencies and implementing structural changes"

    Yes and no. I would argue the original drivers were strongly pedagogical, the approach that emerged was certainly captured by policy makers and perhaps like today it was perceived that building buildings in the open plan way was cheaper. There was a strong idealogical push and certainly a belief this new approach was more humane and responsive than the system of the day. 

    Student Centred learning:

    Point taken from a system level. Prior to NZC in 2007, schools were acting in in discord with the act and the curriculum.

    We are now fortunate to have a curriculum that is student centred, and after seven years it is very evident in NZ there is a significant variation of understanding about what SCL is, how to create a school culture of SCL and the implications for teachers, students, families and the school. This resurgence in interest in collaborative teaching (as opposed to teacher collaboration which is quite different) has highlighted the place of SLC and the inconsistencies of how a belief in SLC plays out in a learning environment

    Is it about preparing children for their future- I think thats just part of our day to day job (effective pedagogy?)

     

    100% agree and a real opportunity for communities of schools/ school clusters or whatever we call collaboration across the sector- in fact understanding and enabling KC development could be one of the many (perhaps most?) powerful opportunities of across sector collaboration.

    Pedagogies/ Practices

     

    I know you talk about practices, tis probably one of the many reasons I decided to write this post, the use of acronyms and then the myriad of lived experiences of these- not your fault! I see schools references MLP as Modern Learning..Practices, Pedagogies, Principles, Philosophy..and if they understand what that means to them I suppose that is OK but unfortunately where so many are trying to find a way forward my observations are that we are already into quite a confusing and confused environment.

    I would suggest a paradigm shift is required if teachers hope to implement effective pedagogies in a collaborative teaching and learning environment. This will necessarily lead to some new practices as collaborative teaching in a deprivatised, shared environment is immensely complex, I think I am starting to get a handle on just how complex it is. So I would still argue that if teachers understand effective pedagogy as described in NZC then when moving to collaborative teaching their main focus will be understanding how to maximise the opportunities provided through a collaborative teaching and learning environment be it retro fit, traditional spaces or purpose built flexible learning spaces (MLE, ILE, FLS?).

    Collaborative teaching

    I agree

    Cheers

    Neill 

  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 03 Oct 2015 5:42pm ()

    Hi Vicki,

    I agree with you about a collaborative project, I am unlikely to be writing a 'book' but will be sharing my thesis and fellowship report by the end of the year. 

    I think maybe a virtual or physical unconference?

    I have been in Vancouver visiting schools to add to my thinking (returning tonight) and back to Melbourne next week to finalise my research and then rapid writing!

    Neill

     

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