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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 O'Reilly (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2015 7:51pm ()

    I agree Geoff, Collaborative is spot on and therefor how to enable our collaborative teaching and ability is perhaps what we should put some energy into?


  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2015 8:12pm ()

    Thanks Hamish,

    ...and there is the challenge. The seven principles of an ILE represent a way of teaching in a flexible learning space or a classroom. The term ILE has little to do with space or furniture rather it echoes our NZC.

    Isn't teaching about empowering our students? Quality teaching, effective pedagogy, no matter what space (building) we are in?

    I totally agree effective pedagogy (and having a school live and breathe the NZC) is more than collaboration but, and this is a big but, isn't the significant difference between a traditional classroom (lets call them an autonomous teaching and learning environment) and a flexible learning space the ability for teachers to teach collaboratively (that is create a collaborative teaching and learning environment) so that our children will have improved learning outcomes, hauora and self regulation? 

    I am stoked schools are doing so much to try to get closer to the essence, vision, values of NZC, really awesome!- but that can and will (should) happen in schools with both traditional classrooms and flexible learning spaces.  Our opportunity in a flexible learning space (MoE called these MLE's for a time and now ILE's- we will save that misuse of an outstanding publication to name buildings for a future thread!) is both teacher and student collaboration, especially collaborative teaching and collaborative learning.

    Perhaps I could put this another way: 

    What is possible in a Flexible Learning Space that we could not do in a traditional classroom?                      (forget the terms MLE and ILE these are spaces or buildings we are getting until we do something with them- that is create the 'learning environment')

    How do we maximise this opportunity for our staff, children and communities?

  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2015 9:47pm ()

    Thanks Bernice, we are close but not there yet...

    The only thing in your list that was more difficult pre 21C was "ubiquitous use of technology and 'anytime, anyplace, anywhere' learning." and pre flexible learning spaces was 'collaborative teaching' (if we exclude the open plan era)

    However, 'ubiquitous use of technology and 'anytime, anyplace, anywhere' learning.' can happen in a traditional class better than in a flexible learning space with the right teacher so that has little to do with the new spaces/ environments we are now able to work in. 

    Still leaves me wondering what MLP is...

    Collaborative teaching ?


  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 10 Sep 2015 8:09am ()

    Yep I understand your concern about effective pedagogy being able to be dismissed as being 'done' in a traditional classroom with no collaboration (I think some high profile NZ school's would argue they do this to justify a teacher centric approach in traditional classrooms...). I suppose that is the main thrust of my thread. What people take to be MLP is surly about unlocking the creative, collegial and intellectual benefits of teacher collaboration and collaborative teaching?

    You rightly point out collaborative teaching (team teaching/ co-teaching) is not modern (being ongoing in some form or other formally since 1959 in primary schools in particular) so perhaps we need to do a lot more to understand "Effective Collaborative Teaching" if we really want to maximise the potential and magic of the power of two or more?


  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 10 Sep 2015 10:43am ()

    Welcome first time caller!

    While I have the utmost respect for Michael Fullan, what he refers to as 'New pedagogies' were some of the major drivers toward the open plan movement of 1959-1980's. In 1993 Brooks & Brooks wrote "In search of Understanding; The case for the constructivist classroom" (Perry Rush put me onto this book- well worth owning) which covers deep learning. Dewey was challenging educators to go deeper during his era (pre 1950's).

    Fullan also considers feedback as central to New pedagogies- again well documents by many NZ researchers- especially Nuthall in "The Hidden Lives of Learners" (this is a 'must own' book!). 

    What could be said for Fullan's publication is given his mana internationally his support for an effective pedagogical approach (which he calls New Pedagogies) might challenge NZ educators to take another real good look at NZC plus support our move to collaborative teaching?

    I am still not seeing much difference between MLP from what is in the NZC , perhaps another concern with the term is, if the practices are modern in 2015 what will they be in 2017- "Old?" 

    I'm still learning toward Paul's idea of "Effective Collaborative Teaching" really that should encompass every thing in the NZC (the principles, KC's effective pedagogy, values, teacher as inquiry etc) and then put it on steroids through collaboration!

  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 10 Sep 2015 11:54am ()

    Hi Andrew,

    Welcome in to the chat! We really don't lack research do we!

    Yep acronyms for Africa- MLE, ILE, ILS, FLS, DQLS, MLP....(these are all real!!!)

    You are onto it, we really want to be creating quality learning environments using every tool we can.

    Regarding design: Our new school is designed with that cultural framework in mind you mentioned- have a look at the "fly through"


  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 10 Sep 2015 2:56pm ()

    Seems to vary depending on the size of the school Andrew,

    In some cases schools have:

    • A dedicated transition to school place where children first arrive at and as their KC's and social / emotional stages advance they then progressively transition to a fully collaborative and multi grade level
    • Others have straight into the space with children of a range of ages
    • Others have a space for their "new Entrants" for a pre determined amount of time

    Some things to consider:

    Would moving onto to a space with older children actually assist with the transition as they can be assisted by others?

    How do we assure parents (and ourselves) we are doing an adequate job of getting to know new entrants and determining their needs and helping them to the transition to the structure and organisation of school?

    What competencies, skills, interactions are we looking to see in place to allow them to function confidently in our environment and how do we communicate these to the child and the family/ whanau?

  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 10 Sep 2015 4:18pm ()

    If MLE was so good why has it been dropped?

    Bottom line is the MoE don't build Environments- they build buildings (spaces- most recently Flexible learning Spaces) It is what people do with the spaces that make them environments. That is why they should not be MLE's or ILE's (Innovative Learning Environments). ILE is a set of principles that must all be present for an environment to be innovative according to the OECD. There will be many Flexible Learning Spaces in NZ and internationally that are not ILE's, there will be some classrooms that are ILE's

    Hasn't the introduction of the terms MLE, now ILE, ILS, FLS and MLP just confused people? I hear people talking about MLP and I see them writing about MLP and yet it seems MLP cannot be defined and is suggesting to teachers their pedagogy needs to change- if it does then go back to the NZC.

    How about this:


    Aren't they just Classrooms or Flexible Learning Spaces?

    Teaching and learning:

    Isn't it just Effective Pedagogy...either autonomously or collaboratively? (lets not make it EP!!!)

    The Learning Environment

    1. An Autonomous Teaching and learning Environment (one teacher alone doing the work)..or...

    2. A Collaborative Teaching and Learning Environment (two or more teachers,collaboratively teaching)

    I suggest these distinctions because you can teach autonomously in a flexible learning space (but why would you!) and you can collaboratively teach in a classroom (just a lot harder) Ideally we would want to see Collaborative teaching and learning in a Flexible learning Space, with effective pedagogy!

    One of the reasons for my question is there will be many schools in NZ that still have 'classrooms' for a very very long time- in-fact they may never totally disappear, what do MLP's mean to them (although there are courses to do MLP in a traditional classroom...)

    Lets put it another way, What's missing from the NZC that means we have to create a new term?


  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 10 Sep 2015 6:01pm ()

    Love it Paul,

    Angus is right!

  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 10 Sep 2015 8:43pm ()

    I particularly liked your last line Paul!

    I think we might be getting into the key stuff here

    #1 What does a student centred / learning focused environment really look, sound and feel like?

    #2 What does effective collaborative teaching look, sound and feel like?

    Just to be clear this is not MLP- this is effective pedagogy and effective collaborative teaching.

    My challenge is:

    1. If we don't know what effective pedagogy and we are keen to be collaborative teaching is we are in the same position as our colleagues in 1959. They had to consider:

    Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 8.07.21 pm.png
    If we have effective pedagogy sussed then we just have between one and three things to consider:
    Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 8.06.46 pm.png
    Where are we at in 2015?
    If we already have an understanding of effective pedagogy and the principle, values, vision and KC's of the NZC then arguably teachers will need to consider how to use a flexible space effectively, how to thrive in a de privatised space and then how to create an effective collaborative teaching environment. This last bit is incredibly complex as Paul suggests. 
    Where do we put our energy?
    Perhaps figure out if we really understand effective pedagogy (it is the foundation for all that we do) and then as we do see how collaborative teaching can enhance it to improve the learning outcomes, self regulation and hauora of our children.
    I have changed "Team Teaching" to "Collaborative Teaching" because the research about Team Teaching is really not what we are doing in NZ (that's another whole discussion)

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