Teach Middle East Magazine Jan-Feb 2018 Issue 3 Volume 5 - Page 10

Administrator ' s Corner

AN OPPORTUNITY MISSED … OPENING UP THE LEARNING SPACE TO THE STUDENTS

BY GRAHAM NORRIS
interval ( 10.30 ) and lunchtime ( 12.15 ).
OUTCOME : The lesson had a positive ethos , relationships were constructive and friendly , and the students enjoyed showing they could position the hands on the clock correctly . By the end of the lesson , most students ’ familiarity with hour , quarter-past , half-past and quarter-to was secure and they showed this by completing the worksheet correctly .

My last few articles have explored the importance of capacities and skills in the future lives of children and young people . I have looked at how schools can prepare students for an unpredictable future , including how great teachers promote ‘ learning to and how ’, recognising that teaching and assessment that focus solely on knowledge acquisition are not serving students ’ future interests sufficiently . I have referred to a range of capabilities and learning skills that are vital for handling unpredictable change and which underpin students ’ capacity to be ‘ change adept ’. We know this stems from being able to apply a wide range of skills and having the experience to choose the best suited strategies . Most recently I explored the concept of ‘ learning space ’ – the cognitive space that effective teachers give over to students so that students can develop , apply and consolidate capabilities and skills for themselves . I offered a few questions to help schools evaluate the extent to which they provide students with ‘ learning space ’. To illustrate this approach further , I will now describe a lesson I ’ ve seen many times and which you will probably recognise . I will then offer reflective questions focusing on what I see as missed opportunities , pointing to how the lesson could have added much greater value by providing students with ‘ the learning space ’.

PURPOSE : The lesson is intended to consolidate young students ’ recognition of analogue time using a conventional clock face - all students are expected to recognise hour , quarter-past , half-past and quarter-to . The teacher also declares an intention to promote students ’ creativity .
APPROACH : Each student has a cardboard clock face and is required to place the clock hands at the time requested by the teacher . For around 20 minutes , the teacher asks the students to show a range of times on their clock faces . The teacher then gives the students a worksheet comprising six blank clock faces alongside specified moments in the school day . Students are required to draw clock hands to illustrate these moments including , for example , assembly ( 9 ), morning
But , how well did the lesson promote students ’ wider capacities and skills ? Can you identify how students developed creativity , for example , as the teacher had intimated they would ? Probably not . But students could have been invited to create their own ways to illustrate time . They might have done this using all sorts of imaginative approaches , perhaps not even involving a worksheet , and in so doing could have taken forward the teachers ’ intention to develop their creativity . However , in creating the worksheet , the teacher occupied the ‘ learning space ’ rather than the students .
And what about learning skills ? We can all see the many opportunities where students could have worked collaboratively , for example , or where they could have consolidated their learning using peer-assessment approaches . But these skills were not required because this was a wholeclass , teacher-directed lesson . As such , students had little substantive space to think or learn for themselves . Their engagement was limited to following instructions and answering questions .
Overall then , while the lesson was successful in consolidating students ’ knowledge of clock faces and time , it did not promote students ’ capabilities and skills . What could have been a complete and enriching learning experience contributing to students ’ future needs turned out to be an opportunity missed .
Graham is an international specialist in transformational change . An experienced conference speaker , he is a freelance school-improvement consultant who also works with the International Futures Forum and British Council . He has designed , led and quality assured school inspection , review and improvement approaches in the Middle East and Europe , including as HM Assistant Chief Inspector in the UK .
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08| Jan - Feb 2018 Class Time
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Administrator's Corner AN OPPORTUNITY MISSED… OPENING UP THE LEARNING SPACE TO THE STUDENTS BY GRAHAM NORRIS interval (10.30) and lunchtime (12.15). OUTCOME: The lesson had a positive ethos, relationships were constructive and friendly, and the students enjoyed showing they could position the hands on the clock correctly. By the end of the lesson, most students’ familiarity with hour, quarter-past, half-past and quarter-to was secure and they showed this by completing the worksheet correctly. M y last few articles have explored the importance of capacities and skills in the future lives of children and young people. I have looked at how schools can prepare students for an unpredictable future, including how great teachers promote ‘learning to and how’, recognising that teaching and assessment that focus solely on knowledge acquisition are not serving students’ future interests sufficiently. I have referred to a range of capabilities and learning skills that are vital for handling unpredictable change and which underpin students’ capacity to be ‘change adept’. We know this stems from being able to apply a wide range of skills and having the experience to choose the best suited strategies. Most recently I explored the concept of ‘learning space’ – the cognitive space that effective teachers give over to students so that students can develop, apply and consolidate capabilities and skills for themselves. I offered a few questions to help schools evaluate the extent to which they provide students with ‘learning space’. To illustrate this approach further, I will now describe a lesson I’ve seen many times and which you will probably recognise. I will then offer reflective questions focusing on what I see as missed opportunities, 08 | Jan - Feb 2018 | | pointing to how the lesson could have added much greater value by providing students with ‘the learning space’. PURPOSE: The lesson is intended to consolidate young students’ recognition of analogue time using a conventional clock face - all students are expected to recognise hour, quarter-past, half-past and quarter-to. The teacher also declares an intention to promote students’ creativity. APPROACH: Each student has a cardboard clock face and is required to place the clock hands at the time requested by the teacher. For around 20 minutes, the teacher asks the students to show a range of times on their clock faces. The teacher then gives the students a worksheet comprising six blank clock faces alongside specified moments in the school day. Students are required to draw clock hands to illustrate these moments including, for example, assembly (9), morning Class Time But, how well did the lesson promote students’ wider capacities and skills? Can you identify how students developed creativity, for example, as the teacher had intimated they would? Probably not. But students could have been invited to create their own ways to illustrate time. They might have done this using all sorts of imaginative approaches, perhaps not even involving a worksheet, and in so doing could have taken forward the teachers’ intention to develop their creativity. However, in creating the worksheet, the teacher occupied the ‘learning space’ rather than the students. And what about learning skills? We can all see the many opportunities where students could have worked collaboratively, for example, or where they could have consolidated their learning using peer-assessment approaches. But these skills were not required because this was a whole- class, teacher-directed lesson. As suc 7GVFVG2BƗGFR7V'7FFfR76PFF"V&f"FV6VfW2FV VvvVVBv2Ɩ֗FVBFfvp7G'V7F2B7vW&rVW7F2fW&FVvRFRW76v07V66W76gV66ƖFFr7GVFVG>( vVFvRb66f6W2BFR@FBB&FR7GVFVG>( 6&ƗFW0B62vB6VBfR&VV6WFRBV&6rV&pWW&V6R6G&'WFrF7GVFVG>( gWGW&RVVG2GW&VBWBF&R'GVG֗76VBw&2FW&F7V6Ɨ7BG&6f&F6vRWW&V6VB6fW&V6R7VW"R2g&VV6R66֖&fVV@67VFBv6v&2vFFRFW&FgWGW&W2f'VB'&F66V6R2FW6vVBVBBVƗG77W&VB667V7F&WfWpB&fVVB&6W2FR֖FFRV7BBWW&R6VFr0767FB6Vb7V7F"FRT