Is Teaching Local a Possible Response to Globalisation?

In last weeks' blog post I discussed the socioeconomic status of the vast majority of my College's students. This post will analyse one of the effects of this that I see in my classroom - as a discussion around the negative impact of globalisation.

Geography is a Globalised Subject Right?
As a Geography teacher, Globalisation is a concept that has always had a place in my classroom. In the past it has been a course of study at different levels, through slightly cliched studies like McDonaldisation, global studies of fashion et al. Students in my classes should be fascinated by their world and I should be able to develop this fascination and develop their critical analysis of what they see and experience. I am, in fact, seeing the opposite. Students are increasingly blase about the mindblowing variation in their world.

With Globalisation named as one of the Trends Shaping Education in 2016  it seems an appropriate for me to articulate my developing concerns about the increasi…

Responding to A Professional Context

As a teacher, it is important to have a clear understanding of the context in which you teach. The Socio-Economic context of a school's community will impact all aspects of a schools culture - in my experience in both positive and negative ways.

The Influence of Status in a School
My current school is a large, urban - and for this conversation most importantly- private Y1-13 school. It is accurate to conclude that the students I teach come from the least economically deprived conditions in NZ, and many will come from families with well above normal financial capabilities. We are obviously a decile 10 school, but in contrast to state decile 10 schools I feel that we have even less variation in economic circumstances. There are certainly some families in our community who are making huge sacrifices for their children to attend are school - but I don't feel as though that is the norm. 
The effect of this on the context of the school is profound. Resourcing levels are extremely high,…

Teaching as a Community

Teaching is inherently a social occupation. Effective teaching involves effective communication; however often that communication can be restricted to the student-teacher relationships.

Communities of Practice 
I idealise a situation where the communication between teachers is considered equally as paramount. A teacher who recently left our College after over 40 years service noted "there are many great teachers here - I tried to be a good colleague."

In order to develop collegiality, and thus effectiveness, it is important to consciously acknowledge what communities of learning I have a responsibility to play an active role in a number of communities of practice. Wenger (2000) notes that "Participating in these communities of practice is essential to our learning. It is at the very core of what makes us human beings capable of meaningful knowing". 

There are two communities of practice which dominate my professional interactions. The first is obviously the depart…

Constructing Knowledge in a Geography Class

My 2017 Year 13 Geography class is a mixed ability group of 20 students; 13 boys and 7 girls. The students have entered Y13 Geography from a number of different pathways; ranging from a student who gained a NZQA Scholarship in Geography in 2016 as a Year 12, to students who have no experience of studying Geography at any level.
My school runs a 1:1 laptop programme where every student is expected to have a laptop. The predominant software used within the classroom is OneNote. This platform gives the class the basic online structure to aid the delivery of academic content.
This teacher inquiry will seek to redress a concern that I have about the social atmosphere of my classroom; specifically the fact that increased, and perhaps poorly executed, technology integration into the classroom has led to a lack of deeper knowledge construction.  
Students: Teacher inquiry must be student-centred, and I have concerns about the social direction of this class. Ultimately, I feel…

Does Constructivism have a Place in a Modern Classroom?

Just Google It: The role of knowledge Construction in a Modern, Technology-Rich Classroom
As formalised education evolved in the post-industrial era, an emphasis on knowledge recall verses skill development began to emerge. Several new education and psychology theories became increasingly popular. One such theory is Constructivism. Originally attributed to the work of the French academic Jean Piaget; his interpretation of the concepts has since been dubbed cognitive constructivism (Powell & Kalina 2009). Since Piaget’s original writings, mid last century, the theory has continued to evolve into a wide range of sub-theories; most famously around the socio constructivist work of Lev Vygotsky and, more recently, the radical constructivist interpretations popularized by, among other, Ernst von Glaserfeld.
There is little doubt that the theory of constructivism has evolved; but has the previously well received theory of Constructivism kept pace with pedagogy changes brought about by the…

Why have I enrolled in Post Grad learning?

Last week I began the Post Grad Certificate in Applied Practice, by Mindlab. One of the first tasks on the first day was to try and articulate the reasons for enrolling in this course. For me that was pretty simple.

The reasons for my enrollment are twofold:

To expose myself to a wider range of eLearning strategies; particularly the change to apply those skills consistently.To expose myself to more Academic theory around eLearning, and the effectiveness of it to specifically improve student achievement.  I am really hoping to clarify and consolidate my own understanding of these two aspects, and I hope that my new learning will be directly applicable in my position. 
On a slightly lighter note, check out our groups quickfire video about the purpose of education....

Climbing the SAMR Ladder

One of my on-going goals is based around the successful implementation of eLearning into my teaching of Year 13 Geography. In my role as eLearning integrator at the College, it is important that I am seen to be visible in this area, and that I can show that I too am implementing some of the strategies and tools that I am advocating to other staff.
1.Scanning: 2015 was my first year at StAC and therefore my first year teaching in a 1:1 laptop environment. The class taught last year was a very mixed ability Year 13 Geography class. After my early expermentations with OneNote I had high hopes that there would be dramatic time savings in my teaching program as I was not requiring students to copy notes off the board to the same extent as I had previously done. One of my major reflections at th eend of the year was that I did not find this the case - I simply could not account for that extra time. Students were not copying notes down, so what could be done with that time in a more delibera…