This evening I began putting some ideas into thought as to why I feel knocked down and somewhat weakened in my chosen profession at the moment. This is my chosen career, my passion…but right now I have big questions and genuine concerns. I have collated my Posterous entry, contribution to the PLP ConnectU Ning and reply from Chad J Evans to start my extraction.
This is such an important discussion. I’m going through a phase at my school right now where this conversation is relevant…even though the school where I work is doing a lot of pretty cool things here and there.
A take on the response to the idea of ‘unlearning’… in direct reply to @willrich45 @kynanr
I really hear what Kynan is talking about. Writing is the one subject area that makes me wonder. How can we expect kids to be engaged if they are not given ample opportunity to write for a genuine audience? I’ve found this year that I have to change topic, authorial focus, content, etc etc….so much that my students do not get a chance to sink their teeth into some writing that they can work hard on and publish to a place where there is an audience waiting for them. I’ve had glimpses over the years of this but it is never an ongoing.
Practising persuasive texts for the NAPLAN tests was a perfect example. I thought to myself…what a fine opportunity to dig into some ‘meaty’ topics and get the kids passionate about their point of view. Yet I had to keep practising more and more, one text after another. The kids didn’t have a chance to publish to an audience.
Why do we have to cram so much in? This is what we could unlearn? Why can’t we NOT be afraid of lingering on a project or piece of writing for awhile so the kids can lap it up, go over it carefully and surely and get it out there for those to see?
These two examples are some of the only real writing projects that I think went all the way. I’ve been in the job six years and this is what I recall instantly…
Reply from Chad J Evans…
Why do we have to cram so much in? This is what we could unlearn? Why can’t we NOT be afraid of lingering on a project or piece of writing for awhile so the kids can lap it up, go over it carefully and surely and get it out there for those to see? I see these as really important questions. I just had a conversation with a colleague this morning surrounding the curricular choices we all make every year and how even though we often feel like we don’t have the flexibility to make those kinds of decisions, we make them often. However, we feel comfortable making the little choices, yet not the big ones regarding student learning and the ability of learners to immerse themselves…
I’m wondering how we go about having those difficult conversations with ourselves, with our colleagues, and with our supervisors and what those conversations might look like and feel like?
Posterous entry - 18.5.11
I realised today that education is always evolving…but really. Yes I can already hear you saying ‘get with it, that’s been the case for at least the last ten years.’ But this evening I’ve been pondering the concept of ‘unlearning.’ It is a theory that’s been discussed but I think this concept may take a new avenue for me soon… maybe others. I only get glimpses of what I could really achieve with my students at the moment. In between, I have to make sure I am planning, thinking and talking about the numbers, the process and the end marker. There is not enough time. It nails us, knocks us down, sows the seeds of doubt. I don’t want to short change my students. Controversial but demoralising.