If I was Ewan and I was arguing that “X will bring large changes to Y”
And X = social networking technologies
And Y = educational methods
Then I wouldn’t be relying on simplistic crowd pleaser Jetson analogies for my argument ...they are way too easy to counter ...
Jane Jetson: Elroy, why aren't you ready for school?
Elroy Jestson: I don't feel good, Mom. I think... I think I'm coming down with Venus Virus.
Jane Jetson: Venus Virus, eh? Last week you said it was Martian Mumps. Anything to get out of taking that space calculus test.
I’d be looking far more thoughtfully at what makes an educational method – both the cause and the effect ....and teasing out the most persuasive arguments for bringing change to these through social networking technologies ...
In New Zealand teachers are influenced in their choice of educational method by the Best Evidence research from the intellectually mesmerising mind of Adrienne Alton- Lee and her – Quality Teaching for Diverse Students in Schooling
This best evidence synthesis Quality teaching for diverse students in schooling is intended to contribute to the development of our evidence-base for policy and practice in schooling. The purpose of the synthesis is to contribute to ongoing, evidence-based and evolving dialogue about pedagogy amongst policy makers, educators and researchers that can inform development and optimise outcomes for students in New Zealand schooling.
So if I was Ewan I’d reframe the question as - will social networking technologies bring large [positive] changes to the conditions of value for any of the following?
And then I’d kick
ass …there is heaps to base an argument around ... and heaps to disguise ... in the nexus between the Best Evidence Synthesis and social networking technologies.
1. Quality teaching is focused on student achievement (including social outcomes) and facilities high standards of student outcomes for heterogeneous groups of students.
- Quality teaching is focussed on raising student achievement (including social outcomes).
- Quality teaching facilitates the learning of diverse students and raises achievement for all learners.
- The teacher establishes and follows through on appropriate expectations for learning outcomes and the pace at which learning should proceed.
- High expectations are necessary but not sufficient, and can be counterproductive, when not supported by quality teaching.
2. Pedgogical practices enable classes and other learning groupings to work as caring, inclusive, and cohesive learning communities.
The learning community concept has arisen out of the research literature and denotes both a central focus on learning and the interdependence of the social and the academic in optimising learning conditions.
- Pedagogical practices create an environment that works as a learning community.
- Student motivation is optimised and students' aspirations are supported and extended.
- Caring and support is generated through the practices and interactions of teacher(s) and students.
- Pedagogical practices pro-actively value and address diversity.
- Academic norms are strong and not subverted by social norms.
- The language and practices of the classroom are inclusive of all students.
- Teachers use class sessions to value diversity, and to build community and cohesion.
- Teaching and tasks are structured to support, and students demonstrate, active learning orientations.
- Teaching includes specific training in collaborative group work with individual accountability mechanisms, and students demonstrate effective co-operative and social skills that enable group processes to facilitate learning for all participants.
- Students help each other with resource access and provide elaborated explanations.
- Pedagogical practice is appropriately responsive to the interdependence of socio-cultural and cognitive dimensions.
3. Effective links are created between school and other cultural contexts in which students are socialised, to facilitate learning.
- Teachers ensure that student experiences of instruction have known relationships to other cultural contexts in which the students have been/are socialised.
- Relevance is made transparent to students.
- Cultural practices at school are made transparent and taught.
- Ways of taking meaning from text, discourse, numbers or experience are made explicit.
- Quality teaching recognises and builds on students' prior experiences and knowledge.
- New information is linked to student experiences.
- Student diversity is utilised effectively as a pedagogical resource.
- Quality teaching respects and affirms cultural identity (including gender identity) and optimises educational opportunities.
- Quality teaching effects are maximised when supported by effective school-home partnership practices focused on student learning. School-home partnerships that have shown the most positive impacts on student outcomes have student learning as their focus.
- When educators enable quality alignments in practices between teachers and parent/caregivers to support learning and skill development then student achievement can be optimised.
- Teachers can take agency in encouraging, scaffolding and enabling student-parent/caregiver dialogue around school learning.
- Quality homework can have particularly positive impacts on student learning. The effectiveness of the homework is particularly dependent upon the teacher's ability to construct, resource, scaffold and provide feedback upon appropriate homework tasks that support in-class learning for diverse students and do not unnecessarily fatigue and frustrate students.
4. Quality teaching is responsive to student learning processes.
Research-based characteristics are specific to curriculum context and the prior knowledge and experiences of the learners.
- Teachers have knowledge of the nature of student learning processes in the curriculum area, can interpret student behaviour in the light of this knowledge and are responsive, creative and effective in facilitating learning processes.
- Examples of teaching approaches that are intended to exemplify this characteristic are the dynamic or flexible literacy models, the numeracy strategy focus and the Interactive Teaching Approach in science education.
- Classroom management enables the teacher to be responsive to diverse learners.
- Responsive teaching is important for all learners and particularly critical for students with special needs.
5. Opportunity to learn is effective and sufficient.
- Quality teaching provides sufficient and effective opportunity to learn.
- Management practices facilitate learning (rather than emphasising compliant behaviour or control).
- Curriculum enactment has coherence, interconnectedness and links are made to real life relevance.
- Curriculum content addresses diversity appropriately and effectively.
- Quality teaching includes and optimises the effective use of non-linguistic representations by teacher and students. (This assumes the concurrent and rich use of oral language and text as central to literacy across the curriculum.)
- Students have opportunities to resolve cognitive conflict.
- Students have sufficient and appropriate opportunities for practice and application.
6. Multiple task contexts support learning cycles.
- Task cycles match developmental learning cycles of students.
- Task cycles enable students to engage in and complete learning processes so that what is learned is remembered.
- Optimal use is made of complementary combinations of teacher-directed groupings, co-operative groups, structured peer interaction and individual work (including homework) to facilitate learning cycles.
7. Curriculum goals, resources including ICT usage, task design, teaching and school practices are effectively aligned.
- Curricular alignment: The use of resources, teaching materials and ICT is aligned with curriculum goals to optimise student motivation and accomplish instructional purposes and goals.
- Curricular alignment optimises rather than inhibits critical thinking.
- Pedagogical strategies are evaluated in relation to curricular goals.
- ICT usage is integrated into pedagogical practice across the curriculum.
- Quality teaching is optimised when there is whole school alignment around evidence-based practices.
- The school maintains an 'unrelenting focus on student achievement and learning.
- There is whole school alignment and coherence across policies and practices that focus on, resource and support quality teaching for diverse students.
- Pro-active alignment across the school supports effective inclusion of diverse students within the school community.
- Whole school alignment optimises opportunity to learn, particularly in language immersion, literacy, ICT, social studies and health.
- Whole school alignment enables a common language, teacher collaboration and reflection and other synergies around improving teaching.
- Whole school alignment minimises disruptions to quality teaching and sustains continuous improvement.
- School policies and practices initiate, and support teachers in maintaining, school-home partnerships focused on learning.
8. Pedagogy scaffolds and provides appropriate feedback on students' task engagement.
- Tasks and classroom interactions provide scaffolds to facilitate student learning (the teacher provides whatever assistance diverse students need to enable them to engage in learning activities productively, for example, teacher use of prompts, questions, and appropriate resources including social resources).
- Teaching develops all students' information skills and ensures students' ready access to resources when needed to assist the learning process.
- Students receive effective, specific, appropriately frequent, positive and responsive feedback. Feedback must be neither too infrequent so that a student does not receive appropriate feedback nor too frequent so that the learning process is subverted.
9. Pedagogy promotes learning orientations, student self-regulation, metacognitive strategies and thoughtful student discourse.
- Quality teaching promotes learning orientations and student self-regulation.
- Teaching promotes metacognitive strategy use (e.g. mental strategies in numeracy) by all students.
- Teaching scaffolds reciprocal or alternating tuakana teina roles in student group, or interactive work.
- Teaching promotes sustained thoughtfulness (e.g. through questioning approaches, wait-time, and the provision of opportunities for application and invention).
- Teaching promotes critical thinking.
- Teaching makes transparent to students the links between strategic effort and accomplishment.
10. Teachers and students engage constructively in goal-oriented assessment.
- Assessment practices improve learning.
- Teachers and students have clear information about learning outcomes.
- Students have a strong sense of involvement in the process of setting specific learning goals.
- Pedagogy scaffolds and provides appropriate feedback on students' task engagement.
- Teachers ensure that their assessment practices impact positively on students' motivation.
- Teachers manage the evaluative climate, particularly in context of public discussion, so that student covert or overt participation is supported, scaffolded and challenged without students being humiliated.
- Teachers manage the evaluative climate so that academic norms are not undermined but supported by social norms.
- Teachers adjust their teaching to take account of the results of assessment.
But anyone who knows me knows that I am patently NOT Ewan ... and because of my social networking technologies I am rescued from the rather pedestrian arguments evident on The Economist debate by finding out about Georges Perec and as a result focussing instead on how “To question that which seems to have ceased forever to astonish us” –
I have struck an immediate problem in interrogating my teaspoons, the chaos of my household means I have to first locate them, so I am thinking instead about what "I have ceased forever to be astonished by" because I have chosen to make time with Grandpa at the dementia centre part of each day.