Sage, Guide, MeddlerTeaching in 21st century times Erica McWilliam ACE Scholar on the Road, 2009
What education would best prepare kids for this task? Students are told they are Rangers for a National Park experiencing a dramatic increase in the population of hares that threatens the ecology of the park. They are asked to decide whether or not to introduce more lynx into the system, and if so, how many. Students will need to be able to: • receive, respond to, and initiate simulated communications with other Rangers who are working on the project, and have specialised knowledge of the situation; • search the WWW to find relevant information on both hares and lynxes; • organise and analyse this information and evaluate its quality; • make predictions on the basis of this analysis, test their predictions with modeling software; • analyse the results, as represented in graphs, tables and charts. • integrate these findings with information from other resources and create a multimedia presentation in which they make and defend recommendations, and communicate these to others.
Sage on the Stage • all-knowing • guru status • charismatic • authoritative
Sage on the Stage – at worst • intimidating • monologic • past-oriented • discipline-bound
Guide on the Side • focus on the learner in the environment • teacher as facilitator • skills of the mentor / coach
Guide on the Side – at worst • Passive • Worksheet-dependent • Low threat • Low challenge
21st century capacities Aesthetic / Digital Academic / Functional Dynamic /Interactive
Meddler in the Middle • Usefully ignorant • Seriously playful • Epistemologically agile • Low threat, high challenge
More than ‘going digital’ • Structure-rich • Conversation-rich • Information-rich • Challenge-rich • Respect-rich
Meddling: the portfolio • Deep, wide, transdisciplinary • student-led • from known to the unknown • unfolds as a series of responses to ‘wondering’ • a tightly edited manuscript/assemblage that documents a learning journey • demonstrates growing complexity of thought and skills of editorship, not the ability to amass more information. • amenable to evaluation.
Meddling in design mode • Question the idea that knowledge is just an accumulation of facts • Need to deeply understand what is being built on • Immersion the most promising strategy • A very social process • Need to go past the labels to the activities
Design Mode Learning • What is this idea good for? • What does it do and fail to do? • Does it have a future? • How could it be improved? • What is the value-add? (not is it true or how original is it?)
Teacher learning and unlearning “As often as not, it is our knowledge that stops us from taking risks and trying out new things, not our ignorance.” Charles Leadbeater, 2000
Institutional Shifts Learn Unlearn Front loading Lifelong, lifewide learning Subjects Trans-disciplinarity Horizontality Hierarchy Division of labour Collaboration Conformity Diversity Flexible pathways Lock-step Linearity Creativity ‘Factories’ ‘Hubs’
Values Shifts Learn Unlearn Epistemological agility Memorisation Learning to learn Performance testing Co-creation Compliance Imitation Creativity Control and command Support and Direction Supply-side thinking User-led thinking Risk and interactivity Mass custody Voice Authority Dynamic teams Competitive individuals Prod-user content Pre-packaged content Throw-away society Sustainable living
Contact details Professor Erica McWilliam Centre for Research into Pedagogy and Practice National Institute of Education, Singapore (email@example.com) - PH (W) +65 6790 3324 and Adjunct Professor, ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation Queensland University of Technology(firstname.lastname@example.org)CRICOS 00213J