Sunday, February 26, 2017

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. (Alvin Toffler)

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.  (Alvin Toffler)

Week 27-Activity 3-Practice-Broader Professional Context

Implementing effective strategies to support priority learners in our school.
Working in a low decile school, we have many students arriving at school without the traditional European knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic.  Many also have a limited vocabulary and are passive learners. “Priority learners are groups of students who have been identified as historically not experiencing success in the New Zealand schooling system.  These include many Maori and Pacific learners, those from low socio-economic backgrounds and students with special education needs. (Education Review Office 2012 p4)
The Education Review office (2012) discusses trends in education relating to Priority learners.  They identify three aspects, which they recognise as ways of narrowing the gap between these learners and other students.  
These are:           student centred learning,
knowledgable implementation of a rich and responsive curriculum,
effective use of assessment.  

In my class we are trying to narrow the gap through blended learning with a STEM basis.  In other words, science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) taught through both a project based learning environment and a discovery based inquiry.  This provides authentic learning experiences for the students. “Authentic learning is seen as an umbrella for several important pedagogical strategies that have great potential to immerse learners in environments where they can gain lifelong learning skills.” (Adams Becker et al 2016 p 26)  The result is student centred learning in a rich and immersive curriculum.

Assessment in our STEM class has used SOLO taxonomy with students peer and self-assessing.  Initially students struggled with the concept of SOLO taxonomy but gained confidence in their self-appraisal by also using a peer assessment strategy.  Peer review forms a huge part of the world of science and teaching students to effectively assess / discuss / query work rather than the person has made a positive impact on both collaborative learning and class culture.  Students began to recognise each other’s skill sets and ask peers for help and support to overcome personal challenges.  Again this links to traditional assessment practices of peer assessment, whanau assessment and teacher assessment, appropriate behaviour and performance in context-specific situations as identified by Mahuika (2008).

In traditional Māori education, inter-relationships between learning areas were embraced.  STEM learning brings this cultural practice into the classroom but with a 21st C agenda.  It prepares our students for a world of collaborative work teams, of problem solving and innovating solutions.  .  It also addresses issues of social justice and equity as scientific literacy and critical thinking support students in tackling the ‘wicked problems’ and opportunities currently faced by our society


Adams Becker, S. F. (2016). NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2016 K-12Edition. Austin Texas: The New Media Consortium. .
Johnson, L. A. (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition. Austin Texas: The New Media Consortium.
Mahuika, R. (2008). Kaupapa Māori theory is critical and anti-colonial. . Mai Review, 1 - 16.

Office, E. R. (2012). Evaluation at a Glance: Priority Learners in New Zealand Schools. Retrieved from from

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