Saturday, 12 March 2016

Guy Claxton - Achievement and Character: Can you do both at once?

I awaited with nerdy excitement for the day to arrive to hear Guy Claxton speak. With the focus for Emma and myself to pick up ideas relevant to what we are doing in the Innovation Incubator team. I left with some answers, and many more questions!

Here are my notes:
  • Can you fulfill potential? How do you know how much someones potential is? Have you fulfilled yours? When? So why do we so often refer to wishy-washy terms like this?
  • How do you 'evidence' values like Growth Mindset or resilience? I like how 'evidence' has been changed into a verb.
  • Things need to be grounded in good quality research.
  • How does time effect stuff - is a 45min period or one rotation going to allow persistence to grow?
  • There are four Layers of Learning: today we were focusing on layer three - habits

  • "Flounder" intelligently
  • It is no teachers dream to turn out passive, docile, compliant, students - yet we do....
  • Content gives a topic that you teach your habits through - "Today we are stretching our ______ muscle." E.g. questioning.
  • Skills v dispositions - dispositions are far more important because it drives the development of the skill.
  • Low socio-eco status kids benefit more from higher cognitive load. Don't go easy on them because 'their lives are already stressed'
  • You can't teach attitudes and dispositions directly - they have to be coached, cultivated in culture.
  • Epistemic apprenticeship

  • If you diet is predominately 'efficient' then you're going to end up a bit lopsided!
  • Removing own desks increases collaboration and collegiality in a classroom - proved somewhere in Australia (sorry I didn't get the details)
  • Phrase: "hump of resistance" often used when referring to staff not willing to change or even explore change
  • Performing v learning - learning has some form of difficulty attached to it
  • Students learning to choose, design, research, conduct, troubleshoot, and evaluate learning for themselves
  • Build power to teach themselves 
  • Things should always be under review, status quo is not safe or neutral.
  • Stepping in too soon during a learning struggle deprives an opportunity for that student to Build Learning Power. 
  • Have a High Participation, Low Shame culture. Make it safe to learn.
  • Display a final product with the draft - shift the focus from achievement to improvement.
  • Flexing learning muscles - coach, coach, coach!
  • Learning muscles to stretch (on the left hand side)

The final three points really resonated with me. This video that Guy shared with us shows the importance, and how easily coaching can be done from a very young age.
Austin's Butterfly

What next? For me:
  • Read How Children Succeed - Paul Tough
  • Give students authority and ability to challenge what people tell them
  • Give activity and then give students think/peer/share time to decide how many people should be in groups - ownership and decision making onto kids.
  • Two stars and a wish - go back to coaching children how to give feedback (I used to do this so well - why did I stop???)
  • Mix up groups more - ensure children are frequently working with different people than usual.
  • Use a distraction scale - show me 1-4 fingers how distracting that (plane/lightning/noise/class clown - don't actually say what was distracting though) was. If you show 5 fingers, you were the distraction. Children monitor their own focus.
  • Use a kind continuum - children can move their own or others face depending on how kind/supportive/helpful they've been. Or not! Keeps an open dialogue of support.

What next? For the Innovation Incubator team:

  • Give mentors strategies to embed teaching of character so it's not 'more teaching'
  • SOLO - depth of though, not level of thought
  • Review, review, review - this year and into every other year Shotover School exists!

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