Monday, March 13, 2017

Shifts In Learning

My learners and I continue to shift our learning and evolve through competencies for authentic learning connections. We continue to experiment with learning, reflect on and iterate the learning in order to embrace the winding road of rich learning practices. Shifts in learning involve learning to happen with the students, being engaged with them, sharing and reflecting during the process in order to allow the shift and the depth in the learning.

As mentioned in previous blog posts learning practices embrace clear purposes, success criteria, feedback from the teacher and peers, and opportunities to self-assess and have students determine their own progress and success. (My previous post on reflecting)

Reflecting continues to pave the way to deepen our daily experiences. There is no linear learning or planning. Our learning is always based on how we are going to demonstrate thinking and having content as an equal partner with cognition for my instructional practices and for the students' learning outcomes. In this blog, I am going to focus on the latest learning experiences and unpack our shifts in our learning. These learning experiences are many opportunities to also pique students' curiosities.

The students are reflecting on their own growth on a daily basis. The competencies are also explored and highlighted during the process. The students focus on how the learning experiences develop their growth and next steps through competencies. When I am planning the learning experiences, I am also referring to the competencies.

Our school board, the Ottawa Catholic School board has been building experiences of competencies with their schools for the past three years based on Michael Fullen Pedagogies for Deep Learning.

As I catch up to my reflections on our shift in the learning process, at this time my learners are becoming more comfortable with being uncomfortable and are capable to independently refer to their habits as they are applying and reflecting on the competencies for learning. (Post on the Unlearning) The students are thinking with flexibility and paying attention to details when reflecting on real world experiences and audiences.

Connecting to real world learning through the Global Goals For Sustainable Development in relation to Grade 6 Social Studies Curriculum of Canadian Interaction With The Global Community has lead to the process of explorations that began in January through the visual arts and drama as students still continue to investigate local, national and international events.

The learning shift for the students has been done by becoming open minded while focusing on social justice, political and economic impacts to the environment. When reflecting on these experiences they are rendering to real world accountability.

After watching 360o videos of Virtual Reality about the "The Displaced from NYTVR, which it could be viewed on 360o videos on Youtube.

We were lucky to also have a camera spot on Exploring By The Seat of Your Pants with Inger VanDyke who captures images from tribal Africa. This was an interesting hangout for the students as they reflected on how happy these cultures are and how immersed they are with their simple daily life expectations.

Students interacting with the presenter and documenting their new learnings.

We also followed up on events by reading, listening and viewing many links online from our local, National and international news on xenophobia, human rights, Children rights and twitter from United Nations and UNICEF.  

Of course the exposure to many perspectives and contexts matter. This blog focuses on students' reflections and their journey to further explore empathy by observing, listening and sharing their thinking during class discussions. The students are reflecting on their own growth by being concerned for the planet and relating their learning to social, economic, political and environmental impacts of all human actions. I am amazed by students' reflections and their courage of being authentic to their emotions and embrace the shift of learning about themselves.

The pre and post reflections focused on Citizenship, "thinking like global citizens, considering global issues on a deep understanding of diverse values with genuine interest in engaging with others to solve complex problems that impact human and environmental sustainability." (Fullan &Scott 2016 p.6)

The students have taken action on environment sustainability while exploring the production of energy. They have designed and built sustainable cities on Minecraft with zero emission and they partnered with Natural Resources Canada with Mr. Meli Stylianou for feedback about zero emission housing and with Dr. Marianne Hatzopoulo for urban sustainable cities. I should have blogged and shared students' thinking of the process of environmental sustainability. I will share some evidence.

Mr. Meli met with all groups on their sustainable housing.

Dr. Marianne Hatzopoulou offered feedback online with all teams about their mine craft samples of sustainable cities and infrastructures.

As students focus on global issues, as to which they are presently planning to take action with Students Who Teach the Sustainable Development Goals. They have begun their designs of informing their local and global community and hopefully, I will be able to share their process of design.

Below are some images of the Grade 6 reflective shift and expressions of where they are now with their thinking about global issues, global perspectives, diverse values and understanding their place in local, national and global life. The reflections are written in French and I will be translating them.

I am proud of how my learners are progressing with their emotions and sharing how they are moving forward by thinking about the future and how it is real and it impacts everyone. The process of reflection about the Citizenship competency has allowed them to accept where they are at, how to move forward, embrace change and emotional exposures to other people's experiences, needs, and concerns from global, local and national events. They have become listeners, observers, curious, caring and sincere to understand than approaching people with a mindset.

The classroom is the beginning for the learners to explore and invite open-minded curiosities about diverse world values and views. The students will continue to make these global connections, differentiating facts, thinking critically and taking their learning deeper. They will continue to reflect, express their self-awareness and think how to impact others through social change.

How are your students reflecting on the change of their feelings and emotions towards real world problems?

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