I attended the inaugural Primary Teachers Network (PTN) professional learning event, “M.E.S.H. Mapping: Your GPS to the new curriculum” which focussed on an integrated approach to teaching and learning Maths, English, Science and History in the primary classroom.
The opening speeches by Christine Taylor, Consul General of India Sydney, Amit Dasgupta and Jane Caro were very inspiring as they challenged us to think about teaching in a new light.
Claude Bernard’s quote “it is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning”, along with remembering that once flying was thought to be impossible, arsenic was good for us and the world was flat, were used to reflect on the beliefs in the past.
As teachers we need to be challenging what has been done in the past and embrace the ‘what if?’ If we have a new idea, we need to try it and give it a go.
We should be asking ourselves “what do we need to be giving our students to strive in their future?”
We need to be teaching our students how to think rather than what to think. We need to challenge their learning and help them to discover who they are. We need to let students discover that there may be an alternate path that may not have been discovered yet.
Christine Taylor outlined that we need to be helping our students to;
- be literate
- be numerate
- critically question
- use imagination in all KLAs
- be life long learners
- be open to possibilities
- problem solve
- play and have fun
- be resilient and stand up for what they believe in
Amit Dasgupta used the analogy of a 1500 piece puzzle box containing 2000 puzzle pieces. The 500 extra pieces will fit, but will not help you to solve the puzzle. Therefore you need to discard the extra 500 pieces. What pieces are you holding onto that you need to discard?
In order to move forward, we need to do some unpacking. It is a time of rapid unlearning. How much do you have in your mind that you can throw out? Jane Caro affirmed that we do not know what is going to happen tomorrow and we can only anticipate the future from the past, however when you see the evidence showing that something new is working – what do you do?
Do you change your mind or remain stuck in the past?