My conversation with John Goh began on Twitter - https://twitter.com/alisoncleary/status/575473007080026113
So it was great to hear him present in our session today.
Merrylands East - 90% non English speaking, 20% refugees so it is impossible to run an homogenous programme - the students come in at so many levels - how could you possibly follow an aged based curriculum?
It was clear that cultural capital needed to be taken into account. Changes were made to school day based on extensive community consultation - parents do not work 9-5. There was no model for this - Merrylands became the researchers. Teachers become the researchers - a research paradigm. Really clear that John
Is prepared to challenge the status quo to get the best possible outcomes for his students. School now starts at 7am
He asked us a fundamental question - What can the children do at school that they cannot do at home - if they can learn it outside school, why do they need to be there???
I think it would be challenging to actually see what this looked like if we 'mapped' the answers at RHS.
5 key principles
- real world authentic problem solving
- driving questions
- personalised learning
- backward mapping of outcomes
- technology as a process tool
- ongoing assessment
Teachers live collaboration - teams of 3 teachers in shared spaces and interestingly students have become owners of their own spaces - they decide which furniture is best for which year level or work plan.
Developed on the back of Google 'genius hour' - scaffolded 'passion learning'
Students drive the process and the learning.
Low academic students are performing well in this model. Students bring their own devices - learning is seamless from home to school - and reflection a key part of the learning ( another common theme in innovative schools)
Students are exposed to the syllabus it's not a secret - the curriculum is not limited - but rather selective!! The students have become the teacher in a number of instances - especially around new technologies.
John's statement - Don't let standardised assessment drive what you do received a large round of applause.
Where have we learnt?
Student data shows a lot more engagement.
Boys in yr 4-6 engaged in reverse of national trends.
Bottom 10% literacy has been reduced.
PBL- as a key to engagement
Driving question followed by aspects of learning, team jobs had to be applied for - team managers have become school leaders.
What's my paradigm?
Have you changed as a teacher from when you graduated?
He has no office - the school has no bells
'Somehow they know when it's time.' They can eat whenever - why do we eat to a bell? The staff never say 'time to pack up' if the kids are engaged in learning!
'The more I let go, the more my teachers create, the more my teachers let go, the more the students create'
John's Blog is here -
YouTube here - http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zrBpcIaha6M
You'll be able to read more about his school after we visit there on Friday.