Saturday, September 12, 2015

The MindLab Session 9 - International Perspectives, Assessment, MOOCs and Kahoot

International Perspectives:

Today's sessions starts with cultural intelligence - the capability to relate and work effectively across cultures.

We are multicultural in a bicultural framework - which led to my reflecting on my years with Kotahitanga and the cultural understandings - implicitly know the learner. The whole premise of who they are and what they bring to the classroom. The most recent assessment has made me reflect on my learnings and understandings from Kotahitanga a lot actually. The whole notion of whanaungatanga - making connections between groups of people - kinship or otherwise. How much do we actually take notice of cultural capital? 

Looking at PISA: 

Great little video about the value of PISA - the very things that PISA says do not make a difference - are the things that we still do - separating students into academic and skills pathways and making students repeat year levels and courses. 


What questions do we need to ask about PISA?
- what is the value of this to us - why would the students bother?
- what cultural capital of the test and the students sitting the test? 
- why are we following a vocational pathways model????

Key points from PISA 
- wealth overall does not guarantee better student performance
- quality of teachers should be the priority
- belief that all students should achieve and they have the opportunity to do so

Learning from others: 

I don't think I want anything from the Singaporean system!! It appears to be a teacher directed, content based, high stakes assessment model! 
The best model that I have seen recently was at the John Monash Science School and Australian School of Maths and Science - you can read about this here - and - follow your passion and work like a scientist! 

Shanghai's model sounds a lot like what we are trying to introduce in Communities of Schools - getting the top performing schools and and school leaders to pull low performing schools and teachers up to scratch? 

Assessment Drives Teaching: 

What does assessment hell look like? 
- even in primary schools the key things mentioned here was 'moderation' - overall teacher judgement within schools and across schools. 
- too many assessments
- pressure to get a level of success - monetary rewards 

What does assessment heaven look like? 
- in English we have a clear goal around formative assessment - using feedback books and setting a number of formative tasks before the students enter the external examinations at the end of the year

There needs to be a lot of debate around the value of summative assessment. Because it is formative assessment that is the key indicator of student success.

How do we choose tools?

When we speak about a learning management system, who manages the learning? How the learning takes place is is controlled by the designer of the system. 
If this is the case, if the design of software controls the type of learning - how do we decide which software to use? 

The tool is irrelevant, it's how you use it that makes the difference. It is the design of the learning activity that makes the difference. How you use an APP is what makes thelearning  relevant or enables the learner to progress. 

Tools for formative assessment: 

Kahoot session:  
Interesting Kahoots and discussion around the Finnish education system - for example who knew that the highest rate of suicide of 15-24 year old males was in Finland!
Less than 10% of students who apply get into teacher training.

Yay - I was the winner with 12447 points - 14 correct and 7 incorrect answers!!!!

MOOCS - massively open online courses:  

Why would people bother if they do not get recognition?
Why would universities bother investing in these?
Less than 10% of students who apply get into teacher training.

Studying a whole range of things for the sake of studying - less than 10% of those who sign up actually complete them. 

Check out - Clayton Christiansen - disruptive education - - creating a revolution in tertiary education. Game changer in higher education.

Lots of theoretical today, with a Kahoot break. 


  1. I'm a great fan of every concept that has to do with cultural diversity and bridging gaps between people - so, needless to say, I was immediately drawn to your post.
    The Chinese (or, more precisely, Shanghai's) model looks pretty interesting, but I think some people might find it a tad unethical - what's your opinion on the subject?

  2. Hiya John, in NZ we are introducing a similar approach where communities of schools cluster together - with funding for a lead principal and collective PD planning - early stages here - but have some concerns.
    You can see it here -
    You might be interested in this previous initiative around culturally responsive practices -
    Thanks for the comments.