View profile

🗣 The Dialogic Learning Weekly #211

🗣 The Dialogic Learning Weekly #211
Another Friday is upon us dear friends. I am pleased to introduce the 211th issue of the weekly newsletter. Please share the link to your networks and encourage others to subscribe.
This week I share some thoughts on the portals we include in our curriculum design and some strategies for questioning. First, I have a request for you.

Share Your Questions and Challenges
Gaining a little snapshot of current development in leadership, learning and innovation, from the international readers of this newsletter, offers some unique insight.
  • What are you attempting to figure out?
  • What are your active quests, mysteries, challenges or questions?
  • What are some of the enduring areas of development you are exploring?
Over the next few weeks I will gather some reader responses, explore any emerging affinity and use them as provocations in future newsletters.
In return for sharing, I would be happy to offer you any immediate support. If I have a reading, mental model or idea to share that might help, I will share back and we can work it out together.
Just hit reply to this email and share, or you can use this link. I look forward to connecting.
The photo is from Arno Smit on Unsplash
Open a Portal
Last week I shared the Mirrors, Windows and Doors mental model for opportunities in a school’s curriculum.
🪞 Mirrors to identify ourselves, 🪟 windows to see new worlds and 🚪 doorways to embark on real change.
It struck a chord with many of you. Here were some of the questions I shared:
  • What is happening when there is an imbalance?
  • What is lost when the curriculum has limited windows on the world?
  • What erodes when the experience of curriculum does not mirror the identity of its audience?
The original use of the model is from a literary perspective and how stories and writing can act as those three provocations. It originates from a 1990 essay by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop.
Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books. (1990, p. ix)
I was grateful to hear from Craig Thompson in response to this mental model in last week’s newsletter. He shared a few extended thoughts about the use of the mental model for how we experience curriculum:
what happens when a teacher, school or curriculum design assumes that the mirrors and windows apply in the same way to all children in a school, when in truth one person’s mirror is probably another person’s window
That question resonated as it challenges the assumption we have control over the user experience of curriculum. Craig went on to say:
a full curriculum (with high stakes testing) is potentially problematic…if it leaves little room for teachers or students to flex and personalise learning to suit the current (and often changeable) context.
For what it is worth, it made me think that perhaps we need multiple portals. A curriculum full of an eclectic mix of opportunities to reflect, imagine and create change.
Thanks Craig for sharing your thinking with me. You can connect with him on Twitter.
The RUST model of questioning
I discovered this excellent little model for the types of questioning we use from Peter Ellerton and Dave Kinkead at The Centre for Critical and Creative Thinking. It is well worth exploring their site and subscribing to the mailing list.
Here is Peter and Dave’s description of the questioning model:
The RUST model of questioning categorises four reasons for teaching questioning, including:
1. To test if information can be recalled ®
When we need to find out if students know that something is the case (what is?, which bit?, how many?, when did?, etc.).
2. To discover student interpretations and conceptualisations and to develop student understanding (U)
When we want to test relational knowledge or how students are conceptualising or integrating information we have given them into their own mental models (what would happen if?, why is this aspect important?, how does changing A influence B?, etc.).
3. To open lines of inquiry and develop skills (S)
When we want to give students opportunities to engage in a broad and deep range of cognitive skills to provide opportunities for cognitive skills development (are octopuses intelligent?, does it matter if species go extinct?, why are there 3 laws of motion and not four?, etc.).
4. To apply values of inquiry and give feedback on thinking (T)
For feeding back on the quality of their thinking and inquiry (why is that significant?, could you elaborate?, can you be more precise?, what other ways of looking at this are there?, etc.).
Shared with a CC BY-ND 4.0 license
How do you create a thinking classroom?
Stay in touch and let me know what resonates.
In dialogue, we trust
~ Tom
Did you enjoy this issue?
Tom Barrett from Dialogic Learning

Ideas and inspiration about Leadership, Learning and Innovation. Every Friday.

"nobody else shares such inspiring work on innovative education."
"I look forward to my Friday email as it is always thought-provoking."
"Not too long, not too short, just right!"
"exactly the nourishment I need on a weekly basis."
"I particularly enjoy the way Dialogic Learning readers are given insight into thinking processes in grabs large enough to be meaningful but small enough to chew on and digest."

If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
Carefully curated in Melbourne, Australia