Pedagogy - How We Teach
Please see this link to a presentation about Deeper Learning Pedagogy specific to NMPS and produced by our staff: Deeper Learning
All digital-age skills are, of course, important. But it is collaboration that is often identified as among the most critical skills for the future workplace. It is also fundamental to active learning. Collaboration in the classroom can meet two important instructional goals. First, the development of collaboration skills is itself an important learning objective. And second, research conclusively shows that well-designed collaborative activities contribute to improved learning. Incorporating collaboration into a traditional classroom environment poses many challenges. Students need spaces where they can meet with each other. They need access to the tools that support the kinds of thinking that helps them learn, often at the same time that other students are working alone or with the teacher. Digital-age learning environments also need to support collaboration among adults, mentors, and peers outside of the classroom, which are often facilitated by technology. Thinking carefully about how a learning space can support the kind of collaboration that builds confident learners is an important step in designing effective learning environments.
Communication in digital-age learning environments takes on far more forms than it does in traditional classrooms. Gone are the days when an occasional essay or speech in an English class meets learning objectives. Today, throughout the curriculum, students are expected to explain their thinking, persuade others of their opinions, and engage readers and listeners. And students must do so not only with words but also with graphic and multimedia elements. In the industrial learning environment of the 20th century, communication skills such as writing and speaking were relegated to the language arts class; but in digital-age learning environments, communication is a critical component of every subject area.
Creativity is another critical skill in the digital age. We all recognize creativity when we see it—in the gadgets we use every day, in the art that makes us appreciate and think about the world around us, and in the ideas that challenge us and help us grow. Creativity as one of the most prized skills for the future.
Creativity flourishes in an environment where students can take risks and fail, where they have options about what they learn, how they learn, and how to demonstrate what they have learned. Although you can certainly find examples of student creativity in the most traditional classrooms, flexible learning spaces supported by effective instruction can bring out creativity in all students.
Creative thinking is both collaborative and solitary. Students can be inspired to create surprising and useful projects by interacting with peers and mentors. They can get feedback from others and use examples of admired work as models for their own creations. The creative process, however, also requires that individuals find time and space for reflection and self-assessment, thinking through ideas, and imagining how an idea might be brought to fruition.
Creativity is both chaotic and orderly. At the “anything goes” stage, the free flow of ideas is crucial. Students need spaces that support interaction and allow them to keep a record of their thoughts, whether it is digitally, on whiteboards, or chart paper. At some point, however, the ideas must be made real, and a clear process must be followed to transform an idea into a reality. Spaces for the development of a creative idea might include tools and resources such as CAD software, robotics, art supplies, building materials and hopefully soon 3D printers.
For further reading please see the documents listed to the right hand side of this page.