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FEATURE FOCUS: PEDAGOGY


it’s important to let each player see that they’re making progress and mastering the topic to keep motivation levels high.


• Immerse learners in a story - Giving actions and ideas a contextual meaning is an extremely powerful way to increase both engagement and information recall.


“For thousands of years humans have told stories to help pass on information, by integrating characters that encounter a struggle and then find a way to overcome that struggle - a simple but effective story can be integrated within the gamified learning environment. This is your chance to get creative; you can base the story on an existing story, use a role play relevant to the learning objectives or really let loose and think up something wild and wonderful to completely immerse your students in the learning experience.”


each student to graduate, from any of its four programmes, a little more curious, creative, compassionate and critically minded. The theory of knowledge (TOK) element to the IB Diploma Programme (DP), for students aged 16 – 19, is just one way that the IB encourages inquisitiveness within its pedagogy. TOK inspires students to reflect on the nature of knowledge itself and to question claims of truth so they are encouraged to act upon narratives individually; in turn developing responsibility in an increasingly interconnected but uncertain world. “IB teachers also guide and support their students in developing 10 attributes, which are known collectively as the IB learner profile, to ensure students become mature thinkers with a global outlook. The learner profile encourages students to become confident communicators, risk-takers, discerning decision makers and inspirational team leaders; it is central to each student’s personal development and is a unique aspect of IB programmes.


“Teachers should encourage students to look beyond the walls of their classroom when learning. The key to this is to develop international-mindedness within students. Education is the world’s global language; a unifying thread that brings individuals and countries across the world together. An individual syllabus should be relevant to a student’s local context, but curricula around the world should all share a common goal. Teaching students the skills they need to comprehend global issues will not only prepare them for any situation that might arise later in life, but will also ignite in them a desire to affect positive change.”


Meanwhile, Jane Drake, Head of Curriculum Innovation and Alignment at the International Baccalaureate (IB), believes teachers will benefit from instilling a global outlook in their students. “We live in a society faced with political unrest, terror threats and environmental disasters; a world that can be difficult to comprehend even for those of us with a few decades of life experience, let alone for a generation that is just starting out in the world.


“So, in our role as educators, how do we translate a desire to support young people in making sense of the world into pedagogy? In part, it is important that teachers have a global outlook themselves, in order to teach students to take a global outlook. Teaching is not merely about relaying the content of a syllabus to a classroom of students; teachers hold a degree of accountability to ensure that they teach future world leaders, the next generation of engineers, nurses and tomorrow’s Shakespeares the tools they will need to contribute to the world, and a reason to decide to invest in doing so. “To create a better world, it is important to encourage curiosity, creativity and a critical yet compassionate outlook in students so that when they complete their education, they will seek positive change. Curiosity encourages individuals to discover narratives; creativity enhances a student’s ability to think outside the box; and a compassionate, critical outlook ensures they understand the systemic forces at play in our world and act with real care for the system and everyone within it.


“The IB embraces this ethos and encourages September 2017


learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. (www.cast.org) “You can determine each learner’s needs by using the principles of UDL to understand their strengths, challenges, aptitudes, interests, talents and aspirations. UDL has often been connected to special educational needs, but it is a framework that applies to ALL learners who have variability in their learning. UDL helps teachers understand all the learners in their classroom.


“As UDL teaches, when designing learning experiences for students it is extremely important to provide them with multiple means of representation, action/expression, and engagement. New technologies have revolutionised how students learn and allow for that multiple means of expression. Portable, personal laptops like Chromebooks or Surface Pros with friendly interfaces, vast computing power, and cloud connectivity make it possible to tailor learning to personal interests and needs, even allowing for 1:1 initiatives where each student has their own device to support their learning.


“Yet having and using technology in teaching and learning is not enough. Making the most of technology requires a methodical and principled approach, one that turns the aspirations of personalised learning into an effective practice of personalised learning. Universal Design for Learning makes that practice possible. “Providing the tools, diverse activities and scaffolded content to meet each learner’s unique needs can feel daunting. It’s important to start small with one new practice or strategy and then build on that.


“There are a number of tools that teachers can explore that can help to address learner variability, here are just a couple of examples: • Sketch-noting - where students can adopt visual note taking to support information recall and build understanding • Audio recording - where students can record their voice for brainstorming, refining their voice, practice, revision and self-assessment • Text-to-Speech - where students may feel more comfortable hearing passages of text read aloud


• Consuming and producing information in video format


Finally, Martin McKay, CTO at Texthelp, offers his thoughts on personalised learning and how teachers might go about tailoring lessons for every learning style.


“Personalised learning has been a hot topic in education for the last few years. The term is everywhere. And it’s very persuasive. It promises to fulfill longstanding ambitions to make education more effective for all. Despite its gaining popularity, there’s nothing new about personalised learning, either as an aspiration or a practice. It’s an approach that’s as old as the hills. “However, over the last couple of years, it has become well recognised by educators in the US that Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is the perfect pedagogical approach that truly supports the foundation of Personalised Learning. “Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimise teaching and


“Personalising instruction and indeed the use of technology in the classroom does not mean there is no longer a place for teacher-led instruction. It also doesn’t mean that teachers need to spend endless time after school each day creating an individualised lesson for each and every student in the class. It’s all about meeting students in the spaces where they are and helping them grow by providing diverse ways for them to engage in learning, process content, and show their understanding.


“Every child is different, with their own star qualities, strengths, challenges and learning styles. Their needs are vast, and there are a multitude of ways teachers can meet those needs effectively in class as well as for independent study and learning at home.


“I believe that everyone is entitled to the best possible learning and language support on their own personal journey – from literacy to life.”


www.3plearning.comwww.ibo.orgwww.texthelp.com


www.education-today.co.uk 29


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