Saturday, 20 February 2016

The Learning Process: Building knowledge to make meaning and apply understanding.

Some of you might know that this year I moved to a new school, Stonefields Primary in fact. Meaning that this year, not only have I had to familiarise myself with a new group of learners, but also new colleagues, systems and ways of thinking. 
At Stonefields we use the building blocks learning process, where, as per the title of this post you need to: build knowledge, before you make meaning of it, then you can apply understanding. This learning process model has a range of verbs underneath each building block for teachers to use in the design of learning. 

This post is about how I have put the learning process, which we use with the children, into my teacher learning journey of how I design for learning. And trust me, I have certainly gotten myself into the 'learning pit' a few times during the process. 
Firstly, I've been doing just that: Building knowledge of the learning process. I had to 'bring what I know' [BWIK] of teaching and learning, the NZ Curriculum and learner's needs. This involved a bit of trying out and experimenting with using the different learning verbs and learner qualities, and of course some practice. 
Secondly, I had to make meaning of this, comparing and contrasting, how I formerly designed for learning with this learning process, in doing so I was able to weave together and synthesise my own pedagogy with the Stonefields way. Finally, I have been able to apply some of this understanding in my design for learning in an upcoming statistics series of lessons. Here I decided upon the steps the learners needed to take using the learning process to build their knowledge, make meaning and apply their understanding. 

A beautiful process really, and upon doing so I reflected on how I too had used the same process that I intended them to use, as I designed for their learning. The reason I am sharing this is because it resonates with my philosophy of ako, that as a teacher, I too am a learner. Plus, I am looking forward to repeating this cycle and building on it. 

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