In discussing the use of Learning by Design, a group of cross-curricular high school teachers highlighted the importance of deep thinking for both students and teachers. Following are some examples of teachers working to develop reflexive pedagogy:
‘Where teachers go wrong is if they haven’t done any thinking about it,’ Todd commented.
‘We need to constantly keep the objectives in mind. Without the framework we may leave out conceptualising and analysing. By looking at the learning through a different knowledge process or form of thinking, we reframe the activity. Knowledge processes are an integral part of what we do. We’re not necessarily looking for the right answers from students. Students often “do school” – this forces them to think, and the teachers as well!’ Julia added.
As Mandy explained, ‘We started with using images – tapping into where the students are at. We discovered a learning pathway realising that this learning is an ideal beginning of the year unit for year 10. It leads into other learning, important knowledge to build on.’
‘The assignment was open-ended and student directed. The students freely shared their proposals with teachers and other students. They were excited about doing assessment. The students were spontaneously sharing their work; they were talking about it in the hallways, outside of the classroom! They have surprised us with their level of engagement and performance, including students we thought of as less capable. The students themselves were recognising the sophistication of visual texts,’ said Todd.