Mark Treadwell Reflection

Several of my colleagues and I were fortunate to attend a seminar, courtesy of the Feilding ICT Cluster, with Mark Treadwell. Having been absent for our cluster’s presentation, due to Apple Bus Tour, it was an excellent opportunity for us to come up to speed with the rest of the cluster. I was keen to find out more, in particular the rational behind his Knowledge Net Network; one of the last user-pays Social Networking sites within a strong trend of high quality Open Source Software.

Much of what Mark was saying during the day was not new to me and I found some of his statements quite opposed to my own beliefs about imagination and intelligence. However I persisted with an open, yet critical mind and was pleased to hear one of my key beliefs, about best practice teaching, being validated by Mark.

Mark advocates that there needs to be a strong educational shift from teaching CONTENT (traditional themes and genre) to facilitating CONTEXTS (Values and Competencies). This view alines itself perfectly with what I refer to as the Fourth Stage of Formative Practice.

Stage One – Prescribing the Learning Intention and Success Criteria to the student for each lesson and self-assessment.
Stage Two – Collaborating with the student to create their own success criteria for each lesson.
Stage Three – Purpose is introduced as apart of the LI, SC process for each lesson.
Stage Four – Learning Intentions and Purpose become Global not genre specific – we are able to use these Global Concepts in every lesson we facilitate or teach and the children are able to adapt their person SC to suit the context.
Stage Five and On – I am not sure what is next but I am very excited about finding out.

I am still contemplating the shape of this model, however I do see Formative Practice as a series of learning stages an Educator must progress through. The New Zealand Curriculum now allows and justifies this fundamental shift in educational practice. The beauty of Global Concept Practice is that it fits perfectly with the Ministry’s vision for the 21st Century Learner – To be confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners.

So I was unable to ask him why he charges for such a antiquated website, but I was inspired to delve into the New Zealand Curriculum, Formative Research and my own practice at a deeper level so that I will be ready to take that huge educational leap when the time comes. And hopefully I will of been able to build up pair of sturdy wings so I may soar.

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A New Zealand Principal, living in Taneatua. Where's that you say? Just Google IT!

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