Transformative Effects of Learning

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Developed by @ Dr. Ania Lian, Charles Darwin University, Darwin Australia

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Dr. Ania Lian May, 2012 The transformative effects of critical pedagogy Next Slide

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List of Contents Learning through exploration Learner centredness - textbooks and Ania’s comments So what in terms of transformative effects of critical pedagogy?

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Learning through exploration, Slides 4 and 5 Principles and engaging textbooks

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Typically, the environment which facilitates exploratory learning engages students in a macro-task, i.e. a creative and long-term project, consisting of modules, all supporting students in the completion of their projects. (e.g. Creating an online “Darwin Weekly” run by the students, OR “School’s Ideas and Events Website” OR The Writer’s Blog, OR ??). Our role as teachers is to create conditions which allow students to complete the project. For students’ questions to emerge, students need to begin by exploring their own strategies for engaging in the project Teachers’ role is to facilitate this process of exploration by challenging students’ assumptions about what is appropriate or effective. We need resources to facilitate a supportive challenge Students learn by comparing, contrasting and evaluating their own beliefs Learner-centredness – This involves creating rich (many) “feedback paths ” which act as interaction opportunities that challenge students’ assumptions, thus leading to their exploration in the context of the project. Exploration here involves comparing and contrasting the relevance to the project at hand of the different connections that students construct as a result. Learning through exploration - Principles Dr. Ania Lian May, 2012

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Student-centred pedagogy (Black, R. 2007) • “Is based on a challenging curriculum to be connected to students’ lives” Ania Lian – This is Diversity – accounting for relevance to students’ lives • “ Caters for individual differences in interests , ” Ania Lian – This is I nclusivity – acknowledging differences in the schemes of appreciation. But we need to find ways to expand those. “ Caters for individual differences in achievement and learning styles ” Ania Lian – Yes by providing rich feedback paths • “ Develops students’ ability to take control over their own learning ” Ania Lian – Yes through exploratory learning through comparing contrasting and evaluating of what does what. In additive (i+1) methods, teachers decide what the next learning item must be • “ Uses authentic tasks that require complex thought and allows time for exploration ” Ania Lian – Not so much complex thought but the absence of fear of authentic resources and learning in the community to enhance one’s participation in the community • “ Emphasises building meaning and understanding rather than completing tasks ” Ania Lian – this is ambiguous. But means the construction of complex reference systems and therefore contextual knowledge • “ Involves cooperation, communication and negotiation ” • “ Connects learning to the community ”

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So what in terms of transformative effects of critical pedagogy?

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Critical Pedagogy The concept of Critical Pedagogy implies expansion of students’ frames of reference, i.e. of the terms which they apply in a given context. An exploratory approach naturally supports this objective of expansion as it is embedded in an environment which uses: Projects whose completion requires expansion Rich resources to facilitate contexts for comparison and contrasting Feedback paths (modules and activities) which are constructed by teachers around questions such as: Where else have you seen that? - e.g. “once upon the time” or colourful books which rhyme tend to belong to the genre of children stories. How else can this be done ? - e.g. Bears’ night story : “out of the bed”, to the window, up the tree What does this help you achieve? – e.g. bears’ point of view on “Action”. How do you know? – e.g. The reference is made to “action language” which is not the formal language of subjects, verbs and objects. What have you learnt? – e.g. that we can play with some elements of story telling and nobody knows how the genre may change over time. How does this apply to our project? – e.g. Rules are there to play with, not comply with – YES  Next Slide

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Examples in Slide 9 can be adjusted to different units. The point remains: At its heart, critical pedagogy is not about debunking and looking for truths, as truths change as we change. Instead, it is about facilitating the process of: bringing together various perspectives, the process of “construction” from those various perspectives, the process of building on an informed basis And in this way we close our unit where we began . We began by saying that the purpose of Education is to facilitate students’ participation in the community on an informed basis. And so the entire unit focused on the principles and qualities of teaching that facilitated the process of expansion. The underlying assumption was that unless we expand the terms on which we build our actions and interactions, informed participations is stifled. It is the objective of multicultural environments to explore its own resources and to use its own condition as an opportunity to expand and build. This is for both, ESL and non-ESL students.

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Wishing you all the best for your assignments and semester 2 Dr. Ania Lian May, 2012

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Dr. Ania Lian May, 2012 Dear Students , Thank you for your time with me. Most of you I have not met but will remember you through your work, your introductory stories on the Discussion Board and through the online exchanges. I have appreciated all this and sought to take a lot on board. I hope, I have exposed you to ideas which are currently at the forefront of the field of research in Education, critical pedagogy and language teaching. I want to thank you all for your very professional attitude toward me, for your immense creativity shown through your work, and for the quality of work that is beyond the regular work of undergraduate students. This was a very special unit for me in my first year at the CDU, and you all made it happen. Also, I want to thank all students who have and still are producing PowerPoint resources demonstrating their lesson activities. I will shortly place them on the HUB website (unless you email me and wish otherwise), as they all were of exquisite quality and are worth sharing – one day you may even come back to the Hub looking for your own work. Thank you, Ania Lian

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