Aboriginal 8 ways of teaching and learning…

After reading about the Aboriginal pedagogy it is evident that this approach to teaching is interconnected. The 8 ways of Aboriginal pedagogy joins protocols, values, processes and systems with the 8 aspects. These include: connecting through stories, picture pathways of knowledge, see, think, act, make and share without words, keep and share knowledge with objects, work with lessons from land and nature, put different ideas together and create new knowledge, work from whole parts and watching then doing, and lastly bring new knowledge back into the community. This approach incorporates multiple aspects of our learning environments, taking in consideration the community and local aspects. It also allows for collaboration amongst fellow peer members, promoting connectedness. I can see connections with what many teachers in a traditional school would incorporate into their lessons. For example, many lessons begin with a shared book or story. When looking at the point about working from wholes to parts, and watching and doing reminds me a lot about approaches taken in learning about fractions in maths. Many effective activities use in the classroom begin with the students watching a demonstration and then them actually having to do it. So these are just a few examples of the connections I can see between the two different ways of teaching.

8 Aboriginal Ways of Knowing, (2009), retrieved from http://8ways.wikispaces.com/

8 Aboriginal Ways of Knowing, (2009), retrieved from http://8ways.wikispaces.com/

Group Learning: What I have learnt so far…

It is possible to make distinctions between the types of group work. They all share the social aspect of the learning space in terms of interacting with fellow students with a similar goal in mind. However, cooperative learning is structured, with sharing of materials and ideas, with the intention of learning something together (Slavin, 2010). On the other hand, collaborative learning is based more of coming together of various aspects of a task which they have been allocated. And thirdly, group work may be a combination of these; however less structured which can cause issues with work load and so on. However, they are still all working on a common task, just in various ways. Cooperative learning appears to be the most effective as it encourages all students to participate in a very highly structured manner, promoting learning to occur and perhaps dodging some of the issues related to group work (Slavin, 2010). I believe that students gain a lot from working in group work which is structured like Cooperative learning as each individual is responsible for contributing to the group work. If not they may let the team down, which is a great tool fro motivating so students. Also the idea that students can bounce knowledge and opinions between each other, encouraging rich learning to occur.

Slavin, R. (2010). Co-operative learning: what makes group-work work? The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice, OECD Publishing.

Incursions & Excursions, are they a community of practice??

Incursions and excursions are a great opportunity for students to interact with things which are outside of the classroom setting. They are unique learning opportunities which enhance and motivate students learning and growth. As Vygotsky’s theory underpins the idea that students learn from interactions with our environment. These rich experiences are important for all students and their journey of learning, which many things must be taken into consideration in order for things to run smoothly, resulting in the optimum rich experience of learning to take place. In terms of pedagogy, incursions and excursions enhance the teaching and learning which takes place for both students and teachers. It is a great way to gain some unmissable experiences which highlight the particular focus in the classroom at the time. It is also a great way to go outside of the four walls of the classroom, somewhere different to where the teacher and students are majority of their time. Teachers and students both enjoy having others come and visit or they go and visit somewhere/someone that they normally wouldn’t get to do.

These experiences can ultimately be communities of practice. A community of practice is formed when a group of people engage in a collective learning environment, possessing the same intentions. Therefore if we create these incursions and excursions to be of a shared interest, developing experiences, discussions and relationships, we then have a community of practice. To elaborate on this last point, if there is a shared interest (incursion or excursion of interest and relevance to students), these develop experiences for the students’ growth and development, and it should promote discussion and relationships during or after the event. Therefore we can see incursions and excursions as a community of practice when encompassing these elements.