Facilitating pedagogical conversations

As defined by the Oxford dictionary, pedagogy is the method and practice of teaching and I wonder how teachers discuss their craft.  How often do you have conversations about pedagogy with colleagues?  Is it a common occurrence?  What do you discuss about pedagogy?  How do you discuss pedagogy?  Personally I use the Modern Learning Canvas, a visual learning model developed by Richard Olsen. The Modern Learning Canvas breaks up the teaching and learning approach into nine essential components and allows you to view your teaching and learning holistically through each particular lens.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 9.31.02 PM

The nine essential components are as follows:

Learner role – What decisions, voice and choice does a learner have in their learning?Strategies – What strategies do they use to learn?
Enablers – What enables these strategies to be effective?
Sequence – What is the order of the activities that they undertake?
Culture – What are the shared beliefs about what makes learning successful?
Policies – What are policies or rules that make learning successful?
Educator role – What value does the teacher bring to the learning?
Outcomes – What are the essential learning outcomes?
Pedagogical beliefs – What do we believe about teaching and learning?

These key questions are designed to provide conversation structure around teaching and learning practice and innovation. At the heart of the process is what you believe about teaching and learning, your pedagogical beliefs. Every element of your teaching and learning model should be validated against what you believe about pedagogy otherwise what’s the point. If you don’t believe in an element of your approach then why is it in there in the first place.  The Canvas can be a daunting framework upon first viewing but when created in a group, can really unlock a clear set of pedagogical beliefs.  Below are two examples that I co-created with colleagues.  The first is for a rewrite of our Year 7 Multimedia course and the second is an analysis of the Games Sense approach in Physical Education.

Year 7 Multimedia
Year 7 Multimedia
Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 9.15.24 PM
Games Sense in Physical Education

The process of capturing pedagogy together is unbelievably powerful as it leads to great clarity and conversation.  You will also notice in the Games Sense canvas that there are green lights on each box.  This is a great feature of Richard’s website.  You can validate each component against your pedagogical beliefs.  The below image shows what this looks like on the site.

Validated against pedagogical beliefs
Validated against pedagogical beliefs

Although the Modern Learning Canvas is a powerful process on it’s own, it is actually a part of larger more complete process.  Richard calls this the IOI process or Inquiry Oriented Innovation.   To truly capture this, I’ll share in a series of posts.  To get you started with the Modern Learning Canvas, download a free printable copy here.  Have a go today and let me know how you go.  The more I use the Canvas as a tool, the more I start to view all elements of teaching and learning through theses nine lenses.  As always, thanks for reading and comments welcome.

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4 thoughts on “Facilitating pedagogical conversations

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  1. What a great share Steve. I love the idea of telling a story for different people in different ways. Ewan McIntosh touches upon it in his book on idea. What interests me with the Canvas are the different interpretations and iterations.
    I have started using it as a way of visualising my school’s ‘instructional model’. I felt that once you put in all of the ‘expectations’ then what you are left with is a space for innovation.
    I am yet to really explore the whole IOI Process, but I guess that maybe the next step.

    1. In my time working with the Canvas, I have found like you that it provides a really clear visual representation of pedagogical approaches. This in itself provides tremendous insight but the next steps of the IOI process are the most exciting as you can really map out a path to innovation that is context specific and evidence informed. Thanks as always for your comments mate, much appreciated.

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