There are three pressing issues related to New Zealand schools as stated by the Education Review Office (2012). ERO says that it is important for schools to understand these three issues if New Zealand is to raise the achievement of all learners.
Although these issues were raised in 2012, I feel they are still pertinent today.
Issue One: The need to shift the focus to student-centred learning.
In previous assessments I have often stated the need for a shift in classroom teaching to student centred rather than teacher focused. Giving learning more power over their own learning links to the Key Competency such as relating to others and managing self (Ministry of Education, 2007). For example.
Within my learning community it has been important to observe student centred programmes. We have been fortunate in our school to have two teachers who are leading the way in terms of this programmes.
Within in our personal learning community (Modern Learning Environment) it has been easier to make this shift with the continued support of others.
Being involved in a MLE has given us the opportunity to let our students decide where, how and who to work with. We have also given the students the choice to attend workshops if they are needed support. This gives the students the option to carry on with the work at their own pace or revert back to a more formal teacher led lesson.
As much as possible, our programme is student centred there needs to be a balance. Notions like autonomy, accountability, responsibility and support need to be balanced. It is about "student learning and teacher teaching" (Rate, 2013)
Issue Two: The need to use assessment information to know about, and plan for, students' learning.
"Digital technologies play a crucial role in enabling learners to connect with, contribute to and learn from those in other parts of the world." (CORE Education 2015).
Our students use GAFE and any other online platform which enables them to present their work. The devices we use in class are Chromebook's so all work must be saved to their folders on their Google Drive. They are being prepared for global connectedness by learning the:
- Technical skills of connecting with one another to complete work (using a google app collaboratively)
- Digital citizenship skills such as feedback and feedforward on collaborative work or blog posts, and what is appropriate to share.
The next step for us in our classroom is to enable the collaboration to move beyond the safe boundaries of our class and go global! However before this can happen consideration and implementation of safeguards needs to be established as routine first.
Issue Three: The need to implement a responsive and rich curriculum that incorporates 21 century technologies.
CORE Education. (2015). CORE's 10 trends 2015. Retrieved June 24, 2015, from CORE Education http://www.core-ed.org/thought-leadership/ten-trends
EDUCATION REVIEW OFFICE (2012). Retrieved October 15, 2015 from Education Review Office http://www.ero.govt.nz/About-Us/News-Media-Releases2/The-three-most-pressing-issues- for-New-Zealand-s-education-system-revealed-in-latest-ERO-report
Rate, N. (2013, June 4). Student agency. Retrieved October 15, 2015 from eLearning infusion: http://nickrate.com/2013/06/04/student-agency/
The Ministry of Education, New Zealand. (2007, September 14). Key competencies. Retrieved October 15, 2015, from the New Zealand Curriculum Online: http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/The- New-Zealand-Curriculum/Key-competencies