Hello,With the new school year looming large, I thought I'd ask if any of you have thoughts on preparing for group work (collaborative learning) for Middle School kids. I just finished an amazing…Continue
Hello,With the new school year looming large, I thought I'd ask if any of you have thoughts on preparing for group work (collaborative learning) for Middle School kids. I just finished an amazing ASCD text (Productive Group Work by Frey, Fisher and Everlove, 2009) and found some inspirational ideas in it. I teach Grade 7 and am hoping to improve Group Work as focal point this coming year. Any ideas?PeterSee More
Learning is what fascinates me, too. I like the question "How do I know when I've 'learned' it." And to me, there's always more learning to do; anything that's learned is just learned for the moment, a…"
Aug 27, 2009
Peter Orange is now a member of Fireside Learning: Conversations about Education
Tell about your involvement in education, and your ideals for collegial sharing
Research breeds research breeds sharing for upgrading and enriching to acquire more knowledge. Learning is what fascinates me. How do we learn best? How do I know that I've 'learned' it? Under what conditions do we learn best?
Dr. Peter Orange is an Adjunct Professor of Education with SUNY (Potsdam) in their Ottawa program. He also works for the Ottawa Catholic School Board and is an examiner for the International Baccalaureate. Dr. Orange is serving his second term (of 3 years) as a Director and is an Editor/Writer/Reviewer for the 'Trillium' and 'Changing Perspectives' OASCD publications.
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Learning is what fascinates me, too. I like the question "How do I know when I've 'learned' it." And to me, there's always more learning to do; anything that's learned is just learned for the moment, a snapshot in time. A batch of learning, if deeply learned, is ongoing and amorphous, part of the one's new being. Learning is transformational. Learning is... well.... adding to the complex system that characterizes each of us individually and all of us together in our various communities of learners (where intelligence is distributed and shared). Do you think that, too? What sorts of things are you investigating about knowing that a person has learned something?
"Under what conditions do we learn best?" Another great question. Been spending a lifetime on that one. Learned an huge amount over the last couple of years from being part of this network, also from the Learning and the Brain conferences, and HGSE's Summer Institutes. What I keep getting validated is that we learn best in pleasant and pleasurable learning habitats. Supportive, collaborative learning environments. Of course the curriculum has to be well-framed, not piecemeal or haphazard. For me the organizing principle that works best is Teaching for Understanding, and the form of assessment that works best is "performances of understanding." What sorts of frameworks do you find valuable?
I'm setting up the physical space of my classroom now, getting it ready for the year. The first thing I got ready is a window garden of beautiful, textured, and colorful coleus and geranium plants. Funny how plants brighten things up. I do think there's something important about the beauty, warmth, and "invitingness" of the learning environment. From my view, a classroom should be like a living room.
So I'd better get back to work.
Just wanted to extend a welcome to you. I'm sure you'll have a lot to contribute to Fireside, and look forward to hearing from you. Join in on the conversations, start some of your own!
PS: Check out the pilot of our e-mentoring program for 09/10 by clicking on the "group" tab above, look for that group. You might want to consider being part of that--and could tell some of your colleagues about it.
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