Wednesday July 6, 2016
Teachers learning new lessons By Eleanor Wenman MASSEY JOURNALISM STUDENT
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From left: George Fa'afoi-Rogers, 7, Gigi Freeman, 8, Charles Parangi, 8 and principal Alistair du Chatenier look forward to the changes coming to Thorndon School. PHOTO: Eleanor Wenman
Alistair said the teachers would be able to get students more engaged in their own learning. “That level of increased engagement will create better learning,” he said. He hoped students would become more confident in speaking up in class and spend time leading class discussions. The money granted would go towards hiring experts to assist the teachers undertaking the research
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and for relief while the teachers were outside the classroom. The project was one of 46 nationwide chosen for funding. For Thorndon School, this new initiative came at a time of big change. At the end of this year, the school will start rebuilding and upgrading its classrooms. Plans are in place to begin the upgrade by tearing down an existing teaching block over the Christmas holidays and rebuilding next year.
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Classrooms at two Wellington schools will take a look at new ways of learning. Teachers from Thorndon School and Clyde Quay School would investigate how students could learn better through a more fluid, back-and-forth approach that would incorporate the concepts of 'ako' and democratic education. The Maori concept of ako means to teach and learn – a less authoritative approach to teaching that would get students more involved with their own education. Thorndon School and Clyde Quay School were granted $40,000 by the Teacher-led Innovation Fund to investigate these new approaches to learning. Thorndon School Principal Alistair du Chatenier said it was about creating better relationships between students and teachers. “It's trying to open up teachers to what kids are actually thinking, what kids are actually learning, what's going on inside the black box,” he said. To begin with, three teachers from each school would conduct research into the two concepts and how they could be applied to classrooms. These research projects will kick off at the start of the upcoming school term while the lessons the teachers learned will be put into place next year.
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Independent Herald 06-07-16