Create, Change, Collaborate

                     Thankyou VLN Primary for posting this on twitter

                     In 2023, What will you do with the
                       capacities science gives you?
Have a go at playing the Pounamu online game.


Pounamu is an online game where people can join together to imagine a better future for New Zealand—a future where we treasure what we already have; land, people, knowledge and connections and build on this with new tools, capacities and new ways of thinking to generate prosperity for all.
Engage with and experience Momentum, Antagonism, Adaption and Investigation. Have a play!

I'm often being asked what is "knowledge building"? 
(yes this could be an indicator I need to get out more)
I think this youtube clip is a good place to start. A very good place. It positions us all as being part of the solution.

The anchor stones in the clip are; create, change and collaborate.  Imagine a literacy or numeracy program focussed on creating, changing and collaboration.  That would certainly put 'chalk and talk" methods of teaching on pause.

Am I making the steps towards knowledge building sound easy? Dr Suess once said... "Sometimes the questions are complex but the solutions are easy". I say one step at a time. Change one thing and do it with tenacity! Change a bit.. then another bit.. meet up with a colleague and change another bit together... then change another bit. 

The World of Pounamu Asks:

What will you create?

Who will you work with?
What will you invest in?
What problem will you solve?
What will you help to change?
How will you create your future?

If we replace the 'you'... with 'students'  the process of learning may enter into the realms of many rocket launching moments. Many rocket launching moments that build and contribute to a solution, just might nudge into the world of knowledge building.

Am I brave enough to suggest... 
"If literacy and numeracy classes fail to engage and make explicit  creativity, change and collaboration then maybe its not worth doing".

Although it is small it is a treasure

                          Ngai Tahu Pounamu

Street Art School + JR Street Artist

Based on an understanding from Ken Robinson that it is desireable for  change to happen from the ground up, I went for a flying 'Google' generated visit to 

There is always hope                                  The only good system is a sound system 

Grown ups are obsolete                                                        Reading

"The boundaries are in our heads, because art knows no boundaries." BINHO  (Brazil)

Messages on the street...

1. I will be part of hope.

2. I know how to make my learning personalised.
3. I know what I need to learn.
4. I can read anywhere, anyplace, anytime.
5. I am allowed to think the unthinkable and I will.

Message on the world...
JR French Street Artist.

"My wish: Use art to turn the world inside out"

JR has shown the world how street art can change peoples lives. JR is working with the unthinkable and has collaborated the largest global street art participation in the world! 

JR invites everyone to participate in the 


How can I work with students to generate a sense of hope for the future?

How can I personalise student learning?

How often am I reflecting and asking students about  what they need to learn?

How could classroom teachers work with 'art to turn education and schooling inside out'?

I'm reminded of Keri Facer's words:
"We need schools that are resources for enabling students and communities to imagine, and to take achieveable steps along the road to the building of, sustainable and equitable futures."  Learning Futures pg 133

I wonder...what would a Keri Facer and JR Street Artist collaboration look like?

Build a School in the Cloud

                                               Thank you to Ally Bull for reminding me about Sugata Mitra's work

                          “Education is a self-organizing system, where learning is an emergent phenomenon.”

" environment that stimulates curiosity 

can cause learning through self-instruction 

and peer-shared knowledge."

Sugata reminds me that the learning environment must be one which stimulates curiosity, is collaborative and engaging. Tonight, I'm downloading and reading Sugata's SOLE tool kit. on the recommendations for a Self Organised Learning Environment. I think it is possible that this kit may offer a cornerstone for being able to explicitly discuss personalised learning in my classroom.

This week I"m in the process of establishing a new Teaching as inquiry for Maths. The "Teaching as inquiry" is part of our ongoing school wide Math professional development. 

                                                           Teaching as inquiry

My questions are:  
1. How can students learn to apply their number knowledge to real life questions? 
2. How can students work with number strategies as knowledge about not  knowledge of. 'Knowledge about' will deeper understandings and make connections with other strategies so students will be able to be explicit about connections and relationships.

It is my hope that through an application of number knowledge, my students would be nudged towards engaging with "knowledge building" as understood by Bereiter. To have knowledge about number strategies and strategy application, students are able to work with complexity and identify multiple ways to generate solutions and multiple ways to contribute to the building of knowledge.


Bereiter, C. (2002) Believes that if education

 is to participate in the knowledge age then,

our conceptions of "knowledge and mind 

need to change."

Sugata's wish... 
For a school in the cloud. 
Sugata believes we need - a Curriculum of Big Questions.

                             MY CONTRIBUTION...
To engage in a Math 'Teaching as inquiry' that is based on big real life questions, where number knowledge and multiple strategies are valued and applied to the big questions.

                         TWO MORE QUESTIONS...

1.How does the 'Teaching as Inquiry' cycle support the  multiple understandings of the thinking that informs what teaching and learning could look like in the 21st Century?  

2. Is it possible teachers are being charged to deliver 21st C pedagogy yet teaching effectiveness is measured through a reflective process that is anchored in the 20th C? 

I would appreciate the opportunity to talk this through with another classroom teacher. Lets move some  bits of thinking around and make explicit what excellent 21st Century teaching practise can look and sound like in our current and future classrooms.
Message me through Twitter or here if you are keen!

Knowledge Building Community

 Knowledge off vs Knowledge about. Scardamalia and Bereiter believe that understanding the difference between the two ways of approaching knowledge will determine the success of a knowledge building community.
“...shift from treating students as learners and inquirers to treating them as members of a knowledge building community.” 
Scardamalia and Bereiter

I'm excited.
 I"m reading Keri Facer's book Learning Futures: Education, technology and social change. 
I'm watching TUNA: TRASH or TAONGA? stunning work by 

I am in pause mode. You know that feeling when your onto something...making a connection... when a bit of thinking gains momentum...

                                         Thankyou  Karen Melhuish Spencer  for posting this clip on twitter today

1. That this just might be a nudge towards what a knowledge creating culture could look and sound like.

2. That the students are creating something new.

3. Technology is being used to assist in the building of knowledge.

4. Students are making connections with: Science knowledge, Hawaiki, measurable and unmeasurable knowledge, Te ao Maori, past ancestors, present and future communities.

5. The learning has energy and movement.

6.  Students are exploring "how to live responsibly, ethically and critically" Keri Facer

7. Students are working on restoring Mauri -  life force. Mauri being a quality that moves within and between spaces.

8. To Quote Keri Facer she believes we need:
"...schools that are resources for enabling students and communities to imagine, and to take achieveable steps along the road to the building of , sustainable and equitable futures."  - Learning Futures pg 133

My questions are:

How could further building of knowledge and collaboration occur? What would this look like?

How could the learning go deeper? What further connections / relationships could be made?

How could this project embrace the unthinkable? What might the unthinkable look like?

How would Scardamalia and Bereiter respond to 

Rethink Everything + Embrace Complexity


Q: How can I ensure I am moving towards being a 21st Century Teacher?

Q: What do I need to do differently and how does that look on paper?


21st Century teaching is: 
more than a class blog
more than social media
more than using google, youtube, blogger
more than new names for things
more than being tech savvy
more than having 1:1 BYOD
more than having a class twitter

 We need to rethink everything...

Some of us are teaching like pirates
Some of us are teaching the International Bacclaureate
Some of us may have the opportunity to teach in a Charter School
Some of us are teaching in Special character schools
Some of us are teaching in Mainstream public schools
Some of us are teaching in Immersion schools
Some of us are teaching in Independant schools

I'M WONDERING IF...regardless of the flavour of school we are teaching in, that we all may need to rethink everything! If this is the case then this is a super exciting place to be and a dynamic opportunity to strengthen connections and forge new relationships!

"... to be brave and creative themselves in putting aside old methodologies and exploring new ways of helping learning."

At present I'm wondering about how to embrace complexity in the classroom.
To move away from linear models of inquiry/Project Based Learning to irregular models of Inquiry. Where the learning is deep learning, where the connection and relationships created are explicit. Where a landscape is created so knowledge building can occur. 
I'm not sure these things can occur in a linear model of Inquiry.
I dont think I"m there yet. Would appreciate help!

Karakia as lived experience

We come together with aroha We value and acknowledge Our diverse heritage and the places we come from The integrity we b...