HoD Day 007: Shaken and Stirred

“Change begets change. Nothing propagates so fast.” Charles Dickens

This year’s day of PD for the region’s English HoDs was held this week. In keeping with the year – ‘007’ – we decided to be ‘shaken and stirred’. No free cocktails, unfortunately, but plenty of lively discussion around aspects of the educational landscape that are changing, or appear to be changing. With the new Curriculum as our lens for the day, we explored ways in which we might map the Key Principles, Vision and Values on to our own constructions of what makes an effective English learning environment.

Session 2: Ka Hikitia slideshow [http://www.slideshare.net/melhuika/ka-hikitia/] : Although the MoE Māori Education Strategy, Ka Hikitia, is still under consultation, it was still a useful focus for looking at our Māori learners in particular, in terms of what is within our control. The recent PPTA report on Te Kohtahitanga has cast an unfortunate shadow over what was otherwise a stimulating and thought-provoking attempt to put the locus of control in the hands of the school community. Deficit theorising is still rife, I fear, so to focus on what is within our grasp to alter as teachers is surely a valuable starting point. We are not, and cannot be social engineers, social workers, guardians of society’s ills and spills…but we can ensure that the time spent at school allows learners to reach their potential and be valued as the individuals they are.

Session 3: English and Web 2.0 slideshow: From my last posts, you’ll know my personal bugbear re: wordprocessing, assessment and spellcheckers, but there is no doubt that the web offers modes of working for us that allow for a greater richness and authenticity of learning context. And as teachers of creative writing, the concept of an audience of many for your short story is far more seductive than yer best mate peer-checking it then handing it in to Miss, only to have to re-write the whole thing out twice more before it is considered complete.

Level 3 English Scholarship question proposal:
“The web [has] become as ubiquitous as pen and paper.” (Richard Warren)
To what extent has the pen become obselete technology? Discuss with reference to the role of reader and writer within multi-media texts…..

2 thoughts on “HoD Day 007: Shaken and Stirred

  1. Karen – great day, very stimulating. I now need to remember all the good suggestions so that I can incorporate the Web 2. 0 ideas in planning for next year. Have to navigate some professional learning with the department around the new curriculum as well. Thoughts about the day will help me do both. Richard Gale

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