Sunday, July 18, 2010

Essential Learnings.

I have chosen to use in assessment tasks 1&2...

Knowledge and Understanding.

"New products and technologies are designed and developed to meet changing needs and wants of intended audiences, and include artefacts, systems, environments, services and processes" and "Product design and production decisions are influenced by aspects of appropriateness and by
detailed specifications, constraints and standards of production" (Technology, Essential Learning’s, Knowledge and Understanding, p.g 2, 2007).

I intend to introduce new information and use a design journal with my intended assessment tasks. This will be used as a formal representation of Knowledge and Understanding, and as a time line of progress made through class lessons, as well as a reflective tool on knowledge gained and shared toward the task criteria.

Progress toward design reasoning for production decisions will be displayed in the journal and used as a student centred blue print for research assessment and practical application.

Ways of working
Students are able to:

• investigate and analyse specifications, standards and constraints in the development of design
• consult, negotiate and apply ethical principles and cultural protocols to investigate, design and
make products
• generate and evaluate design ideas and communicate research, design options, budget and
timelines in design proposals
• select resources, techniques and tools to make products that meet detailed specifications
• plan, manage and refine production procedures for efficiency
• make products to meet detailed specifications by manipulating or processing resources
• identify, apply and justify workplace health and safety practices
• evaluate the suitability of products and processes against criteria and recommend improvements
• reflect on and analyse the impacts of products and processes on people, their communities and
• reflect on learning, apply new understandings and justify future applications.

Some examples of linking the Ways of Working descriptors with Blooms Taxonomy (2010) actions words would be:

Investigate and anylise - match Blooms action words definition of - Break down objects or ideas into simpler parts and find evidence to support generalizations.

Consult, negotiate and apply - matches the Application definition - Apply knowledge to actual situations.

Generate and evaluate - matches the Evaluation definition of - Make and defend judgments based on internal evidence or external criteria.

The Technology Ways of Working align in reverse contrast to the Revised Blooms Taxonomy Higher Order Thinking Table. Working down the Ways of Working is targeting the same outcomes as working up the arrow of Blooms table (slide 10 of, Kurwongbah State School PowerPoint presentation).

Technology, being a practical based subject area, encourages Students to demonstrate evidence of their learning over time in relation to the following assessable elements:

• knowledge and understanding
• investigating and designing
• producing
• evaluating
• reflecting.

This process allows students to develop knowledge and understanding of introduced tasks and concepts, investigate and design through research and reasoning, and then practically develop what has been investigated. I think this is a KLA characteristic only really shared with perhaps HPE and Manual arts subjects. This structure for delivery allows for constant review for understanding and is a structured scaffold for implementing higher order thinking through tasks.




Technology, Essential Learning’s (2007), Viewed 18th July, 2010, at

Bloom’s Taxonomy Action Verbs (2010), Viewed 18th July, 2010, at

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Prescription for good teaching.

Where to begin and where to end?

Know who you are, Know who your learners are, know your content, expand your delivery practices every chance you get, investigate the unknown. It’s your Learners right and your responsibility, enjoy yourself!


Why is being a professional something worth working towards?

In the case of any professional, you have chosen to strive to achieve and succeed in a specific field.

Don't force your kids into sports. I never was. To this day, my dad has never asked me to go play golf. I ask him. It's the child's desire to play that matters, not the parent's desire to have the child play. Fun. Keep it fun. Tiger Woods.

I think in any work place the desire to succeed drives you, be it for the money or the experience. Plenty of “Teachers” will say I want to influence kids and mentor adolescents through activities and all and all make a difference to the education of anyone who is involved with me. The stark realisation is that the reality of achieving that goal is dependent on your own satisfaction within your profession. That same satisfaction you hold, inadvertently affects the greater learning outcomes of your students who are dependent on your attitude toward any amount of influencing techniques you can portray in their learning environment.

I think “Teaching” as a profession has always been seen an upstanding role in the community, but that is really due to the Chalk and talk stigma of what and who a “Teacher” portrays. In today’s society, fast paced and diverse, who, and what is the “Professional teacher”?
Aside from Curriculum content, the ever increasing roles and responsibilities pinned to educators within the system, and the educational psychology of perspectives and theories, what does it all boil down to? The kids and you.

There is ever increasing opportunities for individuals to connect with their interests and unknowns, this web of opportunity, be it technology based, or community based is fostered on the idea that choices are made available for you to choose who you want to be on many different levels of acceptance. For me to be a “Teacher” in today’s and the futures educational environment means I need to be embedded in the possibilities of change and have a firm grasp of how I can use my knowledge of content with that change and choices to better suit my learners needs.

The theory of Constructivist perspectives of cognitive learning/development are in my opinion becoming more apparent in the social side of constructivism. With the broadening of resources available “Learning Managers” can make explicit links to possibilities that never before have presented themselves. Content and curriculum can be scaffolded still in the traditional theories of delivery yet through approaches explicitly emphasising interpersonal dimensions of learning. As a student “Teacher”, this excites me, and encourages me to pursue possibilities for myself, my subject area and my learner focused outcome capabilities.

Mclnerney and Mclnerney (2006) suggest that Knowledge is not obtained directly from one knower to another, but is actively built upon by learner determined discovery rather than direct teaching, this learning challenges the pre conceptions of learners, encouraging them to pre determine and reorganise their own personal theories.

If striving toward and achieving this makes me a commendable educator, does that make me a professional? I just want to be a “Teacher”.




Mclnerney,D.,M., Mclnerney,V.(2006), Educational Psychology, Constructing Learning, 4th edition, Frenchs Forest, Nsw, Pearson Education Australia.

What is the difference between a teacher and a learning manager? Is there a difference?

The term "teacher" to refer to any role that focuses on helping people learn in a structured and intentional way and one who manages the learning journey, or learning manager.

When using the terms "teacher" and "teaching" we should also be including "trainer" and "training", "instructor" and "instructing", "coach" and "coaching", "educator" and "educating", "facilitator" and "facilitating" and more fundamentally learning manager.

The term teacher to me, translate to "Influence to change intension". I don’t think there is a difference in the terms "Teacher" and "Learning Manager", both describe an individual that provides direction and fosters guidance along any amount of learning journeys. I do believe though that the pre-requisites for teaching are faster evolving with more responsibility placed upon “Learning Managers” then ever before.

I was once asked to fillet a fish, I was told it was like filleting another fish which I was able to do and was shown in quick time how it's easy. “See, you cut down here along the gill sweep down along the back bone, cut right to the tail, then cut over the ribs and job done, see?”

Busy kitchen life continues on and now I have to fillet the fish, right.

Even though I was shown the technique, and had experience with similar activities and I had the example in front of me, was I confident, no.

I was given no indication of the intricacies or incorrect outcomes of those examples, although the blue print I was given I can relate to now, after many experiences with fish, at the time, I drew a blank. So I was actually about to learn through my own investigation based off the example ("teaching" in the task sense") how to fillet the fish, hopefully to the standard of the cranky chef.

I proceeded to fillet the fish, as shown, in my eyes doing a good job, the Chef returned, and was not happy with my efforts. I had left to much flesh on the bones, not good enough. Look he said, see how I angle the knife down like this to run along the bones thus getting all of the flesh, these cuts are good but you need to go closer to the bones and be more prices.

The cranky chef acknowledged that I had succeeded in filleting the fish, but, I had not achieved the task without error ("teaching" as an achievement).

Given the practical nature of the task the visual example was sufficient in showing me how to, A. fillet a fish, but B. Not do it to save on waste, decrease the profit margins and provide the best possible product for another product. If these examples were verbalised to me when the example was being shown to me I would know the importance of making sure the fish was filleted properly. The assumption of the Chef to think I knew all this based upon the knowledge I had filleted a different fish under different circumstances only encouraged the problem.

This analysis only reiterates the importance of knowing your learners limits, and developing their experiences using the scaffold of the Dimensions of Learning (Marzano and Pickering, 2006). The attitude of the cranky chef made me hesitate asking for further help and understanding, DIM 1 Experience a sense of comfort, DIM 2 Integrating (my previous experiences to the new task) declarative and procedural knowledge, DIM 3 Comparing and analysing errors (between his example and mine), DIM 4 Problem solving (Making me aware of what and where I was going wrong), DIM 5 Be accurate and seek accuracy (rectify my mistakes).

The Dimensions of Learning (Marzano and Pickering, 2006) can be adapted to any content area as a comprehensive approach for “Teacher” or student directed instructions. Having an understanding of the Dimension’s approach to learning can only help your “Teaching” practices.




Marzano, R.,J.,Pickering,D.,J.(2006), Dimensions of Learning Teachers Manual, Heatherton, Victoria, Hawker Brownlow Education Australia.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What is Learning and teaching?

Undertaking the BLM course only ensures the theory of lifelong learning. Perhaps in day to day life this idea is taken for granted, but in the area of education there is absolutely no option otherwise.

After drawing blank on a specific informal or formal learning experience to critique, I reflected on my learning experiences to date within my time at university, thus leading me to critiquing... Reflecting.

Reflecting on your own learning helps you to understand knowledge you may or may not have acquired. Reading over reflections from LM1, I tended to try and explain what I thought was happening, as opposed to drawing on why it was happening. Writing a reflection is a personal account of experiences, yet the skill of creating an in-depth account that allows the reader to grasp where you’re coming from is a real skill. This skill for me did not just happen, I found it difficult to portray what I was asked to when in fact they are a whole lot easier to write when you have developed knowledge and understanding toward yourself.

This skill was a planned skill embedded in us by our educators, to not only see where we have been but to better develop where we need to go.

Attempting reflections is both intrinsic and extrinsic. Completion of the reflective task, I feel responsible( dispositional) for the success, and proud of its completion. The intrinsic nature of completing the task set, is my responsibility, the grade given however, is externally (situational) judged based upon my efforts or understanding portrayed. Bernard Weiner (1985) describes his Attributional Theory as, relating the structure of thinking to the dynamics of feeling and action. What better way than for cognitive development toward a subject to occur, then to reflect upon progress put toward it?

The cycle of reflections for greater understanding, through awareness of thinking about your thinking, is a desirable tool to use in learning and to teach in teaching. As Kelley (1971) stated, "The attributor (Learning Manager) is not simply an attributor, a seeker after knowledge; his latent goal in attaining knowledge is that of effective management of himself and his environment. Once causes, or causes, are assigned, effective management may be possible and a prescription or guide for future action can be suggested.

Reflections give an insight into the level of understanding/knowledge one has towards a topic idea. They allow the writer or reader to ponder the information’s significance, this is an effective tool for seeing progress made or where attention is needed. Undertaking the required reflections through the early topics in this course I’m sure is a useful tactic for lectures to profile their new students. This practice is then embedded into the students and can be practiced through their learning’s/teaching's using design journals, blogs and assessment pieces to refine their practices and knowledge.

Being successful with reflecting is a personal skill, perhaps being open and honest about the experiences your reviewing will help, but continual reflection is the key to greater awareness and productivity for any skill. Smith, Lynch and Knight (2007) state, the correlation of LMQ2 “Where does my learner need /want to be”, to LMQ7 “How will I check to see the learner has achieved the learning outcomes”, confirms if the LMQ5 strategies of “What is the best context for learning” are a success or not. This refection of the learning and the aligned teaching strategies should constitute the learning journey in, and for, all of us.




H. H. Kelley (1971). Attributions in social interactions, In B. Weiner.(1985) Psychological Review, An Attributional Theory of Achievement Motivation and Emotion, American Psychological Association, Inc
Publishing. Retrieved July 12th, 2010, From

R, Smith, D, Lynch, B. A. Knight (2007) Learning Management, Transitioning teachers for national and international change, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, NSW, 2086

B. Weiner.(1985) Psychological Review, An Attributional Theory of Achievement Motivation and Emotion, American Psychological Association, Inc
Publishing. Retrieved July 12th, 2010, From