Thursday 6 October 2016

Breakout #5 - uLearn 2016

This afternoon my final session was called Accelerate the reading progress of your ākonga using culturally responsive practices and digital technologies". 

Here is the description from the booking sheet..
"We are based in a low decile school undergoing rapid change, with a vision to raise student engagement and achievement. Join us to:

- find out how you can take action to accelerate progress in reading for your ELLs and target students using digital technologies (Chromebooks & iPads)
- explore culturally responsive practices to develop learner agency
- capture student voice in your class learning and assessment programme
- discover tools that can support you to implement a targeted and personalised learning environment"

I enjoyed this session, was it reaffirmed a lot of work my school has done to build positive culturally responsive culture, and also touched on many things I have been looking at for my literature reviews and will be doing for my dissertation next year. In this, most of the content was not 'new information' to me, but was interesting and thought-provoking none-the-less. 

One highlight was this image they shared -

It perfectly illustrates how culture should be taught and talked about. Typically, we talk about those things at the top. Clothes, food, games, drama, stories, cooking and holidays of a particular culture. These are very surface level features. When in reality, we should be talking about the things at the root of the culture - notions of fairness, definitions of kinship, world views, how decisions are made, who holds power, the role of religion, community vs individuality. Those are the things that make the most difference between people - not who eats what food. Who cares... 

When we are teaching in a culturally responsive way, aiming to accelerate reading or maths or whatever it is, these things need to be taken into consideration. The 'root' of a culture is far more important than the leaves of a culture.

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