Section E. Thinking Across School

Saturday, 15 September
Conference Hall "Abava"

Chair person: Gillian Boniface, International School of Bergen, Norway.


14:00 - 14:45   Gillian Boniface, International School of Bergen, Norway. Thinking Approach in the Visual Arts Lessons.

Within education there is long tradition of teaching analytical skills in languages, but the transference of these to the arts is a relatively unexplored field. In addition the use of the work creativity can be quite controversial. What does it mean to be creative? How do we measure something that is so subjective? And who decides whether piece of art work is creative or not?
In this presentation I will explore the question of whether or not it is possible to teach creativity, and to what extend the Thinking approach can help teachers who wish to teach creativity through critical thinking. Using actual student work, I hope to show how it is possible to deploy the Thinking Approach framework to create whole units of work, as well as to individualized tasks, and to provide educators with examples to try in their own classrooms.

14:45 – 15:30   Kirsi Urmson, Rauma Primary School, Finland. Thinking Approach Helping to Plan a Creative Learning

Environment in Teacher Training. Experiences from Working with the Teacher Trainees in Rauman normaalikoulu (Turku University)

Finnish trainee teachers practice in teacher training schools where they are tutored by qualified and experienced class and university teachers. The aim is that they develop their pedagogical skills and become well prepared for the future needs in education. They have a challenge to learn to plan their work so that the learning environment they create will support pupils’ ability to cope with the requirements and challenges of the changing world. Using Thinking task Framework  gives the trainees a tool to implement thinking skills in a systematic way. One practice out of four opens the path but leaves a lot of questions. This presentation will share the experiences of giving  trainees a chance to use the TTF (Thinking Task Framework) in their own teaching practice in the primary level, particularly in Science (environmental studies) and in the Finnish language.

15:30 - 16:00    COFFEE BREAK

16:00 - 16:25    Sergei Modestov. Saint-Petersbourg State University of Service and Economics, Russia.

Functional Approach as a Basis of Teachers' Creativity.

Functional approach can be used in the new technology of pedagogical modeling; it makes introduction of innovative technologies in educational practice easier. The functional approach can increase teachers' creativity, because it makes creation of new educational technologies more available. 

My research is aimed at the use of the functional approach for pedagogical modeling. This kind of approach – elicitation of typical functions to classify big volumes of non-structured information – was used in the following cases:

      1. national classification of patents in the USA (is build on the functional base);
      2. 36 dramatic plots by Georges Polti; 
      3. classification of actions of fairy tales characters by Vladimir Propp, and some others...

Any lesson has 4 stages, which do not depend on the content of this lesson. These stages were formulated by Adolf Disterveg, German scientist-pedagogue of 18th century.

      1. The beginning and actualization of previous knowledge.
      2. Explanation of new material.
      3. Fixation (“domestication” – G. I. Schukina) of new knowledge.
      4. Giving home task, end of the lesson.

So, it is obvious, that pedagogical process includes some fixed elements. The first one is stages. Understanding of this fact allowed me to start the research of pedagogical functions as a base of educational technologies. In my work, pedagogical functions are looked upon as educator’s actions, composing a lesson, class, training, etc. It is some kind of a form, and study material is the content which is filling this form.

      1. Make a contact with an audience.
      2. Explain new material.
      3. Fix, consolidate new material.
      4. Get feedback
      5. Relieve stress
      6. Increase the interest.
      7. Concentrate the attention.
      8. Divert the attention.
      9. Check how knowledge is being built.
      10. Check how skills are being built.
      11. Revise the material.
      12. Increase the authority, the image of a trainer.
      13. Increase the authority, the image of a participant, save his goodwill.
      14. Extend time.
      15. Save time.
      16. Bring people (participants) together.
      17. Give homework.
      18. Finish the lesson, say good bye.

The way of implementing these functions is a pedagogical technique. It is obvious, that one function can be implemented in many specific ways, which depend on resources of a class, an audience, a room and so on. Therefore we can assume that a lot of pedagogical techniques exist. I began to collect them, and in 2004 the collection transformed into a Bank of pedagogical techniques. Now the Bank includes about 200 techniques; the number of them increases little by little.
Such understanding of educational process opens up the possibility to increase the effectiveness of teachers' creativity.
It is easy to see, that capability of teachers to create new educational technologies or at least to make their own lessons better and more versatile is highly increasing, because they can use not only segmental, scattered innovations from different authors, but consciously create specific techniques and build their own unique lessons, classes, workshops and so on.

16:25 – 16:50   Paul Kenna, Belle Vue Park Primary School & Brett Millott, Richmond Primary School, Australia.

Self-Organised Learning Environment: S.O.L.E.

Paul Kenna and Brett Millott are both Primary School Principals in Melbourne Australia. Since 2010 they have been collaborating with Professor Sugata Mitra and his associates from the University of Newcastle in the United Kingdom. Professor Mitra is well known for his research and findings from the Hole in the Wall project, which have laid the foundation for the development of Self Organized Learning Environments. 
Paul and Brett have been trialling and refining the SOLE strategies at their schools for the past eighteen months. Their investigations have been based on the theoretical and practical components of student driven learning, and how SOLE can be used to integrate system requirements and individual enquiry. Their research thus far, has indicated that SOLE is a strategy that provides a platform for the development of learners who demonstrate creativity, curiosity and independence.

16:50 - 17:30     Ann S. Pihlgren, Stockholm University, Sweden. Socratic Seminar. Workshop.

In thoughtful discussions, the teacher puts questions to promote inquiry. The goal is the students’ cooperative dialogue, to teach the students how to develop and enrich their thinking and their understanding of central ideas in different subject areas. The Socratic seminar can be carried out from pre-school to the university and the workshop invites educators interested at all school levels. The rationales and steps of the Socratic dialogue as a pedagogical method will be briefly presented and the participants will take part in a Socratic seminar, a structured discussion with a text or a picture as a common reference point and including two or more key ideas or concepts. The workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to ask questions and to discuss the seminars as promoters of language skills, thinking skills, social skills and character, the positive outcome of recurrent seminars in classrooms, shown by research.

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