I strongly believe in cultivating deep learning through:
- Including all learners
Inclusion should not be a choice of some educators, it should be an evidence. We are still far away from this reality. I consider myself an invitational educator. I practice and ‘preach’ Universal Design for Learning and keep pushing people’s thinking to understand the inclusion of ALL learners is not “about special needs, it’s about special rights” (Lee Ann Jung).
- Learner Agency
I strongly advocate for educators to develop the essential belief that all learners are able to learn and act. Agency is often associated with Voice, Choice and Ownership. It relates to the growth mindset, the self-determination theory and intrinsic motivation. Everyone has agency but sometimes we need to facilitate its release and support learners in daring greatly, taking risks (with caution), expressing themselves and advocating for themselves.
- The Habits of Mind
The work of Costa, Kallick and Zmuda has been in alignment with my practice. The habits of mind are at the centre of a modern curriculum. Our learners should be developing those transdisciplinary habits.
- Inquiry-Based Learning or should I just say LEARNING…!
My practice is inspired by so many inquiry educators around the world. There are so many outstanding teachers dedicated to the whole child and cultivating the sense of wonder with provocations, authentic learning experiences, embedded formative assessments and reflection. Those educators often use an inquiry cycle to activate learning, they ask questions, they observe and respond to the needs, wants and aspirations of their learners, co-learn and co-create without being afraid of throwing themselves into the unknown. They love the journey even more than the destination. I personally believe that real learning is inevitably inquiry based so I tend to prefer taking about the science of learning and I’m particularly found of Caleb Gattegno and how he presented the stages of learning from the awareness that there is something new to learn to automation/transfer.
- Concept-Based Curriculum
My practice is driven by the work of Lynn Erickson & Lois Lanning on Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction. Designing a 3D curriculum with conceptual understandings (not just knowledge and skills) is essential to engaging our learners in deep thinking. It allows them to transfer their learnings to new situations through authentic experiences that attend to the intellect but also to the heart. Again, Caleb Gattegno has been a precursor of this idea. He didn’t talk about inquiry or concept perse but all his work revolves around those ideas.