To define high quality learning we must
have some concept of what actually is happening when a person is acquiring
knowledge and understanding. The following diagram is my adaptation of Ham’s
Tree of Knowledge that I feel demonstrates the learning process.
As teachers we must be must be aiming to
develop in our pupils:
the growth of knowledge and understanding
the ability to apply knowledge and
understanding in real life situations
the ability to make valid, appropriate and
the ability to share competently their
understandings, opinions and ideas.
Quality Learning is learning that
fosters the individual’s ability to be
knowledge and understanding which is then utilised within real situtions to make
valid, informed decisions, and also enhances the individual’s ability to be
positively involved in the sharing of ideas, understanding and opinions.
then do we make high quality learning happen?
Can’t! Each individual is ultimately responsible for his or her own learning.
we can provide an environment that fosters and encourages quality learning.
are three factors that are mandatory for us to include in any learning
experience we provide for our pupils here in New Zealand.
can be identified by the
acronym. Each learning activity must incorporate
The learning activity must incorporate the development of
their website confirm the intent of the new NAG 1 revision in terms of attitudes
and values. “Attitudes and values are now mandatory insofar as each board must
incorporate them in all teaching programmes”. NB that this does not mean a
separate focus on attitudes and values but that they become an integral part of
the whole curriculum.
The learning experience must incorporate the development of 1 or more of
the Essential Skills.
Ministry of Education states in their website:
the essential skills are important if students are to achieve their potential
and to participate fully in society, including the world of work. In planning
learning programmes, schools need to ensure that all students have the
opportunity to develop the full range of the essential skills to the best of
skills cannot be developed in isolation. They will be developed through the
essential learning areas and in different contexts across the curriculum.”
The learning experience must involve
from 1 or more of
Essential Learning Areas from our National
Curriculum. The Ministry of Education state in their website on ‘Sharpening
the Focus’ that “Schools may achieve a balanced and broad curriculum in a
number of ways; for example, by organising their programmes around subjects, by
using an integrated approach, or by using topics for thematic approaches.
Schools have the flexibility to plan programmes to meet their particular needs.
…. In whatever way programmes are organised, they must incorporate the
knowledge and understanding described in all seven learning areas”. The
document then states “The essential learning areas are broad, recognisable
categories of knowledge and understanding. They provide the context within which
the essential skills, attitudes, and values are developed”. This
highlights the intent of the framework document which states clearly that the
learning areas are actually the context within which we are to teach, develop
and extend the essential skills, attitudes and values.
The other vital factors which need to be
the learner in a manner that is Relevant and interesting in terms of:
(child centred, pupil orientated)
for different learning styles
reinforcement and feedback
and peers and external audience)
1 or more of the higher thinking skills, preferably in co-operative
problem solving environments
* Hattie (1999) states “the most
powerful single moderator that enhances achievement is feedback;” It
is when we move pupils into the situations where they have to collaboratively
form opinions, solve problems and meet needs that we simply and easily create a
learning environment that contains the majority of the factors listed above.
creating a quality learning experience we must pay particular attention to two
crucial aspects of setting up and preparation:
Setting the learning experience up to focus on
Higher Thinking Skills
Setting the learners up for success
up Higher Thinking Activities.
we are to structure Higher Thinking Activities we need some tool to help us
develop the right sort of questions or tasks for our pupils. We need to avoid
the low level tasks that only require our pupils to gather information and
present it to us in some form. We need to push them into the Higher Thinking
Taxonomy provides such a tool. However it is important to be aware of the
revision to Bloom’s Taxonomy as outlined below.
Anderson's Revised Taxonomy
The names of six major categories were changed
form noun to verb forms to reflect the idea that thinking is an active process
and verbs describe actions
The knowledge category was renamed because
knowledge is a result of thinking not a form of thinking.
This level of thinking relates to recall and memory.
Comprehension and synthesis were
renamed understanding and creating in order to better reflect the nature of the
thinking that takes place in those categories. http://www.modsthps.sa.edu.au/Brain/blooms.htm