Teach­ing for for­ward thinkers

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

If you went down to Toko­roa’s Tainui Fully Pri­mary School to­day you’re sure of a big sur­prise.

No you won’t find a teddy bears’ pic­nic but you will find a for­ward think­ing ap­proach to learn­ing.

In 2013 the school sur­veyed the com­mu­nity ask­ing what it saw as the school’s strengths and what needed im­prov­ing.

Stu­dents were also sur­veyed and asked what made a great learner.

This term the school un­veiled its new ap­proach.

The con­cept in­cludes five pou (pil­lars) de­pict­ing the school’s key learn­ing qual­i­ties of be­ing a friend, com­mu­ni­ca­tor, col­lab­o­ra­tor, thinker, and self man­ager based on the Toko­roa Talk­ing Poles.

The qual­i­ties are sim­i­lar to Ca­reers New Zealand’s top ten em­ploy­able skills and the idea is that each pou in­ter­links.

The pou also rep­re­sent the school’s Maori, Pasi­fika, and European cul­tures and have been named ac­cord­ingly and each

‘‘Gone are the days of a one size fits all’’

stu­dent has been taught the sign lan­guage.

Prin­ci­pal Tania Mor­ri­son said education has changed dra­mat­i­cally over the years and ‘‘gone are the days of a one size fits all where a teacher stands at the front of a class dic­tat­ing lessons’’.

She said due to tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances school was now more about teach­ing process rather than knowl­edge and pro­mo­tion of cer­tain qual­i­ties and com­pe­ten­cies that stu­dents will need in the fu­ture where jobs will dif­fer from what we now know plays a big part.

‘‘Education is no longer just about good read­ing, writ­ing, and maths, it is also about pre­par­ing our children for a world that is chang­ing and some of the jobs that they are go­ing to be go­ing into which are not even in­vented yet,’’ she said.

‘‘The kids need to know these skills to be able to adapt. They are trans­fer­able be­cause tech­nol­ogy is rapidly mov­ing. Google [for ex­am­ple] is cre­at­ing driver­less trucks so our children need to be pre­pared for that,’’ she said.

Mor­ri­son said it was now com­mon for stu­dents to seek an­swers and en­gage in learn­ing through tech­nol­ogy.

‘‘This is the world they know and they are bet­ter en­gaged and own­ing their own learn­ing paths which you have to do as an adult any­way. It is not about pre­par­ing our kids for high school, it is about pre­par­ing them for life.’’

Feed­back has been pos­i­tive had been positve so far.

"We want it to res­onate with our kids.’’

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