#Pedagography and a spontaneous, invaluable learning session
This morning, while re-reading and studying Heath Bros. #Decisive (and prepping for upcoming #MVPSchool Leadership Council retreat), I was playing with some new ideas about #PedagogicalMasterPlanning.
“Widening my options” and thinking about PMP, I began to wonder more about a school instructionally mapping (like curriculum mapping but with more focus on methodology). Literally seeing a map in my mind’s eye, I grew more and more curious about a school engaging in cartography of its teaching and learning ecosystem. I have been thinking of PMP with analogy of architectural blueprints, and today more about cartography and mapping came into view.
Some of my tribe members had teased me about the hashtag #PedagogicalMasterPlanning, and I reached out to these great thinkers by introducing the new hashtag #Pedagography – the art and science of create maps of our pedagogical ecosystems in schools – our teaching and learning landscapes, so to speak.
Adjacent possibilities and some mental playwork deepened and stretched my thinking.
Then, I think we began to check for shared understanding.
And other super-thinkers entered the conversation. We really had quite a Stephen Johnson “coffee house” going – with ideas and hunches colliding to form new ideas and possibilities.
I could have taken notes privately. All to myself. But then I would have missed out on these incredible educators weighing in, inquiring about things, and enhancing my thinking.
I am changing my email address from my school one to personal one, so you will see a change there. I love this strand and am sad that I have been out of touch the last couple of weeks due to moving.
I agree that Pedagography captures much of what you are visioning. The closest I’ve seen (which isn’t very close but adds some perhaps?) is comprehensive curriculum mapping that maps be content, skills, and assessment– you can certainly add methodology to the map to fill it out a bit more. It would be very interesting to share this “rubric” for teachers with students in some way (kind of like teachers being asked to write their objective of a lesson on the board but in a much more authentic way).
One thing that I have done at both of my last schools in curriculum writing is to begin a rewrite (or a new write) with Philosophy and Purpose, move to overarching student goals (for the entire curriculum and not a particular grade level– where you could see evidence of it at the end of a child’s years at the school or as a snapshot walking in at any point), then moving to Methods and Techniques of Instruction, then to Assessment and Evaluation, and only then to content and skills strands. It is a comprehensive process on its own, but what you are suggesting would add great depth and flavor to it. Look forward to connecting in person soon!
Angel, thanks for contact update and for two great comments today! I always appreciate how you “yes, and” and challenge my thinking to stretch and grow.
I do think your comment here adds more texture and search for shared understanding. Of course, I am a fan of the idea of comprehensive curriculum mapping, and I appreciate the parts of the system you name. From my looks, I tend to see more curriculum maps arranged by “teacher” and “subject.” But I have yet to see the tech tool or process at a school that then aggregates this info into a detailed “map” – literally showing the cartography of the interrelated sub-systems.
I wrestle often with how to write about this because I think the language needs visuals and dialogue to move to deeper, shared understanding.
But one question that illustrates what I am saying (and there are MANY more such questions): “Can you please tell me how often students at your school are engaged through the various instructional methodologies, say, lecture, lecture-discussion, simulation, demonstration, case study, scripted lab, original experimentation, visual communication, etc?” Or “You say you are creating 21st C communicators. Can you explain the scope and sequence of opportunities that a representative student has to communicate in the various modes each week?”
I’d like to see infographics, dashboards, pictograms, etc. that show a high degree of detail regarding the “landscape” of a teaching and learning system. THEN, I think we could better imagine and design the GPS systems that help us get from “here” to “there” being more informed about where we are and where we are going.
Does that make any sense?
Sorry it has been a while in getting back to you on this one, but I saved it because I did want to further the conversation. The questions you raise are excellent ones, and my work with teachers raise a couple of important caveats or things to ponder as we craft answers. I have found that teachers begin with ideas such as these and then peter out as they get on the freight train of routine, tradition, and expectations that we (administrators, parents…) place on them. Then, the answers become less authentic and reflective and more “sure, I do that.” When pushed to be more specific, the answers become more brief and less “real.”
This is in no way a criticism of teachers at all. What you are searching for is an absolute overhaul of the way we envision planning as teachers and schools– and I LOVE it! Yet, what we all must carefully consider is how to accomplish the following so that what you are proposing is most likely to be successful:
1) an environment where teachers can work together to collect this information on each other– it will be more real and from the eyes of someone who knows what it takes to teach but who doesn’t have the personal investment in it and be able to examine the craft honestly and comprehensively.
2) a schedule that incorporates TIME to engage in this adventure not only during our off times such as the summer (which by the way is highly valuable time we need to include in some creative way) but also day-to-day work– this makes it more authentic and more real-time
3) a connection between administrators/teachers and among teachers themselves that fosters such collaboration that hasn’t happened regularly in the past
4) a mindset from everyone that the time and energy invested in such an enterprise will pay off and will mean something (to get away from so many other things we have done that have felt flavor of the month or this year’s fad).
I am certain I am forgetting some other things as well, but it is a start.