Do you have professional learning expertise that you would like to share?
An early payoff for system-based users of mme moe is a real-time, ordered list of identified professional learning needs at your school site or jurisdiction.
Look at this top 6 list from one education system client:
1. Approaches to personalised learning.
2. Improvement in assessment practices, including enhanced use of data
3. Increasing knowledge of pedagogies for deeper learning
4. Strategies at the 'R'-end of the SAMR framework
5. Strategies to address personal daily energy renewal requirements
6. Upskilling in negotiation to better devise project based learning.
Here is a top 6 list from another school:
1. Student behaviour and classroom management skills
2 . Basic ICT skills for teachers
3. Increased efficiency with the school reporting system
4. Teaching students with special needs
5. Help with multicultural education
6. Strategies to integrate the curriculum.
Interestingly, they are quite different lists. Not every teacher at every school needs the top-down workshops in literacy and numeracy so so common in a one-sized-fits-all PD environment.
With mme moe, the first person to know their professional learning needs is the teacher. They can identify their own needs, then immediately plan to address them. And here is where another payoff for using mme moe really kicks in. While planning for their improvement, teachers can access resources and strategies designed to help them with their specific focus.
And as part of the mme moe community, your professional learning offering, preferably bite-sized and laser targeted, can be made available to teachers at their focus point. Do you have something that will help clarify personalised learning? Then your expertise can be made available to the school and to the teachers who want and need it.
Wouldn't you like to get on-demand professional learning resources from colleagues with expertise in their field? Being part of the mme moe community provides you the opportunity to access resources and expertise from others, and the opportunity to provide resources and expertise to others.
If you have something to offer, contact email@example.com
We all should be seriously engaged in the search to find better ways to meet the learning needs of students. We should be concerned by both the numbers of students who fail to achieve an international baseline proficiency level in reading or mathematics and the number who do reach baseline proficiency levels or better, but have no or little engagement in or agency over their learning.
Doing well at school is significantly dependent on how engaged students are. A common policy response to declining test rankings is to increase the frequency and stakes of tests and hold students, teachers and schools accountable for achieving higher standards. This, however, has resulted in a kind of performance stagflation, as shown in the improvement in Australian students’ average NAPLAN scores over the course of six years or so. There has been little or no average improvement. The response, to write more and more explicit standards and more and more explicit articulations of expectations of performance on standards, hasn’t worked. Performance has stagnated; engagement has plummeted.
The policy response above parallels the old blue joke about teaching: "You are going to do it again and again and again til you get it right!" The policy response merely intensifies existing practice - more of the same. It has been the wrong target,conceptually and practically. Walking in to many classrooms today feels much like it has walking into a classroom at any time over the last five decades. Students are grouped into year levels by age, and are often doing the same thing, in the same way, at the same time as the rest of their group. Many teachers continue to ‘deliver the curriculum’ for the year level they teach, and students are assessed and graded on how well they perform on that curriculum.
Engagement, personalization and differentiation are observed more in the rhetoric than the practice. In most school systems there are data imperatives, cultural imperatives, performance imperatives and new pedagogical imperatives. Less common are policy strategies that help teachers learn how to better engage students, learn how to better personalise the learning, better diagnose learner needs, better use data to support decisions around student activity, and better use inquiry-based, project methodologies. This is the policy deficiency in many jurisdictions.
Such a basic policy deficiency should occur at state and national levels. Imagine, for example, if spending on high stakes tests to find out what we already know was allocated instead to help teachers learn more practical and successful strategies to engage students in the learning? Classrooms might look and operate differently. Some education policy-makers have made a classic athlete’s error of watching the scoreboard instead of concentrating on executing skills to the best of your ability.
Too often in schools, the learning needs of students are well met. In most classrooms, if a whole class methodology is the general practice, then up to 60% or more of the students will not be getting their learning needs met in terms of intent, content, focus or activity. The challenge is for teachers to not only meet all students at their points of need or want with learning opportunities that stretch and extend them, but to provide students with some agency over their own learning. Competence without agency is only useful for tests, and even then, not that useful.
At mme moe, we are providing practical and contemporary pathways and functionality to assist teachers to meet this challenge. The only ones who seem to think, despite the evidence, that testing improves learning are thoe with a commercial or sentimental interest in testing or publications designed to prepare students for testing. With innovations like mme moe, we support community-based growth culture, enabling teachers and those who support them to reclaim the teaching profession.
For teachers to best get an idea of how to gather and use information about where students are in their long-term progress as part of the process of planning learning, mme moe offers this process as a self-assessment activity for teachers to model themselves. Teachers are able to self-assess against a teacher competency framework and make informed decisions about what, when and how they will go about improving their practice. Knowing that they can do this for themselves puts teachers in the position of knowing and having the confidence that they can undertake the same process with their students. So, instead of relying on age or grade based drivers for the planning of learning and teaching, they will be in a position to truly plan using a student competence, interest, need, and recognition of prior learning basis.
The importance of data of this sort is the increasing expectation that students will access a more personalised learning context. However, to expect people who have been taught in a non-personalised manner, in primary, secondary, tertiary and employment settings, to then be able to work in a personalised way in their own classroom is probably setting them up for failure. Personalisation in learning and teaching is not just one more incremental change tactic, it is a fundamental change strategy, and as such should be thought of in systemic terms.
So at mme moe, we’ve set up a community so that teachers can access functionality, a contemporary competency framework, people and resources fot support and mentoring. Our functionality helps teachers reflect on their practice and make the targeted changes they have identified as integral to their personal learning journey - and it is a journey, not an event. Although there is an event and a decision to be made.
Teachers can’t just wake up one day and be expert in the personalised learning space. There are careers’ worth of acculturation of practices to be dealt with. But teachers can wake up and have the mindset and make the decision that that is the pathway they want to take.
Teachers can become more reflective, immediately. It will be more beneficial for a teacher to be reflective and provide themselves with some meta-analysis than it will be for them to study for the coming teachers’ test.Teachers can defendably self-assess. In fact, self-assessing for the purpose of identifying your own needs and your own professional learning pathway is arguably more defendable than what currently passes for performance management in most schools.
Teachers can and want to work in learning communities, where they can both be mentored and do some mentoring, and both receive and provide support. Any other configuration of this places the teacher into a situation where their expertise, mostly hard won, is discounted and minimally valued and used.
Significant student underachievement, disengagement and disenchantment with school and with learning is a cultural problem. It is not a problem that is best addressed with systemic testing and top-down accountability. Tests perform a function when dispensed in moderation, so do management reviews, but they are not solutions for accountability or academic excellence as many imply. The solutions required include developing in-school, cross-school, perhaps cross-jurisdictional communities of improvement consisting of reflective teachers who are on their own learning journey to work in a more personalised, inquiry-based, project-oriented way.
As a nation, it is disappointing to see no improvement in NAPLAN scores and no improvement in the engagement in learning of students. Other countries have their own 'NAPLAN; testing stories. Education solutions do not lie in more testing. They lie in a mindset of developing more flexible ways of managing learning and teaching to better address individuals’ current levels of performance and their learning wants and needs. Is anyone arguing that our teachers are good at this? We need to find ways of getting better at it.
"Finally", we hear bureaucrats say, "something we can test!"
In a recent review, mme moe users reported a significant increase in the agency they have over their professional learning. They used their agency to get on-demand access to learning resources and they could see the impact of their learning over time. Here are 10 ways they reported:
1. Reflection becomes a habit
Users report that developing a habit of continuous self and professional reflection is a real positive. They use mme moe's emotionality dial regularly, mostly daily. They say having a good handle on their emotionality really helps them with their energy for teaching.
2. Building a mentor network
They report not seeing personalised learning as only an individual practice. They report using mme moe to build mentor and collegial networks to help guide and support their learning. Interestingly, they report some confidence in being providers, not just recipients, of support. Many did not expect this.
3. Self assessing creates focus
They feel that the capacity to self-assess is very empowering. They were able to use the data gathered to get an overview of their learning, which they found useful, a view on what was important to them to learn next, which they found focusing, and a view on how much they had improved over a specific time-frame which the found both empowering and motivating.
4. They set their own agenda
The data, they report, enables them to set their own agenda and identify reachable professional learning targets.
5. Breaking professional learning down into smaller chunks
They use the planning functionality enabled them to break down learning targets into fundamental objectives and identify what they needed to do to reach identified milestones.
6. My learning has purpose, therefore I stick with it
They report that the mme moe enables them to access and engage in learning with a clear purpose that was directly connected to their personal, identified needs and applicable to the classroom in which they were working.
7. I can author my own professional learning pathways
Teacher users report that authoring their own personal learning pathways increased their engagement. They were able to address their own different needs, strengths, and learning styles, as opposed to being receivers of a general approach at a conference, a lecture or even a workshop.
8. I am in charge of my learning
They report that the capacity to learn when it was best for them was extremely powerful. The capacity to access learning objects at their own pace, place, time and pathway gave them the feeling that they were in charge of their own learning. The environment enabled them to effectively use the time they had available to connect, collaborate and learn.
9. I can find and connect with others who are invested in developing the same competencies
They report that the capacity to engage with others who were also invested in solving similar problems and issues was very useful. It was almost as if they had their own workplace based mentor or coach.
10. Bite-sized, non-linear is better
They report that bite-sized, non-linear learning, supported by mme moe, reflect their authentic learning needs.
If you would like to get these sort of results from your individual or organisational professional learning process, please contact us to start the conversation. firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul is the Chief Learning Coach at mme moe. mme moe is the culmination of years of experience and expertise in assisting people to get better at what they do.