Chapter One: Art and Education

By Natalie Woods

By 2016, in many of the world’s most affluent societies, the utopian impulse had been extinguished. Utopianism was viewed as naïve, a relic of the past, affiliated with brutal, post war regimes. Cynicism was embedded deeply in education, where there had been a move away from idealistic visions of what it meant to be educated, or what it meant to pursue ‘the good life’, towards policies and practices that were grounded in a language of scientific certainty, and economic efficiency.

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John Dewey: Experience and education

By Richard McCance

For the educationalists out there, this may be a simple refresher but for those not familiar with this important educational philosopher I hope this is a helpful introduction to some very relevant ideas.

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What does it mean to be an educated person? An historical overview.

By Natalie Woods

Introduction

Plato, Aristotle, and Rousseau associated the aims of education with beliefs about society, reason and emotion, and knowledge and freedom. Their treatment of these themes profoundly influenced ideals of the ‘educated person’ that emerged in the West during the 19th century. A review of literature published since the late 19th century revealed that these ideals generally fell into one of four broad categories: the rational individual; the worker; the explorer; and, the critical intellectual. Each vision made assumptions about society, human nature, knowledge, and freedom. This review outlines those visions, discusses the tensions between them, and analyses the influence they have had on contemporary educational thought and policy in New Zealand.

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Citizenship and the Philosophy of Education

By Richard McCance
In her wide ranging analysis of citizenship education in Aotearoa New Zealand, Carol Mutch (2013) stresses that school decision-making should rest upon “a strong philosophical base” (pp 59, 62) when considering theories and pedagogies to inform practice. The contentious nature of citizenship in the Western Liberal tradition and Aotearoa NZ’s unique bicultural heritage require we establish a clear and widely accepted definition of citizenship. Dialogue is needed to facilitate better understanding of what citizenship is and how it is practiced. A revised understanding of our collective conception of citizenship would then necessitate further discourse into the meaning and purpose of education in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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Innovative Learning Environments: A critique

By Richard McCance

Media attention in New Zealand has recently focused on the current Ministry of Education policy of redesigning schools along the lines of Innovative Learning Environments (also known as Modern Learning Environments or Open Plan Learning Spaces). This attention is important and more people need to be aware of the factors driving this change and the expectations and assumptions that underlie this policy.

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The World of Advertising: An assessment plan

By Nathan Woods

This is an assessment plan for The World of Advertising, a course that will be taught at Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery (ATUD), a special character secondary school in Christchurch, New Zealand. The course is designed for students working at levels five and six of the New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007); it will run for three hours per week over a five week block. The plan is divided into four sections. Section one provides a brief rationale for the plan, highlighting key aims and guiding principles. Section two describes the plan in action, separating it into four core strategies: (1) identifying key learning outcomes; (2) establishing a climate for learning; (3) involving students in assessment; and (4) collaboration. Section three explains and analyses key features of the plan, showing how the core strategies work together to enhance students’ motivation and self-directed learning. Finally, in section four, I respond critically to some potentially contentious issues. Overall, this plan establishes a credible vision of assessment, one that promotes powerful lifelong learning (Carr, 2004).

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Formative assessment and self-regulated learning

By Nathan Woods

Formative assessment is not something that happens to learners after they have completed a learning activity. Rather, it is an ongoing, collaborative activity that supports students’ attempts to regulate their learning. This review brings together findings from academic literature on formative assessment and self-regulated learning, focusing specifically on how formative assessment strategies can support self-regulated learning during the forethought phase of self-regulation. Theories of self-regulated learning and formative assessment typically place learners ant the center of their learning, viewing them as active participants in setting goals, monitoring their progress, and reflecting on their learning. There is a tradition in the academic literature that emphasizes the synergies between formative assessment and self-regulated learning. Writers in this tradition have demonstrated that teachers can draw on a model of self-regulated learning when they make decisions about how to deploy formative assessment strategies. This review builds on that tradition, showing that the specific purposes and processes underlying the forethought phase of self-regulation can guide teachers’ formative assessment practices during the early stages of learning. Continue reading

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