Episode 12 Contextualising your practice with Janice Atkin

In this episode, I interview Janice Atkin and discuss how contextualising your practice can help to create life-long learners. This interview covers everything from surface and deep learning, to ways you can personalise learning for your students while still achieving the same learning goals.

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Contextualising your practice with Janice Atkin by Daniel Jackson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Janice is an education consultant, former Senior curriculum manager at ACARA for HPE and currently co-founder of inclusive schools Australia.

What do you mean by contextualising teaching practices?

  • Personalising our programs and classroom practice
  • Moving beyond presenting content and focusing on the deep learning
  • Connecting what is being learnt to the student’s real-life and providing meaning
  • Providing choice in content consumption, critiquing, creating and reflection

What they do end up doing in a classroom is specific for them because they have chosen activities or they’ve combined it in different ways or they’ve linked it to things outside of the classroom that they are particularly interested in you don’t actually have to do all that writing yourself.

-Dan Jackson

What does it look like in the classroom?

  • Creating a buffet of options for students to select from
  • It is NOT differentiated where “smart” kids do the deeper learning and the others do surface level. They all can choose from the options that cover both.
  • Use a hyperdoc
  • Kasey Bell talks about using Menu Boards

We talk about this idea of creating a buffet of options and student then self select what they’re going to take from the buffet.

– Janice Atkin

How does it create life-long learners?

  • It enables students to learn how to research, consume and critique the content
  • It enables them to become teachers as they help each other
  • It creates meaning to their learning, increasing their motivation to learn and experiences of success leading to students that identify as successful learners
  • It creates a community for learning, not learning in isolation

Give it a go!

2 Step process:

  • Identify the challenges, behaviours and decisions you are trying to influence
  • Help students to develop the skills they need to effectively address those challenges, behaviours and decisions

what are the challenges or the behaviours or a decision that kids are making that you’re trying to influence… then start thinking about within your curriculum what are the skills and understandings that sit within your curriculum that are going to support students to effectively address those challenges decisions and behaviours.

– Janice Atkins

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