Guest post written by T. Waiau

With the advancement of science and the ability to spread knowledge like never before, it’s easy to feel humanity is constantly building upon what it knows. Progress is often not as complete and total as it might appear though; there are still things a humble peasant from 1000 A.D. might know that might stump someone with a PhD today (many of us are so disjointed from nature we don’t even know what phase the Moon is in…). …

Increasingly we are using digital technologies to assess. If a student is operating in a digital space day to day, it makes sense that their assessment should mirror that. But what about students who don’t have access to devices? Are we widening the gap?

I’d argue that there is tension between existing assessment policy and the demand to assess 21st century skills. Transposing digital technologies onto an existing framework of assessment is problematic because the “measures have been constructed using pedagogical beliefs which predate the digital age” (Heppell, 1999 in Starkey, 2016). No longer is it just about ‘knowing stuff’…

Teaching is a profession where you give, give, give. And as the saying goes, it’s impossible to fill from an empty cup, so let’s have a look at the latest buzz around mindfulness, and see if all the hype is really justified.

Vivian Shih for NPR

“Keeping your own wellbeing in mind is essential to create the experiential conditions to inspire students to learn” (Siegel, 2013).

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is about being present and fully engaged with whatever task you are doing. …

Recently, I came across some old lecture notes from my teaching diploma. I spotted one of my comments in the margin exclaiming “differentiation is essential — make sure I do this for every lesson!!” Isn’t the optimism of beginning teachers the best? In my first few years of teaching I certainly tried, but often found myself bogged down by rigid assessments that couldn’t be co-constructed, time constraints that wouldn’t allow for content modification, or feeling overwhelmed with too many students. …

Paula Prouse

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