I was profoundly struck by two pieces from this week’s class. I’ve spent the past few days considering the pieces, trying to piece together some current event connections I’ve been considering – and unfortunately, I don’t think I have reached any conclusions. I do, however, feel that these pieces are important to consider with the situations we are currently facing in Education.
In watching the following video about language learners last week, I was struck not only by the authentic learning that was happening, but indeed the genuine exchange occurring between the parties, and I was left considering: How can we create these authentic, genuine, global connections for our students- and how it could positively impact our EAL population specifically.
We also spoke about the idea of finding the ‘sweet spot’ in Education using Technology, Pedagogy, and Humanity.
When I look at the current state of Saskatchewan’s school systems (reportedly underfunded by $2.4 billion dollars), and an influx of students from Syria moving into Regina schools. I’m left wondering: How do we bring Humanity back to the global community?
Let’s be honest- teacher’s have got a substantial work load (yes- I realize this is a biased statement). But if we are asking teachers to do more assessments, manage more behaviours, with less support and even less money- how do we work to reach that sweet spot? How do we encourage teachers who are ‘maxed out’ to grab that humanity piece with students that are coming from refugee camps and who really need that kindness and understanding in a day that is already jam packed from end to end? How can we use technology pedagogically to make connections with our EAL students to assist that humanity piece and create authentic learning?
I’m not sure there is a clear answer to this question – perhaps it’s too ‘big picture’ to find an answer for. However, I did come across the #InnovatorMindset movement from @gcouros today, and I think there are many valid ideals which work to get to the ‘sweet spot’.
I think that in addition to making important things priorities, we need to be wary of the mindset “this is how it’s always been done” and we need to make our students the priority. If we consider our students the priority, perhaps we can focus on what’s important for all of our learners instead of the ones who belong to the dominant group (at least that’s what I’m going to hope for).