“RESEARCH WEEK” for Confident Communicators

Since the launch of the Confident Communicators’ project (see previous post on February 24th), I have been reflecting on the PLTS that the students are developing throughout this long-term project and it is abundantly clear that of ALL the PLTS, the skill of being an EFFECTIVE PARTICIPANT is the singular learning skill in the spotlight. What will be interesting to reflect upon, however, will be the learning DISPOSITIONS necessary for learners to develop. Key questions we need to ask when we are observing the learning of the students need to be focused on the learning behaviours that students are displaying that allow the project move forward.

All of the teams are having their learning journeys documented by the AST team, using enhanced This involves the teams taking photographs of key moments of their project work and the ASTs undertaking interviews with the students to unpack how the process is helping them learn. The early edits of these are already flagging up the ‘make-or-break’ elements of the challenge for the teams being hinged upon the EFFECTIVE PARTICIPATION of the team members. They mention their need to communicate effectively with each other and those who can help them with their research. They also talk about listening to each other, organising their thoughts and ideas and really working together as a research group to make sure they make the necessary progress.

All the teams are off to The Pervasive Media Studio (www.pmstudio.co.uk) in Bristol next week. This is a structured research visit that we have set up for them to support their research and give them an experience of field research and hands-on learning. We’ll have lots to report about this particular experience by the end of the week.

Confident Communicators Project Is Go!

I’m just recovering from an amazing day at Bath University where we launched our collaborative schools’ research project. I work with a wonderful, dedicated team who are making all of this innovative learning a reality.

The ‘Confident Comminicators’ project is designed to work on several levels:

1. Develop learners’ self confidence through their communication and collaboration skills.

2. Provide a learner-led research project which will run over the next five months.

3. Create opportunities for teachers to adopt the role of facilitator and observer of learning, using strategies adapted from EYFS practice.

4. Allow learners to work in teams to ‘research the future’.

5. Raise aspirations of learners & teachers.

6. Use podcasting to develop ‘quality learning conversations’.

What a day! A special word of thanks (tinged with buckets of awe) for the ‘glue’ of the day, Mr Jeremy Stockwell (follow on Twitter @jeremystockwell). He absolutely pinned down the essence of the day in what, how and why he said & did what he did.

Suffice to say, I now know how to breathe and, as one teacher reflected on how tired she was at the end of the day (the students were similarly exhausted!), “…it’s great to be tired in a different way.”

Indeed it is. More on the project as it develops.