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Posts Tagged ‘Thom Cochrane’

World Heutagogy Day 2020

World Heutagogy Day on 23rd September is when we both celebrate the publication of the first book on heutagogy, Self-Determined Learning edited by Stewart Hase and Chris Kenyon, and also try to both extend our understanding of heutagogy and identify new practices. The slideshare “What is Heutagogy” produced as a curated conversation by the authors of this collection of essays on the practice of heutagogy is a good introduction to heutagogy and reflects where we were with our understanding back in 2013.

Developing Heutagogy This year, because of the remarkable work of Vijaya Bhanu Kote a headteacher of a primary school in Andhara Pradesh India, we are focussing on “Heutagogy for Teachers” based on sharing her work in developing her school into a heutagogy school. This consists of more than just an abstract declaration that the school will practice heutagogy. It involves the very practical activity of training teachers in methods in which they can help their primary school children become what Vijaya calls “heutagogs” and producing a training guide. Remarkably Vijaya has involved the parents at her school who also become “heutagogs” and are involved helping their children become self-determined learners, or “heutagogs”. She has summarised her work in the following presentation.

Implementing Heutagogy for Teachers 

All teachers want their learners to do well; they want them to thrive, develop and grow. In the main their institutions get in the way of this ambition. Schools mistakenly measure success at the institutional level through examination results.  Educational “success” is quantified and measured in exam results, still based on what we call the content fallacy.

The content fallacy is the belief that education is entirely about the transfer of pre-defined subject knowledge from the almost-full memory of an active teacher into the empty memory cells of passive learners.

Pedagogy, as one theory of teaching, is about the better design of that content transfer. Pedagogy starts with the subject knowledge as “content” to be transferred from teacher to learner taken as a given. 900 years ago it was just copying a book in your own handwriting. In the 21st century it is writing down lecture notes as dictated by a teacher. Learners are seen as empty vessels into which we pour endless chunks of content to be memorised and our “high-stakes assessment” system is there to police that memorisation. In short, schools are not learner-centric and teachers are not rewarded for putting learners, and learning first, but for exam results. How can we improve that? (more…)

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