If you want your children to get better at each learning disposition, you not only want to teach in a way that allows them to use this learning disposition, but you want to begin to create lessons that are built around becoming a stronger and more adept learner and to make this explicit with the children. In this way, the children aren’t just learning a subject but are also stretching their ability to notice details, for example, at the same time. You can also create scales of learning with the children so they can see how they are getting better. Next week, I might post how we have done this with collaboration (for example, a “good” collaborator would learn well with others in a group; and “excellent” collaborator would find ways to include others and know when to contribute or stand back to let others have a go).
In this video, Guy Claxton explains how different subjects might lend themselves to strengthening different learning dispositions. As a staff, we are planning to look at writing and maths in more detail, but I have also begun to think about how other subjects lend themselves to applying different learning dispositions, such as Science (noticing and making links being key here) and in this lesson, Art.
This week, we have been learning about Diwali and in Art have looked at Rangoli patterns. We first of all looked at a range of Rangoli patterns and talked in partners about what we noticed (and any links between the patterns). This type of discussion can be linked to Thinking Patterns, which can be used to build deeper thinking skills in the classroom. The thinking pattern here would be: What do you notice that is the same? What is different? – this type of thinking could, of course, be useful in other contexts. Once we had gathered ideas (they are colourful, some are symmetrical, the pattern often repeats from the centre outwards, there are lots of shapes (which also made a good link with our maths learning)), the children chose a new partner to plan a pattern with on a whiteboard – The idea of constantly choosing new partners, links to building a strong habit of collaboration in the classroom and for the children to reflect on who they learn best with (see Collaboration on this site’s landing page).
At this point, they had the patterns in front of them so they could mimic them. The whole time, I was using this language with the children and making it explicit that these were all useful skills (i.e. “Lots of artists are good at noticing details/They often mimic each others’ ideas/ Some artists plan their art before making it (emphasis on “some”!)). Finally, the children took their plans outside and chalked their final pattern onto the tarmac. They looked amazing and they kept so well to their plans!
We ran out of time for a review, but it would have been really beneficial to pull this learning together. I would have loved to have looked at a few examples and talk through the process of learning again (Notice-Mimic-Collaborate to plan-Collaborate to follow my plan). It would also be useful to think about where else this sequence would be useful to learning – I think we actually often use it to write too. We already have a collaboration scale in Ash Class. It would also be good to pick one apart for mimicking, noticing and planning …