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Problems and solutions...




It's been awhile since my last post, and I think that it is due to a departure from Mantle as of late within class. We have been having some struggles with maintaining a MOTE approach with 60 students, and with 3 teachers who have never taught in a MOTE before. It has been a big learning curve for all of us.

The newest commission that the company received was to create bus stop posters from the Pasifika Komiti that were interactive, engaging and informative about 'Journey's to New Zealand'. The company underwent some professional development to help build their knowledge before creating the posters. In hindsight, I think that that the 'Professional Development' days that were set up to assist in the development of the posters were too teacher driven in terms of the content. There was no questioning of students in terms of what they already knew / wanted to know / questions they had for the development of their poster. I think that if we had have done that, their belief in the company would have continued (not that it's entirely gone, but there has been a separation from the company when it comes to approaching tasks). In future, while 'Professional Development' days answer the need for teaching content, we still need to keep in mind that the learner stays at the centre. They still need to drive the learning because of the framing that we have given the students.

While students have completed some well thought through posters that meet the requirements of the commission, the role of the company and students expertise within this have not been a focus. One way that I saw around this was to shift the perspective at the completion of the poster. We imagined that it was 6months later and the posters were up around Canterbury. We asked them to imagine that they were people at the bus stop engaging with the posters and create a short clip to show responses. After this activity, the students then posted a social media post, in role as a member of the company, responding to the public interacting with their work. This small exercise gave me back my hope. It showed that the belief in the company was still there and that they could see the connections between their task and the imagined world we had done this in.

We have created a powerpoint that documents the company journey as well, which has proven to be a good reminder of what we have achieved and decided as a company. It would be good to get ownership of this within the company staff, but how this looks, I'm just not sure...

I think as well, which is something we talk a lot about at a new school with an integrated curriculum - sometimes, when it gets hard, we go back to what we know. And it's about challenging ourselves for our learners. As we move into the next commission, it would be great to renew this connection with the company.

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