Saturday, March 17, 2018

I See You! - Activity 7

Using Rolfe's reflection model (Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. ,2001) to unpack my indigenous knowledge and culturally responsive pedagogy, in the areas of vision, mission, and core values, communication methods and human resources.
Image 1. Hongi Photograph (Dolphin Travel)
“We know that schooling has been one of the most powerful tools of colonisation, still complicit in the creation of the alienation we (Maori) are struggling with and a major roadblock in the pathway forward.” (Milne, 2107).

In her talk at ULearn17, Milne regularly used the term Hegemony. Wikipedia defines cultural hegemonic thinking as a Marxist philosophy, the domination of a culturally diverse society by the ruling class who manipulate the culture of that society—the beliefs, explanations, perceptions, values, and mores (manner and custom)—so that their imposed, ruling-class world view becomes the accepted cultural norm.

Milne also introduced this quote where Penetino (2010) redefines Mainstream as Whitestream.
Figure 2. Mainstream (Milne 2017)

These are the same concepts that I grew up, albeit on the other side of the world.
This is my story too.

I was born in Pest, on the East bank of the Denube River. Hungary had been living in a time of cultural eradication following WW2, under the military rule of the Soviet Union since 1946. The Monarchy was removed, ownership of all private land/property was expropriated by the Soviet installed government and all policies were rewritten to conform with Communist principles.

The economic situation was dire for many decades. Following the ravages of war, Hungary was plundered to maintain the Soviet Army of Occupation and the formal reparation claims under the peace treaty exacted its toll, resulting in the worst inflation known in financial history.
Money was valueless.

The urban population lived in fear and at times on the verge of starvation. This resulted in the death of my grandfather who was shot one night while crossing the border in search of food for his young family. Free speech and individual liberty ceased to exist. Arbitrary imprisonment became common and the security police had the same unrestricted powers as in the Soviet Union. All means of communication, from broadcasting to the classroom, were used for Marxist-Leninist indoctrination and the glorification of Joseph Stalin. Hungarian people were aliens in their own land. 

Image 2. With sculpture of Vladimir Lenin, 1973

Fast forward 30 years to 1976 and my parents are seeking relocation to South Africa with 2 small children. Immigrants from Eastern Europe were a rarity in South African schools at that time and they had no idea what to do with me. Not speaking English was quickly identified as a deficit and I was enrolled at a grade lower than my peers. Nobody cared that I was bilingual in German and Hungarian, and had already completed a year of schooling at an academically advanced level to South African education.  I felt invisible, misunderstood and quickly grew bored. I had nothing to contribute because my culture, my very essence, was foreign to everyone else. On many occasions, I never even bothered to turn up at school. Diverging from expectation is challenging, you feel your culture being erased by an imposed standard and before you realise, you become complicit in erasing your own culture as you strive to fit within the presented box.

By 1998, I relocated my own young family to New Zealand. And for a second time, experienced silent racism from the judgemental comfort zone of the endemic people. Being sensitised to undercurrents of prejudice, time and time again, I have seen this same response to non-Pakeha - whether indigenous or migrant. Our stories were foreign and finding common ground to build new relationships on, was challenging. The South African culture was stigmatised in New Zealand and barriers visibly raised when your accent was identified. Few were interested in getting to know your real story.

So What:
Figure 3. Naming White Spaces (Milne 2017)
When replacing the word Maori in this slide, with Hungarian and then South African, my experiences connected to Milne's message, particularly the line about reinforcing stereotypes and negative ideas about a people. For me, the similarity between occupation and colonisation is striking.
While it may be an innate human condition to reject the unfamiliar in order to preserve the familiar, it contradicts our role in growing people who are true to themselves, whatever their familial culture.

Culturally responsive pedagogy is defined by Gay (2001, p.106) as “using the cultural characteristics, experiences and perspectives as conduits for effective teaching”. This includes awareness of these elements:
  • 'knowledge about cultural diversity,
  • the culturally integrated content in the curriculum,
  • the development of the learning community,
  • the ability to communicate with culturally diverse students and
  • culturally responsive delivery of instruction'
While I have experienced many forms of sympathy when sharing my whakapapa, I rely on my experiences to positively develop genuine empathy for my students. It is this cultural intelligence, defined in 9 megaskills by Bucher (2008), that helps me to 'See' students of immigrant cultures trying to establish their identity in spite of stereotypes and negative ideas, and also 'See' indigenous people who continue to fight long and hard to have their culture re-established and valued in their own land (as is the case in Hungary).

As a teacher of Visual Art, the ultimate subject of self-expression, identity and culture play a vital role in developing personal points of view that drive authenticity and originality in creative work (see Action Continuum, Milne 2017).
Image 3. Annette Messager (AZ Quotes)

What next:

Bishop (2012) highlights the disparities between achievement of European and Maori students, due to the cumulative deficit effect (ongoing annual deficits in achievement compounded over time) and calls for action from agentic teachers.

So what is an agentic teacher?
Like the significant teachers that 'Saw' me, I too aim to be someone with vision, who ‘sees’ the learner for who they are and values what they can contribute, with a mission to enrich experiences for my learning community. My explicit core values strive for connection and seek to collaborate, challenging deficit thinking.  I value a range of  communication methods. As a human resource, I own my personal learning by pursuing inquiries about ways to make a difference to students, colleagues and communities.

Bishop (2012) cautions that Agentic teachers need to be identified and supported, with time, resources, funds and high quality professional development, as they disenthrall themselves (see post for activity 6) from under-performing systems and rise to meet the challenge of finding or devising alternative strategies that are fit for purpose. Being a lifelong learner, actively and continuously challenging  own assumptions, knowledge and practice regarding learning, is crucial.

Agentic teachers address our cultural deficit and maintain ongoing forward momentum. By investing financially in education, the potential is there for lowering incarceration rates, which correlates with educational underachievement.
Bishop encourages the negotiated co-construction of learning through conversations, feedback and goal setting, a movement away from transmission models of teaching (Mauri Moe - the “sleep” state), and even beyond child-centred education (Mauri Oho - state of being proactive).
The time has come to practice Whānaungatanga, to build a relationship centred education, through caring and learning relationships that are culturally responsive and culturally sustaining (Mauri Ora - state of being actively engaged).

Image 4. Mauri Ora (Maori Television)
Tātaiako explains the Whānaungatanga competency as actively engaging in respectful working relationships with Māori learners, parents and whānau, hapū, iwi and the Māori community.

This links to the New Zealand Teachers Council’s Registered Teacher Criteria about professional relationships and professional values.

'Fully registered teachers establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of all ākonga/learners, teaching colleagues, support staff, and other professionals, whānau and other carers of ākonga/learners, agencies, groups, and individuals in the community.' (Tataiako, p19).

My next steps are summed up by the following Maori proverb:
Ko au ko te awa. Ko te awa ko au.
I am the river and the river is me.

which speaks to our interconnectedness in this 21st-century digital era. A culturally sustaining practice can prepare students to be authentically contributing global citizens (Milne, 2017). This is one of the driving forces behind school-wide innovations I have recently started. By sharing my story with the  rest of my colleagues and broadening my pedagogical practices (as discussed in previous posts) to school-wide activities through staff professional learning opportunities in the context of Visual Art teaching and learning, as a school we can collectively improve our indigenous knowledge and cultural responsiveness in our practice.


Bishop, R., Berryman, M., Cavanagh, T. & Teddy, L. (2009).Te Kotahitanga: Addressing educational disparities facing Māori students in New Zealand. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(5),734–742.

Bucher, R. (2008). Building cultural intelligence (CQ): Nine Megaskills. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.

Gay,G. (2002). Preparing for culturally responsive teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(2),106-116.

Mauri Ora (n.d.) "Healing Our Spirits Worldwide" welcomes Mauri Ora theme: Maori Television. Retrieved from

Messager, A. (nd). Immage 3: Annette Messager Quote. Retrieved from

Milne, A. (2017). Core Education: Colouring in the White Spaces: Reclaiming Cultural Identity in Whitestream Schools. Retrieved from

Open Society Archives (1956). The Impact of Communism on Hungary. Retrieved from

Tātaiako (2011 ). Cultural Competencies for Teachers of Maori Learners. Ministry of Education. Retrieved from

Wikipedia (n.d.). Cultural Hegemony. Retrieved from

Thank you for visiting,

Saturday, March 10, 2018

To Reform or To Transform? (Activity 6 - Trends in Education)

. . . That is the question.

A critical reflection on future trends and their implications on practice using the model adapted from Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. (2001)

(Edualert, 2012)

As educators it is our inherent responsibility to keep informed about global and local trends, as we develop the skills and competencies of our students for operating in the future, not the now. Awareness of trends already occurring can help to guide our decision making.


Easy sharing of information across the internet has contributed to increased migration across the world, resulting in rapidly changing “ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity” (OECD, 2016) in our learning communities. The challenge is to integrate new migrants while helping to maintain both their unique identities, and ours.

While global challenges like ‘erratic weather patterns, crop reduction, famine, overfishing, conflict and economic or political instability’ (OECD, 2016) paint a concerning view of the future for all of humanity, there are positive trends too. Unifying efforts of global collaboration and problem-solving are evolving as ideas are more readily shared among concerned global citizens whose ethnic barriers have dissolved.

The role of an educator in the developing world differs from one in a country like New Zealand. Education devised for the industrial age may serve countries with a young labour force at this time, but such practises are outdated in our knowledge based economy. To remain relevant, educators need to lift NZ's low attainment levels in education (Buckley, (KPMG), 2015) by developing young people skilled in creativity, innovation and complex problem solving. Furthermore, the need for programmes supporting global languages, advanced digital skills, and social and emotional intelligence need to be recognised.

Figure 1.

So What:

To address language trends as depicted in Figures 1 & 2, my school offers language studies in Chinese and Maori from K-6 and  expands on this from Y7-13 with French, Spanish and Japanese. The staff is culturally diverse with most global ethnicities represented.
Figure 2.

Being a K-6 Visual Art and Digital Media specialist, I am continually investigating global teaching trends in these two areas and see strong links to the target skills identified by Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2007). This has lead me to developing a programme that is “flexible and reduces barriers to learning while setting high expectations for students.” (National Centre on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), 2009).

Figure 3. Framework for 21st Century Learning (P21, 2007)
As a choice-based teacher running a learner-directed programme, I aim to present information in multiple forms and encourage students to show their conceptual understandings in unique ways. Students are expected to connect with global issues through personal interest or experience, leading to intrinsic motivation and engagement. Whether it’s the 5 year old figuring out how to develop friendships, the 8 year old grappling with water being a finite resource on our planet, or the 10 year old coming to term with the dilemma between animal poaching and their ancient cultural beliefs about medicine, it’s the personal connections that drives their response to - How can I communicate ideas I feel passionately about, clearly and effectively to my audience, through a medium of my choosing?

 (National Centre on Universal Design for learning, 2009)

Now What:

“The goal of education in the 21st century is not simply the mastery of content knowledge or use of new technologies. It is the mastery of the learning process. Education should help turn novice learners into individuals who want to learn, who know how to learn strategically, and who, in their own highly individual and flexible ways, are well prepared for a lifetime of learning.” (UDL, 2012). UDL’s 3 learning guidelines aim to develop learners that are:
1. Resourceful & knowledgeable
2. Strategic & goal-directed
3. Purposeful & motivated.

In Student-directed, choice-based art learning environments, children learn to identify problem, are encouraged to inquire and that leads to insights and conceptual understandings (Gaspardi, 2012). We already know that students come from different places and learn at different rates, which makes differentiation essential, even more so with our high levels of migration. All voices, ideas and problems should be heard equally, yet answered differently so that we grow young people who feel that their ideas are valued and they are seen as vital to our world, leading to positive mental well-being. In Speicher's (2009) 10 Tips For Creating a 21st–Century Classroom Experience in IDEO, she acknowledges this by including:
Create from relevance - engage the child, making connections
Stop calling them ‘soft skills’ - creativity and collaboration are essential 21C skills
Allow variance - value customization
Be an anthropologist, not an archaeologist - study people to understand their value

(MacFound, 2010)

In conclusion, “Current education dislocates people from their talents” (Robinson, 2015). For the past 10 years, the New Zealand education system has been enthralled with the idea of ‘linearity, conformity and batching people’ as described by the National Standards. A system in complete contrast to how life develops - organically and symbiotically. Human talents are diverse and people have different aptitudes. It is up to us as educators to create the conditions under which these can flourish, by customising and personalising education for the students that we are teaching.

While most education systems in the world are undergoing reform, is it enough to simply improve a broken model? To transform our current education system and compete in the knowledge intensive labour markets, we must recognise that our students need important competencies. Acquiring global languages, navigating the positives and negatives aspects of the virtual world as well as the real, and maintaining a healthy social and emotional intelligence are keys. Innovation will challenge what teachers take for granted but we need to rise with the challenge proactively.Abraham Lincoln said it best in 1862, when he presented congress with his innovative ideas about emancipation:
“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case in new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves and then we will save our country” (as quoted by Sir Ken Robinson, 2015).

Change is always challenging, it is how we respond to these challenges that matters.


Buckley, R (2015), KPMG. Beyond 2030: Global Megatrends and the Impact on New Zealand's Prosperity. Retrieved from

CAST. (2010, January 6). UDL At A Glance [Video]. Retrieved from

Edualert. (2012, July 24). What is 21st century education? [Video]. Retrieved from

Gaspardi, E. (2012). Teaching for Innovation: Supporting Diverse Learning Communities. In D. Jaquith, & N. Hathaway, (Eds.), The Learner-Directed Classroom (pp. 99-106). New York, United States of America: Teachers College Press.

MacFound. (2010). Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner [Video]. MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved from

National Centre on Universal Design for learning, (2009). UDL Guidelines - Version 2.0. Retrieved from

OECD. (2016) Trends Shaping Education 2016, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: (this publication can be read online by following its DOI’s hyperlink)

Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21). (2007). Framework for 21st Century Learning. Retrieved on 10 March 2018 from

Robinson, K. (2015). Bring on the Learning Revolution! Ken Robinson. TED Talks [Video]. Retrieved on 10 March 2018 from

Speicher, S. (2009). IDEO’s 10 tips for creating a 21st century classroom experience. Retrieved from

The Washington Post. (2015). The world’s languages, in 7 maps and charts. Retrieved from

With love, Timea

Thank you for visiting,

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Have you jumped in yet... (Activity 5)

or are you still peeking over the wall?

A critical reflection on the role of social online networks in my professional development using the model adapted from Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. (2001).

Figure 1.

Schools use Professional Development to help teachers continuously learn and improve their skills over time. Recent research has identified some models to be less effective than others, like one-day workshops or conferences not directly connected to a school’s academic program, or to what teachers are teaching.
Informal learning defined by Greenhow & Robelia (2009) as “spontaneous, experiential, and unplanned” (p. 122) or learning driven by the urgent ‘just in time’ desires of teachers (Timperley, 2011) also lack the impact of sustained professional learning with clear outcomes, driven by evidence and inquiry.

Educators regularly attend school PD linked to strategic goals but seldom differentiated to individual needs. At times these PD sessions can feel like one is being cycled through a revolving door, with no down time to process, implement, gather evidence and reflect.

Is this the reason that many teachers now engage with online communities in pursuit of real time answers for personal inquiries? Do social networks support this dynamic range, allowing each member to pursue their own goals towards their own outcomes using differentiated pathways (Minocha, 2009a)?

In contrast to traditional views, contemporary ideas about teaching and learning endorses proactive participation of the learner in the learning process (Das Gupta, 1994). Therefore, it could be argued that social online tools, like blogs, fit within this practice. Blogging helps learners to express their ideas and at the same time to collaborate with others, thereby supporting both individual and social learning activities (Minocha & Kerawalla, 2010).

With social networks, the boundaries between consumers and creators of content is becoming blurred. Bruns (2007) coined the term 'produser' to indicate “a hybrid of producer and user”. Current trends of free and/or open source technologies (release early and release often), have familiarised us with being perpetual beta-testers or co-developers of online tools (Weller, 2006) and now, with learning conversations.

Denzin & Lincoln (2005, p. 21) point out that the greater the social capital of an individual or community, the greater the chance for improved practice and gain, 'social capital being the investment of one’s time is social relations with the expectation of receiving something in return. Learners can be motivated by the reward of interacting with the knowledge community.'
Figure 2

My online profile started with Facebook over 10 years ago, but Blogger is my first love for PD in Education. I have been writing this teacher blog for 8 years now and it has connected me with teachers from around the world. Apart from maintaining 3 blogs, I also have profiles on Instagram, Twitter, Weebly, Pinterest, Google+, Youtube, TeachersPayTeachers and Teachers Notebook. In the past,  I also maintained classroom Sites and Wikispaces to connect with my parent community and students for their home learning.
My use of online social media changes with my role and interests in education.

So What?
Some bloggers have had a strong influence on my teaching practice over the years. Teacher authors who write about observations in their own practise can be highly informative and motivating, but you do need to read with a critical eye. The more you explore the quicker you can weed out the weaker content and find deeply reflective practitioners willing to share ideas and findings. Futhermore, you  are exposed to a wide range of divergent ideas and practices which can stretch your preconceptions.

While this type of informal learning may impact on teacher practice, the question remains - how much influence does it have on student achievement? And how much quality control is there from the site moderators of the content being shared? Is this a place for  poorly thought through ideas and responses not based in theory, nor considerate of impact on practise, (McLoughlin & Lee, 2010)? Perhaps that role of moderator falls on us - the knowledge community!
Figure 3

It was due to 'social capital' that I came across the principles of Teaching for Artistic Behaviour, which now infuse my practise. However, I didn't simply implement what I saw shared on line, but it did trigger a cognitive dissonance resulting in many hours of personal legitimate forms of inquiry beyond social networks and the running of trials in my practise to collect evidence. 
Research by Melhuish, K.(2013) found that educators looked for 'affirmation of practice, advice on experiences within the classroom, new resources, and mentorship' in their online communities.  Geographically separated or single subject teachers (like me) working in isolation can connect with and learn from others who were previously inaccessible and develop a collaborative, participatory model. Just this week I used my social network to connect with an experienced art specialist from Singapore's UWC school who I read was in New Zealand to give teacher workshops. Due to us both having online profiles, I was able to contact and meet up in person with this (previously anonymous) expert in the field, within 2 hours, simply not possible without social networking.

Although online communities are comprised of mostly anonymous members, they are there to explore a focused issue of communal interest, they are there by choice, they range in experience, background and viewpoint which leads to divergent thinking, and yes, they can challenge your preconceptions. We all have breakthrough innovations in out practice so why keep it to yourself when you can make a difference to another teacher on the other side of the world struggling with that very issue, as my visitor did with me today.

Now What?
My newest online PD is listening to podcasts. I started following a few channels recommended through online social networks, a great way to gain new knowledge on the way to and from work each day.

Podcasts Channels

 My current social online engagement revolves mainly around Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. Short, sharp bites of information that can trigger personal explorations and further investigations. By belonging to closed groups and communities on these platforms, around various topics that I am currently focusing on, I can be informed about evolving conversations in my areas of interests.

Twitter Feeds

Finally, Melhuish, K.(2013) raises the notion of 'lurking' and whether this is a legitimate way of learning. The point needs to be made that people engage to the level of their comfort or need. While this doesn't appear to contribute to community building, participation through reading can still be of value to those members of the CoL, just as reading print resource material did in the past. And even silent follower-ship can encourage those that do participate. But going beyond lurking and engaging in practice based discourse can lead to more effective professional learning.

Facebook Groups

As connected 21C educators, we need to at least raise our heads over the walls of our classrooms and experience that cognitive dissonance to drive reflection on our practice. Melhuish, K.(2013) recognises the value of networking with educators beyond your own environment and vital for experiencing divergent thinking, that external voice crucial to effective professional development (Ministry of Education, 2008; Timperley et al., 2007)
So jump in, because we owe it to our students to expanded into areas of new learning, actioned in our classroom practice or fed back to our school communities.
Figure 4


Bruns, A. (2007). 2nd ed. 'The Practices of News Blogging', in Bruns, A. and Jacobs, J. (eds)  Uses of Blogs. United States of America: Peter Lang.

Das Gupta, P. (1994). 'Images of childhood and theories of development', in Barnes, P. Personal, Social and Emotional Development in Children. United Kingdom: Blackwell/The Open University.

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2005). The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed.). United States of America: SAGE Publications Inc.
Figure 1. The Wall of Distraction (nd). Customer Crossroads. Retrieved on 4 March 2108 from

Figure 2 & 3. Harasim, L. (nd). On-line Learning and Knowedge Building.  Retrieved on 1 March 2108 from

Figure 4. Jump in.  Retrieved on 1 March 2108 from

Greenhow, C., & Robelia, B. (2009). Informal learning and identity formation in online social networks. Learning, Media and Technology, 34(2), 119–140. doi:10.1080/17439880902923580
Heap, T.P. (2011).  An Investigation into the Blogging Practices of Academics and Researchers. Centre for Research in Education and Ed. Technology (CREET). The Open University, UK. Retrieved on 1 March 2108 from

McLoughlin, C., & Lee, M. J. W. (2010). Developing an online community to promote engagement and professional learning for pre-service teachers using social software tools. Journal of Cases on Information Technology, 12(1), 17–30. doi:10.4018/jcit.2010010102
Melhuish, K.(2013). Online social networking and its impact on New Zealand educators’ professional learning. Master Thesis. The University of Waikato. Retrieved on 28 February, 2018 from…

Minocha, S. (2009a). 'A case study-based investigation of students’ experiences with
social software tools', New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, 15(3), pp.245-65

Minocha, S. & Kerawalla, L. (2010). 'University Students’ Self-motivated Blogging and Development of Study Skills and Research Skills', in Lee, M.J.W. and McLoughlin, C. (eds) Web 2.0-Based E-Learning: Applying Social Informatics for Tertiary Teaching, IGI Global.

NZ Education Council. (n.d.). What is social media . Retrieved 28 February, 2018 from

Rolfe et al.'s reflective model, (2001). Adapted from: Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. (2001) Critical reflection in nursing and the helping professions: a user's guide. Retrieved from

The Glossary of Education Reform (n.d.). Professional Development (2013). Retrieved on 1 March 2108 from

Timperley, H. S. (2011). Realising the power of professional learning. England: McGraw-Hill Education.
Weller, M. (2006). VLEs and the democratisation of e-learning' [online]
(accessed 1 March 2108 ).

With Love

Thank you for visiting,

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Fly on the Wall, or... (Activity 4)

. . . Fly in the Ointment? 

4) Legal and ethical contexts in my digital practice 

With students bringing personal devices to school and sharing their learning through on-line platforms like Seesaw, the walls of our classrooms are becoming transparent and whanau are becoming regular 'flies on our walls'.

We as teachers need to be aware of the potential to be recorded in any moment of any day, and for that recording to be shared.

The fly in the ointment though, is that this could happen on our worst day, even in our worst moment, a situation I witnessed last year.

What Happened? (Rolfe et al.’s (2001) 

1. The critical incident.

My Y4 class were in the middle of a paired video reflections when another teacher walked into the lesson needing an urgent question answered. Becoming frustrated, she fired up, raising her voice for several minutes.

Meanwhile, the students completed their reflections, uploaded to Seesaw as per expectation and left for lunch, followed shortly by the teacher.

That evening when I reviewed the student reflections, I noticed that approximately half the videos had recorded the exchange in the background, and when viewed out of context, could be misconstrued and reflect poorly on that teacher.

Rolfe et al.'s reflective model, (2001).

So What? (Rolfe et al.’s (2001)

2. The competing forces that impacted on decision-making.

The ethical dilemma faced here was that the video content belonged to multiple students. They had invested time and effort into work that now had to be deleted. On the other hand, the teacher in question is a valuable and professional member of our school team who was having a stressful day resulting in uncollegial behaviour being recorded without her knowledge.

Knowing that digital information can be communicated rapidly, is hard to permanently delete and can be remotely accessed, (Ministry of Education, 2015), weighed into my actions.The student’s iPads were personal devices, going back into homes. If a parent had come across this footage and potentially used it with poor judgement, it could have resulted in a negative impact on the school community in multiple ways.

A guideline for removing problematic digital information can be referenced in the Ministry of Education’s DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY: Safe and responsible use in schools (2015, p.37). It states to delete only when it is appropriate, act promptly to prevent content spreading, thereby reducing any distress or harm that may be caused.
However, it does warn that digital information can only be deleted with complete confidence if all copies are removed and cannot be restored or accessed from another source. Deleted only with “a clear understanding of what this action is aiming to achieve” and “the knowledge that this action could break or add the school to the chain of evidence.” (Ministry of Education, 2015, p.37).

3. The individual’s values, beliefs, and ethical orientations.

From a personal ethical point of view, I would have been mortified if this had happened to me in a weak moment, so my instinct was to protect the teacher and the reputation of the school. However, I also had to consider that, if mishandled, my actions may cause an even larger disruption.

4. The choice to act.

The actions I took at the time were in keeping with Scenario 5 (Ministry of Education, 2015, p.40).

“Online sharing the recording, has the potential to:
  1. detrimentally affect the learning environment i.e. disrupting the school environment through gossip, innuendo and intrigue
  2. endanger teacher safety i.e. be harmful by posing an immediate threat to the emotional safety of a person.”

I visited that class that very next morning, after explaining to their teacher what had happened. To protect all parties, I kept the explanation to students very simple, saying that some of their videos had recorded a teacher conversation in the background that was spoiling their audio and made it difficult to hear what they were saying.

By focusing on the learning, I explained that I wanted them to make the clearest submission that they could, particularly as it was being posted to our Seesaw audience. I then helped the affected students permanently erase the videos from their devices and gave them the opportunity to re-shoot.

By further linking with our I.B. Learner profile attributes of Reflective (ways to improve), Communicator (clear and effective) and Courageous (improving on our first go), I reinforced focus on the learning aspect.

In The Code of Professional Responsibility, this decision reflects: Commitment to the Teaching Profession, maintaining trust and confidence and particularly items 2 and 3.

And in The Standards for the Teaching Profession, it reflects: Professional Relationships, particularly with maintaining professional relationships and working collegially.
Now What? (Rolfe et al.’s (2001)

5. Implications for the individual, organisation and the community.

At the time I acted on personal moral values and only now reviewed school policies for this assignment. It is clear that when they were written, it was with a bias to protecting the students.

The Privacy Policy has a line about "information on individuals is not to be released to a 3rd party without their permission".

The Code of Conduct Policy has a line under the Serious Misconduct category about "verbal harassment or threatening behaviour against another staff member." If seen out of context by a parent, this recording may cause unnecessary concern.

Finally the policy for Objectionable Electronics Information has the most applicable information for this situation, even though it was conceived for dealing with students accessing inappropriate on-line content.

Our policies need to be interpreted when it comes to protecting teachers should they inadvertently be recorded during lessons. Social media aspects are also not yet explicitly covered in any of our policies. Looking at the last review dates, it is also recommended that digital policies are more regularly reviewed in recognition of quickly evolving conditions in this learning space.

In conclusion, when examining this scenario against Zeichner and Liston’s five levels of reflection, (cited in Finlay, 2008, p.4), "Rapid reflection (immediate, ongoing and automatic action by the teacher)” and “Repair (in which a thoughtful teacher makes decisions to alter their behaviour in response to students’ cues)” were the two that I actioned here.

Subsequently, I make a point of arranging students around the room with the speaker’s back to a wall to minimise potential visual intrusions by teachers or other students. If someone arrives during a recording session, I step outside of the recording zone or ask them to come back later.
I also refer to the Looking After Others section of our school digital citizenship poster whenever working with students and iPads so that they have a clear understanding of their responsibility.

Links to

1.MANAAKITANGA: creating a welcoming, caring and creative learning environment that treats everyone with respect and dignity, and

2. the 1st aim in our 4th code about Commitment to Society, are also reflected here.
The Code of Conduct and Standards provide some broad guidelines, but unlikely to provide answers to complex multi-layered situations where there are competing forces. What constitutes ethical behaviour is likely to be influenced by organisational, personal and cultural beliefs because teaching is relationship based. After conducting research with teachers that revealed dilemmas were either ongoing or likely to recur, Lyons’ (1990) makes the point that ‘many of the dilemmas of teaching are not solvable and must simply be managed rather than resolved’ (p.168).

Education Council. (2017). Our Code Our Standards.Retrieved from:

Ehrich, L. C. , Kimber M., Millwater, J. & Cranston, N. (2011). Ethical dilemmas: a model to understand teacher practice, Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 17:2, 173-185, DOI: 10.1080/13540602.2011.539794

Finlay, L. (2009). Reflecting on reflective practice. PBPL. Retrieved from…

Lyons, N. (1990). Dilemmas of knowing: Ethical and epistemological dimensions of teachers’ work and development. Harvard Educational Review, 60(2), 159–180.

Ministry of Education. (2015).DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY Safe and responsible use in schools. Wellington: New Zealand: Author. Retrieved from

Rolfe et al.'s reflective model, (2001). Adapted from: Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. (2001) Critical reflection in nursing and the helping professions: a user's guide. Retrieved from

School Policies and Digital citizenship document retrieved from Kristin school server.

With Love...


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Embedding YouTube Videos in Blogs?

How to disable related videos when embedding YouTube videos into your blog.

Hi friends,
Today I started work on my class blog, a place to curate learning objects that I find or make and consider useful tools or exemplars for the students' learning in my programme. This is in response to research I am currently working on for a literature review in my course with Mind Lab.

I started loading some videos from YouTube and noticed that after I played them on the front end of the blog (on visitor mode) the video would end on a selection of unrelated videos from YouTube, even if I am embedding them through the HTML mode. These videos are not always appropriate and not something you want to see on a website that you are creating for your school community, as you have no control over what is advertised next.

So after a quick search, I came across this tutorial that quickly helped me to solve that problem. It may help you too :)

Its 2 years old so the YouTube navigation has changed slightly but the steps are still the same.

 Thank you for visiting,

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Mind Lab Week 19 - CoP

Communities of Practice (CoP)
In my current role I have found collaborating regularly in a community of diverse people/thinkers drawn together by a common interest or focus, to be imperative. Wenger, McDermott & Snyder (2002, p4) define CoP's as “groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic, and who deepen their knowledge and expertise in this area by interaction on an ongoing basis”

In her presentation on blended learning, Sharon Padget shares this graphic to demonstrate the varying roles one might have in a CoP and how these change over time, depending on factors like the needs of the CoP, your level of comfort with participation, level of experience, etc. 

The Core are: the subject matter experts, show leadership, direct the vision of the CoP.
The Contributors are: the informal leaders, develop content, participate regularly, moderate with feedback.
The Collaborators are: those with self-selected involvement, support the CoP through questioning and making suggestions, increase their own understandings on the subject or focus.
The Consumers are: the general audience, they read, watch or listen regularly, try out the ideas presented, are exposed to new ideas and to how a CoP works.

When I first moved from a classroom teacher role, with  leadership responsibilities for planning teams and Mathematics, the first thing I had to do was to engage with new on-line Communities of Practice. My current role as a specialist teacher of Visual Art and Digital Media for Kindy to Y6 has a very different focus and as the novice, I had a lot of new learning to absorb.
I went from a regular contributor to CoP's for Literacy, Mathematics and Inquiry based pedagogies, and with in-school planning teams, to a lurker/consumer in new on-line groups.
I am very grateful to the leaders of these groups who got me up and running a lot quicker than I would have managed otherwise. There is limited scope for collaboration in specialist areas within a school. For that I have had to attend conferences and visit other schools with specialist art teachers (very few in NZ).
By participating in relevant CoP's, I have been exposed to alternative pedagogies in teaching the arts which has lead to further research, helping me to take my students so much further than I could have done on my own.

The two questions I am considering are based on observations of my students following adjustments made to my practice based on research about TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behaviour), Choice Based Art and Guided Inquiry models. These link in that they both borrow from the flipped learning model.

1) How can I use blended learning to improve engagement and achievement for target children
I noticed that some students find choice based learning and the ideation process challenging, even confusing. They achieve better (feel more confident) with the 'Show me' model and need gentle guiding toward 'Let me do it for myself'.
For them, I want to look at compiling past lesson resources into digital guide books to refer to, with the aim of combining these with more and more of their own ideas, as they grow in confidence. In the past I have written many lesson guides for teachers, so I could start by adapting these.
Creating a large and visible running sheet of ideation strategies that we add to each time we come up with another way to get ideas, could be beneficial for students too.

2) How can I promote student agency from Kindy -Y6?
While most conferences in a choice based learning environment are specific to a student, I do find myself repeating certain concepts or techniques multiple times. I have been thinking about creating short, sharp movie clips that answer these questions and loading them to a central cloud-based location for students to access independently, Then they can review skills and techniques from week to week, even year to year, as they need to. Despite looking for such resources on-line, I have not yet found anything suitable.
This resource will further enhance other changes I have already made to support independence in my classroom and possibly be of worth to share across my school to support classroom teachers in their practice. Who knows, maybe even shared globally through on-line CoP's.
Having already created and shared videos for teachers (like this one below), this is a new aspect I am looking forward to.
Help Me Learn Video Tutorials on You Tube


Padget, S. (2013). aealearningonlinlive.Retrieved on November 28, 2017 from

Wenger, E., McDermott, R., & Snyder, W. (2002). Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
With love, as always

Thank you for visiting,

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Mind Lab Week 18 - A Change in My Practice (Theme 4)

Shifting from a classroom to a Specialist teaching role recently, it became increasingly apparent that Visual Art was still being taught through a transactional model in many classes. Combined with research into TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behaviour) and noting the increasing value placed on Creativity as a desired Future Learning skill, I wanted to lead improvements for our school, starting with my specialist programme. To this end, I feel that my postgraduate journey has delivered so far. 
This image illustrates the radical change in the way that I now view my role:

And this one represents  the approach I chose for my implementation - shifting my practice to “incorporate deeper learning approaches and engage students in critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and self-directed learning." (see class notes, week 18)
One catalyst for this shift was this Ted talk by art educator, Cindy Foley - Teaching art or teaching to think like an artist?

Theme 4 "Changing the script": Rethinking learners' and teachers' roles, (Bolstad & Gilbert, 2012), identifies a need for shift (in thinking and approach) due to current "social, economic and technological changes, and the exponentially increasing amount of human knowledge being generated as a result, all in a world with an unprecedented degree of complexity, fluidity and uncertainty." Also, education for the ”Knowledge Age needs to prepare learners for dealing with new situations and environments." Students today can collect information anywhere and anytime, they no longer need us for that (Role of Teachers in the 21st C -  Delafosse, S. (2011)).
Rather, I found that students need guidance around what information they should be consuming, and have opportunities to apply that knowledge, to test, fail, persevere, collaborate, deconstruction, reconstruct and so on. The shift from whole class skill teaching based on the 'just in case' model - to the individual/small group 'just in time' conferencing model has been rewarding and re-energising as together we discover, trial and develop ideation strategies for all ability levels, uncover and develop students’ personal 'styles' of expression and experiment with a variety of media. It is a challenging journey as we become more familiar with ambiguity (Foley 2014), tackling problems that we cannot anticipate beforehand.

Y0 T3 - Acrylic paint

Y0 T3 - Papier Mache

Y0 T3 - Plasticine

Y0 T3 - Stop Motion

Y0 T3 - Wire Sculpture

Y0 T3 - Quiver - Dot Day

Bolstad & Gilbert (2012) noted, while teachers know that "Good learning requires active engagement in the whole game" this is still failing to occur. So by identifying my limitation, e.g. time frames, parent and school-wide expectations, I could better target my research for solutions to support my shift.
According to the The 2Revolutions LLC (2012) video, traditional school models no longer meet the needs of the marketplace as they were designed for a different time. It calls on teachers to be 'designers and see the world as a kit of parts - to reshape and reassemble the best pieces from what is already out there, and create something new and better. By exploring related resources to TAB and Choice, I integrate aspects with a focus on sustainability. If something is too difficult for me or the students to maintain - out it goes. iPads are a Godsend for accessing personalised resources and delivering digital creation options, like photography and Stop Motion. 

I regularly survey classes about whether they prefer the 'personal learning' model, the 'step by step follow me' model or both. Most students choose the personal one with some asking for 'both' option. Recently, one class was overwhelmingly pro the step by step model. On reflection, this class had the hardest time with with ideation.
I learnt over the past 2 terms that students following their own inquiry are far more engaged and require less managing than before. Yet, even in a self-directed learning programme, with all the ideation strategies one can muster, you will still have students who learn best by following structured step by step lessons. Purposeful flipped learning tools have proven successful in supporting these students as they build confidence to strike out on their own.
Twenty-first century ideas about knowledge and learning demand shifts in the traditional roles. By recognising and working with learners' strengths, and supporting the development of each learner's potential, the small shifts that we make in our practice can have exponential benefits for the lives of our students. 

Bolstad, R. & Gilbert, J. (2012). Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching: A New Zealand perspective. New Zealand Council for Educational Research.
2Revolutions LLC (2012) The Future of Learning. Retrieved on November 26, 2017, from
AJ+ (2015). 5 Technologies That Will Change Classroom Education. Retrieved on Novenber 26, 2017, from
Delafosse, S. (2011). Teaching in the 21st Century. Retrieved on November 26, 2017, from
Ted talk for art educators by Foley, . (2014). Tedx Talks: Teaching art or teaching to think like an artist? Retrieved on November 26, 2017, from

With love, as always

Thank you for visiting,