Transformative teaching - Maximum Potential

Transformative Teaching

The key to effective Transformative Education is in secure Foundational Development

Most primary and secondary educators use a blended approach when teaching their students and helping them learn.

Teaching approaches are based on the 6 main paradigms of education, which essentially offer different perspectives on the process of education, the purpose, the method, and the outcome.

Behaviourism
Cognitivism
Constructivism
Sociocultural
Humanism
Transformative

It is arguable that these theoretical paradigms of education make a basic assumption that foundational development is at the appropriate, age related stage. As educators of children in developed countries, you are only too aware that in today’s culturally and economically diverse world, this is seldom the case.

The blended teaching approach, combining the principles of these 6 paradigms, has much success, except with children who are experiencing subtle difficulties that are not properly identified, or worse, misidentified and a cognitive based behaviour modification approach is implemented which does not successfully address the foundational issues.

Whether 1:1 or in classroom-based teaching this has inevitable consequences that some children will get left behind.

When a child or young person is ‘stuck’ (displays underlying developmental/foundational delays) in a particular stage of foundational development, it is essential that underlying cause is properly identified and addressed, and the teaching approach altered so that the desired outcome of learning can be achieved without significant disruption. Where necessary, the correct expert professional support needs to be implemented. Without this, the child will not access all areas of the rich curriculum on offer, they may develop splinter skills, they may have what is loosely termed ‘behavioural issues’ and eventually they will fall behind, underachieve and struggle emotionally, or suffer low self-esteem perhaps even get into trouble.

It is important that educators have the opportunity to have an expert insight into foundational development and the sensory systems that support each child’s development, behaviour and progress through childhood and young adulthood and help teachers understand why children behave in certain ways and what they can do to help them if needed.

The table below sets out the key areas of foundational development and sensory systems that underpin academic learning.

Purpose of Education Desired outcome of learning Key Principle Examples Prerequisite skills Sensory Systems Outcome where underlying system is delayed
Behaviourism
To shape desirable behaviour Change in form or frequency of observable behaviour Emphasis is on producing observable and measurable outcomes. Student is in a blank state; teacher shapes behaviour through reinforcement Lining up
Turn taking
Recall based tests.
Repetition and reinforcement
Noncompliance
Engagement
Attention and focus.
Regulation
Modulation
Praxis
Postural Instability
Vestibular
Proprioceptive
Auditory
Tactile
Olfactory
Gustatory
Visual
Fidget
Impulsivity
Clumsy
Loud, calls out.
Day dreamer/focus
Attention delays
Lashing out/Frustration
Irritating classmates
Often misidentified as ‘spirited’ or dull or troubled.
Falls behind.
Splinter skills
Aggression
Self Esteem
Cognitivism (1)
For learners to remember and apply information Perceiving information, processing, storing, and retrieving this information (memory) and applying it (transfer) Emphasis on structuring, organising and sequencing information to facilitate optimal processing Organising self
Organising your work
Non-verbal reasoning
Verbal reasoning
Handwriting
Sequencing
Praxis, motor coordination
Sequencing
Attention and focus
Receptive and Expressive skills
Working Memory
Processing
Manual dexterity/fine motor delays
Vestibular
Proprioceptive
Visual processing
Auditory processing
Working memory
Tactile
Disorganised child
Misses out words
Difficulty transferring thoughts/ideas to written format (handwriting)
Constructivism (Cognitive) (2)
To enable learners, acquire and create new knowledge Actively constructing knowledge on foundations of previous knowledge Teacher facilitates the use of problem-solving skills that allows learners to go beyond information given Productive failure / struggle
Contextual variation
Dynamic assessment, Problem based learning
Praxis, motor coordination
Organisation,
Regulation
Modulation
Attention and focus
Vestibular
Proprioceptive
Visual processing
Auditory processing
Working memory
Tactile
Problems with PE
Problems with abstract principles
Does not know where to start
Time wasting / Needs more time
Self-esteem / Anxiety
Avoidance – especially productive failure tasks Repetitive play routines
Social Constructivism (Sociocultural) (3)
For learners to form and identity and co-create knowledge Co-constructing knowledge and norms through social interaction Emphasis is on human relationships, learning through participation (activity) in social contexts (communities) Working in pairs, groups, teams.
Turn-taking. Practical exercises. Free play, unstructured activity.
Praxis, motor coordination
Organisation,
Regulation
Modulation
Attention and focus
Vestibular
Proprioceptive
Visual processing
Auditory processing
Tactile
Poor social communication
Avoidance
Low self esteem
Inappropriate
Anxiety/frustration
Bullied/ bullies
Difficulty making friends
Humanism (4)
For learners to develop the potential for self-actualisation
(realising one’s potential/ talents)
Personal Growth Focus is on human freedom; dignity and potential; curriculum addresses affective and cognitive needs Self-reflection and self-directed learning Modulation and regulation
Attention and Focus
Vestibular
Proprioceptive
Interception -internal awareness linking in with emotional regulation / control
Acute self-awareness / No self-awareness
Tactile (which forms part of body scheme development)
Low self-esteem/ overconfident (masking /diverting attention
Plays on periphery
All comments taken as negative
Bullied / Bullies.
Transformative (5)
To create agents of change who will add value to themselves and society Changing ways of seeing things (transformation) Fair play, equality. Learners are agents of change Ability to reflect or react positively and acknowledge other points of view and take inference from narrative and dialogue Modulation and regulation
Attention and Focus
Ability to interpret social cues
Receptive and Expressive language
Vestibular
Proprioceptive
Visual processing
Interoception – emotional side
Social communication issues
Lack of Self awareness
Lack of Empathy
Self confidence

The table above has been adapted from (Ng S, Baker L, Friesen F (Teaching for Transformation)

References

(1) Neisser Sweller

(2) Piaget Vygotsky

(3) Lave & Wenger Brown & Duguid

(4) Rogers Maslow

(5) Freire Kincheloe