Session 260: Making Learning Relevant

Thursday 9th July 2015

Image by CollegeDegrees360 on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

?This #?ukedchat? focused on “Making learning relevant”, with the questions set by @elanimcd:

Image by CollegeDegrees360 on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Image by CollegeDegrees360 on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  1. What does active learning look like? (8.01 pm)
  2. How do we ensure learning doesn’t happen in isolation? (8.11 pm)
  3. How are we developing transdiciplinary skills? (8.21 pm)
  4. What ideas can we use from real life/industry? (8.31 pm)
  5. Ideas/resources you want to share? (8.41 pm)
  6. How do you assess real/relevant learning in the classroom? (8.51 pm)


The first question focused on ‘What active learning looks like?’ with many contributions suggesting that active learning is a physical process, as pupils actively move around, but this idea was challenged as learning can be sedentary, although the mind is very active whilst learning. Jackie McKay suggested, “Full engagement and interaction in tasks to create meaning. Enriched and challenging tasks. Happy learners“, andIn most lessons where learning is child-led and outcomes clearly defined. Wide variety of resources used to inspire.Show My Homework indicated, “This is where differentiated styles and questioning like Blooms right from the outset makes a big difference“.

There was a general sense that active learning occurs when pupils get lost in the activity they are doing, losing a sense of time, and buy into what they are doing. In fact, funASDTeacher defined active learning as, “Thinking, writing, talking – engaging with with learning“, however that might look for each individual. We all learn in our own unique styles, and teachers should recognise that some student’s may internalise their learning, so can look deceptively like they are not absorbed, when they actually are! As Rebecca Foster challenged, “Is there any such thing as passive learning? Learning by its very nature is active…“. Indeed…it’s personal. In response, David Didau added

‘passive learning’ is a bit of an oxymoron:)

When exploring ‘How we ensure learning doesn’t happen in isolation?Show My Homework alluded towards, “encourage team working, peer learning during class & through extra curricular clubs and at home with parents“, with Jackie McKay suggesting, “Collaborative tasks in building for capacities. Differential play and definitely child-centred to suit interests“, which seems a great reminder, worth considering for all. So much so that Jackie reminded us of this quote by Albert Einstein…

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

As teachers, funASDteacher reminded that, “We need to collaborate if we want our students to. We need to create opportunities

The next focused question examined, “How are we developing transdiciplinary skills?Phil Ruse argued, “This is so important. Need to help students see where skills are transferable & not just found in distinct subject blocks“, yet nimbleEducation questioned, “Depends on which skills you address. CBI have definitive list endlessly ignored by education yet can be ultra powerful“. We defined what these skills generally are: Social; Communication; thinking; research; & self-management skills, but how do they fit into a packed curriculum? funASDteacher shared that, “we work on real life skills in every lesson, politeness, social skills etc. have a very real place in every lesson“, yet Robert Dragan plead, “the edges of “disciplines” are fading. Look at what Finland is doing. Stop thinking of disciplines/subjects“.

There was a call for a broad and relevant curriculum and not a narrow content based school based which permeated throughout the session, and Phil Ruse added that it all is…, “A challenge but crucial educators recognise importance. Many of these skills can be reinforced whilst delivering content“.  Exploring the skills required in society, the next question explored, “What ideas can we use from real life/industry?“. Joe White reminded the session that, “Lets acknowledge that school is real life for some students, they learn, grow, love, cry, share, are accountable for their action” and  Nico Van den Abeele argued that, “I think that every lesson should at least have one link with current affairs, e.g. news“.   

Other competencies such as participating, contributing, managing self, relating to others are crucial but, as funASDteacher advocated, “it’s about knowing your students, and what will make THEM active learners, it will be different for everyone“.

The final question asked, “How do you assess real/relevant learning in the classroom?” with Eoin Lenihan jumping straight in sharing that, “I like to use rubrics. I explain tasks and rubrics well in advance of formative and summative assessments to enable success.” Beyond this, Dillie Baria shared a nice idea that, “Student-led conferences instead of parent/teacher nights. Children feel empowered sharing their learning & next steps“.

Thanks for all contributions. We have summarised some of the tweets during the session, but you can see all of them in the Storify below.


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About UKEdChat Editorial 3187 Articles
The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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