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To Understand VT You have to Understand Simple Maths

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Peter Barnard

on 3 May 2017

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Transcript of To Understand VT You have to Understand Simple Maths

To Understand VT You have to Understand Simple Maths
Basic Organizational Structure by same-age
A student attends many different classes with many different teachers.
A teacher teaches large numbers of students in a week.
It takes a long time for the teacher to get to know the student and they you.
Any special support takes time to set-up.
Information from feeder school tends to be limited, grade-based, EQ absent.
The student is faced with rebuilding relationships with adults, belonging, & making new friends.
Homeroom or tutor time time helps but it still takes time for learning relationships to form.
Home / school partnership is disrupted and also takes time to form.
Look at these relationships as LOOPS
The loops show how communication and information flows around the school between student, tutor, family, and teacher....systems thinking seeks these out for attention! If the loops fail to work as assumed (delusion) there will be a knock-on system effect. In a normal linear (same-age) school system these feedback / learning loops are either broken, disconnected, or mal-formed
Linear Management Ideas Cannot Handle Nonlinear Events. They make things cumulatively worse, fast.
It is not just numerical information that needs to flow around the school in an informed way but emotional intelligence and support too. The school cannot just assume the psychology of child development, learning, and well-being. It has to be designed-in, practised and personalized.
First, we need to look at the same-age / grade structure and why it sets in motion a whole load of system problems that schools cannot resolve
This is a vulnerable time and this psychological passage is a critical phase regards learning. All of these matters can detrimentally affect the development of learning relationships. Time is not on the side of schools or students so
has to be approached differently!!
The parent / teacher link is always weak because of numbers
Even the student /teacher
link is beset with unreliabilities & challenges
The linear system tries to help by adding the form tutor & pro-social programmes with limited success
In a VT system, the tutor acts as a kind of go-between and day to day guide / mentor
When linear systems try to resolve non-linear events, things can get even more complex resulting in increased costs, resourcing, bureaucracy, and management
The time / numbers /distance challenge
hasn't gone away
The tutor is now dragged into a mess
The teacher will always get the blame when things go inevitably wrong
(a lot)
Responsibilities are uncertain
and communication more complex
Here's the paradox: to simplify the learning process (enable the teacher, student, tutor, and parent to work as
team child
) we need to complexify it! Linearity has to go...

From the Linear to the Nonlinear: Key Changes
reconstruct tutor group by mixed age / grades.
reduce the tutor group to an optimal size (say 18-20).
add a second tutor to each group (use all school employees).
move tutor time to a 20 minute slot before a.m. break.
now identify critical learning / home communication times.
reconfigure the school's academic calendar to suit.
ensure reports contain strategies for improvement.
introduce full academic tutorial / learning conversation.
change school management to suit.
train staff against value demand to make a difference...
What this change does when understood and applied in a values driven way is create a different model. The key then is to manage the system so everyone can do the work needed to support and promote learning.
NB. Mentors are every other child in the tutor group. Everyone a leader and learner
The school changes from being a back-office system to a multi-nodal front office
When systems thinking is applied it is possible to manage a coherent nonlinear system that embraces IQ, EQ., & SQ
This school is driven by
values not logistics. It
personalizes learning relationships and so improves learning and teaching too.
Please go slowly through these frames
These Changes are by no means straightforward. What not to do is as important as
what to do!
All of this may seem crazy at first but it is completely coherent with psychology and learning theory
Full transcript