ALL ABOUT LEARNING
"Thank you for coming. After one month schooling, I want to share with you some feedback regarding your kid," Sam said.
"Thank you for arranging the session and having me today," I replied.
"I found your kid struggle in Mathematics but at the same time, very strong in Arts, " Sam showed me some notes she made about my kid's learning progress.
"Yes, that is very true. I didn't mention anything to you and somehow was hoping that you will discover it at one point," I said.
"So, I will use the strength to overcome the challenge. I will use more Arts to explain Mathematical concepts to your kid. That might help your kid to sense the logic easier and faster!" Sam shared her strategy to assist my kid.
I was speechless.
I will use more Arts to explain Mathematical concepts to your kid.
The conversation I had with Sam about a year ago reminds me to what Michael Fullan says in his book:
"... Quality instruction requires getting a small number of practices right. These practices involve knowing clearly and specifically what each student can or cannot do, followed by tailored intervention that engages students in the particular learning in question, and then doing the assessment-instruction-correction process on a continuous basis...
... In systems that go, strategies focus on and drill down to effective instructional practices so that all teachers, individually and collectively, become better at what they are doing while they continue to seek even better methods.
This is the domain of expertise that John Hattie (2009) is getting at in his synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses of teaching practices related to student engagement and achievement.
High-impact strategies such as structured feedback to students, reciprocal teaching (teaching students to learn cognitive strategies to facilitate their own learning), and observation and feedback on ones' own teaching all had high impact on student learning.
Hattie tells us that the critical change agents are:
To me, Sam is an excellent example of a teacher that learns to become a professional exactly along the lines that Hattie is talking about - engaging in specific, precise, evidence-based, high-yield instructional practices. She is learning this because she is part of a comprehensive collective-capacity enterprise .
I would say, it is the ingredient Finnish education is benefiting from. The trust the system has with the teachers, and how autonomy is fully utilised, is when the teacher training program managed to instil both the purpose, and mastery.
A year after my kid attending the school here in Oulu, Finland, Mathematics is no longer a struggle. Few weeks ago, the teacher gave my kid a homework for English literature lesson, "write a love story using Mathematics!"
 Fullan, Michael. All Systems Go: The Change Imperative for Whole System Reform (Kindle Locations 324-326). SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.
A creative problem solver, passionate educator with the expertise in technology-enhanced learning, matching pedagogical needs in different learning environments. A trilingual social media influencer with 20 years of blogging experience in education, parenting, history and social affairs.