Teaching and Learning
Teaching and learning at Kitsong will take place in a blended learning environment. This means that learners will engage in a range of different types of activity every day. On one day, a learner is likely to engage in the following activities:
- attend an instructional lesson from a highly qualified subject specialist
- practice by doing a number of individual exercises
- teach friends in a small group
- engage in individual problem-solving activities
- write and re-write a number of similar tests on a tablet pc to master a concept
- watch recordings of a lesson that was not well understood
- participate in a conventional classroom, guided by an excellent teacher
- be creative by writing, making, drawing, singing, coding or doing a science project
Instructional lessons will be done in a well-equipped lecture hall. An expert teacher will use a projector and other teaching aids to deliver a lesson that is clear and interesting. Many of these lessons will be recorded live or pre-recorded in a studio and made available to learners who can then watch them later on their tablets. This allows learners to progress at their own pace and rewind as often as necessary to understand the concept and without delaying others. Many of these lessons will include the whole year group so that everyone can gain equal benefit from excellent teaching.
No sportsman, musician or expert in any field can master a technique without lots of practice and repetition. Learners will be given drill-and-practice exercises to do on their tablets. These exercises will be marked electronically so that feedback is immediate when they finish the exercise. The exercise can then be repeated to keep improving the result, but with randomised questions that are slightly different every time. This is a well-established method of mastering a skill.
Teaching is learning, so every learner must become a teacher and every teacher a learner. No new idea will be fully understood until the learner has become the teacher of that idea. Sometimes peers are the best teachers because they still remember the journey to understanding which has been forgotten by the expert. Each-one-teach-one is an important principle in a blended learning space.
A conventional (twentieth century) style classroom is not the only way to learn but it is an effective way to learn and therefore has an important place in blended learning. An expert teacher facilitating discussion, experimentation, debate, practice or any other learning activity is a proven technique that works well and should be used often.
Problem solving and creative activities take learning beyond what can be taught. Every day, learners need to be challenged with something different to what they have been shown. By doing so, they will learn to create something of their own and to ask their own good questions, which is more important than answering other people’s questions.
Some of these activities will be done in a normal class of 20 to 30 learners. Some will be done in larger groups and some will be done in smaller groups or even individually. Recent innovations with the use of technology in schools have shown that this blend of learning environments enhances learning for a range of different learning styles.