Time Space Education Podcast #1 – Our Purpose

TSE Podcast

In this, the first ever Time Space Education Podcast, Chad, Cathy and Frank and I discuss the purpose of our work and what our professional focus is at the moment. Naturally, however, we drift into lots of other



  1. learningtowearthebigshoes

    As I’m listening to the pod cast – these are my thoughts, connections and wonderings in real time (with a couple of edits afterwards!)

    Cathy’s focus:
    Completely agree, I wonder all the time why, if our UOI are student centred we are writing all 3 of the lines of inquiry. Surely we should start with one and then plan pre-assessment / provocation (which is hopefully both) to see where the students are taking their own thoughts, where the questions are coming from or if they are heading in a certain direction.
    Teachers seem to, traditionally, want to have all the boxes filled in – have all the activities planned and organised (I’ve been there, done it and completely owned it – and fought my demons hard to “let it go”) The mindset needs to change of why the adults are in the room and what is our role.
    I think we need to keep asking “Who’s learning is it?” and hold people accountable to the fact it is the students learning. We’ve had our chance – it’s their turn.
    Also a further conversation -I continue to ask the question; What is driving our POI? The curriculum? The adults? Or the learners? The constraints of the PYP?

    Re; Teachers mindset – training, modelling and expectations.
    We have had 2 grade levels swap the student data – and found that because the student work it is not ‘owned’ by the team looking at the data there is a fresh perspective.When the comments and summary of data come back to the original teaching team they are amazed about how much information is there – hidden in the student work and comments. This really highlighted to teaching teams the value of 1. taking the time to talk about and analyse student work and 2. the student input and work itself.

    Frank’s focus:
    Love this – and know the amazing work that Frank and the team achieve here, and how much Frank thrives in this environment, but I do wonder whether the current ‘reactive’ model is sustainable for both the learner and the facilitator?
    It is very much ‘in time; learning and so valuable and appropriate. Love the fact that as a facilitator of this learning area, Frank also models the ‘learner’ and the ‘learning’ – being comfortable to say “I don’t know – let’s find out….” so powerful for our young ones.
    Is there a platform that can be created / developed so that instead of students heading to Frank and the adult all the time, they can find out who else in the school is an expert or may have already made a similar inquiry and can help. Developing student regulation and encouraging students to then take on the role of facilitators and experts. A database of “who to go to” ? Would this help? Or too much structure and the time taken to create would out weigh the effectiveness?
    Maybe a whiteboard wall of ‘Explorations this week…/month” and who started the exploring process?

    Chad’s focus: Looking at planning.

    Why are we obsessed with planning meetings? I so worry we “do” so many things because it the dreaded TTWWADI (That’s the way we’ve always done it)
    Maybe here I should be using the word “meeting” in place of planning. As I do believe in planning for teaching and learning, its the meetings that bother me.

    By meeting together is the planning always more purposeful? Is the planning more effective?
    What should come first the meeting or the planning process?
    Does the actual planning that takes part in the meetings reflect the practice?
    A few questions for me to think more about.

    I am not a believer in meeting for meetings sake, but when teaching teams do meet I think that it is fundamental that people respect and value the time together, understands the purpose and the expectations of the meeting and commit to goals being achieved.

    PYP Planning Document: I have always thought the fact we call the PYP document a “planner” is a misnomer.
    I think it is best used as a reflective document – so in meetings we can talk about what learning happened last week, where the students tool it and bring the data with us, then add this to box 4 of the document and then together brainstorm and generally discuss what we think our next steps might be to take students further in their learning.
    I, and am sure I’m not the only one, have sat in planning meetings where far too much time is spent talking through details that could be referred or documented on paper documents (or our google docs).

    Assessment tools: They do need to be in place at the start of the unit – but are they written conceptually so they can be used throughout the process for both teachers and students to refer to and plan next steps?
    I’ve recently come across the ‘single point rubric’ which I think could be further developed to be more organic and reflective of the learning process ( and not take a ridiculous number of hours to be developed!) https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/single-point-rubric/

    Time: There are far too many ‘add-ons’ for teachers which take time out of the teaching and learning. ASAs, duties, other meetings, admin matters, events, etc. How do we manage these to ensure T&L is the priority and focus?

    Planning retreats – although I support these in essence, and have been so successful for PYPx and also Leadership retreats I have attended. I wonder how productive they would be ( or are for VIS) for teaching teams?
    How much time is spent with effective planning?
    I think an agenda / purpose statement / agreement definitely needs to be in place and needs to be stuck to (or does it? Is ‘flow’ OK?)
    I’ll be interested to see what Chad’s plan for Cathy’s group looks like and follow their journey.

    When stuck in the process – feeling uncomfortable – not quite knowing where to head to next. Great conversation and reminded me of James Nottingham’s learning pit. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IMUAOhuO78) The cognitive discomfort is so important for the learner (whether it be the adult or the child) and leads to more valuable learning, conversations, and as James says “Eureka: moments.

    Tree analogy: Agree the Central Idea needs to be overarching and conceptual enough to allow for inquiry and for student exploration.

    Well done all – Been great to listen to the chat and the thinking process that all of your conversations elicited.
    Great that it is an organic chat and that all of you are ‘feeding’ off each other and making each other think though the pod-cast. I look forward to the next one!

    Thanks for making me think and reflect


  2. Christopher Frost (@FrostChrissy)

    You have a great radio voices! I listened in for the first 20 mins before I had child to put to bed. Teachers don’t have to be genuinely inspired by what children think or what they say, but we would not be doing our job if we didn’t at least ‘pretend’ we are interested. Our job is to generate thinking, to make thinking visible and to make kids believe we value that thinking. We do all this as thinking results in learning. Learning is our job!

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