A Spiral of Brain-Hurty Questions

Firstly your queries ARE the the big hairy questions that all have exhorted us to address and its AWESOME that HPSS is grappling with these ideas in a personal professional and public way as it makes us all think on this crystal clear spring morning with nature popping and fizzing at our doors like a new beginning – when we I should be Ulearning and filming teh local gibbons and apes for tomorrows bio lessons. We are in the midst of such debate and dialogue using HPSS as exemplar, model and talking point at our school every Tuesday in our CFG (curriculum focus group) We argue and discuss from 3.30 – 5.00 and then leave agreeing to disagree but more or less the wiser for it. these are optional staff wide meetings round a giant square table of equality with all contributing equally with the passing of a virtual conch or baton to reinforce speakers rights.

We approach these discussions from our own, silos, experience, education and theories of knowledge as you do too though you are probably more collaborative and integrated judging from your newness, buzz and levels of critique. The issue is the role of the observer or theorist in the observation of themselves and the construction of their knowledge from inside alongside or outside their minds. From a scientific viewpoint the role of subject object and observer, observed is integrated and meshed in a set of onion shell like skins of increasing density and fineness depending on which way you are travelling. Solutions are to have others observe, critique and theorize your practice – we have a team of 3 from York and VUW universities observing us over the last 18 months, as well as another VUW and Melbourne surveying team, and CoreEd and NZCER and Waikato and Unitec etc and you have Noeline Wright form Waikato i think amongst others and I assume and imagine there will be many many many wanting to and actually observing you. http://www.waikato.ac.nz/wmier/about-us/people/noeline-wright From this observation, hopefully videoed and recorded so you can examine it and the interviews with colleagues staff and students the essential practice, principles and paradigm could and should emerge – though it would be useful to have someone else do this process as we are all pretty wilfully blind to what we believe, see and do.

I think what the discussions will reveal is the degree of acculturation of each teacher, staff and student into their own whanau, community and background. The discussions will revel the socio psychological profiles of the members of the discussions and some interesting observations on the closeness of fit between team members on a more Miles and Briggs matrix and the current hierarchies or positions of power in the organization. The discussion will reveal more about the politics and personalities in play than the philosophies or Theories of Knowledge but this will determine the future direction cohesion and educational paradigm of.the school so will prove useful anyway.

The Theories of Knowledge questions can also be addressed from at least 7 different perspectives including sociology, anthropology, psychology, biological group analysis, communication theory, Maori tikanga and matauranga concepts, information theory but the approach you adopt will shape the observations and theory so you will end up with multiple theories of knowledge.

I quite like taking a range of approaches to any one problem, developing the knowledge and expertise in that area the addressing the issues and problems from that approach. but depending on your genes, environment, education, socialization, education, contacts and philosophy such an approach could drive you insane.

Carry on – we ook with great interest at whatt you are doinga nd how you are doing and keep blogging so we can see your prgress
best wishes


and now to see the gibbons running free in the wilds of New town zoo

Theories of knowledge are constructed and accepted by myself and others on the basis of the closeness of fit between observations and beliefs. the more i believe something the more i will see that theory in practice and the more my theory will become congruent with my personality, philosophy and practice. We see what we observe through the mind, we theorize what we think is happening through a haze of chemicals at the prompting of our genes based on our own our ancestors and our whanau’s experiences. From a group think perspective the less cognitive differences between us and the past, future, others and groups we affiliate with the better. The numbers of paradigms, cultures, mindsets and theories that i am exposed to growing up and in my everyday life determines the number of options in ways of seeing or lenses or theories i can see and usefully operate. its like having a palette of theories we can pick and mix and flow form one to another depending on the needs of the situation and what has the highest probability of success in maximizing our individual and group resources at the least possible risk and costs to ourselves.In short we see and theorize what we wish for to optimize our options. The value in the exercise is challenging our theories and observations to see their reliability validity and degree of bias and minimizing the cognitive dissonance of opposing or less personal, political and professional paradigms.

Here is some learning theories to play with


Steve Mouldey

Last week our Specialised Learning Leader team had a Planning Day together, gathering momentum on how learning design will occur in 2016. A big focus of this day was how things will look/act/be different for the Qualifications years (Yr 11 & 12) as compared to our Foundation curriculum (Yr 9 & 10). The part that has really stuck with me over the next few days though was a discussion on what our Theories of Knowledge are at Hobsonville Point Secondary School.

Image courtesy of agsandrew Image courtesy of agsandrew

As the main influence on our Learning Design at HPSS is the New Zealand Curriculum, my initial response was to start thinking what the theory of knowledge behind the NZC is. Quickly finding myself out of my depth to extract this information, I turned to some more learned colleagues asking them questions by various forms of messages.

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