Ngā Matapakinga | Discussion

    Tessa Gray
    ILEs and MLEs | The hot debate continues
    11 May
    Public discussion Created by Tessa Gray

    Student protestBeing a small country and a democracy means we can all have our say and at the moment, the hot debate is ILEs (Innovative Learning Environments), MLEs (Modern Learning Environments) or FLEs (Flexible Learning Environments).

    While one media article reports that, Parents are ditching schools with modern classrooms another reports 94% parents feel their children are in ILEs without concrete evidence that this way of learning will improve their education or wellbeing. ('My child is not a guinea pig': Parents want proof 'experimental' classrooms work). One article attempts to provide a balanced view about, How modern learning environments work, and what parents' options are, while another article shares how parents view the misconceptions of ILEs played out online and in the media (Parents get behind teachers adapting to 'modern learning environment' classes). Somewhere in there, is an article about what students want for their education.

    I wonder what's really going on here. As educators, we know the learning theory (and process) about how MLEs can create exciting opportunities (when done well) where learners are more engaged, invested, self motivated, with a strong sense of identity and developing every important skills needed to be able to thrive in a digital future. But do our parents, whānau and wider community know this too? 

    Whanau engagementReading Ānaru White's blog post on HANGARAU MATIHIKO — E TIPU E REA shows just how important it is for kura to engage with whānau and iwi with all things educational - especially when there's rapid changes on the horizon; and while our schools may do this well and bring their parent community on the MLE/ILE/FLE journey, do we make that story known wider? 

    Having a say about education publicly in NZ is incredibly important. When they screened the What next TV series that looked at looked at what NZ will look like in 2037 there was some real food for thought, while the current Education conversation 2018 is giving everyone an opportunity to feed into a future-focused view of education. There are challenges for teachers when trying to meet the needs of all learners (including those who might not respond well to larger group settings), but the benefits for learners is this environment is also something not to be ignored. Maybe we should be promoting more good news stories about MLEs, as well as the research behind what makes them successful - beyond ourselves?

    What do you think? What else needs to happen for our parents to be:

    • more informed
    • consulted with
    • invited to participate/collaborate 

    in order to debunk some myths and create exciting learning partnerships with our communities going forward?

    CC image source: Flickr

    Lesley Murrihy from Amesbury School in Wellington wrote this open letter to teachers who are dismissing MLE

    https://www.futureofeducation.nz/future-of-education-dr-lesley-murrihy-articles/2018/5/10/to-mle-or-not-to-mle-that-is-the-question-an-open-letter-to-my-colleagues

    By all means, discuss the political question of MLE or not MLE, but please…please…ensure that when you do so, your colleagues who are caring, resourceful, trustworthy teachers just like you; are not your victims.

    Nga mihi nui ki a koutou

    - By Allanah King
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