PD Sessions: CLS as a Best Practice in Student-Directed, Globally-minded Classrooms, Hanson-Peters                2

Session 1:  Following Finland

Date, time

90 minutes

Objectives:

Essential question:

Resources for Session 1:

Agenda:

  1. Introduction- 5 minutes  Facilitator will introduce self and explain how and why this course was created.  Explain what the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching program is, how it is structured, and what creator was doing when she was there.  Mention placement at university, school visits, and day-to-day routine (See: Facilitator’s Guide, Foreword).

  1. Chalk Talk: Finland’s Schools-  25 minutes What do we know?  What do we want to know?

  1. Chalk talk: Give each participant a whiteboard marker and have “Finland’s schools: What do we know?” written on one side of whiteboard and “Finland’s schools: What do we want to know?” written on other side of whiteboard.  Invite participants to silently write on either side or both sides, as many comments and questions as they have.  Okay to write similar things.  Okay to make connections, draw symbols, pictures, random thoughts, etc.  Anything is okay during chalk talk (See: Chalk Talk Protocol).

  1. Debrief of chalk talk:  Give large group a few minutes to silently examine what is written on the two lists.  Then, verbally go through each list and ask for clarification or elaboration on list items.  Note similarities when present.  Confirm and deny items on the “What do we know?” list, as needed.  Ask what the most pressing questions are.  Ask if there is anything that needs to be added to either list before proceeding.

  1. The Finnish education system- 55 minutes Basic overview (See: Appendix B: Annotated Bibliography- Finland’s Education System)

  1. How creator of this professional development started following Finland
  1. Play this NBC Nightly News clip from 2010.
  2. Share excerpt from Leonard Sax’s book Boys Adrift (pages 18-21) on how kindergarten has changed in the U.S. since the late 1970s and what Finland does in comparison.

  1. Diagram of Finnish education system
  1. Use this and summarize the accompanying text on webpage, “Equal Opportunities to High-Quality Education.”
  2. Individually, do a close read of the page and the diagram.
  3. In trios, identify possible similarities and differences to our own education system at the local, state, and national levels.
  4. Report similarities and differences to large group.  Record.

  1. Answering some of the “What we want to know” questions
  1. Spend remaining time answering some, but likely not all, of the questions from the chalk talk.  These questions will be addressed over the course of this semester-long professional development course.
  2. Go over logistics, web sources, materials for the course.

  1. Preparation for next time--5 minutes  Read and annotate “The Societal Factors Contributing to Education and Schooling in Finland,” by Hannele Niemi, pages 19-38, as a means for preparation to discuss: What might we learn from Finland when it comes to education? and What might Finland learn from the U.S. when it comes to education?

Session 2: Diving Deeper into Finland’s Education System  

Date, time

90 minutes

Objectives:

Essential questions:

Resources for Session 2:

Agenda:

  1. Introduction- 10 minutes  Reflections on why it is difficult to avoid comparison between the two nations and their education systems.

  1. Display the diagram of Finnish education system for review.

  1. Facilitator can share a few similarities and differences for his/her  own school district.

  1. Preparation for Text-Based Seminar- 30 minutes  In addition to what you read for today (“The Societal Factors Contributing to Education and Schooling in Finland,” by Hannele Niemi) read  Finnish Education in a Nutshell.  Use the two documents to prepare for the text-based seminar exploring today’s essential questions (above).  Also review the Text-Based Seminar protocol that we will use.

  1. Text-based Seminar- 40 minutes  In circles of 6-8, we will have a text-based seminar to address today’s essential questions (Note: Lead facilitator may need to arrange additional facilitators ahead of time if your group is large).  Facilitators ought to review the Text-Based Seminar protocol ahead of time.

  1. Debrief the text-based seminar- 10 minutes

  1. What realizations did you have?
  2. What questions or concerns did this discussion raise for you?
  3. Strengths and weaknesses of the process itself?

Session 3: Views of American Educators  

Date, time

90 minutes

Objectives:

Essential questions:

Resources for Session 3:

Agenda:

  1. Introduction to Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program- 10 minutes  (Note: Facilitator ought to get familiar with website ahead of time.)
  1. Overview of the program
  2. Examine website
  3. Review timeline
  4. See what questions surface from interested participants.

  1. Views of American Educators: Jigsaw--75 minutes total Participants will do a jigsaw-style presentation on blogs written by American educators who are participants in the Fulbright program.  First, they will read their assigned blog individually, then they will discuss in a small group, then they will summarize and share points of emphasis with large group.  Access to the internet is needed.

  1. Individual preparation-- 10 minutes  Form five groups with at least two people in each.  Go over steps of jigsaw below.  Assign one blog to each team.  Give about five minutes reading time for everyone to read individually.

  1. Discuss with your own small group-- 15 minutes
  1. Summarize the blog you read with each other.  
  2. What surprised you?  
  3. What was something you already knew?
  4. What else would you want to know from this author?
  5. Is there anything you think the author overlooks?
  6. What might we learn from Finland when it comes to education?  Use a point in the blog to answer this question.
  7. What might Finland learn from the U.S. when it comes to education?  Use a point in the blog to answer this question.
  8. Identify one quote that you think captures the essence of the blog to share with the large group.

  1. Present your blog and field questions-- 25 minutes  Each group will have about five minutes to summarize its blog, share responses to today’s essential questions, share quote, and answer any questions that arise.

  1. Debrief jigsaw and Venn diagrams--25 minutes
  1. What went well in the jigsaw process?  What needs improvement?
  2. Collectively, on the whiteboard at front (alternatively, use butcher paper) create a Venn diagram comparing the Finnish education system and our own system with what we have learned in the first three sessions so far.

  1. “I wonder…” -- 5 minutes End with each participant sharing an “At this point, I wonder about…”

Session 4:  Defining “Cooperative Learning Strategies” in US & Finland

Date, time

90 minutes

Objectives:

Essential question:

Resources for Session 4:

Agenda:

  1. Reflections on CLS- 20 minutes 

  1. Individually, on a sticky note, write your definition of “cooperative learning strategies” (CLS).  Be as specific as possible and include lots of details if necessary.  

  1. Small team discussion In teams of four, share your definitions.  Discuss similarities and differences you see in the definitions.  Share examples of times you have used CLS in your classroom and elaborate on both successes and failures with CLS.  After listening to all team members, identify one success and one failure to share with large group later.  Identify a team member who will share highlights of your team’s discussion with large group later.

  1. Large group discussion   Reporters from each team will share the similarities and differences of team members’ definitions as well as one success and one failure of using CLS.

  1. Late introduction  Why CLS?  Inspiration for this professional development course.  Share creator’s notes (Facilitator’s Guide, page 8).

  1. Reasons for using CLS- 20 minutes   Why do I do it?  (Note: Facilitator will need to prepare envelopes with slips of paper below ahead of time.)

  1. Rank your reasons Consider the reasons that you use CLS in your classroom.  Each of you receives an envelope with slips of paper in it that say the following as well as a few blanks: CLS make students take ownership of their learning; CLS teach social skills; CLS are fun; CLS give students the opportunity to teach each other; CLS is a good classroom management tool; Students learn more in teams; CLS is sound pedagogical practice; Collaboration is an important skill for the future.  Read the slips and consider the reasons that you use CLS in your classroom, when you do.  Write any additional reasons you have for using CLS on the blank slips if necessary.  After you consider your reasons, “rank” your reasons, moving your slips of paper around so that your most important reason is at the top and your less important reasons are at the bottom.  You may have more than one slip sharing a ranking.

  1. Walk and talk  Pair up with a colleague and visit each set of rankings together.  As you proceed, discuss what you see or wonder about.  Find another pair to form a quad and discuss the following questions:
  1. What are the most common reasons that we use CLS?
  2. To what extent do we communicate our reasons for using CLS with our students?

  1. CLS in Finland-- 50 minutes How might Finnish attitudes towards cooperative learning influence our own practices?

  1. Sharing results of creator’s research Slideshow in Appendix D: CLS Finland: Teacher and Student Perspectives on teacher perceptions, student perceptions, focus groups, interviews, textbooks.  Background information and survey information in Facilitator’s Guide, pages 8-23).

  1. Reading time  Individually, read the creator’s blog entry “Sink or Swim” about CLS in Finnish schools.

  1. Discuss  
  1. What are your impressions about the Finnish teacher and student perceptions?  
  2. What questions does the research raise?  
  3. What was omitted or ignored?  
  4. What do you wonder about?
  5. How might Finnish attitudes towards cooperative learning influence our own practices?

 


Session 5:  Defining “Global-mindedness”

Date, time

90 minutes

Objectives:

Essential question:

Resources for Session 5:

Agenda:

  1. Introduction- 5 minutes Why “global-mindedness?”  Inspiration for this professional development course, notes from the creator (See: Facilitator’s Guide, pages 2-6).

  1. Four A’s Text Protocol--20 minutes This is to be used as a warm-up before we start thinking hard about our own definitions of “global-mindedness.”

  1.  Individual preparation  Read “Globally Minded Teaching” and prepare for protocol.

  1. Small-group protocol  Use the Four A’s Text Protocol to discuss the text in groups of four.  If you get to the point when you want to discuss your own ideas and definitions of “global-mindedness,”  STOP.

  1. How do we talk about “global-mindedness?”--40 minutes

  1. Word ping-pong-   Form two lines down the middle of the room so that you are facing a partner.  Introduce yourself to and shake hands with your partner.  Then, consider the phrase “globally-minded teachers in globally-minded classrooms.”  Take one minute to discuss what that phrase means to you.  Partner just listens.  Then switch and second partner shares.  Now, the ping-pong part.  Start with the phrase “globally-minded” and switching back and forth, partner to partner, name as many words, phrases, synonyms, etc.  that you, or colleagues, or students or others might use to indicate “global-mindedness.”

  1. Individual definitions   Individually, write your own definition of “global-mindedness” on a sticky note and hang on front wall.

  1. Examine the definitions  What do you see?  What do you not see?  What do you wonder about?

  1. Debrief the word ping-pong and definitions 
  1. What words and phrases came up?  Are all words and phrases equally important?  Do they all convey the same ideas?
  2. What language do you use in your own classroom to convey ideals of “global-mindedness” to your students?  
  3. What are some things we do in our own classrooms, formally or informally, to foster “global-mindedness” in our students?  How do we know if what we are doing is making a difference?
  4. Why does it matter (or not matter) that we convey ideals of “global-mindedness” to our students?”

IV.  What about me?-- 25 minutes  How do we know if we are being “globally-minded” teachers?

  1. In small groups, create a brief skit that illustrates the ideal of us being “globally-minded teachers.”
  2. Present skits.
  3. What are the obstacles to being “globally-minded teachers?”
  4. How would we really know if we were being “globally-minded teachers?”
  5. How would we know if our students were becoming more “globally-minded?”


Session 6:  Finnish perspectives on “Global-mindedness”

Date, time

90 minutes

Objectives:

Essential question:

Resources for Session 6:

Agenda:

  1. Introduction--5 minutes  Background on how creator gathered information on Finnish perspectives of “global-mindedness.”  Information from Facilitator’s Guide, pages 19-23.

  1. What do the Finns say and do when it comes to “global-mindedness?”--10 minutes
  1. Use slideshow: Appendix E: Global-mindedness Finland: Teacher and Student Perspectives as an introduction

  1. Trio task: What do the Finns mean by “global-mindedness?” -- 30 minutes In teams of three, read through the following documents to determine how Finns think globally and ideas for schools.  Be ready to discuss the questions that follow in your trio and in a large group.

  1. Facilitator should first introduce the FNBE’s Schools Reaching Out to a Global World Program

  1. Appendix E: Global-mindedness Finland: Teacher and Student Perspectives (slideshow)

  1. Appendix F: Comments on Global-mindedness and Global Thinking

  1. In Search of a Good Life,” pages 20-27

  1. The Curriculum Reform Of Basic Education Gives Strong Mandate To Global Educators In Finland” by Liisa Jääskeläinen
  1. What do the Finns seem to mean by “global-mindedness?”
  2. What similarities to and differences from our own definitions exist?
  3. Assess the “In Search of a Good Life” story in terms of how effective you think the project was to foster global-mindedness in students.
  1. What was done well?
  2. What could be done differently?
  3. What inspiration might you borrow for your own classroom?  Your own school?

  1. Large-group discussion-- 45 minutes
  1. What do the Finns seem to mean by “global-mindedness?”
  2. What similarities to and differences from our own definitions exist?
  3. Assess the “In Search of a Good Life” story in terms of how effective you think the project was to foster global-mindedness in students.
  1. What was done well?
  2. What could be done differently?
  3. What inspiration might you borrow for your own classroom?  Your own school?

Session 7:  Finnish Line

Date, time

90 minutes

Objectives:

Essential question:

Resources for Session 7:

Agenda:

  1. Introduction--10 minutes  Review the original objectives of this professional development course.  Remind participants that this is the final session.  Any last-minute logistics and reminders specific to your own school district (for example, an end-of-course feedback survey) can be mentioned here.  Background on Tove Jansson and the Moomin books with slideshow for images.  (Note: Facilitator will need to make copies of quotes below and hang on wall at front of room ahead of time.  See Appendix H for quotes.)

  1. Quote match: “How am I feeling about all of this?”--15 minutes

  1. Each of the quotes on the front wall is from of one of Jansson’s Moomin books.  Please read each quote and then choose a quote that best matches how you are feeling about all of the concepts we have explored over the last semester as part of this professional development course.  Once you have read all of them and considered your position, stand in front of the one that best matches you at this moment in time.

  1. Once each participant is standing at his/her quote, go down the line and have each participant read the selected quote and explain why the quote fits their feelings and thoughts about the course right now.

  1. Identifying one thing-- 65 minutes

  1. Individually, spend some time reviewing what we have done in the six prior sessions.  (15 minutes)  Then, answer these questions for yourself:  
  1. What is one thing I might try to adopt from the Finnish education system in my own classroom?
  2. What is one thing I might do to improve cooperative learning strategies in my own classroom?
  3. What is one thing I might do to foster and/or model “global-mindedness” in my own classroom?

  1. Then, share with the others at your table (assuming tables of 3-4).  (20 minutes)Listeners ought to ask questions to push the presenter to consider details that increase the likelihood of follow-through on the plan.  Listeners can also offer suggestions to the presenter on ways to  increase the likelihood of follow-through on the plan.  Presenter can take notes.  After presenter has listened to all of the feedback, move on to next person.  Repeat.

  1. Individually, once everyone at your table has shared and gotten feedback, decide on the one thing (from your list of three) that you can commit to implementing in the next two weeks in your classroom.  Sketch out a rough timeline of what you need to do and how you will do it.  Be prepared to share with the larger group (10 minutes).

  1. Each person will present his one thing and plan for implementation to the large group (15  minutes).
  1. Last word-- 5 minutes  As we prepare to part ways after our semester of professional development, facilitator can ask members to sit in a circle and share one word that sums up how they feel walking out the door today.