Strategies for Reshaping Practice: The habits of the classroom #10

Put skills in a context of values

Sometimes choosing the right framework and context for learning could mean giving skills a new purpose. That purpose can be defined in terms of values. Design can be taught with a service purpose so that students think about: ‘How will the design serve the customer and society?’ rather than ‘How can I showcase what I can do?' Maths can be taught with the purpose of combating injustice.

  • Teachers can present advertising in a values context such as contentment, encouraging students to examine the attitudes some adverts are creating in society. This can lead to creating a different type of advert using skills to encourage contentment.
  • Teachers can show how pie charts can make information accessible and bring about change. Florence Nightingale used a form of pie chart to change the way hospitals were built. Teachers can show students how their maths skills can be used in a project to bring about change or bring an important issue to people’s attention.
Examples such as these show how skills can be given a new purpose by putting them in a values framework which can make sense to learners and possibly aid motivation.