What’s really new in the “Innovating Pedagogy 2019”-report?

The title suggests one of my dominant feelings when reading the Innovating Pedagogy 2019-report by the Open University. The report discusses 9 topics, and many of them aren’t really new to me. Or do you think that ‘Playful learning’, ‘Learning through wonder’, ‘making thinking visible’ or ‘Place-based learning’ are so new. Huizinga died in 1945 but already wrote about the importance of play, inspiring thinking about playful learning for decades, learning through wonder is nothing more than this:

something any good teacher already knows, making thinking visible is closely related to dual channel or dual coding theory and place-based learning? Well, field-trips are so new…

Other elements discussed in the report are more related to the present peak of inflated expectations of the technology hype cycle, e.g. teaching with robots (do note that the LOGO-turtle celebrated it’s fiftieth birthday 2 years ago), teaching with drones and virtual studios.

Maybe the most current element in the report, is probably also the most controversial for some: Decolonising learning, which is described as:

A curriculum provides a way of identifying the knowledge we value. It structures the ways in which we are taught to think and talk about the world. As education has become increasingly global, communities have challenged the widespread assumption that the most valuable knowledge and the most valuable ways of teaching and learning come from a single European tradition. Decolonising learning prompts us to consider everything we study from new perspectives. It draws attention to how often the only world view presented to learners is male, white, and European.

This does give food for thought, although it’s part of a bigger discussion. Closely related is the last element discusses: ‘Roots of empathy’.

Roots of Empathy is a classroom programme that is designed to teach children empathy. It prepares children aged 5 to 13 to interact with others healthily and constructively. It also prepares them to cope with different relationships in their lives. This programme is based on the principle that when children understand how they feel and how other people feel, they find it easier to cope in social situations. In order to help them to do this, Roots of Empathy develops their emotional understanding. Evaluations of the approach show that it decreases children’s aggressive behaviour, improves social behaviour, and, due to its emphasis on the actions and feelings of babies, increases the knowledge children have about infant development.

Both elements are actually closest related to the continental thinking about pedagogy.

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