I've just been reading about St. paul's Convent School in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. I was particularly interested in their approach to meta cognition and learning to learn and the integrated use of iPod Touches. Here's an extract from the article on the Futurelab website:
There is clearly lots to learn from schools in other parts of the world as well as those nearer to home. I was also struck by the headteacher's reminder of the multiple ways in which we can demonstrate and celebrate our unique talents and intelligences:
Learning to learn and the 16 habits of mind
All pupils in their first two years at the secondary school undertake a Learning to Learn course. They also are trained (by the older students in F6 - aged 16) in Professor Arthur Costa’s 16 habits of mind. Prof Costa maintains that a critical attribute of intelligence is not only having information but also knowing how to act on it . The 16 habits of mind (such as persistence, thinking flexibly, remaining open to continual learning) contribute to this intelligence. For more detail on how the school has implemented these 16 Habits of Mind across the curriculum see the video at http://ihouse.hkedcity.net/~sp1400/hom/index.htm.The 16 Habits of Mind are listed below:1. Persisting2. Managing impulsivity3. Listening with understanding and empathy4. Thinking flexibly5. Thinking about thinking (meta-cognition)6. Striving for accuracy7. Questioning and posing problems8. Applying past knowledge to new situations9. Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision10. Gathering data through all senses11. Creating, imagining, innovating12. Responding with wonderment and awe13. Taking responsible risks14. Finding humour15. Thinking interdependently16. Remaining open to continuous learning
Technology provides additional learning opportunities and enables the girls to showcase their work
The school’s learning portal enables the students to log in and access additional activities, for example additional videos and audio recordings and accompanying exercises to test their English comprehension. The students showing me round the school had made frequent use of these materials. I was shown active class discussion areas, not only featuring questions on homework logistics but also intense discussion on the role of school, the responsibilities of parents and what students need to learn to prepare them for life. Sister Margaret described how extensive use is made of ipod touches to enable students to revise topics and practice Putonghua (spoken Chinese). Technology allows the school to extend learning opportunities beyond the school day and the school term.
Sister Margaret points out the 100 different pursuits of the children painted on the screen to emphasise that everyone is good at something and the key is finding out what and building upon it.