Pam presented SOLO Taxonomy to the staff several years ago and today’s presentation built on this learning in particular with the school’s new initiative of introducing the ‘active learning‘ programme.
- SOLO’s structure focuses on the observed learning outcomes not the learner themselves. Both surface level or deep level outcomes but the taxonomy also provides language for students to improve their outcomes.
- Connected learners. Every time a learner makes a connection, they achieve deeper learning.
- SOLO provides a different mental model for students that have a fixed mindset or a negative attitude to learning. It challenges the idea held by some students that working hard and failing is more embarrassing than not trying and failing. Looking dumb opens yourself up for put downs. SOLO can resist this tendency by individualising the learning process.
- SOLO taxonomy is a spiral – it never stops spinning. Once you reach extended abstract you begin to access pre-structural ideas as well. Learning is a continuous process.
Do we overvalue engagement? If you just teach for engagement, do we ever achieve deep learning? This is a real challenge to my philosophy. Reflective question: Have we got a whole lot more engagement or have we got deeper learning outcomes? We risk teaching abstract concepts sometimes when they aren’t engaged. If you are putting SOLO against the active learning model, use it to label the learning outcome – not the kid.
Final thoughts shared in the finale for the day:
- Student inquiry leads to shallow outcomes – a weak pedagogy – you see a lot of stuff collected and presented but not a lot of deep inquiry. Guard against a student collecting and presenting through using the Learning Intention Generator.
- School is about learning. Everything you are charged to do in your classroom is about achievement outcomes. SOLO can be the measure that you gauge how effective this learning is if you can make these concepts real in your classroom.
And finally, the day was finished with a reminder of the hexagon strategy. We wrote words that were associated with active learning and then combined with others to form a map of the topic, making connections and investigating these through learning dialogue. A great collaborative activity.