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How a Danish educator designs for deep understanding during student research in History.

The deep understanding is a teaching goal for me – it’s not enough that they know about the war and the war came. They have to understand the consequences and the influences of the historical event on the future. Jes Chistensen (Personal communication 2018)

When working in Denmark at the start of 2018 I talked with many teachers about surface and deep learning. One conversation with Jes Christensen explored the design strategies Danish teachers used for deep learning in disciplinary thinking and how these aligned with using SOLO as a model of surface and deep learning. It captured my attention right from the start and Jes and I continued to talk after I returned to New Zealand.

Jes is a secondary teacher who had put a lot of energy and thought into enhancing the depth of learning his senior students experienced when they undertook student research in history. His students are 14-15 years old which answers to 8th grade in the Danish school system.

Our conversation has had to wait for holidays when we both have had time to think but after several months Jes has just finished the first iteration of a Danish SOLO alignment matrix for deep learning in History. Check out his SOLO aligned thinking in the table below.  As a context, Jes has used the war in 1864 between Denmark and Prussia (nowadays known as Germany).

As Jes describes –

The HOOKed diagramme reflects my teaching in the war and especially what the defeat meant for the Danish foreign policy the next 135 years. I always say to my students that “history very often can give the answers and explanations to current incidents”.

I tell them about “the red string” through history and the war in 1864 is a genuine example on the red string from then to nowadays. The deep understanding is a teaching goal for me – it’s not enough that they know about the war and the war came. They have to understand the consequences and the influences of the historical event on the future.

Tænk som en historiker.

Tænk som en historiker.PrestructuralUnistructuralMultistructuralRelational Extended abstract
What do you know about the historic incident?I know virtually nothingI know a little about the incidentI know the incident and I can explain the major topics in the incident I know the incident, I can place it in its age and I can tell about other incidents that led up to the incident

I can account for the consequences of the incident in a forward perspective
I can account for development in the meaning of the incident in the society’s view
I can account for the connection between political decisions in present times and the incident 136 years before
Questions to move the studentDo you have any idea where you can get information about this topic?Make a charter of your knowledge and look at the connections. How can you use the connections to focus on getting more knowledge?If you look on the historic incidents. Rank the incidents from most important to important to less important.

The students’ knowledge is on a high level but he/she cannot put the incidents in a connection with other historic incidents in the future.
Look at the sources you’ve used. How do we know if they are reliable sources and we can depend on them?How does this particular incident influence historic incidents? Incidents related to 1864 will be:
• Reunion in 1920
• How the Danish government worked with Germany during parts of WWII
• The Danish membership of Nato
• The Danish participation in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya
Strategies that work for both students and teachersShow/give examples that shows interpretations and historic incidentsShow/give examples of first- and second-hand impressions that underlies the historic eventShow/give examples that can determine credibility and determination as for example, sustainability, perspective, profundity and the quantity of the people involvedShow/explain considerable changes in history throughout the time and do it through an individual perspective or through a society point of perspective.Show/explain how one historic incident have influenced on one or more historic incidents.

Here we’re looking for the students’ ability in making a constructive view on the history and the connections between historic incidents.

Further Reading
Some links to give you – and others who may have an interest in developing an opportunity to understand the trauma the Danish politicians and inhabitants had after the loss.

1864 und die Folgen, Teil 8 | The Destiny Year in Danish History, Politics and Culture

“Surface to Deep” on Friday was a remarkable day of teachers sharing their professional practice.

Teachers from the Kahukura Community of Learning – Christchurch South Intermediate School, Sacred Heart School, Thorrington School, Addington Primary, Sommerfield School, West Spreydon and Cashmere Primary School – gathered together for a day focused on shifting from surface to deep learning outcomes.

It was a fabulous demonstration of the depth of teacher expertise in SOLO based pedagogies for deep learning in the cluster and the wider Christchurch community.

We started the day learning about the most recent New Pedagogies for Deep Learning networking event in Vancouver from the Kahukura cluster leaders.

Christchurch to Vancouver and Back – ‘Where to from here for Kahukura?’
(Jared Fretwell, Cade Englefield , Chris Panther and Ross Hastings)

The follow up teacher workshops provided very practical description and analysis of the SOLO strategies that create shift.

Check out the teacher workshop descriptors below

SOLO Workshops

Round 1 – 11.30 a.m. – 12.10 p.m.

a.) Moving from Surface to Deep Sustainability Learning
Libby Aitken and Kelly McIntosh – Christchurch South Intermediate
Participants will develop an understanding of how SOLO Taxonomy has been used to deepen and make visible students learning inside the deep learning theme of Sustainability. This process could be replicated across any deep learning experience and practical takeaway resources will be provided.

b.) Moving through the pivot point from multistructual to relational and extended abstract thinking
Melody McCombe – Christchurch South Intermediate
Participants will be provided with practical examples of how to shift students past multistructural learning and thinking across the curriculum. Pedagogical approaches demonstrated could be replicated across any deep learning experience and practical takeaway resources will be provided.

c.) Connecting the dots – getting relational with SOLO
Susan Pageot – Waimairi School
How to draw out deeper connections using maps, rubrics and reflective tools in the senior primary classroom. There will be a focus on constructive alignment and manipulating the tools for literacy.

Round 2 – 12.15 – 12.55 p.m.

a.) Getting started – from theory to practice
Lynley Cummack – Waimairi School

Practical and actual examples and ideas to get kids using SOLO maps and rubrics
How we have gotten the students using the maps and rubrics to deepen their learning
Making learning visible for students, parents and teachers
It doesn’t matter where you are, it only matters that you don’t stay there!

b.) Going SOLO: an intentional approach to teaching and learning across the curriculum
Joy Williams – Waitākiri Primary School

How can using SOLO and the SOLO HOT Maps help students make shifts from surface (Unistructural/Multistructural) to deeper (Relational) and conceptual (Extended Abstract) levels of understanding? Practical examples of the positive effects of using the SOLO HOT maps with Year 0 – 4 students.

c.) Successful SOLO: Tips and Tales from the Roydvale Rookies
Anke Beckers-Yu – Roydvale School

Our journey 0-2 years in SOLO: The process we have taken to get SOLO up and running school wide, including what it now looks like for us.
Small but steady steps: Ensuring progress and success.
Simplifying the tricky parts to make it work for you.
Examples of how it can look in the classroom.

Reflection on the day was very upbeat

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Learning how to put my face in the water

May 19, 2018

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Extended abstract in Melbourne

March 23, 2018

Working with the Department of Education in Victoria has presented a number of adventures over the past three years. I used to think that nothing could trump the DET workshop with “Shrek” attending. Imagine pedagogical content knowledge required when Shrek is wkshop participant. #SOLOTaxonomy #Melbourne #forgetandragogy #embraceogregogy — Pam Hook (@arti_choke) November 7, 2017 […]

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Tobias and those Danish verbs

March 6, 2018

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Master classes in Melbourne

February 22, 2018

Surface to deep learning with SOLO Taxonomy. “The SOLO Taxonomy (Biggs & Collis 1982) has provided a valuable vehicle to identify and support deep learning opportunities in many NPDL schools. It has shown the relationship between surface and deep learning and the importance of scaffolding learning for both.” I am excited to be returning to […]

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Time to Tag a Teacher

November 18, 2017

Do you know any creative and critical thinkers at your school? Essential Resources are running a “Tag a teacher” competition on their Facebook page. Surprise a colleague with some great professional reading for the summer break.

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Shrek and SOLO Taxonomy

October 26, 2017

    When you run a SOLO workshop at Pakenham Hills Primary School on Tuesday 31st October 2017 you must be open to new adventure.         A reminder that whilst teachers might register for the workshop it is not until they arrive that you have any clear idea of their prior knowledge […]

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A Partridge in a Pear Tree Year

October 5, 2017

Embed from Getty Images Perching in the HookED 2017 Pear Tree 2017 is proving to be a great year for progress in the classroom based use of SOLO Taxonomy. Work has taken me to schools across New Zealand and Australia, and to Denmark and Tonga. My efforts to create meaning with others has resulted in […]

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