Here are the Victorian video case studies I have been promising to share for some time. They speak highly of their outcomes using SOLO as a whole school approach. You are welcome to share them in collaborative inquiry with your teachers.

#thrill #will #skill of learning

Derrimut Primary School
Derrimut PS was purpose-built around collaboration with campfires, caves and watering holes allowing for students and teachers to come together and learn. The caves are for deep thinking; the watering holes to share information; and the campfires for when students are telling their learning journey.

Pedagogical practice was strengthened through the school’s involvement in the NPDL Partnership as they used the tools, strategies and processes – like the Collaborative Inquiry Model – to provide a framework for the learning, providing insight, oversight and foresight on learning design. The Six Competencies – Collaboration; Critical Thinking; Creativity; Citizenship; Communication; and Character – combined with the SOLO Taxonomy to enable students, teachers and the school leadership team to have a conversation about student learning and understanding, skills, and depth of thinking. As one student says in the video, these frameworks help students to identify “where we are, where we can improve and what we should try to do next”.


Brunswick Secondary College
Brunswick Secondary College staff and students discuss how their Innovation project allowed them to work across three curriculum areas and explore the SOLO taxonomy as a framework for assessment.

Embed from Getty Images

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

Kahukura Cluster Conference

June 2, 2018

“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 […]

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SOLO Taxonomy at ESF in Hong Kong

May 28, 2018

Reflecting on the powerful examples of student learning using SOLO shared during my visit to Hong Kong last week Fractions explored through SOLO Hexagons thinking and student co-construction of SOLO rubrics – just fabulous 🙂       Great two days in conversation with thoughtful educators inquiring into the effectiveness of using an explicit model […]

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Learning how to put my face in the water

May 19, 2018

Or Chapter 4. “How do you design rubrics to accompany the authentic assessment?” Pam Hook There can be no more authentic task for a five year old than putting your face in the water when learning to swim. The indispensable conditions for improvement are that the student comes to hold a concept of quality roughly […]

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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

One of the best things about revisiting a place is the opportunity for extended conversation to deepen friendships. Life as a #SOLOTaxonomy jongleur never lacks excitement but its itinerant nature precludes many opportunities for the deeply textured conversations that happen when you sit down with people at the end of each day. Returning to Denmark […]

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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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