One of my biggest takeaways from our conversation with Bronwen Cowie was the idea of a learning ecology. A learning ecology is a network of connected resources available to a learner to support their progress. These are resources that exist in a supportive structure, both inside and outside of the classroom. Bronwen uses the metaphor of a pond to describe her own personal learning ecology, with each element of the pond sustaining her learning at different levels – from small to large. In our conversation, she describes how this relates to the classroom, with teachers’ roles shifting from delivering content to curating students’ learning ecologies to enable them to access what they need, when they need it – from artifacts, to texts, peer support, and teacher feedback. This represents a key shift in student agency and advancing positive learner identities.
– Barbara Jones
With Bronwen Cowie, Gerzon and Jones discussed the following topics:
- Framing teacher noticing in a formative way to support equity
- Interrupting current formative practices to prepare to respond differently
- The role of learner identity in learning and student agency
Curated segments of this conversation can be played in the Padlet below. Please click on the play button in the upper left corner to play the video directly in Padlet. An audio recording of the entire conversation and session materials can also be found on this page.
Professor Bronwen Cowie is Associate Dean of Research in the Division of Education, at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Bronwen’s research focuses on early secondary and primary school, and early childhood settings. She is particularly interested in the nature of teacher-student interactions as part of formative assessment within the wider ecosystem for science education. A feature of her assessment for learning work is attention to how teachers invite in and notice, and recognize and respond to children’s ideas. She has explored the role funds of knowledge have to play as part of culturally responsive science teaching and assessment, the frameworks teachers use to attend to student learning, and the provision of peer feedback in support of students’ writing.
See the other conversations in this series: