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Learning Space: A Guide to Unplugged Teaching
with Luke Meddings
Our students need space to learn, but we also need to learn space - what it means, and how to use it.
Why do human beings have to fill up space? We fill our bags, our devices and our apartments until they overflow. We fill our minds with digital content all day along and expect to sleep a peaceful sleep. Give us a beach and we build hotel blocks. Give us a lesson and we fill it with content.
Why do we do this? Well, this course can't address all these things, but we can look at teaching! Space is crucial in the unplugged classroom. By using fewer published materials, we open the space for the students' own experiences. We allow them to express themselves using all the language they have and some of the language they need.
But we also need to learn how to manage space, and how to avoid filling it up with too much teacher stuff. So come join! We'll look at big ideas and little techniques, clever activities and simple daily habits to make the classroom a happier and more liberating space for us and our students.
Live sessions are on FRIDAYs:
- Friday October 2nd – course participants only (60 minutes)
- Friday October 9th – course participants only (60 minutes)
- Friday October 16th – course participants only (60 minutes)
- Friday October 30th – course participants only (60 minutes)
Time: 12:00 - 13:00 GMT
Enroll in the entire course for only US $59
Course + Evaluation + Certificate of Accomplishment US $89
Questions? Contact email@example.com
Teaching Unplugged often appeals to educators as a way of connecting with learners, but it can be hard to apply when schools and education departments expect teachers to deliver a curriculum via fixed lesson plans and set course materials. This course uses the idea of space as a lens for our work in the classroom, and asks how we can find it, make it and use it to make classroom life more rewarding. I’ll be sharing my experience as a teacher trainer to help you build your confidence, motivate your students and challenge top-down education models.
Week 1: Reflecting on space
• Clutter in everyday life, and what it says about us as people
• Clutter in the classroom, and what it says about us as teachers
• Content landfill and Skip Ad culture
In this week we'll think about the sheer weight of stuff in our lives, online and in our classrooms. We'll consider the impact this has on us cognitively and emotionally. And we'll see how a 'less is more' approach can change classroom life for the better.
And I'll propose:
• 5 ways to cut down on classroom clutter
Week 2: Principles and implications of teaching unplugged
• Understanding the three principles of teaching unplugged
as guides, not rules
• How these principles inter-relate: we can’t have one
without the others
• What TU means for planning, skills work and assessment
In this week we'll revisit the three principles of teaching unplugged, and some key implications for applying this approach that have emerged in my teacher training. We'll look at the opportunities this approach can open up, but also at the challenges it presents.
And I'll recommend:
• 5 unplugged activities that work all the skills
Week 3: Roots and branches
• How teaching unplugged relates to other ELT approaches
• Teaching unplugged and the progressive tradition, from John Dewey to Alfie Kohn
• Extensive interaction: what's different about conversation-driven learning?
In this week we'll see how teaching unplugged relates to other approaches inside and outside ELT, locating it within the tradition of progressive and experiential learning. We'll explore the pedagogical and affective benefits of extensive, rather than narrowly focused, interaction in class.
And we'll work on:
• 5 critical activities
Week 4: Rebellion into space
• Content and control - how standardization is strangling education
• Letting go to engage the learner
• Freedom in education - how it feels, what it means
'Learning space' works both ways: learners need space to learn, and we need to learn how to find and make the best use of space. This week we'll explore teaching away from the test and reorienting education to the people.
And we'll share:
• 5 ways to activate space
Luke Meddings is an international speaker, author and teacher trainer with over 25 years experience in ELT. In that time he has worked as a teacher, journalist and school manager, and wrote an online column for Guardian Education.
In 2000 he co-founded the Dogme in ELT movement with Scott Thornbury, and their book Teaching Unplugged (Delta, 2009) won a British Council ELTon Award for Innovation in 2010.
In 2011 he started the independent e-publishing collective, the round, with Lindsay Clandfield: their first book, 52: a year of subversive activity for the ELT classroom, appeared in 2012.
His teacher training in 2015 includes work in Brazil, Mexico, Greece, Ireland and Malta.