Weaving as a metaphor
I’ve talked about metaphors before here. But I just wanted to add a few thoughts. My thinking behind this is that when I working with tutors, I often want to describe what we do in terms of something else that I think they already understand.
Since starting this work in 2007 the main metaphor that I’ve used is the “tools for your toolbox” approach. This metaphor works for trades because trades people use physical tools and they get it when I talk about teaching approaches, strategies, and activities as literacy and numeracy “tools” that go in their bigger “toolbox” of education and training tools.
Embedding literacy and numeracy as weaving
But we also talk about embedding literacy and numeracy in terms of weaving. This metaphor comes from the world of Maori education. I wish it was original to me but it’s totally not. I’ve heard it used by many different Maori educators in different contexts and I’ve started using it myself.
It works really well. For one thing, it feels kind of organic. This is important, especially for educators who are looking for meaning outside of the more academically focused western intellectual model of mainstream education.
Another thing about the weaving metaphor is that it allows people to think of their teaching and training as a kind of real object with these mixed threads woven through it. On the one hand there are the the threads relating to content and context. And on the other, there are another set of threads relating to literacy and numeracy.
The woven flax mat as a metaphor
This thinking also underlies the Maori early childhood curriculum, Te Whariki which takes the woven flax mat as a metaphor.
Finally, by thinking of the embedding process, educators can see how they are also weaving other things through their training – often in addition to the literacy and numeracy which should now be business as usual. And here I’m thinking specifically of the Kaupapa Maori value system that really drives Maori and other educators working in this space.
Values need to be explicit too
For those new to this kind of thinking, if you see these values (wellbeing, contribution, belonging, language, exploration, for e.g.) as a further thread running though your training and interactions, you can do what we do with the literacy and numeracy. This is to make it explicit to your learners, have great conversations with them about it, and explicitly embed the value system.
I’m not saying that learners can’t learn these values or thrive in this kind of environment when they are more implicit, but our foundations-focused learners really need these values and given the chance can learn them explicitly. Just like with literacy and numeracy.
So there you go. Get the value system out of stealth mode as well and onto the radar.
If you enjoyed reading about weaving as embedding you should check out my ebooks
Literacy & Numeracy – It’s Not Rocket Science
Learn the fundamentals of literacy and numeracy with Graeme Smith
Discover how to be more successful in your teaching journey. I’ll introduce and explain some of the fundamentals of adult literacy and numeracy.
Once you’ve finished reading, you will have a better understanding of the basics including how to integrate or embed literacy and numeracy into your teaching. This includes with technical and vocational education. You can read more here.
Now bundled wth two free printable resources – a place value chart and hundreds grid.
CHECK OUT LITERACY AND NUMERACY: IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE BY GRAEME SMITH
Click the link below to find out more about Literacy and Numeracy: It’s Not Rocket Science.
What is Learner-Centred Teaching – 12 Concepts from Te Ao Māori You Should Embrace to Create Learning Success
Discover time-honoured approaches to learner-centred teaching
What if I told you that there were time-honoured approaches to teaching and learning you can use to create the conditions for learning success. Imagine if your teaching really connected with your learners… What if your classroom or training environment was a place where your learners felt like they belonged and wanted to learn?
Here’s a secret. It’s totally possible if you discover and embrace time-honoured concepts from Te Ao Māori – the Māori world. This book is for you if you want to teach or train in a way that is more learner-centred or if you want to learn to think in a more holistic way. Read more here
CHECK OUT WHAT IS LEARNER-CENTRED TEACHING? 12 CONCEPTS FROM TE AO MĀORI YOU SHOULD EMBRACE TO CREATE LEARNING SUCCESS BY GRAEME SMITH
Click the link below to find out more about What is Learner-Centred? 12 Concepts from Te Ao Māori You Should Embrace to Create Learning Success
Three Simple Approaches You Need for Learner-Centred Teaching
Find out more about three of the fundamentals of adult teaching
Have you ever thought about how to improve your teaching? Have you ever wondered what it takes to create learner success in any teaching environment? Well, you need three things. Make that four things… You need to:
- Understand what people mean when they talk about “learner-centred” teaching.
- Know how to leverage your learners’ prior knowledge.
- Have simple ways of increasing the motivation of your students.
- Know what learner agency is and how to develop it.
Read more here.
CHECK OUT THREE SIMPLE APPROACHES YOU NEED FOR LEARNER-CENTRED TEACHING BY GRAEME SMITH
Click the link below to find out more about Three Simple Approaches You Need for Learner Centred Teaching – Proven Ways to Use Prior Knowledge, Increase Motivation and Develop Learner Agency to Pave the Road to Learning Success
The Educator Entrepreneur – Don’t Bring a Whiteboard Marker to a Knife Fight
Learn how to think like an Entrepreneur with Graeme Smith
Education is a tough business to work in. And that’s true regardless of whether you are a teacher, a trainer or any kind of specialist educator. But what if you’re a business owner AS WELL…!
If you’re like me, most days you’re probably pretty excited about what you do. But some days… Some days I can’t understand why anyone would want to work in education. But I learned to survive and thrive and you can too. Teach yourself a lesson and start thinking like an entrepreneur. Read more here
CHECK OUT THE EDUCATOR ENTREPRENEUR – DON’T BRING A WHITEBOARD MAKER TO A KNIFE FIGHT BY GRAEME SMITH
Click the link below to find out more about The Educator Entrepreneur – Don’t Bring a Whiteboard Marker to a Knife Fight