MELT, for a fluid sense of purpose in education?

The open-access Springer book, the Models of Engaged Learning and Teaching: Connecting Sophisticated Thinking from Early Childhood to PhD, spans not only educational sectors but learning paradigms and subjects/disciplines.

The book uses the seven questions of MELT as its seven chapters’ titles.

Chapter 1 ‘What is our purpose?’ concludes (p25):

The billion human brains that will be born between 2023 and 2030 need something different from the learning and education that has occurred so far across 100,000 years of human history. That billion will inherit the leadership of the earth somewhere from 2040, with all of the accumulated problems caused by humanity until that time. Those billion need diverse learning environments that resonate with their complex learning capacities, that connect to multiple educator perspectives and theories, and that enable them to address local and global issues in ways that do not cause more problems than they solve.

But do you think the broad adaptation and use of the MELT can help forge those connections and instill a greater sense of purpose for education in the coming years? Have your say by leaving a comment below.

Author: johnwillison

Senior Lecturer, School of Education, University of Adelaide. Director, Bachelor of Teaching (Middle) Acting Associate Head of Research

2 thoughts on “MELT, for a fluid sense of purpose in education?”

  1. This book, together with the associated materials collected under the MELT website provides a fabulous ‘one stop shop’ for busy educational professionals. The committed but inevitably time-poor educator wanting to revamp aspects of a curriculum or refine an assessment rubric will find and benefit from a wealth of relevant discipline specific examples as well as more broadly relevant ideas and information.

    But, even allowing for the meticulous curation which is so apparent, my sense is that a great many of these potential beneficiaries will still need some ‘hand-holding’ if they are to find their way, and identify the handful of exemplars, ideas and prompts that will best meet their needs. Exactly how best to achieve such ‘hand-holding’ is unclear to me, and will no doubt vary from time to time, and across different educational settings.

    Who might be best placed to take on such a role? Is it just a colleague you bump into one day in the staff room (seems a bit ‘hit and miss’) ? Does it imply rolling out staff development activities, perhaps via a professional body or organisation (seems a bit formal) ? How to make progress on this front? Who has insights to offer based on experience?

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    1. Thanks for the thought provoking post Chris. The possibilities and limitations you mention have their own challenges: ‘Is it just a colleague you bump into one day in the staff room (seems a bit ‘hit and miss’) ? ‘Does it imply rolling out staff development activities, perhaps via a professional body or organisation (seems a bit formal) ?’

      One approach I have been working on since you posted that is focusing on universities who already have experienced users of MELT, and who orchestrate virtual PD on a targeted theme important to the university. For example:

      – University of Calgary initiated and hosted a MELT session 18/2/21 called ‘Research and Experiential Learning’
      https://melteducation.wordpress.com/2021/02/18/university-of-calgary-research-and-experiential-learning/

      -Monash University Malaysia initiated and hosted a MELT session 26/2/21 called ‘Authentic Assessment for skill development and content learning’
      https://melteducation.wordpress.com/2021/02/26/authentic-assessment-for-skill-development-and-content-learning/

      Both events attracted around 100 registrations, were 2 hours long, were organised by the host university and resulted in some great conversations that have the chance to endure long past the event.

      This may be a hybrid between your two more problematic ends of the spectrum, instead providing a range of experienced and inexperienced colleagues (academics, librarians, learning advisors, casual staff other professional staff) a structured program to engage in together, but without formal requirements.

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