Thursday, 27 August 2015

Schools and Communities Creating a Better Future - 5 global trends

Schools and Communities Creating a Better Future was the title of the recent learning session held here at St Joseph's school. This was facilitated by the inspiring duo - Mary Wootton and Brian Annan (links to early blogs that include them).  
Our staff sang a welcome waiata led by Paul Cartlidge and Leanne Brookes and fifty staff from the North Otago education sector (primary, secondary, RTLB & RTLit)  joined in. Special thanks to the North Otago Primary Principal's Association for sponsoring a scrumptious and well received afternoon tea. Thanks to the St Joe's Year 7 and 8 students who helped to set up for this event.

St Joe's staff lead the waiata to welcome Mary and Brian
This is an the overview of the session:
Infinity - where the learning never ends (learn more by going to the link).
Future focused learning, Learning Maps, Identifying school change priorities, Identifying student change priorities to grow agency,Engaging family/whanau in learning relationships.
Here are a few highlights of the session:

Future focused learning: Brian asked us to discuss this at our tables and to agree on one "big ticket item" of what future focused learning could look like for our learners.
He shared visuals that captured the shift away from adult controlled learning - past focused learning to student-adult negotiated learning.
Why can't 17 year olds assess themselves against a rubric of self-created standards ?
Five global trends : We need schools to shift their thinking around these global trends. Have conversations around these with learners and families and plan how we will shift into the future. We can either be forward thinking and action this ourselves or wait for it to happen. We need to step into the future with confidence. 
1.Schools to ecologies (not just classroom equals school but learning outside the boundaries of the school walls) 
2. Individuals to connected (connectedness to the outside world) 
3.Competition to collaboration (we learn and achieve more by working with each other) 
4.Passive to interactive (this has moved from active to interactive, then you are also collaborative) 
5.Needy to appreciative ( pld in the past was needs analysis, we need to take responsibility and appreciate learners and their families capabilities).

Passive to interactive - We had to place ourselves on a human continuum and share why we were in that place. We need to move towards the right end of the continuum. Brian suggested this would also be an engaging and thought provoking activity to do with students and parents.

 Continuum - passive, active, interactive teaching & learning environments
Brian explores the continuum in relation to future focussed learning and learner agency
Activate, collaborate, innovate : We discussed a visual that was divided into four quadrants with aspirations to be in the top left quadrant "innovate to improve". The greatest challenge is to become interactive around learning with families, community and the environment and change something in terms of industry and business. 
Brian and Mary's Infinity business offers support services for schools to work towards success in all four quadrants.

Infinity Learning Maps : These are a perfect place to start with our students, staff and families. They allow for open and jargon free conversations and can be used as an evaluative tool to learner agency. You can read more about a learning map workshop at the National Networking Hui on this blog.
Mary explained that learning maps offer a child's perception on their learning. Learning maps can be looked at within a certain school context for authentic purposes. They can be used to understand the current learning situation and then revisited again in a few months time. The learner can take a photo of their map and make a two minute video clip explaining it. This gives an informative picture over time around the learners and their thinking around learning. Research around learning maps by Jean Annan has proven that student, teacher, leader and parent practice make huge shifts. 
Brian and Mary are able to offer support in the form of workshops and seminars for teachers, leaders, students and families in the learning map process and in relation to addressing global trends and future focused learning.
Mary shares the power of  learning maps
Brian and Mary very kindly left me with a copy of their presentation to share. If you are interested in it, please email me - 
Are you actioning these 5 global trends? If so, how ?

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