One model does not fit all


One model does not fit all

This session by Tamara Sullivan focused on professional development, and used to gather delegate feedback. One thing I’ve been focusing on is feedback tools and this was a new one to me.

Sullivan used the AITSL learning design model to frame professional learning at her school. They ask ‘what is the purpose of this PD, and is that clear to participants?’ She took us through the process her school had gone through in trying to instil 21C skills across the curriculum.

This bit became a bit specific to her school and her problem, but she was able to unpack it and think about the bigger principles, though those threads could have been made more explicit.

Some of the core principles and practice she talked about were:

  • Clear purpose, clear purpose to participants
  • Collaborative
  • The tools, features, design, accessibility
  • Taking a ‘flipped classroom’ approach to PD in lieu of physical attendance after school (highly collaborative, self-directed, respecting teachers as learners, aligned to priorities, sustainable, modelled 21C pedagogies and technologies.
  • Shared ownership of the change (6 leaders took a course and became mentors/coaches)
  • These coaches then made the ‘flipped’ modules, using Office Mix.
  • Teachers were then asked to do something practical with the learning – Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 responses.
  • One purpose was to MODEL their tools. As an Office 365 school they used Office Mix, Yammer, Mosaic and SharePoint. Yammer was important, she argued, in encouraging participation.
  • This learning was followed up with a survey (using Excel?) and a three hour whole staff workshop to look at practice: looking at action plans and auditing existing tasks and assessment.
  • Other factors: a Learning Innovations Committee (about 30 staff)

I liked this session. I had some things to take back to school. I was impressed with the strategic thinking involved and the respect for teachers as learners.

Session details

One model does not fit all – Professional development for the 21st century teacher

Educators around the world are undertaking school wide reforms to ensure that they are preparing students to live and work successfully in the 21st century and beyond. However, teacher professional development is not always designed or delivered to meet the needs of the 21st century teacher. So how can we restructure professional learning to ensure that all teachers are well equipped to cater for the needs of students in today’s environment? This presentation will explore practical strategies to transform professional development at a school level to develop the competencies of lifelong learning for both students and educators.

Tamara Sullivan, Dean of E-Learning, Ormiston College



Fast and slow learners

Fast and slow learning at Amesbury

Some great principles from Amesbury School in NZ

  • Fast and slow learning (15 minutes)
  • Self-testing (Kahootz)
  • Status indicators: Red cup means ‘I’m in flow’ (Do not disturb) even in open space
  • Collaborative and solitude
  • Tents. Yes, tents.
  • One minute meditation (YouTube)
  • Online collaboration

Session Details

Paradoxical Education: Meeting the needs of our 21st century learners

As a new school which opened in 2012, Amesbury’s vision is for every child to continually fulfil his/her potential. This means every child gaining knowledge, skills and attributes; becoming “insiders” in the existing social orders – especially the community of learners; and, every student developing as an empowered and joyful human being. Lesley will share the pedagogical approaches that underpin what they do, and the practices that enable in eduation: “weak” and “strong”, ”risky” and “risk-free”, “predictable” and “unpredictable” – paradoxical education that meets the needs of 21st century learners.

Dr Lesley Murrihy, Principal, Amesbury School, Wellington (NZ)



The 8 ‘Must Have’ Skills for 21C Students

My school has been looking closely again at various models for 21C learning, both in terms of student learning but also what it means for 21C teaching practice. I’ve been revising my old blog post about this stuff and looking at new things.

And I liked the simplicity of this model. I like that it specifically mentions global citizenship. I’m not that keen that it assumes that this stuff ‘beyond’ the 3Rs. I think that maybe those basic skills still need to be referenced specifically. I found this HERE




Shaping Innovative Futures

This was the first keynote at the IBAC Conference

Shaping innovative futures

Sohail Inayatullah

This session opened with the affirming, ‘If you try to predict the future you get it wrong; the answer is that you need to promote resiliency and adaptability.

‘The future is an asset, a resource and a narrative to be used with intelligence and wisdom’ See things from different perspectives.

He showed how change actually happened, including examples:

The change of doctors from recommending ‘Camels’ to recommending complementary medicine and meditation.
The growth of geo-medicine
Young single women earn 8% more than their male peers in large American cities.
Asia-Pacific leads the world in female participation in leadership.

In a message that would recur later, in other presentations: How we imagine the future is critical, to that future.

Stop “othering”, nations are constructs, what IB learning does is open that thinking up. 
Old behaviours dies hard – the used future (the old future that others have already and challenge the notion of who’s in charge. He argued for a move from reactive to proactive – towards prevention 
“If you have too much history, you often can’t innovate “
European universities blesses and burdened by 1000 years of history 

Why do so many projects fail? – “culture eats strategy for breakfast”

One key message: we need a compelling narrative – new metaphors to overturn the weight of the factory model on the imagination of the school of the future 

His Waves of change 

(I heard threads from Al Gore’s new book in some of these)

Peer to peer – from Britannica to Wikipedia (flatter)
Artificial intelligence leaving the web (everything is hyperlinked)
Transparent and flexible brain (meditation)
Smart, green cities (emotional maps)
Demographic shift
Rise of Chindia
Long GFC

It was a  nice way to start the conference; playing with alternate futures.

Collage from Malaysian Tourist Commission promotion.

Curriculum 21

If there was one session from ASCD that I’d like to take back to my own school it was probably Heidi Hayes Jacob’s Curriculum 21, another new book in the ASCD store.

The first part of the presentation was too similar to the previous one on mapping but then it branched out into the need for re-creating school curriculum. Her main them: ‘no excuses’. This is happening now and teachers should get on board. She argued that joining a professional learning network like a Ning should be essential for every teacher.  I liked her insistence around starting something new, and her metaphor around computer software which included 2 tiers of change:

Short term upgrades (deliberate replacement of at least one piece of content, assessment or skill with a contemporary one)

Long Term Versioning: new versions of the program structures in our schools. (versioning the four key school structures: scheduling, student grouping patterns, teacher configurations, space (virtual and physical-replace old ways of working)

I’ve had the book on my desk for a while and looked into it once or twice, but now I’m motivated to read it and act on it.  Jacobs pointed out a site called Langwitches (added now to my Google Reader subscriptions) which visualises some key messages from the text. Two examples are below. I’ll be showing these to Heads of Department when I get back to school.