One model does not fit all

 

One model does not fit all

This session by Tamara Sullivan focused on professional development, and used sli.do 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

21C1

 

 

Shaping Innovative Futures

This was the first keynote at the IBAC Conference


Shaping innovative futures

Sohail Inayatullah 
http://www.meta-future.org

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. 
But
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)

Climate
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.

Bereft of big ideas?

From the ‘pretty much everyone agrees that National Curriculum is a good idea’ lovefest on the 7l30 Report last night I thought I must be the only living person in NY who still has big question marks about the ideas. So, I was pleased to see this piece in the AGE today from Libby Tudball, which summarised some of the problems I  have with it.

It begins:

Australia needs an innovative, world-class approach to school curriculum, but it is clear from the ”back to basics” national curriculum draft that we have a long way to go yet. While maths, science, history and English – the disciplines the draft gives priority to – are all critically important, they do not cover many areas of significance for 21st-century learners.
Curriculum must pay attention to questions and issues that confront the world today, such as climate change, economic issues, refugees, social dislocation among young people, and the challenges of a technology-driven world.
Yes, we want students who are knowledgeable in maths, science, history and English, but we must recognise that some of the most important knowledge will not fall neatly into these disciplines – politics, multiculturalism, water shortages, increasing violence and under-age drinking are vital concerns in their lives.
Students need to develop the knowledge and skills to be active and informed citizens who know how to think critically, and how to respond to contemporary issues; a narrowly focused curriculum will not do this.
That is why teachers nationwide are expressing strong concerns about what is being launched as the new ”world-class Australian national curriculum”.

Australia needs an innovative, world-class approach to school curriculum, but it is clear from the ”back to basics” national curriculum draft that we have a long way to go yet. While maths, science, history and English – the disciplines the draft gives priority to – are all critically important, they do not cover many areas of significance for 21st-century learners.
Curriculum must pay attention to questions and issues that confront the world today, such as climate change, economic issues, refugees, social dislocation among young people, and the challenges of a technology-driven world.
Yes, we want students who are knowledgeable in maths, science, history and English, but we must recognise that some of the most important knowledge will not fall neatly into these disciplines – politics, multiculturalism, water shortages, increasing violence and under-age drinking are vital concerns in their lives.
Students need to develop the knowledge and skills to be active and informed citizens who know how to think critically, and how to respond to contemporary issues; a narrowly focused curriculum will not do this.
That is why teachers nationwide are expressing strong concerns about what is being launched as the new ”world-class Australian national curriculum”.

Curriculum 21

Got back to work this week and found this book from Heidi Hayes Jacobs in the pigeon hole, courtesy of the good people at ASCD.  It’s subtitled ‘Essential education for a changing world’ and I’m looking forward to getting into it. I suspect it will have a lot to say about the notions of 21st Century curriculum and 21st Century skills that I’ve reflected on here before. Heidi Hayes Jacobs is best known to me for her work in curriculum mapping and has presented regularly in Australia.

There’s also a nice little 10 minute video of her introducing the book on the page where you can order it here.

21st Century Learning

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The 21st Century used to be a synonym for the utopian future; but now it’s well and truly here. I used to love to read science-fiction stories about what the future would be like. But it arrives whether you’re prepared or not. And are our students prepared?

I spent some time today preparing for a presentation for staff on ‘student voice’, with a bit of an emphasis on using wikis to create collaborative learning projects going.

So, I thought I’d grab a list of 21st Century Skills to launch into that discussion. Not so easy!  There’s lots of lists around, but I found it hard to find anything that looked quite right.

I began by searching this very blog and fund a couple of good starts. Will Richardson’s list of learning axioms from EduCon, that I blogged about in December last year, is good, but more about the schools than the students. It says:

1) Our schools must be inquiry-driven, thoughtful and empowering for all members

2) Our schools must be about co-creating — together with our students — the 21st Century Citizen

3) Technology must serve pedagogy, not the other way around.

4) Technology must enable students to research, create, communicate and collaborate

5) Learning can — and must — be networked.

Then I found Greg Whitby’s keynote comments from the IB Conference I attended in April. He said it was about learning for this century and talked of the recent OECD work which described learning having four components:


  • Customised: 1-1 learning
  • Knowledge sources: Cloud, anywhere, anytime learning
  • Collaboration: between teachers and students, students and students, and teachers and teachers (Called in the literature as ‘de-privatising practice‘) Learning is a ‘mediated practice’
  • Assessment: here, he emphasised ‘assessment for learning’.

Four components, but not the skills I was after. I wanted things like ‘collaboration’, ‘problem solving’ and ‘creativity’.

So, I headed over to the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Ausralians (Direct link to PDF) which is the latest combined offering from Australian government, just out this year and replacing the Adelaide Declaration of 1999. I was disappointed.  The premable sounds like it was written by a committee:

In the 21st century Australia’s capacity to provide a high quality of life for all will depend on the ability to compete in the global economy on knowledge and innovation. Education equips young people with the knowledge, understanding, skills and values to take advantage of opportunity and to face the challenges of this era with confi dence. Schools play a vital role in promoting the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, moral, spiritual and aesthetic development and wellbeing of young Australians, and in ensuring the nation’s ongoing economic prosperity and social cohesion. Schools share this responsibility with students, parents, carers, families, the community, business and other education and training providers. In recognition of this collective responsibility, this declaration, in contrast to earlier declarations on schooling, has a broader frame and sets out educational goals for young Australians.
In the 1989 Hobart Declaration and the 1999 Adelaide Declaration, the State, Territory and Commonwealth Education Ministers committed to working together to ensure high-quality schooling for all young Australians. The Melbourne Declaration acknowledges major changes in the world that are placing new demands on Australian education:
– Global integration and international mobility have increased rapidly in the past decade. As a consequence, new and exciting opportunities for Australians are emerging. This heightens the need to nurture an appreciation of and respect for social, cultural and religious diversity, and a sense of global citizenship. – India, China and other Asian nations are growing and their infl uence on the world is increasing. Australians need to become ‘Asia literate’, engaging and building strong relationships with Asia.
– Globalisation and technological change are placing greater demands on education and skill development in Australia and the nature of jobs available to young Australians is changing faster than ever. Skilled jobs now dominate jobs growth and people with university or vocational education and training qualifi cations fare much better in the employment market than early school leavers. To maximise their opportunities for healthy, productive and rewarding futures, Australia’s young people must be encouraged not only to complete secondary education, but also to proceed into further training or education.
– Complex environmental, social and economic pressures such as climate change that extend beyond national borders pose unprecedented challenges, requiring countries to work together in new ways. To meet these challenges, Australians must be able to engage with scientifi c concepts and principles, and approach problem-solving in new and creative ways.
– Rapid and continuing advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) are changing the ways people share, use, develop and process information and technology. In this digital age, young people need to be highly skilled in the use of ICT. While schools already employ these technologies in learning, there is a need to increase their effectiveness signifi cantly over the next decade.
Australia has developed a highquality, world-class schooling system, which performs strongly against other countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In international benchmarking of educational outcomes for 15-year-olds in the 2006 OECD Programme for International Student Assessment, Australia ranked among the top 10 countries across all three education domains assessed. Over the next decade Australia should aspire to improve outcomes for all young Australians to become second to none amongst the world’s best school systems.
In striving for both equity and excellence, there are several areas in which Australian school education needs to make signifi cant improvement. First, Australia has failed to improve educational outcomes for many Indigenous Australians and addressing this issue must be a key priority over the next decade. Second, by comparison with the world’s highest performing school systems, Australian students from low socioeconomic backgrounds are under-represented among high achievers and overrepresented among low achievers. Third, there is room for improvement in Australia’s rate of Year 12 completion or equivalent.
Literacy and numeracy and knowledge of key disciplines remain the cornerstone of schooling for young Australians. Schooling should also support the development of skills in areas such as social interaction, crossdisciplinary thinking and the use of digital media, which are essential in all 21st century occupations. As well as knowledge and skills, a school’s legacy to young people should include national values of democracy, equity and justice, and personal values and attributes such as honesty, resilience and respect for others.
As signatories to the Melbourne Declaration, Australian Education Ministers seek to achieve the highest possible level of collaboration with the government, Catholic and independent school sectors and across and between all levels of government. Australian Education Ministers also seek to achieve new levels of engagement with all stakeholders in the education of young Australians.

In the 21st century Australia’s capacity to provide a high quality of life for all will depend on the ability to compete in the global economy on knowledge and innovation. Education equips young people with the knowledge, understanding, skills and values to take advantage of opportunity and to face the challenges of this era with confi dence. Schools play a vital role in promoting the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, moral, spiritual and aesthetic development and wellbeing of young Australians, and in ensuring the nation’s ongoing economic prosperity and social cohesion. Schools share this responsibility with students, parents, carers, families, the community, business and other education and training providers. In recognition of this collective responsibility, this declaration, in contrast to earlier declarations on schooling, has a broader frame and sets out educational goals for young Australians…

But Goal 2 comes closer, and I’v put in bold the things that resonated here for me:

Goal 2:

All young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens

– develop their capacity to learn and play an active role in their own learning

– have the essential skills in literacy and numeracy and are creative and productive users of technology, especially ICT, as a foundation for success in all learning areas

– are able to think deeply and logically, and obtain and evaluate evidence in a disciplined way as the result of studying fundamental disciplines

– are creative, innovative and resourceful, and are able to solve problems in ways that draw upon a range of learning areas and disciplines

– are able to plan activities independently, collaborate, work in teams and communicate ideas

– are able to make sense of their world and think about how things have become the way they are – are on a pathway towards continued success in further education, training or employment, and acquire the skills to make informed learning and employment decisions throughout their lives

– are motivated to reach their full potential

That’s closer, and I found a PDF from the Metiri Group in the USA in assoication with the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory which was even mor focused. It lists them in four areas: Digital Age Literacy (today’s basics), Inventive Thinking (intellectual capital), Interactive Communication (social and personal skills) and Quality State-of-the-Art Results. Here’s a summary:

Digital Age Literacy (today’s basics)

  • Basic, Scientific, and Technological Literacies
  • Visual and Information Literacy
  • Cultural Literacy and Global Awareness

Inventive Thinking (intellectual capital)

  • Adaptability/Managing Complexity and Self-Direction
  • Curiosity, Creativity and Risk-taking
  • Higher Order Thinking and Sound Reasoning

Interactive Communication (social and personal skills)

  • Teaming and Collaboration
  • Personal and Social Responsibility
  • Interactive Communication

Quality State-of-the-Art Results

  • Prioritizing, Planning, and Managing for Results
  • Effective Use of Real-World Tools
  • High Quality Results with Real-World Application

Then I found this blog post that listed seven key skills from Tony Wagner. He write:

Wagner presented a list of seven “survival skills” that students need to succeed in today’s information-age world, taken from his book The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need–And What We Can do About It. It’s a school’s job to make sure students have these skills before graduating, he said:

1. Problem-solving and critical thinking;

2. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence;

3. Agility and adaptability;

4. Initiative and entrepreneurship;

5. Effective written and oral communication;

6. Accessing and analyzing information; and

7. Curiosity and imagination.

Then, a new list supported by the NCSS lists these core skills:

* Creativity and innovation
* Critical thinking and problem solving
* Communication
* Collaboration
* Information literacy
* Media literacy
* ICT literacy
* Flexibility and adaptability
* Initiative and self-direction
* Social and cross-cultural skills
* Productivity and accountability
* Leadership and responsibility

So, I’m finally getting closer to the kind of list I was after, and seeing lots of commonality emerging. On the Edutopia site article about project based learning New Skills for a New Century, they state:

“Today’s graduates need to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, and effective communicators who are proficient in both core subjects and new, twenty-first-century content and skills,” according to “Results that Matter: 21st Century Skills and High School Reform,” a report issued in March by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

These include learning and thinking skills, information- and communications-technology literacy skills, and life skills.

Students of today enter an increasingly globalized world in which technology plays a vital role. They must be good communicators, as well as great collaborators. The new work environment requires responsibility and self-management, as well as interpersonal and project-management skills that demand teamwork and leadership.

The final example I found on a wiki called Golden Fleece wiki, which has quite a few more examples and opens up with this, which brings us right back  Will Richardson again:

Our kids’ futures will require them to be:

  • Networked–They’ll need an “outboard brain.”
  • More collaborative–They are going to need to work closely with people to co-create information.
  • More globally aware–Those collaborators may be anywhere in the world.
  • Less dependent on paper–Right now, we are still paper training our kids.
  • More active–In just about every sense of the word. Physically. Socially. Politically.
  • Fluent in creating and consuming hypertext–Basic reading and writing skills will not suffice.
  • More connected–To their communities, to their environments, to the world.
  • Editors of information–Something we should have been teaching them all along but is even more important now.

Am I any closer to that definitive list I wante to plonk on a PowerPoint slide?  No. But I did begin to see across curriculum contexts and regions, including our very own Melbourne Declaration that I opened so mockingly about, an emerging consensus about the directions we should all be taking in the interests of the young people in our schools.