As I synthesise some of my thinking (and hyper-linking) from the last three days of the Learning@School09 conference the three keynotes from Andy Hargreaves, Pam Hook and Wes Fryer have provided both an anchor point and many springboards for my learning.
If our students “are messages we send into the future”, how do we best prepare them to succeed in a future that is increasingly unknown? Within the context of his book written with Dennis Shirley, The Fourth Way, Andy focused on the importance of investing in people and community to better develop more creative and inventive individuals, better prepared for the changing global economy. Stories from both industry (Nokia) and education (Tower Hamlets) demonstrated the improved outcomes and possibilities that can be achieved as a result of communities “connecting to the best they have been” while investing in people, through building stronger schools with increased community engagement and support for each other.
A focus on collective responsibility and communities setting high standards for achievement, in contrast to individual accountability, has proven to have a greater impact on student learning. These examples reflect the concept of Ako in Ka Hikitia and also Pam’s questioning of where and how learning takes place… “learning at school verses learning everywhere”. ICT enables students to “bypass teachers altogether” and we were reminded again about the evidence that class sizes and ICTs alone have little impact on student achievement. What makes the difference is quality teaching – what happens when we change our practice based on the evidence? ...and how can we utilise the technology and online environments to support learners more effectively as demonstrated by Wes in the final keynote? (see conference blog).
As a result of the conference keynotes (and the many conversations with others attendees in between) my thinking has predominantly been anchored by the importance of the collective responsibility for student learning. Amongst the many, many springboards the following stand out for further exploration and thinking:
Read - Visable Learning (Hattie) and The Fourth Way (Hargreaves and Shirley)
If you have access to EBSCO a preview by the authors can be downloaded from Educational Leadership, Oct 2008, Vol. 66 Issue 2, p56-61
Explore - Hooked-on-Thinking Pam and Julie’s wiki
Participate – The e-Learning Research Network online discussion Hattie and ICT Implications
Stumbled on the following video while writing this post. How is this a metaphor for the history of education?