Thursday, July 9, 2009

Conference Day 2

Last night we headed off to Maggie's again for a feed of spring rolls, fried rice, sweet and sour chicken, brocolli in oyster sauce and chilli prawns with a Tiger and Tsinghao beer.

The conference today was very high quality. The opening address was by Andy Hargreaves who mapped out his view of the Fourth Way that education ans schooling was entering. This requires principals to have an impossible dream for their school, to aactively seek public engagement, to involve students as partners in change and to deliver mindful learning and teaching. He outlined the three principles of professionalism of high quality teachers, powerful professionalism and lively learning communities. His 4 catalysts of coherence are sustainable leadership, schools-wide networks, responsibility before accountability and the development of targets together.

The next speaker was Michael Furdyk who has just turned 27. His address was inspirational who is a co-founder of which is a youth generated website which allows young people to actively contribute to changing the world. His goal is to make caring cool. His website and opportunities to contribute and design could easily be the basis for a full school curriculum. His web site and links to and teachers site will be compulsory visiting for those of us who intend to help redesign the Opotiki College curriculum.

I then attended a workshop entitled The Naked Principal which was run by an Irishman, Sean Cottrell, which looked at a model for a principal to gain feedback on his role from teachers, students and parents.

The next presentation was by Jane Bluestein on managing naughty kids. I did not hve high expectations of this presentation, but it was outstanding. In one hour she outlined 10 simple strategies which allow teachers to turn every interaction with difficult students in to a win-win situation, though it does require teachers to make all of the changes. Her view is that almost all poorly behaved students are 'non-traditional' learners that teachers need to teach differently. She aims to have teachers to work successfully with these students which means no punishing, no banishing, no failing and no not changing.

Her 10 steps briefly (all of which require much further investigation on her website) are:
1.Create win-win power dynamics
2.Offer choices within limits
3.Focus on positive consequences
4.Use boundaries instead of rules and punishments
5.Be consistent about follow-through
6.Focus on what they're doing right
7.Use recognition in place of praise or conditional approval
8.Increase success for all students
9.Eliminate double standards
10.Take care of yourself

I then wandered into a workshop on the NSW laptops in schools programme by mistake and got stuck there, so I had a bit of a rest.


Bruce said...

Hi Maurie.

Sounds lke your conference is both fun and educational.If you get a chance give my regards to Jane Bluestein.We communicate now and then .She did some work in Taupo years ago. Will send you an article I wrote for the NZPPF Magazine - based in Hargreaves's article.

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