Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Learner Centred Leadership

After a fine ukulele rendition of Folsom Prison Blues and a brief introduction from me explaining how each of the 3 DP's areas of leadership fitted within our curriculum structure, Claire, Lea and Di presented their understanding and past experiences that have influenced their understandings of their areas of Leadership.

Enabling Learning With Claire
Key points from Claire were the importance of the learner being at the centre of all structures and processes that enable learning, including teaching as inquiry and all professional learning activities, the idea of accountability by publishing plans, and when talking about or planning for e-learning that Key Competencies and effective pedagogy comes up front before the talk about technology. Her message was that professional learning must become embedded in practice. She also emphasised that while having an inquiry mindset is vital and valuable we will not get transformation unless we plan for explicit action.

Managing Learning Relationships With Lea

 Lea told her personal story as she moved, while leading at Opotiki College, from a clear understanding of relationship-based behaviour management as a result of restorative practice through to a realisation of the importance of relationship-based pedagogy as a result of Te Kotahitanga and school-based research to help in the quest of how school can be better for every single learner

Her key message was one of being warm AND demanding and that the reason for strong and positive relationships is not to just be warm and friendly but is to improve student learning. Her story of leading the implementation of 100 minute learning periods and, more importantly, Learning Advisories and experiencing them herself had shaped her thinking for our school. Her concluding comment was that if there was one thing an existing, traditional school could and should do is adopt the small group Learning Advisory model.

Learning By Design With Di
Di's story of her personal experiences in implementing a variety of collaborative programmes, especially at Waitakere, which allowed for integrated and authentic learning programmes has instilled a higher level of confidence and optimism in the troops/flock/tribe/herd that this very difficult piece of the puzzle can be fitted in.

One of the most powerful statements was her saying that she realised that Gifted and Talented Programmes were merely ways of differentiating learning. My conclusion is that if we differentiate for all learners and truly personalise then there will be little need for such programmes. We should be meeting the needs of all learners, all day, every day, not just when they are in programme.

We're now half way through the term. What a great ride! Bring on the second half.

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