Transforming our system

At the Aurora Institute symposium that I spoke at recently I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Matt and Courtney who run a podcast site called Personalised Learning with Matt and Courtney. These guys have curated a wonderful set of podcasts that feature educators from a wide range of backgrounds sharing their thoughts on what we need to be doing to achieve a more personalised approach in our education system. I discussed with Matt and Courtney the reasons why we need a more ‘future focused’ approach in our education system, and what some of the things are that we … Continue reading Transforming our system

Killer Questions

I’ve been reflecting on the interview I did with Susan Patrick at the end of my keynote at the recent iNACOL symposium in Palm Springs – about one question in particular. During the interview Susan referred to the work of Phil McKinney who talks about using “killer questions” to inspire innovation. Susan’s question for me was, “What killer questions do you think should be used to help innovate the U.S. Education System?” Not being that familiar with the US Education system, nor even wanting to pretend I have expertise in that area, I tried to make my response as broad … Continue reading Killer Questions

Time to weigh the pig?

There’s an old saying “weighing the pig doesn’t make it fatter,” which expresses the simple truth that coming up with new, more frequent and elaborate measurements will never take the place of adequate nourishment and husbandry. This metaphor applies in educational settings where, on the one hand, there is a genuine commitment to addressing the learning needs and aspirations of each learner in their local setting, and on the other, the regime of externally mandated tests to standards that are likely to change or be adapted at any time depending on the whim of whoever is in charge at the … Continue reading Time to weigh the pig?

Paddling together

Visiting schools in NW Arkansas this week has been an enlightening experience. The focus of the visits has been on observing the changes in approach that have been made in each school as a result of the tour that the principals and some teachers made of NZ schools towards the end of 2017. It has been exciting to see the things that have been worked on, inspired by what was observed and discussed in NZ, but interpreted to meet the local context and conditions. During the week I have observed some excellent examples of personalised learning, learner agency, teacher collective … Continue reading Paddling together

Is there a space beyond fluency?

I recently attended a meeting of thought leaders to explore some thinking around building professional capability in areas of the curriculum. One of the topics raised was the use of the term ‘fluency’ to refer to someone who is able to demonstrate the skills and knowledge in a particular area to a high level, working with independence, showing respect for others in the process and so on. The analogy was made with music – how in the early stages a person must work hard to acquire the basic skills and knowledge to play a particular instrument, and when they do, … Continue reading Is there a space beyond fluency?