Equity – a collective effort required

Equity is a hot topic among many involved in researching and reflecting on what we have learned from the COVID pandemic, and the forced lockdown of schools. Many in our system have seen, possibly for the first time, the full extent of inequity experienced by many learners (and their whānau/family) – much of which is ‘hidden’ from view in our relatively ‘homogenised’ school settings. Despite this, in parts of the world where the immediate threat and impact of the pandemic appears to be under control, and the opportunity to return to school is possible, we’re hearing many in rather relieved … Continue reading Equity – a collective effort required

Instruction vs learning

Earlier in my career as an educator I trained in the discipline of instructional design as I began working in distance education. Back then this was thought of as the process of creating learning experiences and materials in a manner that results in the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. It involved a systematic process of assessing needs, designing a learning sequence, developing materials to support that and evaluating their effectiveness as the learner engages with them. I found this discipline fascinating as it required me to apply rigour everything I did at every step in my planning to work with … Continue reading Instruction vs learning

Relishing relational leadership

Relational leadership is not another style of leadership rather a ‘way of being’ in leadership David Giles In my previous post I focused on a negative aspect of what is being demonstrated in the place of leadership in some of our schools and businesses, so in this post I want to put forward what I see as the positive alternative. This focuses on the nature of leadership – the sort of leadership that inspires, encourages and takes an organisation forward – with the whole team behind it. A lot has been written about leadership in recent decades – and I’ve … Continue reading Relishing relational leadership

The misery of managerialism

“Managerialism, involves belief in the value of professional managers and of the concepts and methods they use. Contemporary writers on management such as Thomas Diefenbach associate managerialism with hierarchy.” Wikipedia A common tension that exists in almost every organisation is how to balance the tension between the push for innovation and the need to keep things stable and on course. It is the classic ‘leadership vs management’ debate, often characterised by the saying that ‘managers do things right, while leaders do the right things.’ This applies to schools as much as it does in any business setting. We must avoid any binary thinking … Continue reading The misery of managerialism

Sensible screen use

Screens have been a regular part of the lives of people in many parts of the world since the introduction of television in the 1950s (or 1960s in NZ), and then with computers soon after. The release of the iPhone in 2007 saw a significant increase in the way we access information via a screen now small enough to fit in our pockets. Schools have been among the early adopters of this technology, with the benefits such devices afforded in classrooms being recognised in terms of ease of access to information as well as to an ever increasing range of … Continue reading Sensible screen use

You, us, we…

Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive The well known whakatauki above encapsulates the notion that while working in isolation might result in survival, working together can take people beyond survival and onto prosperity. As inspirational as this notion is, it’s not something I see manifest in much of how we operate in the education system at present. Yes, at a local level we can celebrate instances of this – but at a system level we remain focused on the silos we inhabit and … Continue reading You, us, we…

Designing Equitable Learning #2

“We need to be very clear that there cannot be learner-centred education without equity at the forefront” Carlos Moreno @Carlos_Moreno06 With equity becoming increasingly the focus of education systems around the world, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 experience, the contributions to the recent Fielding International webinar series have been a ‘breath of fresh air’, providing a sense of ‘what’s possible’ when we work together to design learning experiences and environments that accommodate the diversity represented in our student groups. It is appropriate timing given the news in this morning’s paper here in NZ titled One-size-fits-all’ teaching approach doesn’t … Continue reading Designing Equitable Learning #2

From accessibility to possibility…

We challenge all of Aotearoa to reimagine our world and embrace the opportunities accessibility presents. Minnie Baragwanath – https://www.belab.co.nz/about-us Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the graduation ceremony of the 2020 cohort from the Be.Leadership programme, held at AUT in Auckland. This programme is an initiative of the Be.Lab, the brainchild of Minnie Baragwanath that began a decade ago with the ambition to see New Zealand become the most accessible nation in the world. Since then the Be.Lab team has worked with leading organisations and citizens to enable greater accessibility for all, whilst also redefining the way accessibility … Continue reading From accessibility to possibility…

Being pissed off…

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence—it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” Peter Drucker “So how DO we get change?” These were the first words expressed to me by a friend and colleague when we met for coffee recently. I have known and worked with him for some years now and we’d met to discuss a project we’ve both been working on. It’s a project with a transformative vision really, focusing on some of the profoundly difficult issues that are confronting us in education at the moment, and seeking to establish a way of connecting … Continue reading Being pissed off…

Designing Equitable Learning

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”  Martin Luther King Jnr Monday 18 January was Martin Luther King day in the US, and to coincide with that, Fielding International held the first webinar in a series titled “Equity Series: Inspiring Conversations“ This webinar was titled “Designing equitable learning” in which participants discussed the theme of Change is coming: How can we prepare for our new vision of educational equity?. I had the privilege of participating and have added the recording of … Continue reading Designing Equitable Learning