Give a S***!

I am in the habit of riding my bike along the local river trail as regularly as I can. It’s a shared trail that is used by other cyclists, walkers, runners and those walking their dogs – everyone appreciating the opportunity this great community asset provides. Cycling is one of those activities that provides me with thinking time. This morning my thoughts were on the many dogs I pass on this trail each time I ride it, the different types there are, and the different owners I observe. This morning I was reflecting on the inevitability of these animals taking … Continue reading Give a S***!

Designing an effective experimental PLD approach

Over the past few months I’ve spoken with a number of educational leaders who are looking at how they can best implement some of the changes they believe should be happening in their schools as a result of COVID-19 and the introduction of hybrid learning approaches. The start point for such efforts must be on working with staff to include them fully in the process and to ensure they have the appropriate level of support and access to professional learning and development to enable them to participate. Building, sustaining and leveraging the capability of staff should be high priority for … Continue reading Designing an effective experimental PLD approach

Building the capacity for change

“When a wise man points at the moon the foolish man examines the finger.” Confucius It’s becoming cliched now to say that we’re living in times of unprecedented change – but it’s true. Some of the most difficult changes to understand and adjust to are the ones that are unexpected and out of our control – a recession, a global pandemic or a major disaster, for example.  Change of this nature may force us into new roles and new ways of It may challenge us to give up established and valued ways of functioning. Many of us find our sense of identity … Continue reading Building the capacity for change

Thinking long

“Successful long term planning is vital if society is going to survive and flourish, rather than collapse”. Jared Diamond; Collapse (p.523) Over the summer break I sat with a close friend having coffee and reflecting on more than five decades of knowing each other. As we sat in conversation, we reflected a lot on the extent to which our modern society has become focused on the short term, and not the long game. It’s very much about ‘me’ and less about ‘we’ and of instant, personal gratification over sacrifice for longer-term, communal benefits. Decades of being told we can do … Continue reading Thinking long

My latest paper now available…

Over the past ten days I’ve been sharing a summary version of each section in my latest publication titled “Codifying Teacher Practice: preparing for the shifts in pedagogical practice in hybrid learning”. I’ve had some really encouraging responses from educators across NZ, with over 100 requesting an advance copy of the paper. I have now made the full paper available as a download from the FutureMakers site from the Thought Pieces tab – or simply by clicking this link to Codifying Teacher Practice. As a result of the interest shown I’m exploring establishing a Resilient Schools Network and inviting educators … Continue reading My latest paper now available…


“If an assessment asks students to evaluate and create, but our instruction asks only that they remember and comprehend, then we’ve taken a wrong direction.” Mike Fisher Although appearing last on this list, there is an argument for placing assessment at the front end of our learning design of a hybrid approach. To enable students to take charge of their learning, they need to be deliberately and systematically taught how to be assessment capable and active in their learning[1].  The strategy here is to use criteria and progressions frameworks to provide transparency in the learning process and thus develop assessment-capable … Continue reading Assessment

Feedback and Communication

Decades of education research support the idea that by teaching less and providing more feedback we can produce greater learning. Grant Wiggins Educators have become increasingly conscious of the importance of feedback and communication in the teaching and learning process. This becomes even more important in a hybrid environment where learners/ākonga  and teachers may be physically separated for part of the experience. During the lockdown period many students reporting feeling isolated or left to deal with things on their own as a result of a lack of communication or feedback. Providing feedback means giving students an explanation of what they … Continue reading Feedback and Communication

Leveraging Digital

“If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.” R. Buckminster Fuller, Author & Inventor Speaking of the lessons learned from lockdown in their paper titled Activate Deep Learning and Lift from Loss, Quinn, Gardner, Drummy and Fullan, (2021) state: Our growth in digital competencies has significantly increased our ability to connect and communicate. Consider how parents have become more engaged at this time. Middle and secondary students have had improved email access to teacher support. … Continue reading Leveraging Digital


“Children are the priority. Change is the reality. Collaboration is the strategy.” Judith Billings, Washington State Superintendent. In the hybrid learning environment the walls of the classroom become far more permeable. The traditional boundaries between school and community are increasingly blurred and the reality that each learner is surrounded by a number of people who can and do support their learning is more evident. Many educators have spent a life-time working alone and independently in their classrooms. In the hybrid world this must change. Teaching must become a more collaborative activity, involving teaching teams and partnerships with parents/whānau and other … Continue reading Partnerships