VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 19 POSTED ON: 8/16/2011
Innovative Learning Environments Expo 3 Friday 15 October, 2010 at the Community Arts Centre, Seymour Keynote Presentation transcript What makes a learning environment innovative? Paul Meldrum Speaker 1: I work for Catholic Education in the Diocese of Parramatta. I used to work for Queensland State Education then I came down to work with a colleague back, I didn‟t know him back then and this was back in ‟97, which was Greg Whitby, whose about an inch taller than me, but probably about 50 kilos more too. So, he‟s a big fellow and so I came to work with him and I‟ve moved around a bit and then I‟m back at Parramatta. And so in 2006, we started a journey of innovation and through our Diocese covers about that area, probably about two hours from one end to the other, about 42,000 students and a few teachers … a few thousand teachers, etc. So, it‟s not big compared to State Education Departments and I suppose from our point of view, that‟s good because we‟re aiming for, you know, from a system point of view, how can we drive systemic change? So, just for this morning, I thought I‟d break the presentation up into three areas – the what; the how; and the connections. You know, what have we been doing in our shared understandings, language and expectations? Then our journey and then how does all that fit together in terms of pedagogy and the space. I‟ll make sure I leavethis presentation with someone here, so anything in it you‟re certainly most welcome to. Just five points I often think well, now when I‟m sitting in the audience, what are the things I really need to go away with? And quite often, I‟m sitting in the audience and I‟m still working it out at the end. So, these are the five key points that I think are fairly important and what I‟m trying to talk about this afternoon in the presentation, which is from „I think‟ to „we know‟. So, there‟s a lot of evidence around out there learning and teaching and what makes schools effective and how they can be better. And so we work on the notion that it‟s not about what I think is good, it‟s what does the evidence say? What makes good schools? What‟s high performing, high equity schools? How do we get there? Moving from what we term „managing schools‟ to „instructional leadership‟ and there‟s a big difference there and there‟s a lot of research coming out of New Zealand about that and it‟s moved from transformational leadership to instructional leadership and personalising the learning. Using the data. The assessment of learning; the assessment for learning, the assessment as learning data. How are we using that to inform what we‟re doing tomorrow with our children? Deprivatising teacher practice through an enquiry line and then finally, space aligned with your theory of action. And I would say those first four form our theory of action and I‟ve got a graphic later on to talk about that but the question is, in your school do you have a theory of action? Is it clearly laid out? Not complex but there are complexities around it. So, the first section then from schooling to learning, what does it look like and what‟s our understanding? We had to go on a journey starting back in 2006 and this is where we started and this is what we call our innovation. The innovation is the whole process, not just one part. The innovation starts with trying to understand and learn it. That‟s my little girl, she‟s two, just turning two and she, you know, quite proficiently uses the iPad and always has with technology. The other day, her mother was up at the Apple store actually just fixing … getting something fixed and she was happily playing on the equipment there. She knew how to navigate around. She picks up the phone and her understanding of calling someone is now through video, so she face dials her grandparents here in Queensland. Her grandparents are in their 70s mind you and they have an iPad and an iPod, sorry, an iPod Touch. I‟ve got two other kids, Louis who‟s five and Helen is six. Louis is at Kindy and certainly they have an audience now. Louis came home just the other day … just the other day and said … because he searches using YouTube. He doesn‟t search using Google because he loves playing the Nintendo DS and he looks at … and the Wii, PlayStation … so he looks at the videos about them but we make videos and we … he wants to post them onto YouTube and so does Helen. He came home the other day and said, “I‟ve got 500 hits, 500 views of my Hot Wheels video” and he did that at the beginning of Kindy. Another one is Helen, which is … this is a fantastic site for schools, A Story before Bed. She‟s in Year 1 and again, I wanted to capture data about her reading and I wanted to make it simple and easy. All I have to do is go to a website called A Story before Bed; choose the book, which presents to me graphically and with animations, and it automatically senses that I‟ve got a video camera on the computer and records her reading that book. She then just posts that or emails that to her grandparents or puts it on her Facebook, puts it up there and they can see her reading the book. I‟ve done this with schools and literacy kids in the literacy block and the effect was quite dramatic that the Principal came up to me afterwards and said there was a child there who was in Year 2 who hasn‟t read, won‟t pick up a book. He kept on coming up and wanting to read page after page because he can now have an audience because I said, “We‟re going to put it up on YouTube.” I might just get David to flick over to … which I can‟t do with the remote … just flick over to Sahara … just a second David? and the second tab tied up. That‟s it and just click within that the internet. Yeah? Double click here. I‟m just connected to my phone through internet. So, let‟s see how we go. Just press play and it will load in a couple of seconds and you just play again and this is how it presents and records. I similarly asked her grandparents to do a recording. Speaker 2: “Boomer was just settling down after his morning walk”. Speaker 1: So, she was just lying on the bed. Student 1: “When suddenly someone …” Speaker 1: She was just lying on the bed doing that reading and we‟ll do it again at the end of the year, so I‟ve got a capture of how her reading is progressing and I can talk about that with her teachers. Now, if you just click onto the one on the left David, which is the . No, that‟s okay and that‟s it. That‟s the book store. So, you have a book store and schools can actually subscribe to it. If you just click back to the presentation, thanks. So, certainly those are opportunities and that‟s the kids of today. So, when we talk about learning today, what does learning today look like? Well, we have the old narrative and we all know the old narrative, where school was at the centre. The classroom was at the centre, the teacher at the front and we‟re slowly, but progressively moving past that narrative and we‟re moving into the new narrative where no longer is the school at the centre but the child is at the centre and the child is connected. They now have the opportunity for a real audience, different stage and hence, a different purpose. And so if we compare these two narratives, you look at one being control, one being content and isolate - content driven and isolated to now be ubiquitous learning, where learning occurs in personalised collaborative and learner-focused. And so, when you start looking at learning, that way has a profound impact because then you have to start thinking how is it possible and is that possible within the spaces we have today? Those are the tools that certainly the kids use and our kids use at school and at home and the question there – well what are the skills? Probably at this stage, I mean these would be not unfamiliar to you. Similar conversations have been had for quite some time now, so we know about these skills. The question is how are we catering for them? And what I like about what you‟re doing in Victoria is, and I‟m not sure how much conversation there is around it but certainly E5. E5 is something that we‟re certainly looking at in our Parramatta diocese. E5 provides a very good framework of the verbs of learning and quite often we talk about the verbs versus the nouns. People quite often get confused or get focused on the nouns, the new laptop, the new space - it‟s not about that. What are the verbs and how do those verbs come to life? Then we can talk about the nouns. And this is reiterating about the National Curriculum and again, just the other week at the Australian College of Educational Leaders‟ Conference, which was up in Sydney, with Valerie Hannon also talking about the learning imperative. So, what do kids think about this? Well, this is a Year 10 student from St Marks, one of our secondary schools, and there are a couple of videos I‟m going to show you in a moment. Just to give you the context of it, we have lots of visitors to Parramatta diocese and at this particular school, we had some visitors and these kids gave a presentation to the visitors and led the conversation and afterwards, I said to them, “Well, how did you do that and what went on?” and this is one part of the conversation. As I said, you know, what were the skills you need, you believe employers need these days? There was no coaxing, this was just their response. Student 2: Well, obviously a lot of employers are looking for people to liaise or work with computers but they‟re also looking for people to not only work as individuals, the time has come that people no longer work just as one person. There‟s a lot more teamwork, not only in schools but in the workplace and people who are employing people in the workplace, they want people that can work as a team that can share their skills and that can help other people do the best job that they can and that they‟re not just working for themselves. Speaker 1: Now, that‟s her understanding of what employers require and she‟s pretty spot on. So, how are we facilitating … how are we facilitating the learning to support that, you know, those verbs? Now the next video again will show you how these kids developed their presentation for guests coming … adult guests coming into their school to talk about learning in their school. Student 3: Hello, my name is Julian and I‟m a senior College leader at St Mark‟s Catholic College, and so pretty much to prepare for the presentation this morning it started off at about 5 o‟clock on Facebook and I got a message through Facebook from Natasha to say that we really should get together online to start preparing to create a document through Google Docs to do this. So, from there I already knew that I had some things to prepare with other people. So, it was kind of one of the ways that we can do that, and all of the things that have happened through Facebook, for example, it‟s just like if there‟s trouble understanding, we can talk about what a teacher said in class. That can be [inaudible 00:12:52] Facebook [inaudible 00:12:54]. So we‟re starting to use social networking as an educational tool. So, the next thing that happened was that I got onto Skype, on the Skype with Natasha and she‟s going to talk about that. Student 4: Just to continue on from what Julian was saying, we got onto Skype and I started up a video call to him where I was talking to him about what we were going to write in our project, so we would have to write down, it‟s easier to say it, you know, in a voice conversation – that‟s what we were doing, which made it a lot easier for us but we also use Skype for other purposes also. For example, I had a maths test last week and my friends and I hook up together on Skype and we had a conference call and we were all talking to each other about the questions, what we didn‟t understand, how to work out the questions and then we went on video and so if she didn‟t know how to do something, I hold up my working out to show her. So, she‟d be able to see it and go through it and understand. Okay, so the process went from Facebook and then to Skype … and then it came to Google Docs, and Google Docs is how we associated our schoolwork, collaborating with each other. That really helped us to connect outside of school, like the school day didn‟t just end at 2:30pm. We were aiming to work together as a team outside of school using Google Docs and the best thing about it is it‟s instant, and it‟s in real time. So, we could see what each other was doing and we could help collaborate into one document, which is actually probably the best thing about it. Speaker 1: Now, the question for us then, as educators, is what is an innovative learning environment? That‟s how they learn. Not only that but that school would be the highest user of our learning management system. Not as good as L360 or what I‟ve seen of L360 but certainly one that‟s been around for a long time. They don‟t use it; the kids don‟t use it. The kids learn using other tools. The tools that they use for social collaboration, they also use for learning. So, what‟s that mean for our environment? So, when they come to our schools, do they still have access to those same tools they use for learning that they do outside of the school and the devices, the associated devices? One of the critical things is to understand how they‟re learning and when you listen to what they‟re doing, they‟re very much following an inquiry model or a project management model. It just depends on how you look at it but certainly they‟re following that model. It‟s inquiring, it‟s collaboration. Whether they‟ve got a problem to solve or they‟re trying to understand a discovery or something, they‟re using a collaborative model of learning. The last thing I‟m going to show you, this is one of our Principals. He‟s well into his 70s, but there were problems at his school. He‟s turned the school around. He went on a learning journey. He became an instructional learner or an instructional leader and by instructional leader I mean his focus changed from managing the school to every minute of every day the discussion‟s about learning and he is leading that learning with this teachers. His class is his teachers but he also does teach a class as well. Video: When they come into a secondary school, certainly Year 7 particularly, they‟ve got that enthusiasm about being in a secondary school which starts to wane when they get into Year 9, and they started to realise some were saying, “Well, I‟m not really making it and I‟m not terribly interested in what‟s happening” and it doesn‟t appeal to them at all. Teachers said, “We have to do something.” Video: Before I went to Year 9, in Year 8, towards the end of Year 8, I honestly … I found school very boring and then came Year 9 and then came probably the biggest change in my academic school life. Because in came PBL and suddenly I wasn‟t the same person I was in Year 8 and my grades started … my grades started to improve. I had unbroken absences; I had a sudden … felt switched on and I wanted to do the work and I wanted to come to school every day and I didn‟t want to let my group work down. Video: It wasn‟t just the technology. That wasn‟t important at all. It was the way they were teaching, how they were teaching and what they were being taught that was the relevant part. In other words it was a real curriculum initiative. They wanted the school such that the students could actually work together; they were able to articulate; they were able to, in other words, explain their thinking; they had a solid idea of what the thinking skills are; they had the whole thing … the collaboration was … termed „being able to work with other people‟. And that, of course, would say new technology networks [inaudible 00:18:09]. Some schools like in Birmingham, for example, in the UK, have failed because they only took a little bit of it – they said “We might start with science”, and they found that they failed. Speaker 1: Now Brother Pat‟s been on a journey with his school for half a dozen years at least now but there were problems at that school. It‟s now one of the highest performing schools, secondary schools in our system and it is through his instructional leadership and what he‟s done with his staff, as them being his class, his class of learners and he also works in the spaces too. It was at least two years ago that he began podcasting his lessons and he podcasts them so the kids can review what they‟re doing in their time and then he has that same high expectation of his other staff. What does learning look like today and how is our environment responding to that? So, part of our journey was a lot of discussion about „what is learning?‟ What does learning look like? When we walk into a classroom, what would we see? Well, when we walk anywhere, what do we see the kids doing? Not necessarily in the classroom but anywhere in their learning environment? What is the learning environment? So, we spent a lot of time talking about the „what?‟ We spent two years talking about the „what?‟ And we‟re still talking about the „what?‟. So, what in this section of it … I‟ll just go through that journey with you, which will explore our evidence-based design. We didn‟t just do this from „I think‟ but we went and looked around the world and said “Where are the high performing education systems and what are they doing? What are they doing that is rich? What are they doing that works? What are they doing that doesn‟t work?” So, as I was saying, we‟ve been on a bit of a journey. It started in 2006 in terms of an innovation and 2006 was challenging the norm. We used to, as an educational system develop courses, hundreds of courses and teachers would turn up to them but were they effective? Certainly the research now says, “No, that‟s not an effective strategy.” Does it work? Yes, it has an effect. Is it the best bang for buck with your money? No, it‟s not and it‟s the same with teaching strategies in the classroom. We now know, we‟ve got a pretty good idea what works and what doesn‟t work. So, 2006 and 2007 was challenging the norms and that was hard; that was very hard. 2008 and 2009 was certainly all the conversation around leading learning. So, that was “What‟s the expectation of our school leadership teams in leading learning?” And previously before 2006, we used to just bring the Principals together. We know that‟s not the most effective strategy. Now, when we‟re working with schools, if we‟re working in terms of instructional leadership or in leading learning, we‟re working with the leadership teams of schools and they‟re working with their leadership teams. Building capacity. And then the last one there, 2010 is the level we‟re at now, which is diversity and it‟s good to see there‟s an SMS there certainly about diversity and so we‟ve put in … we‟ve been working on that in terms of diversity is the norm. Not something different but it‟s the norm and it‟s about building the capacities of our teachers to work with all of our kids. So, that journey started, as I said, in 2006 and we certainly worked with … we started with Marco Torres, which you‟re probably aware of or know of. A very good educator to talk, to show us what could learning look like and work with our school. So, we had a book there, which was [Inaudible 22:39], which again was about challenging the norms. What will make a difference? In 2007, with the schools, we developed a strategic intent and we started working with Michael Fulham in 2007 and he worked with our leadership teams. He is coming back in two weeks‟ time and he‟s worked with us just about every year since to work with our new, new emerging leaders. So, we‟ve got a good relationship with those people that are making a difference or have made a difference and certainly his book „Six Secrets of Change‟ have changed. So, we … our strategic intent based on the evidence is certainly not new and would probably align fairly closely with yours. It‟s about literacy and numeracy and it‟s about a formation as we are a Catholic sector and certainly building leadership capacities and capabilities and that‟s the same with our teachers. In our leadership teams in 2007, we came together and they were our four dimensions that we came up with. If we‟re going to provide quality Catholic schooling, a quality schooling, then we know we have to hit those four areas. We miss one of them, it‟s not going to be quality, there‟ll be something amiss and we know that now through experience as well. We know where Leading the Learning isn‟t at the equivalent stage of the other dimensions then something will go wrong and we‟ve seen that occur. Similarly, with the learning environment, the learning and teaching in the community, those four dimensions are crucial to us. We get those right and we‟ll get the type of learning in the learning spaces or learning that we were talking about. One thing that Michael Fulham talks about is „behaviour changes before beliefs‟. Quite often we go and get data; we look at data and we have all of this evidence to change someone‟s belief. It doesn‟t work. It doesn‟t work by itself. By far, the most we‟ve found too, the most effective method of challenging beliefs and changing beliefs is first of all provide the opportunity to change the behaviour but still look at those other things to challenge their beliefs. So, we engage and certainly in visiting places where things are working well, I know you‟re engaged in instructional rounds, which is certainly one of those too. So, again, looking at what works and having the conversations. Allowing teachers and school leaders to talk with each other and to explore what works and what doesn‟t work and then to give your teachers a safe environment so to trial these things. In 2008, as we were progressing there, certainly how people learn and that was crucial for us too as a system to again, consolidate and say, “Well, what do we believe about learning?” And so we now have a learning statement developed by our system of leaders, which is all about school leadership teams and it sums it up in terms of context, connection, metacognition and that drives everything we do – our statement on learning. David Eddies, or David Eddy, „Making Learning Visible‟, certainly not a crucial document but we use it. And Viviane Robinson‟s work and this is where earlier on I talked about moving from transformational leadership to instructional leadership. The research that has come out of Auckland University through Viviane Robinson and her colleagues is very contemporary and certainly very informative and what‟s crucial about those five areas of effective leadership is certainly the one there, which is .84, which is „Promoting and participating in teaching, learning and development‟. So, that‟s more than just organising professional development. That‟s actually saying, “Well, who is my class?” We use the language, “Who is my class?” all the time with our schools and our schools use it internally as well. Who is my class? With our school leadership teams, their class are their teachers. So, they have to understand what their teacher needs are and actually then be able to monitor and say, “Well, what have we done? Where are we at? How do we know we‟ve made a difference?” And it‟s the same expectation with our teachers. The teacher‟s class are the students. The Principal is not directly responsible for student learning outcomes. They are responsible for teacher learning. The teacher is responsible for our student learning. So, in 2009 we started putting this together in terms of what we call our „theory of action‟ and with all of these constructs there‟s a lot of thinking behind them and it‟s like anything, as a teacher you know. As you are pulling things together as a student, it becomes clearer, but again it requires reflection, modification, etc, but the simpler you can present something, you can guarantee the more complex it is behind it. So, certainly visible learning high-yield strategies and that‟s where we started our Building Education Revolution, so the environment was going to match the learning that we‟re talking about, and our theory of action and as we‟re speaking, we‟ve started our school implementation plans again for 2010, which will be a modification of 2009. This was in your newspaper, I think it was just a couple of days ago. So, quite often, you know, we wonder why we spend the money on some of the strategies we do. Why do we spend so much money on reducing class sizes when that money could be more effectively used in spending it on teachers having time to plan and design together? If you ask a teacher and certainly from our teachers, if we ask them “Do you want smaller class sizes or time to plan and design together?”, I know what their answer is. And we also know now from the research that smaller class sizes, while has an effect and mind you, so does having a heartbeat, while it has an effect, it doesn‟t have an effect as great as some of the other strategies. Reciprocal teaching; acceleration - these teaching strategies have a greater effect on student achievement than smaller class sizes and so Dave Eddy‟s work, Visible Learning, is an excellent text I can recommend. His meta-analysis and his research has taken him about 10 years but that book is one of your … one of what we call our educational canon. So, this is our theory of action that we developed over those last four or five years and if the one thing is for our schools if they can keep that construct in their mind, along with the construct of „What does quality Catholic schooling look like?‟ And there‟s one other construct, which we‟ll come to, but if they can keep that construct and work with that construct then certainly we‟re in a very good position. When people look at this, they might start at the bottom. That‟s not the place to start. The place to start is at the top and this is evidenced-based design. What‟s the thing that has the greatest effect size on student learning? And it‟s not class size; it‟s not socio economic background - it‟s the teacher. It‟s not even the learning environment – it‟s the teacher, and we know that. It‟s not rocket science but the research is, there‟s a lot of research now that just affirms that. Now, the research also says, coming from Helen Timperley, that what is the best strategy for building teacher capability? The best strategy is the teacher as the learner. Not going to courses all the time but the teacher as learner in situ, which subsequently or consequently has a relationship with the school leadership team. If the teacher is the learner then again who is the school leadership team‟s class? It‟s the teachers - building the capabilities of the teachers to be better teachers. So, they are talking and working and discussing about learning, using evidence to have those conversations and measuring the effect of those things they are doing in a safe environment. So, the crucial part there is the school leadership team providing those opportunities and leading those as an instructional leader for teacher learning, building teacher capacities and capabilities and then system leadership and when we talk about system leadership, we don‟t talk about the education office leadership. The system leadership is the combination of the school leadership teams and the office leadership team. We are all part of the system leadership team and what that means is then our class, as system leaders, as schools of leaders, is our other schools. So, we have a responsibility to work and collaborate with our colleagues because that‟s our class. And these are the people, which you know, I‟m just going through that we work through from the top, you know, understanding learning. Certainly, we‟ve done a lot of work with Stephen Heppell and Marco, and certainly John Hattie, Helen Timperley, Viviane Robinson, David Eddy and Michael Fulham. So, the question would be “In your school or your system, what is your theory of action? What are you working from? Is there a clear construct for moving forward?” In 2010, the new normal - the new normal is that we are all learners – teacher as learner; student as learner. High yield strategies; school implementation plans, which we‟re now learning about – what are they? They‟re not school plans. They‟re not school plans traditionally. The implementation plans being precise, being measurable. And our principal master class. So, when we look at it, we do have this educational canon which is made up of research. It‟s made up of colleagues and reference material but it‟s certainly … everything we do, as I said, it‟s going from „I think‟ to „we know‟. What do we know? What does the literature say? And how are we measuring the evidence of the effectiveness of what we are doing? And when we talk about our new normal and it is really moving onto precision, it‟s the precision in which we use data and feedback. It‟s the precision of … of concentrating our efforts on the big rocks, not the little pebbles. If any of you have watched the Covey, there‟s a very good Covey video. If you just do a Google search for „big rocks‟ and it talks about not being side-tracked by all the other things that are going on in the school. What are your big rocks at your school? I‟ve got it on my computer somewhere, which if we get time, I‟ll show you. And our high-yield strategies, data and feedback; and what does data look like? So, when we‟re talking about going back to our theory of action, our construct - student learning; teaching; teacher learning; school leadership; system leadership – each of those five areas have different data sets, both quantitative and qualitative. What are they? What do they look like and how … what are we going to use to measure the effectiveness? How are we going to know how effective teaching is? How effective teacher learning is? How effective school leadership is? So, what are the data sets – quantitative and qualitative – and the feedback that goes with them? So, when you sum it up and try and pull it all together, that‟s essentially what we‟re talking about. On your right hand side, student performance, you know, what do our teachers know? What do they need to know? So, how do you gather that data? In terms of then school performance, yeah? What do our leaders know? What do they need to know? And then system performance – how do we measure that? One of the key bits of research for us is Helen Timperley‟s inquiry model, and that‟s how we do our learning. Our learning is inquiry- based. So, teacher as learning through inquiry. So, it is cyclic, you know – what are my students‟ learning needs? And I don‟t know though if I don‟t have the data. And we are still gathering that data because we haven‟t had any in the past. We‟ve had a lot of data that‟s after the fact and kids turn up in Year 3 and they do a test and it says something‟s going wrong. They turn up in Year 7 and something‟s going wrong, well it‟s too late. So, we need to look at this data. What is the data we‟re gathering and how do we know it‟s going to make a difference? So, again, what are our student learning needs? That inquiry model is exactly the same for our teachers. So, if my school leader, working with my school leadership – if my class is my teachers, then what are their learning needs? How do I know their learning needs? How effective are the things that we are trialling? So, we‟ve gone from professional development now, using this model to teacher learning - teacher as learner. I‟ve just got a couple of videos now - one‟s Michael Hopley. He‟s at a school of 200. It‟s a one-stream primary school, 200 kids. It was a very old 1950s school, very old, with your standard traditional brick and fibro and small classrooms. We started knocking it down and we‟re going to do it in stages and so, we already had a plan and then the Building Education Revolution came along, so we actually then were able to knock it completely down. And it was on a postage stamp by the way, no grass, just bitumen. So, we certainly rebuilt that school and over that period of time, Michael‟s been working extensively with his staff – with his staff as „teachers as learners‟. That‟s what the new space looks like. As I said, 200 kids in one space. So, the space reflects the type of learning we want and there‟ll be more … I can show you more photos later but I want to get to the point about teacher as learner. Video-Teacher 1: The way that the teachers are is very different now because they‟ve changed teaching in a way that happens in there almost on a weekly basis. It changes and it changes and it changes again and I really think that those changes reflect the whole notion of the teachers thinking about their planning, assessing children at where they‟re at and changing the teaching based on that assessment. It‟s the most powerful use of assessment in terms of informing your teaching. Those kind of changes didn‟t really happen that rapidly, but they do now, and one of the other strong pieces of evidence is the way our children are using technology. So, we have children who are really engaged in using interactive whiteboards and computers and film equipment, and we‟ve just started a radio station and, you know, beginning a radio station sounds like a sort of unusual thing in a school but it‟s essentially a very smooth kind of operation for our children, it‟s like, “Yes, that‟s a good idea. We‟ll get right into that” and they‟ve really organised it well. Speaker 1: At his school, just on the holidays, there was about 30 … he had about 30 international visitors and it was actually during the holidays and a couple of teachers came in because Michael was actually on leave and they were the Kindy teachers and one of the questions from the audience was, “You know, how do you know? How do you know this is making a difference?” and the Kindy teacher had the evidence. [Inaudible 00:42:08]. It wasn‟t the qualitative evidence in terms of NAPLAN results because they just were not at that stage yet but she was saying that the Kindy students this year because of, you know, their teacher learning and building capacity, they are now starting the next stage outcomes, whereas previously they always took up the whole year. They are noticing a remarkable or a significant difference in the way kids are learning and what they can learn. Video: So ,there‟s data that we can measure and then data that we can‟t as yet. Speaker 1: We‟ll just go back in a minute. Just hang on before you go, Dave. This video here, we had a parent forum, we advertised for parents to come along because there‟s a lot of conversation out there about our new spaces because most of our primary schools, actually all of our primary schools, have spaces like that. Not new spaces but refurbished spaces where teachers are working with teachers. In some instances, we didn‟t get some of those circles around the … what we call „quality Catholic schooling‟. So, we didn‟t get the community dimension right, or we didn‟t get the learning environment right and a couple of times we nearly had riots. You know, the community were up in arms. Just at a couple of schools. So, what we did is we had a forum. We invited people along and we had about 300-400 parents come along and we had it at a school, one of our schools that has been refurbished and we ran it like a Q&A session on ABC. So, we had questions from the audience, etc - video questions. Now, the teacher you‟re seeing is Tracy. Tracy is at one of our schools. She‟s a leading educator and these are her comments back to one of those questions. Video - Tracy: There‟s data that we can measure and there‟s data that we can‟t as yet. So, things that we can measure that you‟re familiar with is things like reading levels; our writing standards that we get from the children; the numeracy skills that they‟ve acquired every day. They‟re things that we can measure and we can constantly track where they started and what growth they‟ve made across the year. We can use the example at my school that since the last three years of the [inaudible 00:44:39] learning spaces have been implemented, we‟ve seen a significant growth in our reading levels. In kindergarten alone, we have an average of about … and I‟m going to use the examples because this is what is relevant to you guys but things that the children were reading at about a 10, whereas now we can get them up to about a 15. Why? We ask why. Why is there that growth? What‟s happened? I‟m still doing the same good practice in my classroom now as I did, you know, three years ago. Is it because I have my colleagues around me and is it because I‟m learning as a teacher and because I‟m doing those things the children are doing those things as well? So, that‟s a measureable growth that we can see but what can‟t be measured is things like the levels of independence that the children are coming out with. The fact that they‟re risk takers – they‟re a lot more of a risk taker than they were before. The fact that they know how and have the ability to work in teams and be collaborative … because that‟s what they‟re seeing us doing every day as well. And you‟re also seeing the growth in what the teachers are making and that‟s something that‟s also not measureable, but every day we‟re learning and if we‟re learning, the children are learning as well. Speaker 1: Just on that slide there also – is that the right slide, we‟ll come back to that conversation. I just want to point something out. That‟s Greg, he‟s the guy behind with the purple tie, my boss. All these videos, a lot of the videos, we actually paste up to Greg‟s YouTube channel. Okay, so you can actually access them and there are probably 50 odd … at least 50 odd videos up there. Very big videos of conversations, learning conversations and, you know, so certainly keep and use those as you want; download if you want. You can click vid.com. We‟ve got no problem there but certainly you‟re welcome to those. So, just do a YouTube search for Greg Whitby. But those points Tracy were making, we find those time and time again at a lot of our schools. Those points have changed and is there any effect? Yes, there is. Do we need to get better at capturing that effect? Yes, we do, but certainly the early evidence is there is an effect and it‟s positive. What I might do, Dave, is just flick over to Safari and just see if anyone has any questions on … the third one there. That‟s it, there we go. Who went to the school [inaudible 00:47:24] Catherine McAuley? Catherine McAuley, a very traditional school. In actual fact, I was just … I‟m just in conversations with them in terms of re-designing, doing the learning design first. What does learning look like? Where do we want to go? And I‟ve got some plans here. We‟re just having that conversation now and at the moment, they are chalk and cheese those schools. YouTube or YouTube, Facebook Legal, they‟re conditions associated with the American terms of reference, you tick and whatnot. I understand it says 13 and above. I don‟t know how applicable that is to Australian Law. It‟s a terms and conditions, so I really … it‟s not a legal … it‟s not legally held in Australia but it is a terms and condition, so I couldn‟t answer that but like most people, I just click through. Is that good though? And as I said, our students with special needs certainly … I do have a video of teachers talking about that to our parent community and responding to that. If we get time, I can also flick that up. Are there any other questions there that haven‟t been … haven‟t been raised that you‟d like some conversation before we just move on. Question: What about student leaders? Speaker 1: Yeah, student voice. Most definitely, and those kids you saw earlier on are certainly school leaders. But student voice has a significantly high effect size in terms of improving … in terms of student achievement. Most definitely. Yep? Question: One issue that classroom teachers are facing is… for years we‟re preparing kids or testing maths, you know, traditional set-up where they‟re sitting down with a pen and paper and at the same time we‟re trying to get them ready for a digital world. So, there‟s no sort of … there‟s no data saying where [inaudible 00:49:55]? Speaker 1: That‟s a good … very good conversation. I‟m on the committee for the New South Wales Board of Studies, you know, they‟re just talking about using computers for assessment in some of the HSC stuff. They are so far behind and certainly, you know, handwriting per se … As a skill, very valuable, don‟t dismiss it but should it limit me expressing my learning and what I know? That‟s a good question and certainly being involved with those people who are setting external assessment, it‟s a good question. Speaker 1: Teaching to the test we‟ve known, we‟ve noticed and certainly Brother Pat could have attained that, that you know it was the school that taught to the test in some regard but now that these kids are now using project-based learning as their pedagogical approach, their HSC results have gone right through the roof. Okay, I‟ll just move on, just aware of the time too. Connecting pedagogy with space. This is where it actually, you know, gets some visible differences and you can see some things but it‟s the last point on the journey. The journey is first of all, what do we understand about the verbs of learning? What does it look like, both student learning and teacher learning? And hence, how do we provide the spaces to facilitate that? So, certainly our aim up there … you know, designing spaces that enhance students and teachers as learners, which is quite powerful, supported by the tools. So, there‟s no limitation on the tools teachers use or students can use in our system. Just some terminology as I‟m talking about this area. When I‟m talking about a learning space, I‟m talking about a series of connected learning settings. In a traditional classroom, which is usually about 60 square metres, well someone said, “You know, if you‟re sitting in a chair, you only need one and a half to two square metres of space. One and a half, give you one and a half and there was a bit of space up the front for the teacher. That‟s it. That‟s it; you‟ve got 60 square metres. Sixty square metres will not provide you with the space required to get really innovative in terms of learning settings. You‟re limited to the number of learning settings. I can certainly do a few learning settings but if I‟m just in that space, it‟s very limited and hence why we have used quite often libraries because libraries provided us the space, which were connected learning settings. In our designs, we‟re moving now so we get that opportunity back and we‟re bringing the books into the spaces. So, the kids have access to the books all the time. They don‟t have to check them in and out. They‟re there all the time for them to use and so are the settings. They can move around to the different settings. So, the whole conversation about libraries is then another conversation because libraries once upon a time provided physical opportunity that your current classrooms didn‟t. So, this is how we think about it and we‟re through thinking about it, which is really about, you know, a game reiterating what do we know about learning? What do we … where are we going? What are our principles? What does contemporary learning and teaching look like? And then the learning spaces, what should they look like? And so this is just a simple way of articulating that. So, principles – what we value; what we know - that should be what we know, not we believe; what we do and how we do it and then finally, where the learning gap is. And it‟s a cyclic process where once upon a time, there was understanding about learning, there was a design … well, I don‟t know if there was a design but certainly we‟ve got a space, or we walked into a space and that was it. There was no opportunity for that conversation. And when we don‟t have that opportunity, we get it wrong and I can tell you just from yesterday, we‟ve got it wrong again in one of our schools because we didn‟t have that opportunity. Can you just pull that back, Dave? Video: [inaudible 00:54:35] Speaker 1: So, just before it starts again, as I said, we‟ve done a lot of work with Stephen Heppell and this is a conversation we had with Steve. Video: One of the things all teachers learn is „Where do you get your ideas from?‟ Do you get them from colleagues, do you get them from other schools, do you get them from the moments when your experience touches others‟ experience? Learning with and talking to the students about what works for them? It doesn‟t mean that the student‟s going to lead you by the nose [inaudible 00:55:08]. We‟ve got schools all round the world that are looking at new models of learning and some pretty remarkable things from schools out there with the closing the staff rooms and the children sharing the space with…you know. We‟ve got schools that are doing month-long timetable blocks. You can do a whole subject in one month and move on. All these schools that are trialling things like this are all doing it for one reason – things got better. So, as a teacher, you know, faced with an agile space, which is a blank sheet of paper, you know, [inaudible 00:55:38] is actually a [inaudible 00:55:40] person who will talk to other people and use the spaces like it, and are a year or two years, or three years or four years down the path. Secondly, you have to do this as a team. You can‟t have three people turning up who will say “We‟ll teach the lesson that we used to teach” It isn‟t going to work, you know, any more than you take three people that learnt to ride a horse – you put them in a car and [inaudible 00:56:03]. So, it‟s a new world. It‟s a new thing, but dialogue is actually the key to all this. Hallelujah, we‟re not in a world anymore where teachers are told what to do, they‟re expected to … in a world where teachers are expected to use their professional judgment on doing it better and doing it better means not doing it differently but it means being asked, not being told and the key thing here is to discover what works and talk around it because you can‟t … the world actually is full of great ingredients of learning and all that means where people have tried [inaudible 00:56:39]. I‟ve stolen from Scandinavia kids taking their shoes off in schools. I love that, the kids taking their shoes off when they come in, [inaudible 00:56:44] and take their shoes off. Their testosterone is in their shoes, the boys, you know. They just behave differently with their shoes off; it works. So, reach out to other places, other colleagues, borrow their [inaudible 00:56:56] and fill with [inaudible 00:56:57]. Your school is full of unique children, unique staff in unique circumstances in a unique context and a unique culture. You know, nothing out there will identically work for you, but chatting to [inaudible 00:57:12] is your local recipe [inaudible 00:57:13]. All I‟m telling you is use the ingredients that are tested and try it in 21st Century schools and build yourself and you learn from it [inaudible 00:57:24]. Speaker 1: So, just two points about that video. First of all, if you reflect back to Michael Fulham, behaviour before beliefs, that‟s the key. One of the main … you know, it has a huge effect. So, how are your teachers, your schools getting the opportunity to look at those different behaviours? And the second one there, which he didn‟t … really he touched on it, but it‟s certainly about, you know, we know kids. We know what happens and what excites them. We know when there‟s a musical or there‟s a performance that the kids stay late. They are there lunchtime, morning tea, after school, before school. What are we doing in those spaces in those settings? How are we working with the kids? What are the kids doing? What are their verbs of learning and why aren‟t we doing that in the classrooms or in the other spaces? And we wonder why they get bored. We know what works. We really do. So, we talked about some rules of what we do know. This is very good. There‟s a few of these conversations. This is, you know, we use this and certainly, you know, it‟s interesting talking to Stephen and we were talking about this and he said “Yes, he‟s got this Rule of 3” and I said, “Yeah, that‟s what we‟ve come up with, too”, which is really about never more than three walls and by the way, if there‟s only … and this comes to the second point, no fewer than three points of focus. We know where we haven‟t got three points of focus, it doesn‟t work and we have to go back and do something and that‟s what we‟ve been doing just recently in another school. We did a design that‟s nearly seven years old and it doesn‟t work. And always be able to accommodate at least three teachers and three classes. No more than three walls means they can work together. So, we can have the space so kids can, where we can personalise the learning and have different settings inside that space. Three points of focus for again the different settings and the three teachers, three classrooms. We want teachers to provide spaces for teacher as a learner. We want teachers to have the opportunity to design, plan and reflect together through an inquiry model. If we don‟t have that opportunity, then it becomes very difficult because at lunchtime, I‟m usually doing playground duty. It becomes very difficult for our teachers to work together because of the other things going on in the school. And this is what you really … this is one of the blockers and this is where we came unstuck a couple of times. It‟s where the school community or the leadership team of the school couldn‟t respond to the community‟s request. They didn‟t have it all together. They didn‟t have all the data, the evidence, etc together and so it‟s crucial that as school leaders, that we have that. We know what we‟re talking about. So, when we talk about connected learning settings, these are connected learning settings to personalise the learning, deprivatize the practice and finally, using today‟s tools. So, our learning settings are technology connected. They are have the wireless connectivities stuff and they can do what they want. Building Education Revolution came along and gave us a lot of money and Greg actually rang me up one day and said, “Paul, can you come up? I‟ve got a job for you.” [Inaudible 01:00:11] five minutes and he said, “No, I want you to project lead this. I want you to lead this.” I thought, “Oh, you know, when am I going to do that?” and he said, “I‟ll take you off everything else and for the next 18 months that‟s what I want you to do.” The issue was we had facilities teams and officers working out of an old paradigm. Restricted by what they saw as requirements - can‟t I have a stove; can‟t I have this? And I said, “Well, hang on a tick, no, no. Let‟s look at what does learning look like? This is what we want learning to look like. These are the settings.” So, we sit down. “How many kids? These are the settings. This is what we understand about learning. This is what we want it to look like. Now, go away, architect, and come back and give us the diagram to make it work and then we‟ll have a look at it” and “Okay, sorry, but where you put that practical area there doesn‟t work. You‟ve got the settings right but it doesn‟t work. Can you have another crack at it?” And so, we worked very closely with our architects, with our schools, so the school community … the school leadership was involved, the whole community wasn‟t because it just wasn‟t the time and that became sometimes an issue for us but certainly the school leadership were involved and still are but when they‟re not, we ran into problems. When something goes amiss. So, as we all know, the very old classroom, so this was one of our schools, our standard classrooms, designed for schooling as we say, pretty standard. Those rooms were actually about 70 square metres actually and that whole corridor was a space. That was half a classroom. So, we look at ways of how do we get new space. How do we get new space? So, we talk about design for learning and so in that case there, you can see the different focus areas. You can see that certainly there are more than three teachers working together or the opportunity for it. There‟s still a lot of work at the moment and it‟s personalised. So, these are the opportunities and these are some of the plans, and as you can see there, one of the things that‟s quite often missed in these spaces is break-out rooms, acoustic break-out rooms. Acoustics are extremely important. Get that wrong and it won‟t work. Alright, so it‟s very good acoustics and we want break-out rooms. We want recording rooms. These are glass, audio acoustically treated rooms, so I can as a teacher visually supervise from anywhere. I can connect with my kids but I want the opportunity for the kids to go to these rooms to do some brainstorming; to do some videoing; to do some audio recording. I want them to be able to use the multimedia technologies that are available and to connect. They need to connect and do a Skype conference, no problem. Go in there and do it. Now, what helped us immensely? I‟ve done a lot of research from around the world when I was onto this and one of them was one of your documents, which is your pedagogical space document and out of that there‟s a couple of pages … this is one of them. When I was working with the schools and saying, “Well, what are we talking about in terms of these settings?” This was one of them. Why? Because not only did it very easily allow people to understand what I was talking about but it also then let you then as you click through the book, tells you exactly how much space that takes up, so I could give it to the architects. I gave this document to the architects. I took them on a workshop and said, “This is what we think about learning. This is how we know learning … we want learning to occur. So, when you‟re designing, this is what you should be thinking about.” And this is the supplementary document, which then goes into ... which is out of the same Victorian document, which talks about the spaces. So, our schools had to articulate learning first, what the settings looked like before anything else, before the architect could do anything. How many students were accommodated for, etc. What does the … what is that pedagogical activity and again, what does it look like? It was a very helpful document and as I said, these are the things that we ended up with, and I‟ll show you some real pictures in a moment but these were the designs. As you can see there, this one here, two-strength school and another catchphrase „studio stage audience‟. So, the rule of three and studio stage audience. You know, where is my audience now? As a child, my audience is both physical and virtual and so we want to make sure we have presentation areas and in this case here, you‟ll see that the library is actually integrated on this floor and another floor. The money [inaudible 01:06:11] and in some other spaces, the BER money was spent on building halls, there‟s no research that says building a hall will improve student achievement. So, while it could, we went with … we had a strategy, our theory of action - better settings for the kids; to personalise the learning; better opportunity for teachers to work with each other and learn. As you can see that that activity there, that‟s one of the designs. On the left hand side of that are the old classrooms. Small classrooms, just knock the walls down, and the architects, I‟d say to them, “Can you just take that wall out and …” I think I could say it easier than they could do it a lot of the time but so there‟s quite a [inaudible 01:06:56]. This is a one-stream school and in there there‟d be 200 kids I think it is. And what I asked the architects to do was I would need them to visualise these settings for us. I needed them to visualise and not only that, our principals were going out onto the playground areas and drawing spaces because it‟s hard to understand what a space is but I can tell you from our experience that if I‟m designing a space that used to be 60 square metres, it‟s now going to be 90 square metres and it‟s not going to be just one class, it‟ll be several of them together. So, 30 kids, 90 square metres. And I get that through not having corridors. So, as you can see those spaces. So, this is what it looked like. So, this is St Monica‟s again. Two hundred kids here, just happily working, acoustically triggered. They hardly ever had the lights on because of the design, which did cause an issue because we had to get some blinds because of the presentation area, it was too bright, but the cupboards … even the cupboards … I designed the cupboards so that they absorb the sound, I mean I said … I asked them what I wanted but I knew what was going in them. I needed the laptop trolleys to go into them. I didn‟t want them out ugly everywhere, so they had to design … now, there‟s a series of cupboard designs now for our system. So, if you‟re using the interactive whiteboard, you‟ve got somewhere to put your laptop. If you‟ve got a bunch of Nintendo DSs and you‟re working on using them for literacy or numeracy. Mind you, Scribble Noughts is excellent for that. If I‟m using them for literacy and numeracy, I‟ve got to be able to store them somewhere. So, we‟ve got cupboard designs that are like big Tupperware drawers, so you can fit things in them. So, we worked with our teachers to say, “Well, do these designs work? Now, let‟s look at the space and design these in.” Not only that, the budget was designed for furniture. When I first had a look at what they were doing in facilities, they gave them a 2% budget of whatever the total was for furniture, which would certainly buy 30 tables and chairs and that‟s it. So, I said, “No, that‟s not enough. We‟re upping that to 5%.” If I can‟t make this space work from day one, there‟s a fair chance it won‟t work. Behaviour before beliefs. That‟s just another angle and even those tubs there, so quite often people say, “The kids don‟t have their own table and chair.” The kids have their own space. Where do they go with their tote box? So, their tote box they can move wherever they like. Very structured though; more structured than ever before. Teachers work harder but those were designed by the Principal and the staff, and in fact the low tables … what they‟re doing once is they had these … at one school they had tables, you know, where you‟ve got the four quadrants and they used to put a computer there and as the builders were coming in to put one of those in and it was upside down on the floor and the legs weren‟t on it yet and the kids were using it and so the Principal said, “Leave that and I want five more.” And so now, we‟ve got a lot of those designs, so the kids can sit on the floor and they‟ve got a solid top round, you can fit about eight or nine kids around it. There‟s a very good design, which I took a picture just yesterday at the Virgin terminal, which is a very good collaborative desk, nice and wide and it‟ll seat 10 people and I took pictures of it because people were using it for collaboration. These spaces, as I said, are the media rooms, green rooms; so we did the green walls, etc. I‟ve just got to hurry up because I‟m running right out of time. These spaces again, here we have TVs that are connected to the internet, so they could Skype straightaway. You can buy the TVs now that are internet connected, so you don‟t need a computer. Different settings, different focus areas, radio stations, very good literacy strategies, break-out rooms – this space has about 200. They didn‟t know about this, I said I want some paint for the wall. I want white but I want a dual purpose thing, multiple purpose things. This is called whiteboard paint. It‟s painted on the wall. It‟s not cheap, but it‟s not dear either and I wanted whiteboard paint on the wall, so kids can use it at their height to do concept mapping and planning and designing and then I can project onto it. Just make sure you organise for someone to clean that wall every day otherwise it becomes like any other board. Secondary college … So, again, we see these spaces, connected spaces, different sizes, but they all articulated why they wanted them. That one we just passed of one of the plans connected [inaudible 01:11:59]. I just want to quickly go through this because this is the plan that‟s in place. One of our spaces didn‟t work – secondary because it was designed seven years ago and was just a barn, really. And so, we had to go back and say that the school now … because they‟re used to this process have gone through about what does learning look like and then summarised it in this, to say this space up here is for 150-180 people and we‟re going to design it so it‟s made up of about 10 learning settings and this is what we want. And they went ahead without … they‟d done this without any physical infrastructure, they just used the furniture but it‟s a trial because then we might look at, well can we supplement that or make it better if this works? But you can see how the depth they went to understanding the setting times and even down to the furniture, so when you look through this, you‟ll see learning setting number 7, which talks about the tubs, tub chairs for … they even know the size now. 750ml tubs and this is what it‟ll look like. They did a simple plan-up. They did this themselves because there was no money … and that‟s what they did themselves. And what they‟ve done, they took the students and teachers up there and said, “Well, how do you think learning‟s going to look like now?” „Behaviour before beliefs‟ because before this, it was just a … it just didn‟t work. And in a couple of cases we already had big spaces, so we had to build a hall but what we did with the hall was I asked them to put these big … they‟re called red leader doors, they‟re doors that are made of glass, like fire engine door, you know, the fire doors at fire places and you just press a button and they all open up. The whole door opens up. So, these are red leader doors and the glass door just opens up and down. So, we get this extra space and connection to outside. And I‟ve gone over time and look, there‟s a lot of resources that we have and I‟ll make them available. I‟ll give them to someone here, so you can actually access those. Thanks very much.
Pages to are hidden for
"Memorandum"Please download to view full document