Reduce Change to Increase Improvement.
In this plenary address, Viviane Robinson provides new knowledge about how leaders at all levels can increase improvement while reducing ineffective change and innovation. She attributes the failure of many change efforts to the way leaders ‘bypass’ the tacit theories of action that sustain the teaching practices they wish to improve. In the more effective ‘engage’ approach, leaders build trust and discover common ground by inquiring into those theories before suggesting or constructing alternative practices.
The contrast between bypass and engage will be richly illustrated using a real example that has direct relevance to the work of school leaders.
Leading Improvement by Engaging Theories of Action.
This workshop builds on the earlier keynote through a highly practical workshop on how to lead collaborative improvement by building trust with those involved, through careful and respectful inquiry into the theories of action that sustain the practices you seek to improve. This workshop will:
- deepen your understanding of the difference between the bypass and engage approach to leading improvement
- model the dialogue involved in a theory of action interview
- increase your skill in respectful inquiry into another’s theory of action
Raising expectations and rediscovering the wonder of learning
ACT students are amongst the country’s highest performers in reading and writing when they are in Year 3. However we fail to capitalise on this strong start. As our children move through school, the numbers of under-performing students are increasing. And the inverse is occurring for our high-achieving students; their numbers decrease as they move through school.
In this presentation I will make the case for ambitious teaching – teaching that stretches our students, and teaching that focuses on the wonder of learning.
What do our students think writing is? Is it a wondrous craft for them – a powerful tool for expressing their inner selves or changing the world around them?
Are our students reading? Have we shown them the pleasure to be gained from reading - from ‘getting lost in a book’ to learning a new skill, or finding kindred spirits.
We have worked hard to focus on giving our students the basic skills of reading and writing – and yet they continue to struggle with the complex skills.
We have responded to the call to improve national standardised test results and too often fallen short.
So - are our students failing because we have sucked the wonder out of learning? Have we made the most wondrous of all human inventions – the written word – tedious and inane?
It is time to raise our expectations of what our children can achieve – and to bring the wonder back to learning to read and write.
Reflections on Student-Centred Leadership
In this plenary address, Viviane Robinson reprises her research on the relationship between leadership practices and student outcomes, first published in 2008. She summarises the original evidence base for her model of student-centred leadership and then reflects on the implications of subsequent research for the model. Her address will discuss barriers to stronger student-centred leadership that exist at the level of the individual leader and teacher, school culture, and system-wide policies.
Leading Professional Learning: How to Increase its Impact on Student Outcomes
This workshop builds on the earlier plenary address through a highly practical workshop in which you will:
- deepen your understanding of the fourth and most powerful dimension of student-centred leadership: Leading Teacher Professional Learning and Development.
- discuss the leadership decisions that promote professional learning that makes a difference to student outcomes.
- Apply a framework for evaluating the decisions made in your context about the focus and type of professional learning that is offered.
Leading with Small Data for Big Change
Schools around the world are being prepared to new digital solutions, learning analytics, and teaching robots that are about to make education smarter and improve teaching and learning in all schools. More and better data promises rapid learning gains and decreasing rates of failure through precision and accuracy of Big Data. And yes, there are opportunities to improve school leadership by mindful consideration and use of these new tools. But educators should also understand what learning analytics, artificial intelligent and Big Data behind them cannot do. This presentation explores through international examples and case studies the key opportunities and limits of datafication in school education and argues that rather than accepting that more data will make our schools better, principals need to lead with small data and make maximum use of professional wisdom and power of human relationships that already exist in their schools.
Lead with small data, or else …
Schools are increasingly governed by numbers: statistics, achievement tests, data walls, spreadsheets, and online surveys that provide masses of data to monitor progress and to improve teaching in schools. More recently, digital devices with their algorithms and learning analytics have entered schools making intelligent solutions to serve schools and policymakers in teaching and leadership. This hands-on workshop builds on participants’ experiences and explores what big data in means in their work. Through a simulation exercise we take a closer look at “small data” as a professionally sound response to concerns raised regarding datafication of schooling. Key questions asked in this workshop are: Can big data make education better? What is small data and how can it help schools? What is worth fighting for schooling anyhow when most of what we need to know is available online all the time for everyone?
The importance of vocabulary in context – beyond glossaries
The size of a student’s vocabulary is a reliable predictor of success in school. There is a growing awareness of the importance of vocabulary, and vocabulary teaching strategies are increasingly commonplace in schools.
Glossaries, the Frayer Model and lists of Tier 1, 2 and 3 vocabulary are all useful contributions to vocabulary teaching.
In this workshop I offer two additional perspectives on the teaching of vocabulary which schools can incorporate into their existing approaches.
- Words take their meaning from the company they keep – so all vocabulary teaching must be done in context.
- The hardest words in a text can often be the smallest words.
I will use classroom examples to illustrate the veracity of these points and discuss what they mean for instructional practices.
Gaylene Beattie - NZ Primary School Principal
Principal Gaylene Beattie shared Springlands School journey from 'teacher as inquiry' to 'spirals of inquiry' and the impacts of PLG's on accelerating student achievement and growing teacher capability.
Susan Ogden - Vic secondary principal
In the last 5 years, a key focus for leadership and teachers at Dandenong High School has been the development of a shared pedagogical approach to ensure excellent and consistent teaching in every classroom.
A critical element of this work has been the re defining of staff learning, from an intellectual pursuit without practical application, to “deliberate practice” where every teacher critically reflects on their instruction, trials new strategies and approaches and actively works to build their expertise.
Susan will share the school’s development from an initial “buddy approach”, to Domain based Professional Learning Teams and in 2019, the introduction of “Learning Sprints”, an observation of practice model and a PLT Learning Framework.