Revolution in the classroom?

February 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

I watched the 4 corners episode titled Revolution in the classroom.

Let me give you the run-down.

The report describes the story of three schools and I’ve noted their drivers for change:

Toronto High School  1. Teachers having a relational approach 2. The principal is able to make decisions about budgeting and staffing.

Knox Grammer   1.Principal selects his staff and all department heads have been replaced since he began (2004) 2. Leadership team has one purpose which is to lift teacher performance and student engagement 3. Encouraging critical thinking.

Hume Central Secondary College   1. System and culture of evaluation and mentoring for staff 2. Staff assessed on a weekly basis 3. Principal can select and place staff.

It was encouraging to see the great developments that are occurring in these schools. When teachers seek to learn new skills and increase their effectiveness it is great to see how the students benefit.

There were a few questions that came to mind as I was watching the program:

The success for each of these schools was measured as, How many band sixes (90% +) did we achieve? While HSC outcomes are very important, are there other aspects of learning that schools should be considering?

Is this a revolution in the classroom or just a reinforcement of standardised testing being the end result?

What should the measures of success be for learners in our schools? Purely their HSC score? Whether they make it to Univesity?

Let’s talk…

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18 minutes well spent

February 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Over the past few weeks I’ve been trialling out a new system at school. I don’t start the day by checking email, drinking a coffee or reading the paper. Each morning I begin by looking at my priorities for this year. I then aim to plan my day around those priorities. Peter Bregman has some great resources called 18 minutes for starting this up. It helps me to see that every single day I’m at work I can be making progress towards my yearly goals.

Where Am I?

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