Give Schools Back to Teachers

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How should schools look at their work in transforming the minds of students? What is the model of accountability we need? What is the Alberta Teachers Association actually doing? What can you do?

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Give Schools Back to Teachers

  1. 1. Stephen Murgatroyd, PhD Chief Scout, The Innovation Expedition Inc. Principal, Murgatroyd Communications & Consulting Inc.
  2. 2. <ul><li>Innovation – we need more creativity and innovation in the way we run business, health care, schools, government….we need a more diversified economy, which requires innovation – we need innovation eveywhere! </li></ul><ul><li>Choices – tough choices ahead on environmental issues, ethics of the person…cutting government spending.. </li></ul><ul><li>Environment – we need to think about what we can do to sustain the quality of living.. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>People – where are the next generation of leaders, workers, imagineers going to come from ? How do we secure higher productivity from all our people? How are we going to engage immigrants to our communities? </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of Life – personal responsibility for health, life long education, community and the environment… </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>The future will require individuals to be able to move easily between different “minds”: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Disciplined Mind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Synthesizing Mind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Creating Mind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Respectful Mind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Ethical Mind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>We will also need individuals to balance their intellectual “intelligence” with their emotional “intelligence”. </li></ul><ul><li>We will need more people who display empathy, warmth and genuineness in their care of others… </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Using logic and critical thinking to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Not accepting orthodoxy but seeking to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Need to develop distinctive ways of thinking based on the underlying processes of a discipline – the disciplines of history, literary criticism, science, sociology… </li></ul><ul><li>Developing the skills of moving from information to knowledge and understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Not falling for “organic is best” but asking questions about the nature of our food and the challenges of eating well. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Understanding the world and its sub-sets in terms of “systems” </li></ul><ul><li>Developing an understanding of linkages, connections and synergies – cutting across the boundaries of “disciplines” to develop a more comprehensive understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Becoming a synergist and encouraging polygots, not just specialists </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Using a range of understandings and systems thinking to rethink the delivery of health care. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>In the face of a multi-cultural, immigrant driven community – respect for differences and respect for challenge </li></ul><ul><li>Respecting self as well as others – having self respect may be key to well being </li></ul><ul><li>Letting go of political correctness so as to permit realism rather than encourage pretense </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Embracing a tripling of immigration in Canada without causing community racial tensions – overcoming prejudice . </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>A characteristic of the 21 st Century is that we will be constantly challenged by ethical issues – climate change, genomics, nanotechnology all pose significant challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Need to understand “trade off’s” and ethical choice </li></ul><ul><li>Need to develop the emotional intelligence that enables us to live with and manage ethical choices </li></ul><ul><li>Need to be able to see ethical dilemmas in the context of ethical systems </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Determining the limits of medical intervention in terms of prolonging life </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>“ All children are artists. The problem is how they remain an artist once they grow up” Picasso </li></ul><ul><li>Developing the skills for art, music, dance, creative writing, drama, film in the well-being of persons, groups and community </li></ul><ul><li>Using creativity as a basis for breakthrough thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Cultivating imagination and design </li></ul><ul><li>Example – Transforming down-town Edmonton’s arts district into a stunning centre for creative communities through design and a focus on creative arts </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Caring is a characteristic of 21 st century communities – growing elder population, increasing health challenges for our young…caring professions amongst the fastest growing… </li></ul><ul><li>Caring professions are the fastest growing professions, especially elder-care and home care… </li></ul>
  11. 11. We have a new generation of students…
  12. 12. <ul><li>Are global in their approach to knowledge and understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Are technological savvy – they use technology in ways we don’t fully understand </li></ul><ul><li>They think differently </li></ul><ul><li>They are more collaborative and engaged with peers – which is why MySpace and Facebook are important… </li></ul>
  13. 13. (C) Murgatroyd Inc. Students can…. Work at twitch speed Multi task in a range of media Pursue non linear approaches to problems Process discontinuous information Leverage iconic skills Be connected to ideas as threads Be collaborative globally Be very active and focused Learn by playing Secure quick pay-off’s Engage and use fantasy Work with technology as a “friend” or companion As Opposed to Former Generations Work at a conventional speed Prefer mono tasking or dual tasking Seek linear approaches to problem solving Process single information flows Leverage reading skills Work as one with their own ideas Are competitive locally Are generally passive See learning and playing as distinct Show patience See “reality” as “where it’s at” See technology either as a foe or a convenience
  14. 14. <ul><li>TEACHER CENTRIC WITH TECHNOLOGICAL SUPPORT </li></ul><ul><li>LEARNER CENTRIC WITH TECHNOLOGY AS COMPANION </li></ul>(C) Murgatroyd Inc. Traditional Schools 50 minute lessons Subjects (knowledge domains) the basis of the curriculum Classrooms for 25-35 students Age the basis for groups managed by year groups Future Schools Half days basis for time-table Authentic tasks based on challenges, collaboration and global resources basis for curriculum Individualized learning – areas for 90 – 120 learners Learning passports for each student provides a basis for continuous learning
  15. 16. <ul><li>Groupthink – one size fits all for all of Alberta </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provincial curriculum as the “rule book” as opposed to being a resource and general guide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unit cost accountability linked to a very narrow range of “performance” measures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measuring to the average </li></ul></ul><ul><li>De-professionalization of Teaching </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compliance based hiring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimizing risk and maximizing uniformity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advancement and promotion decisions </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>Accountability Regime </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Narrow band of skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focused on between school differences rather than within school differences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching to the test </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Role Confusion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thinking that the funding source “knows best” – no they don’t </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empowerment of those closest to the student to make decisions about what, how, when, and how to assess </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confused roles between Ministry, School Board, Principals, Teachers, Parents….. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Too many priorities…. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>Resourcing Levels by the Common Denominator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different schools have different needs at different stages of the development of their communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>School based bugdeting, curriculum and assessment linked to quality planning and performance regimes from the school up are what is needed… </li></ul></ul>
  18. 20. <ul><li>ATA has a major professional development / change initiative focused on rethinking accountability at the level of the school </li></ul><ul><li>It is also seeking to influence / change the Alberta Education Accountability Pillar (or is it pillow?) </li></ul><ul><li>It has a major policy document – Real Learning First </li></ul><ul><li>It has two pilot projects in GPPS / Livingstone Range </li></ul>
  19. 21. School Self Assessment Systematic Review By Stakeholders Peer Review / Exchange Personal Improvement Plans / Professional Development Evidence Based Assessment
  20. 22. <ul><li>Think about the future and its implications for “now” </li></ul><ul><li>Look at the skills, values, attitudes and behaviours which your students need to demonstrate to make a quality future possible </li></ul><ul><li>Ask – how will this impact teaching, learning and collaborative work in our school </li></ul><ul><li>Set measurable goals as a school for this work </li></ul><ul><li>See creativity, emotional intelligence, ethics, collaborative skills, Imagineering as being as important as math, reading and writing for your students.. </li></ul><ul><li>Always ask questions you don’t know the answer to and let students surprise you… </li></ul>
  21. 23. <ul><li>Read Real Learning First from the ATA to be inspired </li></ul><ul><li>Galileo Educational Network ( www.galileo.org ) is full of example of students using authentic tasks as a basis for complex learning… </li></ul><ul><li>Look at Finland – find out what happens there… </li></ul><ul><li>Look at school development planning in the UK…. </li></ul>
  22. 24. [email_address]

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