Painting a new school’s curriculum and pedagogy.

As an educator, and now consultant, it’s hard not to get excited when you are asked to support a newish school develop its curriculum and pedagogy.  In many ways, it’s like a starting a painting with a blank canvas, or is it? I was asked by the Principal to support… Read more“Painting a new school’s curriculum and pedagogy.”

Why have learning intentions without success criteria?

John, in this 9 min clip, puts the case for why we need to explain what we intend students to learn, why and how they might self assess success. It’s hard to defend the opposite. In this clip John’s work on effect sizes are explained about teacher clarity (intentions and… Read more“Why have learning intentions without success criteria?”

Is Dante’s Hell a view of adaptive challenges? If so, hold onto that moral compass.

I recently watched a TED talk by Dan Leahy – The Dance of Learning Meets the Adaptive Challenge. In the talk Dan uses Heifetz, Glashow and Linsky’s need for adaptive change which is about facing the unknown and having to learn new skills to solve, as yet, unanswered questions. He liken’s these inquiries to Dante’s… Read more“Is Dante’s Hell a view of adaptive challenges? If so, hold onto that moral compass.”

Effective Lesson Planning: classroom systems and lesson sequencing

This is a follow up post number 2 on effective lesson planning. Now that we understand lessons should go differing lengths of time 20 – 40 minutes, what would that look like in one of the timetable blocks of 90-120 minutes. If we were to focus on one discipline e.g…. Read more“Effective Lesson Planning: classroom systems and lesson sequencing”

Effective Lesson Planning: length of lessons

Some of the questions, concerns and issues raised by trainee teachers so far include: constantly repeating instructions to students students forget what to do students either don’t finish the tasks in the time set or finish in the first 5 minutes with nothing else to do What these questions raise… Read more“Effective Lesson Planning: length of lessons”

Working at Deakin University

One of the exciting opportunities that has presented itself this year is to work at Deakin University as a casual academic. What that means is that I work in the professional learning unit supporting trainee teachers in schools learn the skills, strategies, mindset and sense of professionalism required to become an… Read more“Working at Deakin University”

Songs can hold our memories!

Certain songs or voices can bring many memories flooding back to us. It’s 1970 and the happy and even melancholic memories flood back to me when I hear Simon and Garfunkel sing their classics. Its been over 45 years since they split over “professional differences about a film” so their… Read more“Songs can hold our memories!”

Are you Humpty Dumpty waiting for a fall?

Quite often Principal’s can feel like Humpty Dumpty “just waiting for the fall”. When you think of how many “clients” you serve (students, their parents and then the wider community) even a middle size school of 500 would add up to over 1,000 clients (including staff if you define a… Read more“Are you Humpty Dumpty waiting for a fall?”

features of a wise leader

I was recently going through my email and found this from a close Scottish colleague. THE TEN FEATURES OF A ‘WISE’ LEADER Holds unshakeable values which define their being; Translates their ‘way of thinking’ into the ‘way they do things’; Has moved beyond acquiring knowledge to ‘letting go’ of knowledge;… Read more“features of a wise leader”

Student Reports: a case for change

This is a copy of a post I wrote on my company’s website Well its November again and on the school calendar for teachers all over Australia is the preparation of the end of year student reports. Schools become stress centres for teachers. I’m wanting to build a case for… Read more“Student Reports: a case for change”

Resources by themselves are not sufficient to improve language learning in Victorian or for that matter Australian schools?

Once again students learning another language hits the newspaper headlines: The trouble with languages in primary schools Time to mind our languages Interestingly it hits the headlines in the only state in Australia (Victoria) that mandates languages be taught in schools despite it being in the Australian curriculum. So what’s… Read more“Resources by themselves are not sufficient to improve language learning in Victorian or for that matter Australian schools?”

Why become a teacher? part two – my story

Some people can pinpoint a single incident or person that answers this question – for me I need to tell a story as I came to my moral purpose quite late. I went as a young 5-year-old to Corpus Christi, a Catholic Primary School in Glenroy, from 1960 to 1966…. Read more“Why become a teacher? part two – my story”

Why aren’t us parents seeing any benefit in smaller class sizes?

I have just responded to this post by a parent: As a parent, the Bloomfield Public School system has sold smaller class sizes as part of their narrative. The experience of my two children has been a DECREASE in group interaction and all of the other good things that should… Read more“Why aren’t us parents seeing any benefit in smaller class sizes?”