The final challenge from the first day of the Data Wise Summer Institute (DWSI) here at Harvard was to encapsulate my learning experiences thus far, in only five words.
Mine was; Similar challenges towards systemic improvement.
I wanted to share my short sentence with you because it highlighted what I had heard people discuss and reflect upon all day; which is that as an international community of passionate educators, school and system leaders, our aspirations, challenges, celebrations and imperatives are the same. We all aspire each day to do the very best by every student in our class/school, so that they may each realise their full potential. We all struggle with the most precious and finite resource; that of time, (or rather the lack thereof). We wrestle with the dissonance of how we can eek every second to benefit our students and teachers, and thus build a strong community with learners of every age. We all celebrate the notable progresses in the achievement of each student, (in relation to their personal learning trajectory). We embrace and are spurred on by a common imperative; to ensure that a child’s demography does not determine their destiny.
My key takeaway was the overwhelming message from participants, that all teachers, school and system leaders want deeply to be understood by their colleagues; to have their unique contributions to the overall success of our learning organisations recognised, acknowledged and valued.
A great place to start on how you can understand people’s work preferences is to refer to the Compass Protocol at http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=datawise&pageid=icb.page556408 for more information).
Finally Data Wise have embraced social media, making it even easier to check in with what is happening this week:
Twitter: @DataWiseHarvard or https://twitter.com/DataWiseHarvard/with_replies
Facebook: DataWise Harvard