Does consistency mean sameness or mindfulness?

At this weeks staff meeting Sarah, the assistant principal and I talked about the weeks walkthroughs posing some questions in particular the above question – is consistency between classrooms sameness or mindfulness?  We used a fish bowl strategy to share our thoughts where Sarah and I have a partly scripted dialogue surrounded by the staff. I used an interactive whiteboard to show some photos taken on the walkthroughs as a prompter for the dialogue. 

I had recently read Michael Fullan’s new book “What’s worth fighting for in the principaslship?” and he posed this same problem”.  We spent time over the week in 12 classrooms with a focus on students setting interpersonal goals during literacy sessions. This focus came from Kath Murdoch’s work with us on student goal setting to build collaborative classrooms.

We saw students using different cards to set goals and in some classrooms they had written goals on post it notes. Was the consistency in the cards or was it in the process teachers used with students? Michael Fullan called this consistency through mindfulness.

When the greatest difference in student outcomes exists between the classroom next door its an interesting question to pose – about 12 months ago I would have said sameness.   

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