Moving from the Big Picture to Teaching and Learning Practices

This week has seen us continuing our big picture thinking but also now starting to focus in on what that will look like in the classroom.

On Monday we had a team trip into town for a mystery day out. The ferry ride through the rising fog was a good metaphor for what we would be going through over the rest of the day.

After breakfast together we were split into 2 teams and given a map of checkpoints and clues to decipher. Basically it was a 2 hour adventure race around town finding the checkpoints and taking interpretive photos to represent what we found. The checkpoints all turned out to be pieces of art around town and afterwards we found out that it was actually the Auckland Waterfront Sculpture Tour. Our team then made this video to represent our interpretations of the sculptures:

After a quick bite to eat we then headed to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise for a Design Thinking workshop with Peter Harrison from the Better by Design team. Walking onto their floor we got a hint at what was coming by the large poster on the wall giving tips for creative conversations:

Tips for Creative Conversations

Tips for Creative Conversations

This was an awesome 2 hour workshop introducing us to the ideas of Design Thinking. I had first come across these ideas at ICOT in January where Ewan McIntosh had shown how they related to education. This workshop was great though as we worked through the steps of Empathy, Reframe, Ideate, Iterate, Prototype and Test for a specific design issue. The prototyping stage was a lot of fun as we used stationary items to create an example of our solution for our partner/client. Here’s the prototypes that Sally and I made for each other.

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The creation of these prototypes brought our ideas to life (even given the short timeframe) and there were obvious messages in this for education. To see some amazing use of design thinking in schools at the moment, the 2 articles below about the entrepreneurship and design thinking module at Nueva School in Canada are brilliant!

The exciting part about all this is that our Senior Leadership Team visited Nueva School earlier this year and Kim Saxe and Claire have been discussing a collaboration between our schools. This is a really positive and very exciting initiative that will help us all move forward with design thinking in the classroom and I am really looking forward to it.

Wednesday morning saw Maurie taking us through the GPILSEO approach to reflect on how we will achieve our vision.


The image above was taken from this link where Russell Bishop explains the approach in more depth. GPILSEO basically outlines that for goals to be met effectively in schools we need to look at the interconnections and consider the impact of all aspects: Goals, Pedagogy, Institutions, Leadership, Spread, Evidence and Ownership. Using this approach we were able to start from our Vision and see what that means for the whole school i.e. personalised learning under Pedagogy; distributed Leadership; Spreading the school into our whole community etc.

This then took us back to the work we had started last week on the school values. By looking at the 5 core values of Excellence, Inquiry, Connectedness, Collaboration and Innovation we progressed this through to working out specific examples of what this looks like in practice.

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By valuing these, what are the principles involved in all of these values and what does that actually mean in practice. By the end of this process we realised that we needed another layer as there are certain tolls and strategies that need to be added in after the practice. For example what strategies fall out of the practice of coconstruction and what will that look like in the learning hubs compared to the specialised learning modules or in the big projects.

Needless to say this will be an ongoing process for the next week or so but once we have this together it will give an amazing view into what the teaching practices will look like at Hobsonville Point Secondary School. Importantly, these teaching practices have all come from and are firmly linked to the Why – our core values.


5 thoughts on “Moving from the Big Picture to Teaching and Learning Practices

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