Education for the Age of Innovation

All educators are familiar with the concept of the learning pit.

(Image courtesy of Stonefields School https://www.stonefields.school.nz/)

When we first start out with a new skill – whether it is a swimming stroke, writing, mapping or playing an instrument – we always struggle/make things a bit worse before we start to see success. Then we improve, iterate based on feedback – either personal or from others. As we improve on this skill, we start seeing/making an impact – faster times, more fluent writing, accurate maps, beautiful music.

I have recently been wondering if this is what is happening with humans now? With many a head bow to David Attenborough here – we are now living in the Anthropocene. The age of humans. For most of life on Earth, nature has determined our existence, now humans determine nature’s existence.

The Industrial Age was the start of when humans had more influence over nature. Our technological advances gave us great societal advances but what we didn’t realise at the time was that it also had other consequences. Now we have global awareness that we have put ourselves into the pit. Gradually, over the last few decades, we have noticed and received feedback about our impact on the world. Think Ozone layer, Great Pacific Garbage Patch and of course, Climate Change – or in fact Climate Crisis now organisations like The Guardian are calling it Continue reading

Daring to Dream

The new logo for AGE School

This blog has been quiet for the last few months as I have jumped feet first into leading a new school. In January of 2019, I started as Principal of a start-up school in Takapuna, Auckland. The school had started in 2018, discovered the challenge of opening a new school and ended the year doing some work on re-visioning what they were really about. This new vision aligned perfectly with my view of education and so I leapt at the chance to take on the Principal role. Term 1 has seen rebranding to match the vision, a new website designed, curriculum structures developed, a learning model created and many evolutions of our timetable as we strive to create the best educational experience possible for our students.

Getting to live my dream

Now that a lot of the initial ground work has been completed, I’m excited to start sharing with you all our journey as we develop and grow our school. Continue reading

Sir Gateway?

Many people may get annoyed with this post, in fact it may even be considered sacrilegious by some. Sir Ken Robinson is extremely well known, liked by many and revered by some. His TED talk from 2006 has been watched almost 35 million times. Yet on finishing his most recent book I was left with an overwhelming sense of “meh.”

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The Day We Colonised Another Planet in Class

Mountain on Planet Epic: resource to utilise or sacred ground?

Mountain on Planet Epic: resource to utilise or sacred ground?

This post is being jointly written by Danielle and Steve and cross-posted on both of our blogs (you really should check out Danielle’s blog http://missdtheteacher.blogspot.co.nz/ it is awesome). We are co-teaching a Science and Social Studies module called Post-Mortem for the first half of this year. This post is to share a learning experience that we designed to kick off the second term of our course: colonising another planet.
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Natural Ecosystem of Learning

Schools that recognize the need to prepare their students for a changing world are knowingly or unknowingly in the process of converting from an engineered process to a model based on the laws that govern natural ecosystems

Grant Lichtman, #EdJourney p210

In #EdJourney, Grant Lichtman makes the link between schools that are effectively innovating and how natural ecosystems operate. He found that the schools demonstrating transformative learning were:

  • more dynamic – moving far away from one size fits all
  • more adaptable – functioning like outside world and adaptable to future change
  • more permeable – expanding learning beyond the four walls
  • more creative – moving past consumption of knowledge
  • self-correcting – based upon empathy, mindfulness and creativity

Using this, Grant proposes a model that shifts from Assembly-Line Education to a Learning Ecosystem. Continue reading

Working in an MLE

This post was originally written for The Network – a newsletter for the New Zealand Board of Geography Teachers:

Modern Learning Environments (MLE) seem to be springing up all over the country and all new builds or developments in schools now are supposed to be under this model. I have been teaching in a brand new MLE this year at Hobsonville Point Secondary School. So what is it actually like to work in an MLE? Continue reading