This week, Michael Fullan presented the 2007 Ann D. Clark Lecture to an audience of 380. It was great to see such a diverse cross section: teachers, system staff, academics, politicians and administrators from public education and health.
He spoke about the Six secrets of change for effective schools and systems:
1. Love your employees
2. Connect peers with purpose
3. Bullying backfires
4. Learning is the work
5. Transparency rules
6. Systems learn
Michael is no stranger to Australian educators, many of whom have drawn insights from his books on educational change and leadership. We have been fortunate to have had Michael with us over the past three days, working with school leadership teams and senior staff. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to work with such a respected educational leader who has offered his vision, insight and inspiration. Click here to listen to the 2007 Ann D. Clark lecture.
Michael believes schools must compare themselves with themselves and other schools to ensure effective performance. He also referred to a study by Michael Barber for the McKenzie Group that found highly professional teachers were the key to top performing schools and systems.
These sentiments were also echoed by Michael Chaney of the Business Council of Australia, last week. His concern is the brightest students do not chose teaching because the profession has been de-valued by society and the remuneration provides little incentive.
There has been a tendency to focus on student learning at the expense of teacher learning. Investment in teacher training and professional learning is critical in building successful schools and systems particularly if we want to see real improvements in literacy and numeracy.
We continue to expect the very best from our teachers, I think that it is critical that we support them by exposing teachers to the best thinkers and writers on schooling today. Micheal certainly fits this criteria!