Building on the hedgehog’s back

Last weekend, I re-read Chapter 5 of Jim Collins’ Good to Great in light of the Federal Government’s education stimulus package.

The Hedgehog Concept in which the ‘fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing’ is not about complex plans or highly-developed strategies but about simple ideas.

Collins talks about the intersection of three ideas: what can we be best in the world at, what drives our economic engine and what are we passionate about?

In the rush to obtain significant amounts of funding for school infrastrucutre, it may be very easy to lose sight of our core work – improving learning outcomes for every student and providing a rewarding working life for teachers.

Therefore the game for us has to be about maintaining a discipline and a focus on what makes a difference and what is important to the school. Our school communities certainly know this.

The Federal Government’s education stimulus package is an almost once in  a lifetime opportunity.  We have a one off  chance in which to hit the target by designing/constructing buildings and learning spaces that will support schools in their work of providing a contemporary learning agenda. By taking on this agenda schools will move from good to great learning communities, the commitment we all have made together.

To do this, our system must focus on what each school does well and abandon what doesn’t work or isn’t relevant.


2 thoughts on “Building on the hedgehog’s back

  1. It is a very exciting time for education when we have a federal government so supportive of primary schools and the invaluable role they play in the educational future of young Australians. The fact that the funding has been targeted squarely at new libraries as well as multipurpose halls, reinforces the belief that school libraries are an invaluable investment for the future learning of our children. To quote the government’s document…”these buildings will provide students, teachers and the wider
    school community with access to a range of high quality resources, information and cutting edge
    tools to support learning and improve the quality and diversity of learning environments.”
    Teacher Librarians in the Parramatta Diocese have been doing this for years. How reassuring to have the Federal Government’s funding focus, validate the necessity of a well resourced and staffed specialized, learning space…the library.

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