Rule of three

In schooling, it seems the rule of three applies.  Here’s a few:

  • Elmore’s instructional core: content, teacher skill/knowledge and student engagement;
  • Bransford et al’s theory of how people learn: connections, context and metacognition;
  • Dr Peter Hill’s three goals for the national curriculum: personalised, professional and precision.
  • Susan LaRosa and Dr Bill Hogarth from York District in Canada believe high performing systems should focus on: relationships, relationships and relationships.

And Stephen Heppell’s  simple rule of three for 21st century learning spaces:

  1. No more than three walls so that there is never full enclosure and the space is multifaceted rather than just open.
  2. No fewer than three points of focus so that the “stand-and-deliver” model gives way to increasingly varied groups learning and presenting together (which by the way requires a radical rethinking of furniture).
  3. Ability to accommodate three teachers/adults with their children. The old standard size of about 30 students in a box robbed children of so many effective practices; these larger spaces allow for better alternatives.

My three for pedagogical leadership are resilience, relentless and radical. Anyone else?

6 thoughts on “Rule of three

  1. Great list!
    A big ‘three’ for me are Helen Timperley and Lorna Earl’s processes for evidence informed conversations:
    – Inquiry habit of mind
    – Using relevant data
    – Relationships of respect and challenge

  2. Here are another three from the democratic principles of liberty, fraternity and equality;
    Liberty –
    The condition of being free from restriction or control. b. The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one’s own choosing
    (Children’s voice!!!)
    Fraternity –
    A body of people associated for a common purpose or interest (learning communities instead of parallel classes)
    The state of being equal
    (Social inclusion)

    Some say the Eureka stockade was the birth of democracy in Australia. I say implement these three and we don’t just teach democracy, we authentically model it in agile learning spaces……

  3. …Good to see that GW has ‘found’ Covey !
    & I like Susan Laroza’s & Bill’s THREE…appears they were listening !

  4. Learning and teaching are at their heart relational processes. The stronger the relationships the deeper the learning. It is always a delicate balance when improvement challenges existing mindsets and stretches capacity. We need all the wisdom we can get

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