Speak less, listen more

I attended a summit in Sydney last week where representatives of some of the biggest companies and brands spoke: Disney, Atlassian, Uber and Qualtrics. What unites each of these organisations is an unrelenting focus on the ‘people experience’. Customer and employee satisfaction drives everything and it is what propels them to reach new heights. The … More Speak less, listen more

Can we raise teaching standards by imposing standards?  

In response to the above question, the answer from most politicians is yes.  In NSW for example, the politics of standards has led to the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) being renamed and given greater powers. The newly announced NSW Education Standards Authority will be charged with ‘lifting’ school compliance and teacher quality in an effort to improve … More Can we raise teaching standards by imposing standards?  

Good practice shapes theory

Michael Fullan has said that good practice often shapes theory not the converse.  A theoretical understanding is necessary but theories don’t always translate into effective classroom practice. Theories don’t provide teachers with the ‘how to’ and although most teachers recognise the need to continually reflect on their practice in order to improve, there is an assumption that … More Good practice shapes theory

Fuelling the revolution

Revolution School is a four part documentary series that began on ABC TV recently.  It captures the turn-around journey of a Victorian high school ranked in the lowest 10% of the state.  In a sea of navel gazing and feel-good solutions to improving schooling, it is refreshing to see honesty and shared responsibility on the table. … More Fuelling the revolution

The Black Box

In 2001, Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam published their seminal article titled Inside the Black Box: raising standards through classroom assessment.  It focuses on formative assessment which according to the authors is at the heart of effective teaching. The article suggests that the practice of formative assessment has not been front and centre in most classrooms. In fact the link between formative assessment and … More The Black Box

No teacher is an island

Last week I had another opportunity to visit two Victorian primary schools that for me demonstrate good theory in practice.  Woorana Park and Silverton Primary schools have established themselves as authentic learning communities.  Over many years under good instructional leaders they have evaluated their practice, implemented rigorous feedback mechanisms, listened to student and parent voices and used the learning space … More No teacher is an island

Where to from here?

As another year comes to a close it reminds me of the mechanical process of schooling. Our schools are placed in “mothballs” for six weeks and then the system fires up again in late January.  I wonder if the school year could be significantly different from the last? It’s heartening to hear AITSL Chair, Professor John Hattie say recently that we are already having an … More Where to from here?