Author Archive

TED talks strand

October 28th, 2009

Facilitator: Hugh McCracken

In this Day 2 strand of the Shifting Thinking Conference we will screen a selection of inspiring TED talks, “riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world”.  A facilitator will guide the group in a discussion of the ideas explored in each TED talk, and how these relate to education in the 21st century.

Part of the inspiration for this strand comes from ChangeMakers: “fostering active citizenship and generosity in New Zealand”.  Changemaker’s learning community approach includes group dialogue catalysed by TED talks.

Session 1: Clay Shirky on institutions versus collaboration

In this prescient 2005 talk, Clay Shirky shows how closed groups and companies will give way to looser networks where small contributors have big roles and fluid cooperation replaces rigid planning.

Clay Shirky wrote Here Comes Everybody, and his consulting focuses on the rising usefulness of decentralized technologies such as peer-to-peer, wireless networks, social software and open-source development.

Session 2: Dave Eggers’ wish: Once Upon a School

Accepting his 2008 TED Prize, author Dave Eggers asks the TED community to engage with their local school. With spellbinding eagerness, he talks about how his 826 Valencia tutoring centre inspired others around the world to open their own volunteer-driven, wildly creative writing labs. But you don’t need to go that far, he reminds us – it’s as simple as asking a teacher “How can I help?”

Writing is only his day job: Dave Eggers moonlights as a publisher, philanthropist and advocate for students and teachers.  His first book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

Session 3: Charles Leadbeater on innovation

In this deceptively casual talk, Charles Leadbeater weaves a tight argument that innovation isn’t just for professionals anymore. Passionate amateurs, using new tools, are creating products and paradigms that companies can’t.

Charles Leadbeater’s theories on innovation have compelled some of the world’s largest organizations to rethink their strategies. A financial journalist turned innovation consultant…Leadbeater noticed the rise of “pro-ams” — passionate amateurs who act like professionals, making breakthrough discoveries in many fields, from software to astronomy to kite-surfing.

Session 4: Benjamin Zander on music and passion

Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it – and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections.

A leading interpreter of Mahler and Beethoven, Benjamin Zander is known for his charisma and unyielding energy — and for his brilliant pre-concert talks.

Conference: November 2009 , ,

Playing with ideas strand

October 28th, 2009

In this Day 2 strand of the Shifting Thinking Conference we will be drawing on both the published ideas of some key educationalists and each others’ ideas as we attempt to think differently about what school could be like.

Session 1: What’s the point of school?

Facilitator: Ally Bull

This session will involve taking some of the key ideas from Guy Claxton’s latest book, “What’s the point of school?” and thinking and talking about what the implications of these ideas are. What are the implications if we see education as building our learning muscles, rather than filling our minds with important stuff?

Session 2: Keeping it complex

Facilitator: Rose Hipkins

This session will make space to think critically about the deep ideas that underpin the familiar structures and practices of school. We’ll explore different metaphors for organising schools and learning, including those introduced in Disciplining and Drafting or 21 Century Learning? (Bolstad and Gilbert, 2008).

UPDATE: Read Rose Hipkins’ post-conference blog about this session

Session 3: Shifting thinking through literary engagement

Facilitators: Sue McDowall and Juliet Twist

Acts of reading deeply, like the acts of cultivating, nurturing, and tending that are part of gardening, generate knowledge that transcends the acts themselves (Sumara, 2002, xiii).

Come prepared to talk about a book (fiction or non-fiction) that has shifted your thinking and to hear about one that has shifted ours: Why Reading Literature in School Still Matters: Imagination, Interpretation, Insight (Sumara, 2002) – a book that explores the transformative potential of literary engagement.

Sumara, D. (2002). Why Reading Literature in School Still Matters: Imagination, Interpretation, Insight. Manwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Session 4: The book club with a difference

Facilitator: Rose Hipkins

Come to this session ready to talk to a partner about a book that’s shifted your thinking. (Bring the book with you if you can). Let’s think and talk about how the ideas in these books connect with each other.

Conference: November 2009 , , ,

“Ask the expert” strand

October 28th, 2009

In this Day 2 strand of the Shifting Thinking Conference you’ll be able to grab a coffee and sit in the Circa lounge to chat with some of our guest speakers from Day 1.

Session 1: Michael Young

Session 2: Keith Johnston

Session 3: Cathy Wylie

Session 4: Jane Gilbert

Conference: November 2009

Visual Metaphors strand

October 28th, 2009

Facilitator: Sarah Beresford

In this Day 2 strand of the Shifting Thinking Conference we will be exploring the representations and realities of education, as well as conceptualising education in the 21st century, through using, responding to, and actively creating visual metaphors. There are two alternating sessions which repeat twice each.

Session 1: Deconstruct visual metaphors

This session will involve deconstructing visual metaphors to access and interpret multiple layers of meaning.

Session 2: Interactive drawing

This session will involve actively responding to visual metaphors through creating your own visual metaphors, as to facilitate dynamic discussions (no artistic skills required).

Session 3: Deconstruct visual metaphors

Same as session 1.

Session 4: Interactive drawing

Same as session 2.

Conference: November 2009

Thinking differently about school strand

October 28th, 2009

In this Day 2 strand of the Shifting Thinking Conference we will be thinking and talking about changing the focus on our practice in school.

Session 1: Shifting Thinking about Reading

Facilitators: Juliet Twist and Sue McDowall

What is the difference between a reading lesson of the past, and what we need now? We have been grappling with this question as part of our Lifelong Literacy project on the integration of reading and key competencies, and invite you to come and discuss it with us. We will explore what the shift in teaching practice might look like, and how a picture book of a traditional story might be used to help achieve that shift (multiple copies of the picture book will be available for you to use).

Session 2: Who says schools need to look and work the way they do?

Facilitator: Perry Rush

Graeme Nuthall challenges us to question the cultural morays of schooling; the assumptions on which we construct schooling and educational practice. In this session we will identify these assumptions. We will explore Tawa School’s City Site and Discovery 1 School as examples of school communities that are prepared to think differently and walk the talk.

Session 3:  Changing the focus in science

Facilitator: Ally Bull

We’ve heard about the need for a different sort of education if our children are to develop the capabilities they will need to be able to function as “critical, informed and responsible citizens”. How do we bridge the gap from “now” to where we want to be? This session will provide some concrete ideas for how teachers might make the first steps to doing things differently in primary science.

Session 4: Who are the experts?

Facilitators: Lorraine McKay and Renee Campbell

In this session you are invited to join in a discussion with a group of parents as they think about what schools are really for, what they want from school, who should make the decisions about children’s learning, and what the respective roles of teachers and parents are.

Conference: November 2009

Future-focussed issues strand

October 28th, 2009

In this Day 2 strand of the Shifting Thinking conference a team of facilitators will unpack and explore the meaning and implications of the four “future focussed issues” highlighted in the New Zealand Curriculum: Sustainability, enterprise, globalisation, and citizenship.

Session 1: An introduction to the future focussed issues

Facilitators: Fiona Beals, Rachel Bolstad, Bob Frame, Billy Matheson, Stephanie Pride, Josie Roberts

In this session the facilitators will introduce the four future-focussed issues in the NZC. Each guest presenter will give the audience a small taste of their work/interests/actions/involvement in relation to each of the future focussed issues, and what they see as the challenges for 21st century learning in relation to these issues.

Sessions 2, 3, 4: Workshops

Three different workshops related to the future focussed issues will each repeat twice.

Only Connect: Futures Literacy and the New Zealand Curriculum. An experiential workshop

Facilitators: Bob Frame and Stephanie Pride

The 21st century demands a modal shift in teaching and learning and the principle of futures focus is central to this shift.  Using sustainability as both content and context, this session will explore teaching and learning futures thinking.  You’ll have the opportunity to explore your own futures literacy acquisition, connect this to values, competencies and content in the New Zealand Curriculum and consider ways to integrate futures literacy into your students’ learning.

From Consumer Politics to Active Citizenship

Facilitator: Billy Matheson

Billy will give a brief introduction to his work developing ReGeneration, a learning network for young changemakers, and will then facilitate an interactive dialogue on citizenship in the 21st century. Using Bill Drayton’s vision of “everyone a changemaker” as a point of departure the group will explore a distinction between of passive and active citizenship. Participants in the dialogue will be asked to listen for potential insights into the following questions:

  • What would civics education look/feel/sound like in 21st Century education?
  • How could schools become generative partners in local, regional, and national governance?
  • What is the learning architecture that would support a self organising community of ‘public servants’?
  • How would the governance and management of schools change as a result of these practices?

Challenging the Brave New World Syndrome:  Global Education for Future Thinking

Facilitator: Dr Fiona Beals

In the 1930s, Aldous Huxley wrote about a world dominated by technology and consumerism. It was a world taken for granted; no one questioned it. Today we may just be living in Huxley’s world. So within education, how are we making the taken for granted visible? In this workshop, after taking the diagnostic test for Brave World Syndrome (BWS), participants will be introduced to Global Education as a pedagogical approach to exploring issues around globalisation; they will then experience two activities based on this pedagogy. The workshop is a mixture of theory and activity and is sure to be an antidote to BWS.

Conference: November 2009, Future focussed issues

Shifting Thinking conference: Tell me more!

September 8th, 2009

Who is the conference for?

Many will be teachers and school leaders, but also people in the business, arts, creative and community sectors, researchers, and policy makers.  The conference will find a motivating balance between examining where current educational thinking comes from and tapping into inspirational alternatives already happening or being dreamed of.  The conference will move between the past, present, and future, and between the voices of invited speakers and participants.

What will happen on Day One?

On Day One conference participants will listen to four key note speakers and be guided through a series of discussions based on the ideas presented by each speaker, including Michael Young, Jane Gilbert, Cathy Wylie, and Keith Johnston.  The day will support participants to surface some of the assumptions that guided education over the previous century to consider which of these assumptions could still have a place in today’s times, and which are no longer relevant or useful in the 21st century.

What will happen on Day Two?

On Day Two conference participants will embark on a learning journey through a range of activities to pursue an individual and collective inquiry.  Learning coaches will support small groups of participants to clarify their intentions and plans to navigate the day and present back a synthesis of new thinking towards the end of the day.  There will be a range of concurrent activities to take part in, all of which provide an access point into themes that could begin to take centre stage in education over the next decade.  The day will model aspects of what we think schooling could look like.

Conference: November 2009 , ,