Home > Conference: November 2009 > Two learning group “harvests”

Two learning group “harvests”

November 11th, 2009

During Act III of the Shifting Thinking conference, participants split off into 18 learning groups of about 6-8 people. Each group was facilitated by a learning coach, and began the day by discussing a “quizzical quandary” they’d selected to focus on.

The learning groups had to decide how they would navigate the array of breakout session choices during Act III. For example, would they split off and each attend different sessions so they could share their learning back to the group later? Or would they travel the day’s journey together, to build a collective group experience – or would they mix together a bit of each?

A learning group

At the end of the day, learning groups came back together to talk about their day and to discuss where they had got to with their thinking. Then people from different learning groups mixed-and-matched in a jigsaw activity, to share their thinking further amongst groups which had focussed on different quandaries. Some groups’ discussions moved well beyond their original quandary question, as they talked through the flood of ideas, inputs, and experiences they’d had during the two days of the Shifting Thinking conference.

Although there was no formal requirement for the groups to capture or harvest their discussions “on the record”, a couple of learning coaches managed get some of their group’s thoughts down on paper.

Here is an example from learning group 1, which began the day thinking about this quandary:

Parading purposes: You’ve heard today about the various purposes of schooling and how those purposes need to shift and change to keep up with the changing world. What purpose should schools have in the 21st Century? What purposes do we need to let go of? What would this mean?

Ideas from learning group 1

Ideas from learning group 1

Meanwhile, learning group 9 began the day thinking about this quandary:

Self-managing change: In a system like New Zealand’s where the schools are expected to be self-managing, where does the impetus for change come from? How can we ensure that the changes happen across the whole system? Does that even matter?

Click hereto view a document summarising some of learning group 9′s thinking by the end of the day.

We invite all the Shifting Thinking conference participants and learning coaches to share some of the ideas that emerged during their groups’ discussions!

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