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Students “mapping out their own futures”

November 10th, 2010

I’ve neglected to check my pigeonhole at work for a while, and hence I almost missed seeing this  Education Gazette article about learning pathways at Hauraki Plains College.

This is a pretty exciting article for me, partly because the the school’s approach was “significantly influenced” by a book Jane Gilbert and I wrote, Disciplining and drafting, or 21st century learning?

The article describes how the school has taken some of the ideas we talked about in the book (and talk about often on Shifting Thinking), combined with their own analysis of their students’ needs, and re-created the way they think about timetabling, coursework, pathways, and student support. This quote illustrates the school’s vision for its students.

As students understand their strengths and abilities they are supported in shaping a purposeful direction through their learning which fits with their aspirations for a life beyond the school gates. They see their time at school as relevant to their future and they can plan for it.

How, precisely, do they do it? Read the whole article here.

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  1. | #1


    Hi Katie,

    To spare you my poor regurgitation of an OUTSTANDING presentation, I will just post the link:

    Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education


  2. SG
    | #2

    Hi Katie – good question.

    Leaving aside the semantics of whether “C21st learning” is different from “C21st education” or “C21st schooling” there seem to me to be two aspects to it

    - a future-focussed learning environment that embodies current understandings and technologies (including teaching modes and practices) in a way that models life outside the classroom

    - an authentic curriculum that is future-focussed and relevant to the skills, understandings and life experiences learners are expected to encounter throughout their lifetime.

    As a school administrator, I would be looking (amongst other things) for

    - an easy and purposeful integration of common technologies (e.g. personal computers, web resources & cloud computing, social networks, mobile phones, VOIP – i.e.Skype etc) into the learning environment and the life of the school generally

    - a clear understanding of how curriculum connects to the life students will be living 10 or 15 years from now

    - a flexible approach to where & when instruction takes place (e.g. a mixture of f2f and virtual or self-directed sessions, student-led not teacher-driven)

    - a strong focus on professional development of all stakeholders in the school: teachers, non-teaching staff, governing body, parent community, wider community. (It is only by creating an environment where what you’re doing is understood and embraced that you will be able to create and sustain change. You’re only as strong as your weakest link.)

    - a strong student voice, and an expectation that student participation and co-construction is the norm in all aspects of school life

    - a strong focus on strategic planning

    - familiarity with developments in governance, leadership, organisational development, as they relate to the school’s chosen

    - a genuine commitment to doing all these things to an excellent standard, and expecting excellent results for students both during their time at school and after they leave as the proof that you are doing the right things, well.


  3. katie
    | #3

    I need your help: How would you define 21 Century learning? What should I be looking for as a school administrator?

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