Saturday, 27 May 2017

Pedagogical Change Through Collaborative Leadership - NZEI Middle Leaders conference

Presenters: Stephen Eames & Jason Ataera

Ask yourself WHY? Pedagogy drives change.
As the rate of change increases our institutions must become more agile in response.
We must be experts in co-creating systems which meet the needs of our ecosystem.
Gone is the system for life, we are instead using systems which keep pace with the changing needs of our learners.

Sit alongside colleagues as we delve deeper into themes such as Pedagogy, Institutional Agility, Ecosystems, and systems for now. We will share our journey of change in an Intermediate context in a lighthearted way and spend time looking at some of the key points you can take away and apply in your context.

Welcoming the participants and starting conversations with soft music in the background set the scene.
Then light hearted chatting and laughter as people settled in and discussed the perspective cards placed on the tables. Jason and I roved the room adding to the comfortable, relaxed feel. Making
introductions, connections and building up relationships.

Starting the presentation with a Cook Island greeting brought the group together and followed by brief descriptions of who we are and our leadership journey, including an outline of our context enabled everyone to feel that what will follow is of value and delivered from the heart.

Down The Back Of The Chair. - Context is king

The message - It is up to you to make meaning of what we are delivering. All contexts are different. Pull out the pieces that apply to you, your school, your context and the students in your school.

Down the back of the chair
"Pleasure, Treasure, Toys and Trash, down
the back of the chair"
"Some hairy string and a diamond ring."

Depending on your needs and context...A diamond ring doesn’t help if you just broke your shoelace. - What are your needs?

We made it clear that we were not espousing that we have the all the answers, and that we are not a ‘No Tosh’, De Bono, Guy Claxton or anything in particular school. We take inspiration from multiple sources and draw upon the theories, ideas and research to help us develop our own pedagogy and deliver techniques and strategies which complement what we strongly believe in and our vision.

 Next key message - Know your staff and develop your strategies.
As we have heard numerous times, it's about people, people, people. What is your strategies to enable teachers and students to flourish.
People react differently to change.

We then introduced the T- Shaped person metaphor, outlining how we will provide tools which will build breadth of skills and knowledge and can be drawn upon in personal contexts so that participants can delve deep into an area within their own schools.

This led into Institutional Agility.
Agile Leaders limit an organisation to their own Leadership Agility (Top Down)
Agile Institutions harness the agility of everyone within the organisation

"The smartest person in the room is the room, the smartest person in the organisation is the organisation." The goal is not to be the most agile.

Thought provoking insights on how to foster innovation and support change whilst staying true to the deeply held beliefs of the organisation.

Famous New Zealander and Company perspective cards
Focusing on three key areas - Pedagogy first, Systems driving practice / practice driving systems and accountability.

We drew on examples of each and presented challenges we had faced. We opened up the room to discussion and using perspective cards, reverse brainstorming and 5 Whys, we explored the concept of Institutional agility.  
Throughout the presentation we provided opportunities to share, discuss and ask questions.

Getting to know names and schools helped to gain an understanding of different personalities and contexts and in some cases the challenges they faced. Trends included: Student agency, personalised PD and accountability. All of which we were able to address and provide advice. 
Personal stories of students and teachers were received with smiles of acknowledgement and jokes and jest between Jason and I provided entertainment and complimented the content.  (Dr Barbara Fredrickson suggests positive emotions broadening one's ability to think creatively with flexibility)

The presentation flew by and after the conclusion messages and thank yous the first comment heard was
That was great! The time flew by” then lots of thanks and appreciation.

“The chair, the chair, the challenging chair,
The champion chair, the cheerful chair,
The charming chair, the children’s chair,
The chopped and chipped but chosen chair
To think our fortune waited there

Down the back of the chair.”

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