uLearn16 -Keynote #3 – Michael Fullan

‘Early lessons from implementing New Pedagogies for Deep Learning’

Our work on School Leadership, Professional Capital and Coherence is becoming deeply integrated and embedded in the clusters and networks of schools that are engaged in implementing ‘new pedagogies’. I will identify some early lessons concerning how leadership for deep learning differs when it comes to digitally accelerated innovations. There are also some surprising new findings about the role of students as change agents relative to pedagogy, school organisation, and even societal change.

Humans are innately wired to connect, create and help humanity. We see examples of this through psychological experiments with children – it is innate human nature to help others. Society, education and life either enhances this natural wiring or it crushes them. Out job is to ensure we enhance. Transformational pedagogies are there to uncover the reservoir of creativity that sits within our students that is otherwise suppressed.

Whole system change strategies

  • Accountability (history of failure)
  • Standards (insufficient)
  • System Culture (promising success)

Don’t obsess with targets – a negative of system change. Aspirational targets are good – but obsessing with target clouds the intent and prevents the effectiveness of the change.

b9-3d4wciaefwcmFocus on the 6 C’s of education:

  • Character education: building resilience, empathy, confidence and wellbeing.
  • Citizenship: referencing global knowledge, cultural respect, environmental awareness.
  • Communication: getting students to apply their oral work, listening, writing and reading in varied contexts.
  • Critical-thinking: designing and managing projects which address specific problems and arrive at solutions using appropriate and diverse tools.
  • Collaboration: working in teams so students can learn with/from others.
  • Creativity and imagination: to develop qualities like enterprise, leadership, innovation.

Breakthrough leadership – If you are the only person in the room that is right, you better stop talking and start listening

  • Respect and reject the status quo, he status quo is just not good enough.
  • Be an expert and an apprentice, open to learning but lead learning too.
  • Experiment and commit to problem solve and do it better. Stay with the problem learn from it and commit to getting it right.

The Seventh Sense, Ramo – the pros and cons of networking

  • The new reality – ubiquitous social media can’t be controlled – they weaken hierarchies (when you weaken hierarchies you open up lateral thinking and solutions)
  • Distribution and concentrated connection is the new power
  • The young and the most connected – and the LEAST commited to the status quo (agents of change when you set it up right)
  • Humans, especially the young, find helping humanity to be an intrinsic value
  • The above conditions cause learners to outrun leaders and researchers
  • The job of education is to produce better citizens for tomorrow, today

Jal Mehta offers advice (10 potential pitfalls) that can doom teaching for deeper learning:

The professional development system is broken – the back roads are open. Partnership of construction within teaching networks – student performance should be measured on global competencies.

Big ideas:

  1. Students as agents of change (let students drive the change – be open to their voices and their ideas)
  2. Professional Capital of Teachers (leadership from the middle, use the thinking and the knowledge that is already there)
  3. Coherence (make it more simple – simplexity – don’t make complicated things complicated. Take the complicated and break it into simple chunks!)

Further reading: ‘A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning’  by Michael Fullan and Maria Langworthy


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