Recalibrating the thinking-doing balance – Part 2: Growing a collaborative culture

      I really appreciate it when people take the time to respond to my posts. Here are some responses over the last few days young teachers leaving the profession and the pressures they face. Adriano: The composition of today's classroom is dramatically different from 5, 10 years ago....  the necessary shift to soft-skills implementation, …

Next generation teachers: How can we inspire current students?

This week the Australian Story  featured a maths teacher from a Sydney suburban high school. One maths teacher, Eddie Woo, with a story on the national stage. “He sucked me into maths” A student recalled being in Eddie's class. She felt inadequate at maths, but Eddie didn’t let that get in the way. His personal mission is to get all kids …

(Pedagogy + Place) & (Rhetoric + Reality) in learning space design: A decade of dialogue

"How to bring our schools out of the 20th Century" was the title of an article in TIME in December 2006. It featured a more recent take on the Rip Van Winkle fairy tale. After 100 years of slumber, Rip wakes in the first decade of the 21st century. As he walks the streets, observing the citizens of the day …

Shifting the practice of education from polite cooperation to purposeful collaboration

Cooperation or collaboration? In lists of the various ‘Cs’ of the 21st century ‘collaboration always seems to make an appearance. In this past week I worked with a group of educators, looking at agile learning spaces, thinking about how we need to work to ensure engaged learning for students in these spaces. The necessity of …

How open learning space can work for introverts, extroverts & ambiverts: D.A.R.E.

Let me give you a snapshot of myself.   I like people, I enjoy conversation. I am quite comfortable in settings where I don’t necessarily know anyone. I don’t find it difficult to strike up a conversation with a new person. I’m fairly confident communicating with small and large groups. I actually enjoy a good …

The impact of noise on learning in open & shared spaces: 4 questions to ask

Why do we have smoke alarms? We can see smoke, we can smell smoke. Why isn't that enough? Hearing is the most reliable sense, because ‘our ears are always on’. We will wake up to the alarm, but not the smell and “it is the only sense that is reliable when we sleep”. (Oseland and …

Psychoacoustics of learning environments: A people-centred approach to noise

As I write, it’s a rainy day. Our small apartment is on the top level of the building, located on a semi-busy road. Not a highway nor a freeway, more of a connection between suburbs. I’m quite used to the steady stream of traffic noise  and today, as it’s raining, so there is the added …

Growing a professional learning community in your school: ONE thing that you need first.

Effective and lasting change in schools, or any organisation for that matter, is a result of a strategic process, designed to meet the needs of the school, rather than ‘sending a couple of teachers off to a workshop'. When I first started at SCIL we decided to run workshops on a variety of educational topics, such as ‘Learning …