Leadership

What I do and where we’ve been #1

Sydney Centre for innovation in Learning: An overnight sensation that was five years in the making

From factory to C21st learning – vision, spaces, people, culture. Let me explain…

This year so far (from Feb to June 2010) we’ve had more than 200 visitors come through our school  Northern Beaches Christian School (NBCS), I work in the R&D unit – Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning (SCIL). A school with an R&D unit? Yes, it’s a pretty unique place.

My role is ‘Director of Development’ and my one sentence job description is “I take what we do to the outside world and bring the outside world in.” And the outside world is very interested.

About 5 years ago our principal, Stephen Harris, decided to investigate how we could embed research and innovation within a school environment to be able to prepare young people for the big wide world they will enter. He wanted to establish a culture, equip teachers and design the school in such a way that would really emphasise collaborative, enquiry-based learning for a technology-rich and changing world.

This year the SCIL Building was officially opened and the students and teachers commenced work in the space. It doesn’t look like any classroom you’ve ever seen, that’s because it isn’t a ‘classroom’ – it’s a series of interconnected, multi-modal, multimedia ‘spaces for learning’.

But long before the schmick new building was opened, the process of change commenced. For all the visitors who come to our school the recurring question is: How did the principal manage to get the teachers on board with such significant change?

The answer is that the process of bringing the whole staff along for the ride began well before the opening of the building. There was a systematic, deliberate approach that combined support, training and guidance, with benchmarks, expectations and outcomes.

I spent some time thinking about the case-study of NBCS/SCIL and I’ve synthesised the process to four key elements:

Vision

People

Spaces

Culture

What does it take to inspire, empower and equip leaders for world where change is the only constant? I am an educational consultant and PhD candidate with the ILETC Project at Melbourne University. I facilitate workshops and regularly speak in the areas of: People, Place and Pedagogy in the new paradigm Facilitating change Challenging current practice Learning space design Equipping leaders to navigate change International education context I am passionate about rethinking school and learning to inspire and equip young people for an exciting future. To contact Anne and find out more about the work of SCIL or make contact visit: scil.com.au

1 comment on “What I do and where we’ve been #1

  1. love this Anne. what a cool job you have!! and welcome to wordpress.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: