Libraries: How might we describe them today? A living room, a bedroom, a study, a playground, an office, a friendly place.

I recently attended a GLEAM forum hosted by Hayball, short talks about galleries, libraries, education, the arts or museums, as the acronym suggests. This particular one was titled A Community Living Room: The evolving role of libraries. The speakers were Kim Sherwin from the City of Sydney Libraries and Joy Suliman, from the City of […]

Designing for Purpose: Clarity around the ‘WHY’ with serious fun!

Purpose to Practice Workshop Visual Representation Like me, you have probably been in workshops and think-tank sessions designed to bring fresh ideas to the surface. Yet, the same-old processes are used and the same-old people take the floor and the same-old solutions are implemented. Senge calls this the problem-fix loop and to uncover fresh ideas […]

6 Principles to support longevity and health in co-teaching teams: Reflecting on my own experience

I commenced my teaching career unconventionally, as a teacher-librarian. ‘Literature and library skills’, that was about the extent of the briefing for the job.   Me, circa 1982, taking a ‘Library Lesson’ whatever that was? A few years later, I faced my very first class of Year 1 students. Who in their right mind would […]

The learning debate is nothing new, it goes way back: Dismbodied Universals vs Contextualised Particulars

In 1896, John and Mary Dewey opened their laboratory school, Dewey wished to ensure that learning was grounded in real-world contexts and activities rather than abstract ideas and rote learning… the educational process should mimic normal social behaviour, as opposed to the regimented kind of work he witnessed in traditional schools. Gislason, N (2009) Building Paradigms: […]

Destination Christchurch 2019: What I learnt about learning?

It’s the learners who matter, not the curriculum, not the teacher, not the timetable, the learners. This past week Christchurch-based colleague, Cheryl Doig and I facilitated a week of professional learning for Sydney-based school leaders. Sharing my reflections here: We visited school working within the NZ system and simultaneously stretching boundaries of ‘what’s possible’. These […]

How might we provide the optimal environment for learners to flourish in STEM?

Short read: The headlines In January 2020, I am leading a professional study tour with a STEM focus, visiting schools, universities and science centres in Scandinavia, Europe and the UK. Across the world, innovation hubs, maker spaces and STEM centres are developed to inspire young (and old) scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs.  Where do you find the […]

Is design thinking a nice idea for the creatives-types or a strategy for transformation? 3 ways leaders create the context for transformation by design

https://hbr.org/2019/03/the-right-way-to-lead-design-thinking Leading change today requires a set of skills that is responsive to the collaborative and empathic culture that many organisations now value. In times past, leadership was transactional, aimed at efficiencies and relationships, negotiated within a hierarchical structure. Sustaining a culture that is built on empathy and collaboration, requires an approach that values people […]

Collaboration – where do you begin? Six steps for your design team to get collaborative

A couple of days ago I concluded the three day Design for the Long Haul workshop with the team of teachers from an elementary school in Toronto. The ideas around learning design-thinking, collaboration and empathy mapping were relatively new to most of them. But they were up for the challenge. As a methodology, design-thinking is […]

What could be made possible if schools were driven by empathy?

What could be made possible if schools were driven by empathy? Leadership: A consultative culture prevailsTeachers: Focus on learning design not content deliveryStudents: Feel like they belong and their voice is valued, become co-designers Imagine the scene, I’ve found the perfect sofa. Colour and style matches with my dream for the space. I’ve sat on […]

The Future of Learning: If you only work on TWO SKILLS…

Yesterday I had two conversations that really made me think. First of all, Adrian, a consultant working in the tech sector who’s ahead of the game with technology for learning and work. I was keen to know what’s next in tech, we spoke about the future trends in digital innovation. When I asked about what […]