The Future of Learning: Leaders with a design mindset

When we talk about the ‘Future of…’ anything it is a defiant moment because we are challenging where we are right now (and have been). People are generally comfortable with the status quo, but as leaders, we know that we can’t settle. We live in an era of disruption, which is code for 'change on [...]

The Future of Learning: Designing for differentiation not settling for standardisation

A bowling alley is characterised by a cavernous spaces made up of lane-upon-lane, with weighty balls hurtling down each one. As a ball is bowled, it's heading toward the pins which are standing at attention, awaiting the impact at the other end. Is your school like a bowling alley? The pins, like students, are passive [...]

The Future of Learning: Teachers as perpetual learners

The Future of Learning depends on teachers who are passionate about learners and skilled at their craft, who also see themselves as learners. Where learning is more about change than knowledge acquisition. When I speak or facilitate workshops about the future of learning and the disruptions we are facing today, I often sense angst in [...]

Learning Design: Creating the ‘need to know’

Over the last few months  I have appreciated working with future-focused educators and school designers in Australia and Asia exploring ideas around designing learning and learning environments that support engagement. The essence of the keynotes and workshops I have presented is the future of learning, I see this as the pointy end of human growth. [...]

Teachers as designers: Reframing problems, How Might We…?

The view of teachers is evolving from technicians who implement the educational ideas and procedures of curriculum to teachers as designers of learning environments and as experts in the art and science of teaching. (OECD p.21). As designers of learning and learning environments, design thinking is a necessary skill for educators to learn and apply. However, professionals [...]

Default-thinking the enemy of design-mindset: 10 Steps to scaffold change.

Default-thinking is a significant problem in making changes to support future-oriented learning. Because school has been around for some time strong mental models dictate thinking and practice. Without the provision of time, support and encouragement to break-out of default thinking it will continue to prevail. I read a tweet from Australian teacher rock-star Eddie Woo [...]

Teachers as designers of learning: Step 1 Empathy

How might we support the individual student growth and achievement so that learning is personal and differentiated? Design thinking, a collaborative and participatory process, is useful in finding unique and creative solutions to complex problems. It provides a way for non-designers to co-design or co-create their way through a problem, shifting between convergent and divergent [...]

Teacher Agency: My journey from trained ‘technician’ to professional ‘designer’

Reading, reading, reading... this is the consuming pre-occupation of the PhD candidate. It consists of strategic choices, then inadvertently (or deliberately) taking rabbit holes that leads you away, before burrowing back on track again. One of these was the OECD project Future of Education and Skills 2030 that appeared in my Twitter feed. A suite of [...]

Meet Sophie: Her future is our challenge.

This is Sophie. She’s an Aussie kid. I often talk about Sophie in my workshops. I want to help make learning and the learning environment relevant to Sophie’s today and tomorrow. What do I mean by ‘relevant’?  It means 'appropriate to the current time, period, or circumstances'. For Sophie, it is looking at the opportunities, [...]

Relic or Really Important: Rethinking school routines, beliefs & practices

When I speak about culture I ask two questions: What do we think about school? What do we do about it? For example, if we view teaching as more monologue than dialogue we will arrange the learning environment to support the didactic teaching mode over discussion and group-based learning. Or, if we think that education [...]