Ben Laybourn

Educational Leadership

1 Comment

It is always interesting to consider big!`

It is always interesting to consider big! 

Hi i am new to this blogging.  thought I would add my voice to the mix of conversation out there.   Thought I would introduce myself and make some insightful remarks on education to get started. Actually I will let you decide if they are insightful or not.

I am a teacher and have been for the past sixteen years, Wow that time has gone quickly.  Working in primary and secondary a range of roles, teaching, Deaning, HoD’ing and AP/DPing and now moving into professional development facilitating.  

Currently I work with and for Michael Absolum in his company Evaluation Associates Lid.   We are part of CPL working on the Leadership and Assessment in New Zealand schools.  This means we work in schools helping leaders and teacher improve educational outcomes for all students by focusing on priority students,  improving the learning though formative assessment.  We also do a lot of work helping schools explore digital learning and Modern learning environments, considering how innovative learning can be created and explored with students

This is a real privilege to help schools reflect and improve  on what they do and how the teaching and learning occurs in their schools. 

Education is an exciting place to work at the moment!   With the rapid advances of technology  the shifts in pedagogy and the place of change management, schools are finding they need to be more nimble and change quickly as technology and student expectation changes,  As a country we are also responding to the call to raise Maori achievement.  So the cultural responsiveness and place of Te Reo and Tikanga in schools is a fantastic space to work and develop cultural identity and voice.  Yes it certainly is a interesting space to be.   

The challenge for us all is to think about how we can improve the education system so it better meets the needs of our students and their needs as they progress into the future.  

I am always interest to consider big questions!  In fact I like thinking.  Actually you could leave it there, but I  thought I might clarify this a bit more.  I like thinking about education.  The whys and why nots, the hows and the whats.  It is fun exploring what learning is and what it can be  and it vital to ask those edgy questions.  You know the ones that make people stop before answering.

The “what if”  questions that push outside the norm?

  • Like what if education was not compulsory? Who would come to school?
  • What if  schools did not teacher subjects but offered students spaces to explore and be creative and innovative?
  • What if schools where not about teaching but about developing learning behaviours?
  • What if teachers were experts at facilitating learning and not teaching a subject?
  • what if school leaders were paid on the character development of their school leavers and did not focus on qualifications? 
  • What if we had the chance to redesign secondary schools in NZ without the institutional or assessment framework constraints that we currently have?
  • How could NCEA be maximized even further to benefit students?
while these questions are not new or even very original the answers are complex and varied and I love the conversations and ideas that come out of such questions.   It is fantastic that some schools are beginning to really explore what this can look like.
The challenge for us all is to take these conversations into the staff room, the classroom and the learning experience.  perhaps if there are more agents of change and disrupters to the status quo change will happen.