With this month’s theme of learning and education, it’d be remiss of us not to celebrate some of our area’s stand-out educators.
Life after school has changed. According to the Foundation for Young Australians, “Three global forces are rapidly changing the way we work: automation, globalisation and collaboration. Career pathways aren’t as linear as they used to be with young people expected to have 17 jobs across five careers in their lifetime”.
Although this sounds daunting, it is also an exciting opportunity to rethink the way we educate students. Schools have a dual responsibility – to prepare students for their future and to instil a love of learning. So, how do we prepare students for an unknown future? With the ubiquitous nature of technology, memorising facts and processes is no longer as necessary as it once was to succeed in a profession. As many of the challenges our students will face in the future are unknown, schools must prepare students for lifelong learning where they have the cognitive skills and flexibility to tackle these unknown challenges. This involves the nurturing of a future focused mindset – creativity, collaboration, communication, connectedness, flexibility, digital literacy and problem solving. Authentic learning experiences, where students are tasked with solving real-world problems, makes learning more engaging and helps the students to make connections across multiple areas of the curriculum.
Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School has been working closely with internationally recognised experts Lee Watanabe Crockett from the Global Digital Citizen Foundation and Lane Clark to inspire and train our teachers to ensure we are at the forefront of this new era of education.
Lee has identified 10 Shifts of Practice needed for deep learning that goes well beyond the memorisation of facts for exams. These concepts help students to develop the cognitive skills necessary for problem solving and success in life beyond school. This work also has a strong focus on environmental sustainability, active citizenship and wellbeing, encouraging students and teachers to be curious, thoughtful and optimistic about their interactions with others and the world around us.
Junior School teachers have been working with Lane Clark to embed a number of structured frameworks for students to follow to ensure deep learning takes place. These frameworks help students understand and articulate their learning and thinking processes. The students are building confidence in a wide variety of thinking tools they can use in new situations when different types of thinking are required, somewhat like a plumber knowing which tool to use for a particular purpose. Through these frameworks, students are also challenged to use new learning to make a difference to their lives and the lives of others.
The aim of these initiatives is to encourage our students to develop a growth mindset and become independent and confident learners, recognising that the ability to learn is learnable. Through the process, students will build a repertoire of helpful strategies to enable them to confidently tackle unknown challenges, take risks and be well-prepared for life after school.