22 April 2013


I marvel at what happens when 80+ teachers get together during the holiday for some self directed learning. This is now happening now at Ignition13
I admire the commonality:
All deeply care for their students' learning. All deeply care that the students own their own learning.
The participants embody change as it is enabled through NZC, effective pedagogy, aligned NCEA standards, natural use of ICTs...
All are practitioners that are effecting change.
I am in owe of the sharing of ideas taking place.
I appreciate the mix of primary and secondary teachers exchanging.
All talk thinking, talk inquiry, talk modern learning environments, talk evidence of learning, talk assessment for learning, talk mindsets and mindfulness.
All prepare clever, crafted and convincing Ignite talks on subjects as diverse as "flipped Library", "Music as alchemy", "Mindfulness", "Exploration", "Call of Duty", "Overcoming stigmas"... (I ll edit here to link to them when they are posted).
All are change agents because this is what they want to model to their students to enable them to be change agent themselves.
I appreciate the goodness of what is shared and learned as it will keep on giving as it will be in turned shared to those not present.

I respect that all are prepared to stick their neck out, have their views challenged, stumble and start again.
I have all to learn from this ever growing group of emerging leaders: their risk taking, their clarity of purpose, their drive, their confidence in their role, their enthusiasm.

All today embody this culture of "working together to make things better for all". How long before this mindset is mainstream in NZ schools? 


  1. It sounds wonderful, Pascale. I wish I'd been there to get some inspiration on how to be an agent of change when parents are breathing down one's neck. At least in public education one doesn't feel so under surveillance. I think maybe there has to be a critical mass of agents for change in a place before it gains traction. I think that Jacqueline and I, working together, can certainly be agents for change in the field of technology but I'm not so sure how to approach the big mindset challenge. It seems that most students at CC are not yet ready and willing to own their own learning as they are too caught up in the assessment-driven mindset. I can see that it's something that's best introduced as early as possible in order to make those desirable dispositions the default. When I have the time and energy I'd like to do a little inquiry learning into the most effective ways to acquire language. I think I've had adequate proof that effective learning hasn't taken place through the book-based, logical progression approach but how to convince students and parents that learning doesn't necessarily take place just because the 'work' has been covered. In fact only a small percentage of the material and concepts seems to be retained by most. How to make the process more mindful??

    1. You know how I go through my real highs and real lows don't you? Well tonight after the 2nd of Ignition I am calm. I need to process heaps and plenty will fall out but I have "des pistes à explorer". One of these is indeed the robustness of the teaching as inquiry cycle. This has featured very very highly indeed these last few days. Have a look at Dr Wright's page at this link http://myportfolio.school.nz/user/noelinewright/teachingasinquiry it may support you in breaking down the steps to take to provide convincing and compelling evidence.

  2. The key must be to provide everyone with evidence that learning is taking place. It's too early as yet for me to be able do this adequately and it certainly won't be taking place in a groundswell of disatisfaction. Petit à petit, l'oiseau fait son nid.
    However, when I look back on what we've covered and checked it against what's in the book, I can see that we can tick off lots of things, except that we've covered them because the need has arisen to do so - in response to a question or someone's curiosity.
    Reading back through the notes I made from Ewen MacIntosh, I think it was, I came across something that particularly resonates "Excessive content is the enemy of effective learning so we decided to make 1 out of 3 lessons content free but learning rich". How wise.

    1. to go back to what I wrote above, to provide this evidence and to ensure it is rigorous, look into the cycle of inquiry. I am going to discuss this tool with Lesley next week as she has had to facilitate its use as an adviser and she has a great practical approach to it which I find Dr Wright is complementing. For me I am hoping it is going to help me move my understanding forward on a range of key issues that I need to investigate to get out of my crossroad!


Let's go Back to the Drawing Board!