Dear Parents and Caregivers I hope you and your family have remained safe and dry…
Teaching requires a learner but learning does not require a teacher.
If learners only learn to rely on teachers, learning will be stunted. For example, when Pokemon Go was released, online communities sprang up quickly to exchange and share information about the most sought after creatures. No one waited for a course or workshop. A similar scenario describes kids who learn Minecraft primarily through YouTube videos and gaming communities. It’s the same with the recent fad of Fortnight. No documentation or manual was released; players learn literally everything about the game on their own or from other players. It is about cooperation and inquiry.
There is a clear need to develop a disposition toward inquiry as it relates to learning for life, and as the foundation for deep learning. I believe this leads to engagement and a motivation to strive for personal excellence. We all need to see ourselves in some situations, as a perpetual beginners and have a sense of relentless curiosity. To develop persistence and resilience in the face of feedback i.e. game over and start again is accepted, (in other words; what we understand to be a FAIL or how I now think of the word- First Attempt is Learning). Most students and that is a large percentage who play video games are entrenched in this concept. How do we use this as a lever to springboard into other facets of their lives? The good news is that in some form we do not need to develop student learning dispositions or capabilities around inquiry but that we need to strengthen dispositions they already possess. Is the best way to use for some the gaming analogy?
Explicit instruction, i.e. the sort of teaching that dominates schools and parenting can sometimes be limiting. When young people think they are being taught, they are more likely to just reproduce what the adult or teacher does, instead of thinking it through for themselves, and creating brain messages that are their own. This process is more likely to create messages that can be adapted for changing circumstances.
CHARACTER COUNTS (The value of your human capital)
The value of developing Global Thinking Dispositions
I believe we need to work to develop the following learning capabilities for all our akonga;
- A disposition to inquire about the world, seeking information beyond familiar environments.
- A disposition to understand multiple perspectives – others and our own. For example, considering cultural contexts, resisting stereotypes and valuing shared human dignity.
- A disposition toward respectful dialogue, this includes listening generously and sharing courageously and having a do no harm mindset.
- A disposition toward responsible actions, this create opportunities to improve conditions and situations through words, behaviours and actions.
What do we say we value at Rutherford at the moment?
Our current MISSION STATEMENT is that;
Rutherford College is a community where striving for personal excellence is the focus. Students needs are put at the centre of a personalised learning system in which learning is made meaningful for all students. A high expectations culture exists and high standards of academic, sporting, cultural, and social achievement are attained.
What type of citizen do we believe need to graduate from Rutherford and does our mission statement still accurately reflect this? What do we want? How do we get better informed?
Action point – I believe we need to develop a GRADUATE PROFILE fit for the modern world as it is at the moment but also with an eye to the future. We start this process by surveying recent past students about what we did well to set them up for happiness and success? This ensures we know what to keep doing? We also need to know what could we have done better to set up students for University, Apprenticeships, the workforce and the job of life after school generally.
We need to find ways to thicken the good culture that currently exists at Rutherford and create systems that make these influences and actions more widespread. What systems or processes need support to build better connections and synergy? The clearer the vison or the why this is important the easier it will be to prioritise and communicate, its importance. The better understood this becomes the thicker the culture and the greater chance of success.
These are the key questions. What is Important, why is it Important? And we keep linking back to this.