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Tuning learners back into learning: Can this be done? Mamokgethi Setati, PhD (Wits); MASSAf

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Presentation on theme: "Tuning learners back into learning: Can this be done? Mamokgethi Setati, PhD (Wits); MASSAf"— Presentation transcript:

1 Tuning learners back into learning: Can this be done? Mamokgethi Setati, PhD (Wits); MASSAf

2 Tune (verb) To adjust (a musical instrument) to the correct or uniform pitch To adjust (a receiver circuit such as a radio or television) to the frequency of the required signal : the radio was tuned to the SABC. To adjust (an engine) or balance (mechanical parts) so that a vehicle runs smoothly and efficiently : the suspension was tuned for a softer ride | figurative state officials have been tuning up an emergency plan. To adjust or adapt (something) to a particular purpose or situation: the animals are finely tuned to life in the desert. To become sensitive to: you must tune into the needs of loved ones.

3 Who are these learners? They are the generation Z (born1994-2006) –The oldest among them are taking to the roads with glossy new driver's licenses and the youngest started Grade 1 this year. –They are techno savvy – they are the first generation to be born with complete technology. They do not know life without technology. –They are very collaborative and creative. –They are multi-taskers - they can text, read, watch, talk and eat all at the same time –Despite their academic performance they demand that we take them seriously as future leaders

4 Generation Z learners are harder to teach Their constant multitasking has saddled them with a pretty short attention span –They are easily bored and ready to move onto the next thing –Long lessons can be hard to manage, so educators have to tailor information to be more bite-sized They are techno savvy - know they can get information at a click of a mouse –They are interested in critical thinking and problem solving rather than information memorisation They are aware that they do not need formal education for their careers to take off - more and more are seeking out entrepreneurship and business opportunities at a lower age

5 Are these the kind of of learners that we can tune into learning like we tune the radio/engine/TV/music instrument/etc. We cannot change who our learners are We have to teach the learners that we have and not those that we used to have or the ones we wish we had We have to lead and manage the schools that we have not those that we wish we had Perhaps it is not just learners who need to be tuned….

6 What does this mean? This is not necessarily bad news We do not need to defend ourselves or mask our intentions We need to learn how to compete for their fleeting attention We need to learn how to draw on their strengths to transform teaching and learning.

7 We need a rethink! Re-think schooling –What is schooling for? –Why do children have to go through this process of schooling? Re-think school leadership How to lead generation Z learners and generation X and Y teachers Re-think teaching and learning How to get generation Z learners interested in learning Rethink discipline

8 Expectation in terms your leadership role as a school principal Entrepreneurial Creative and innovative Questioning the status quo –What is schooling for? –Why should anyone be led by you? –Etc. A sense of urgency The ability to create more leaders in the school The ability to develop a niche area for the school 8

9 Expectations in terms of your management role as a school principal Managing change in a competitive environment Management of very clever people (Rob Goffee & Gareth Jones) - Smarter and techno savvy learners & educated teachers –They hate being led, they know their worth; they get bored easily; they wont thank you Capacity development – for yourself & the educators in your school Management of resources effectively and efficiently Managing curriculum implementation and curriculum reform. 9

10 What is a leader-manager... When you lead you are constantly uncomfortable with the present. When you manage you maintain the status quo. How do you empower people by managing less while retaining discipline and focus? How do you build an enlarged sense of purpose that merits extraordinary contributions? 10

11 Leading curriculum implementation What is my leadership role in: –Quality of teaching and learning taking place in the school Transformation of how we teach, what we teach, how learners learn and disciplinary boundaries When last did you have teachers observe your teaching? When last did you do class visits in your school? –Allocation of work Who teaches what grade and why? What does success in my school look like? –Are pass rates a sufficient measure of quaity teaching? 11

12 Managing talent... Focus on ability, engagement and aspiration Emphasise future competencies Assign talented colleagues to the most challenging assignments Create intense environment that spurs creativity Give others ownership of results Emphasize individual development plans Continually evaluate talent in the department Regular dialogical communication with staff Define opportunity that cause colleagues to stretch their thinking and behaviour Nominate your staff for awards 12

13 Leading and managing external linkages... How do I develop linkages with other schools and other relevant entities outside my school? –Who do we want to be friends with and why? The essence of external linkages –Why do we have them? –How do they benefit the school? The importance of benchmarking 13

14 Building a high performance school in which learners, teachers, principal and parents are tuned in What are we working towards as a school? –Involvement in the crafting of a vision and strategy for the school with clear goals How will we know we are achieving our goals? –Are pass rates a sufficient measure of quaity teaching? –What about retention, quality and equity?

15 What does it take to build high performance? Make sense of the world * What is happening? * What does it means to us? * What should we do? Energise & mobilise the school * Imagination & spirit * Fast learning * Teamwork * Discipline Make COMMITMENTS Create a CLIMATE Frame the way people see things Frame the way people feel

16 Start at the front line What must Sipho and Ms Adam do on Monday morning? Do they know (1) what to do… (2) why to do it… (3) how to do it… (4) How well to do it… and (5) how well they are doing?

17 In conclusion... Decisions you take in your school impact the learners, community, province and country Be future oriented - Operate with a far reaching timetable, integrate short term results and long term focus Be change oriented - Driver of change and managing the tension between vision and reality 17

18 In the end… When the best leaders job is done, the people say we did it ourselves (author unknown).

19 Thank you

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