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21 st Century Learning: coming in for a landing from 30,000 feet Jeff Hopkins, Superintendent Gulf Islands School District, BC, Canada.

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Presentation on theme: "21 st Century Learning: coming in for a landing from 30,000 feet Jeff Hopkins, Superintendent Gulf Islands School District, BC, Canada."— Presentation transcript:

1 21 st Century Learning: coming in for a landing from 30,000 feet Jeff Hopkins, Superintendent Gulf Islands School District, BC, Canada

2 I am mixing together the two parts of my 17 minutes: (i.e. breaking the rules) 1.Program overview 2. Answering overarching questions.

3 The gist of the guidebook... Why travel at all? Where are you going? How did you get off the couch and start? How are you getting there? Who decides? Are you reaching a good destination? How are people enjoying the journey? Show and TellTravel Guide =

4 depth versus quantity (Steven Wright) Why travel at all? (Why all the fuss?) Einstein, photons, and the “quantum enigma” the zone of proximal development Artificial Intelligence vs. human learning

5 What sparked us to decide to travel? A conversation. A real one. “What do we consider to be the optimal conditions for learning?” “How would an education system be designed so that it works for the individual, the family, the community and the planet?” Bottom up and top down initiative. (you can decide which end is which)

6 Grassroots initiatives containing key elements of our conversations: Saturna Ecological Education Centre (SEEC) thematic, interdisciplinary grade-wide and school-wide learning (e.g. “water” at SSE), a student-led forum on the nature and structure of learning What has our mode of travel (our process) been so far?

7 District-led and formal initiatives modelling what we want to see or restructuring to make change possible” coaching all formal leaders in district (vs. performance reviews or just growth plans) “Connecting Generations” project multi-age classrooms (and not just when we have to) What has our mode of travel (our process) been so far?

8 Where are we right now? We have publicly made some major proposals to ourselves....

9 The proposals... PROPOSAL #1: We shall create a structure at the secondary level that goes far beyond what our existing rotating block structure allows. Students need to be able to meet with teachers in different settings to better match the reasons for which they are meeting. Students need the flexibility to be able to spend differing amounts of time to acquire the appropriate levels of understanding and depth. This cannot be “education by modular package,” but rather a much more organic system that fosters dialogue, planning, invention, reflection, and personalization of how outcomes are demonstrated. PROPOSAL #2: We shall create a staffing process that allows educational staff to be more flexible in how they work with students. The “classroom as silo” era must end, evolving instead to greater levels of collaboration among teachers, support staff, and between teachers and the community. Teachers need to be able to take on new positions for which descriptions are not yet written (i.e. learning path facilitator, interdisciplinary team leader, assessment team leader) in combination with positions that currently exist.

10 The proposals... PROPOSAL #3: We shall adapt our current behavioural outcome- and subject-based curriculum model into a competency-based model. The competencies will be: Critical and creative thinking Collaboration, teamwork, and leadership Global, local, and cross-cultural understanding Media literacy, communication, and information management Life and career planning Ecological literacy These competencies will be underpinned by the foundational skills of reading, writing and oral language, and mathematical literacy, but neither shall be taught in isolation. Each competency will be referenced in developmentally-appropriate performance standards. Curriculum content will not be organized as lists of outcomes, but as inter- relational nodal maps, providing structure while allowing for maximum flexibility, interdisciplinarity, student initiation and engagement, and personalization.

11 The proposals... PROPOSAL #4: We shall deploy our teaching force in such a way as to be able to Optimize student:teacher ratios, to create a greater variety of learning relationships between teachers and students, to support a sliding scale of dependence versus independence/interdependence as kids get older, to retain content specialists while adding emphasis to learning processes, and to move beyond “classroom” as the unit of learning PROPOSAL # 5: We shall create a system whereby authentic student assessment with portfolio-based exemplars can be referenced, tracked longitudinally, and used to demonstrate depth of learning in competency areas. Such a system needs to allow for student engagement in the assessment process and must facilitate strong age-to-age transitions.

12 The proposals... PROPOSAL #6: We shall no longer automatically group students by grade, but will group in broader developmental level/multi-age bands, with the understanding that groupings will be dynamic and purposive beyond this starting point. PROPOSAL #7: Each student shall have a Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) that becomes the official document that guides their learning. Its creation will become more and more student-initiated as the learner gets older and takes on more responsibility for his/her learning. The ILP will provide structure and a focal point for consultation with teachers and parents. Each ILP will be completely personalized to the needs of the student for whom it is created.

13 The reactions... Analysed as a whole group and also by sub-group Measured in terms of readiness (as opposed to preference or opinion) - that part is already done (this is the moving forward part!) - this is where most things stop - this is where the most energy is required Much change has already been made; people are not waiting.

14 The next steps... Our work plan over the next three years in a Gantt chart format first draft nearly ready to go identifies champions and participants in each significant area of inquiry/action principals and vice principals are taking the lead, heading district committees and ad hoc working groups built in qualitative and quantitative measures Current challenge: teacher job action

15 “Travelers, there is no path, paths are made by walking.” ― Antonio Machado

16 Questions..... Also, more detailed information available upon request: Schematic of new curriculum design including nodal map concept, age grouping configurations, and a set of universal curricular goals from K to 12. Reactions by sub-group to our 7 proposals (chart format) Saturna Ecological Education Centre Connecting Generations “living library” project Coaching for principals and other district leaders (article in Education Canada magazine: “Off the Menu” – Google it!) Specific format and content of student forum on learning (world cafe style) Specific format and content of retreat on learning (open space and world cafe)

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