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Our road to 21 st century learning: A brief reflection on where weve been and where were going West Virginia Leadership Institute March, 2009 Jerry Valentine.

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Presentation on theme: "Our road to 21 st century learning: A brief reflection on where weve been and where were going West Virginia Leadership Institute March, 2009 Jerry Valentine."— Presentation transcript:

1 Our road to 21 st century learning: A brief reflection on where weve been and where were going West Virginia Leadership Institute March, 2009 Jerry Valentine

2 Our Professional Challenge "Our challenge is to provide instruction that is not only relevant, engaging and meaningful, but that also includes the world-class rigor necessary to prepare our students to be competitive in the 21st century workplace. Students must be able to comprehend, problem solve and communicate solutions if they are expected to compete on a global level." Dr. Steven Paine Superintendent of Schools

3 Lets reflect about our Institute and school leadership: Past and Future. As time permits, here are four topics for our discussion: LEADERSHIP for LEARNING LEADERSHIP for COLLABORATIVE CULTURES LEADERSHIP for CONTINUOUS CHANGE VISION-DRIVEN LEADERSHIP

4 PAST: Learning was often passive listening and seatwork

5 FUTURE: Learning is mentally engaging …analytical, creative, reflective, engaging

6 Leadership for Learning 20 th Century Leadership Studied best teaching practices…looked at teacher behavior Assumed learner needs were known…work skills for business and industry and skills for college and careers 21 st Century Leadership Study learning…look at student engagement in problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity Understand future skills are not known…must build basic knowledge and the capacity and desire to learn

7 Leadership for Collaborative Cultures 20 th Century Leadership Focused on school climate and collegiality…create congenial work environment and social relationships 21 st Century Leadership Focus on a learner- centered culture…create professional collaboration and professional learning

8 Leadership for Continuous Change 20 th Century Leadership Change was sporadic and first-order…usually mandated from district or state and seldom lasted or valued Change was made and expected it to be long term or even permanent 21 st Century Leadership Change is constant and second-order…urgency to change is ever-present and always will be Change is a continuous progression of reflection and collaboration… collective problem solving that builds commitment and efficacy among staff

9 Vision-Driven Leadership 20 th Century Leadership Schools seldom developed change plans…when they did they were strategic The strategic plan required a vision…which the principal wrote, printed, and posted in all classrooms 21 st Century Leadership Comprehensive, systemic plans are the basis for continuous change…broad in scope and engaging all staff in the development, implementation, assessment, and refinement Change is vision driven …describing where we want to be in five years and grounded in best practices

10 A lighter look at leadership and vision Yogi-isms for school leaders. The future aint what it used to be. If you dont set goals, you cant regret not reaching them. Youve got to be very careful if you dont know where youre going, because you might not get there. Were lost, but were making great time! If you dont know where youre going, chances are you will end up somewhere else. If you come to a fork in the road, take it.

11 A Poorly Written Non-Rhyming Poem: aka… A Bit of Educational Poetic Prose Inspiration: Robert Frost The Road Not Taken (1915) Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth Differences/Similarities Rhyme, meter, overall quality…his is well written, mine is not Common message about decisions and results

12 Part I: What Path to Take The principal and faculty paused…to consider their path to the future The first (order) path was worn, familiar The second (order) path was untraveled, unsure Both would require hard work and challenge. With thought of what would work for them The first path they principal and faculty did take Content, believing they were doing their best For themselves and their students, it must be the right way.

13 Part II: They Tried So Hard Two years, three years, four went by They felt it was good, they were doing their best But they looked at the students in disbelief Where did we go wrong…we worked so hard. They reflected back to that decisive day When the path they chose seemed the best way They could make it work, better than before But results were the same…no better, no worse

14 Part III: The Realization They talked, shouted, cried a bit, then talked some more And started afresh down a new path that day Of second-order assumptions and open mind A new plan, a new way for their school to go. They studied the world…how it had changed What did their kids need to know and do What will life be in the years ahead And how do we grow and change as well?

15 Part IV: The Collaborative Vision They answered the challenge by working together They met as a whole to define their vision They set goals/objectives to guide the way Talking, collaborating, they had a plan. Over time things changed, it was a new school Hard work together began to pay off Trust, commitment, confidence and belief They knew their work was now good and right!

16 Part V: The Celebration The community, in time, saw it as well The students came to school believing they would learn The parents and community were not sure at first But in time they realized how the students had grown. Now it was evident, the paths they chose The first was hard, but without results The second was harder, big challenges to meet With unending tasks they would never complete.

17 Part VI: The Difference They chose the second path five years ago When they talked, shouted, and cried a bit It seems a memory now, but it was a key A point in time when it all came clear. A new path they took and remain steadfast Together, they met the challenges of the path And that, as Frost wrote… has made all the difference.

18 About Robert Frosts The Road Not Taken Robert Frost wrote The Road Not Taken in 1915 It was published in 1916 in a book of poems entitled Mountain Interval. A second, revised edition of the book was published in 1920. Many literature scholars have studied and written about the poem and speculated about Frosts intent. It seems the most commonly accepted interpretation is that Frost simply wanted to write about the weekly walks he took with his friend Edward Thomas. As Frost tells it, they took turns each week selecting the roads they would walk in the New England woods. When Thomas took his turn to select, he was often indecisive, taking minutes to make his choice of the paths in the road. Thus, the classic poem written about an individual taking a walk on a fall day. Though inspired when I recalled Frosts poem, I took so many liberties in creating my poorly written piece that it was not an effort to mimic Frosts poem. Frost described similar roads and the traveler would never return to take the other path. I described two different roads and the traveler (school) did return to take the better path.

19 Its all about selecting the right path and staying the course…

20 Additional Files I do not plan to use the following slides in my presentation. I included them in this PowerPoint so you would have them at your fingertips if you wanted to reflect about the four concepts in my presentation. Jerry

21 Leadership for Learning How is our leadership for learning different now than it was 5 or 10 years ago? What do we know about learner needs now and in the future that makes our job different? What have we studied about learners needs that compels us to think and act differently as leaders?

22 LEADERSHIP for LEARNING THEN: GENERAL AWARENESS OF BEST PRACTICES. Principals studied best practices in graduate school and informed teachers about the practices they expected to see during classroom observations. Students were being prepared for a future work life that was known and valued. NOW: INTELLECTUALLY STIMULATE AND CHALLENGE. Principals know and understand existing research about best teaching and learning. They engage teachers in collaborative study sessions and support application of the practices in the classroom. They understand the linkage between curriculum, instruction, and assessment and support faculty as they design learning from assessment, not for assessment. They constantly remind staff that we are preparing students to think analytically and creatively for a life of unknown jobs and challenges. WHATS SHOULD BE DIFFERENT ABOUT LEARNING TODAY AND IN THE FUTURE?

23 Todays Learners Are Different The first generation to grow up with computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones. Marc Prensky, Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants 2001 They think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors.


25 Preparing Students for…

26 Leadership for Collaborative Culture How long have we as principals been placing more emphasis on culture than on climate? Whats the difference between climate and culture? Why is a caring, collaborative culture essential in a 21 st Century School?

27 LEADERSHIP and CULTURE THEN: CLIMATE WAS KING. Principals knew that if they maintained a positive climate, faculty would enjoy coming to work and they would feel good about their job and school. A happy faculty was a good faculty. NOW: CULTURE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE. Principals understand the factors that make up a schools culture, they assess their schools culture and they implement strategies to create a caring, collaborative culture where everyones primary focus is on the intellectual, social, and emotional success of every student. WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED ABOUT AN EFFECTIVE CULTURE?

28 The outward look of a school has not changed much in recent years, but…

29 But the culture of the school is very different. Learning is analytical, creative, engaging; faculty are collaborative and facilitative…

30 Leadership for Continuous Change What do we do differently to lead change now compared to how we would have led change 5 or 10 years ago? Why does second-order change make a difference but first-order may not? Why must we think of vision-driven change, not merely data-driven change?

31 LEADERSHIP for CONTINUOUS CHANGE THEN: CHANGE WAS TOP-DOWN. Principals were paternalistic, deciding what needed to change in a school, explaining their decisions to teachers and others, and making sure the change was implemented. Their supervisors evaluated their ability to make the changes necessary to have a good school. NOW: COLLABORATIVELY DETERMINED, DEVELOPED, and IMPLEMENTED. Principals understand first and second order change as well as the ups and downs and struggles of the change process. The change is driven by a vision and knowledge of best practices. In time, a culture that not only accepts change, but that embraces change evolves. Collaboration is a key process to implement and sustain the important changes. WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED ABOUT HOW TO LEAD CHANGE?

32 If its not second order, its not going to make a difference for students… First Order Incremental Next most obvious step Relatively quick-fix solutions Address simple problems where traditional solutions suffice Single-loop learning where previous strategies will work Second Order Significant departure from the norm Deep change affecting values, beliefs and assumptions Slow, evolving process over time Addresses complex problems requiring new, thoughtful, and often creative comprehensive solutions Double-loop learning where new strategies are needed to solve the problem Becomes institutionalized in the culture of the organization

33 Faculty Emotions during Change Comfort with current conditions Realization of needed change Realization of urgency for change Engagement & Problem Solving Temporary Optimism Frustrations of implementing the change Persistence Comfort w/ on- going change TIME Staff AnxietyHigh Low

34 The importance of collaborative conversations… Build the Sense of Need and Urgency Establish knowledge, understanding, and realization of need for change (collaborative conversations) Empower Personnel Establish participative, problem-solving conversations across teams, task groups, and whole faculty (collaborative conversations) Build Direction and Unity of Purpose via Comprehensive Visions Establish goals and strategies involving all faculty throughout the process (collaborative conversations) Monitor, Measure, and Assess Progress toward Visions Engage all staff in the collection and analysis of various forms of data to monitor and change as needed (collaborative conversations)

35 Vision-driven Leadership Five or ten years ago, who typically developed a schools vision and goals? In the future, how must we develop our schools goals? How do we keep ill-informed and misguided faculty values and beliefs from affecting our school vision?

36 VISION-DRIVEN LEADERSHIP THEN: PRINCIPAL ESTABLISHED VISION: Principals defined the schools goals and were accountable to the superintendents expectations. NOW: VISION-DRIVEN LEADERSHIP: Principals engage teachers in collaborative conversations about what students need to know and be able to do as well as what faculty truly value, believe, and are committed to. Principals and teachers then collaboratively develop a vision and the goals and strategies to achieve that vision. They are accountable to their ethical/moral commitment to effectively prepare students for the 21 st century. WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED ABOUT ESTABLISHING A MEANINGFUL VISION?

37 How some people envision a good learning setting…

38 The vision we must realize in our schools for our students…

39 A new vision of curriculum and learning…

40 He has a vision…will our schools vision prepare him for his vision?

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