A collaborative partnership between Independent Schools Victoria and Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education is giving school Principals vital space to learn, reflect and focus on leading learning that matters (LLtM).
The collaboration aims to support highly experienced Principals to meet the challenges and opportunities of modern learning through a two-year research project.
Preparing students for the contemporary world
The process began with Good Shepherd Lutheran Primary School’s Principal Greg Schneider convening a meeting to involve all teachers at the school in thinking about how they might best prepare their students for the contemporary world.
Teachers were invited to reflect individually on what they thought mattered most for their students to learn. They then got into smaller groups to share and discuss the methods of learning that were important to them and documenting the key points.
How to improve student learning?
Over time, a collective vision of the learning that mattered for students at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Primary School began to take shape, with four key practices for LLtM being formulated
Teachers were invited to articulate a shared vision of the learning they felt mattered most for their students.
Collaborative structures were designed for teachers to work together to transform what and how they teach in the classroom. Teachers worked together to consider what they think and do in their lessons and how it connects to, and informs, the larger goal of learning creating interdependencies among teachers. Teachers were supported to think together, share ideas, experiment with peer support and gain rich feedback.
As teachers were included in discussions about what learning matters, teachers were able to reflect on what they did well and what values they brought to their work with students. Teachers found a supportive context for intellectual stimulation as their shared ideas, practices and examples built the capacity which enabled teachers to grow individually and collectively.
Greg concluded, sustained progress toward the learning that matters is evident when people speak and believe in the same language about what matters for their students to learn, and when a school works to make that vision a daily reality in the classroom.
Outcomes of the program
LLtM Principals who have embarked on investigating the learning that matters within their school communities have valued the opportunity to come together with other principals on a similar journey. Best practices have been shared among peers along with challenges with the program providing time for Principals to learn, reflect and look at their work through a different lens.
The role of a Principal has many competing priorities. To combat this, the program supports Principals to keep learning high on the school agenda. Over the two years, LLtM Principals worked with the team at Project Zero Harvard to plan, test and implement school innovations that prepared their learners to thrive. As a result, important ideas and projects have come to life with momentum sustained well after the program.
Click here to find out more about the Leading Learning that Matters project.
The Leading Learning that Matters project can be used to help improve the learning at your school or education organisation. If you have any questions about the program, or how you can use the program within your organisation, contact Ellen Butters on 03 5443 0344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org