Sunday, 24 August 2014

What deep learning and change ripples can we make together?

As an active participant in a recent NZ Learning and Change (LCN) Reference Group session in Auckland, we were asked to reflect on the nature and value of the LCN Strategy. Here are my reflections. They accompany a short video. Click here for  the link to the video.
Screenshot from the video linking the LCN strategy to self-organizing living systems.

Have you ever been part of a vibrant, energetic group of learners who seem to embody an organic whole, pulsating with energy and creating something new and exciting, no single participant could create on their own? (Widhalm 2011)

Learning experiences such as this are at the heart of the New Zealand Learning and Change Network Strategy. This is a strategy where whole communities actively connect and collaborate for the future success of priority students and their families. A strategy where the traditional supply driven, passive and hierarchical mode of professional learning is flipped into an active, ecological, lateral mode of learning.

Developing a growth mind set, believing that one’s learning abilities grow through deliberate practice, is essential for network members: students, teachers, family, school and community leaders. Believing that the expertise lies within and across the network, empowers members to actively articulate, partner and co-construct change priorities for future success for all learners.

Future success is evident through the immersion of learners in innovative, engaging deep learning environments that have the proven capacity to  increase cognitive ability and professional growth for the whole network. Forward thinking local networks transform into vibrant communities of practice. The lateral nature of these intrinsically driven networks means that all participants learn alongside one another within and across communities.
Constant collaboration within the network communities promotes a united sense of ownership and responsibility for the change priorities. Culturally responsive, continually evolving mutual relationships build trust which strengthens and propels the network further forward. Connections between networks nationally and globally ensure the capability for powerful change is strengthened in ways that aren’t possible individually.
Just as self-organising living systems maintain a state of dynamic balance, authentic agency from all participants based on evaluative reflections, continuously realign and reinforce the purpose and direction of the learning and change networks. Such is their nature inasmuch as they emulate self-organising living systems that have the capacity to respond continuously to change. (Wheatley 2011)

Individual to connected

Local to global

What deep learning and change ripples can we make together?

References
Annan, B. (2014) Learning and Change Networks Milestone 4 (final) Auckland UniServices The University of Auckland
Annan, B. Carpenter, R. (2014) OECD Innovative Learning Environments Project New Zealand Monitoring Note 2; Learning and Change Networks (LCN)
Dweck,C. (2006). Mindset:The new psychology of success. New York: Ballantine Books
Fullan,M. (2011). Change Leader: Learning to Do What Matters Most. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Wheatley,M.(2006). Leadership and the new science. San Francisco: Berret-Koehler
Widhalm,B (2011) Educators as Architects of Living Systems: Designing Vibrant Learning Experiences beyond sustainability and systems thinking. Retrieved July , 2014, from http://www.jsedimensions.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Widhalm2011.pdf (as part of Masters in Educational Leadership studies)

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