Once Upon a Family of Schools… USING NETWORKED LEARNING TO TAKE EDUCATIONAL CHANGE TO SCALE NW3 Family of Schools Toronto District School Board
Acknowledgements For the inspiration and optimism, thank you to • All NW3 Students, Teachers, Principals and Vice-Principals • All NW3 literacy coaches: Mary Cole, Sucheta Jones, Lisa Lisowski, Janet Russell, Judith Saliani & Patti Woods • LNS Student Achievement Officers Karen Murray, Denis Maika, Elaine Hines & Researcher Dr. David Cameron
Our Moral Purpose: Building a Future Together Together we will develop students who are idea and concept thinkers who are global leaders and citizens who are humanitarians. Shaping our Schools, Shaping our Future
Challenges are Opportunities for Improvement and Innovation • Equity and Excellence of Outcomes require complex social change • About 11,000 students of which 7,000 are elementary • A service model of leadership • FOS EQAO data in 2004 were Gr 3 R 59%; W 61%; M 73% Gr 6 R 65%; W 59%; M 67% With 6/15 schools less than 49% and 1/15 at 24% in Grade 3 • Examine: who are our students? How have we provided for them?
Our Collective & Individual Service Model STUDENTS | TEACHERS | PRINCIPALS & VICE-PRINCIPALS | TDSB PROGRAM STAFF | | SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT OFFICER
Theory of Change • Educational change and school improvement are social change and innovation • Social innovation precludes simple recipe for success
Theory of Change What we have learned are • Social innovation has no single or simple answer • Social change is the result of a complex mix of elements • Structural conditions; social conditions and individual actors collide to spark world-changing ideas
Theory of Change • Create spaces that provide teachers with exposure to new ideas and the ability to engage in social construction of knowledge and practices • Bridge connections with people and powerful ideas • Develop systems and structures to help turn the seeds of an idea into an achievable plan
Complex change cannot be solved by linear or single factor solutions; require addressing multiple elements yet integrated
Diversity: Social Innovation and Network • SI occurs best in environments that are diverse, rarely in homogenous or staid structures • SI happens where differing approaches bump against each other and stimulate new ways of thinking and doing • SI means doing away with silos that keep classrooms and schools of practice apart
FOS Cluster of Schools 2007 – 2008Using EQAO 4 - years trend data (2004 - 2007)
Hubs and Clusters Cluster of 3 schools = 1 host school + 2 (4) member schools Clusters intersect and form networks of • Teachers, principals, literacy coach • Literacy coaches and superintendent • Principals, superintendent and/or SAO • Teachers, literacy coach, principals, SAO and superintendent
The Right Environment: Social Innovation and Network • Need the space to spark, develop and apply ideas • Access to resources and support structures otherwise the best ideas will not take flight • Best “spaces” are a mix of functional and whimsical, therefore the importance of “unstructured social space” that allows for serendipity
The teaching-learning relationship is the most precious resource in our schools.
“What is worth fighting for is not allow our schools to be negative by default, but to make them positive by design.” Fullan & St. Germain Using networks of learning to build capacity in • Teaching • Leadership • Internal accountability
Networks as Engine of Change Level 1 • Networks are the spaces within which the elements of resources, learning and leadership intersect to support the teaching-learning relationship. Networked learners identify points of entry and leverage into the TLCP Level 2 • Community of networks is the support system within which teaching-learning flourishes.
Animate and Watch It Grow: Social Innovation and Network • Opportunities for individuals and teams to find their own entry points and map their pathways • Participatory culture where all members are welcome to bring their ideas and to leave their fingerprints
Moving beyond status quo“The world of knowledge takes a crazy turn when teachers themselves are taught to learn” BertoltBrecht • Level 1 Evidence of Learning: Better ideas; next actions & what evidence of learning do we bring to the next session • Level 2 Meta-cognition: What is the difference that makes the difference • Level 3 Move from models of thinking to models for thinking i.e. push for generalizations e.g. Do we agree this strategy will always work? Why is this so? Could we prove it? When is it helpful? When not? Which pattern of strategies over time can be useful generalizable models
In networks of learning… Collaborative work and negotiating relationships are more difficult when boundaries of schools are crossed and involved leaders of similar authority.
Distributed leadership Role of leaders is a function of their relationships, ideas, and activities and not of power. It is in the exercise of influence over beliefs, actions, and values of others.
Animate & Watch It Grow: Social Innovation & Network • Opportunities that help foster connections and stimulate new thoughts and ways of doing • Formal capacity-building strategies to informal social mixers – devices that foster individual and collective growth • Promote environments that produces original action
Literacy Coach: Inside and Outside “The bottom line is that teachers become school based reformers only when they take on leadership for important parts of the school that lie beyond their classrooms” Roland Barth
CONNECT JOINT WORK (THAT CHALLENGES THINKING) BENEFITS FROM BEING IN RELATIONSHIP NEW PRACTICES ARE ADOPTED (& BECOME THE NORM & ACCEPTED STANDARD) LEAD WITHIN THE NETWORKED INTERACTIONS, NOT THE ACTIONS (INTENTIONALLY) CREATE NEW KNOWLEDGE & WAYS OF DOING EXCHANGE & SHARE DISCOVERIES WITH WIDER AUDIENCE NETWORKED LEARNING INSIDE & OUTSIDE ROLE OF LITERACY COACHES
Supporting the Networked Community of Learning • Role of the leadership • Appreciative inquiry • Promote transparency of otherwise unobservable practices • Making tacit assumptions of curriculum, learning and instruction explicit & open to discussion • Establish ways for disseminating expertise
“ ….. is about creating a new world – not one created by someone else, but a place created for our students through our own actions. This is the Moral Purpose with a powerful engine.” Fullan & St. Germain To learn requires one to inquire, investigate, discuss, construct and act Knowledge emerges in a community of activity, discourse and reflection