In my last newsletter, I mentioned that this term’s newsletter series would be on the topic of innovation. Here’s the second article in the series. I titled it “leading by disruptive innovation” because technology is changing at an exponential rate; and it is forcing businesses and government to evaluate their business and organisational models regularly to ensure that these remain relevant and responsive to such change.
Schools, as the producers of future thinkers, movers and shakers, are moving at a more glacial pace, not matching that of contemporary organisations and businesses. Schools are still largely organised based on the 19th century model catering to the industrial economy, while the world has moved into the conceptual and knowledge era. Dr Christensen, author of “Disruptive class: How disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns” states that “disruptive innovations typically cause a dramatic change in the landscape of an industry” (Christensen, 2011). His book was affirmed by Frederick M. Hess, Director of Education Policy Studies at American Enterprise Institute. He says that Dr Christensen’s “disruptive innovation” is a powerful concept for K – 12 schools to radically reshape thinking about education and how we should re-engineer our schools for the future economy.
This is the reason that we are embarking on the review and refinement of our K-12 Teaching and Learning framework which is well-researched and founded on sound teaching and learning theories which support our Lutheran ethos. Based on the framework, we are revamping our Prep to Year 9 learning spaces so as to create flexible and innovative learning spaces that will ‘disrupt’ the learning and create an environment that encourages our staff and students to change the way they think, and practise, when engaging in teaching and learning activities. Our Prep and Year 5 classrooms are already refurbished and the level of engagement in learning has been affirming and significant.
Two of our Year 7 classrooms are currently being renovated based on both the teachers’ and the students’ input, so as to create a flexible and innovative learning environment that encourages out-of-the-box thinking and problem-solving skills. This pair of classrooms will be ready for use in Term 4 and more dialogue and feedback will be sought to finalise the designs for the remaining middle years’ classrooms. Over the 2016 Christmas break, Years 1 to 4 classrooms will undergo a refurbishment that embraces the flexible and innovative learning spaces and approaches. “Coffee and Chats” and parents’ information sessions will be conducted in the coming months to help parents understand the concept of ‘disrupt’ learning in developing 21st century learners who possess learning and working skills required in the new world of work and life.
We are also in the process of planning for the development of a senior years’ learning precinct focused on creating flexible learning spaces for our emerging young adults. These will assist them in developing independent and autonomous learning skills so as to prepare them for the tertiary learning environment. More information about this learning precinct will be available next year.
Our staff are excited by this shift to flexible and innovative learning spaces and approaches that will ensure that our students are imbued with the wonderful skills for this fast paced 21st century world.
Reference: Christensen, C. M. (2011). Disruptive class: How disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns. New York: McGraw Hill.
Mrs Tsae Wong