Friday, December 03, 2004

A simple Vision and Teaching Beliefs

Future orientated organizations need to be clear about that they stand for. And the most future orientated of any organization ought to be a school if it is to be a true ‘learning organization’.

To develop an inspiring future vision usually involves some process of dialogue with all involved – the staff of the school (which includes all who work there), the parent’s body and where possible include student input as well. And, of course, a school's vision needs to accommodate the directions as indicated by a democratic government which, hopefully, will have a clear vision for the country. Unfortunately this is not always the case.

Many schools have adapted or modified the following generic ideas it to suit their individual school situations. They have much in common with the teaching principles developed in Victoria I mentioned in my previous contribution and are not claimed to be original.

Vision:

To develop the individual creativity and talents of all students, and to help them become thoughtful and respectful members of their community.

(Many school develop a simple motto to sum up their vision that all can easily remember)

Values:

To help all students develop positive set of personal beliefs so as to be able to make appropriate choices. Schools often develop a simple phrase like, ‘learning to make the best choices,’ to sum up their values.

(Some schools also work out simple Charters outlining suggested behaviors that the schools want to encourage in their students, teachers, and parents.)

Teaching Beliefs:

1. To ensure defined ‘Foundation Skills’ are in place

2. To develop students as ‘Powerful Learners’ – equipped with learning 'how to learn' strategies.

3. To see students as ‘Teaching /Learning Coaches’ who expect all teachers to reach for their personal best.

4. To provide ‘Rich, Real and Relevant’ challenging learning experiences.

5. To provide ‘Focused Safe Learning Environments’ that inform and celebrate student learning.

Schools usually develop their own key phrases for the above but they usually cover similar points. For each point the teaching team needs to develop a list of actions that they agree to put into practice to act as a performance agreement.

Once established, which usually takes at least a year to develop, the teaching beliefs in particular, need to be reviewed at the end of each year to add new ideas or to remove ideas that are no longer felt important.

There is further information on the process and examples on: www.leading.learning.co.nz

1 comment:

Bruce said...

I am now aware of lots of schools that have customised this for their own school.