Sunday, July 31, 2005

Schools to develop their own curriculums!

More back to the future! Posted by Picasa

This small book, written by Rachel Bolstad and published by the NZCER, was originally commissioned by the Ministry of education as part of their curriculum revision committee – what used to be euphemistically called a ‘stock take’; a process to ‘thin down’ the curriculum ‘to decide what is worth teaching’.

The book is worth a read for all those who feel it is important for the staff of schools to take a greater part on developing their own curriculums to suit their students needs as an alternative to the current ‘top down or centralized curriculum’.

The rationalizations for School Based Curriculum Development ( SBCD) includes that the school is best suited to plan or design the curriculum and to construct the teaching and learning’; and that such planning is an ‘integral part of teachers professional identity’; and that it 'allows the school to be responsive to students and community needs’.

All good stuff but hardly new. The book ‘searches’ of course the ‘literature’ but is a bit light on referring to the countless primary school who developed their own curriculums before Tomorrows Schools. They do not even refer to an inspirational book written in the 60s by Elwyn Richardson ‘In The Early World’ reprinted by their own organization. To be fair school based curriculum development in those early days was more led by creative individual teachers. They do say, however, that SBCD was at its zenith worldwide in the 70s and 80s before the educational reforms of 1989.

The challenge, the book says, will be for schools to develop curriculums that ‘are sufficiently flexible to respond to every student learning needs’. This ought to have been the vision of education from the beginning and perhaps the ‘authorities’ should realize, that in the ‘information age’, the ‘curriculum has left the building’ and education is now ‘available anywhere anytime’

The book argues for a move towards SBCD to fit the ‘current context and planned future directions for New Zealand schooling.’

Of course the writers, (working with Ministry), are quick to point out that SBCD, although not directly mentioned, is inclusive in the current NZ Curriculum Framework document in which it says it provides, ‘for flexibility, enabling schools and teachers to design programmes which are appropriate to the learning needs of their students’ – they however don’t mention the negative effect of Education Review Office on such developments or how to accommodate the intricacies of NCEA.

Several examples of SBCD from both primary and secondary are included in the booklet.

The book is well worth getting for schools who want to move into the area of ‘personalized learning’ to enable them to tailor education to the needs of their students. It signals a ‘first step’ in a shift from a ‘top down’ mentality which is welcomed, a shift that could well be the beginning of a real educational transformation.

As I said – well worth acquiring. And it is only $16 from NZCER!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Ministry Strategy Plan for the next 5 years!

Most comprehensive change since 1998? Posted by Picasa

The most comprehensive development since the advent of Tomorrows Schools said the Ministry ‘spin’ as they presented their schooling strategy for the next five years.

I couldn’t wait to read it!

Well I must say I was disappointed. It is hardly a document with the potential to revolutionize our antiquated post primary school system. In fact the system escaped any need to be transformed. Everything it seems it depends on effective teaching, involving parents and the magic buzz words of ‘evidence based teaching.’

Nothing wrong with any of the above but the first two are hardy new, although the 'rediscovering' of the importance of them is welcomed. The third – well, I have my doubts. ‘Evidence based learning’ seems to reflect a limited perspective about learning and a lack of understanding of the importance of creativity and imagination.

‘Evidence based learning’ get endless mentions. Researchers, with time to think in their ‘ivory towers’, somehow believe that teachers have the time to do something , gather evidence and then modify their teaching. This of course will need to fitted in with current demands to plan ‘learning outcomes’ and record assessment details.

If only it were so easy. Where is the time (and energy) to do this to come from? Creative teachers make countless teaching decisions on the run drawing on their wealth of professional expertise. Sometimes this is all the ‘evidence’ such teachers need. They work on the premise of, try something, and if it works keep it, if not, do something different ‘next time’. Be nice if they always had time to negotiate goals and to write them down and to record ‘evidence’!

The idea that students learn best when they work in concert with teachers and their parents is hardly new. Michel Fullan calls it the ‘power of three’. Dewey wrote about last century. The report asks for great sharing of ideas between teachers and schools – ironically these are qualities that have ‘bred out’ of schools as a result of faulty past ministry ideology.

The strategy admits to the fact that far too many students, particularly Maori and Pacifica students, are underachieving; and that there is a real problem of lack of engagement in the early secondary years in particular. More effective teaching and greater parent support will obviously help remedy this but it will not be enough.

The strategy would be more dramatic if it had faced up to the fact that the industrial ‘efficiency’ structures of secondary school, and the isolated subject centred mindsets of the teachers within them, are the real problem. There is little recognition by the writers that, in the ‘wired’ 21stC, ‘the curriculum has left the building’!

There have just been too many structures and demands imposed on schools for teachers to have achieved what is now seen as the core purpose of education: to develop ‘ motivated and self directed learners’. It is pleasing to read words like ‘students need their identity and culture valued’ but to ensure this requires we move into ‘personalized learning’ with every learner negotiating, with their teachers and parents their own ‘individualized learning plan’. Constructivist philosophy underpins the strategy (helping students make sense of their own experiences) and this is welcomed, but it is in conflict with a transmission model which is still firmly in place in many schools. The strategy does not directly face up to the need to ‘re-culture’ as well as ‘restructure’ traditional secondary schools. At least ‘schools as learning communities’ gets a brief mention , a need for ‘ coherent school wide teaching approaches’ and a ‘school wide culture’ – so I guess this is a start? But schools are, as yet, not ‘learning communities’ where all students leave with a desire to continue learning intact.

At least the ‘technocratic’ curriculums imposed on schools in the 90s are away being clarified to decide ‘what is worthwhile to learn’ and ‘new’ Key Competencies are being developed. Back to the future! And at last the system, or lack of one, is facing up to the problem of transitions between schools which, for many students, must be akin to ‘visiting a foreign country’.

There is a lot of talk about everyone working collaboratively which is great except it was the Ministry that created a ‘non risk non sharing’ environment with its earlier ‘stand alone’ competitive school management model. Lack of coherence and comes from the top but at least the strategy will encourage greater collaboration – a bit like ‘putting humpty back together again!’ Board of Trustees are now being asked to be involved in setting the visions for ‘their’ schools; the original premise of Tomorrows Schools before the ‘experts’ imposed their endless compliance requirements onto schools.

If the core priority is now for ‘all students experience success’ we will need some braver thinking. It will need more than ‘effective teaching’, ‘support’, ‘higher expectations’, and the valuing of ‘relationships’, as important as these are. For creative teachers little in the strategy is new – it is a reinvention of progressive humanistic education as expressed years ago by people like John Dewey. For creative teachers teaching is an imaginative art form developed in action and considered in refection and not an ‘evidence based’ science.

There should have been less ‘drawing on best practice research’ and more listening to the ‘voices of creative teachers’. To revitalize the teaching profession researchers need to play a supporting role and the mantle of expertise needs to be placed where all good ideas have always come from - creative teachers.

Teachers and parents seem to have lot to learn according to the strategy but the school system escapes a direct need to transform itself. Yet the ‘evidence’ is that it is the way the schools are structured that is the real problem. Henry Ford rules supreme!

The document is, I guess, a strategy not a vision for the future.

And I am already sick of the phrase ‘evidence based teaching’!

Useful yes! Inspiring – no!

PS Read Noeline Alcorn's article in the latst NZCER SET.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Everyone a leader!

Hockeyroos Posted by Picasa

Everyone a leader. A model for schools?

The only team in the world without a captain is the side that doesn’t need one, the Australian woman hockey team, the Hockeyroos. After winning back to back Olympic Golds they have established themselves as the most successful sporting team in Australia.

Their Coach Ric Shuttleworth dispensed with the idea a few years ago. The innovative coach reckoned captaincy was an anachronism that belonged to a different age.

‘Ask yourself’, says Professor Frank Crowther recently in NZ to talk to beginning principals, ‘what the implications for a school might be’. Shuttleworth did away with the captaincy but to say his Hockeyroos were leaderless is far from the truth. They had leaders all over the field, they don’t have single captain but they might as well have eleven. Shuttleworth talks of having a ‘critical mass’ of six, seven or eight trailblazers.

The whole idea is to develop leadership qualities in every player. The very least that can be said is that the Hockeyroos were disciplined all over the field. They were also wholeheartedly committed, if there was any fighting it was over who should swoop on a loose ball.

Those who take orders are very good at giving them in a team of equals. It is all part of the Hockeyroo ethic, which encourages players to strive for greater goals commitment, thoroughness, team play, time management and personal development. Players must be able to fit two or three positions increasing their overall value to the squad and allowing scores of extra options.

Crowther had two of the girls as students at the University of Southern Queensland and he asked them about their preparation for the Olympics. The analogy of swooping on a loose ball is what educationalists have in mind when they talk about collective responsibity, or distributed leadership, in a professional community; everyone taking a collective responsibility for any issue that might come up, as opposed to it’s your responsibity because that kid is in your class. Swooping on loose balls does represent a different kind of paradigm, says Crowther.

If it works for the Hockeyroos why wouldn’t it work for schools, asks Crowther? It is Crowther's view that we have to look at a different concept when we look at school leadership. He calls this concept parallel leadership, introducing the importance of teacher leadership, which he says is of equal importance to principal leadership. You can’t compare them because they are two different things. When you get them both in place then you can sustain school improvement over a significant period of time.

I can only think of one school where this distributed leadership applied. And this school exhibited both alignment and consistency and individual creativity and innovation. I have however seen something similar in the relationship between teachers and their students in lots of creative classes. It all about trust and sharing power.

'The Unfinished Revolution'

By John Abbott and Terry Ryan. An ascd publication Posted by Picasa

The more I visit secondary schools the more I think of Edward Deming’s saying: ‘good people wrong system’. It seems impossible to really do anything too different because of the constraints of timetables, building and curriculum expectations.

The need for real changes are expressed in Abbott and Ryan’s book ‘The Unfinished Revolution’. If anyone is interested in their ideas you can visit a related site.

The point they make is that the way traditional schools are structured are more to suit an outdated 'industrial mass aged education' rather than for the 'information age'.

The nature of learning in today’s schools, the authors believe, needs to be aligned with the dispositions students will be needed to thrive in the future. Abbott and Ryan share a fundamental view that there should be a constructivist and apprenticeship-based approach to learning- one that takes account new ideas about how the brain works so that students an take control of their own learning. The future will require learners to continually learn and adapt and to do this schools will have to keep up with the times.

All humans are born predisposed to learn and are equipped with brains that adapt in response to challenges. Thinking skills can be taught if imbedded in challenges that attract their attention.

The trouble is that secondary schools , rather than responding to the needs of their students, are more concerned with delivering curriculum that are a ‘mile wide and an inch deep’; and with the associated assessment that is required.

Humans are also born with a disposition to work together to solve problems and this is in conflict with schools that value individualism and fragmented subject teaching. If collaborative skills are to be developed the students need to work together on shared tasks.

Feeling in control of ones learning is felt vital by Abbott and Ryan. People, they believe, are most creative when they are motivated through interest, enjoyment and satisfaction and the challenge of the work itself, not by external pressures. This is direct contrast with the current schools requirements to deliver curriculums largely through fragmented subjects and imposed tasks. The true test of learning can only be measured by a student’s appetite and capacity to continue learning. Too many students, Abbot and Ryan state, are currently disengaged with learning and too many leave ‘turned off’.

More of the same cannot be the answer – we need new thinking.

Abbot and Ryan believe strongly in an approach based on constructivism and apprenticeship based around real tasks. Constructivism is an approach aligned with how the brain works as a flexible self adjusting organism. This is in conflict they say with a behavioral approach that prescribes and defines ends products of learning and teaching to set targets. Such teaching, they believe, does not support entrepreneurial and creative thinking.

Constructivist teaching does not preclude the teaching of skills but these must taught in meaningful real world situations that connect the various subject areas. This is problematic for teachers working in traditional secondary schools.

The see apprenticeship as an ideal model with students learning skills by working alongside those who have the skills they require. Modern apprenticeship requires that teachers make thinking visible and believe students ought to be able to articulate what, why and how they are doing anything. Students need to aquire the skills of designing their own problems.

The ideas that Abbott and Ryan outline are in direct conflict with the current expectations of our secondary schools which are still largely premised on an individual transmission approach.

There are schools that are trying ‘out of the box thinking’ but it is not easy working in outdated structures with imposed curriculums but if we want to develop the talent and creativity of all students we have no choice.

The book is called ‘The Unfinished Revolution’ because the ideas they are talking about are already in place in many primary schools even if they are under treat by imposed requirements.

They believe, that as students grow older, they should become more independent as learners, able to handle open ended challenges that will relate to the challenges that will mark their adult lives. Adult support and ‘scaffolds’, necessary for younger or ‘novice’ learners, need to be withdrawn as students develop the 'learning power' to work with minimal help. This ‘weaning’ process, Abbott and Ryan believe, should have happened by early adolescence.

To do this will mean turning the education system inside out.

That would be fun!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Listening to silenced voices.

Ask me- I have a few ideas!. Posted by Picasa

Who should tell a schools story? Who knows best about what happens in the classrooms? Who is best to judge the quality and effectiveness of teaching?

These are the questions were part of a school evaluation project asked by a recent UK Department of Education and Science in one of their reports.

For the last decade or so the only voices that have been heard are those of the technocrats of the various Ministries of education as they have imposed their so called ‘efficient' measurable curriculums – this is certainly the case in New Zealand. Students in the process have been turned into consumers and teachers asked to ‘deliver’ the curriculum!

More recently the vital role of each individual teacher has been ‘rediscovered’ but, as yet, teacher’s voices have not really been listened to.

Teachers have important stories to tell and their valuable professional judgments need to be recognized but, too often, teachers remain isolated from each other, ‘privatized’ in their own classrooms. If teachers were to share their personal narratives valuable insights would be released into the system. This would require greater collaboration between teachers and the opening of their classrooms to the eyes of others. Interdisciplinary groups could ‘evolve’, through dialogue, shared teaching beliefs and in the process develop a common language to self reference their insights against and, as well, to contribute to school review.

Teacher aides and relievers can also provide valuable insights about the quality of teaching and learning as in their roles they act as ‘candid cameras’. Their ‘voices’ can be accessed by entering into dialogue with them to add their insights – their views are too valuable to ignore.

Parent’s voices are another source of knowledge but too often are restricted to surveys and questionnaires and in, too many situations, an uneasy distance between teachers and parents seem to be the norm. Many schools visit homes informally or set up focus groups – even a friendly ring from the class teachers has an amazing effect. When parents are involved their hopes and dream for their children match up with the view of teachers. Michael Fullan writes that when teachers, students and parents work in concert you have what he calls the ‘power of three – if one partner is ‘missing’ learning is difficult!

The BOT are a group who ought to have real input into the direction of the school and the quality of the teaching and learning but too often they are kept at a distance by the principal - and often BOT members are all to happy to leave the teaching and learning over to the principal. This ought not to the case and, if the school has developed a community vision for the school, they ought to have information given to then on the quality of teaching and learning. Teachers can be invited to attend BOT meeting to outline programmes and concerns and the BOT can met in different parts of the school All BOT members could also take turns to tour the school to see the school in action.

Possibly the people who know best about what happens in the classrooms are those who are closest to the action – the students themselves. Where teachers have a ‘bird’s eye view’ the students have a ‘worm’s eye view’. They see more of the hidden life of the classroom and are ‘unique experts in their own feelings, frustrations and triumphs.’

Too often they are the last to be consulted and remain an untapped source of knowledge. One writer calls them the ‘treasures in our own backyard’.’ A school that overlooks their intelligence is inevitably poorer as a consequence.’ Last to be consulted they are ‘closet to the heart beat of the school.’ They are the greatest source of potential energy and, when asked for their input, they give critical but honest and fair feedback. Teachers who appreciate student feedback have a greater confidence in involving students in planning curriculum tasks and in getting their suggestions for school improvements. It all depends on the quality of the relationship with the students the teacher has. Involving students is a risky business but one worth taking as students are in a position to challenge current assumptions about teaching and learning that teachers can easily overlook.

It is only when all involved in the school work together for the common good of all that all students can develop a real love of learning and leave with all the appropriate qualities in place to continue their life long journey as learners. Only when everyone involed energy is aligned towards reaching a shared vision and beliefs that a school can be called a true learning organization. Such a school is open to ideas from any source that might improve the quality of its teaching and learning.

The more 'voices' that are heard the better.

It is time for central technocrats to give their one-sided 'voices' a rest.

The future is here!

Great workshop at Ulearn05 Posted by Picasa

Professor Stephen Heppell looks nothing like a professor but once you start to listen to what he says, or more to the point watch all the practical things he can access from his computer, there is no doubt about the wisdom his wide ranging experience has given him.

And I only went to his workshop on a whim; serendipity is an underrated form of intelligence!

I loved his comments that teachers, like the troops in WW 1, are like ‘lions led by donkeys!’ Stephen’s illustrated interactive dialogue was all about liberating teachers, and in particular young people, from the confining institutions of traditional education.

Visit his site and find your way to visit schools he has designed, or worked with, in his role as an international designer. The examples he shared with us were enlightening and showed the use of technology in the service of student’s creativity. So much of what ICT ‘experts’ show you may be high in technology but all too often is lacking in aesthetics and design!

Stephen’s session illustrated with real insight the point that human creativity and imagination are the sources of innovation – a point I feel is sometimes forgotten by ‘techno freaks’. All too often computers are ‘over sold and underused’ – or as one writer (Clifford Stoll) wrote, ‘silicon valley snake oil!’

Stephen illustrated that the curriculum has ‘left the school building’ and now exists at point of intersections on the web. A ‘stand and deliver’ teaching approach is now obsolete even teachers and curriculum developers, in their splendid isolation, haven’t noticed. There is no role left for teachers at the centre controlling things; our role is to assist our learners learn for themselves. As Stephen said, ‘we now make and create our own worlds’ illustrating how students can make their own videos using their cell phones!

Curriculum is now an ‘emergent’ one and the task for students is to generate their own content and to do better than they did last year. Traditional curriculums present structures and ‘rules’ that slow teachers and kids down and, as a result, too many kids are disenchanted. To add to the confusion developers are always adding in new requirements! And the lack of continuity between levels of schooling ought to disappear. ‘Kids interest in learning doesn’t drop off – we kill it!’

What kids want are 'cool' topics. Curriculum developers need to ‘bin the lot’ or at least ‘thin the requirements’ radically. The 21stC is here student learning is now about 'detective work researching and swapping cool stuff'. 'Everyone is an action researcher!'

A model suggested by Stephen for students to use was:

1. What do you want to learn? What do you know already?
2. Now set your targets and how you intend to get there.
3. Put your work on a website.
4. When the above is done an outside examiner asks generic questions about tasks and milestones – and this can be done on mobile phone ( with voice recognition facilities)

This ‘constructivist’ process creates an instant portfolio or a learning journey.

A similar model for Professional Development was also illustrated. Teachers outline what they want to know and how they are to go about achieving it. They set their own targets and their final knowledge is then assessed.

A model for all teachers to work within their own schools to gain a Doctorate was outlined:

1. The school develops a shared hypothesis about an area(s) to improve.
2. Through collegial scholarship teachers explore the area chosen.
3. Teachers undertake action research. They do it, iterate it, and exhibit and share finding on the web
4. The school is examined and teachers graduate as a cohort.

This ‘learning organization model’ is already in place with UNESCO but schools to be part of the project have to work with a school in an underdeveloped country.

We can now share idea and practice without leaving our schools. ‘It could not be more exciting’ Stephen concluded.

An inspiring and practical session – and presented with humour!

Try the following sites:

Stephens website, with access to all sorts of wonderful ideas.
Teachers TV site

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Words of Wisdom

More from the Conference Posted by Picasa

In the words of the Ulearn05 Conference convener the organizers wanted to inspire members with ideas that were ‘both thrillingly futuristic and solidly grounded.’

This they achieved.

Michael Furdyk opened the conference. At 23 he has made full use of a love for computer technology to become a millionaire but one whose overriding goal is help other people realize their dreams. He was an ideal person to represent the ‘net generation’ and shared exciting ideas for members to motivate, inspire and engage students.

The ‘net generation’ are those born since 1982! They care about global issues but Michael worried that, due to traditional education, this idealism waned at 15 or 16. Michael argued that learning ought to be a partnership; a partnership that resects students goals. Michael sees ICT as a tool and not a course and believes that the environment we create affects how we learn; and that interdisciplinary learning should be linked to real life challenges through projects.

He challenged teachers to support ambitious students and that teachers ought to be concerned with what kids care about and help them become experts in their areas of interest. Teachers need to be seen as mentors, or learning coaches, who really care for their students.

The future will be the first revolution led by the young; digital kids are changing the world; they are the ‘yes generation’!

Michael concluded his keynote by outlining an exciting ‘co –created learning experience’ based on students researching, developing and producing their own film for a school film festival as a demonstration of ICT being used as an expressive powerful learning tool.

Check out more about Michael, and join him in his quest to improve our world through young people taking action, by visiting his site.

Ian Jukes continued the transformational theme. Ian believes that through the use of information technology children’s minds are fundamentally different from those born before the information revolution. Students today have grown up in a ‘global and digital networked landscape’- and as such they are ‘digital natives’.In contrast most of us are ‘digital immigrants’ who struggle with the pace of technological change that the younger students take for granted.

The development of communication technology has implications for education particularly as many students are locked into school structures with their genesis in an industrial age along with teachers with their industrial aged mindsets. Most teachers, according to Ian, have NFI ('no frigging idea') about the implications of the changes and suffer from TPP ('terminal paradigm paralysis').

Change is no longer predictable, or linear, but explodes exponentially and Ian illustrated this phenomenal growth by outlining the fantastic development of computer power and affordability over the last decade.

You can read Ian’s presentation on his site.

For all the ‘high tech’ developments Ian believes the real issue is one of ‘headwear’ or ‘software for the brain’. The real learning for teachers, he stated, was ‘between the ears’ as education can now be gained ‘anywhere anytime’. The future is about ‘high tech, high touch and high teach’.

Learning, he stated strongly should drive technology. Technology is a tool , a powerful tool but a tool none the less!

Ian’ workshop, expanding on ideas introduced earlier by Michael, emphasized the role of the teacher as a mentor or ‘learning coach’. For learning to occur tasks must ‘connect’ with the students interests, experiences and cultures; student’s prior ideas must be valued; and learning must be repeated until it is ‘fixed’. Ian compared learning with all the practice involved in learning to drive a car.

Students, he continued, need consistent feedback and focused specific suggestions and reinforcement to improve their work. Learning needs to be both relevant and rigorous; be ‘just in time rather than just in case’; must honour traditional literacy’s; and above all, everything a teacher does, must contribute to students becoming autonomous learners.

Ian believes that, if as teachers we want to make a difference, the single most important thing for schools to do is to ‘acknowledge what is currently not working and stop doing it!’

Inspirational stuff – ‘thrillingly futuristic and solidly grounded’.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Power , Passion and ICT

Power, passion,promise and practice of learning through ICT Posted by Picasa

It seems like a long time since I last wrote a blog that I have almost lost the habit!

My only excuse is that I have been busy working and have been away from my computer for two weeks. For the first week I was working with a secondary school trying to help them develop ideas to improve student learning and in the process make teaching more fun. I haven’t worked much in secondary schools so it was, and will continue to be, a real challenge; and one that will take time to realize. Changing the culture of a primary school is difficult enough but secondary schools are another thing. Secondary schools have structures and timetables that make developing shared ideas difficult – and, if there a number of students who seem to have lost the ‘learning habit’ which is the case where I have been working, more so!

It has been a learning curve for me! 'We' are working on a plan that provides short term non threatening changes while at the same time keeping a long term transformational vision in mind. Our latest newsletter on site explains this in greater detail.

That was the first week. The second week saw me presenting at the Ulearn05 Conference ‘Power, Passion, Promise and Practice of learning through ICT' held at Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland. Over 700 teachers attended!

This was an exciting learning experience for me and a great chance to catch up with exciting developments happening in education. Those of you who know me will wonder why on earth I was invited to present being a digital illiterate (so was I) but, as it turned out, the focus was on learning. ICT, it was pointed out, is just a learning tool; but powerful learning tool. In one of my sessions I talked about the need to develop a school vision based on shared learning beliefs and in another talked about such beliefs in greater depth. These ideas are on our site.

More importantly for me I had wonderful chance to attend keynotes and workshops to learn about what creative teachers were doing in their classrooms.

A couple of sites you might like to explore are Ian Juke’s site and Stephen Heppells. Stephen’s site takes you into some exciting UK schools. Both amazing individuals. See if you can find your way to the 'Committed Sardine' blog on Ian's site and join up!

I took the chance to attend two workshops on the exciting developments happening at Alfriston one of New Zealand’s brand new secondary schools. I thought it would give me some insight about secondary school education and I wasn’t wrong. Very exciting indeed.I will add their site when I find it!

With scores of workshops to choose from each day everyone will have their own highlights! There was plenty to be inspired about!

The strands that ran through the conference were:

1. The power to challenge existing beliefs, expectations and professional practices.
2. The passion to turn schools into inclusive learning communities.
3. The promise to use relevant learning data to make sound professional decisions.
4. The practice of integrating ICT into effective teaching.

Worked for me!