What are our most urgent student learning needs?
This question is at the centre of tables around the province as boards and schools go through their new school and board improvement process (SILC: System Improvement Learning Cycles). The new process, evolving from the former BIPSA process, is more agile (faster cycles), more targeted, and more responsive to student needs. The focus is on system improvement, which requires change at every level of the organization, but is only effective if it reaches the level of the student “desk”.
I have two wonderings about the new process.
- Where in this process is there an opportunity to truly look outside our walls and see what is happening in the world? Our urgent student learning needs are not just tied to trailing data on past learning priorities. As the world changes at an exponential rate, who is determining what our students will need to thrive in that world?
“Being willing to constantly disrupt our individual and collective mindsets, if we are to come to terms with the needed disruptions that must occur in our own organizations if we are to truly unentrench ourselves from the status quo thinking that often buries us in practices of the past.
Seeing how ‘next’ practices are also in need of ‘next’ metrics if we are to pivot effectively towards this emerging and more desirable future we envision for ourselves and our organizations.”
2. Urgent student learning needs are personal. Every child, every adult in the system has personalized needs that cannot be determined by “average” thinking.
Our thinking, connected teachers, when they have a deep understanding of curriculum expectations, can design personalized learning for every child/student. Creating this environment for our learners requires a foundation of connectivism thinking. Teachers need to be able to access and participate in a rich network of support, and use this network to support the individual learning needs of every student.
How are we supporting educators to self-direct their learning through their own Professional Learning Networks?
“…it will not only be individuals that will need to become adaptable learners, remaining agile to our exponentially shifting world we now live in…so must our educational organizations if they are to remain significant, dynamic, relevant hubs of learning, innovation and transformation in the face of these seismic shifts and changes.”
We need to ask ourselves, “What evidence do we have to support the hypothesis that the most urgent learning needs of our students can be found in our data?”.
Featured image by Darren Kuropatwa CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0