What we can learn from Play School about Partnerships in Action!

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Last year I was invited to deliver a keynote presentation on the topic of "Partnerships in Action" at this year's Victorian Applied Learning Association (VALA) Conference. 

The presentation focused on the role of partnerships in the education system including internal and external partnerships - as epitomised by the excellent partnerships displayed in Play School! Who can forget the onscreen magic of Noni and John!

Key examples of partnerships for successful school programs include:

Internal Partnerships

  • Parents/carers

  • Students

  • Teachers

  • Leadership teams

External Partnerships

  • Community organisations

  • Student wellbeing (internal, external)

  • Secondary consultations with service providers

  • Industry – (VET delivery, SWL etc.)

I concluded the presentation by proposing that there were four P's in partnerships:

  1. People - Partnerships are only possible if people are empowered to build relationships with others.

  2. Process - It is important to map out your goals, and work with education brokers (such as Local Learning and Employment Networks - LLENs) to form partnerships that will help you work towards them.

  3. Progress - Be sure to measure the growth of your partnerships, and plan for how you will measure them in advance. This will help you to identify the success and challenge of any partnership.

  4. Party! - Celebrate your success! It’s important to inject energy into any partnership by celebrating milestones after a period of time.

You can download the slides to the keynote here. 

Making, Innovating, Learning: Lessons from Harvard’s Project Zero Conference

Visible Thinking Routines

Visible Thinking Routines

At the 2017 Victorian Applied Learning Association (VALA) Annual Conference, I gave a breakout presentation entitled "Making, Innovating, Learning: Lessons from Harvard’s Project Zero Conference".

I was fortunate enough to attend the Harvard School of Education Project Zero Conference in 2017 as part of a Fellowship. This was facilitated by the International Specialised Skills Institute and funded by the Department of Education and Training, Higher Education Skills Group.

Harvard's Project Zero Conference aimed to find new ways of encouraging creativity and 'maker thinking' in today's youth.  The workshop focused on allowing educators to explore different thinking routines. 

Key thinking routines included: 

Artful Thinking - See, Think, Wonder.

This thinking routine involves seeing an object (such as a painting of an ocean scene), thinking about what certain aspects of the object might mean (such as why the painter has used heavy brushstrokes to represent the ocean) and wondering more deeply about what this might mean (such as a stormy ocean scene representing conflict). 

Parts, Purposes, Puzzles.

This thinking routine involves this routine involves looking at the parts of an object (such as an old camera), identifying the purposes of every part and then thinking about the complexities (or puzzles) of how that part works with the other parts.  Again, this routine is designed to get students to slow down, look carefully at an object, reflect on it, physically take it apart (using a screwdriver or similar) and analyse it piece by piece.

To explore the Project Zero Thinking Routines click here.

View the full presentation here.