Bookmarked Every School is a Good School | It's All About Learning (mepsprincipal.edublogs.org)
John Goh reflects on his experiences of the Singapore education system. He does so making comparisons with education in New South Wales. He touches on training, the structure of the day, doing less and lifelong learning. This provides a different perspective to Pak Tee Ng’s work.
Bookmarked AEU : Turnbull’s secret school curriculum changes leave teaching profession in the dark (aeufederal.org.au)
"Teachers were overwhelmed and their stress levels skyrocketed. Data about student outcomes is useful, but it should be kept in the classroom. It should not be about clicking thousands of boxes. Data needs to help us inform teaching decisions, not determine them." Correna Haythorpe
This is a reminder of the dependencies involved in the move to such things as ‘personalised Learning’. Whether it be clear progressions or concensus, much of these decisions undermine any notion of agency and again focus on ‘learnification‘.
Liked Generalism in Education (A Point of Contact)
If you’re someone in education who hires others, I urge you to think about the the value of generalists. When people hire I think many tend to look for specialists, the applicant who maximizes that job description that was conveniently constructed with the help of that HR form. Think about how specialized you really need that new hire. Think about how valuable someone with more general skills, yet also capable at filling that position, will be at communicating with others and understanding the roles around them. Think about how much more nimble your team will be in the future.
Replied to The educational blogosphere (bluyonder.wordpress.com)
What impresses me most about the blogosphere is just how generous people are with their time and ideas. Their intent is never about personal gain but how small contributions can lead to transformational change. We can all make a difference somewhere through our circle of influence
I enjoyed Seth Godin’s recent podcast reflection on the different iterations of his blog. He too had an overarching intent, which yourself list as ‘transformation’, but what interested me where the various changes in directions he has taken based on the contexts of the time.

I wonder Greg how your blog has developed? Are any ‘changes’ that stand out to you? Has your practice over ten years always been the same? Would love to know.

Bookmarked The haircut that threw a school into crisis by Henrietta Cook (The Age | Good Weekend)

This is far from just a story about a haircut. It's also a story of the inevitable tension between powerful school councils and the communities they serve. Should a school pursue a change agenda it thinks will benefit the community of tomorrow if the community of today – and yesterday – isn't happy about it? To what extent should today's students and parents dictate the direction in which a school heads?

It's also a story about the ongoing struggle at schools everywhere between pursuing academic success and the health and happiness of their charges. And finally, it's about people power, 21st-century style: how a group of children and their parents used a combination of traditional and social media to force those at the top of their institution to listen. Shocked to find that, despite paying up to $32,000 per student in annual fees, they had no power over the decisions of the council and principal, the school community went rogue, enlisting the power of the media to assert their claim – and win.

Henrietta Cook unpacks the saga around the sacking of Rohan Brown after he cut the hair of a student. What it highlights is the ability of social media to empower people, in this circumstance, young people, to have a say.

Spearheaded by year 12 leaders, the campaign is feverishly adopted by students across the senior school. Adept with technology, the kids set up an online petition, which quickly gathered more than 6000 signatures, and an Instagram account with even more followers and its own hashtag, #bringbrownieback. A co-author of this piece, Henrietta Cook, has the electronic invites to her wedding hacked and a message added for some of her guests: “Evict … the school council and principal.” Choppers hover over the school as TV journalists stake out spots at the entrance for their live crosses.

Bruce Dixon adds his own commentary on this, especially in regards to power and agency.

The Trinity case offers an insight into the current state of education, with a balance between wellbeing and academic results, as well as private verses public:

Striking the right balance between students’ wellbeing and academic results is something every school worries about. Dr Mark Merry, the head of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia and also the principal of Yarra Valley Grammar, says the rise of performance data, including NAPLAN and ATAR league tables, has made schools more publicly accountable than ever before. Choosing between a focus on intellect and identity is fraught with tension. “Are you getting the balance right? Everyone agonises over this,” Merry says. “You can’t hold your hand on your heart and say you got it right all the time.”

It is also a story of old boys and old power holding onto the past (and their blazers):

Parents might not rank alumni as a top priority, but the old boys’ network – which runs events, helps with fundraising and has a network of sporting teams – plays an important role in the lives of many former students, including Thomas Hudson. The 29-year-old corporate banker with curly red hair feels deeply about his old school. “I care about Trinity because I want others to have the same experience that I did,” he explains. Hudson was among dozens of former students who squeezed into their school blazers for a community meeting at Hawthorn Town Hall. It was here that the old boys threatened legal action if the council didn’t resign.

Cook shares the extremes that people go to get people into these schools:

Parents at similar schools around the country have been known to try enrolling their unborn children – using the day of their scheduled C-section as the date of birth – only to be told that the child does in fact need to be physically born. Even the review of Brown’s dismissal had a top-end-of-town flavour. This was no little internal inquiry but an external investigation headed by a former Federal Court judge and a commercial barrister. Would public interest in such a spat be as high if it had unfolded at a state school in Melbourne’s outer north, or in Sydney’s far west?

Interestingly, the rush to ‘private’ is supposedly flat-lining.

Liked Why do we go to university? A new insight from Howard Gardner by Ewan McIntosh (Medium)
When students choose what universities to go to, two key trends can be seen in Howard Gardner’s latest research, revealed at the International Conference on Thinking. Some go for transactional purposes — to get a good degree and pack their CV full of things so that they can head into ‘real life’ in the best possible way. Others go for transformational reasons — they see university as a chance to evolve from being a high schooler into something new, to reinvent themselves.