Thursday, March 24, 2005

Making Waves

Here are Andrew and I smiling like two Cheshire cats in my first PY10 interview using MyVoice and Producer. The PY10 team wanted to promote some of the great work teachers are doing and heard about Andrew's innovative use of some junk mail in his mathematics class.

The idea was that we email short (2-3min) interviews for people to view. Unfortunately my expertise as a sound recorder was sadly lacking (as was my interview technique) and the interview sounded as though we both had speech impediments. Sorry the file is too big to link to from here so you can't see it unless you come and visit.

Stefan came to the rescue and taught me all about de-essing using a graphics equalizer - thanks Stefan. I learnt how to load the wave file and cut down the high frequencies that were lisping our s's and t's - this was a big improvement although Andrew wasn't entirely convinced...

Anyway it seemed to come out OK because I had lots of very positive feedback from teachers. I think Andrew also enjoyed making some waves by being in a PY10 interview - something many of his colleagues would not have expected...

Thanks Andrew. Now for my next victim...

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Heaps happening

With 11 PY10 leaders and 120 teachers so much is going on that the PY10 Management Group is finding it hard to keep up with it all. PY10 Facilitators are going to start doing brief weekly email updates that I will summarise and send back to all Learning Groups so that we can share progress across the college.

Most Learning Areas have begun projects of some kind including preparing new units, inviting outside speakers and organising professional learning.

The Management Group is currently planning a half-day event for all the PY10 Learning Group Leaders in the week after Easter. This will be the first time we will all meet with time for some real dialogue.

On the 3rd April three of the PY10 Facilitators are going to a Transformative Learning Conference in Melbourne called 'The Tipping Point' sponsored by iNet.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Roger 007!

OK I'm not really going to spy on anyone but the digital voice recorder that the college has just purchased is also available through websites that supply 'spy gear'! Dirk and I wanted to record sound easily and while mobile phones, iPods and PDAs can record sound they are not very good in what is called 'conference mode'. After much internet research Dirk found the MyVoice brand which is half the price of its competitors.

The device is about the size of a small pager so it's very unobtrusive and it's designed to pick up sound some distance away. Initial tests have proved that it does the job.

I'm now working on my first project - a PY10 interview with pictures that I will put together using MS Producer which is a free add-on for MS PowerPoint.

Psst... I also saw a camera inside a pen that you can buy :-)

Friday, March 18, 2005

Growth Coaching

20 AST3s and PY10 leaders participated in a Growth Coaching session at college today.

GROWTH is an acronym for Goals - Reality - Options - Will - Tactics - Habits and I found it did provide a very useful structure and process to follow when assisting someone to clarify and move towards meeting their goals - particularly when they are also aware of the process.

As presenter John Campbell said "most of the process was 'common sense' but perhaps not 'common practice' ." I have been hearning a bit about Integral Coaching recently. This brings in the concepts of the 4 quadrants, streams of development and different types from Integral Theory. None of this was mentioned in John's presentation but I think it might be well worth following up.

I will probably use the GROWTH structure with my CA students - perhaps even teach them the process. Some have suggested using it for PY10 processes as we move through the year - a definite possibility I think. I wonder if we can incorporate elements of Integral Coaching as well?


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

To theorise or not to theorise...

After spending the last few months learning and talking about Integral Theory I finally have got to the point where I have begun to write about it a little more deeply. But this is no easy task!

Ken Wilber, who has done much to develop Integral Theory has been called the 'Einstein of Psychology' because aspects of the theory are as radically new as Einstein's theories in science were nearly 100 years ago. However I'm hoping that applying what Wilber and others have come up with is a little more straight forward.

I'm keen to promote discussion of Integral Theory because reports from teachers who are using it to design curriculu and courses are very positive. Many have also used it in their classes and some have great responses from students who found it has some useful tools for research, problem-solving, interdisciplinary inquiry and understanding self and others.

The paper I am writing sketches out some of the areas of Integral Theory that I would like to discuss for our college curriculum - but that took up 20 pages! Not quite the short introduction I was planning.

I have sent what I have written to a number of people locally and internationally and initial responses have been very positive. However while most believe that the information is important (and some believe even critical) to understanding education for years 11 and 12, views vary widely on whether teachers will have the time or inclination to look at such a theoretical perspective of curriculum.

Some believe all college teachers should read the paper and that most would find it very useful both in thinking about curriculum and in their own teaching practice. Others believe only a few teachers would want to look at it.

Wilber's integral perspective maps human experience across 4 quadrants.

The 4-Quadrant Integral Model provides a comprehensive map of human experience and capacities which is being applied to many fields of human endeavour including global ecology, business and organizational practice, medicine and international politics. If we put this in the context of student learning we obtain an integral map that might represent different domains of a curriculum:

Integral approaches to curriculum could provide:

  • Frameworks for learning, research and problem solving processes
  • Lenses to ensure structures and processes are more balanced and inclusive
  • Tools for transformational change
  • A common language for transdisciplinary inquiry

So... where to from here? Perhaps there are several possibilities.

  1. Some who have read the paper are already keen to form a group to discuss it in some depth.
  2. The paper could be made available for anyone who wants to read it.
  3. I have begun to break it down into small chunks - the first of which I have just sent as an email to all teachers at Hobart College and a few interested teachers in other colleges.
  4. Offer small lunch-time forums after Easter - perhaps after the next chunk goes out in another email.

In the meantime I will work on a second draft based on all the feedback I have received so far - thanks to all those who have sent me comments.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Guaranteeing Futures

Today the cross-college leaders/managers met to discuss how the college might deal with all the agenda and programs (shown appropriately blurred on the left) for colleges within OPCET.

We used Tom's "bubble protocol" (which worked very well) to begin a mapping process of how various issues such as the Completion Certificate, the raising of the leaving age, TQA certification... will impact on various cross-college roles.

Although some work was done last year it is very clear that we all need to work together to make any sense of what might be appropriate college responses. Our next step is to have Reg from the TQA come and talk with the group.