Saturday, December 10, 2005

U Turning a System

This week sees the end of the second year of our curriculum review process and there is a definite buzz in many yr 11/12 campuses around the State as future possibilities begin to emerge. Our consultative review process appears to be following the 'U Process' described in Presence by Senge et al.

Sensing – knowing the whole system as it is
Letting go - of historical processes and perspectives
Presencing - taking time to reflect
Letting come - allowing new processes to become realised

We have spent a year (2004) sensing as we looked at best practice and issues of concern - all the time trying to let go of our preconceived assumptions about the form that the educational provision for year 11/12 students should take. Instead we concentrated on establishing a set of shared values and purposes among all teachers, students, parents and the community.

This year we took time to reflect on the learning, assessment and teaching principles based on our shared values and purposes.

In 2006 we move to allow new forms and processes of educational practice to emerge through trialling project ideas that have recently begun to surface from teachers. At this stage most campuses don't plan to implement any significant changes until 2007.

It hasn't been easy to follow the U Process. In the beginning many people had definite ideas about the "causes of problems" while others knew how to "fix the system", and still others argued that nothing need to change.

Now two years down the track most teachers and administrators are reasonably comfortable to move toward the realization of all our new curriculum values, purposes and principles without any clear view of what it will look like...

I think the challenge for 2006 as we move up the 'U' will be to let the system (which is all of us) transform as new forms and processes emerge. The danger is that we might latch on to a "successful" trial project as "the solution" before other unexpected and more interesting possibilities emerge.

We certainly "live in interesting times"... :-)

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