Spring is in the air! 🙂
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for me. I’ve found it quite difficult to get back into the swing of things after the break. After having such an intensive session with the SP4Ed and being on a high from that, then being very assessment focused through the break, I’ve struggled a bit to get back into the routine of ‘regular’ online coursework. Having a wisdom tooth out early this week didn’t help…..ouch!! The initial readings for this section took some time for me to engage with, but doing the school evaluations using the eLPF frameworks really did a great job at grounding my thinking and pulling me back in. I found the framework clearly highlighted the major areas needing attention in each of the schools I evaluated, and as such I can see how this framework will be a very useful tool for schools. It’s a model that I think would also be especially beneficial to be used as part of a systemic education reform, such as is currently happening in Abu Dhabi. The school I evaluated (and many others would be the same) sits pretty well contained within one phase, perhaps making it more straightforward to plan school-wide next steps and to provide structured guidance / support from above.
The evaluation task itself, along with my readings throughout this course, reemphasized for me the idea that truly effective change does not just happen within individual classrooms. While classroom level change is of course positive for both learners and teachers and can have a flow on effect to other staff members, without the support of the school leadership team the overall spread and impact will be minimal. The importance of a shared school vision and strategic plan, which teachers, students and community all have a hand in developing, is essential. Also essential is a fostering of a collaborative and cooperative professional community amongst school staff, whether they be teachers, learning aides, leadership team etc.
I did find it somewhat worrying that the idea of digital citizenship has not featured in discussions at any level within either of the schools I chose to evaluate. This is an essential area and perhaps something that needs to be supported / guided at a national level. I know some schools have excellent Digital Citizenship courses – it would be great to get these examples out to other schools for their use. Sharing is caring! In fact, the principle of openness is perhaps something that could become part of the higher phases of the eLPF.
It was also interesting to note that within each of the framework categories, the NZ school I was looking at sat at different phases for each of the bullet points within a single category. I’m not yet sure what this means or how significant it is but it’s given me food for thought.