A SCHOOL FOR TOMORROW
a School for tomorrow. is equipped with the education, culture, leadership and performance to develop the character, competencies and wellness that empower students on The Pathway to Excellence to acquire the adaptive expertise and self-efficacy required for them to thrive in their world. Educators in this community of inquiry and practice are informed by The Way and led by Game Changers.
THE PATHWAY TO EXCELLENCE
We live in a rapidly changing world. Everyday life means living through complexity, being ready for the things that life throws at us, and enjoying the good fortune with which we are blessed. There is a volume, pace, and intensity to our times that mean we need to be in a position to respond to change readily and willingly. We need to pursue The Pathway To Excellence. This refers to the natural developmental process of growing in character and wellness by gaining competencies that follow a pathway that help us to:
- Learn the self-awareness of knowing ourselves through asking: who am I?
- Live in relationships built by earning our places through asking: where do I fit in?
- Lead as a servant who goes on a journey from me to you to us through asking the question: how can I best serve others?
- Work vocationally and find our calling by asking the question: whose am I?
This means that all of us need to be able to muster our dispositions, capacity and the whole of our being to meet these challenges and to make the most of the opportunities that are presented to us. We don’t need to be perfect or even exceptional. We need to be committed to growth and to being the best version of ourselves that we can be. We need to know what we are learning – aspiration. We need to go on a journey of encounter, connection, challenge, and discovery to acquire character and competencies – experience. We need to collaborate with our teachers, mentors and experts as the co-authors of the narrative of our learning journey – agency. We need to discover our own identity and how best to express it through our learning and relationships – voice. And we need to be provided with the time, support, and conditions that will help us to make the most of our learning – resource.
If all things are as they ought to be, our strengths come to the fore in our learning, living, leading and working and allow us to both leave our mark and to measure up in terms of our sense of belonging, the fulfilment of our potential, and our propensity to do that which is good and right. We will also have passed on what we have found on our journeys of discovery to others.
“To make human civilisation work well and exist at peace with Gaia, we need another revolution, putting into place the desirable management, laws, controls, protocols, methodologies and means of governance. This is a complex and absolutely necessary transition – the 21st Century Revolution … Whether the revolution happens smoothly depends on the education that is put in place and how widely it is acted upon.”
- Understanding the context: Responding to historical perspectives of and contemporary provocations for excellence in learning, living, leading and working based a vision for character, competency and wellness that promotes thriving
- Defining the culture: Constructing a vision, rationale, standards, norms, and narrative for achieving excellence in an education for this
- Cultivating the passion: Building alignment through aspirations for excellence, structural cohesion, cultural robustness, and collaboration through inquiry and practice
THE CHARACTER OF A SCHOOL FOR TOMORROW
a School for tomorrow. helps its students, teachers, and school leaders to build the character, competencies and wellness that allows them to make progress on The Pathway to Excellence by equipping them with the adaptive expertise and self-efficacy required for them to thrive in their world.
A good school focuses on the whole education of the whole person. It gets the fundamentals right; it becomes fit for purpose by building high standards across all aspects of school life, and embedding and sustaining these standards within the habits and routines of its daily life, all of which emanate from its desired graduate outcomes based on civic, performance and moral character and competencies. A great school assembles the ingredients of high-performance culture in delivering this education. It identifies the "secret sauce" of aspirations, a sense of kinship, and pathways to success, and applies this to a culture of inspiration, challenge, and support. This culture fosters both the pursuit of excellence by young people of character, and the sense of belonging to and engagement in school. It keeps them in their groove and holds them to the educational purpose. In other words, great schools are schools of character who consistently demonstrate an increasing propensity towards inspiring, challenging, and supporting students to belong, to fulfil their potential, and to do good and right things as young people of character, competency, and wellness.
Character, competency and wellness is, therefore, both the whole work of a school and also the work of the whole school. When it comes to the shaping of the purpose of a School for tomorrow., nothing can be more critical than its conception, delivery and experience in all respects of its preferred outcomes for the character, competency and wellness of its graduates. In other words, the quality and consistency of an education for character and competency should be driven by a shared and deep desire for the attainment of the desired graduate outcomes of a school. The excellence of a School for tomorrow. is defined, therefore, by its capacity to personalise, align and integrate character, competency and wellness into the learning journey of every student: we judge it according to who the students are and what they know, can do, believe, and how they learn.
DEFINING EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION
This journey of becoming for students in a School for tomorrow. is, therefore, the experience of gaining mastery of the adaptive expertise and self efficacy required to thrive in our world evidenced through their graduate outcomes. Our map of the experience of schooling must help our students chart the possible journeys to these outcomes and the acquisition of character, competency and wellness on The Pathway To Excellence.
In helping them to pursue these outcomes, we must be able to define excellence. Excellence is something that is excellent is of the highest quality. It achieves the highest level of performance; it is exemplary. In doing so it exceeds normal expectations of performance and meets the highest expectations of what can be achieved. Ultimately, a school with a strong culture of excellence is not merely good. It sets the standard to be followed, and it is something of great virtue and worth – it is excellent. Excellence in anything starts with a vision, will and passion. The process for preparing a community to cultivate these includes:
School becomes, therefore, a wide field in which we inspire, challenge, and support students to rehearse for their adulthood by providing many diverse encounters with excellence and experiences of character, competency and wellness within deliberately incremental and immersive learning. Like the medieval tales of old and the computer games students play now, the challenges must become harder and more important as the quest goes on. In this way, the experience of school is about becoming someone else, about letting go of the child who once was and the process of gaining adaptive expertise and self-efficacy through character apprenticeship that shows learners where our future on The Pathway to Excellence might lie.
In the light of this set of fundamental beliefs about to what ends we should be educating our children, we hold that the true character of a School for tomorrow. is imbued deeply with an integrity that can be defined by the alignment of:
What it believes: The shared conviction that character, competency and wellness is the whole work of a school. It empowers the emerging voice and agency of students on their pathway to adulthood as they wrestle with what they think about their mark (their inner sense of fulfilment) and their measure (their sense of validation according to what others expect of them), and cultivate and put into practice values, beliefs, and actions associated with:
What it aspires to: The shared commitment to a cause rooted in a compelling social rationale and an educational purpose based on a shared perspective of the central importance of character, competency and wellness as the reason why we do “school”. This commitment, in turn, allows us to plot an agreed organisational trajectory that propels drive in process and meaningfulness in the frequency, rate, consistency, and quality of learning outcomes for students based on 21C competencies that allow graduates to be well and experience belonging, the fulfilment of potential and the doing of what is good and right. As students express their character through competencies that ask them deliberately and simultaneously to know, to do, to be, and to learn they acquire voice and agency that allows them to reveal the manner in which they have grown as whole people who are ready to thrive in their world.
How it goes about what it does: An intentional process that involves designing and delivery learning that allows students to reveal their competencies and experience wellness in a scope and sequence of learning experiences directed towards a unifying set of graduate outcomes. An education for character, competency and wellness occurs everywhere in a school, is propelled by specific pedagogies and especially through relationships; it is sustained by the curation of culture, and supported by an evidence-based community of inquiry and practice. The expression of a robust and resilient culture of high performance is described by its model and sustained by the evidence-based and research-driven framework of a community of inquiry and practice. In this light, we need to recognise and educate students both for and also in step with the holistic nature of the character, competencies and wellness that most effectively express the best of humanity in our times. At the same time, we must integrate the essential content – the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and learning habits – into everything we do to build the capability of the learners in our charge to express their emerging identities more completely.
a School for tomorrow. is equipped with the education, culture, leadership and performance to develop the character, competencies and wellness that empower students on The Pathway to Excellence to acquire the adaptive expertise and self-efficacy required for them to thrive in their world.