SHARING A LANGUAGE FOR LEARNING
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 a pathway to excellence that gives them the adaptive expertise and self-efficacy required for them to thrive in their world. A shared vocabulary that helps embed the purpose of this educational process is the third critical element of its culture.
Character is the way we live life. Do we belong? Are we fulfilling our potential? Are we doing what is good and right? These are powerful questions we ask. Sometimes to answer them we search deep and discover an inner sense of who we are, and who we may become; this is our mark as a person. Other times, we try to fulfil the expectations of others; this is our measure as a person. And so, through the course of our lives, as we express the civic character of belonging, the performance character of fulfilling potential and the moral character of doing what is good and right, we wrestle. We wrestle with both leaving a mark and measuring up. This is how we form character. This is how we show who we have been, and who we are becoming.
Competency is the capacity to demonstrate how one has grown in character during an educational process. It deliberately and simultaneously asks one to know, to do, to be, and to learn. We can group the competencies required to thrive in our world under four broad headings: learn, live, lead, and work. When competency in these areas is achieved, the knowledge, skills, dispositions, and learning habits that are cultivated during the social and educational processes we experience are demonstrated in our values, our qualities, and the graduate outcomes of thriving we demonstrate.
Wellness is how we experience health and happiness in the world. Our wellness (or how well we feel) is influenced by our health – physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual, our satisfaction with the lives we are leading, and the sense of purpose and connectedness we have. Our character is directly affected by our wellness; how well we are is so very important to how we live our lives and who we are becoming through all of the social relationships and educational processes, the journeys towards character we experience on our various pathways to excellence.
Thriving means human beings applying their character, competency, and wellness to learn, live, lead and work well in a world that needs them:
- Have the integrity to lead meaningful lives as good people.
- Have the ability to manage complexity with authenticity as future builders.
- Grow and transform themselves as continuous learners and unlearners.
- Provide sustainable direction to the world as solution architects.
- Balance the local, the regional, and the global with perspective as responsible citizens.
- Work well in relationship with others, to bring success and fulfilment for all of us as team creators.
Adaptive expertise means human beings growing in character, competencies and wellness and using these to solve known and new problems. It is, in essence, our commitment to growth. Self-efficacy means human beings organising themselves and their learning, living, leadership and work to optimise their character, competencies and wellness so that they can thrive in their world. It is our capacity to be the best version of ourselves that we can be.
Fit for purpose learning means stepping forward into a preferred future where: vision and vocabulary are shared; value propositions are agreed by the school community; the velocity, shape, and trajectory of change are designed and implemented to meet the needs of internal and external contexts. All learning journeys are formed in relationship within the values, context and culture of the school community. They are enhanced by a shared commitment to continuous learning, a flexible face to face, online and offline approach to the design, development and delivery of learning and teaching that allows all to access learning from their own location. Continuous learning does not prescribe a particular pedagogical approach but has the potential to support student-centred and student-led approaches to personalised learning progress.
Progress should be defined measuring initial levels of competencies in learning, living, leadership, and work and then measuring the growth (gaining competency), motivation (confidence in exercising competency), engagement (disposition towards further growth in competency), achievement (successful application of competency), and qualification (external accreditation of competency) by a student, teacher, and leader in each of the competencies so that they can thrive. All of these concepts are, therefore, connected intimately with each other; inherent in this connectedness is the measurement of a person’s progress according to growth in mastery of competencies, organisation of one’s life around these competencies, and a sense of thriving in the world through these competencies.