Patrick Duigan- Authentic Educative Leaders strongly influence the quality of student outcomes.

Session 3
Authentic Educative Leaders strongly influence the quality of student outcomes.

I

Here we apply the ideas of the first session to the learning environment – deep learning environments.

1. Authentic educative leaders

They promote moral purpose of schooling, create deep learning environments and are reflective, learner focussed and transforming. In the context of the National Curriculum he does not see this sort of leadership.

2. Authentic teachers and teaching

Connects to student’s lives – the trajectory of their life as they move forward.
In today’s age and knowledge of education Patrick believes “inauthentic learning is unethical”.

3. Teachers plant the golden seed. Patrick quotes students for the National Education Awards:

“Thanks for giving me the strong belief in who I am as a person”
“Thank you for giving me the confidence to go out and into a challenging world.”

As Patrick was thinking of this he came across two ideas by Charles Handy in “Myself” – self belief and confidence.

II
Research

Typical research findings are on

1. Teaching and Student’s Achievements
2. Leadership and Learning

Leading researchers ( John Hattie, Ken Leithwood, Vivian Robinson) look at results from a range of research from test results for a 50 year period. They talk about the “effect size” as the measure of the impact. Effect size is the standard mean difference between the outcomes of one approach and another BUT it does not point to the future.

Patrick outlines some of the research findings and indicates the weaknesses. In part it is not the teachers but the excellence in teaching that makes a difference. The results are based on previous test scores, it examines a narrow range of performance only maths science and English and it is a linear measure of influence.

“do we value what we measure because we cannot measure what we value”

    OECD Research 2008

Patrick was relieved that the OECD research was making the same analysis of the research. I must admit to struggling to process all this at this stage even though I found it really interesting.
I will claim some ignorance at this point which is more a reflection of me researching everything on the web rather than from the more formal study I used to do. I did not know the significance of the PISA results which are based on testing of student achievement in countries and then comparisons can be made between countries.

So it does make sense that the government will pay attention to such test results and also pay close attention to OECD research in educational decision making in Australia – eg National Curriculum. In fact he says that Kevin Rudd wrote the Digital Education Revolution Policy by himself with no consultation. This may be true but for me I read in his biography one of his major influencing figures in his thinking is Dietrich Bonhoeffer – I am not sure if there is any direct link to any policy his has formulated.

Anyway the OECD does not like “Standard Model of Teaching” and is trying to shift the nature of the testing. Too many students are not prepared for the knowledge society – now also referred to as the creative society. Patrick claims we need school s with deep rich learning environments.

“Provide learning prior to experience is storing learning in a mental warehouse… warehouse learning decays very rapidly.”

    Learning Science Resaerch

Started around 1993 taking into account observational research. Martin Westwood the neuro scientist claims we cannot get more neurons but we can improve the connections between neurons. That is we can increase brain density – Patrick stated we can do this by relationships- learning with each other. In fact, he claims preferred learning styles and left right hand brain thinking are myths. If a student is a visual learner why teach that way when they already can do it.

So if you take these views into account the results include

1. Customised learning
2. Diverse knowledge sources
3. Collaborative group learning
4. Assessment for deeper understanding

    Teacher and Student centred learning

Patrick now argues that the subject should be at the centre of attention. Subject matter is very important as it provides people the tools for life. What is important is how the students engage with the subject. He did say it has taken him a while to come to this conclusion. He is happy to negotiate the terms but

“the subject is the glue that makes sense of the learning relationship.”

    A model

He made a list of 17 indicators of educative leaders influence and with another researcher he refined them into 4 categories.

1. People
2. Purposes
3. Processes
4. Paradigms

However he refined it to say that there are three people, purposes and processes which can be applied differently depending on the paradigm one uses.

Martin Pluss
martinpluss@gmail.com

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