Recently I’ve noticed that one of my posts is receiving many views. The post is about communication and leadership which I wrote after attending the Leadership for Community Engagement program. One of the program leaders was Dr Elizabeth Mellor and I wrote a summary of her ideas in a previous post which I have reposted below.
You, as a leader, will be different to a manager, you will be finding solutions, you will use your courage and confidence to influence others, you will speak a common language and find that common language so you can move forward. You will empower others and be an enabler so you can shift barriers. You will encourage others to ‘think big’ and work towards delivering transformational change. You will coach others on how to measure change, be respectful and a listener so you understand and collaborate.
You will not shy from anything and you will get in and learn. You will empower others to solve problems because you can’t fix it all. You will take risks and from taking risks you will gain experience to put into other aspects of your role. You will give others a voice and act on what they want and work side by side with them to achieve your common goals. You will be capable of ‘unlearning’ and not be judgmental. You will build a ‘treasury’ of good practice to help you evaluate actions and capture what has been learnt so you can measure the impact of changes and improvements.
And finally, you will deliver to every child and family. Your flexibility will be key to you being a leader, as without flexibility you will impede innovation. You, as a leader, must leave the profession in a better state and by building the capacity of others you should do yourself out of a job!
Why is student agency, teacher agency and school agency and the customization of learning crucial to motivation and equalization? We need to talk about agency on many levels.
Tom Vander Ark in his video talks about key attributes required to develop school agency and student agency.
Agency and Technology – Tom Vander Ark
Article: Elements of High School Agency Environments by Marie Bjerede Dec 17th, 2015
According to Tom Vander Ark Student agency has three key features:
Customization-individualized learning path
Motivation-student motivation is key
Equalization-all students-all ability levels
In a school with high agency Tom Vander Ark states that students with agency will be able to answer the following questions.
- What are you learning?
- Why are you learning this?
- What do you need to do to move to the next level?
- How they will learn.
- How they will demonstrate.
Tom Vander Ark calls this: VOICE & CHOICE
High agency students:
- Customize their learning
- Have intrinsic motivation
- Co-curator of their pathway
- Have efficacy
The relationship between agency and learning:
Students with high agency are able to transfer knowledge. These students have deeper skills.
- Think critically
- Think Creatively
What does a school look like that supports agency?
- Relationship between students and teachers.
- Respected as learners
- Responsibility as learners
- Pairing of a group of students with a teacher possibly for their whole education at a particular school (critical in secondary schools)
- Meet 2/3 times a week
- Build relationship with students
- Advocate for that group of students
- Voice & Choice
- Some path flexibility
- Publishing to a broader audience
- A portfolio
Next post: So how does a teacher develop agency?