Monday, May 17, 2010

ELP Seminar - Wendy Lee - Sustainable Leadership

Wendy gave us a personal journey and history to introduce her to the group.
Easy to let things go, but we need to take responsibility – sustainable leadership – what will make a difference for our children. The work done in NZ is recognised internationally – Peter Moss has placed us as in the top 3 countries in the world because we deserve it.
Sustainable development, democracy and peace are divisible as an idea whose time has come – Wangari Matthai.
United Nations decade of education for sustainable development – 2005 – 2015 – what have we been doing as work towards this goal – didn’t really even know about it until now.
Andy Hargreaves and Dean Fink – drawn on for this presentation and is dedicated to them.
Sustainability leadership matters, spreads and lasts.
Sustainability is the capacity of a system to engage in the complexities of continuous improvement consistent with deep values of human purpose.
With professional development targeted to specific areas what will Centres do now – will they pay for this.
1. Depth It matters
Sustainable leadership matters. It preserves, protects, and promotes deep and broad learning for all in relationship of care for others.
Te Whaariki has been showing us the way all this time. Do we have utter respect and de we care deeply for all the children in our care – it’s not easy, but it’s incredibly powerful. Who are the people that have made a difference for us – what was the value of this relationship and why did it resonate for you personally.
In a team it is important to have a deep, abiding respect for each other – when then there are differences of opinion it doesn’t break the team a part.
The Five Pillars of Learning – Unesco (Four Pillars Of Education)
2. Learning to Know
3. Learning to do
4. Learning to be
5. Learning to Live Together
Hargreaves & Fink 2006
Paper – John Bennett – research for OECD – schoolification – able to search on the internet – we should be providing less structure up to the age of 7 because the research shows that this is a better pathway for later learning.
Slow Schooling –
1. Starts formal learning later
2. Reduce testing
3. Increases curriculum flexibility
4. Doesn’t hurry the child
5. Rehabilitates play alongside purpose

2. Endurance It lasts
Sustainable leadership lasts. It preserves and advances the most valuable aspects of learning and life over time.
Endurance – it is a common defect in men not to consider the good weather the possibility of tempest.
Good Succession Plans are important for the team – a good leader might just die!
Spreading positive messages for all – write a message – we used our cards from Wendy and I will take time to write one to every staff member over the next couple of weeks. Do this often – as with children, focus on the strengths because it will make a difference.
 Leadership is not delegation – distributed leadership is shared leadership and is based on respect for each other as a team member – ownership.
 Build strong professional communities – engage in P.D. because they know it is a pathway for strong leadership, are committed to learn something new and not shut it down.
 Deepens are broadens the pools of leadership talent.
 Establishes leadership settings – Roskill South Kindergarten – get a critical friend to take the team forward.
 Stresses future leadership competencies – Greerton Childcare Centre – they take it through to budgets and salaries – it’s not easy but it can be done.
 Supports aspiring leaders –
 Replaces charismatic leadership with inspirational leadership
Have you considered yourself as a Mentor “to help and support people to manage their own learning in order to maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance, and become the person they want to be.” Pen Green think that it is critical to mentor another personal.
Mentoring is to be a rainbow in the clouds!
Maya Angelou – google her and find out more!!!!
A mentor helps a person interpret the world! – Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we are educating children. His book – The Element
3. Breadth It spreads
Sustainable leadership spreads. It sustains as well as depends on the leadership of others.
Collaborative leadership with children – what are the processes, what are we doing to make this truly collaborate.
How much do we use the knowledge of the students in our team and do we take on board this – new theorist can be one area of reflection and review.
Professional Learning Communities Aren’t
 Merely convivial and congenial – they are demanding and critical
 Just a collection of stilted teams looking at information together
 Obsessed with results instead of depth of learning
 Forced or imposed, they are facilitated and supported
 Ways to hijack teachers to carry out administrative agendas
Justice It does not harm the surrounding environment
 Do not steal your neighbours capacity – another Centre – don’t take from them.
 Emphasis collective accountability
 Coach a less successful partner centre or setting – find another Centre and form a partnership
 Make a definable contribution to the community your Centre is in – go out and get to know your neighbours – this is our community – bake a cake – clean up your area
 Pair with a Centre or setting in a different social environment
 Collaborate with your competitors – at the heart there is fear, particularly in these difficult times, but both Centres will be strengthened for everyone.
Te Wháriki
You can learn more from people who are different than oneself, than ones that are the same, Hargreaves & Fullan, 1998.
Strong Networks are:
 Strong branding and definite products
 Clear moral purpose
 Clarity, focus, discipline
 Resourcefulness
Energy Restraint
 No achievements without investment
 Shared goals, not imposed ones
 Slow leading, slow learning
 Time
Self and Peer Feedback Process – available on the internet – John Heron – this can be used within the teaching team – get someone to give feedback on a teacher practice, e.g. reading a story, puppets – it’s about feedback not criticism – do it with someone you trust – email admin@elp.
Conservation – The Past, Present & Future of Change
 Acknowledge the past because the best learn from the rest.
 Wildness, diversity and disorder have value
 The past is not pure – do not romanticise it.
 The past has no Golden Age to which we should return
 We view the past differently, we must therefore interpret it together
 We dismiss or demean the past, we fuel defensive nostalgia among its bearers
Three Cultures of Teaching
Veteran Dominated Novice Dominated Blended
Serves experienced surrounded by provides mentoring
Teacher interests fellow novices
Feels exclusionary feels inclusive offers leadership
Offers few leadership driven by enthusiasm Reciprocal learning
 Go on retreats
 Audits of the organisations
 Organisational abandonment meetings
 Storytelling to pass on the wisdom – of our place, our Centre – make them visible
 Mentoring that runs in both directions’
 Good documentation
 Creation of blended cultures

Finished with Nickleback video “If Everyone Cared and Nobody Cried”

Considerations for me:
Mentoring – getting and giving
Cards to every staff member in celebration
Make more links to our local community – Exminister Street, Green Bay Kindy, UELC – Jump Start, Te Puna Reo and other Kindy
Become politically aware – curriculum development
Thank you from Karen Ramsey

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity | Video on

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity Video on

Sunday, April 25, 2010

ELP - Margaret Carr Seminar

Learning Pathways and Learning Journeys in the Early Years: Opportunities and Responsibilities

Educational Leadership Project Ltd

Present by Margaret Carr, Kohia Teacher Centre, Tuesday, 13 April, 2010

Margaret talked about our own learning journey and “Possible Learner Selves”.

Building Super Learners and Super Heroes – Guy Claxton, “Building Learning Powers” book inspired Flatbush Kindergarten to explore Super Hero play and they developed a big resource of coloured capes for children to become different super heroes. Guy’s book is mostly geared to Primary School teachers and key competencies, but it is quite relevant for early childhood.

Our learning journeys include recognising our possible selves and thinking about finding a balance between the selves we hope for against the selves we are afraid of becoming:

Hoped Possible selves could include being successful, creative, rich, thin, loved admired

Fear Possible selves could include depressed, alcoholic, afraid, bankrupt, criminal

Children might see themselves as: explorer, writer, belonging, activist.

Jane Campion stated “You need just one degree more of inspiration than fear” to get on with the things that inspire you and you want to complete. As educators we often pop back to our old ways, not committing to the new “possible selves” and we need to cultivate our teaching dispositions – keep getting out, coming to seminars, conferences, centre visits etc to stay fresh and inspired.

Carole Dweck has an excellent book “Mind Set” that is well worth having in the Staff Library.

Who Are My Possible Learning Selves:

o Resilience – Edmund Hilary – the inspiration to respond and construct a challenge

o Relationships – Dame Whina Cooper – the inspiration to lead people and strive for a just world.

o Imagination – Rita Angus – the imagination to see and explore the world in different ways.


Think about the NZ Curriculum and how it is linked to early childhood notions of important dispositions to foster in children for life long learning. Page 42 of the NZ Curriculum should be an A3 poster that is displayed in all educational spaces because it shows the intention from the Ministry of Education on seemless transitioning with assessment practices that are driven by the children and supported by their teachers. Page 12 & 13 are comments on the Key Competencies.

What Qualities Will Children Need in the Next 40-50 Years.

1. Well Being and managing self – developing a “can do” attitude.

2. Developing the disposition to work and dialogue with others.

3. Belonging to the wider global community

4. Sustainable communities

5. Multi-levels of communication – we are barely scratching the surface at the moment.

Margaret showed a video from Greerton Early Childhood Centre (Lorraine Sands, Tauranga), of Ruby who wanted to climb and a climbing wall was created to provide a very high degree of challenge.

Who Do We Recognise as Heroes

Imaginery – Harry Potter, Dr Who

Famous Learning Heroes – Nelson Mandela, Sir Peter Blake, Sonya Davies

Famous Family Learning Heroes – various people who had survived adversity such as migrating, surviving war zones

People We Know As Learning Heroes – Wendy Lee, Margaret Carr, Alison Brierley, Jo Colbert, Jo Allen


Our children are questioning all the time, whereas we didn’t because it was seen as being ignorant, maybe you hadn’t listened enough or weren’t smart enough – there is definitely a generational difference.

Margaret and Wendy have been part of – A Royal Society – Marsden Fund Project – and a book has been developed “Learning in the Making: Dispositions and Design in Early Education” by M Carr, Anne Smith, Judith Duncan, Carolyn Jones, Wendy Lee, and Kate Marshall, published through Amazon although they are checking to see if NZCER will publish it.

The book looks at the following:

Resilience ) Initiating and orchestrating projects

) asking questions

Imagination ) exploring possible worlds

) our storytelling selves

Reciprocity ) Establishing a dialogue

) being and becoming a group member

ICT is a very big part of our future Learning Selves and James Gee writes a lot about ICT and has a wonderful book “Why Video Games are Good For Your Soul” and it is about pleasure and learning.

Vivian Gussin Paley “A Child’s Work” is also very inspirational.


1. Try something new and don’t be scared – particularly true for me as I consider further study to get my Teacher Registration.

2. Recognise and strengthen the hoped for inspirations and possible selves.

3. Be inspired by those who have gone before us – if Whina Cooper can walk the length of the North Island, I can complete one more year’s study and when I start I need these inspirations to help me through.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Last weekend I attended a seminar with Chelsea from Unitec, on Infant and Toddler settings based on RIE philosophy and the work of Magda Gerber - very cool day and so much to learn.