Concurrent Workshop 3

Tuesday 12 April 3.30–4.30pm

Session 1: Growing Global Digital Citizens

Lee Watanabe Crockett, Founder and CEO, Wabisabi Learning 

Over the last decade, schools are increasing to models of 1:1 computing, BYOD and other models. These are technology initiatives, not learning initiatives and a huge opportunity has been missed. Working with hundreds of schools around the world, we have crafted a complete program for transforming the application of these technologies to grow global digital citizens—responsible, ethical citizens in a digital world.

In this workshop, we’ll analyse your acceptable use policies and create an effective digital citizenship program that allows students to develop a code of ethics that will help them learn mindsets of conscientious and responsible behaviour while taking responsibility for themselves, others and everything around them.

Extensive resources will be provided that will provide a solid foundation for your school-wide program.

Session 2: Thinking, self esteem and the being well agenda

Ian Gilbert, Founder and CEO, Independent Thinking

A year-long approach to emotional health, happiness and making people's brain hurt.


Session 3: Breaking down the silos: How one school has cross-pollinated ideas, strategies and knowledge across K-12 teachers for better student outcomes.

Kirsten Macaulay and Kaye Chalwell, St. Andrew's Cathedral School, NSW

A successful K–12 school culture is determined by the values, shared beliefs, and actions of the many teachers in a school’s environment (Owen, 2014). As all schools are complex organisations, it can be challenging to bring together the different voices of all teachers (Carpenter, 2015). However, it is essential that schools create structures that provide opportunities for K – 12 teachers to learn and develop their practice (Admiraal, Schenke, De Jon, Emelot & Sligte, 2021).  This is a worthwhile endeavour as effective professional growth, workplace satisfaction, collective efficacy and student achievement have been positively connected to teacher professional learning communities (Voelkel & Chrispeels, 2017).

In this workshop, Kaye and Kirsten will outline the structures that have allowed their school to become an authentic learning organization, where every student and teacher is on a learning journey. The learning journey allows everyone to articulate goals that are relevant to their context but underpinned by a shared language of learning. With a shared language of learning, teachers have opportunities to focus collaborative discussions on pedagogy that transcends grades, subjects and silos in schools. By focussing on commonalities of our pedagogy, rather than our context and content differences, K – 12 teachers have the opportunity to share and grow their practice for the benefit of all in the learning community (Gore & Rosser, 2021). This has the potential to flow through to student activities beyond the classroom walls.  In addition, these structures enable a proliferation of teacher-driven, bespoke opportunities for meaningful professional conversations that have a positive impact for our students.  This workshop will provide opportunities for participants to share and reflect on how a variety of professional learning structures could be applied in their schools and context to enable the cross-pollination of ideas, strategies and knowledge across K-12 teachers for better student outcomes.

Session 4: Capturing the lived experiences of a strengths-based approach through the narratives of students

Marnie Thomas, Newcastle Grammar School, NSW

At Newcastle Grammar School (NGS) we place wellbeing at the heart of everything we do. As a Visible Wellbeing School we use the SEARCH pathways of Strengths, Emotional Management, Attention and Awareness, Relationships, Coping, and Habits and Goals (SEARCH) as our framework for whole school flourishing (Waters & Loton, 2019). As the world becomes increasingly interested in wellbeing and the Positive Education approach grows globally (Seligman & Adler, 2018) it is becoming more apparent that we must draw upon the evidence-base to ensure that what we are offering our students is not only effective, but is doing no harm (White & Kern, 2018). While some meta-analyses are emerging on specific fields such as social-emotional learning (Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor, & Schellinger, 2011) there are still many approaches adopted by schools that are under-analysed. The data-driven SEARCH meta-framework which we have embraced at NGS does not simply deliver a one-off intervention, it offers an embedded approach across interconnected systems throughout the whole school (Waters & Loton, 2019). The first pathway of the SEARCH framework is Strengths, and it is the language of strengths that underpins everything we do at NGS. But how do we know if this language is resonating with students? Through a phenomenological investigation, this pilot study considered what we can learn through the narratives of students that arise from a strengths-based approach, capturing their lived experiences. Qualitative methods were used to collect student strengths narratives and NVivo software was used to identify themes. Preliminary findings revealed that the students involved in the pilot study embodied the language of strengths and were able to use it in a nuanced, contextualised, and personalised way. This pilot study contributes to the limited knowledge of the lived experiences of a strengths-based approach in schools, presents a replicable process for ongoing research, affirms the power of student voice along with the importance of narrative identity in adolescents. Furthermore it provides rich evidence for not only the benefits of a strengths-based approach but Positive Education more broadly.

Session 5: Developing leadership from within our own school communities

Darren Hovey, Galen Catholic College, Vic

In 2016 I asked our 30 middle leaders at Catholic College Wodonga how can we best develop their leadership skills and those of our potential emerging leaders. The responses were very clear. Living in a large regional centre three and half hours from the largest capital city, access to leadership professional learning was very difficult due to distance, travel, costs, and impact on families. My response to this gap between postgraduate study and quality professional learning was to create the Leadership Development Series.

The series draws from the work of Kouzes and Posner (2012), Lencioni (2012) and Fullan (2011). Complementing the work of these authors I have incorporated learning, from professional development lead by ACEL and Brendan Spillane. Most importantly in 2016 my Leadership and Development Coach was Dr. Paul Browning, Headmaster of St Paul’s in Brisbane and the author of “Compelling Leadership” and “Principled.” Paul’s encouragement and the sharing of his experiences has been pivotal in providing the inspiration to move beyond LDS being simply an idea. I consistently review and update the professional learning related to my experiences and research, as well as feedback from participants.

Each cohort that participates in the series can explore leadership through a leadership project which runs over one school year, as well as three days of professional learning days staggered throughout the year.  I facilitate individual coaching sessions with the group between the professional learning days. To date 45 staff from four schools in North East of Victoria have participated in the series.

This workshop will provide several examples of how we as leaders can develop leadership from within our schools utilising leadership projects, networking, and individual coaching. I will also share the wide range of projects completed by staff.

The benefits to our community at Catholic College Wodonga, as well as the other three schools has been outstanding.

Session 6: Entrepreneurial Learning – beyond the bake sale!” Teaching students to be entrepreneurial-minded learners.

Karyn Murray, Strathcona Girls Grammar, Vic

For many years, entrepreneurship in schools was discussed, it invariably meant holding a bake sale. Students would spend time making cupcakes, slices or biscuits, be taught how to budget and then market their products to eager stakeholders. Whilst interesting and fun, this construct fails to drive deeper learning of vital 21st Century skills.  Professor Yong Zhao, Mitchell Institute Professorial Fellow  and International Advisor argues that “Students need to be able to think like entrepreneurs: resourceful, flexible, creative and global.” 

In Year 9, our year long Envision program is designed to allow students to acquire a range of transferable skills, intrinsically linked to entrepreneurial learning. Using the Wade Institute's Upschool program as a template, underpinned by research from the Foundation for Young Australians, MGSE, PISA and Sandra Milligan's research into key capabilities students will need for 21st century learning, our Envision program seeks to explicitly teach students a toolkit of practical, transferrable skills that are future-worthy.

The program takes the shape of an extended journey where students explore, upskill, create small businesses and gain credentials to enable them to be creative and critical thinkers and problem solvers in an ever-changing, globalised world.

This workshop will lead participants through a range of key activities designed to teach entrepreneurism, and in doing so, acquire many of the key competencies needed to move students from running a bake sale, to seeing themselves as business owners, disruptors and strategists.

An authentic opportunity to run their own small business is provided and several students then go on to continue their enterprises beyond Year 9.