Wednesday, 18 April 2018

SCT Symposium 2018 Day 2

Woke up this morning to a beautiful day in Auckland. Sun shining and a nice crisp start to the day. Four sessions today, with 2 keynotes and 2 workshops. My editing has probably got worse as they day has gone on so please excuse the mistakes!

Keynote - Improving Writing, a tour of the latest research- Keynote Speaker - Professor Judy Parr - UoA

Research on effective practice in teaching writing.
Writing is an international issue, not just here.
In US only about 30% perform at a sufficient level.
Students finish 2yrs behind here compared to reading and writing.

Why be concerned?
Economic cost from literacy related errors, cost to remediate literacy skills. US spend $20 billion a yr on remedial work.
Personal cost, limited jobs as writing is required.
Social cost, increasing important means of communication.
Progress, critical to the enhancement of knowledge.
Is a means to demonstrate learning in almost all areas of education and is a tool for improving learning.

Goal:developing writing across subjects
Writing as "thinking on paper"; a way to extend ideas and reasoning. Learning to write and writing to learn. Both can contribute.
Oscar Wilde. (n.d.). Web site:

Why is writing so hard? 
Why do you personally find writing hard?
Cognitively complex
It is a meta cognitive process
Involves thinking about your thinking
Multiple processing demands
Complexity of socio-cultural functions - negotiating different purposes, communities, voices and roles
Discourse communities within which we write
Linguistically complex. Need a critical mass in terms of vocab as well as academic vocab. Also need to know form of text for a certain purpose, knowledge of audience.
Increasing complexity with different mediums. Scribing, typing, visual, new codes.
What is needed to improve writing in your school?
What key factors have most influence?
Theories have to be tested.
Reason to write
A broad view of why they struggle
There is a relatively small research base to help us teach and support students in writing L1 and L2.
Most teachers have not had the training or pd about how to teach writing or support writing in their subject areas.
Teachers believe it should be taught in all subject areas
Students spend very little time actually comparing, particularly extended text, beyond a sentence
Teachers often use worksheets to fill in gaps or short answers. Doing a summary, writing a list, writing a description. Not many involve full sentences. Didn't teach how to write a summary at secondary.
In general they get little direct instruction in writing beyond yr 4.

Theory for improvement.
Teacher practice
Teacher knowledge
Teacher attitude, belief, disposition
Organisational and leadership practices
Student behaviour, characteristics, attendance, attitudes etc
Students have insufficient vocab to express their ideas
Vocab lists to take home, we know that won't work. Verbal context important, understanding meaning through the context. Incidental working out the meaning in oral or written form much stronger. Need to understand the theory in order to challenge what you do.
Focus on writer
Writer practices
Writer knowledge
Attitudes and belief

Effective practice
Berliner 1987 most of their students learn most of what they are supposed to
Provide work that is interesting, relevant and pitched right to engage students.
Effective practice
Knowledge of content and curriculum
Knowledge of content and pedagogy, knowledge in the process of teaching others. Understand the knowledge in the context of the learner.
Knowledge of the learner
Knowledge of effective practice, pedagogy
Knowledge of how to learn. Teacher as a reflective learner
Context matters
Teaching moves described as effective practice may need to be adapted to context.
Assessment for learning and assessment as learning.

Effective practices Parr 2017 :
Aligning learning and tasks, ensure understand what they are learning and why
Targeted and direct instruction at point of need
Differentiating instruction
Quality feedback
Scaffolding self regulation
Making connections, relevant cultural and linguistic funds of knowledge

Another study on best practice
Gadd and Parr 2016
Learning tasks
Direct instruction
Self regulation made the biggest difference
Responding to learners
Motivating learners
Organisation and management
Goal setting

Another study
Parr and Limbrick 2009
Clear focused learning goals
Explicit reference as to what world constitute successful learning
Activities aligned with learning aims
Deliberate purposeful teaching
Catering for individual needs, ongoing monitoring assisting and re teaching
Making inter connections
Rich classroom environment

Unpacking those studies:
Tasks and learning
Purposeful and meaningful to students. Need to be linked to lives and goals. Need to make cognitive sense, understand potential of task for development of knowledge of writing.
Have variety and diversity. Allow students to generate and display relevant evidence, not just summarise something.
Tasks are challenging and manageable. Often broken down into components.
Aligned with learning
Share what students are learning about writing and becoming a writer and why.
Know what a high quality performance looks like.
Targeted direct instruction :
Need specific help with the processes, skills and strategies in writing.
Explicit instruction in writing, helping writers with strategies, caking attention to features of writing that characterise the communicative purpose, teaching conventions, academic vocab or language features of subject in meaningful contexts.
Show them a professional academic report in your subject. Unpack that and show what is in it.

Teach to need
Through ongoing monitoring, evaluating, adjustment and re - evaluating
Responsive pedagogy, teaching in culturally or linguistically responsive ways.
What processes are your students going through to get to the final product of writing? Know your learners.

Building schema, making links :
Explicit links between speaking and writing, reading and writing, across texts and subject areas, and links to real world experiences.
Link and connect to student's linguistic and cultural knowledge. Teachers are least confident in this.

Talk to support writing :
Oral language is a predictor to how well you can write.
Talk enables negotiation and creation of meaning.
We use oral language to regulate and orchestrate complex processes and test what "sounds right".
Use talk to review what occurs in communication with others and to read aloud what is written to an audience or to participate with or include others.
Use talk to create a shared communication space to cure prior knowledge, to make inner textual links, to build metalinguistic awareness.

Arguably the most important intervention in education.
Nz teachers were most confident about providing feedback. John Hattie lots of references.
Quality feedback characterised by helping the writer to see what they were in terms of expectations. Making clear key characteristics of expected writing quality and show what this student needs to do to get to the learning goal or performance.
Quality of feedback was highly corralated with outcome.

Self regulation, doing oneself out of a job:
Need information, from feedback
Need involvement in designing and selecting tasks to meet goals. In examining and designing criteria. Giving them choice.
Need practice
Need scaffolding
If you know what is expected you can self regulate. This all helps towards self regulation.
Opportunities to peer and self regulate. Use of simplified assessment rubrics in student speak.
Strategies for planning, drafting and revising, could be sentence starters or cue cards. Provide them with resources to utilise.
Effective teachers were trialling some of these things. Very effective teachers were doing many of these things.

Students can learn about writing while writing to learn subjects.

Enhancing capacity to lead change - Erika Jenkins and Simon Crosby from Ormiston Senior College

Erika and Simon kindly said I could put the link to the presentation in my blog, so you can see all the slides and the group answers to questions on this link.

Discussion from the group about what change was happening in their schools:
Outdoor survival project
From the top want them to start working together but not told what to do.
Concerns about lack of depth of learning when it was engineered. Not deep. Some groups had to be compromised with their subject area.
Should be a response to student need. Needs to be organic.
Community consultation first. Expectation of community is academic focus.

As SCT teachers, what part do I play? SCT will be dealing with the early adapters and SCT will be dealing with the resistors. How to deal with them.

Generation gap between teachers and students. Sometimes hard to get on same level. 25-30years difference between our understanding of the world and theirs.
Where do you start with change?
Changing mindsets about the need for change. What needs to happen to keep people confident and positive.
Attitude important.
Huge impact of technology both positive and negative.
Just in time learning, not just in case.

Removed level 1 for next year
Assessment overload
See students 3.5 hrs per subject.
Student wellbeing
Teacher workload. Can be creative and innovative at yr 9 and 10. Fun disappears with assessment pressure, teaching and monitoring. Maths and pe awesome
Provide a more holistic education that will enable them to be adaptable for the future.

Comments from others
L3 biology can be formal writing in English.
Level 1 could be the all time goal for some students
Pre-requisite knowledge, do you have open door policy for level 2 subjects? Isn't a problem in a school doing it. Students knew they had time and no pressure.

Need to show that SCT has leadership role across the school.

Types of leadership:
Transformational, hero,
Focused on enhancing leadership throughout the school
With distributed leadership sometimes you are a leader and sometimes a follower and you have to learn to switch hats.
Need to say something like "I'm wearing my English teacher hat now". Clarify which role you are doing.
Think of the time you worked for a good leader and a bad leader, how did they deal with situations?

Being the leader in terms of learning, reading
Leadership good qualities
Acknowledging staff

Our role:
You can make it what you want. Nothing set in stone
Compare within school teacher role and SCT. 
SCT and WST need to have open communication and make sure the overlaps are clear for everyone.
Who's supposed to drive the relationship between all of these people?
Teaching  heirachy of competence
Top two should be taken by WST. Bottom 2 Sct, so working with different people.

You to support WST as well??
They are new to role and coaching and mentoring skills

WST should be focused on the aspect of the COL as part of their job

Internal challenges
How are teachers chosen?
Do you feel isolated? Are you meeting frequently. Minutes only shared with 1 person. Professional conversation with a person on Slt.
Sct could be the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff but changed to a preventative process in one school.
Pd, one Sct does all of it. Need to step back from that.
One just works with teachers with issues.
One has a Committee for pd, Sct, slt and others.
Pd should underpin the vision.

Collaborative inquiry groups for a year. All ended up looking at something to do with wellbeing or engagement. So next yr pd was on that.

What is a successful SCT?
You need to lead from the front
You need to be the person people trust
How do you attend to everyone's needs?
Celebration box. Read out to staff on a Friday morning.
Celebration of good pedagogy

Be a person people want to come to.
If you don't have leadership support, do it yourself.
Have drive and purpose.
How confidential are the conversations?
Show you have problems that need solving too.

Difficult to come to a hard conversation without an outcome. Come open.

Best Practice for Behaviour Management - Keynote - Margaret Ross

What is your philosophy on behaviour management?
If you don't have an idea about who you are as a lesson you will fight against yourself.
Keep it simple
Trouble at school in early days you would phone home and they came and parents sorted it out.
Sometimes problems with isolated family situations, so once mother got looked after there was a flow on effect to her children.

Government sets the rules, so we get to set the rules by voting.

Within NZ we are part of the group and we know the written and unwritten rules
Hardest to keep
Written rules you know what is right and wrong
Unwritten rules not made explicit. They are more important. They are so important we don't write them down.
Discussion around the English being told to "bring a plate" and literally taking a plate. When you come from a different environment it changes.
In the education system there are unwritten rules that you are supposed to know and are punished if you don't.
If you don't know the rules they form another group that then annoy the group that does know. We have it in society with gangs, and smokers.
They get a lot of power.
If you have one student who doesn't know it very soon becomes 2, then more and more.
This is the danger in the classroom, the opposition group.
Behaviour management programmes s all target the opposition, but we want to increase the other group, not them.

Write class into these groups:
Naughty, I struggle
Fluffy pencil case, really good students
Others, I nearly spoke to you today
Have to do it from memory, often can't think of the others group.
Need to target the others group. They are the majority

Restorative behaviour management
Am I a superior human being? If you think that, you won't be able to do restorative.
In groups we were asked to find a restorative way to solve someone from touching the stove and burning themselves.
In Norway, they invented an oven that wasn't hot. Not attributing the problem to the person, but solving the problem.
Your punishment in Norway is to be removed from society until they learn to be able to go back into society. More prisoners means more victims.
In restorative you put things in place before things go wrong.
You should not have more than 3 restorative conversations. Need practice before then.

Today schools are hub of the community.
If we want our students to be in the group that knows the rules then it is important that all the community:
Know the behaviour we want at school.
Are shown how to do it if need be.
Told when they get it right, quietly

Why do things go wrong?
We use 2 types of behaviour
Adapted and mal-adapted
When and why do you adapt your behaviour and who decides what is the adapted behaviour?
Change of environment means a change of behaviour. When grandma comes we change.

How do you decide what to do? You are taught to do it.
Education of behaviour change goes on all the time. Most of the time students come to school with appropriate behaviour. If not, then there are other things in play. Working 3 jobs and exhausted, the frills stuff doesn't get done at home.
Generally in a place of poverty they don't have those skills. Play fights can mean something different in different situations.

The group decide the behaviour.
Why do you change behaviour? To be accepted. If you don't change it, you often are not liked.
Smoking groups - students often join  the group because they don't fit in and then they start smoking.

We can only choose from what already exists in our kete, which is essentially a schema.
We are not asking them to change, we are asking to add to their kete. Not asking them to never do that again, asking them to not do that again, in this environment, in that way.

Need to get into the habit of... In this room we do this... No one likes being judged.
We choose the best hit first. Unless you change it, they will get worse.
Usually mal-adapted behaviour is the best hit.

What happens in the classroom has to be taught in the classroom. 
They should know but they don't know, but that goes to they don't care.
At the beginning of the year they do care but that can change quickly.
As soon as you punished the unskilled child they don't trust you any more.
The gladiator had old fashioned values they hold in their head and punish for breaking them.

What is respect?
Good old days syndrome is usually when I trip up my own value of respect.
If you want them to pick up rubbish don't say respect your environment. Really open for interpretation.
Write down things you want.
If they are not using the rule, don't have it.
Do you want to offload or change?

Values not right or wrong just different from other people.
Can't change someone else values but can give them clues.
Good old value of respect usually means...
My definition is the correct one
You will need to guess what it is
Do as I say not as I do
If you don't guess I will punish you
This is not up for discussion

Saying f off means there is nothing else in their kete
So if you believe in those good old days of blind obedience then you will struggle with the new key competencies. 
Change self management to self efficacy. About belief systems, student late cos dropped younger siblings at school first or dropped off at the gate in BMW by parents are different types of self management being on time.

If you want something and it doesn't have a strategy you won't get it
Teach them what you want
Teach them how to do it
Tell them when they get it right

Don't turn it into a worksheet.
Conversations are flexible
If it's a worksheet they don't need to think.
Relationships, rules and routines
Your room should run itself if you are not there because they know how it works.

She doesn't use the word respect, she says what she wants.
We learn our behaviour
Modelling is the most powerful learning tool
If we haven't learnt it we can't use it
No amount of punishment teaches behaviour we don't know.
Punishment is not designed to change behaviour

Discipline means follow me. If you use discipline there is a teachable moment. Punishment is not discipline.
Eyes on me, mouth shut. Not saying listening to me, as many will say they can listen and talk at the same time.
I can see 2 cellphones,you know who you are put it away. Lots of people put them away.
Don't break off from the masses to talk to the one, as the others will find something else to do.
Some staff wait for silence to start lesson when it will not happen. Need other strategies
We want to be in a group(mostly)

Name one value that you hold close to your heart that gets trampled on every day in your school. How are you going to deal with that differently this year?

Link between SCT and SLT - Misha Shamdass
Research on the Sct role.

Things we puzzle with as a group of SCTs:
How is our role measured?
What is my role?
Who do I go to?
Flux/change states
Conflict with confidentiality
How to have a difficult conversation with an experienced teacher

Title of research and link to her dissertation:

She puzzled with :
How SCT practise leadership?
How their intra personal and inter personal relationships can positively and negatively affect student outcomes, particularly with senior leaders.
Aim to know how SCT work with SLT to affect change

3 questions :
What are the understandings of leadership as perceived by SCT ?

What is the role of an SCT in a secondary school as perceived by an SCT?

What do Sct perceive to be their collective action that influence staff to develop teaching pedagogy to improve outcomes for students?

Our answers as a group:
  1. Challenging, lead others, role model, above the fray but still humble, empower others, sharing and willingness, reflectiveness, trust and confidentiality, support others to problem solve, to inspire
Does your senior leader know this is what we see as leadership qualities for sct?

  1. Changes in context, different needs related to school goals. Could do pd, mentoring programs, pcts, Pb4l, but all unique.
Leadership and role similar qualities.
  1. Work with SLT and HOLAs, feedback with Col. How do we work out that we affect outcomes for students? Accessing professional learning for yourself so you can give it to others.

More of a facilitator than a leader, or is leadership facilitation?
Constantly adjusting. Relationship type of role.

She did a small scale study. 3 SCT and 2 SLT using semi structured interviews.
Both SCT and SLT thought of leadership in the same way.
Sct role expectation. 2 out of the 3 Sct were given extra time on top of the ppta hours.
Collaborative practice and distributed styles of leadership.

Information on understandings of leadership.
Scts to hold themselves accountable for formulating their own learning goals.
Sct unique position. Not striving up that career pathway, we are on the outside of that.
Sct should be staff support leadership not thinly spread.
Need to distribute leadership

Commitment to ongoing learning as a leader.
Have to challenge yourself.
Need to get others to understand the Sct role in our kura.

Sct is critical to show where pd should be focused and to have a feel for staff wellbeing.
Critical finding around time allowance.
Course on Open to Learning Conversations through Auckland uni

Problem of success is increased relational trust between staff which in turn creates more work, which leads to the aggregation effect of previous success.

No succession plan for sct. Lonely job sometimes. Schools need to forward plan, need to appoint early so there is a time of changeover. Need that kete of knowledge. True of all roles.

Busy day with a lot to think about and take in. Margaret Ross was my highlight of the day - an engaging inspiring speaker who gave us a lot of practical tips to take away.
Those that know me well will be proud of me for not putting my name forward for the SCT Exec Committee, although I was sorely tempted. Maybe later.....
Looking forward to dinner tonight and more conversations as well as a full day tomorrow.

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