Thursday, September 6, 2012

Kiwi Invasion

Recently I had the distinct pleasure of working very closely with David Eddy at some Principal and Assistant Principal workshops (the back-channels of which can be found here). David has many years experience of coaching new and established school principals. A lot of David's work is around developing 'relational trust' between principals and their staff and also within staff teams. (Examples of his work can be found here).

David draws heavily on the work of Viviane Robinson with whom he works at the Centre for Educational Leadership and the University of Auckland. Viviane's body of work is extensive including her latest book 'Student-Centred Leadership'.

A former colleague of David and Viviane at the University of Auckland is John Hattie (now at the University of Melbourne, West Island ;) of Visible Learning fame. In Visible Learning, John generates average effects sizes for various interventions on student performance from the synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses. His findings and presentations are often quite confronting and controversial. An example of his controversial claims and upfront delivery can be seen in the video below. An excerpt that gets to the point is where he states:

"teachers do not make the difference [per se] ... some teachers doing some things make a difference "

This year, someone who has probably had the most impact on our schools with her model of inquiry and teacher professional learning and development is Helen Timperley, again from the University of Auckland.

The reason why I mention these esteemed academics is not to name drop but the fact that they are all having a massive impact on schools and education, particularly in Australasia, and they are all Kiwis! So great is their impact that a colleague recently lamented regarding how much work these leading educators are creating for him (I would suggest this is now the nature of the beast as they provide a sound research and evidence base). What with this 'tribe' (the collective noun for kiwis) of Auckland academics, combined with my friend Andrew Churches, responsible for Bloom's Digital Taxonomy (I would also consider David Eddy a friend), there is truly a Kiwi Invasion happening in education.