OER4Schools/LfL/5 principles with questions

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Title 5 principles with questions
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This resource is part of the OER4Schools programme.


1. Focus on Learning

  1. Everyone is a learner. Are students the only learners in our school? How about the teachers? Parents? Headteachers?
  2. Learning relies on the effective interplay of social, emotional and cognitive processes. Do we think about what learning is about? Is it about memorising and applying certain facts? Managing emotions? Being able to make friends with one another? Making good decisions?
  3. The efficacy of learning is highly sensitive to context and to the differing ways in which people learn. Are we aware about the differences in ways which people learn and to what extent their background (e.g. family, age, interests) will influence the way they learn?
  4. The capacity for leadership arises out of powerful learning experiences. Who are some of the most influential teachers in our lives? When did we encounter such teachers and why did they create such powerful learning experiences for ourselves? How can we do the same for others?
  5. Opportunities for leadership enhance learning. Are we given the opportunities to make decisions on our learning?

2. Conditions for Learning

  1. Cultures nurture the learning of everyone. What kind of background (e.g. families, age, interests) would be most helpful to support learning?
  2. Everyone has opportunities to reflect on the nature, skills and processes of learning. Are there opportunities for everyone to reflect on the nature, skills and processes involved in learning? What are they?
  3. Physical and social spaces stimulate and celebrate learning. Are the physical facilities and other forms of support (e.g. community and family support) able to support learning? What are these facilities and forms of support?
  4. Safe and secure environments enable everyone to take risks, cope with failure and respond positively to challenges. Are we providing a safe environment for learners to take risks, cope with failure and respond positively to challenges? How are we doing that?
  5. Tools and strategies are used to enhance thinking about learning and the practice of teaching. Are we updating ourselves and reflecting on the various tools and strategies to enhance the way we teach and learn? How are we doing that?

3. Learning Dialogue

  1. Practice made explicit, discussable and transferable. Do we have the language to talk about learning so that we can discuss and reflect on it more fruitfully? How do we do that?
  2. Active, collegial inquiry focussing on the link between learning and leadership. Do we discuss and find out how we can take the lead to decide what learning should be like in our school (and not just be directed by the authority)? How can we go about doing that?
  3. Coherence through sharing of values, understandings and practices. Do we discuss and share the values and understanding of the ways we learn and teach? What are they?
  4. Factors that inhibit and promote learning are examined and addressed. Do we examine and address the factors that inhibit and promote learning? What are they?
  5. Link between leadership and learning is a concern for everyone. Do we prioritise the link between leadership and learning? What kind of concerns about learning do we raise and act upon?
  6. Different perspectives explored through networking with researchers and practitioners. Do we network with researchers and other practitioners to explore different perspectives of learning and leadership? How do we do that?

4. Shared Leadership

  1. Structures support participation in developing learning communities. Are there ways we can participate in learning or be involved in starting learning communities within the school?
  2. Shared leadership symbolised in day-to-day flow of activities. Can we see leadership being shared by various colleagues and students in the day-to-day flow of activities in the school? What is that like?
  3. Everyone encouraged to take a lead as appropriate to task and context. Do we take the initiative to take a lead in various learning or research projects in accordance with what we are interested in and capable of? What kind of projects or research can we embark on?
  4. Everyone’s experience and expertise is valued and drawn upon as resources. Do we draw on everyone’s experience and expertise and value all of them as important resources to support learning? How do we do that?
  5. Collaborative activity across boundaries of subject, role and status are valued and promoted. Do we value and promote collaborative activities across subject, levels and roles within the school?

5. Mutual Accountability

  1. Systematic approach to self-evaluation embedded at every level. Is there a systematic approach to self-evaluation that is evident in all aspects of our work?
  2. Focus on evidence and its congruence with core values. Is there a focus on documentation of teaching and learning that would be consistent with our beliefs on the values of education?
  3. Shared approach to internal accountability is a precondition of external accountability. Do we take the initiative to be accountable to ourselves in ensuring the quality of teaching and learning, rather than be dependent on an external authority?
  4. National policies recast in accordance with school's core values. Do we critically examine the national policies and how they are relevant with the school’s core values?
  5. Choosing how to tell own story while taking account of political realities. Do we maintain an individual stance of our own views of teaching and learning, while being very cognisant of the political realities that we are living in?
  6. Continuing focus on sustainability, succession and leaving a legacy. Do we try to look forward towards the future, on how we can sustain our current efforts and be able to leave a legacy for our future generations?