DEED+ELLI+AI+CI = Systemic School Learning

Oasis Academy Jhon Williams LogoIntroduction

We’re excited to report the unfolding story about how we are using the groundbreaking work of Tony Bryk‘s team on  Design, Educational Engineering and Development (DEED), as a methodology for systemic school change. This is combined with the University of Bristol’s Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI), which forms part of a process of Authentic Inquiry (AI) for students, teachers and leaders. The insights from these prototypes are then shared via a novel website, from the Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute, for harnessing Collective Intelligence (CI), called the Evidence Hub. This is  an exciting convergence, since as you are about to see, the school piloting this reports that it has catalysed a profound shift in how they think about professional development.

On 15th July 2013  the Centre for Systems Learning and Leadership at the University of Bristol held a seminar with teachers and leaders from Oasis Academy John Williams  who had identified student engagement in learning as a complex problem which they wanted to get to grips with and improve. They formed a Networked Improvement Community with colleagues from the University (NICs are a powerful concept developed by Doug Engelbart, whose work has since been applied by Tony Bryk – see below).

They told an exciting story about an experiment to engage a cohort of middle and senior teachers in their own accredited professional enquiries into student engagement through rapid prototyping: test fast – fail fast and early – learn and improve.  Each of the seven teachers gained 20 credits from the MSc in Systems Learning and Leadership through their enquiry – through collaborative seminars held in school and at the University.

Researcher’s Viewpoint

RDCRuth Deakin Crick introduced the project with an overview of the key ideas:

  • Learners are themselves a ‘complex system’
  • Deep learning (by students; teachers; leaders; organisations) is a journey from purpose to performance, which can be scaffolded by an authentic enquiry methodology
  • Aligning professional learning to organisational purpose at several levels in schools as complex living systems provides a rich architecture for improvement.

These  ideas have been drawn from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teacher Education, particularly this paper Getting Ideas into Action: Building Networked Improvement Communities in Education by Tony Bryk and colleagues. This is combined with University of Bristol’s own research into Learning Power (as quantified by ELLI) and the pedagogy and methodology of Authentic Enquiry.

Leader’s viewpoint

Screen shot 2013-07-17 at 19.15.05Rebecca Clark (Executive Principal & Regional Academies Director) provided the context for the research  in terms of the historical, social, and economic factors which shape the community’s expectations in education, and the continuing journey of change which the school is on.  She share insights gained from her own study and the project and how these may be applied, and developed further in the wider strategic setting of the family of Oasis Academies.

HARNESSING COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE

SBSSimon Buckingham Shum, Professor at the Open University and visiting fellow at Bristol, described the way in which the project is harvesting the learning from these seven enquiries and making it available not only to colleagues in their own school, but globally, through the Evidence Hub for Systems Learning and Leadership. This is a site you can explore, and we encourage you to sign up to subscribe to alerts, and begin sharing your own insights. [Evidence Hub research paper]

TEACHERS’ VIEWPOINTS

Phil  (Assistant Principal) and Richard are two teachers at the Academy who developed their own authentic enquiries. They are  at different stages in their careers and teach different subjects.  They explained how the project has changed them as teachers, as well as their practice, and has had an impact on the engagement of their students.

Phil’s Story

Screen shot 2013-07-17 at 19.21.18Phil’s talk about his enquiry about how to engage students in a top Year 8 Maths set by ‘handing over responsibility to students’ and helping them to develop their strategic awareness.

Simon then explored Phil’s story distilled on the Evidence Hub [view on Hub]:

Richard’s Story

Richard JamesRichard’s enquiry focused the development of resilience with his  to set Science class – challenging them by setting problems which were unsolvable in order to understand that confusion and failure is all part of learning.

Simon then demo’d Richard’s story distilled on the Evidence Hub [view on Hub]:

As Phil and Richard’s stories are now tied to the Evidence Hub entry for Oasis Academies, when you view the Oasis homepage, you see their work:

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This is just the beginning of the story for this Networked Improvement Community in Bristol, which will be continuing during the next academic year with the Centre for Systems Learning and Leadership.

We warmly invite you to add comments below, or join the reflective conversation on the Evidence Hub if you have issues to raise, or evidence-based claims/solutions to share.

Dispositional, Complex Systems Analytics @ LASI

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SkypeScreenSnapz010We’ve just got back from an intensely busy, creative and enjoyable week at LASI13, Stanford University, where Ruth Deakin Crick, Chris Goldspink, Rebecca Ferguson, Nelson Gonzalez and I (online!) contributed to the programme. Ruth and Rebecca were both blogging, so you can get their in-situ reflections, and I’m sure there’ll be more to follow as we unpack the many ideas.

SkypeScreenSnapz007Following a successful Dispositional Learning Analytics workshop, on which we’ve had very positive feedback, awareness should grow of Learner Dispositions (or Mindset as Dweck calls it), Teacher Dispositions, the potential of a multi-level Complex Systems approach to educational system design, and from Nelson’s work at Declara, the emerging potential of applying machine learning techniques to such datasets.

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Ruth and Rebecca also participated in a panel on analytics for “21st century skills”, in which they introduced the wider audience to the learning power framework, a systems approach, and a particular implementation of these ideas as visual analytics within EnquiryBlogger. (Just in: we have a fresh set of data from a very exciting deployment of these ideas in a primary school over the last month, which we look forward to reporting on!)

Microsoft WordScreenSnapz083All the morning sessions from Stanford are, or will soon be replayable, and Simon coordinated a global network of LASI-Local institutes, and the online participants, whose blogs are automatically gathered in the LASI-Aggregator, and provide a rich account of a momentous week.

lasi-groupImmediate thoughts on next steps were pooled from Stanford and global online participants in a Google Doc, to give you a feel for where people felt they’d got to by the end of Friday. Ruth documented and reported back on her breakout group’s discussion.

Watch the Society for Learning Analytics Research for news of where next, and get your head going for how you might contribute to LAK14 conference next Spring…

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