Developing a Culture of Learning – Building Resilience

  • On 2013-08-15
  • culture of learning, high performance schools, leadership, resilience

It has been a couple of months since I last wrote in the blog but that is mainly because I have been sooooo busy. Much of the work I have been involved with recently revolves around working with a number of schools to take them from being ‘Good” schools to be “Great’ schools.

If you were on the journey of supporting a school going from ‘Good to Great’ where would you begin?

One of the areas I have begun exploring with a number of schools is the area of building a culture of learning that is palpable within the school. But what does that look like? In a series of inquiries with staff across a number of schools the key elements the staff identified included:

  • Partnership: role-modelling, preparedness to learn from each other (teachers and students as well as teachers together)
  • Shared vision with clear understanding
  • Trust – knowing that you can mistakes
  • People playing their role effectively
  • Strong communication – speaking and listening effectively
  • Respect/relationship building
  • Openness to learning is imperative – ‘risk-taking, mistake-making’ culture
  • Visible Learning – supports the notion of a learning partnership
  • Listening to kids/each other in decision-making
  • Resilience – being able a cope with professional feedback without feeling defensive due to highly critical self-perception

The essence of the feedback and research is that to build a culture of learning requires the building of a trusting community that involves learning partnerships and a powerful relationship to ‘failure’ and development.

I have previous written about the contextual shift required for the staff and students but that discussion did not consider HOW to build a developmental mindset in the learning community.

What we have begun to investigate at one high school is how we could develop structures to build resilience and intrinsic motivation as part of the everyday learning environment. The intention of the work we are doing together is to bring in structures, language, practices and conversations that will gradually support the development of resilience and intrinsic motivation in students, staff, parents and all those associated with the learning of an individual. This will take a few years to embed in the way the school operates but we believe it is one of the key planks of a culture of learning.

I have attached some articles and research below that links to this topic. How do you coherently and consistently develop resilience and intrinsic motivation in your school?

While you are at it, check out my Scoop.It page around High Performance Learning





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