Today, Westminster is hosting INMAX – a Benchmark Research membership group of large, independent schools in the U.S. The topic of focus is leadership and innovation, and the agenda appears quite intriguing as a whole.
At 11:15 a.m., Bo Adams (@boadams1) and I (@jgough) will be sharing a story about tearing down walls and connecting dots. We will be sharing the story of our school’s multi-year journey to become a PLC – a professional learning community. The official title of our session is “Learnopolis: Tearing Down Walls with PLC.” We plan to use the Twitter hashtag #learnopolis for tweeters, and a PDF of our slide deck is embedded below (the iMovie in slide #9 is inserted below, too, as a YouTube video).
In short, we are trying to communicate the following:
- “School” hasn’t changed very much in the last century – maybe longer. [We need to adapt and evolve!]
- Schools exist in a bit of an “egg-crate culture” (Kathy Boles), as we have generally organized with individual teachers and rows and columns of students. For the most part, teachers are relatively isolated as professionals.
- In the 21st c., we can capitalize on the notion of social networks by rethinking and rebuilding the critical infrastructure of schools – the human infrastructure. [New basic building block should be learning teams.]
- While we cannot rebuild the physical plant, we can rebuild the way we work within the physical plant. We can build a learnopolis!
- By shifting our central paradigm from “teaching” to “learning,” and by providing regular, job-embedded, structured time for teachers to collaborate, we can build the schools that 21st c. learners desire and deserve.
We are looking forward to learning together with our colleague schools at #INMAX today! And we are looking forward to building a learnopolis! After all…we should be learning by doing!