“Its always important we continue to think about how to evolve schooling so the kids get the most out of it.” Miguel Cardona New US Education Secretary
Covid-19 has made us all participants in in a global experiment reshaping how we learn, work and live. A year after New Zealander’s first lockdown a rethinking is underway, with a sense that some changes may last.
In Session 1 Derek Wenmoth, suggests that the COVID pandemic has thrown back the curtain on a great deal of what needs to be improved or addressed in our current education system, including a high degree of inequity across all areas, especially access to online learning.
He says the responses we saw during the 2020 lockdowns promised some transformative action and outcomes. But slowly we’ve seen a ‘return to the old normal’ mindset. The ‘big ideas’ that were evident have faded into obscurity as the old patterns of thinking and acting take over.
“2020 reinforced the fact….Network is just omnipresent,. We aren’t going online. We live online.” Om Malik True Ventures.
There has been a deepening of online living, learning and working, at least for those with devices, bandwidth and digital skills. Teaching, coaching, meetings and conferences have been rethought: originally for convenience, then for safety, later for effectiveness and efficiency in a giant acceleration of ongoing trends.
“From early humans rubbing sticks together to make fire, to the fossil fuels that drove the industrial revolution, energy has played a central role in our development as a species. But the way we power our societies has also created humanity’s biggest challenge. It’s one that will take all our ingenuity to solve”. Justine Rowlatt & Laurence Knights
Ecological thinking is a powerful lens for understanding complex adaptive systems in terms of the relations of organisms-and organizations-to one another and to their environment and their interdependence.
In the Covid era this helps focus on understanding dynamic systemic change requiring adaptability, resilience and flexibility. These concepts are useful models and metaphors for leading change as Dr Amelia Sharman points out in Session 1.
A new era of innovation?
“….Today a dawn of technological optimism is breaking. The speed at which covid-19 vaccines have been produced has made scientists household names. Prominent breakthroughs, a tech investment boom and the adoption of digital technologies during the pandemic are combining to raise hopes of a new era of progress.” The Economist 16/1/21
When it comes to doing things differently and better how many of your education colleagues appear to have been inoculated against real change? What can you do as an education leader to engage them in a process which lowers change resistance and opens minds to fresh possibilities?
The Power of x10 Thinking
Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, School of Thinking, Sydney addresses the challenge of getting by-in Session 2 of ELF21 Series 1. Why is it hard to get buy-in? Because the most difficult feat in human thinking is to escape from your present point of view. In the human brain lateral thinking is not natural but it can be done. How? When? Why? In this session you’ll get new software for your brain to accelerate your and your colleagues’ innovation capacity and speed of thought.
Leaders Leading Better
The fourth and final session on 30 June addresses the twin challenges for education leaders of overcoming resistance to change and building mentally healthy leadership teams.
Cathy Sheppard, BSI People Skills, suggests that Covid has shown we need to prepare students for a very different world from what we grew up in, with the pace of change increasing exponentially. She asks how can what we’ve learnt recently change the way we, as leaders in education, lead better when it comes to communication, adaptability, resilience and culture change, so our students will be better equipped to respond to the needs of humanity going forward?
Mentally Healthy Workplaces
Anne Riches, The Mindfield Navigator, Sydney, in a conversation with ELF convener Lyall Lukey, discusses creating mentally healthy workplaces and learning spaces. In the Covid era a major change focus for leaders in all organisations is on mentally healthy workplaces. How can your learning community be an open, safe and supportive mentally healthy workplace?
Drawing from her own personal and professional experience as a change leadership specialist working with hundreds of organisations in Australia and around the world, Anne increasingly works with leaders to be mentally healthy themselves; recognise, support and effectively manage colleagues who are struggling and create psychologically safe places to work. Programme Registration Options