Vision; Leadership; Agency
Our visit to Dandenong High School as part of Core Education's MLE Melbourne Tour, was both interesting and exciting. Personally, being able to compare and contrast my own experiences of a 'SWISS' - 'Schools within schools' model from my teaching days at Albany Junior High School, gave me much insight of furthering educational possibilities with a more integrated approach across all year levels. The key here seems to be visionary, strong leadership, and a shared vision.
Advice from principal, Susan Ogden
1. Need to know your community / students
2. Staff need to be part of the process - they own it, they do it
3. Vision - clear, invited into and OWN
4. Persistence and relentless, stray true, no matter what
5. Fun - sense of fun, passion - keep it alive,be inspired by what you do celebrate success (culture)
The biggest challenge identified by Sue, was the merging of spaces, practices and communities. We value cultural diversity, shared pedagogy, clear vision, personalisation, and collaboration. Janelle's blog post captures the background and history of the school, along with a collection of photos.
Leadership & Vision
|Dandenong's golden circle - VISION|
|Acoustic panel tiles|
|Shared ownership - colours of houses are represented|
|The hub / heart / centre where all houses converge|
|Kiwi boys excited to see fellow kiwis|
|Science equipment is central|
|Science in action - one teacher to many students|
|These steps provide the history - the first speech/assembly was delivered from here|
Student AgencyThe Dandenong students I spoke to commented on how connected they feel to their environment, and how well their teachers really know them. Relationships are a critical component, as is the invitational aspect of school and its various spaces. I need to further explore the integrated 'Create a Game' unit that Jen was leading. The students were excited, engaged, obviously had agency over the project, the stakeholders were younger students, authentic, rich and relevant curriculum coverage, from literacy, numeracy, PE/health strands, through to visual, oral, written communication, collaboration, design thinking, project based learning, and self directed learning.
|Collaborative learning spaces|
|Working on their Game Design|
|Booths - independent learning spaces|
|Informal social learning setting|
I feel very privileged to be part of Core Education, it is an amazing learning journey. If you are interested in learning more about our Professional Learning opportunities - visit the Core Education website here - from Modern Learning Practice; Curriculum to Environments; Technology and Emerging Leaders.