"How do we ReTool school to make it engaging, empowering and success making? At the same time how do we guarantee equity and access so that what our government calls “priority learners”, have the same opportunities for 3rd millennium citizenship as everybody else?"
Russell Burt, Principal of Pt England School, says ‘ReTooling School’ requires:
1. a Change Pedagogy Imperative
The antecedents of this pedagogy, which in Manaiakalani we have called Learn, Create, Share, are in our recent history of Schooling Improvement, eLearning development and the development of Cultural Responsiveness with a prime example being Te Kotahitanga. When the essential aspects of these areas of learning are amalgamated and new media are used for the reception and delivery modes, the learner experience is completely different. It is more than possible to develop new learner agency, efficacy and leadership in learning. This journey to genuine citizenship will have three major hallmarks:
Ubiquity: anywhere, anytime, any pace, any people learning
Agency: the power to act -informed/empowered/enabled learners
Connectedness: edgeless education, connected minds
This pedagogical change imperative must drive all the other necessary ReTooling developments otherwise we will just be introducing toys and tools.
2. Operationalising of Te Tiriti o Waitangi
The principles we need to embed in all our practice and development are Partnership, Participation and Protection. Essentially this means families, parents and children as genuine, safe, participatory partners.
our whanau/aiga are all paying $3.50/week over 3 years to own their child’s netbook device.
our whanau/aiga have co-constructed the Kawa of Care; -protocols for the safety, care and management of our children, their devices and their well being as they carry them to and from school.
our whanau/aiga and stakeholders are not simply being asked for “buy in” or being consulted, they are being invited to contribute to the development & design of the IP we are all using.
we are determined that there will be full participation, -no-one left out and that whanau will be able to oversee and participate in their children’s learning journeys.
we are committed to the principle that our learners must have a genuine voice and an authentic audience.
If the operationalising of these principles along with the pedagogical change imperative is not determined at the outset, the retooling process will result in a solution set that does not empower and enable the agency of the learner and whanau and may in fact result in the next iteration of constraint and failure.
3. A new partnership around Schooling
In the work of ReTooling we have discovered that a new partnership is necessary around the delivery of education as not only are we unable to discover all the needed resource via vote education, but there are aspects of the work that at present, state education is not empowered to deliver.
This partnership requires formal involvement of Academic Educators. Our pedagogical innovation needs to be informed and critiqued by people with credibility and authority.
As mentioned above, our whanau need to be much more than recipients or consultees. They need to be part owners of the process, as do our learners.
We need help from the commercial sector, in order to develop a solution set that empowers people outside the normal commercial parameters. The commercial groups need to be partners and volunteers and not just purely commercial.
We need philanthropic partners who are prepared to move away from a traditional grantor - grantee relationship and work in a catalysing partnership for change.
We need volunteers to challenge all of the other sector partners and to develop IP that traditional enterprise, both education and commercial, won’t think of or consider.
We need a Charitable Trust to anchor all this activity and ensure neutral holding and equitable distribution of resource.
All these partnerships must conform to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and exist to deliver the ideas enunciated in the pedagogical change imperative.
4. Technical Provision
At an age determined by the community, each child must have their own appropriate net connected, learning focused device.
Each development must have a cloud solution that ensures “visible learning” with appropriate feedback -feedforward, identity and access management, permissioning and portability. School infrastructure must be robust enough, that using these media is as reliable as opening a book. For any time, any place, any pace learning to be a reality, home access must be provided at an affordable cost with appropriate safety and security measures.
5. R & D
Transparent research and development must be on-going and made honestly available to all partners.