Home' Independence : Independence Vol 34 No 1 May 2009 Contents Independence Volume 34 No. 1 81
LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT
Dr Ron Ritchhart at Teacher
Education and Leadership
Dr Ritchhart proposed a set of nine
‘wants’ that are critical to the
development of professional learning
1 Adequate time – the need for
sustained, protected time that
is solely devoted to professional
2 Facilitative structures – professional
learning will be enhanced when
there is clarity of purpose and when
we use structured, purposeful
protocols to develop our under-
standings of student learning.
3 Common language – in our
discussions about learning we need
to have a shared common language
which is enriched by developing
understandings of how we talk
about student learning.
4 Visibility – professional learning
needs to be visible to all members
of the school community – staff,
students and parents – so we can
celebrate teacher learning.
5 Perspective – we need to ensure that
professional learning is embedded
across the school structures and that
all members of the school can share
in the cross-fertilisation of ideas.
6 Based on student learning and
thinking – professional learning
is most effective when it focuses
on what students know and do to
demonstrate their learning and when
we close the gap between teacher
intent and student learning
7 Action – adult learners need the
opportunity to practise what they
have learned, to trial it and reflect
8 Challenge – professional learning
is personalised so that each teacher
is being extended to his/her set of
beliefs about learning and thinking.
9 Valuing – school leaders need to
demonstrate how professional
learning is valued through
appropriate staffing, time,
resourcing and participation.
Ritchhart’s research confirms that these
nine ‘wants’ are critical if we are to
build sustainable learning communities,
and not just create a short term
response to teacher learning.
Dr Gerard Calnin
AISV Director, Policy & Research
can be accredited toward post-graduate
The series of three workshops offered this
year covers an overview of state and
federal issues and their impact on schools,
leadership styles and setting goals and
pathways to enhance leadership.
‘The need for this type of program is
evident,’ said AISWA executive director
Valerie Gould. ‘The three workshops were
filled within a couple of days of
Due to demand AISWA will be re-running
the workshops later this year.
Future of the mind
The Association of Independent Schools
of South Australia (AISSA) launched its
Centre of Excellence and Innovation in
Teaching and Learning in 2008 with an
address by Professor Martin Westwell,
Director of the Flinders Centre for Science
Education in the 21st Century. (An extract
of the address appears on page 82.)
Under the auspices of the AISSA Centre,
Professor Westwell ran a ‘Future of the
Mind’ program for Principals, teachers
and curriculum co-ordinators in SA
independent schools. The Centre’s first
program, on early childhood learning,
was conducted by Dr Kerith Power, of
Melbourne’s Monash University.
AISSA executive director Gary Le Duff
said the Centre aims to ensure SA’s
independent schools are leaders in
innovative approaches to education.
‘It will provide our schools with the very
latest information from throughout
Australia and overseas,’ he said.
Centre programs are developed following
consultations with Principals.
‘High on our list is a forum to help
teachers understand how they can use
national literacy data to drive
Dr Ron Ritchhart is
a research associate
at Project Zero,
School of Education.
improvements in educational outcomes,’
said Mr Le Duff. ‘It’s one thing to have
this data, but it’s another for schools and
teachers to know how to use it in the
classroom to improve their teaching
The Centre will also commission research
to assist SA independents schools build
on their existing reputations and will
establish and maintain networks in
Australia and overseas for the sharing
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