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Open to learning conversations


Curriculum improvement begins with clarity about your vision for learning and your vision for your school. This scenario involves leading improvement when new principals or leaders are undertaking this process for themselves for the first time and/or are new to the school or setting.
The purpose of this activity is to think about the opportunities for improvement through positive communication and disruptions to the status quo. It will provide leaders with some tips for building trust, and help to deal with difficult issues in a respectful manner.



Before presenting this activity to your leadership team, individual leaders should first review it for their own professional development.
1.    View the video of Mark Sparvell from Principals Australia Institute interviewing Chris Clay from Botany Downs Secondary College in New Zealand regarding his use of Open-to-learning conversations video https://vimeo.com/54854052External Link in relation to curriculum improvement processes.
2.    Explore with your staff their existing understandings or preconceptions about this technique.
3.    In pairs, read and discuss the Open-to-learning conversations: background paper www.educationalleaders.govt.nz/Leadership-development/Leadership-programmes/First-time-principals-modules/Module-3-Building-trust External Link noting benefits, limitations or questions to be shared back to the wider group. This could be by using Post-it notes and butcher paper, or via a public online space such as Padlet http://padlet.com/External Link
4.    Discuss with participants the importance of such conversations.

Possible follow-up activities include viewing the video Open to learning conversations: building the trust needed to improve teaching and learning http://connect.vln.school.nz/olcExternal Link and exploring the reflective questions found in the Open-to-learning conversations: background paper.


This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

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