As I think about the Kansans Can vision for redesign in Kansas, I seem to mull over the statement made by Tschannen-Moran & Clement in an article in Educational Leadership (March 2018) – “Schools should be a place where children want to be.” Which lead me to think about how we are going about intentionally including student voice in redesign and district/school improvement efforts. The article makes a case for fostering the energized school and identifies three “vital energies”: enlivened minds, emboldened voice, and playful learning. The article goes on to make the case that energized schools are necessary because students “need to cultivate skills and aptitudes for innovation, adaptability and self-direction” to prepare for the world beyond school.
To this end, the authors created what they call a “Vibrant School Scale” and several surveys for parents, students, teachers, and administrators. I think part of what continues to draw me to the article is the descriptive words for an energized school: enlivened, playful, vibrant, emboldened, etc. The heart of Kansans Can vision for redesign includes this focus on creating schools where children want to be and that clearly connect learning to the “so what”.
The article did scare me a bit because it caused me to reflect on my own experience in school, as a student, which was in the dark ages! I think students today probably experience school in much the same way I did – traditional – lecture, long periods of boredom, interspersed with moments of wonder and sheer awe. About 10-20% of the time I experienced that energized school …read more
By Vicki Bechard, LFKS Secretary
Learning Forward Kansas (LFKS) is excited to announce the 2nd video in the series, Inspired to Learn: Kansas Stories, “What is Professional Learning?” is on the website and ready for educator use! This new video focuses on the characteristics and components that comprise effective professional learning, concentrating on “what” goes into the planning, learning, and follow up that increases engagement and effectiveness. It is a continuation of the journey toward effective professional learning that began in the first video “Why Professional Learning Matters: In Our School It Is Everyone’s Job to Learn.”…read more
Five Ways to Sustain School Change Through Pushback, Struggle and Fatigue
Teaching through projects, interrogating the value of grades, attempting to make learning more meaningful and connected to young people’s lives and interests, thoughtful ways of using technology to amplify and share student work. These are just some of the ways teaching and learning are changing. But moving to these kinds of learning environments is a big shift for many teachers, schools, and districts; it’s hard to sustain change once the shiny newness wears off...read more
Connections in Kansas
Kansas Learning First Alliance Focuses on Trauma Informed Schools and Civic Engagement at January Meeting
News Release from KLFA
•January 9, 2018•
The Kansas Learning First Alliance (KLFA) held an informative meeting on January 9, 2018 at the KNEA building in Topeka, Kansas. KLFA Chair, Mark Farr, welcomed more than 15 representatives of 12 educational organizations who are committed to the mission of KLFA…read more
News from KSDE
KSDE has developed a seven-module video training series outlining key components of Kansas’ vision for education. The purpose of this series is to help district and building leaders facilitate meaningful dialogue with staff and other stakeholders about the vision and what they want it to look like in their own schools and districts.read more
Connections with Learning Forward
Spring. A time of transformation and growth. It renews our spirit with the anticipation of spring flowers and new possibilities. It’s a time when many eagerly look forward to planting gardens, knowing that with a little care and attention, the fruits of their labor will emerge. Beautiful, bountiful and satisfying.
Learning Forward Nebraska, a state affiliate of Learning Forward, can relate well to the excitement and anticipation of planting something new, nurturing it and watching it grow. As the recipient of the Learning Forward Foundation Affiliate Grant, the affiliate is at the midway point of a three-year plan to grow the capacity of professional learning within the state. Learning Forward Nebraska has focused attention in three key areas: expanding the Learning Forward Executive Leadership Program across the state, developing the website to support rigorous education designs of professional learning, and building the capacity within the board for advocating and supporting high-quality professional learning.
Learning Forward Nebraska has had many successes along the journey. Relationships have been nurtured, programs expanded, and the impact of the work is growing. It’s exciting to see transformation in action! Any successful initiative begins with…read more