A recent tweet from the KS School Redesign team quoted Phillip C. Schlechty – “(Redesigning) requires one to act beyond data and without the benefit of guidance from empirical research. Creating new systems…calls for faith, logic, wisdom, and intuition, at least to the degree that it calls for disciplining action with facts.” Schlechty, who passed away in 2016 was an influential educational figure and advocated changing schools to fully engage students in their learning. In his book, Shaking Up the Schoolhouse (2004), he argued for “change-adept organizations”. That schools should not look the same year after year but be more adept at changing and morphing to meet the needs of students. These “change-adept organizations” work would focus on improving student engagement through more effective standards – standards that would lead students to meaningful, challenging, and satisfying tasks. Schlechty implored schools to make this their work, developing students who possess self-motivation, critical thinking skills, creativity and who are prepared as global citizens for the future. He believed that schools should not be judged solely on assessment scores but also on the quality of work that students produce. Thus, student success is directly attributed to meaningful learning experiences that engage students in quality work. And, the role of leadership is to be transformational. Transformational in focusing on new “work” – engaging students in authentic tasks that is absorbing and leads meaningful quality demonstrations of learning.
The Learning Forward Kansas Annual Conference in Wichita on January 31st, featured Ron Berger…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
Getting to Know Ron Berger....
Ron Berger, Chief Academic Officer of EL Education is the Day 1 Keynote Speaker for the Learning Forward Kansas Annual Conference January 31-February 1, 2018. Get to know Ron and connect with his message of transforming schools through student engaged learning before you attend the conference. A sample of his work, beliefs, and ideas are included in the following article links:
1. The Importance of Academic Courage via Edutopia...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
By Heather Lageman
This month as we spring forward and prepare to announce our next group of awardees, the Foundation is taking a moment to turn back time and reflect and check in with the Kansas affiliate, proud winners of the 2015 Learning Forward Foundation Affiliate Grant. Vicki Bechard, secretary of Learning Forward Kansas and Dayna Richardson, executive director, have been leading this journey for over a year and a half, and the results are inspiring!
“Dream big and find a way to make it happen!” has been the mantra of the Kansas affiliate work. When they applied for the grant, the focus was clear: Learning Forward Kansas sought to create quality professional learning experiences that lead to action and transform practices for every educator. While the focus has not changed, the joy of the journey has been in the detours and back roads.
Year one: The journey begins with the original plan
The original grant application was made to address a need that affiliate leaders saw bubbling up across all of their professional learning experiences. As they shared the Standards For Professional Learning with Kansas educators, they heard over and over, “What …read more