Late last year I was inspired by the book Key Competencies for the Future (KC4F). I wrote a KC4F blog post on it that consequently led to my involvement in a couple of online discussions about its integration in my classroom. My shift to HPPS has somewhat shelved any inquiries using this model as the focus is slightly different. HPPS's ignition activities today and tomorrow are designed to spark our learners imaginations and provide us a platform on which to base our Inventive Thinking work. But KC4F and the thrust of our ignition event aim to lead children towards future focussed learning through key skills and dispositions.
Children undertake 6 workshops over 2 days, the juniors and seniors each do a slightly different rotation. Activities included art experiments, construction, invention, food technology, BP challenge type events and arts & craft. I was running a building workshop, students were using Lego, wooden blocks and good old cardboard boxes to construct/invent what they wanted. I saw everything from tanks, cars and planes right through to a beer shooter (it shoots beer bottles out the year 1's told me), a coffee squirter and a house! Neither Amy or I had LC4 in our side of the rotations, this afternoon we decided this was a positive as it placed the impetus on them to explain what it was about a workshop they'd enjoyed.
When the students returned from lunch, they reflected on what they'd done. Using post-its, large sheets of paper and the prompts "Why", "What if", "I wonder" and "How I felt" they unpacked their learning from the workshops. We plan to run several more immersion activities with LC4 but these two days will serve as a great foundation for Inventive Thinking.
This is a bit different to the plan I might have followed if I'd remained at HNS. After the final Connected Educator event based on KC4F I started the following post but it never saw the light of day till now:
"My original post on the Key Competencies for the Future text has led to my involvement in several discussions online and recently generated a request to participate in a CENZ14 event. Along with Danielle @missDtheteacher, we offered our classroom perspectives on what we are doing to integrate our learnings from the book. The webinar can be viewed here KC4F Webinar
Clearly, it is flattering and daunting being asked to participate in such an event and it has acted as a catalyst for some healthy reflection, even before the event. My initial question being "Did I actually follow through on what I planned in that first post?". As I put together my slides, reviewed the book and post again, I realised that while not perfect I had made some positive changes. As the authors revisited their thinking I was contemplating how "Wicked problems" might look in my room, especially the idea that need not be issues as vast as globalisation. But Danielle's contribution kicked the brain into overdrive and this will lead to a lot more learning.
Design thinking, multiple perspectives for thinking and backwards mapping were all approaches that she mentioned...
While I strived to make moves towards the ideals promoted in KC4F, the dynamic nature of school life meant I didn't get as close as I would have liked. But HPPS goes after future focussed learning also and as Amy and I bounced themes/projects the learners could undertake I could see the skills and dispositions that needed to be learnt. Most importantly, I could envisage authentic tasks and the literacy and numeracy work that would be embedded in such projects. Job Descriptions, budgets, design thinking, event management all leaping out for the taking.
I'm left with the feeling that I'm back where I started but in a more responsive position, where student voice is far more active. I believe that LC4 students will be dealing with their own wicked problems and dealing with all of the KC's and our learner profile, all brought about by having their thinking ignited.