Forums > (Archived) L5 Webinar Discussion
I was thinking that a personality screen to analyse preferred learning styles and also behavioural defaults may be a useful exercise for my large staff to better understand the dynamics. Has anyone used a particular model / approach that would be prepared to share how it went and the value to added?
There's a book by Eleanor Drago-Severson called Helping Teachers Learn: Principal Leadership for Adult Growth and Development. She talks about 3 different styles of learning for adults as instrumental, socialising, and self- authoring. I have found it really useufl in planning PL sessions for staff.
It is interesting Mark, that I can move pretty much between them, depending on the context! At the moment within Palnet, I am very much an instrumental knower- a 'what do you have that can help me/What do I have that can help you? perspective!
There is a bit of 'socialising' as well, in that I am having to make some generalisations and reflect on mine, and others actions. As a self authoringknower, I am currently, assessing the expectations and demands of others, and comparing them with my standards and judgement. I havent yet found where time management fits within any of these ways of 'knowing'! :)
I felt uncomfortable with the use of the term personality assessment but very comfortable talking about learning style in the discussion.
How do the learning styles help us to think about people who are in change - it seems to be that people with the same learningstyle can react quite differently to a new change in the school - and we all understand that sometimes despite all the best and varied ways of presenting we end up having to think again about ways to work with individuals. Is it that we have multiple ways of sending and receiving the communication and being involved and then we ensure that we keep offering ways across the time span of the change until most people have a chance to pick up on it.
How do we reward people to pick up on a change early?
I think that it could be useful to consider both informational learning- the new skills and knowledge that increases what someone knows, as well as transformational learning which changes how a person knows. I think how informational learning is structured and delivered has a significant connection to how open people are to to the hearts and mind nature of transformational learning.
The transformational nature of learning appeals to me in that the change is connected to the deep ways that each person constructs or makes sense of experience. I think it is possible to engage with all the ways of knowing ( or styles) I mentioned earlier at the same time- depending on the context though, one would come more to the fore than others. Achieving buy-in is a constant challenge for us as leaders- I have been using quite a lot of the Adaptive Schools materials to help me construct and deliver PL this year- and found it very useful. http://www.adaptiveschools.com/ is the website.
The notion of rewarding early adopters of change is an interesting one- perhaps the reward is providing them with additonal time and resources to go more deeply into their professional learning, creating a team to explore together? This could also have a positive impact on those who are less confident about change...
I have found that a leader who learns and tells others about their learning, particularly if it is exciting encourages interest.
As an example, I decided to learn about systems theory, went off to courses, and because i was out of school staff wanted to know where i had been.
I told them and said do you want to know about this.. gave examples of how it is useful to me, and they said YES.
So easy story really, we engaged a systems theorist who could work in an educational context and help us all to work within that framework
The context was a prison for juveniles, we were the educators, we successfully changed some young peoples lives and as a principal I helped develop the thinking and practice of others who are now principals. I cherish that.
Reading the discussion reminded me of how i have used the St Luke's Innovative Resource Cards, Sometimes Magic Happens When ... to gain insight into how Anangu I was working with best learn / engage with teaching and learning processes. The cards have simple statements. The language interpreter present commented on the strength of these cards in encouraging Anangu participation in the workshop,