Albert Einstein is universally recognised as one of the greatest minds of our time and amidst his incredible contribution to science, he also shone a very bright torch on education. Albert is quoted as saying, very eloquently, a ‘student is not a container you have to fill but a torch you need to light up’. It’s a powerful reminder of the important role Teachers play in lighting that learning fire in students.
Over the last 18 months I have been working with the Principals, Leaders and Teachers in Katherine, Northern Territory, on a data focused project. It has been one of the most rewarding projects I have been involved in, for a number of reasons. As I have worked alongside the ‘Katherine Mob’, interrogating student evidence and building the capacity of their Leaders to collect and use powerful student evidence, the role in which student voice is playing in accelerating student growth, becomes impossible to ignore.
Students across the region are now encouraged to carry a strong voice across their learning journey. How they best learn, what ways they can best show their learning, what good teaching looks like, negotiating assessment with their teacher and sharing their learning story with their parents and carers. Teachers now believe that data alone rarely makes clear what needs to be done and so students are now providing another powerful layer of evidence … and it is being heard loud and clear.
The average temperature in Katherine over the last month has been around 40 degrees, but you would be mistaken if you thought that all the heat was outside the classroom. It is happening indoors, in the classrooms across the region, as teachers use powerful evidence, including student voice to heat up the learning environment. These Leaders, Teachers and Students are on fire with a determined, unwavering focus on students chasing ambitious learning goals.
Next week, I am heading back to Katherine to work alongside the Leaders and Teachers in a number of very remote schools and I am so excited about this trip. The Leaders in these school’s work under some of the most challenging conditions yet they remain committed to improving student outcomes by gathering powerful student evidence that is lighting up learning all over the region.
Ask yourself a couple of questions:
• How powerful is the student evidence that you gather?
• Could the students in your school be front seat passengers in their learning if they had a greater voice?
In case you didn’t notice, I think this stuff matters – and that it works! More than this, I think it’s worth you being fully supported in making that shift. So there’s one more question I want you to ask? How different could my school be as an Evidence Empowered School?
Head to the webpage to find out more, to download our White Paper and access our flyer on your current 12-month opportunity to change the way your school views and uses evidence.