Monday, 17 June 2013

Enabling Constraints

My friend Rose gave me a picture of a bird of paradise - and it serves me well as a metaphor for "enabling constraints". The structured point on the stem has a plan, is on a mission, knows exactly where it is going. There is no wavering. The beautiful flourish of orange and purple  flowers  are made possible because of  that underlying structure.
The Best Evidence Synthesis gives - Ensuring an orderly and supportive environment -an effect size of 0.27 in comparison with 0.84 which is - Promoting and participating in teacher learning and development. It is still high on the list of important things to give time to and needs to be attended to.
I am enjoying watching our team leaders planning for the second round of impact projects. I was in Sharon's community and it was great to see how engaged all the students were in the selection process. Sharon set up three groups. The Group called group 1 was the group of students who already knew exactly what the project was to be about and were ready to go. Those students were given the proposal sheets and they were on the way. Group 2 was the group of students who knew what project they were doing and wanted to move to a new community because they were keen to move to a mentor in a different community. Those students were given a sheet and on it they had to write a paragraph about why they wanted the change - how it would support the development of their project. Once they had written the paragraph they could get the move endorsed and signed off by the tutor and then head off to the new mentor and get the same sheet signed there. Group 3 was the group that had not yet decided on their project. I liked the way Sharon said to all the students -"That is a good place to be and today is about resolving that ." Those students were asked to go to the seminar room and they would work with a teacher to discuss and then find a project that would work for them.
At the same time that all of that was happening the DPs in charge of each area had a list of students, from the tutors, who had not found great success in their previous project. These students were interviewed separately. I was also involved in this process because I have responsibility for two communities. What I enjoyed about the conversations I was involved with (and the DPs reported the same ) is the commitment that the students have to the projects and their honest reflection on why they did not find success the first time round.\
So back to the enabling constraints - I am excited by the constraints that the team leaders are putting in around the projects and I am absolutely excited by the depth of learning that is becoming more and more apparent in the projects designed by the students.

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