About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3184-3193
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

EMBEDDING RESEARCH AND INNOVATION INTO EVERYDAY SCHOOL PRACTICE: THE SCIL STORY

S. Harris

SCIL: Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning (AUSTRALIA)
Since its inception in 2005, the Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning (SCIL) has focused on the process of consistently embedding technology-enhanced innovative practice, emanating from research and field studies, across a whole school community. This paper will focus on the strategies used by SCIL to facilitate research and innovation within the everyday practice of a school - Northern Beaches Christian School, Sydney. That focus has involved:

• Growing a fresh vision for what C21st educational pedagogy might be and articulating that vision with strength, purpose and clarity; supporting that vision with evidence-based practice

• Creating management structures that encourage and support pedagogical shift.

One of the key components of embedding research and innovation into everyday practice has been to ensure that key management functions within the school are directed toward this end. This has led to a ‘portfolio’ approach to management structures that align school management functions to key research and innovation priorities.

• Developing a professional learning strategy that fosters pedagogic shift.

There has been an intentional lessening of traditional staff meetings to free up time for an emphasis on a variety of professional learning opportunities, modeled in a variety of delivery modes. Key staff have been involved in team-based visits of multiple institutions in order to analyse and develop ‘best practice’ models for learning.

• Identifying and supporting teachers already embracing change.

One of the greatest challenges in promoting innovative teaching practice is to create an educational climate that is not only comfortable with change, but actively seeks to experiment with new technologies in order to improve pedagogy – and outcomes. As teachers become excited about the possibilities for new thinking and learning, they invariably become the ‘change champions’ who will in turn drive innovation. The goal is to support those teachers capable of switching the process from being more about top down ‘push’, to being more of a ‘pull’ scenario.

• Developing learning spaces that support innovation and ‘best practice’ research.

SCIL has focused on creating the infrastructure necessary so that every class has a virtual space (moodle-based portal) that effectively integrates with every real class. The practice of teachers has been developed so that they can move learning in and out of these dimensions in any given lesson. This requires providing access to the digital resources to enable this integration. Linked to this is the need to re-think the use of existing physical learning spaces to facilitate innovative practice, as well as introducing new furnishings to support this shift.

• Another key component of embedding innovation and research into recurrent educational practice, has been to shape and grow a student learning culture that fosters positive independent lifelong learning habits.

• A continuum of teaching programs has been created by SCIL so that students experience four years of targeted integrated learning and associated core skills in the middle years. The Primary-focused ‘Discovery Matrix’ is followed by the Year 7 learning matrix and ultimately, the Year 8 Quest.

The paper will outline a model that any school might consider or adopt in order to transform the educational practice of all teachers in their everyday practice to ICT-enabled twenty first century learning.
@InProceedings{HARRIS2010EMB,
author = {Harris, S.},
title = {EMBEDDING RESEARCH AND INNOVATION INTO EVERYDAY SCHOOL PRACTICE: THE SCIL STORY},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {3184-3193}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Harris
TI - EMBEDDING RESEARCH AND INNOVATION INTO EVERYDAY SCHOOL PRACTICE: THE SCIL STORY
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 3184
EP - 3193
ER -
S. Harris (2010) EMBEDDING RESEARCH AND INNOVATION INTO EVERYDAY SCHOOL PRACTICE: THE SCIL STORY, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 3184-3193.
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