This week I have the privilege of being in Boston, USA attending the ‘Harvard Graduate School of Education - Future of Learning Program’ with 9 other colleagues from other Victorian Independent Schools.
Harvard is situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts on the banks of the Charles River. It is one of the world’s most prestigious universities and has a history of great wealth and influence for over 350 years. It was interesting to note that it began as a college of divinity before becoming the Ivy League institution that has educated some of the great scholars, leaders and artists throughout the years.
It has been a most amazing experience to walk to the university each day and to explore the vast grounds and wander amongst the beautiful buildings. Even though it is summer break here, there are a number of students still on site and as you move around visiting cafés and shops, the atmosphere of Harvard Square unmistakably has an academic feel. (I'm hoping some of it will rub off on me!)
My time here is very busy. Plenary Lectures commence each day at 8.00am and the day comprises of a series of lectures, workshops and times in small study groups. I have been blessed to hear some of the most influential educators in the world speak including Professor Howard Gardner, Professor David Perkins and Project Zero Principal Investigator Veronica Boix Mansilla to name just a few.
Throughout the week we are discovering new thinking through global perspectives, the impact of technology on learning and finding out amazing information on how the brain functions and learns.
I am working with a small study group that comprises of some very dedicated and passionate educators from Hong Kong, South Africa, Canada, the United States and Australia. Most are fellow Principals, whilst others are Art Educators, Early Childhood Educators or District Superintendents responsible for up to 7000 students in their respective education districts.
As the College leadership team and I aim to create a culture in our College community that focuses on continuous self improvement and one that values learning, this opportunity has equipped me with a clear focus and direction for Christian College in the future.
We have already commenced the journey through some of the recent initiatives that we have introduced. My time here has been affirming regarding what we already are doing for our students in their learning. But I have also been enriched, empowered and challenged by the learning that I have encountered alongside the other 250 participants from all over the world.
I look forward to returning next week to share and encourage my colleagues and our students as a result of this incredible opportunity.