islPAL - International Society for Leadership in Pedagogy and Learning

Pedagogies and Learning

2012 Conference Keynote Abstracts

Art Costa

Habits of Mind in the 21st Century

What mental capabilities will be needed to live productively throughout the 21st Century and into the 22nd Century? Are these capacities different from those needed to live and learn productively today? In this session the attributes of successful, creative people from many walks of life will be identified with implications for learning to be successful today.

Barbara McKenzie

The Getting of Wisdom: Unlocking Tacit Knowledge

A favourite quote about the role and value of wisdom indicates that it is 'knowledge rightly applied' (unknown source) and now, more than any time in the past we need to acknowledge and facilitate access to our combined educational wisdom. An increase in pressure regarding the role of education and its role and value in a global sense has raised the stakes (Chinnammai, 2005) as countries increasingly compete in international spheres that require the provision of a highly literate and articulate workforce. In our more finite national educational environment we are experiencing one of the most ambitious and far reaching changes to education in decades (ACARA, 2010). A large proportion of our teaching workforce is fast approaching retirement (ABS, 2006) - they are the current holders of years of knowledge and experience. A generation of new teachers will eventually take their place - how can we ensure that we provide less experienced teachers with access to that wisdom?

Denis Goodrum

Leading for Change


The role of leadership in scaffolding change and supporting growth within an educational team will be examined using an innovative digital source. The presentation will cover in a practical manner a repertoire of leadership understandings, skills and competencies that help all members of a professional learning community work together to improve pedagogy and student learning.


Lorraine Wilson


Working From the Power Within: Empowering Children to Believe in their Capacities to Learn, and to make Sense of their Words

Lorraine will share some of the philosophical beliefs which inform her teaching. Of utmost significance, are beliefs related to the unique nature of each child, that learning is making sense of the world, that children make their own meanings drawing upon their previous life experiences, that different expressive media have the potential for meaning making, that knowledgeable teachers are best positioned to plan curriculum for the students they teach, that externally imposed curriculum and testing are not in the best interests of children.

Francois Victor Tochon

Deep Education: Transdisiplinary Pedagogy and Wisdom

Unless we act to reconceptualise and rebuild the social contract on new bases, postindustrial trends might break it down. Intellectuals who work in Education should have a special role in this respect. Environmentally, humanely and symbolically disempowering and destructive policies are being imposed in conjunction with financial interests propelled by the myth of productivity.Civil rights are being replaced by surveillance and control. This appalling situation legitimates new reflections on education in order to envision what could and should be done. The old logic of Right and Left inherited from the French Revolution must be altered into a politics of the human if we are to address the risks that financial monopolies have created. The demonstration here is that Education - and academic work in particular - must be reconceptualised in a transdisciplinary way that helps solve the destructive problems that humanity faces. The proposal is to reflect on the notion of caring and the development of non-foundational foundations with such core values as biocosmopolitanism and deliberate <<decroissance>> (postdevelopmental powerdown), in the search for integrated wisdom and science with a conscience. The nature of deep education, or a pedagogy for wisdom, are examined.

Terry Wrigley

Open architectures of learning: making space for agency and identity

I have been using the expression 'open architectures' to refer to a group of pedagogies which, within clear structure, give plenty of space for learners to take control, problem solve, present,work together etc.

More broadly, this title will also enable me to concentrate on ways in which schools can be structured and teachers can organise curriculum in the interests of social justice and democratic citizenship, both of which create space for individuality and social development. I will contrast this to features of the neoliberal 'effective teaching' discourse and practices, and include the implications of 'funds of knowledge' (Moll), place-based education (Greg Smith and others), as well as open architectures such as storyline and project method. Obviously I will also be drawing on my co-edited Changing Schools (with Bob Lingard and Pat Thomson).


John Bush


Leadership for Students


The mission of High Resolves is to motivate high school students to develop the mindsets and skills to act as purposeful global citizens and lead their communities, and the world, to a brighter future. I will share our experience in helping students to develop as purposeful global citizens and leaders,which points to several conclusions. First, the middle years of schooling are the crucial period for leadership development. Second, it's all about the sequence: we can be as systematic about teaching leadership as about teaching maths. Third, students develop as leaders and citizens in a mutually reinforcing process. Fourth, students from all cohorts and backgrounds can develop into effective leaders. Finally, leadership curriculum is like software: we can balance high quality with continuous improvement if we think of developing and releasing sequential versions of curriculum.


Brendan Spillane


The Difference Between Fun and Joy


A Keynote Reflection on the Folly of Looking for Positional Solutions to Dispositional Problems


The complexity of our working lives needs little further explanation.It is hard to escape the conclusion that we are standing astride organisational tectonic plates that have started to move and are grating each other. Many of us have a sense that an old way is passing and something new is trying to be born in our organisational reality. How do we make sense of ourselves and our working lives in such tumultuous times? What sort of dispositions will the new organisational world order ask of us? What will leadership look like? The call to a practical wisdom that allows us to thrive in times of uncertainty is clearly discernible. Drawing on the pioneering work of Bill Isaacs, on Dan Pink's work on motivation and on a range of other sources, this keynote will try to provide a compass that still points to true north! 


The address will focus on the 'new dispositions' that need to underlie effective (and sane!) performance and looks at dialogue, vulnerability, empathy and a couple of others in a practical and hopefully interesting way. The workshop which will follow the presentation will explore a couple of key aspects in more depth.


Andrew Churches


Technology and thinking skills in the classroom


Technology is changing the face of teaching and learning. Our classrooms are expanding beyond the boundaries of the physical four walls and as our classrooms seem to grow the boundaries and the borders in our world disappear. Actions and features that were once the domain of a desktop computer are now an "app" on a cell phone. Information is growing at an exponential rate and has never been easy to access. How our students learn has changed and how we teach has changed. This presentation investigates these trends and looks at how we can harness these to improve the learning outcomes of our students.


Kathryn Glasswell


Navigating Thinking: Innovations in Teaching and Learning for Higher Order Thinking in Reading Comprehension

The ability to strategically, critically and creatively solve problems is key to success in our changing world. In this session, I will describe the progress and outcomes of a school-university research and development partnership aimed at raising student reading achievement in low socio-economic schools. 

With and emphasis on active and engaging high quality teaching. Our Navigating Thinking (NT) schools use a cutting-edge approach to fostering higher order thinking in reading comprehension instruction. This approach develops Y5-Y7 students' abilities, strategic, critical and creative literacy learners, and enhances teacher knowledge and skill. The NT resources and innovation tools constitute a new way of simultaneously developing teacher and student knowledge for high-level engagement with texts of all kinds.

Impressive gains in reading scores on TORCH (ACER) and NAPLAN indicate some significant merit in the NT approach. Schools also report enhanced engagement in addition to increased teacher capacity and confidence for higher order thinking in reading instruction.