Friday 21 October 2016: - More than 130 teachers and educationalists gathered today at the first Building Learning Character Conference to explore effective strategies and pragmatic practices to achieve sustained improvements in school education.
Held at St Luke’s Grammar School, the conference attracted more than 130 delegates from across NSW, the ACT, Victoria and Singapore. They represented all sectors of school education; independent, catholic and public schools as well as tertiary researchers.
“The conference was an exciting opportunity for St Luke’s to showcase the work we are doing in seeking to answer the questions all educators and the community are asking: “How do we prepare our students for the world they live in now, to cope with rapid change, and develop strength of character, which will help them navigate the challenges of life?” said Jann Robinson, Principal of St Luke’s Grammar School.
“Our focus at St Luke’s with our Learning@StLuke’s framework is on sustained learning improvements. This conference provided the opportunity for educators to share their experiences and best practices,” Mrs Robinson said.
The Conference Keynote Address was given by Prof Guy Claxton. Prof Claxton is the creator of Building Learning Power – a learning framework that has been successfully implemented worldwide and forms the basis of Learning@StLuke’s. Claxton is Emeritus Professor of the Learning Sciences at the University of Winchester.
“Building Learning Power is about helping young people to become better learners, both in school and out. It is about creating a culture in classrooms – and in the school more widely – that systematically cultivates habits and attitudes that enable young people to face difficulty and uncertainty calmly, confidently and creatively,” said Prof Claxton.
In his address, Claxton outlined changes to teaching and learning practices that have successfully empowered students to become better and more effective learners, with the result that learning outcomes have improved. He also highlighted the fact that important to sustained improvement was the shift from traditional teaching practices to that of coaching and encouraging students to become resilient, reflective, collaborative and resourceful learners.
In a Q&A session, six Senior School students from Years 7 to 11 provided an insight into the implementation of Learning@StLuke’s – including highlights and advice on implementation pitfalls. They also discussed changes that happened to their own ways of learning with the implementation of the learning framework and recommended both introducing the framework at an early stage and seamlessly integrating the learning dispositions within the course content. A highlight was the description from one student of how, by implementing the learning framework over the past two years, her learning results had significantly improved.