Vision and Objectives for the Ōtākaro Avon River corridor

June 3, 2017

“…vision and strategy are as much about creating meaning for people as they are about establishing direction.”  Andrew Smith

Comments made by a Regenerate Christchurch spokesperson, in the Stuff article accompanying the call for feedback on the Vision and Objectives for the post-quakes  Ōtākaro Avon River corridor*, included mention of the organisation “working at different levels simultaneously” on the Regeneration Area.

This devalues the envisioning phase of the strategic planning process. Work should not begin on the objectives, strategic and operational planning until the vision is crystallised and accepted. The sequence is the secret, as Andrew Smith points out in relation to his Accelerated Planning Technique.*

Comments on the Draft:

“The draft vision for the Ōtākaro Avon River Regeneration Area has been shaped by thousands of ideas from Christchurch people about how the area can be transformed into an attractive and exciting legacy for our community.”

No-the thousands of ideas are the raw material, not the shapers. Don’t confuse the clay with the potter.

“The vision and objectives have been informed by public feedback, a community needs survey, 19 workshops with a diverse range of groups, a community profile and more than 5000 ideas from adults and children….”

A lot of input to produce a weak vision and clumsy objectives!

“Our shared Ōtākaro Avon River vision
The river is part of us and we are part of the river. It connects us with each other, our communities and nature…”

The second sentence is tautologous and clumsy, which is merely irritating. But the first sentence reads like a poetical or mystical vision, not the kind of vision at all appropriate to lead off a vision statement of this sort.

A properly crafted vision describes the endpoint and outcomes of the collective journey or collaborative enterprise. It should contain the ingredients of the criteria for evaluating whether or not the journey or enterprise has been satisfactory completed.

Evan Smith’s article in today’s Press “Cleaner Avon River offers more options” * is not structured as a vision/objectives/strategy but it has key elements that could be incorporated in “Our shared Ōtākaro Avon River vision”.

These include an excellent visual and “a concept around recreational renaturalisation of the river, with a particular focus on Kerr’s Reach that allows for flat water sports and a river floodplain too” and criteria like greatly improved water quality and sustainability and parallel benefits in terms of flood management.

The benefits help to sell the concept, though it is quite clear that more work has to be done on hydrological and other ingredients of the concept.

Formatted rather annoyingly, the “vision” meanders on, as murky as the Avon River itself:

“….It is a living part of our city.
A place of history and culture
where people gather, play, and celebrate together.
A place of learning and discovery
where traditional knowledge, science and technology meet.
A place for ideas and innovation
where we create new ways of living and connecting.
Our vision is for the river to connect us together
with each other, with nature and with new possibilities.
Nōku te awa. The river is mine.
We all share in the future of this river.
Ōtākaro Avon River, together we thrive.”

More repetition and tautology: “Our vision is for the river to connect us together with each other…”. Then a switch from the collective to the individual: “Nōku te awa. The river is mine’, but in the next breath “We all share in the future of this river.”

A vision is supposed to lift our sights, focus our attention and fortify our aspirations. I am afraid that what we are offered instead is a confusing mishmash which does none of these things.

*Blinks
https://engage.regeneratechristchurch.nz/26899/documents/55615
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/93221595/reimagining-the-avon-river-for-recreation-and-nature  Evan Smith  2/6/17
http://www.lukey.co.nz/services/strategicplanning.html

Lyall Lukey  3 June 2017
http://www.lukey.co.nz/  http://www.smartnet.co.nz
https://lukeytraining.wordpress.com/
https://bluggerme.wordpress.com/


LIFE PASSAGES & LEARNING PATHS

April 28, 2017

 ELF 17 Rotorua Web
“Why can’t they be like we were,
Perfect in every
way?                                                                     
What’s the matter with kids today?”
Kids – Bye Bye Birdie                                                 

Why are young people like they are? What can we do so they can do better? Some key answers will be provided at Education Leaders Forum 2017  Life Passages & Learning Paths, to be held in Rotorua on 23 & 24 August.

ELF17 is about making a positive difference to individuals and their communities by understanding life shaping developmental and environmental factors and path changers in the journey from infancy to adulthood.

Key research findings

The forum will pick up on key research findings from world leading New Zealand longitudinal studies. These include the University of Otago’s Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study founded by Dr Phil Silva. This internationally renowned study examines the progressive results of ongoing research into the lives of 1,000 New Zealanders born 46 years ago in Dunedin.

Other relevant findings will come from the University of Auckland’s Growing Up in New Zealand study which is keeping tabs on the growth and development of initially 6,000+ children from a variety of ethnicities. The study aims to improve the lives of their generation and answer the fundamental question: What makes us who we are?

Cross-Sector Collaboration

The 2017 forum will be the eleventh in an annual series involving Education leaders and aspiring leaders from across the learning spectrum from early childhood to post-tertiary education. It will also be highly relevant for those working with children, youth and families in Social Welfare, Health and Justice agencies.

Speakers from different sectors will explain how collaboratively those who work with children and young people can help influence the choice of individual learning and earning pathways for the better and draw on support networks when intervention is needed at different life stages. Better life trajectories, based on individual talents, passions and personalised goals, add up to better outcomes for individuals, families and communities.

Stimulating Speakers

Speakers include Dr Phil Silva , Founder and Past Director, Dunedin Longitudinal Study; Ass. Prof. Susan Morton,  Director, Centre for Longitudinal Research, University of Auckland; Dr Reremoana (Moana) Theodore , Co-Director, National Centre for Lifecourse Research (NCLR); Dr John Langley ONZM, Strategic Lead- Evidence Informed Practice, Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki; Ass.Prof. Nicola Atwool, Social Work Programme, Dept of Sociology, University of Otago; Dr Adrienne Alton-Lee, Chief Education Advisor, Ministry of Education; Dr Annelies Kamp; Ass. Prof. Leadership, College of Education, University of Canterbury; Dr Craig Jones, Dep. Sec. Evidence, Data and Knowledge, Ministry of Education; Sue Blair, Director, Personality Dynamics Ltd; Jackie Talbot, General Manager, Secondary-Tertiary Group, Ministry of Education;  Dr Gaye Tyler-Merrick, Coordinator: PGDip.Ed (endorsed in Positive Behaviour Support), UC and Dr John Boereboom, Director, CEM (NZ) – Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring.

See Programme as at 21/6/17

Making a real difference for children

ELF17 will have a strong strand linked to the aims of the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki. It is also relevant to learners at all levels, including the highly gifted, in terms of unlocking their potential.

As well as developmental themes, ELF17 will pick up on the fast changing environment, especially in terms of rapidly evolving learning places and work spaces, and the implications for educators in terms of enhancing teaching and learning and strengthening connections with parents, employers and communities.

While early childhood years are crucial for facilitating the development of healthy and engaged adults who become lifelong learners there are other key life passages where timely intervention can make a huge difference. This can come from the personal attention of an interested teacher or the support of another sympathetic adult, often outside the immediate family circle.

Positive Goals
 “Hope is necessary. It is a necessary concept. What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?”  Michele Obama

It is important to give children hope in terms of their future prospects, as demonstrated in Dr Martin Seligman’s Positive Psychology work. Better work pathways are revealed by helping learners set personalised goals based on their talents and passions. Better learning and work outcomes help to break the cycle of material and cultural poverty.

ELF17 is supported by the Ministry of Education and the Wright Family Foundation

Lyall Lukey, ELF Convener      lyall@smartnet.co.nz

*Blinks
Overview: ELF 2017
All Speakers
Programme
Registration Options


Historian’s Role in Ngai Tahu Claim

February 11, 2017

Richard Tankersley’s article* on Ngai Tahu’s long fight for justice,
culminating in its successful 1998 Treaty of Waitangi claim, does not
acknowledge the key role played by Pakeha historian the late Harry C
Evison.

His 1949 thesis on Ngai Tahu’s land claim “Te Kereeme” and  his
subsequent research in the 1980s, when government archives became more  freely available, led to a number of publications, including his 1993 book  “Te Wai Pounamu-a History of the Southern Maori during the European  Colonisation of New Zealand.”

Evison’s research and evidence to the Waitangi Tribunal was crucial to the
success of the claim, as was acknowledged by Ngai Tahu leaders at the
time. He blazed an historian’s fair and even-handed trail through the
minefield of oral and written history. As Sir Tipene O’Regan said in the
foreword to “Te Wai Pounamu”: “Our own self–view lacks his dogged
objectivity and enquiry. We have been nourished by our sense that we were  wronged. Evison, independently, has worked out how it was done.”

The fascinating story Evison uncovered, based on carefully documented
evidence, illustrates the importance of the role of historians at the
fraught intersection of history, law and politics. In the “post-truth” era
of alternative “facts” this is worth remembering and celebrating.

*Blinks
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/89033172/on-waitangi-day-remembering-a-fight-for-justice-that-took-generations     6/2/17
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/17380200/Kiwis-oblivious-to-our-own-history  10/2/17
http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/87162375/donald-trump-has-ushered-in-a-world-without-facts-and-thats-scarier-than-you-think  5/12/16
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/7/misinformed-millennials-and-civic-ignorance/  14/11/16

#Lyall Lukey 11 February 2017
http://www.lukey.co.nz/  http://www.smartnet.co.nz
My other less serious blog: https://bluggerme.wordpress.com/

 

 

 


Tomorrow’s Skills: Action Now

July 13, 2016

“…we’re about to be late for tomorrow.”  Alvin Toffler
 Toffler, the author of Future Shock who died at the end of June, issued the famous wake-up call above to an earlier generation. Will  too many learners currently in New Zealand’s education system be late for tomorrow’s  new world of work?

Education Leaders Forum 2016 Tomorrow’s Skills will help educators  understand the implications for all learners of technological , economic  and social Shift and the  fragmented future of work , which will bring both threats and opportunities.  Forum participants will also access timely strategies and resources  for preparing learners now to adapt to the future by developing an appropriate skills portfolio.

Yesterday’s Schools?

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn,” Alvin Toffler
 “Tomorrow’s Schools” was implemented a quarter of a century ago in a world which no longer exists. Drones, electric cars, 3d printing, hover boards and virtual reality will all be our collective reality as we move into in the Fourth Industrial Revolution which transcends the digital revolution of the last 50 years.

Wireless farming  is a reality in the Waikato and an example of much more than number 8 wire ingenuity. My stepfather, who immigrated as a 10 Pound Pom in 1951 and got his first job as a tie-wearing herd tester in the Waikato, would be flabbergasted.

In a digitised and globalised new world the nature of work is changing rapidly in terms of what is done, where and by whom, with huge implications for education and training. As technology becomes more pervasive, traditional trades disappear and a different mix of skills is demanded by employers .

The ability to anticipate and prepare for future skills requirements is increasingly critical for education and training organisations in order to seize the opportunities presented by these trends and to mitigate undesirable outcomes.

21st Century Skills: A different mix

In today’s world, technical and digital literacy is of equal importance to English literacy and it is essential that progress be made in the way we educate and prepare our children.” Ian McCrae CE, Orion Health
The term “21st Century skills” contains the idea that the demands of the 21st century are sufficiently distinct from those of the previous century to make educational reform a necessity. Instantaneous access to information and the speed at which it dates have rendered an information-based education system redundant.

Education is not only about preparing people for the world of work, but employment readiness and adaptability are imperatives. Laying and strengthening the foundations for transferable cognitive, social and ICT skills is a lifelong journey from early childhood.

A 2015 Economist Intelligence Unit report sponsored by Google Driving the skills agenda: Preparing students for the future shows how evolving business needs, technological advances and new work structures are redefining what are considered to be valuable skills for the future.

The EIU’s extensive research programme examined to what extent the skills taught in education systems around the world are changing. It inquired into the extent to which 21st Century skills, such as digital literacy (including coding), creative problem solving and live and distance teamworking and collaboration are complementing traditional skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic.

The recent – and some would say belated -announcement that digital technology is to be formally integrated into the New Zealand Curriculum picks up on the importance of preparing children and young people for a future where digital fluency will be critical for success .

The integration of skills

“Teachers need to understand that these are not taught skills but modelled skills,” B. Schreuder
Are young people learning the skills they need to adapt to New Zealand’s rapidly changing workplace?
21st Century skills cannot be taught in isolation: they must be integrated into every learning area via group projects, not bolted on as additional subjects for individuals, so that social and cognitive skills development becomes inseparable from knowledge sharing.

To be work ready students need to understand deadlines, to be able to work under pressure and to prioritise. They also need ongoing opportunities to gain experience of public speaking, networking, multimedia production and non-digital creative pursuits in music and the arts.

Opportunities and Threats

“Recent discussions about the employment impact of disruptive change have often been polarized between those who foresee limitless opportunities in newly emerging job categories and prospects that improve workers’ productivity and liberate them from routine work, and those that foresee massive labour substitution and displacement of jobs. Both are possible. It is our actions today that will determine whether we head towards massive displacement of workers or the emergence of new opportunities.’  World Economic Forum report The Future of Jobs 2015

People are on the move, changing jobs more often and switching careers or taking a portfolio approach to how they earn their living.

Work changes bring both opportunities and threats. There is the obvious risk of increased employment insecurity. More than half of the new jobs in advanced economies since the 1990s have been temporary, part-time or self-employed. At the same time the “portfolio economy”, self-employment and new business startups present big opportunities not available a generation ago.

Up to two thirds of new job entrants are getting their first job in roles that will either look very different or be completely lost in the next 10 to 15 years due to automation.

The changing economy certainly creates risks for individuals as well as organisations. As business models change, often abruptly because of disruptive technology, people will have to master multiple skills if they are to survive in such a world—and keep those skills up to date.

Microcosm or Time Capsule?

L > C  For an organisation to survive its rate of learning must be equal to, or greater than, the rate of change in its external environment.” Reg Revans
How well is the education system preparing young people for the future of work? It would seem that many young people are not being prepared for the right jobs and roles. Many are enrolled in fields of study that will be radically affected by automation.  They will need to learn how to learn and how to unlearn.

For all the outlier progress in some pockets of educational innovation, the world of education is not changing at the same pace as the world of work and the rate of technological disruption. Education at all levels needs to be a microcosm of the changing world not an anachronistic time capsule.

All involved in education and training need to reinterpret the world through new lenses not extrapolate the future from past experiences and present perceptions. Only then will they be able to truly help learners navigate their personal pathways to the future.

*Upcoming Event The tenth annual Education Leaders Forum Tomorrow’s Skills-Pathways to the Future will be held on 23 & 24 August 2016 at the Waipuna Conference Centre in Auckland. ELF16 is about the seismic shifts happening in the world of work, the demand for different skills and the implications for education at all levels. More at http://www.smartnet.co.nz/ 

Lyall Lukey, Convener of Education Leaders Forum 2016- Tomorrow’s Skills

 

 

 

 

 


Shaping Post Quakes Christchurch

April 16, 2016

David Bowie said “Tomorrow belongs to those who can see it coming.” We could add and to those who are shaping the future of Christchurch and Canterbury now after the physical and emotional damage wrought by the five major quakes of 2010 -11.

But it is hard to look clearly into the future if you are mired in unresolved earthquake related problems. The St Valentine’s Day seismic reminder was high on the emotional Richter scale.

Very real progress is still mixed with uncertainty. For every new milestone there is a five year old millstone still dragging many people down, especially those with unresolved insurance claims.

Beaverish construction activity south and west of The Square contrasts with inactivity at the core of the city. A large question mark still replaces the fallen spire of Christ Church Cathedral and pigeons rule the open air roost. The cloud of uncertainty extends over the proposed convention centre and adjacent commercial and hospitality projects, all waiting for the fog to clear.

In the early disaster recovery stage there was some understanding of the need for a command and control approach from CERA, the government department charged with implementing the. Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Plans.

A different public mood has been evident for some time and will intensify with local body elections this year and national elections next. What many want is a different style of leadership, locally based, and a more active democracy. Best post-disaster recovery practice elsewhere suggests the earlier the better.

People living, working and investing in Christchurch have skin in the regeneration game and have to live with the results.

Despite starting with high hopes, CERA became prematurely portly. Leadership changes in the last 18 months have slowed momentum though not the flow of commuting bureaucrats.

The popular success of the Margaret Mahy playground stands in stark contrast to the lack of preventative action in adjacent New Regent Street which has caused the inner city tram artery to be blocked for weeks after damage exposed by the recent 5.7 quake. Quick off the mark outside the constraints of the inner city plan, the private sector has also for some time been driving the retail and commercial rebuild in the central city assisted by the directed migration of public sector government agencies to tenant new buildings.

Regeneration

“Regeneration “is the current bureaucratic buzzword and it is worth reflecting on its meanings. In Biology it is “the restoration or new growth by an organism of organs, tissues, etc., that have been lost, removed, or injured.’ In Electronics “ a feedback process in which energy from the output of an amplifier is fed back to the grid circuit to reinforce the input.’ Both are relevant to Christchurch now. The first is about organic growth, not alien grafts. The second is a metaphor for raising the depleted energy levels of the people of Christchurch by plugging into their positive inputs and feedback.

The new Regeneration legislation creates two new entities, Regenerate Christchurch and Otakaro Ltd, which have governance structures akin to commercial boards, apart from their funding, rather than government departments. From this transition point there is an opportunity to do things differently. There is also a fear that nothing much may change apart from the shuffling of alphabetical acronyms.

There is already in place the City Council’s Development Christchurch Ltd, not to be confused with the Canterbury Development Corporation, charged with looking at urban regeneration and investment. Otakaro has an anchor projects delivery role, while Regenerate Christchurch is charged with taking a long term, bigger picture approach to visioning and planning.

The new mix of central government and local government agencies is rather confusing and fraught with potential power conflicts. The regeneration proof will be in the collaborative pudding.

As would be expected after four years it is time to revisit, in the light of what we now know, some earlier decisions taken in respect to the anchor projects and precincts which came out of the closed door 100 Days Blueprint exercise for the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan in 2012. The Blueprint was a bold game changer, but the industrial descriptor was not appropriate for what needed to be, at least after its animated video sales launch, a more open and organic process which took account of contestable expert input and other perspectives.

This would have got more buy-in and enabled the Recovery Plan to have evolved more organically.

The process did not engender any sense of community ownership other than the feeling that the citizens of Christchurch were in line to pay some large tabs without having a say.

In reassuring contrast, André Lovatt , Chair of Regenerate Christchurch said recently “From my perspective, Regenerate Christchurch must and will engage with the community around what will be done.”

Drawing from his experience of working with a representative Christchurch Arts Centre board in the restoration and seismic strengthening of the Arts Centre, Lovatt has exercised real community leadership by taking people with him towards a clear vision. He now has a bigger canvas on which to outline and fill in the bigger picture.

Sustained regeneration requires open and creative dialogue and knowledge sharing not closed and defensive entities playing their PR cards too close to their chests.

The bandwidth of trust between those governing and those governed is due for a big upgrade. A well designed and well executed engagement process is community building in itself. People will support what they help to create.

For some months The Press has rekindled the enthusiasm of the pre-recovery plan Share an Idea exercise. Shaping a renewed city requires shared visions and shared strategies.

The intangibles

City regeneration is not just about building tangible structures, although they are the most visible sign of progress. It is also about developing the intangible assets which reside in its people .

The strength of the city’s intangible assets balance sheet will be reflected in the well-being of its people, their sense of community, their character, their creativity and above all their confidence in the future.

It is time for a fresh self image to reflect the changing character of Christchurch, not just in its physical appearance but because of the Ngai Tahu Renaissance of the last two decades and its changing multicultural mix, augmented by the more recent wave of rebuild migrants plus some new refugees.

Time will tell if the opportunity has been taken to create a more flexible legislative framework post CERA which promotes collaborative and innovative behaviour and reflects the sense of promise, energy and excitement which has been only the  fringe festival of earthquake recovery to date.

To date much of the focus has been on the cardiac recovery of the heart of old Christchurch, after the seismic exacerbation of pre-existing conditions of decline . A more holistic view of the health of the wider city and region is overdue. In Plato’s words “The part can never be well unless the whole is well.”

*Blinks

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/77121579/christchurch-waterways-awash-with-flowers-to-remember-quake-victims      22/2/16
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/77028472/christchurch-in-2016-see-how-the-rebuilding-city-looks-from-the-air  19/2/16
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/assignments/feb-22-how-are-you-feeling-five-years-on/13934176/Christchurch-earthquake-I-feel-like-I-failed   Jen Hastie 16/2/16
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/76898446/five-things-only-people-in-christchurch-will-understand   18/2/16
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/christchurch-earthquake-2011/67471177/Drone-footage-shows-quake-ravaged-Christchurch-suburb    3/15

#Lyall Lukey 16 April 2016 http://www.lukey.co.nz/  http://www.smartnet.co.nz
My other less serious blog: https://bluggerme.wordpress.com/


Nepal and New Zealand: Wars, Mountains and Quakes

April 27, 2015

The item below was written on 23 April for delivery at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Christchurch Sunrise on 24 April, at which the club hosted 6 Gurkha Army officers in Christchurch for the 100th centenary commemoration of the Anzac landings in Gallipoli. The next day, ANZAC Day, a devastating earthquake hit Nepal, with the epicentre near Gorkha, the home of the Gurkhas.

The New Zealand Himalayan Trust, mentioned in the item, is requesting urgent donations to help the people of Nepal, with whom we Kiwis have strong links.

If you would like to help please go to https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/nepalearthquake 

Wrap Up- Rotary Club of Christchurch Sunrise  meeting 24/4/15

With our six special Gurkha soldier guests joining us this morning we can reflect on Rotary’s international reach and our club’s military connections via some members past and present as we prepare to commemorate tomorrow the 100th anniversary of the military catastrophe at Gallipoli.

This year is also the 200th anniversary of the Gurkhas’ special role in the British Army and international peacekeeping.  Gurkhas fought  bravely alongside New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli and Cassino, among other battles.

To cap it off this year is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and the origin of the Parliamentary rights and free speech we take for granted in this country.

New Zealand has a mountaineering as well as a military special relationship with Nepal. In 1953 Sherpa Tenzing Norgay stood at the top of Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary. The work of the Himalayan Education Trust came out of that climbing partnership.

For most of us in this room the earthquakes of 2010 – 11 are the nearest we have come to facing the natural equivalent of a war. From both past wars and past disasters we can learn powerful lessons from the past as we rebuild the future.

Our seismic shakeup brought about big changes to the lie of the land in Canterbury, both physical and metaphorical.

At the end of March I ran our fourth annual Seismics and the City forum for representatives of public, private and community sector organisations engaged in the rebuilding of Greater Christchurch in the wake of the quakes.

The 2015 theme was Creating a Greater ChristchurchSketching the Bigger Picture. It connected the dots on a broad canvas and provided rare opportunities for cross-sector feedback, input and knowledge sharing at a time when the countdown has finally started for the transition of the recovery process from centralised control to more local ownership of issues and solutions.

Speakers included Hon. Nicky Wagner, Associate Earthquake Recovery Minister, Canterbury;  Russell Stanners, CEO Vodafone; Ian Simpson,  EQC; Peter Townsend, CECC; Joanna Norris, The Press;  John Ombler, CERA;  Raf Manji, CCC;  David Ayers, Mayor, Waimakariri; Stephen Collins and Nick Hunt, Investors;  Brian Parker, Spokesperson, CanCERN;  Corinne Haines, MD, Trimble; and Neil Cox, Theatre Royal.

We also had some amazing young people, including Barnaby Bennett, co-editor of ‘Once in a Lifetime: City-building after Disaster’, which had some very timely comments about the need for us to meet in the middle:  “The success or failure of high-level institutional or community-led responses can be spun by either side to show that their way is the best way. Generally, it’s the interface between the two – the mess in the middle – where things really happen.”

We also heard the aspirations of three other young people for a renewed Christchurch and their goals for their own contribution to it. Blair Chapell,  who graduated from the CPIT on conference day had already started his own IT company linked to construction boom in Christchurch. Meagan Veitch,  a student at the University of Canterbury decided to go teaching as a result of the quakes. Tom Beaumont, through his early stage startup CleanStreams, is developing software which assists New Zealand’s agricultural industry to mitigate surface water pollution arising from farming activities. (Tom recently completed his Masters of Engineering Management via Piet Beukman’s programme).

We also had secondary and tertiary students, working on the EVOLOCITY electric vehicle project with local businesses, demonstrating what an electrifying vehicle for young talent and innovation this project, co-ordinated by Miranda Satterthwaite, CPIT, really is!

Among some ho-hum new post -quake buildings some designs stand out like the newly started Vodafone South Island headquarters in the Innovation Precinct , the completed Stephen Collins  ‘Deloitte’ ripple glass building in Durham Street  and the new Trimble building featuring seismic sensing technology and flexibly strong high-tech wood technology emanating from research at the University of Canterbury.

It would be a wasted opportunity to do things in the same old way in new buildings.  The young people I’ve mentioned and others like them have creativity and innovation in their DNA and they are our future.

Let Meagan Veitch the last word: “I think the opportunity we have in Christchurch post- earthquake is wildly exciting and full of potential as to pave the way for a brighter future in a time of rebuild, reconstruction and building back hope and enthusiasm in our community in Christchurch. I believe that we have a rare chance to pull people together, [and] work towards joining our community and neighbourhoods…”

Videos of the plenary sessions at Seismics and the City 2015 are available at YouTube . Slide presentations can be reviewed at SlideShare. Media items and at Print Media Coverage

Lyall Lukey 24 April 2015

PS If you would like to help Nepalese people affected by the earthquake of 25 April go to https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/nepalearthquake


Educational Change-Engage or Resist?

December 21, 2014

 

In January 2014, like a missile out of the blue, the Prime Minister launched the Government’s $359 million Investing in Educational Success (IES) policy.  Some education leaders think it misguided. Others believe that, with feedback and course correction, it could end up spot on target.

IES seeks to help raise student achievement throughout the compulsory education system by encouraging collaboration between schools and expanding career pathways for teachers and principals.

Key components of the evolving initiative are communities of schools- voluntary primary and secondary school collaboratives resourced around agreed student achievement plans.

Proposed new roles nationally include approximately 255 community of schools facilitators plus 1000 cross-schools and 5000 in-school practice support teachers.

The payoff for the financial investment, if matched by an intangible investment of professional commitment and knowledge sharing, will be to lift student achievement, enhance professional job satisfaction and raise the status of the teaching profession.

Education representatives have been involved for some months in an IES advisory group and a working party. Despite the unexpected largesse, opinion is divided about the merits of the policy. The recent centenary of the outbreak of World War I is a reminder of the dangers of getting bogged down defending entrenched positions.

Tom Parsons, President of the Secondary Principals Association of New Zealand (SPANZ)  stuck his head above the parapet early on to encourage his members to be fully engaged with the Government’s “game changer” to smooth out the disparity between schools.  ”With your commitment and your engagement a successful educational and far more secure economic future lies ahead not just for our students but indeed for our profession also.”

The Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) was also open to change and took part in IES-linked remuneration negotiations with the Ministry of Education before seeking the endorsement of members.

The New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF) sees the IES policy as the wrong model to achieve the Government’s objectives. Presenting distinct signs of premature exhortation, the Federation released in early July the results of a survey of more than 1000 principals which showed they had no confidence IES could achieve “a strong collaborative culture for schools, nor lift the achievement of especially our priority learners.”

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) expressed early reservations about an “untested mentor approach”, despite examples from elsewhere,  including vaunted education model Finland, of the mutual benefits for both mentoring and mentored schools.

After a NZEI survey of members, in the weeks weeks before the general election, 93 percent of teachers and principals voted “no confidence” in the government’s plan and 73 percent voted to reject the proposed new roles outright rather than try to change the policy through negotiation.

In quite a different response, in November PPTA members voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement. 80.3% voted to include the Community of Schools (CoS) Within School Teacher and the CoS Across Community Teacher positions in the Secondary Teachers Collective Agreement (STCA).

Why the differences in the primary and secondary responses?

Perhaps the secondary sector assumes it will capture most of the new positions and remuneration, though good education leaders come from across the learning spectrum. Possibly it is easier to timetable principals and teachers out of typically larger secondary schools with a subject teaching focus. Maybe the primary sector is still tender after the introduction of National Standards, whereas the secondary sector has progressed through several assessment iterations.

But part of the answer lies in the role of the national secretaries in teacher associations.  They are the permanent agenda setters, while elected president come and go.

The classic example of obsessive-compulsive-disorder (OCD) is the person who can neither stop thinking about germs nor washing his hands to kill germs. For some time the NZEI has been fighting the equivalent of the Bertie Germ dental campaign of half a century ago. In his recent lead Education Aotearoa editorial National NZEI Secretary Paul Goulter says: “The choice is clear – a GERM-based future for our children or a non-GERM-based future.”

This antiseptic choice is offered without any explanation of the acronym. Because it has been used rote-like in so many previous issues it is assumed that readers know that it means the dreaded Global Education Reform Movement which apparently lurks Ebola-like behind any educational initiative of the Government.

The primary teachers’ union washed its hands of constructive professional involvement in the IES initiative in favour of a secular jihad in election year, but governments are entitled to govern by introducing new policies, especially if they have been flagged well prior to a general election, as was National Standards in 2008,(but not Charter Schools, which was smuggled in at teatime in Act III of that government).

Taking a different strategic starts PPTA president Angela Roberts was pleased with the way PPTA had been able to work constructively with the government to turn IES into something that could operate well in schools. “…It is an example of teacher unions being in their rightful place, at the table taking part in the process. Decisions are being made with us rather than for us,” she said.

The Ministry of Education says that IES “focuses on raising student achievement across the board, by supporting the education profession to build quality and consistency of teaching and leadership across the system.”

Positive education change involves lifting both professional and organisational competence, with a mutual appreciation of how each reinforces the other in each learning community.

Teachers are more likely to support what they have been engaged in creating, especially if they can share ways of helping students learn more effectively and pursue new career pathways.

The Ministry’s own best evidence synthesis, School Leadership and Student Outcomes, found school leaders promoting and/or participating in effective teacher professional learning have twice the impact on student outcomes across a school compared with any other leadership activity.

No school is an island unto itself. Every school needs to ensure that its own rate of learning at least equals the rate of external change and all education professionals benefit from best practice sharing.

Developed constructively by all concerned, with the focus on raising learning and achievement, this is what IES could be about.  A well designed initiative would be the catalyst for systemic and sustained learning development.

The voice of teachers is a necessary but not sufficient ingredient of education policy decisions.  In the pursuit of better public policy the Government needs to also tap into the views and expectations of parents, employers and others.

Learning culture is the invisible force that shapes professional behaviour and student achievement for better or for worse. Systems and practices can be copied, culture cannot. Everyone involved needs to understand the culture of their own learning organisation and agree on initiatives to enhance it. Well grounded change principles are as important as change principals.

Learning as inquiry is about powerful questions and shared knowledge and practice. It requires open minds, open dialogue and a long term perspective. The bandwidth of collaboration is trust.

Like all new policies IES needs more engagement, more time to bed in and more shaping. There are different ways of sharing both the collaborative responsibilities and the remuneration and the tiny amount of budget for school-based innovation needs augmenting.

But if the focus stays firmly on the learning needs of students, as they move through the learning system, everything else will fall into place.

Of course, in the words of W. Edward Deming: “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” 

*Blinks

http://www.nzei.org.nz/NZEI/Media/Releases/2014/8/Primary_teachers_and_principals_vote_to_put_kids_first_and_reject_the_IES_.aspx http://ppta.org.nz/resources/media/3201-media-ies-vote http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/10463634/Teachers-protest-planned-education-policy-nationwide http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/307854/otago-principals-agree-ies-initiative-flawed http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/10372352/Vote-looms-on-future-of-359m-education-fund  http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/10333139/Educated-questions-over-changes http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2014/jun/19/strong-schools-helping-neighbours-national-leader-education http://www.quality-equality.com/publications/qe-articles/emergent-change-strategy/

#Lyall Lukey 21 Dec 2014 http://www.lukey.co.nz/  http://www.smartnet.co.nz https://bluggerme.wordpress.com/  My other (bit less serious) blog