Future Ready : developing a collective understanding of a school tagline
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Citation:Calvert, N. (2018). Future Ready: Developing a collective understanding of a school tagline. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Applied Practice, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4469
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. To what extent does participation in a cross-faculty network of staff result in a collective understanding of a complex pedagogical concept, and how effective is a workshop approach in supporting this? 2. What was the professional and personal impact of this participation? This case study researched the way a New Zealand school attempted to develop a collective understanding of a complex pedagogical concept. The school’s tagline, ‘Future Ready’ (FR), was introduced to reflect Kristin School’s pioneering and progressive approach to education. However, as the meaning of FR was not explored when the tagline was introduced, staff members have differing understandings of what FR means in theory and in practice. To develop a collective understanding of FR, a small group of staff members attended a series of six workshops over a three-month period. These workshops gave staff an introduction to research on futurist thought regarding predicted global changes driven by megatrends such as automation, artificial intelligence and exponential growth in computing power. Environmental challenges such as climate change were also considered, as well as the impact of these global issues on students and the ways in which they can be addressed. The workshop group discussed, debated, contextualised and synthesised the research shared with the aim of developing a collective understanding of FR. A mixed-methods approach was used to evaluate this action research project. Concept mapping was used to show a change in workshop participants’ thinking over the course of the workshops, and the impact of participation in the workshop group was measured using pre and post-workshop interviews. Engeström’s (1987) Cultural-Historical Activity Theory was used as a guiding framework. The study found that participation in a series of carefully-crafted workshops enabled a representative group of staff to come to a collective understanding of a complex pedagogical concept. However, attempts to engage the wider school staff in the development of a collective understanding had little impact. Further research is required to understand how to better engage all staff in the development of a collective understanding