Re-Lensing Learning 5

Language is power, life and the instrument of culture
— Angela Carter

A language of learning to be used by all

Learning is occurring at all levels of an organisation or school - all that changes is who supports the learning at each level. When all teachers in a school are given the opportunity to contribute and clarify what the learning culture is in their school, teachers find it incredibly empowering and exciting. Building what learning success looks like at each level of the organisation empowers learning and elevates it to a new level. It is a whole lot easier to coach and support teachers and students when there is a clearly defined and carefully unpacked definition of the learning culture to work towards. The crux of it is - all members of the school community has a love of learning and should be striving to learn at every opportunity. For teachers and leaders, it is especially important to model learning for the students who are grappling with the process, and working to grow their learning powers.

It starts with establishing coherence - a shared depth of understanding.

Alfriston School is looking to move to deepen learning. To do this, they are implementing new pedagogies for deep learning. The leadership team at the school have recognised the need to identify strengths, and have engaged in a new change dynamic. Not a usual implementation mindset but a process of learning and co-construction of ideas with staff. Change management done in this way results in learning occurring laterally not hierarchically.


STEP TWO - Identifying existing strengths

The leadership team and staff at Alfriston School have participated in a process to gain clarity of shared understandings. Identification of what is working well. They have gained clarity of future state - connected to teacher values and beliefs.  Together they have created a clear shared version of what deep learning looks and sounds like in the classroom. They have
participated in a process that has given them clarity of the future learning state and identification of the essential learning elements of learning.

Discover | Dream

Seeking a Language, Contributing to the identity of the Language and Creating the designated Language 4 Learning 

An appreciative inquiry process was used to gain the clarity needed to design their aspirational learning vision. This process involved interviewing staff about learning ideas. Staff were enabled to create the vision by connecting with a time when either their learning or the learning of their students was rich and impacting.
Staff were asked to identify what was happening when this learning was occurring. They spoke about what was happening, what support structures were in place to allow the learning to happen, and what lead to that moment. Out of the process, essential elements and phrases are identified. Critical elements to be taken through to the future learning culture of the school.

Do you have a common language 4 learning in your school?
If you do, Who is the language 4 learning for?
If you don’t, what could your schools' language 4 learning look like? - what I can tell you - It will be unique to your school and your context.
How well placed is learning in your organisation to enable empowered learning cultures?
If your organisation has a learning culture - who owns it? - it should be everyone!

Until next week - when we will continue with the journey to re-lensing learning - Empower sustainable Learning Cultures.




It starts with establishing coherence and clarity - developed through common experiences, involving contribution by all members of a department through purposeful interaction. Working on a common agenda, identifying and consolidating what is working and making meaning over time.

Empower sustainable learning cultures is a program for leadership teams who want support to unpack their schools learning culture. 
It is focused on moving your schools learning culture from - told about it to grow it. Together we are able to:

  • Bring clarity to the journey for teachers and leaders in your school to make a change
  • Execute next steps to deepen/elevate the learning and engagement of 21-Century learning skills and dispositions in learners.
  • Excite leading-edge learning, and strengthen your foundations to grow pedagogy and sustain change.

The process requires a minimum of 3 sessions where we work through a process of Discover, Dream and Design for future learning direction.

Tabitha Leonard