On Friday 11th September we had our annual Educational Psychology in Scotland conference. Both Midlothian EPS and Visible Learning featured highly.
Our recent trainee EP, Pamela Foster, now working in West Lothian led a workshop on her thesis – developing Visible Learning with one of our Primary Schools. You can view her prezi here. I also had the pleasure (I can say that now it’s in the past!) of doing both a keynote and a workshop. Laura-Ann Currie from Education Scotland and I did a joint keynote. Our theme was leadership and change. Laura-Ann gave an overview of change within Educational Psychology and where we are now and my task was to give an EPS perspective. I used prezi (obviously) and after a slight moment of panic the IT guys at Heriott Watt managed to get it up and running (the panic was more mine than theirs). Here is my Prezi.
I guess my key messages about leadership were that it is everyone’s role and responsibility and we can demonstrate leadership in everything we do. Every conversation we have is an opportunity for leadership. We need a bias to action, a bias to doing.
In terms of change, my focus on joining Midlothian EPS nearly three years ago was to future proof the service. I wanted to embed us in key areas of learning and teaching to ensure that we were fully engaged in improving outcomes for all learners. This is where the Visible Learning approach has really helped us realise that. The approach fits perfectly with what we know makes a difference: evidence based and evidence informed; developing learners who are self-regulated and have meta-cognitive skills; develops resilience in learning; identifies a key role for partners and parents and links well with the growing confidence programme we are also delivering in Midlothian.
I took the opportunity to reflect on the two mindframes of ‘I am an evaluator’ and ‘I am a change agent’. Although John Hattie’s mindframes were developed for teachers and school leaders I think they apply equally to EPs. I especially like the change agent role being to ‘disrupt the status quo’.
My workshop was an opportunity to explore our approach to change in more detail. I mapped our process of change and learning onto Micheal Barber’s Deliverology 101, my prezi can be viewed here. We didn’t start with Deliverology, I came across it after colleagues in the #VLNetworkUK mentioned it. A quick explore and I could see how our approach so far fitted very well with this and how it could help us plan and measure impact. The greatest strength of the approach is its emphasis on relationships. Reflecting on our journey so far reminds me how far we’ve come, that there is still so much to develop as our goals are ambitious but I also have great confidence (based on the learning and impact so far) that we will do it…together! Fits nicely with the 10th mindframes of ‘collaborate’ doesn’t it?