Masterclass Workshop 1

Masterclass workshop:    It's Time to Talk: A leadership opportunity and challenge for building sustainable professional learning communities

Presenters:            Joan Conway and Dorothy Andrews, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia

Conference theme:        Professional Learning Communities for School Improvement


The Abstract

Rapid and troubling change in organisations and educational learning systems demands a focus on growing innovative cultures for school improvement. Building and sustaining capacity in the development of professional learning communities is paramount to schools facing continual adjustments often pressured by systemic initiatives and high staff turnover rates. These demands increase the need for improved collective responsibility fostered by effective professional conversations, contingent upon adaptive organisational cultures and responsive participants purposefully committed to mutually shared goals. Cultures that promote professional conversations require a leadership approach focused on individual and collective engagement. The theoretical construct required for leadership of organisational alignment, fostering the key elements that contribute to school success, is the focus of the work of the Leadership Research International (LRI) group at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia, specifically through the IDEAS Project for school revitalisation.

Founded on over two decades of successful applied research (Andrews, Conway & Smith, 2017; Conway & Andrews, 2016; Crowther & Associates, 2011; Chew & Andrews, 2010) in hundreds of schools across Australia, four schools in Singapore, and multiple conference workshops in Australia, Scotland, Canada and Singapore, the IDEAS Project provides schools with an organisational learning process enabling capacity building for sustaining school based improvement . Central to this approach is the building of trusting relationships through focused, strategic and deliberate constructs of professional conversations dependent on how to formulate and conduct professional conversations.

The purpose of this workshop is to:

  • Engage participants in activities that highlight the benefits of deliberate and structured professional conversational protocol at the heart of growing innovative cultures for school change.  Specifically, these activities provide participants with designed processes that will focus on metastrategies for clarity of 'pitch' by the speaker, astute listening skills of the receiver, and protocols for rigorous and respectful discussion (Conway & Andrews, 2018).

  • Heighten participants' appreciation for the benefits of processes that enable the 'growing' and creating of innovative cultures for school change.  It is the processing of change that is the operative realisation over a period of time, building and strengthening ways of working collaboratively

This workshop will add value to the development of professional learning communities for deepening school change. These include the leadership and conversational skills required for agreed principles of practice, the opportunities for forming innovative pathways for changing cultures, and the potential for ways of building sustainable partnerships. It is envisaged the participants will gain experience in the use of professional conversation protocols and an appreciation for the benefits of designing and facilitating innovative activities.  Such activities strengthen skills of conducting successful professional conversations, and in the development of processes for culture change in schools.

Andrews, Dorothy and Conway, Joan and Smith, Lyn (2017) Leadership of system-school alignment: leading actioning of schoolwide pedagogy (SWP) for school improvement. Project Report. University of Southern Queensland, Leadership Research International, Toowoomba, Australia. [Report]

Chew, Joy Oon Ai and Andrews, Dorothy (2010) Enabling teachers to become pedagogical leaders: case studies in two IDEAS schools in Singapore and Australia. Educational Research for Policy and Practice, 9 (1). pp. 59-74. ISSN 1570-2081

Conway, Joan Margaret and Andrews, Dorothy (2018). The LRI Professional Conversations Handbook. University of Southern Queensland printery: Toowoomba, Australia.

Conway, Joan Margaret and Andrews, Dorothy (2016). A school wide approach to leading pedagogical enhancement: An Australian perspective. Journal of Educational Change

Crowther, Frank (2011) From school improvement to sustained capacity: the parallel leadership pathway. Corwin (Sage), Thousand Oaks, CA. United States. ISBN 978-1-4129-8694-6

Dr Joan Conway, DipT, BEd, MEd, PhD, FACEL, FACE, is an Associate Professor, and Associate Director (Research) of the Leadership Research International at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia. Joan teaches and researches in the areas of leadership, curriculum and pedagogy with a strong focus on collaboration and collective intelligence for the emerging and practising teacher. She is a core team member of IDEAS, a whole school improvement project.

Dr Dorothy Andrews, BA, DipEd, MEdSt, PhD, FACE, FACEL, is an Associate Professor, and Director of the Leadership Research International at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia. Dorothy teaches and researches in the areas of leadership and processes of whole-school improvement. She has been engaged in three longitudinal studies tracing the impact of whole school improvement processes (IDEAS).






Masterclass Workshop 2

Masterclass workshop:    Master Class on Edupreneurship : Lessons for Educational Leaders

Presenter:            Freida Pilus, Founder Cempaka Schools

Conference theme:        Professional Learning Communities for School Improvement

The Abstract
Education is a fast-changing industry, yet it is one that is never quite viewed as one. Is it a public good? A private good? Healthcare undergoes a similar debate in many countries but what about education?

From my observation in the West, private education is seen as for the privileged and elite, delivered by age-old institutions steeped in tradition and excellence. From Eton and Oxbridge in the UK to Phillips Academy and Trinity in the US. In the East however, business is booming. Private institutions operated by local companies (Cempaka Group of Schools, Taylor's Edu Group, Sunway) as well as foreign operators (EPSOM, UWC, Marlborough) have delved into the fast-growing industry that is private education.

The intense competition in these markets thus breeds huge strides in educational development and business strategy. Consumers here, as opposed to the west are more concerned about grades than stature, and private education institutions here do not have the luxury of relying on illustrious history and legacy as opposed to their counterparts in the West.
Thus is born the eduprenuer, an educator and an entrepreneur, the future of education.

The purpose of this workshop is to expose participants in the challenges of private education in Malaysia and engage participants in discussions about the future of private education in Malaysia. Participants will also be introduced to the edupreneur concept and learn from the challenges that Frieda has faced in her quest as as edupreneur in Malaysia.

Freida Pilus is the Deputy President of the Malaysian Society for Educational Administration and Management (MSEAM). Freida is an outstanding educator, an edupreneur who founded and manages her Cempaka Schools that are renowned regionally and with global contacts. She is a respected leader admired by public and private educational leaders and business and industry leaders.