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Blossom, compost & shift

August 29, 2015

The dwarf almond tree in our back yard was given a reprieve last summer, and this first indication of spring blossom gives me hope it will survive. almond treeWondering about how the tree looks set to flourish after abject failure for more than five years will get me nowhere, I realise (pruning, fertiliser, watering regime, mulch…one of these alone, or all in combination?); it is enough to take stock of recovery signs.

Same theory applies to public speaking.

Youth Out Loud

For the last two years, our College has been represented by only one student in the Youth Out Loud public speaking contest. Five students entered this year, and we have two representatives continuing to next Friday’s finals. What made the difference?

Teacher promotion at school

according to one participant who provided a rationale on her entry form.

With NAPLAN results being scrutinised during meetings and informal conversations this week, I can’t help but extend the gardening/ growth analogy to improvements in learning. Here are some activities which contribute to the ongoing process:

Walkthrough week 6

Sun Tzu defines team work as critical to success:

The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and does not require too much from individuals. Hence his ability to pick out the right men and utilize combined energy (Hagy, p. 66, 2015).

Momentum and energy are key terms identified in ensuring that success sustains.

Creating CoT

Which brings me to my recent Amazon delivery, and the means of achieving similar shift in schools.

There is a sense that one can’t sit back and that everyone must take part… People often mention that in cultures of thinking, they feel propelled by the leader and the group as a whole to do their best. In addition, they feel that their thinking is being constantly pushed. They aren’t sitting back. They are learning.

Together these qualities, and the practices that breathe life into them, create a dynamic group of people who feel that they are learning together and creating something greater than that which any individual might produce (Ritchhart, p. 5, 2015).

So, my attention to our cycle continues.



Follow the Cultures of Thinking chat via Twitter.

Selected references

Hagy, J. (2015). The art of war visualized: The Sun Tzu classic in charts and graphs. New York: Workman Publishing.

Ritchhart, R. (2015). Creating cultures of thinking: The 8 forces we must master to truly transform our schools. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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