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Evolving practice

September 12, 2015

Exhibit A:Youth Out Loud

Here are our two Youth Out Loud finalists celebrating their first and second place wins last week amid other jubilant participants; their rock star pose was coached by @FamousSharron. If the judges commented on what we do “out there” beyond the grapevines, alpaca farms and suburban fringe of metro Perth, we took no slight from this remark.


Given our community of practice, and the value of engagement with others beyond classroom confines, we were as jubilant at our students’ success as their proud parents. Plus, we had feasted on chocolate at San Churro.

On reflection, I can appreciate how learning with others draws buoyancy from inter-related contexts, such as the Growth Coaching workshops I recently attended to focus on performance conversations.

Exhibit B:

Purple Perth station

From Perth train station to exploration of newly completed pedestrian walkways which link  – only one stop away – to Leederville:

Oxford St

The focus of our learning centred on modes of feedback.

IMG_5874From my notes:

  • typical workplace scenarios require honest, courageous feedback
  • practice structures for managing difficult conversations

Debrief – What worked?

  • set a time
  • Build confidence
  • Small goals & small steps

Conscious competence grid (change management model)

Forcing others to change can generate anger – conscious incompetence

At one point, a passing reference to the art of possibility prompted a search for this video:

And we considered the desired 3:1 positive:negative ratio for praise and recognition to yield flourishing people. The key becomes

Focus on what is working rather than what is broken.

We then shared our methods for individualising positive feedback.


As a leader, you are encouraged to seek feedback from colleagues:

3 things that help you do your job well.

3 things that I’m doing that hinder you doing your job.

 What could I do

– More of?

– Less of?

– Differently?

 To be a better leader

– For you?

– For the organisation?

Leucospermum in a jug

Through the process of giving and receiving feedback, learning in schools comes to be

not a selfcontained, closed world in which students acquire knowledge to be applied outside, but a part of a broader learning system. The class is not the primary learning event. It is life itself that is the main learning event. Schools, classrooms, and training sessions still have a role to play in this vision, but they have to be in the service of the learning that happens in the world (Wenger & Trayner, p.5, n.d.).

Selected reference

Wenger, E. & Trayner, B. (n.d.) Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Retrieved September 12, 2015

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