Tag Archives: Learning Environment

11 Ways Finland’s Education System Shows Us that “Less is More”.

One could do worse for a framework to review what we all do as educators. Well worth the time to read and reflect.

Filling My Map


When I left my 7th grade math classroom for my Fulbright research assignment in Finland I thought I would come back from this experience with more inspiring, engaging, innovative lessons.  I expected to have great new ideas on how to teach my mathematics curriculum and I would revamp my lessons so that I could include more curriculum, more math and get students to think more, talk more and do more math.

This drive to do more and More and MORE is a state of existence for most teachers in the US….it is engrained in us from day one.  There is a constant pressure to push our students to the next level to have them do bigger and better things.  The lessons have to be more exciting, more engaging and cover more content.  This phenomena  is driven by data, or parents, or administrators or simply by our work-centric society where we…

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FutureSchools Conference 12-14 March 2014 – my thoughts

The FutureSchools Conference 2014 was held at Australian Technology Park in Everleigh, Sydney. This literally post-industrialist site,drawing attention to its 19th C construction and more recent 20th C re-construction, seemed a fitting location for a conference that focused primarily on what a future school might look like.


Day 1 was advertised as a ‘Masterclass’ with Stephen Heppell. Originally billed as the chance to work with Stephen in a small group, the session blew out to a large lecture-style presentation; nonetheless, there were some illuminating insights from Stephen’s long and varied career. Days 2 and 3 were the Conference proper. With a range of schools – independent / affluent government /  struggling government – talking about topics such as learning space design; re-conceptualising organisational structure to promote post-industrial learning models; transparent, student-chosen  technology; extended learning periods with flexible timetabling; student voice; peer instruction and flipped instruction; engendering staff enthusiasm for change; and project/ problem-based learning. Below are links to my posts about some of the sessions that offered relevant prompts for my own professional work. Incidentally, the twitter stream was relatively active and can be viewed here.

The programme for the two days of the conference were:

Day 1:

  • Stephen Heppell Keynote
  • Northern Beaches Christian College (Sydney) Keynote
  • Brisbane Boys’ College building program
  • St Raphael’s School (Melbourne) managing transitions
  • Belmont Primary School (Melbourne) modernising a heritage listed school
  • New South Wales Dept of Education and Communities identifying future directions
  • Panel discussion: creating your vision for the future school

DAY 2:

Eric Mazur Keynote

  • Scoth Oakburn (Tasmania) placing technology at the forefront of inspiring learning places
  • Stonefields School (Auckland) designing learning hubs
  • Australian Science and mathematics School (South Australia) ‘FutureSchool’
  • Newington College (Sydney) student panel discussion
  • Churchie (Brisbane) effect of design on learning
  • Mordialloc College (Melbourne) flexible learning and teaching