In this session, we will explore how we might consider empowering the learners of today to support one another in enabling the change necessary for a sustainable future. The session will focus on an exploration of what it means to cultivate a learning community that enables Learner Agency. As we explore the dispositional nature of Learner Agency and the purpose it serves, how might we consider moving towards using Learner Agency as an enabler of change?
Jill Kaplan: All right. We're going to get started. Good morning. Good evening from wherever you're joining us this morning. My name is Jill Kaplan. I am head of development for United World College, Southeast Asia. And it is my pleasure to welcome you to the UW,CSEA Forum, which is the capstone event in our 50th anniversary year. And we hope that you were able to join this morning's keynote with Howard Gardner, who spoke about good work in the context of the work that we all do.
And we hope that you're able to see some of the many other amazing sessions over the course of the weekend, but know that every session will be recorded, including this one. So you'll be able to see all of this amazing content after the sessions conclude as well. And it is my privilege to welcome you to this session, which is learner agency as an enabler of change.
Please note that this is a you all will be able to see each other So if you'd like to be on camera, we encourage that. And if you don't, you understand that as well. And we'd love to see your faces. We're so delighted to have so many wonderful people from so many parts of our community joining us this morning.
And if you have any questions, you can pop them into the Q&A in the main feature of the socio platform. Please remember to refresh your app throughout today and tomorrow just to make sure that you're getting the latest updates because we have lots of information coming to you and please put your questions in the chat during the course of this conversation.
We'll try to answer as many of them as we can. And if we can't, after this, there's going to be a networking session online which I'll tell you more about at the end of the session, which you can join, and hopefully we'll answer more of your questions then. There will be a session later in that presentation where we'll have some breakout rooms.
So we hope you enjoy the small group discussions as well. And without further ado, I will turn it over to Ben Clapp, who is primary vice principal and on East campus, who is going to introduce the session and fellow panelists. And we hope you enjoy. Thanks so much for being with us.
Ben Clapp: Thank you, Jill. And good morning and welcome. Good morning. If you're in our part of the world and welcome wherever you are. Thank you for joining us. As we have a conversation today to explore learner agency as an enabler of change. It's been an exciting journey for us to date as a primary school as we've explored what it means to look at learner agency.
And it's by no means a finished journey, but one we're excited to share with you today. So before we get into the sharing, I'd like to give everyone a chance to introduce themselves, so I'll pass it around, starting with Pauline, who's our primary principal, just to introduce themselves before we get going.
Pauline Markey: Thanks, Ben. So as Ben said I'm Pailine Markey the primary school principal that's responsibility from K one to grade five. I've been at UWCSEA here in Singapore for five years and loving the journey. I'm delighted that you've decided to join us today. I hope you enjoy the session. Thank you.
Tracy Jochmann: Hi, hi. I'm Tracy Jochmann and I'm one of the vice principals in the primary school, and my main responsibility is with the infant school. So I'm working K one through to grade one, primarily This is the fourth year that I've been here in this role and looking forward to connecting with everyone today.
Jen Juteau: Hi, I'm Jen Juteau and I'm also a vice principal here in the primary school. This is my first year at UWC East and I feel so appreciative to have been able to learn from the staff and students and be a part of this journey.
Ben Clapp: Thanks, Jen. And as I mentioned earlier, my name is Ben Clapp I'm also one of the primary school vice principals in my fourth year here. I work primarily with grade four and five, and as I'm seeing some names turn up on the screen here, it's fantastic to see some people who've also been part of this community at the beginning of this journey and maybe in other parts of the world now as we go.
Welcome to you, and I hope you enjoy. What interested us this morning. And before we get going, was even the close connection between some of what Howard Gardner was talking about and the work that we want to share with you today. But before we do that, we wanted to take a moment We believe really strongly in the act of being present.
And so we want to take just a 45 second moment to pause, give you a chance to clear your cognitive inbox, park, whatever it is you've been thinking about. The to do list that we know everyone constantly has on the role or maybe it's just a finished a mouthful of whatever is you are eating before your camera turned on.
But we're just going to pause and take 45 seconds to take a deep breath be mindful and ensure that you can be present over the next period of time.
So as we did our rehearsal yesterday, we were struck by how long 45 seconds can be. And if ever you ask yourself, what's the value of the moment I spend with the child, realise just how long 45 seconds can be. I'll hand over to Pauline now, who's going to take you through the beginning of our journey, and we would encourage you to keep your cameras on.
This is a really interactive session. We want to give you chances to pause and use the chat as well. So feel free to flick the camera on and over to Pauline.
Pauline Markey: You can see there on your screen. Our educational goal to educate individuals to embrace challenge, take responsibility for shaping a better world. Unlike many organisational goals that propose change and growth in a complex world, we believe that this this calls us to actively consider change and also to build change capacity within our community. We've been working on the concept of learner agency for a little over two years now, and we focus on learner rates as a community agency we believe is an enabler of change, and it has the potential we feel to enhance the experience for all members of our community.
So this session, we'd like to share with you the aims of this session. And we are really hoping throughout the session that we we can share with you a framework for agency, the framework that we have built here at UWC East. And we'll discuss the role culture plays in Underpinning Learning Agency and we look at the way relationships support learner agency as well.
I have to start though with a disclaimer. You know, we are just a small tree in a very, very large forest of great research that's going on all around the world into learner and student agency. And we are looking to be learning from others every single day. We're also lucky to have been planted in a fertile soil of learning about skill.
Some amazing educators who are now spread across the world, as Ben said, what who have been parts of forming the UWC East Primary culture will over many, many of this practices that have been established over the 12 years our campus has been open. And I'm absolutely delighted to see so many faces of our current staff in this session because they're the face doing the work every single day and providing provide those opportunities for our learners.
We also appreciate that we're on a journey and often we get slightly sidetracked on that journey, most recently by minor things like pandemic. So I think you can probably it doesn't take much to guess how moving from a very free flow classroom in a gentle environment to bubble sizes of eight that then drop to five and then drop to two.
And this quite a significant impact on really our ability to afford our students full opportunities for agentic learning. However, our students never, ever cease to amaze us. And on that, I'd like to just share an example how our students do take ownership for their learning. So this was when we were at bubble sizes of two which as I kept saying this not really a bubble size, it's actually just a pair.
But I walked into a classroom, a grade three classroom, and I was thinking, I wonder how the children are coping with being in the twos. And I noticed as I looked around the classroom that some of the children were on laptops with their phones on, some were doing some of the things. They were still all socially distance and the twos.
And I could see this one boy had a whiteboard and he seemed to be explaining something. So I go over and he's actually signed up as an expert. So in our agentic classrooms, children can sign up for experts things that they're very confident in and they're happy to teach to other people. So he had his screen on, he had his whiteboard, his marker on it.
He was teaching children around the class, various different places who signed up to learn more about this specific thing. It was actually a math strategy at the time. So with that, we were only in pairs of two in pairs, and the children had decided to take the ownership of that learning into their own hands and exercise that agency.
So a lovely it was a lovely example to see during the middle of the pandemic. But we continue our journey of learning with an open mind, a willing heart, and a recognition that we have many, many more steps to take along that journey. And we're delighted to be sharing a snapshot of that with you today. And we welcome your thoughts and collaboration as we all learn together.
So what is learner agency? And it was lovely to hear Howard in his talk this morning mention the importance of students being agents in their classroom and in their learning. And you can see here on the screen, I hope you'll see on the screen in a moment when when it changes that actually the definition on the screen and it comes up is from the OECD and it says that student agency is thus defined in this capacity to set a goal, reflect and act responsibly to effect change.
It's about acting rather than being acted upon shaping rather than being shaped and making responsible decisions and choices, rather than accepting those determined by others. That's one possible definition. That's by the OECD, who actually say there are several definitions, a plethora of definitions, and no global consensus on how we define agency. In some countries, there's actually no direct translation for the term agency or learner agency, and interpretations will differ across countries and contexts.
However, there are also commonalities around the understanding of the concept and a shared understanding of some of the key aspects for agency to be in place. They include active participants.
Belief and ability to impact or shape their own learning, confidence to enact change, feelings of efficacy, empowerment and being in control, knowing how to learn and learning how to learn even better and that independence, that connectedness and responsibility towards others, something that's at the heart of what we do here at UWC, especially through our service programme, and that's what we want for all of our students and actually our adults.
We want people to be active participants in their learning. We want them to believe that when we believe that when they're agents of their own learning, they're going to be competent. And as I said, knowing how to learn, they're going to act as co-creators in that learning journey and they're going to have these valuable skills for life. We believe that if they're empowered and have the efficacy and desired to enact positive change and inspire others and they will be fulfilling all UWCSEA mission.
Pauline Markey: And it also involves, as we said before, being aware of their goal, setting goals, identifying those next steps and how they're going to meet those goals, but acting responsibly to meet those goals so that we see the OECD definition that I think sums that up really nicely one element as well of agency is responsibility. And we'll talk about that a little bit later.
Our students need to be responsible and responsible knowing that every decision a learner makes and action they take will impact on the thinking, the behaviour or the decisions of others and vice versa, vice versa. Sorry, agency with responsibility. We regard it as empowerment. And I just I just like to give you a little example there of a student being responsible I was one day looking at we happened on our campus a huge map with 18 UWCs around the world on it.
And I was having a little look at them when one of our grateful students walked past and I stopped him and I said, Wow, you know, where would you look to go there to any of the UWCs when you older where would you go and very politely he said I'm really sorry Miss Pauline. I actually have to be somewhere else at the moment.
Maybe we can chat later. So clearly taken responsibility for his learning. So as you can see that there is so much research emerging and evolving in this field and on the definition of the impact that agency has and there is a belief that it has the capacity to unlock and address many of the challenges that education has been grappling with over the last 50 years around learner engagement, motivation and mindset.
And here a well known educator and researcher Dylan William captures that really well. I'm going to pass over to Tracy, but before I do, I'd like to just share another example of students actually enacting that agency and making a change. Just very recently, last week, in fact, a grade four student brought to the attention of his teacher that he was very concerned he'd seen something online about one of his favoruite authors and this favourite author who has written numerous, numerous books very, very popular children's author, had actually made a public apology.
So one of his books had some passive racism in it. And the concern our student had was that book was still in our library. So encouraged by his teacher he approached our librarian, and she said she'd investigate further. So she found the apology from the author and looked at it. She then removed all copies from our library and she notified all the other libraries that she's in contact with. Through this somehow a university in Australia contacted the school and asked that they use that not not with the child's name because they use that as a case study for their master's degree with library students.
So I think if that isn't a fantastic example of a student using his voice to be a change maker and have a positive impact, then nothing is. So I hand over now to Tracy who will take you further along our journey. But before we do that, just have a moment to pause, have a think about did you come in with the definition in your mind if what you thought learner agency was, has anything changed so far?
And if you would like to add anything at all to the chat, please, please do. We'd love to see it. We'll just again, take a little mindful moment while you're thinking about that and add in anything to the chat or review with other people. Please tune and talk with them and turn and learn and see. Does your are your views different, are they the same? Thank you.
And please feel free to pop things in the chat all the way through the presentation as well as they come to you. Questions or wonderings or just your thoughts. I'd like to now Tracy I thought she fell off the chair, but she's probably balancing on a ball if I know Tracy.
Tracy Jochmann: No, I'm not it was my power chord just just dropped off a shelf and my computer started moving, so I think I'm good now.
Pauline Markey: OK, over to Tracy. Thank you very much for listening.
Tracy Jochmann: Thanks everyone. So I'm just going to go back to a few years ago when we started this journey and in our journey to develop a learner agency framework and a common understanding, the primary school, we knew that we had to base our thinking in our core documents and we started to look at where we could leverage and make connections with those.
So we identified connections between two major pieces of work for our school. That agency and the interdisciplinary learning were really connected for us and that we believe that they're completely interrelated and each equally important to achieving our mission. However, they're not necessarily interdependent in that you can have one without the other. But our belief was that for us to be working towards our mission, they were both essential in our work as we were moving forward.
Thanks, Jen. We we spoke really early on in our exploration of learner agency about the idea that moving towards a more agenetic learning environment was desirable. It really required us to pay significant attention to our culture and the dispositional nature of a lot of our work. So to support this, we decided to spend some time considering which features of our current culture really needed to be enhanced and developed to better support learner agency.
And as you can see on the slide there, using that iceberg model, we looked at what we might see an agentic learning community and then what aspects of our culture lie under the surface that we really needed to pay attention to and strengthen in order to support that. So we found ourselves drawn back to the UWC qualities of being resilient, self aware, responsible, the commitment to care, sorry, and being principled, but also a series of related ideas so that caring, open mindedness, self esteem, respect, we needed to pay more attention to those.
And as a staff we identified starting points and ways we could develop those as a community with shared language and shared practice to support our journey into agency. So we also connected with and built on our image of a child. So as many schools that are inspired by these principles, we had developed our image in our image of a child.
And on the screen, that's sort of the opening statement of our image of a child. And we view children as capable, competent learners. And as part of that, though, we really needed to think about if we believe this, about how young children learn and what they bring to us, how are we what's our image of an adult?
What are we bringing to the table in response to that? How we supporting that thinking? So we needed to ask questions about the ways we facilitate and create an agentic learning environment that supports what we believe about how how our young children learn. So as part of our focus on culture, we wanted our students not to see learner agency as a key to their own autonomy, but rather as nested in that of community.
So it's central to our element of service and we wanted it to remain central to our thinking around agency as well. So initially, you know, there were comments from many in our community that agency was about having its own choice and doing what I want to do. And it was important for us to really emphasise that working towards our mission, it was important that learner agency thinking of the collective and the community.
And it's important to mention that when we're referring to learner agency, we were really referring to all of that it was intentional for us to to name it learner agency and not student agency, and that we are really thinking about all of us as learners and all of us as part of that community. And so when I was thinking of some of the examples and some of the things I see around this, you know, I work with those youngest students and in a four year old, a classroom of four year olds, there's usually a lot of I want comments.
So if you've ever been in one, you'll know we all like to do what we want to do. And and while we would hear that and looking at the wide range of choice they have coming into the room, people would say Oh, look, this is a really agentic environment. Look, I have lots of choice, lots of ownership of what they're doing.
They're really working on agency. They're really agenetic and we wanted to challenge our thinking around that and move that focus towards being more on that collective and that community and needs to adjust some of that thinking as we did that. So thinking about it as the learner agency, one of the adults in one of the four year old classrooms and one of the teaching assistants noticed a lack of use of the outdoor space that was shared by a few classes and set about working with students to identify what the collective needs were of the people who use that space.
There were initially a lot of I want to this would be good and they did end up moving away from the idea of a roller coaster out there because they then assessed what was feasible and what wasn't. So they really, though, did work together over a period of time to design and create a collaborative space that would meet the needs of all who used it.
And they were really connected, engaged and empowered as was the educator who worked with them. And it was wonderful to see them just taking that responsibility and that intentionality around what they were doing and looking for ways to meet the needs of the collective and not just themselves, although of course, in the process getting a chance to to get some of what they wanted in there, too, I'm sure about that.
Meeting the needs of everyone so that that focus on culture and in that community piece was really important to us. And I guess just again, just a moment to pause and think, how might you conceive agency in the context of a learning community? Is that what you already were thinking is? Is that challenging something that you believe just a moment to pause and reflect and as was mentioned earlier, just pop anything in the chat that connects with you or questions or wonderings you have around that.
I'll just give you a minute OK. Hopefully you've had a moment to either turn and talk to someone or have a little reflection yourself on on that. And I'm going to hand over to Ben ah sorry Pauline's got a hand up.
Pauline Markey: Yeah. I'd just like to answer one of the questions that has come up from before. So first of all, I'd also like to point out the children aren't dead, they are actually having a mindful moment outside in the great outdoors. I think that I will explain what they're doing. There is a game going on there as well. And somebody put a really good question into the it was Shea I am wondering whether the concept of agency potentially clashes and conflicts with some beliefs in different cultures from different cultures.
And it's a fabulous question. It is something that we grapple with all the time as international educators and in any school around the world, I would say, you know, it's something we need to be aware of. And I think it's really important that we're really clear as well about an explicit about what what our school is about, what our mission is, but what that actually looks like, what that looks like in places for different students.
And we also are very cognizant to recognise you know, I talked about in the past, I speak about commonalities, but we're also very cognizant of the need to recognise differences and celebrate and utilise and leverage those differences and to learn from that as well. So it just it's a great wondering, Shea Thank you very much for sharing that with us.
Ben Clapp: Fantastic. Thanks. Thank you, Tracey. Thank you, Pauline, for that. And thank you Shea for the question and to others for their for their comments so far. I really agree and want to reiterate what Pauline said about that, continually challenging our thinking around culture. I think that's a particular part of why we wanted to emphasize that cohesive nature and understanding and considering the collective.
I think for all of us as educators, as we explored some of the reading in the work around agency, the potential for it to become individualistic was something that we we strove to really consider. And and I think as a, as a UWC with the mission that we have, we hold really strongly to a belief that there is more in the collective.
And so really focusing that. My job, though, is not to talk to you about some of those questions, is to share with you some of out of the framework that we've constructed here at UWC East. I'm really lucky to be able to share this with you because it's a collective work and it's work that was really heavily influenced by educators and people working every day with students in this space.
It was an exercise in playing with language. But I'm also particularly grateful to the great two team. I don't know who they are from a number of years ago who spent a whole Saturday workshopping this with a range of other staff. But that whole team brought in to really explore these ideas further as we thought about what our framework would look like for learner agency.
What we were really hoping to devise was a structure that we could hang from and explore and iterate off We were not looking for a formula, and we never intended and never want to generate some checklists that mean, Hey, if this is happening, I have an agentic classroom. We believe in ideas evolving, and so we look for some key ideas that we can pin our thinking to.
And and as such, there was a lot of robust debate. There was some really powerful conversations and people challenging each other's thinking. But we landed on a framework with four key components So we view action, intentionality, responsibility and ownership as playing critical roles in how students can develop and construct their agency. What we want to do now is talk to you a little bit about those four components.
So Jen and I will talk through those and then we're going to give you some time in a breakout room to have a think through that a little further, to talk with some peers and colleagues and other people in these calls so that this can be both a learning experience from listening to us and hearing the work of East campus, but also the opportunity to hear from other people in this group.
So we might go on to the next one and we'll have a look at first of all, I'm going to share with you a little bit about ownership. So ownership from our perspective, provides an opportunity for leaders within the learning space to analyze who holds the decision making capacity and who influences the direction of the learning. When we hold that opportunity to look at that and we take a moment to consider who's leading the learning, it gives us an opportunity to allow our students and recognise who's who's influencing that, but in doing so, allow our students to co-construct both the learning of the classroom as well as their individual learning journeys.
We believe strongly that ownership empowers and motivates students, and we also believe that it engages them. It's complemented strongly by our UWC skills of self-management and commitment to care. And it's also a really powerful piece for our students in that they be learning not just from an experience, but into a more transferable space through that ownership.
So we believe that we have we've made decisions as a school to focus on concept based teaching and learning, and we believe that ownership provides greater opportunity for those students to make that transfer. We spent substantial time in the process of coming up with this framework of debating voice choice and ownership. Many of you will have heard that definition shared through the IB.
And what we spoke heavily about was that we viewed voice and choice as serving a higher purpose but not being sufficient in and of themselves to achieve agency, and particularly not a community of learner agency. And so as we discuss this more and more, we felt that the concept of students having voice and students having choice served the purpose of ensuring they had ownership over their learning.
It didn't stand alone to have voice or to have choice without the concept of owning the learning themselves. So we we felt that for us as a school, ownership was the was the principal idea that we really wanted to raise through through this framework and if we could provide our students with voice and choice as we still do that, as long as it was towards driving ownership for them, then we would experience the kind of agency that we were looking for across our classrooms and across the range of learning environments our students engage in.
The other component I'm going to share with you really briefly is intentionality. I love this is one of my favorite pictures that's emerged through the pandemic too. Just before I go on this wonderfully designed infant school thermometer, so built for you to self check your own temperature The wooden thermometer was found to be startlingly accurate. However, what we found was the intentionality of we're going to create our own and we're going to formulate this through our classroom was really powerful.
But what do we think about intentionality in a in a learning environment for a students who are working towards agency? Howard Gardner mentioned, that idea of good work, having purpose for people and we view intentionality as being a provision of purpose, but also something that is drawn from purpose. So there's a little yin and yang between those two ideas for us, but we view them as very closely related.
And what we think is a lot like you would hear many enquiry educators talk about that powerful enquiry based classrooms are high in intentionality. We also believe that high levels of intentionality need to exist in agenetic learning environments. We think that as well as providing purpose and provide direction and rigor to the learning experience, and we think it's really possible that as we build more agenetic learning experiences in environments for students, we're going to see them becoming even more intentional.
It may be that we see a greater range of intentions at any one time through spaces but we will see highly intentional action from all of our students. We also think that the experiences and provocations that are curated by teachers within an agentic learning environment, our view is that they'll be really transparent in the intentionality. There'll be no hidden agendas, no hidden meanings, in an agentic classroom or an agentic learning environment, and that shared intentionality or transparent intentionality brings the community together I've worked in a number of schools where we've focused on having transparent intentionality, and it's been a really powerful tool in lifting our communities participation within the learning experience to, particularly for parents, a
really powerful way for them to begin to connect and engage with the learning of the of the students and of the school And we also think that intentionality further draws on our school wide approach to mindfulness, but is a powerful piece in wellbeing Why? Because intentionality and purpose, we believe, supports the capacity to be truly present within an experience And the example there of many of our outdoor ed experiences, it's impossible to be distracted by a chat on a sailing boat.
And it's also impossible to be distracted by other things because that sail may be coming in your direction very quickly. So it's a big, powerful piece for us of what it means to have an agentic environment is intentionality. I'll hand over to Jen, who's going to share with you the other two components of that framework.
Jen Juteau: Thank you, Ben. So action. When students take their learning through a stage to a stage of action, it creates the need for application. The learning moves beyond awareness and does so within a context that has meaning and purpose for the learner. We believe students who have agency are provided with opportunities to play, to explore and to investigate in a way that has meaning to them.
There's a state of motion as many agentic learning environments that is highlighted by student initiated and learner focused action And the last piece of our framework is responsibility. And I've seen some of the words in the chat, and we did hear a little bit about responsibility from Howard Gardner, and earlier Pauline referred to it as well. So responsibility speaks to the relationships an individual student has with their own learning.
But also that of their fellow learners that we responsibility asks all members of the learning community to recognise their obligations to a cohesive learning community, the manner in which they support the learning of one another and to the environment we share. Responsibility also speaks to the obligation an agentic learner has to themselves, agentic learners believe in their capacity to take meaningful action to improve their own understandings.
We believe this is supported by a strong goal, orientation focused understandings of the next steps in learning and a commitment to work towards these. A lot of responsibility as you can see comes through our service. So students composting on campus and doing beach cleanups while on outdoor ed trips agentic learners acting without responsibility can be seen as entitled.
We regard agentic learners acting with responsibility as empowerment This is especially true when our learners are empowered to take action outside the comfort of their classrooms. So examples of this looks like learners aware of the natural environment, creating signs to alert others that a bird has built a nest in a bush and how to interact responsibly from a distance It looks like learners thinking of their peers getting a broom to clean up small bits of rubber that escaped from loose parts, ensuring the space is available for everyone to use.
It looks like learners who are responsible for their own actions, such as finding a student who, instead of playing on the field, is sitting on a bench contemplating if integrity or indegrity, as he called it, is real. And rather than an adult instructing them to go to the field, leaving him to sit and figure this out, and then watching him leave the bench and proceed to the field independently, We would now like to put you into breakout rooms for 10 minutes to discuss with other participants about these four components of agency rich environments, ownership, intentionality, action, and responsibility.
And we'd like you to use these questions to guide your discussions. For those of you who are in the larger space, we hope that you can make your own breakout rooms together. So I'll hand over to Jill. Oh, thank you. And Ben is put into the chat for everyone this information so you can see and the questions as well. We'll hand over to create the breakout rooms.
Jill Kaplan: Thank you so much, Jennifer. I think we're going to shorten the breakout rooms per Ben to 6 minutes just to make sure that we have a chance to come back to the full session together. And so we'll go ahead and break you out into your respective rooms now. And once the breakout session concludes, you'll be brought back into this main room.
So we'll see you in a bit. And we hope you have a fabulous discussion.
Ben Clapp: The joy of breakout rooms is always that the moment as people slowly return to the screen. And then what you what you watch whenever you're in this corner, as you watch, people quickly turn off their cameras. Now, it's a large group as well, always the things that occur in the zoom world. Well, thank you so much for participating in that breakout room conversation wherever you were.
And I hope that it was an opportunity to connect and hear from others. I certainly know the group I was in. There was different correlations between the conversation from Howard Gardner this morning and and furthering this thinking on agency. What we'd really encourage you to do now is to take a moment and just share. Was there one of those components of the framework that really resonated for you or in your group?
We'd love to hear about it in the chat, so please don't hesitate to let us know what really resonated for you. As part of that shared conversation. And, and take a moment just to post any reflection in our chat. We really appreciate that engagement Okay, now we're heading towards the tail end. We haven't got a huge amount of time, but thank you, Audrey and Mandy and Janine for your comments.
Lots more starting to come through.
Jill Kaplan: You see, if you go in, you got an agenda. Agenda, right?
Ben Clapp: You think you're right. So we've got lots of people talking about intentionality and ownership as really connecting for them. I think I think one of that piece around how our sense of ownership connects to our community seems to really resonate with others in the sense of a learners agency being very closely connected to the community within which they work and engage.
So as we conclude our session today, we wanted to hopefully jump on.
Pauline Markey: Could I interrupt now? I'm going to put somebody on the spot here. I have a private message that they've not replied and you're more than welcome to say no. But I'm really, really, really pleased to see a student on here. Maybe there's more than one, but I'm really pleased to see Tanay on here. So he's now going, Oh, my goodness, Pauline's going to speak to me and I want to Tanay and please, please, please feel free.
And I know you will say no if you don't want to, but it would be great to get a student's perspective where we're espousing the joys and the benefits of agency and how what are your thoughts on that?
Tanay: Oh, thanks. I think agency is really important and your presentation was really interesting, so thank you. The one I found most interesting was about intentionality because that was something new to me. Because we tried to talk about ownership and actions and classes. But intentionality was interesting because it was just different to what we've been learning in school.
Pauline Markey: And I think I called on you deliberately Tanay because you're a great example of taking ownership for your learning. Tanay recently came to a group with 15 of the school's leadership team to talk about a research project him and some some of his peers had been doing on sleep and the importance of sleep, asking us to consider our school timings on our school day.
And so again, another great example of somebody taking ownership and responsibility. So thank you for that. And I'm sorry to call on you. He was an ex student counsellor in Primary, so I think I got away with it there, thanks Tanay. Sorry, Ben, over to you.
Ben Clapp: Thank you. Thank you, Tony. And thank you for that presentation the other week on sleep, you've got me reading about two more books and paying more attention to it. So I appreciate the learning I had from your session recently. So as we continue this journey, one of the things we're going to keep doing and we've been doing this with smaller groups of teachers in conversation and across the across the board at our college is asking ourselves, are we being bold enough?
It's very easy to consider and and conceive of different ways of thinking. But to try and Blockbuster the model to try and continue to sell a Blu ray disc in a DVD era, and see if we can evolve with very minor change in it when the climate around us is completely shifting. And what we've asked ourselves regularly is, is are we being the Netflix, are we thinking differently?
Are we thinking about the world in which our students are engaging and evolving and what's really interesting is even in the last week, our example may have to shift and we may need to move Netflix down if they don't start to evolve their model. For the first time ever, experiencing a drop in subscribers for them. So the question for us is always going to be, are we being bold enough?
We're asking us some of these questions pertaining to learner agency at the moment. We're asking ourselves, might it be ways for student questions to be a really powerful lever in that change? Might they be wise for us to reconstruct our daily schedule and our planning processes to accommodate a more agentic approach? We're also asking ourselves how we might reconsider the way we observe collaboration in an agentic learning environment.
Might we need to start to analyse not just the collaboration between the students, but actually the collaboration between the educators and the students in that co construction of the learning journey. And we really want to consider asking ourselves as well as that co construction of the learning journey for students, how do they co construct the environment and the spaces within which they work.
We think that the more we can do that, the more we can bring this sense of intention already through the work and ask ourselves, Are we being bold? It's going to be a greater opportunity for us to share and explore the learner agency journey finally, though, we know that there's something that's been it was a bugging bugging in the back of our brain at the beginning of this when we when we started this work.
And we were really, I think for many of us, somewhat comforted as we listen to a podcast from Guy class.
I've got someone with a microphone on if you can help me out. Thank you. So but.
We've got it and what we talked about and what Guy talks about is that learner agency and creating more agentic spaces is about a social shift and a social cultural shift. And when it comes to changing things like the social culture within your classroom or within a learning environment, they're complex interventions. They're not complicated. You can't dig down to the really minor features and strategically plan everything.
What you need to do is think through the fact that pulling it apart won't help, but paying attention to the culture and the interwoven sort of set of influences that are there. That's where you need to be looking and paying attention. We want to keep that at the front of mind as we do this as educators, we think this is a journey of constant investigation, and we hope that what we've managed to do today is give you a chance to share in a little bit of the work that we've begun here.
We use the term begun very deliberately because we know there's a long way to go as we close to and we hand back to Jill just a huge thank you and an acknowledgment that this is a collective work on East campus built by all of the educators in the primary school here. And so we thank them for their contribution as well, many of you who are here today.
But thank you for your contribution towards this journey. And we're really excited about what comes next as we continue a journey of learner agency. Our details are on the back here. If you want to get in touch, we'd love to hear from you. And we've got plenty more we could share, but we only had 50 minutes. So thank you so much for your time.
Thank you as well. And can I just say if the chat's on for a little bit? Louisiana put in a great book recommendation into that chat as well. So thank you to the people who who have participated through the chat as well.
Jill Kaplan: Thank you. See you, Jill. And thanks, Pauline and Ben and Jennifer and Tracy for a fantastic conversation this morning. You've really given us all, I think, a lot to think about and an excellent framework for how we think about learner agency and how we build that through culture and through in agentic environments. Thank you today for sharing your real life example of student agency and learner agency in action.
And we hope that you all will continue the conversation. You can get in touch with our amazing panel. You can see their emails here. You can also connect with them through the socio app. And there will be a networking session directly after this. That's an online networking session. When you go into the learner agency section of the social app, there will be a place to click on networking session.
It's limited capacity, but folks will go in and out over the course of the next hour. So feel free to go in and continue the conversation there. Thank you all for joining us today. We had so many folks join this conversation, and I know that you'll be joining other conversations throughout the weekend. So we're so grateful to all of you and for your partnership and for all the great work that you do.
And please keep the conversation going and look at the upcoming events that are happening throughout the weekend. And thank you again for being with us for the UWCSEA forum and we look forward to seeing you at another session. Soon. Thank you all.
Pauline Markey: Thank you.
Jill Kaplan: Take care, everyone.Thank you.