Talk:OER4Schools/Introductory workshop

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Leadership for Learning practical: The five lenses

The five lenses

Let’s take our metaphor of the LfL lens a step further, and suggest that there are 5 different LfL lenses (spectacles) needed in order to ‘see’ all 5 LfL principles:

  1. Focus on learning
  2. Conditions for learning
  3. Learning Dialogue
  4. Shared Leadership
  5. Shared Accountability

You can print this content on a separate sheet here: OER4Schools/LfL/5 principles .


Consider the 5 LfL Lenses and their usefulness for focusing on learning practices.

  • What are the kinds of things you might see in a classroom if you were looking through the LfL lens ‘Focus on Learning’?
  • What are the kinds of things you might see in a classroom if you were looking through the LfL lens ‘Conditions for Learning’?
  • What are the kinds of things you might see in a classroom if you were looking through the LfL lens ‘Learning Dialogue’?
  • What are the kinds of things you might see in a classroom if you were looking through the LfL lens ‘Shared Leadership'?
  • What are the kinds of things you might see in a classroom if you were looking through the LfL lens ‘Shared Accountability’?

Activity icon.png Small group activity (25 min).

Your facilitator will explain to you how to go about this group activity. Before that, you may like to take some time to refer to the background reading to help you understand all the 5 LfL principles.

Educator note

Pedagogy: Plenary session or Jigsaw

Extending the use of the lens metaphor from the previous think-pair-share exercise, the facilitator can suggest one of the following group activities to help the participants make further use of the LfL lens.

Plenary Activity

  1. Ensure that the participants are in five different groups.
  2. Assign each group to one particular lens to discuss what are the kind of things they may look out in the classrooms using that one particular lens. This should take at least 10 minutes.
  3. One member from each group will share with everyone in a plenary format. (ie. each person to take turn to share what they have discussed in the group)
  4. The rest of the participants can ask questions for clarification or raise comments on the overlaps and links across the 5 LfL principles. This should take another 15 minutes.
  5. Remind the participants that this is a purely exploratory exercise, with no incorrect answers.

Jigsaw Activity

  1. Ensure that the participants are in at least two groups of 5 participants each.
  2. Assign each member in each group to one particular lens to think about what are the kind of things that he/she may look out in the classrooms using that one particular lens. This should take at least 5 minutes.
  3. The members who are assigned to the same lens from the different groups will meet together as a temporary ‘expert’ group to exchange ideas. This should take another 5 minutes or so.
  4. The members return back to their original group and share their findings to the rest of the members. Each person will have about 2 minutes to share their findings.
  5. Remind the participants that this is a purely exploratory exercise, with no incorrect answers.

Use the following background reading to explain the terms. There is another educator note below this background reading, that gives further details for each point in turn. Make sure that you have spent time reading and thinking about this before the session as the participants may need your prompting to help them ‘see’ through each of the lens.

Background reading

Focus on Learning

  1. Everyone is a learner
  2. Learning relies on the effective interplay of social, emotional and cognitive processes
  3. The efficacy of learning is highly sensitive to context and to the differing ways in which people learn
  4. The capacity for leadership arises out of powerful learning experiences
  5. Opportunities for leadership enhance learning

Conditions for Learning

  1. Cultures nurture the learning of everyone
  2. Everyone has opportunities to reflect on the nature, skills and processes of learning
  3. Physical and social spaces stimulate and celebrate learning
  4. Safe and secure environments enable everyone to take risks, cope with failure and respond positively to challenges
  5. Tools and strategies are used to enhance thinking about learning and the practice of teaching

Learning Dialogue

  1. Practice made explicit, discussable and transferable
  2. Active, collegial inquiry focussing on the link between learning and leadership
  3. Coherence through sharing of values, understandings and practices
  4. Factors that inhibit and promote learning are examined and addressed
  5. Link between leadership and learning is a concern for everyone
  6. Different perspectives explored through networking with researchers and practitioners

Shared Leadership

  1. Structures support participation in developing learning communities
  2. Shared leadership symbolised in day-to-day flow of activities
  3. Everyone encouraged to take a lead as appropriate to task and context
  4. Everyone’s experience and expertise is valued and drawn upon as resources
  5. Collaborative activity across boundaries of subject, role and status are valued and promoted

Mutual Accountability

  1. Systematic approach to self-evaluation embedded at every level
  2. Focus on evidence and its congruence with core values
  3. Shared approach to internal accountability is a precondition of external accountability
  4. National policies recast in accordance with school's core values
  5. Choosing how to tell own story while taking account of political realities
  6. Continuing focus on sustainability, succession and leaving a legacy
Educator note

This educator note is meant to be read in conjunction with the above background reading. It provides additional prompts for each of the points above.


1. Focus on Learning

  1. Everyone is a learner. Are students the only learners in our school? How about the teachers? Parents? Headteachers?
  2. Learning relies on the effective interplay of social, emotional and cognitive processes. Do we think about what learning is about? Is it about memorising and applying certain facts? Managing emotions? Being able to make friends with one another? Making good decisions?
  3. The efficacy of learning is highly sensitive to context and to the differing ways in which people learn. Are we aware about the differences in ways which people learn and to what extent their background (e.g. family, age, interests) will influence the way they learn?
  4. The capacity for leadership arises out of powerful learning experiences. Who are some of the most influential teachers in our lives? When did we encounter such teachers and why did they create such powerful learning experiences for ourselves? How can we do the same for others?
  5. Opportunities for leadership enhance learning. Are we given the opportunities to make decisions on our learning?

2. Conditions for Learning

  1. Cultures nurture the learning of everyone. What kind of background (e.g. families, age, interests) would be most helpful to support learning?
  2. Everyone has opportunities to reflect on the nature, skills and processes of learning. Are there opportunities for everyone to reflect on the nature, skills and processes involved in learning? What are they?
  3. Physical and social spaces stimulate and celebrate learning. Are the physical facilities and other forms of support (e.g. community and family support) able to support learning? What are these facilities and forms of support?
  4. Safe and secure environments enable everyone to take risks, cope with failure and respond positively to challenges. Are we providing a safe environment for learners to take risks, cope with failure and respond positively to challenges? How are we doing that?
  5. Tools and strategies are used to enhance thinking about learning and the practice of teaching. Are we updating ourselves and reflecting on the various tools and strategies to enhance the way we teach and learn? How are we doing that?

3. Learning Dialogue

  1. Practice made explicit, discussable and transferable. Do we have the language to talk about learning so that we can discuss and reflect on it more fruitfully? How do we do that?
  2. Active, collegial inquiry focussing on the link between learning and leadership. Do we discuss and find out how we can take the lead to decide what learning should be like in our school (and not just be directed by the authority)? How can we go about doing that?
  3. Coherence through sharing of values, understandings and practices. Do we discuss and share the values and understanding of the ways we learn and teach? What are they?
  4. Factors that inhibit and promote learning are examined and addressed. Do we examine and address the factors that inhibit and promote learning? What are they?
  5. Link between leadership and learning is a concern for everyone. Do we prioritise the link between leadership and learning? What kind of concerns about learning do we raise and act upon?
  6. Different perspectives explored through networking with researchers and practitioners. Do we network with researchers and other practitioners to explore different perspectives of learning and leadership? How do we do that?

4. Shared Leadership

  1. Structures support participation in developing learning communities. Are there ways we can participate in learning or be involved in starting learning communities within the school?
  2. Shared leadership symbolised in day-to-day flow of activities. Can we see leadership being shared by various colleagues and students in the day-to-day flow of activities in the school? What is that like?
  3. Everyone encouraged to take a lead as appropriate to task and context. Do we take the initiative to take a lead in various learning or research projects in accordance with what we are interested in and capable of? What kind of projects or research can we embark on?
  4. Everyone’s experience and expertise is valued and drawn upon as resources. Do we draw on everyone’s experience and expertise and value all of them as important resources to support learning? How do we do that?
  5. Collaborative activity across boundaries of subject, role and status are valued and promoted. Do we value and promote collaborative activities across subject, levels and roles within the school?

5. Mutual Accountability

  1. Systematic approach to self-evaluation embedded at every level. Is there a systematic approach to self-evaluation that is evident in all aspects of our work?
  2. Focus on evidence and its congruence with core values. Is there a focus on documentation of teaching and learning that would be consistent with our beliefs on the values of education?
  3. Shared approach to internal accountability is a precondition of external accountability. Do we take the initiative to be accountable to ourselves in ensuring the quality of teaching and learning, rather than be dependent on an external authority?
  4. National policies recast in accordance with school's core values. Do we critically examine the national policies and how they are relevant with the school’s core values?
  5. Choosing how to tell own story while taking account of political realities. Do we maintain an individual stance of our own views of teaching and learning, while being very cognisant of the political realities that we are living in?
  6. Continuing focus on sustainability, succession and leaving a legacy. Do we try to look forward towards the future, on how we can sustain our current efforts and be able to leave a legacy for our future generations?

Activity icon.png Whole class dialogue (10 min) on the previous activity Because we have done the above activity as part of this facilitators workshop, now come back together as a group and discuss how the activity went. You could e.g. use PMI to say some plusses, minuses, and interesting things. What would you do the same? What would you do differently? What questions can you ask, to find out whether the activity was conducted in an interactive way?