Parents support quest for ‘new normal’ learning.

Last week, I was speaking to a 13 year old student of St Luke’s Catholic College who expressed their desire for teachers to continue using Canvas (our Learning Management System for Years 5-9) for their learning. Another student quipped, “Yeah, and you don’t have to come to school to use Canvas.” Such a comment is reflective of the enlightened understanding of how learning can work differently, and possibly better, in a hyper-connected world.

Over the last few weeks, we have surveyed staff, students and parents about their recent experiences of home learning and ‘Connected Learning’. There is much we have learnt and there is much to discern. For me a few standout reflections are:

  • K-4 parents who have hugely increased their connection with their child’s learning.
  • K-4 students articulating their thinking and uploading that to Seesaw.
  • Classroom introverts who ask far more questions in an online environment.
  • Older students enjoying the trust shown in them to self pace some of their work.

Whilst the above comments do not apply to everyone, we also need to remind ourselves that schooling as we currently know it does not suit everyone. The model of schooling  still reflects an industrial model designed more than a century ago!

Over the last 3 weeks at St Luke’s Catholic College, we have conducted many and varied feedback processes with all stakeholders, students, staff and parents. A most recent survey with parents registered 436 completed responses – our largest ever response rate! From that survey:

Parents acknowledged that education needs to better adapt to a rapidly changing world.

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Parents clearly expressed they believe students should learn to relate with one another, inquire and pose questions, think critically and create solutions to real world problems.

Parents strongly supported the College’s commitment of facilitating multiple qualifications and not just the one qualification of the HSC. 

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Parents overwhelmingly stated they would like their children to have a deep understanding of their strengths as reflected in a learner profile with has an online folio of evidence showcasing those strengths.

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Very obviously, the above applies in an environment where the rigorous of literacy and numeracy from an early age are considered vital foundations and non-negotiable.

Most pleasing was parents confirming they will trust the College to provide learning opportunities which will prepare their children for this rapidly changing world. They, the parents, also registered their great support for the next steps of learning innovation at St Luke’s.

I am extremely appreciative that parents took the time to provide their feedback. Along with student and staff feedback, it will be a central part of decision making as we continue to design and establish the next iteration of a new normal learning.

Greg Miller