Thursday, December 1, 2011

Expression of Interest

 I would like to thank @maryannreilly for sharing this video during her presentation on Instructional Rounds.  The video was developed by the principal at Coburg Senior High School in Australia. The purpose behind the video was to present context for a cohort of educators who were conducting an observation of Coburg Senior High.

The entire presentation is worth watching.  However, I would pay particular attention to the principal's explanation of how students apply to the school and the initial meeting that transpires between families and members of the Coburg staff.  In addition to taking a series of standardized tests, incoming students have to complete an expression of interest survey.  The survey asks students to share personal information such as classes they like and dislike, career interests and skills they have developed.  Students also take a multiple intelligence tests.  All of this information is collected and reviewed by families and members of the Coburg faculty and serves an anchor when discussing a unique learning plan.

After listening to the principal at Coburg Senior High I could not help but think why not us.  At Coburg students are entering into a new learning environment.  However, as opposed to entering devoid of any academic or social history, incoming learners at Coburg are accompanied by a collection of unique and genuine data and a highly personal learning plan. The same process could be mirrored at any school.  As a high school administrator I see tremendous value in sitting down with 8th graders to build a comprehensive profile.  Think about how teachers could benefit from access to detailed interest surveys and cognitive profiles.  Additionally, think about the scheduling process.  A true pathway through high school can be crafted when this level of personal information is shared.

Let me know what your thoughts are about the video.  I'm curious if others are motivated by some of the structures in place at Coburg Senior High.