Ten Trends 2017: Process

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In business terms, process is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific outcome. Simply put, process may be understood as ‘the way we do things’.

Educational institutions are generally very process-driven, from enrolment, to curriculum, to the approaches to teaching, to assessment and graduation. Each of these is characterised by the process used to determine how things are done.

Process trends affecting schools/kura that have emerged over recent years include:

  • Change Leadership — To lead change in schools, educational leaders need knowledge and insight into the complex processes of change and the key drivers that make for successful change. More significantly, they will require understanding of and experience in change leadership strategies and digital leadership models (from Dion Hinchcliffe)
  • Design thinking — The emphasis on innovation, creativity, and the use of design thinking in education transformation
  • Gamification — is the idea of adding game elements to a nongame situation. Classroom incentives and reward programs are a simple example or this. At a more sophisticated level gamification has becomes integrated in a more authentic manner as classrooms have become a living, breathing game. 
  • Deep Learning — Amid the growing concern that we’re becoming too narrowly focused in terms of the outcomes we aspire to for our learners, with a curriculum that touches a lot of things lightly is call for an emphasis on Deep Learning. The essence of deep learning is understanding—true knowing. Deep learning occurs when  learners participate in experiences that build on their strengths and needs, where they create new knowledge using real-life problem solving and contribute using their talents, purpose and passion.
  • Inclusive Education – the underpinning idea here involves moving from thinking of education as a linear process representing a ‘factory’ model of production, to a process that accommodates and caters for the widely different sets of needs and abilities represented by any cohort of learners. Key concepts here include learner-centred design (as distinct from teacher-centred and curriculum-centred) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) which is a research-based framework that helps teachers plan learning to meet the diverse and variable needs of all students.

Special themes for 2017:

  • Collaboration — collaborative practice is becoming the ‘new norm’ in schools, occurring at all levels, including students, teachers and leadership.
  • Data Science — an emerging field involving multidisciplinary blend of data inference, algorithm development, and technology in order to solve analytically complex problems. The global supply of people who can work effectively with data in this way is limited.

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