While not the start of the 2022 school year, this week did mark the return of the students to the campus. Not only did we welcome back our local students, but also a new cohort of international students. Students arrived from Chile, China, Finland, Taiwan, PNG, Thailand, Japan and Hong Kong. After two years of disruption, it feels like a new beginning.
The new building, our Innovation Centre, has begun to rise out of the ground and will begin to take shape over the next few months. But perhaps the most exciting project for this year and next is the partnership with Melbourne University’s Assessment Research Centre we have just begun.
Over the last decade we have been researching and developing our unique way of teaching and learning: Realms of Thinking. Realms of Thinking are approaches to learning which help students master the basics while also growing their capacity to ask better questions, navigate failure, develop empathy, and spark their imaginations.
Realms of Thinking is a collection of 16 dispositions necessary for creative, innovative and entrepreneurial thinking. Teachers deliberately incorporate these dispositions into their planning and classroom activities so our young people are equipped with the skills and dispositions they need to thrive in the new economy.
Melbourne University has become our research partners for the next stage of development for Realms of Thinking: A Learner Profile. If we truly value what we do here at St Paul’s School, we should be reporting on the Realms of Thinking dispositions to you as parents.
The work with Melbourne University will develop tools to assess each of the 16 dispositions enabling us as educators to show you as parents how your child/ren are developing the skills necessary for their future employment. The result of the research will be a Learner Profile, a more comprehensive report that will not only tell you how your child is achieving in each curriculum area, but also how they are progressing in the development of the Realms of Thinking dispositions, and ultimately, the character traits identified in our Ways of Being framework. Essentially, the Learner Profile will give you a holistic view of your child’s development.
There is a huge amount of work to do over the next two years to achieve this, but it is exciting work. It feels a little like a new beginning for education.
Dr Paul Browning