Elaine Johnson


I facilitate learning using principles based on the work of John Hattie, Dylan Wiliam, Michael Fullan, Robert Marzano, George Couros, and the Principles of Learning and Teaching P-12 from the State of Victoria, Australia.

The learning environment must be supportive and collaborative.

My priority, as an educator and leader, is to create a supportive school and classroom culture where everyone feels inspired to take intellectual risks, to learn from mistakes, to work together to actively shape and celebrate learning, and to engage in continuous improvement (Couros, 2015).

Building relationships among all members of the community is key. Learning is a collaborative endeavor in which each school community member plays an important role. By valuing, supporting and encouraging each other, we build an environment of trust where effective learning and innovation can flourish.

Life-long learning requires an understanding of how to learn.

It is essential for both students and teachers to understand learning and to reflect upon their progress in order to develop a growth mindset. By using research-based approaches, the learning process becomes transparent and helps learners take ownership of their own learning. As learners assess where they are in their understanding or proficiency, create personal learning goals that connect with competency criteria and engage in a learning plan according to their needs, interests, and prior knowledge, they become more motivated and effective in their learning.

Effective learners and teachers display an intrinsic curiosity to seek solutions and to ask thoughtful questions. They must be open-minded to consider different strategies and perspectives that are outside and within their own community. Effective learners and teachers must also critically consider ideas with integrity. Self-reflection helps them to monitor, evaluate and channel their thinking and actions for improvement. They are empathetic as they work collaboratively in team efforts while being sensitive to the needs and contributions of others, adapting their own methods to achieve a common goal and sharing responsibility for the result. They also persevere in learning, determined to overcome obstacles. All these characteristics emphasize the active roles that learners and teachers take in the learning process.

Learning is more meaningful when it connects to life outside of the classroom.

As educators, we are preparing students for a future that will be very different from the present. The world is changing at a powerful rate to the point that it is difficult to envision the challenges and opportunities that our students will be facing. "Both teachers and students alike need to learn how to develop new habits of mind, a growth mindset, and to understand what it takes to be successful in a student-centered, personalized learning environment in which their roles are evolving" (iNACOL, 2014).

Therefore, all stakeholders must partner with members of local and global communities to innovate experiences that help students develop the skills they will need beyond the classroom to face the unknown challenges of the future. Students can collaborate with other students within the school and with students in the global community to develop internationalmindedness and to individualize their own learning experiences.

Partnering and collaborating with other teachers and administrators within professional learning networks is also a necessary component of professional development. By sharing our challenges and best practices within our school and within our global communities, we have quicker access to more critical friends and effective strategies. This empowers teachers to create a more student-centered environment and to "improve traditional methods of instruction" (Johnson, 2007).

Couros, George. The Innovator's Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity. San Diego: Dave Burgess Consulting, 2015. PDF.

Johnson, Doug. "Maslow and Motherboards: Technology Planning." Doug Johnson Website. Doug Johnson, 5 July 2007. Web. July 2016. <http://www.doug-johnson.com/dougwri/maslow-and-motherboards-technology-planning.html>.

Powell, Allison, Beth Rabbitt, and Kathryn Kennedy. "INACOL Blended Learning Teacher Competency Framework." International. International Association for K-12 Online Learning, Oct. 2014. Web. July 2016. <http://www.inacol.org/resource/inacol-blended-learning-teacher-competency-framework/>

Philosophy of Learning and Leading