The Power of Collective Efficacy:
It is a credit to the dedication of LCEEQ’s members who took time from their very busy schedules to cooperatively strategize and plan on behalf of Quebec’s English educational community. They recently met for two days to review the strategic plan and to lay the foundation for the Committee’s important work in the coming year. Their work was divided into four components: connecting, creating, communicating, and crystallizing. This task was facilitated by Ainsley Rose, a well-known former Quebec educator, who leads similar seminars internationally.
The session began with a most interesting team-building exercise, highlighting interdependence using a simple eight-foot slat of wood which proved to be more difficult to control that one might expect. You can check out the Helium Stick activity at: http://wilderdom.com/games/descriptions/HeliumStick.html
Highlights of LCEEQ’s working session:
http://www.takepart.com/teach/ – a short video on YouTube highlighting the power of teaching:
LCEEQ requires collective efficacy as stronger efficacy leads to greater levels of planning, more openness to new ideas, stronger involvement, and increased ability to problem solve. The members conducted a stakeholder’s analysis to examine INTERESTS/EXPECTATIONS/POTENTIAL. It became evident from their feedback that members saw student success as their prime mandate coupled with being a collective voice that provides leadership for the English Educational Community in Quebec. Their reflection re-affirmed that LCEEQ is both a professional learning community and a think tank that provides opportunities to exchange current information, responds to proposed changes and challenges as warranted, and develops innovative professional practices through its conferences and grants for Professional Development ( now being referred to Professional Learning) to enhance student learning.
The members of LCEEQ generated global topics of interest and need across education sectors. These included mental health, parent choices of schooling surrounding bilingualism, digital citizenship, deeper coupling between LCEEQ and ABEE, award recognition, and distance education were broad areas selected for further discussion and work over the course of the coming year by the Committee.
The work of LCEEQ is both broad and demanding and is further challenged by ever present competing needs and interests. It is therefore extremely important that the Committee focusses its energy on a positive and productive approach when tackling complex issues of importance to the English Educational Community. Members were encouraged to think about changing their SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis approach to problem solving to that of SOAR (strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results). SOAR would allow the Committee to focus more on what it aspires to achieve and on how to acquire those results on behalf of the community. This approach if adopted, would frame all LCEEQ’s decision making and how to communicate the work of the Committee to its stakeholders.
In concluding the Committee’s annual review exercise, Mr. Rose reminded the Committee of its ladder of influence, its use of observable data, its selection of what to pay attention to, its adding meaning, its making assumptions, its drawing conclusions, and lastly, its taking action. He encouraged the Committee to include in its complex undertakings, the application of de Bono’s six thinking hats:
1- process – the thinking hat (blue hat)
2- what are the things we need to be cautious about – the roadblocks to be aware of (black hat)
3- passion around the project, justification for what we do (red hat)
4- thinking about the project, analysis (green hat)
5- positive outcome - what are the benefits of what we are undertaking (yellow hat)
6- gathering and analysis of proof of effectiveness of what is being undertaken, the data (white hat)
Ainsley Rose concluded with this statement, “Hope and possibilities always exist.”
He shared a short video of Paraguay’s “landfill harmonics” which reinforced this notion. “The world sends us garbage, we send back music," says the Recycled Orchestra's conductor, Favio Chávez.
WATCH: The Recycled Orchestra: Slum Children Create Music out of Garbage
The New History Program
LCEEQ members also received an overview of the work being done by some of the teachers piloting the new History of Québec and Canada programme at Secondary Three and Four. A hugh expression of gratitude is extended to the four teachers: Etienne Bedard and Louis Bilodeau from the English Montreal School Board, along with Alice Cristofaro and Melanie Tranchemontagne from the Lester B. Pearson School Board. The pilot teacher panel was joined by Tino Bordonaro, a member of LCEEQ, and Raphael Charrier from the Ministry of Education.