Wednesday, July 17, 2013

‘ReTooling School’

‘ReTooling School’: a principal's perspective

The July Nethui, held in Wellington this year, featured an education perspective on ReTooling School as one of the Keynote addresses. 

Although I didn't get to attend or watch the live stream, I was able to keep an eye on the Twitterstream and the collaborative note-taking while attending another event.

It seemed that most of the tweets from non-educators and that participants were appreciating hearing that innovation is occurring in the education sector. Blog commentators also reflected this. 

Russell has been speaking about ReTooling School for some time now and was recently interviewed for an article in the Term 2, 2013 edition of "School News" (p7). The cover featured Modern Learning Environments, so a principal with a predominantly 1950's building complex may appear an unusual contributor to the conversation. However, it is clear that significant change needs to  occur in the hearts and minds of the people in the the school community if modern structures are to have an impact on learning environments. 

ReTooling School requires:

1. A Change Pedagogy Imperative

2. Operationalising of Te Tiriti o Waitangi
3. A new partnership around Schooling
4. Technical Provision
5. Research and Development

The full text of this conversation can be read here


  1. I first had to research Nethui, then read the principal's keynote speech. What a wonderful, inspiring message about what can happen when schools, students and communities work together. The speech was concise, and included what is necessary to "ReTool" a school. If the rural community of Tamaki can make the transition, most places should be able to do the same, but it will take community involvement and dedicated educators to make it happen. How long, from idea to implementation did "ReTooling" take?

    1. Hi Lynn, Thanks for taking the time to explore this important subject. It took close on seven years to retool the first time, but by sharing the 'bullet points' Russell is able to help schools do this in <2 years now. You are right, speed of change is related to consultation and co-construction of the journey with the community. It is not something you can 'do to' people and expect a happy outcome!


      PS I am married to this wonderful man :)