THE WOODLEIGH INSTITUTE
The Woodleigh Institute is a dynamic innovation lab focused on promoting personalised, experiential learning for students, teachers, school administrators and system leaders. The Institute serves as a hub for professional and organisational learning at Woodleigh School, and provides leadership for transformative projects that explore new approaches to teaching and learning, organisational development and leadership. The Woodleigh Institute also partners with experts, institutions and organisations who are interested in furthering progressive approaches to education and offers a range of customised professional learning services to the wider educational community.
To learn more about the Institute's projects or services, please see below or contact Dr Richard Owens, Director - Woodleigh Institute, for further information.
Current projects at Woodleigh School
The Woodleigh Certificate
This project is focused on the development of a digital transcript for secondary students that reflects the authentic breadth and depth of student learning at Woodleigh School. The project will explore the use of digital technologies to produce a layered and easily searchable folio that can be used to support entry into the workforce and higher study. The final transcript will be designed to capture the essential elements of a Woodleigh Education – the understanding of concepts, the acquisition of knowledge, the mastery of skills, the development of productive attitudes, and the ability to perform meaningful tasks in real world settings.
Capabilities for Living and Learning
This project is focused on the development, documentation and credentialing of cross disciplinary skills and knowledge. The project will explore the developmental nature of specific types of skills and knowledge, as well as the opportunities being presented through immersive experiences for students to adapt, apply and extend their learning in these areas. An important focus for the project will be supporting students to gain university-awarded credentials that recognise the skills, knowledge and capabilities they require for future work, further study and everyday success in the modern world.
The Experiential Learning Project
The Experiential Learning Project (ELP) is a Year 13 course focused on real-world learning. The ELP nurtures student agency, creativity and resilience by providing a challenging, personalised pathway for students to pursue their interests and passions. The course helps students to develop transferable competencies in areas such as self-management, communication, teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking. A central feature of the ELP is the opportunity to gain professional work experience, exposure and expertise through the completion of an individual or team-based internship with a partner organisation.
Professional learning services
The Woodleigh Institute offers a range of tailored workshops and programs to support professional learning for leaders at each stage of their career development. We also craft specific professional development solutions to suit the learning needs of leadership teams. Past workshops and programs have focused on areas such as visioning, strategic planning, change management, staff evaluation, team learning and collaboration, personal mastery, creativity and innovation, and coaching.
Awareness-based System Leadership
- Workshops/consultancy: The Institute provides a unique approach to professional and organisational learning through its offerings focused on Awareness-based System Leadership (ASL). ASL is an immersive method that challenges participants to explore how an integrated focus on self-development, team learning, generative dialogue and systems thinking can support school and system innovation, effectiveness and improvement. Awareness-based System Leadership is an approach that that draws upon Senge’s theories about organisational learning and Scharmer’s work on awareness-based change to address important questions about personal and collective capacity building, sustainable innovation, and effective change management. The approach provides a nurturing forum for educational leaders to revitalise a personal vision for their own development, while deeply examining the relational and transformational elements of their leadership role.
- LEA/LESNW: The Institute is involved in a multi-year leadership project with Lutheran Education focused on the renewal of its national system of schools. The project explores how sustained, collaborative engagement with learning experiences that integrate a focus on self-development, team learning, generative dialogue and systems thinking can play a role in both leadership and system development. Intermediate outcomes from the project have shown a strong impact of collaborative knowledge creation and leadership practices at the executive level, along with a positive impact of the work on principals and schools. Research on the project has been shared in a variety of international forums, including UNESCO-APEID, ICSEI and uLead Conferences.
School and System Effectiveness and Improvement
We offer a range of customisable services to support school and school system effectiveness and improvement. The process typically involves the following steps:
- Working with Principals or System Leader to identify key goals at a personal, team and/or organisational level.
- Facilitating collaboration with leadership teams to investigate challenges, identify preferred outcomes and develop a strategic approach to innovation and improvement.
- Advisory, mentoring, coaching and facilitation focused on supporting the change process.
- Leading evaluation and reflection to examine progress, achievements and next steps.