Pulling No Punches: Change Management at Oakhill College

By Shani Hartley, Melissa Carson and Nick Cook.

Published by The International Journal of Educational Organization and Leadership

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 3, 2015 $US5.00

Prior to 2013 change at Oakhill College in terms of pedagogy and technology was slow. In 2013 the Innovative Learning Team (ILT) was formed, consisting of a leader in middle management and two classroom teachers. One of the team’s main tasks was to plan for a future of student-centered learning, supported by technology. The research involved visiting other schools, literature review, auditing current school infrastructure and surveying the school community. As a consequence of this investigation, the ILT recommended pedagogical change at Oakhill to be driven by (1) a clear message and modelling of good practice from the Principal and his leadership team and (2) tapping into an existing grassroots movement of innovative pedagogy to help facilitate personalised professional development across all staff. A pilot program called REAL (Relevant, Engaging, Active Learning), developed by the ILT to implement these changes, commenced at the start of 2014. This article marks the half-way point of the pilot program and reports upon the progress made to date.

Keywords: Leadership, Change Management, Pedagogical Shift, Student-Centered Learning

The International Journal of Educational Organization and Leadership, Volume 22, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.11-24. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 3, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 486.994KB)).

Shani Hartley

Teacher, Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE), Technology, Innovative Learning Team, Oakhill College, Castle Hill (Sydney), NSW, Australia

Melissa Carson

Coordinator of Innovative Learning, Curriculum, English, Oakhill College, Castle Hill (Sydney), NSW, Australia

Melissa Carson began teaching 1995 as an High School English and History specialist. She is currently the Coordinator of Innovative Learning at Oakhill College Castle Hill, which is part of the the broader Sydney area in New South Wales, Australia. In 2014, she was awarded a grant from the Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales to research the REAL Program initiative which stems from the 2013 Creating Critical Minds at Oakhill Report (Carson et al). This research project is due for report in 2016. Melissa has over 20 years classroom experience and has held various middle management roles in pastoral care and ICT integration. Her broad and varied experience in teaching and learning has enabled a 'big picture' perspective that is essential in driving change in the 21st Century Learning environment. At the heart of Melissa's vision for learning is a driving curiosity for best practice in the classroom, an an understanding that the best learning comes when teachers measure their impact on their students.

Nick Cook

Teacher, English, Innovative Learning Team, Oakhill College, Castle Hill (Sydney), NSW, Australia