This is part one of a two-part series.
The Anglican Schools Australia Conference held in Sydney in August had as its theme ‘Deep Peace’. One of the recurring messages was the need for better listening and communication when discussing conflicting ideas. Dr Michael Spence AC, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney spoke on the topic of ‘Listening well’, and Dr Natasha Moore, Research Fellow for the Centre for Public Christianity spoke on ‘Forming students that can love and disagree’. This was also a topic addressed by Dr Donald Guthrie at the Anglican EdComm Christians in Teaching Conference held in May.
Q: What do schools and coaching have in common?
John Campbell proposes that education and coaching ‘share a common purpose: helping people to learn, grow and develop’ (Campbell and van Nieuwerburgh, 2018, p.3).
Student learning and development is the core business of school education. Learning however, is rarely talked about in isolation from teaching, which makes the role of the teacher critical in student learning. Coaching that focuses primarily on improving teacher practice or leadership practice may also improve student learning.
Think of a time when you were telling someone something that you really wanted them to ‘hear’. Perhaps you had summoned the courage to approach a leader and discuss a sensitive issue. Perhaps it was a family member or a trusted friend who you wanted to share a painful experience with, or perhaps it was the person next to you at work who had told you in depth about their holiday and you were about to tell them about your holiday. Whatever the situation, the common ground was that the other person did not listen. You just did not feel heard!