Future Focused Teaching and Learning at Hume

The term “future-focused learning” is used to describe what effective, quality 21st century education should look like and be characterised by. So, I thought I would try to unpack this phrase, “future-focused learning,” to connect what it means with what we do here at Hume Anglican Grammar, in order to facilitate “future-focused learning” for our students.

Leung (2016) defines “future-focused learning” as the implementation of learning and teaching that is both challenging and effective at preparing students for their futures and their lives beyond school. Leung (2016) claims that it is based upon learning how to construct knowledge and create solutions for complex problems and about learning how to think creatively and critically, for life.

Leung (2016) claims that a school’s culture on learning and teaching must be “future-focused,” so that learning spaces and technology will make an impact. She claims that infrastructure and technology is not enough on its own, but that it is the values and collective mindset surrounding teaching and learning that is the key to quality and effective “future-focused,” 21st century learning. In short, it is how teachers teach, how students learn and how the teaching and learning is designed that determines how relevant, rigorous and significant the teaching and learning really is.

At Hume, we are constantly striving for improvement, which in effect means continuous change. As an important part of “future-focused learning” is for teachers to be researchers of their own practice and develop evidence-based practices that best suit their community of learners, we are constantly refining our teacher professional learning here at the school. Much of what we do is informed by data, current best-practice in educational research and cutting-edge pedagogy, so that our staff are equipped with the skills, the values and the support to hone what it is that they do best – teach! Our Professional Learning Team meetings and structure is one way that we achieve this. All teaching staff at Hume work in collaborative teams across the school to research and present on an area of interest that links to our School Strategic Improvement Plan. Central to this is a focus on the relevant and current literature, in order to inform their inquiry project and investigation. Project topics range from a focus on developing student voice and agency, to literacy, to quality feedback and assessment practices, to the uses of qualitative and quantitative data to inform teacher practice, to supporting a diverse classroom. This is how we, as a school and as staff ensure that we stay “future-focused!” 

As “future-focused learning” is about how teachers teach, how students learn and how learning and schooling is designed (Leung 2016), at Hume, we, as a professional learning community, continue to refine our practice through being reflective and self-evaluative. This is because “future-focused” teachers help create “future-focused” learners! This is what we believe in and precisely what drives our work!

Kirk Thomas - Director of Teaching and Learning