Rowan is a facilitator with specialist expertise in change leadership, whole-school vision development, developing collaborative and innovative teams, project-based learning for learner wellbeing and engagement, and developing authentic, high-trust appraisal and staff innovation programmes that teachers enjoy. She is also highly skilled in secondary school pastoral care systems and processes, including restorative practice and PB4L.
Previously a secondary school Deputy Principal, Rowan has a unique ability to think on a macro and micro level. This, along with her responsive, creative and agile facilitation style, are well suited to innovation and school transformation projects.
Rowan’s facilitation experience is underpinned by her ability to:
- quickly establish rapport with and between diverse groups, enabling people to focus their energy on new learning leading to change and transformation
- foster visionary thinking, while balancing this with actionable strategies towards achieving goals
- encourage a sense of fun, curiosity, exploration and risk-taking in her engaging workshops
- model effective questioning and perspective-seeking techniques in order to ensure all voices are heard
- support the development of effective reflection strategies with a view to personal and professional growth
- model the use of mentoring and team building resources.
Rowan is passionate about education catering for the whole learner; their engagement, wellbeing and academic/professional success. Her experience as a Deputy Principal has led Rowan to have a special interest in building collaborative, proactive and innovative teams within and across schools. Project Based Learning, especially in a senior secondary school context, is a particular area of skill and interest for Rowan, and you can see an example of her work in this area here.
Rowan has expertise in the following areas:
Rowan facilitates effective processes for school re-visioning that is co-constructed with learners, whānau, iwi, communities and teachers. Using a combination of Julia Atkin and Simon Sinek’s human-centered models, Rowan most recently led her own previous school, Otago Girls’ High School, through a re-visioning process to a brand new vision which every single person in the school community can articulate and feel a sense of ownership and pride in.
Supports schools to transition towards authentic, student-owned and directed, problem and project based learning models relative to their readiness levels.
- Reflect on and celebrate what the school is already doing well.
- Identify areas of opportunity for growth and innovation.
- Provide mentoring and support for people leading the change.
- Support development of concrete steps and strategies to take action.
- Provide support, resources, strategies and workshops in key pedagogical approaches, e.g. design thinking, agile methodology etc, to enhance learning for all.
- Moving beyond the rhetoric of “student agency” and into truly student-directed learning (yes, this can be done with NCEA!)
Building effective collaborative and innovative teams
Supports teams in the following professional development actions:
- Senior leadership, middle leadership, and teaching teams building relational trust.
- Identifying and utilising individual team member’s strengths in the pursuit of team goals.
- Development of effective communication and collaboration strategies.
- Approaches for achieving individual and team wellbeing.
- Developing a shared team vision.
- Creating an environment that supports innovation, exploration and risk-taking.
- Strategies for restoring and repairing relationships.
Developing high-trust appraisal processes, coaching and mentoring
Rowan supports schools to develop teacher-owned appraisal models and empower teachers’ own agency and autonomy. She supports leaders with strategies for removing the “compliance feel” to appraisal and making the process meaningful and relevant for all staff. Professional learning is more effective when staff feel they have ownership over the process. Rowan supports schools to develop their PLD and appraisal models via a high-trust, coaching and mentoring process. She also has high-level expertise in developing and leading teacher inquiry programmes in schools utilising Spirals of Inquiry and Design Thinking. You can see an example of this here.
Tackling the unique challenges of pastoral care
Rowan understands the unique and highly complex needs and challenges young people and their teachers, counsellors and whānau currently face. She can support lead teams with:
- analysis of current pastoral care systems and approaches
- high level incident response strategies and processes
- student interviewing techniques
- restorative practices strategies, such as restorative meetings
- refreshing Positive Behaviour for Learning in your context
- developing strategies to not only respond to, but be proactive when it comes to sexting & nudes, online bullying and technology violations.
Publications and videos
EDtalks video: Project Based Learning in secondary school
EDtalks video: Future focused practice in secondary schools
EDtalks video: The 'why' of school and learner agency
'Agile Learning' - www.launch-oghs.weebly.com
August 2019: 'Launching into Learning' - English in Aotearoa
February 2018: 'Spiralling into Collaboration' - The NZC Online
July 2016: ‘Seriously, what is school for?’ - CORE Blog
I believe in the power of reflection, relationships, responsiveness and risk-taking to produce innovation. Powerful education and learning is based upon the strength of people sharing their ideas in an inclusive space. I have a passion for developing team working and learning environments founded upon relational trust and the power of vulnerability. This means that you can turn those "what if..." questions into reality. Equity, social justice, inclusive practice (especially being responsive to cultural and neuro-diversity) are fundamental elements to my way of working.