What does it take to inspire
Learning is an authentic lifelong process, one that happens in the moment. It’s not a destination or an end-of-semester grade. It’s a journey both for living and for life, and Lisa Doyle, a special education teacher at Parap Primary School, knew just how important it was for her gifted learners to gain this awareness for their own well-being and success.
“Some of my gifted students carried a burdened sense of I am gifted, what does that mean,” Lisa says. “Anxiety crept into much of their daily lives. Some of the kids used to say that giftedness was their curse.”
With the help of Solution Fluency and a special program focusing on letting participants express their unique talents in the best possible ways, Lisa showed her students how to see their gifts and the paths they could lead them on in a whole new light.
How do we plot a
path to success?
“I entered my students into the Tournament of Minds this year. The students were from a range of year levels and a range of abilities,” explains Lisa. The Tournament of Minds is a very unique problem-solving program for teams of students from both the primary and secondary years.
One of the most challenging facets of the TOM is that during the six weeks leading up to it, all work is done independently. That means teachers can’t offer any guidance to students while they craft their presentations.
“Solution Fluency became our lifeline as, although I could not offer any help or ideas at all, we could still talk about the 6Ds and where they were in their journey of solving their problem,” Lisa recalls.
In the end, the disconnect didn’t keep Lisa’s gifted learners from achieving success, as she reveals. “My team won their division for Tournament of Minds and will represent the NT in Adelaide at the Australasian Pacific Finals later this year.”
How do we measure
growth and progress?
How do we continue to
improve and excel?
After their success with Solution Fluency, Lisa’s gifted students have a much different view of what their learning is all about. “They are beginning to make the shift in their understanding that learning doesn’t come from a place of doing but rather from a place of being in the moment and trusting the process of mindful learning,” Lisa observes.
“The biggest benefit for me is that the students have started to realize their potential—we talk about them being potent just as they are—and they are more willing to take risks in their learning.”
As for using Solution Fluency in her continuing instructional practices, Lisa has no plans for slowing down. “I would like to continue my work as a coach and leader of future-focused learning. I want to encourage all staff to use the Solution Fluency process as much as possible and to trust that the students are more attuned to future-focused learning than we could imagine.”