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About the Learning Tour

20 - 26 September 2020


Join us on this international tour to visit schools and places of contemporary learning in California USA. Driven by a Contemporary Narrative guided by Lutheran education essential practices.

The world is constantly changing and currently we are seeing changes in the way the world works, the way people engage, the changing workplace and the requirements for people to be productive and happy in the contemporary world. Much educational research, educational organisations, oecd, unesco, governments, influential figures, industry and educators are thus calling for a radical shift in the way schools school and the way we see learners learn.

There is thus a call for students to have opportunities to highly develop contemporary soft skills  so that they can be relevant and happy in the world they live. The research and success stories around the world shows that the focus should not be of content driven schooling supported by standardised testing but on more experiential based pedagogies supporting the growth of skills such as critical thinking, natural curiosity, collaboration, deep empathy, entrepreneurship, innovation, resilience, grit etc.  It is with this call that these learning tours are guided.

We all understand that Culture is Key and changing the furniture or building alone does not bring about effective change in contemporary agile learning. Lutheran Education Qld continues to show success in applying learnings through meaningful engagement and collaboration during these tours. This Lutheran Education International agile learning tour will include focussed work at High Tech High in San Diego, California. High Tech High School (comprising of 13 elementary to graduate school campuses) is world renowned for contemporary innovative schooling and features on the highly acclaimed educational documentary "Most Likely to Succeed". Other important contemporary schooling and learning sites including Stanford University will be visited according to the itinerary.


Nicole Gregory – Deputy RLC
Much learning was unpacked during the visits and the sequence was spot on: Starting with Rich culture, pedagogies, structure and environments at High Tech High, followed by variations at E3 High and Monte Vista Christian School with a further unpacking of enablers including  Design Thinking and Growth Mindsets at Stanford University then culminating in how this applies in contemporary workplaces.

Bronwyn Dolling – Principal PLC
We saw and examined the importance of a structured thoughtful approach to the problem based learning experience where there is extensive documentation of the lead into the practical elements.  The documentation captured rigorous cross curricula thinking and learning.

Ray Ebert – Chair School Council LFLPS
I strongly recommend all Council Chairs to engage in attending a California Learning Tour as it has provided me with great insights into school culture, contemporary learning and much more.

Jemma Gillam – Teacher BLPS
‘Loyalty is to the student, not subjects’ is a quote that has resonated with me from High Tech High in San Diego which oozed a culture of Deep authentic learning that ‘ integrates the hands and minds’ of students based around real world experiences. 

Andrew Bell- Deputy TLC, Tanya Dobson, Kelly Haines  -Teachers TLC
We were able to see effective contemporary models of learning in action : the merging of teaching teams, project based learning with ubiquitous use of technology to develop a modern learning system which authentically exhibits transdisciplinary connections to curriculum with a real world view.

Eloise Beveridge – Head of Junior School FLCR
Space can help manifest the culture. Space is the body language of an organization! Think about our learning spaces with this mind, what and how are we encouraging our students to think and learn in this contemporary world? 

Jane Mueller – Principal LFLPS
One of the many takeaways for me was with regard to the physical space. Many of the schools and all of the workplaces we visited had aspects of what d.School describes as a '90% finished' look. Instead of ceilings, there were exposed roof interiors where air conditioning ducts were fully exposed, as were rafters, pipes, wires and cabling. Instead of expensive floor coverings, we walked on imperfect polished concrete. These features are a little industrial and a little steampunk, and create an atmosphere of having-a-go, risk-taking, prototyping and playing.

Josh and Caitlyn – Teacher and T&L Leader BLPSR
The HTH Project Based Learning Workshop was a highlight - Understanding of the design thinking process/implementation of PBL allowing for deep learning and rigor and how to introduce it to other staff and get them excited for the possibilities for students engagement and learning. 

Dave Hartshorn – Innovation in Learning Director
We saw school buildings which were incredibly flexible (essentially barns which can have temporary internal multiple levels, rooms and spaces. Exhibiting work was paramount. We need to Share our learning, have multiple professionally produced durable displays around our schools – be proud of our rich tasks, the deep learning process that happens in our schools. Share this and celebrate this with our communities. 

Jenni Krenske & Mark Krenske – Principal RLCb
Thank you so much for a great tour. Inspirational on many levels and wonderful to be able to have time to get to know others. You do a terrific job! 

Derek Bartels - Director of Innovation & Technology
Besides being thoroughly affirmed again by the rich collegiality and collaboration of our system of schools, I personally enjoyed my second visit to these sites being able to get even closer to authentic engagement by students across the schools and university demonstrating rich project based focus strategies.

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