Professional Learning and Development Accreditation Summary

Name: Ian Stevens

Personal statement: Ian is a highly experienced and enthusiastic facilitator who really keeps learners and their achievement at the heart of the matter. His knowledgeable, practical, non-judgmental and friendly approach is appreciated by those he works alongside.

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Ian is a skilled and experienced facilitator with a wealth of experience in education. He lives in Wellington, working in local schools as well as nationwide. His enthusiasm and wisdom comes from experiences as a teacher, principal, college of education lecturer, Ministry of Education team leader, and iPad app developer. Ian’s flexible, friendly and non-judgmental approach is appreciated in the wide variety of contexts in which he works. His ability to problem solve to accelerate learning, develop and share interesting and meaningfully rich resources, and a willingness to model in classrooms are features of Ian’s facilitation.

Ian has expertise in:

  • Mathematics and statistics education
  • Supporting leaders and teachers to focus on improvement and accelerate learning
  • Data analysis and sense making of student achievement and progress
  • Designing school and classroom curriculum for active learners
  • Developing leaders of learning
  • Using digital technology to enhance learning
  • Problem solving and strategic thinking of complex educational issues
  • Building evaluative capability and collaborative inquiry

 

Professional learning and development expertise and experience   ___________________________________________

Ian has a Bachelor of Education degree and is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable educator. He has a wealth of experience, having worked as a classroom teacher, a college of education lecturer, a rural primary school principal, and a school advisor in mathematics and statistics, numeracy, leadership and assessment.

Ian is a leading mathematics educator, having led the PLD in mathematics, pāngarau and numeracy throughout New Zealand during his time as team leader at the Ministry of Education. He also led the development of the Mathematics Standards and Accelerating Learning in Mathematics (ALiM). His ability to design teacher friendly and effective curriculum resources combines his deep knowledge of educational theory with a practical understanding of classroom teaching. Units of work on nzmaths.co.nz, articles in the Connected Series, resources for NZ Maths Week and posters of learning progressions developed by Ian illustrate this ability. Ian’s online maths games and iPad apps for learning maths are used in many NZ schools and his free apps have been downloaded over 3 million times around the world. He has presented and led PLD workshops at a variety of conferences, ranging from the 2010 APEC Conference on Exemplary Practices in Mathematics Education in Thailand to the 2016 South Taranaki Teacher Aides Conference in Hawera.

The ability to support leaders and teachers to make sense of complex situations, then strategically and practically plan to improve the situation is one of Ian’s strengths. His ability to combine student achievement data from a range of formats and systems, present it in an understandable way to show achievement and progress, then support leaders, teachers and students to make sense of it underpins Ian’s ability to be strategic and successfully support schools to improve student outcomes.

 

Summary of example of practice   ___________________________________________

In this example Ian was the facilitator for a small Wellington primary school on an in-depth professional learning and development (PLD) project to improve students’ progress and achievement, firstly in mathematics and then writing. Together with the principal a plan of action was developed which focused on meeting the needs of students, teachers and leaders that reflected the culture and uniqueness of the school and was designed to further develop the capabilities of the leaders and teachers leading to improved student outcomes.

Ian’s facilitation included:

  • Collaboratively developing, reviewing and modifying the PLD plan of action with the principal based on a variety of information, including teacher reflections, student achievement and progress data and feedback
  • Initiating then supporting the principal in establishing and developing teaching as inquiry and an observation and feedback process to build teachers’ knowledge, skills and confidence leading to improved outcomes
  • Unearthing, inquiring into, and appropriately challenging teachers’ and leaders’ beliefs
  • Collaboratively auditing the school’s curriculum documents, assessment schedules, appraisal processes and planning for teaching and learning
  • Providing an external perspective for the school, including providing research articles and examples from other leaders and teachers, e.g. Tātaiako, Timperley’s thinking on inquiry, Viviane Robinson’s open-to-learning ideas, OECD’s The nature of learning booklet, and maths planning examples
  • Modelling aspects of teaching and learning in teachers’ classrooms
  • Providing collegial support to the principal and school through his friendly positivity.

The impact of this work was an acceleration of learning for all students, and in particular for Māori students who achieved, on average, two year’s progress within one year. The school has robust systems in place to monitor target learners.

In another example of practice, Ian facilitated an inquiry into modern or innovative learning environments with a team of teachers. Teachers moved from working independently in stand-alone classes to a more collaborative approach to teaching and learning. Starting first with a maths unit, Ian supported the teachers to use an approach, which saw students working individually, in pairs and in small groups independently and with teachers throughout the space. Some students worked on must-do activities, some on optional tasks they had selected and some investigated an aspect of measurement that interested them. All the students were actively learning during the lessons and willingly able about to talk about their maths.

“Thank you so much for the leadership journey that you have taken us on this year. You have made us stop and question, ask ourselves to think deeply about our practice and of course, to keep our eye on the ball – our learners and their progress. Thank you for your guidance, your expertise and your wisdom. We look forward to working with you again in 2016.” Principal

“I loved your helpful and engaging style with the school leaders, and your knowledge of the content. You’re able to explain things in a way that connect with the best things teachers and leaders already know… and then to encourage them in the next steps. This was a good job VERY well done.” Ministry of Education Senior Adviser.

 

Referees   __________________________________________

Referee name: Jan OTENE                        Contact number 04 939 0186

Contact email address principal@rewarewa.school.nz

 

Referee name Kay TESTER                        Contact number 04 569 5759

Contact email address principal@stpeterpaul.school.nz